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#719333 - 12/07/04 07:25 AM "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Cindysphinx Offline
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On the question of civility . . .

Following Frank's announcement that the boards would soon be moderated, a couple of people professed confusion about what standard of civility would be enforced. I was rather surprised to hear that, as I think the line between rudeness and civility is usually quite clear. Then last night, JBryan said something in the other thread that puzzled with me:

Quote
There seems to be a lack of understanding here between being civil and being polite. [snip]Whether it is "silly winger" or "would you say, JBryan, that......, would you say, JBryan, that......, would you say, JBryan, that......, would you say, JBryan, that......" ad infinitum it is still uncivil even if it may be dripping with politeness. Some can tell you to go to heck in such a manner that you would think you might actually enjoy the trip (others are not nearly so fastidious) but that is far more polite than civil.
I don't read minds, so I don't know just yet precisely what Frank is planning. In my experience here, a couple of principles will serve us well regarding civility. How about these, for starters?

1. If you must address someone, do use their name. Not "Lady," not "you LAWYER," not some crude perversion of their name.

2. If your post is rude, it is no defense to say "But she started it!" I sincerely hope Frank will follow a strict liability rule regarding rudeness -- each of us is strictly responsible for whatever comes out of our keyboard, regardless of what may have provoked our outburst. If two people have a rude exchange, nail them both, because both are polluting the community.

3. If your post is rude, it is no defense to say "But he's a *troll!*" See point number 2.

4. If you are negatively characterizing another PW member rather than their position, you are out of line. Period. That they are not participating in the thread is no excuse -- gossiping right out in public ("Oh, Cindy would hate this thread because she's so very dim") is also out of bounds.

5. I think it is high time some of us did some soulsearching about their habitual practice of insulting others in a veiled manner. If I were to sprinkle in my remarks references to "emergency room quacks," everyone would know precisely to whom I was referring, and it would be just as bothersome as coming right out and calling that person a quack. By now, many of us know various personal details about others -- who is divorced, who is gay, who is a lawyer, who is young, who is a piano dealer, who is relatively uneducated and so forth. How about we decide that the best way to lift up a community is to refrain from pointless and gratuitous smears based on someone's personal circumstances?

There are probably other things that would make sense, and these are only my own opinion, of course. I'm not sure I entirely follow or agree with JBryans' remarks above. I do think that there isn't much difference between being civil and polite. When in doubt, do both.

There. I feel better for having said my piece.

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#719334 - 12/07/04 08:08 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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JBryan Offline
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Rhetorical browbeating or sneering condescension, while it can be done in a polite manner, is anything but civil.


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#719335 - 12/07/04 08:19 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Torn from the pages of the Politically Correct Manifesto--and now posted here for your enlightenment----

Quote
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:


1. If you must address someone, do use their name. Not "Lady," not "you LAWYER," not some crude perversion of their name.

2. If your post is rude, it is no defense to say "But she started it!" I sincerely hope Frank will follow a strict liability rule regarding rudeness -- each of us is strictly responsible for whatever comes out of our keyboard, regardless of what may have provoked our outburst. If two people have a rude exchange, nail them both, because both are polluting the community.

3. If your post is rude, it is no defense to say "But he's a *troll!*" See point number 2.

4. If you are negatively characterizing another PW member rather than their position, you are out of line. Period. That they are not participating in the thread is no excuse -- gossiping right out in public ("Oh, Cindy would hate this thread because she's so very dim") is also out of bounds.

5. I think it is high time some of us did some soulsearching about their habitual practice of insulting others in a veiled manner. If I were to sprinkle in my remarks references to "emergency room quacks," everyone would know precisely to whom I was referring, and it would be just as bothersome as coming right out and calling that person a quack. By now, many of us know various personal details about others -- who is divorced, who is gay, who is a lawyer, who is young, who is a piano dealer, who is relatively uneducated and so forth. How about we decide that the best way to lift up a community is to refrain from pointless and gratuitous smears based on someone's personal circumstances?

There are probably other things that would make sense, and these are only my own opinion, of course. I'm not sure I entirely follow or agree with JBryans' remarks above. I do think that there isn't much difference between being civil and polite. When in doubt, do both.

There. I feel better for having said my piece.
laugh laugh laugh

#719336 - 12/07/04 08:21 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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jkeene Offline
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And now for the words that should really be carved in stone -


Quote
Originally posted by JBryan:
Rhetorical browbeating or sneering condescension, while it can be done in a polite manner, is anything but civil.

#719337 - 12/07/04 08:31 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Cindysphinx Offline
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Quote


Rhetorical browbeating or sneering condescension, while it can be done in a polite manner, is anything but civil.
I'm afraid I can't agree with this.

I think some people here confuse a clever or effective argument as "browbeating" or "sneering condescension." Someone uses an analogy or takes their position to its logical extension, and rather than expose the flaw in the analogy or comparison, they feel insulted or condescended to, perhaps. Well, maybe it feels awkward to be on the losing end of an argument with everyone watching, but that by itself doesn't make the exchange in any way inappropriate.

Unless you meant something different, JB.

But hey. I think once we get rid of some of the over-the-top stuff that goes on now, we can then sit down and decide if further measures must be taken to deal with "rhetorical browbeating or sneering condescension." One step at a time, one step at a time . . .

#719338 - 12/07/04 08:32 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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There's no shame in apologizing after cooling down when things get nasty. I try to respect everybody, even if I don't agree with them or don't like their personality here. Cindy's suggestings seem to be in the right spirit.


So live your life and live it well.
There's not much left of me to tell.
I just got back up each time I fell.
#719339 - 12/07/04 08:39 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Cindysphinx Offline
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NY1911, I would hold you up as a model of posting behavior and you are one reason why I'd never say that "conservatives" are the ones causing the problems. I've never seen you say the least thing that was in any way offensive, no matter how heated a discussion came, and I genuinely enjoyed our exchanges. So, you know, keep it up, ya hear?

Hey, maybe NY1911 has given me an idea! Perhaps I'll just applaud those who have the civility thing down to an art form.

So, to NY I say thumb thumb thumb thumb

#719340 - 12/07/04 08:43 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Tom--K Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by ny1911:
There's no shame in apologizing after cooling down when things get nasty. I try to respect everybody, even if I don't agree with them or don't like their personality here. Cindy's suggestings seem to be in the right spirit.
No problem here: I have apologized more times than anyone else on this board--Larry's a close second and then there's:

pique: 0 apologies
kathy: 0 apologies

The facts speak for themselves. smile

#719341 - 12/07/04 08:45 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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JBryan Offline
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I think some people here confuse a clever or effective argument as "browbeating" or "sneering condescension." Someone uses an analogy or takes their position to its logical extension, and rather than expose the flaw in the analogy or comparison, they feel insulted or condescended to, perhaps. Well, maybe it feels awkward to be on the losing end of an argument with everyone watching, but that by itself doesn't make the exchange in any way inappropriate.

You have completely mischaracterized my point, Cindy. Saying, for instance, "Do you think, JBryan, that blah blah or do you think, JBryan, that blah blah do you think, JBryan, that blah blah..." is neither civil, clever nor something I should consider to be an indication of me losing an argument. There are other examples of this, of course, but this is probably the most blatant.

By the way, I am not calling for the moderation or outright proscription of such behavior. I am only trying to point out the difference between politeness and civility. Anyone on this board can engage in rhetorical browbeating or sneering condescension with me any time they choose. They must, however, recognize that I am quite capable of dealing with it in my own (polite) manner.


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#719342 - 12/07/04 08:50 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Treat folks nice, and they will be nice in return.

That's not complicated, and it doesn't take a Philadelphia lawyer to decipher.


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#719343 - 12/07/04 08:53 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Quote
Originally posted by JBryan:
Rhetorical browbeating or sneering condescension, while it can be done in a polite manner, is anything but civil.
JB, you lose me on that one. I've seen you turn an array of colors over very staid posts by JA, just because you don't like the content, and when I've called you on it, you've blamned it on his intellectual bankruptcy, (or is that Shant's term), dishonesty and lies, etc. (loosely paraphrased, but I think you'll get my drift). The point is, that all it takes around here to get some of you peoples' dander up,(or is the correct term - your BVDs in a knot) and invectives ahurl is to express a POV.

I had my little steam let-off last night and said what I needed to say. My venting is done. I really like talking to some of you guys, and I miss it, but honestly, I can't take the heat and I am staying out of the kitchen.

#719344 - 12/07/04 08:57 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Quote
Originally posted by kathyk:
but honestly, I can't take the heat...
ooooooooh, little you.

But, you sure can GIVE IT, Toodles!

#719345 - 12/07/04 09:05 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Quote
You have completely mischaracterized my point, Cindy. Saying, for instance, "Do you think, JBryan, that blah blah or do you think, JBryan, that blah blah do you think, JBryan, that blah blah..." is neither civil, clever nor something I should consider to be an indication of me losing an argument.
I'm being completely honest when I say I genuinely don't get your point, JBryan. So if I somehow mischaracterized it, I can assure you it was unintentional.

I mean, if you and I were discussing abortion and I wrote "Do you think, JBryan, that abortion is murder? If so, JBryan, do you make any exceptions for the life of the mother? Do you think you should make an exception for the health of the mother, JBryan?" I fail to see how this would be especially bothersome. A little needlessly repetitive and choppy, IMHO, but a far cry from objectionable given what transpires here quite regularly. After all, you could reply to me by simply separating each of the questions and addressing the merits of them however you see fit.

Or ignoring me, if you really believe the questioner is simply picking a fight.

#719346 - 12/07/04 09:11 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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JB, you lose me on that one. I've seen you turn an array of colors over very staid posts by JA, just because you don't like the content, and when I've called you on it, you've blamned it on his intellectual bankruptcy, (or is that Shant's term), dishonesty and lies, etc.

Content? Or the way it is presented? What you call "staid" can be interpreted in a lot of ways. However, that being said, presenting the same "content" over and over after it has been rebutted nine different ways from Sunday and never once addressing these rebuttals or even seeming to take notice of them can be easily characterized as "polite" or even "staid". It is anything but civil. It is downright disrespectful as well as (shall I say it?) condescending.


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#719347 - 12/07/04 09:12 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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An example of politely delivered sneering condescension would something along the lines of "Well, you see, your analysis is a bit simplistic, no? Things are deeper than those data you've presented. I discuss lofty things on another board where we all have a more sophisticated understanding of these things, but I don't believe I shall invite you to join your betters at this time."

A turd sandwich with hollandaise is still a turd sandwich.

#719348 - 12/07/04 09:16 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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What do you say, Cindy, about the needless slaughter of millions of helpless children.

What do you say, Cindy, about the machine of death that is the abortion industry.

What do you say, Cindy, about the coarsening of our society brought on by this death industry.

What do you say, Cindy, about the loss of respect for human life brought on by this evil paractice.

What do you say, Cindy, about the treachery wrought by women against their unborn infants.

What do you say, Cindy, about the morals of people who would support such treachery.

Polite enough? smile


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#719349 - 12/07/04 09:17 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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'Sneering condescension'? That's easy. It is a term reserved for foreign posters who question or disagree with US policies. Erginc and I have been charged with this infraction in several instances, as it is quite absurd to refer to either of us as un-American. I do however recall several instances when remarks and observations JA and, more notably Shantinik, were labelled as condescending- so there are exceptions. Now the 'sneering' aspect is new. Perhaps it is the equivalent of assault and battery as opposed to just plain assualt. Does this help clarify the term?


"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae
#719350 - 12/07/04 09:21 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Quote
"Well, you see, your analysis is a bit simplistic, no? Things are deeper than those data you've presented. I discuss lofty things on another board where we all have a more sophisticated understanding of these things, but I don't believe I shall invite you to join your betters at this time."
With all due respect, your analysis is a bit simplistic. smile

Seriously, you've said exactly the opposite of what I believe. I say it is perfectly appropriate to reply to someone and say their analysis is simplistic. Or flawed. Or wrong. Or questionable. Or circular.

Because you are attacking the *views* and not the poster uttering them. If someone offers a *view* and can't handle it if others disagree with the *view,* then I don't know how to help them.

#719351 - 12/07/04 09:24 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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I know. This wasn't directed at anyone in particular. Maybe it's a business attitude that helps some see the value in clearing the air once in a while so that grudges don't accumulate. Others probably enjoy the opportunity to confront (perhaps in a nasty way) those they don't agree with. I don't want to change anyone and I don't want to see people leave.

Quote
Originally posted by Tom--K:
Quote
Originally posted by ny1911:
[b] There's no shame in apologizing after cooling down when things get nasty. I try to respect everybody, even if I don't agree with them or don't like their personality here. Cindy's suggestings seem to be in the right spirit.
No problem here: I have apologized more times than anyone else on this board--Larry's a close second and then there's:

pique: 0 apologies
kathy: 0 apologies

The facts speak for themselves. smile [/b]


So live your life and live it well.
There's not much left of me to tell.
I just got back up each time I fell.
#719352 - 12/07/04 09:24 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Cindysphinx Offline
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JBryan,

Sorry, but having someone use my name again and again doesn't bother me. It looks rather choppy and silly, but I don't consider it rude or otherwise problematic. I would think it strange if a moderator contacted you to say, "JBryan, please delete the word 'Cindy' from each of your questions except one.'"

Maybe it's just me, but I think what you depict is the least of our problems.

#719353 - 12/07/04 09:26 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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JBryan Offline
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'Sneering condescension'? That's easy. It is a term reserved for foreign posters who question or disagree with US policies. Erginc and I have been charged with this infraction in several instances, as it is quite absurd to refer to either of us as un-American.

Actually, no. I have never read anything posted by you that I would Characterize as "sneering condescension" except when it was clearly appropriate (troll, etc.). You, like I, have a tendency to respond in kind to some degree.


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#719354 - 12/07/04 09:29 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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JBryan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
JBryan,

Sorry, but having someone use my name again and again doesn't bother me. It looks rather choppy and silly, but I don't consider it rude or otherwise problematic. I would think it strange if a moderator contacted you to say, "JBryan, please delete the word 'Cindy' from each of your questions except one.'"

Maybe it's just me, but I think what you depict is the least of our problems.
Again, you are mischaracterizing my position. I am not suggesting that a moderator do anything about this. It does seem rather odd for you to say that you do not find this uncivil or even rude. I would bet that a majority of people right here on this board would disagree with you on that. I can only imagine your reaction were I to hector you like that face to face.


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#719355 - 12/07/04 09:35 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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You're a foreign poster Renauda? I thought we owned Alberta? laugh

I've seen what you describe, but I've also seen some from Europe (in general, not the regulars) be very condescending about American ideals (note...not policies). I'm sure we all feel like we are the recipients of the "I'm better than you" attitude at times. I never found JA to be condescending...perhaps extreme. Shantinik was though, IMO.

Quote
Originally posted by Renauda:
'Sneering condescension'? That's easy. It is a term reserved for foreign posters who question or disagree with US policies. Erginc and I have been charged with this infraction in several instances, as it is quite absurd to refer to either of us as un-American. I do however recall several instances when remarks and observations JA and, more notably Shantinik, were labelled as condescending- so there are exceptions. Now the 'sneering' aspect is new. Perhaps it is the equivalent of assault and battery as opposed to just plain assualt. Does this help clarify the term?


So live your life and live it well.
There's not much left of me to tell.
I just got back up each time I fell.
#719356 - 12/07/04 09:36 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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jkeene Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
Quote
"Well, you see, your analysis is a bit simplistic, no? Things are deeper than those data you've presented. I discuss lofty things on another board where we all have a more sophisticated understanding of these things, but I don't believe I shall invite you to join your betters at this time."
With all due respect, your analysis is a bit simplistic. smile

Seriously, you've said exactly the opposite of what I believe. I say it is perfectly appropriate to reply to someone and say their analysis is simplistic. Or flawed. Or wrong. Or questionable. Or circular.

Because you are attacking the *views* and not the poster uttering them. If someone offers a *view* and can't handle it if others disagree with the *view,* then I don't know how to help them.
Did the tone of the later sentences strike you as wrong? Or the lack of supporting arguments to assist the claim of simplicity cause you to think twice?

I would think that "Your analysis is a bit simplistic, as it doesn't acount for ... (and list them)." would be a far better message to read.

#719357 - 12/07/04 09:40 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Cindysphinx Offline
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OK, JBryan. You've given an example of something that you consider rude or inappropriate or uncivil, and I was kind of indicating that this strikes me as small potatoes compared to calling someone "Bendover" or addressing them by some other name than the one they prefer. Maybe you are in the majority. If so, great -- we can perhaps all agree never to use someone's name more than once in the same message, but I think that is unnecessary and OTT.

Yes, civility is a continuum. But there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. It is crossed here all the time. I figured maybe some discussion might help that line become a bit brighter for some people.

#719358 - 12/07/04 09:43 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Quote
Originally posted by kathyk:
dishonesty and lies, etc...that all it takes around here to get some of you peoples' dander up and invectives ahurl is to express a POV.
Hey, saying someone is expressing dishonesty and lies is fair game.


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
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#719359 - 12/07/04 09:44 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Jkeene,

Yes, I agree that supporting arguments (preferably really good ones!) are important to substantiate any attack on someone else's views. I thought that was understood, though.

#719360 - 12/07/04 09:44 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
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Ben - said he took no offense - why should you?

What is dangerous about some of the recent attacks on Larry, is that attacks were solicited and used from trolls who would hurt the integrity of the forum..

y'all need to sit back and think before you come back swinging again..

please.. it is so tiresome, juvenile, emotional and irrational. You ladies are completely ruining this place. We want it civil.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
#719361 - 12/07/04 09:49 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,960
jodi Offline
6000 Post Club Member
jodi  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,960
The Evergreen State (WA)
You know, I've seen what JBryan is talking about - everything from a sort of veiled condescension, to down right sneering. From people I happen to like for the most part. I find it annoying, so I imagine someone who really disagrees with the poster would find it downright rude.

It usually happens in the threads that get really heated - where the polar opposite opinions reside, and there isn't a showballs chance that anyone will change anybody elses mind. But people keep hammering away, restating their opinion in a thousand different ways, cutting, and pasting, and posting, until someone finally blows a fuse.

smile Jodi

#719362 - 12/07/04 09:50 AM Re: "I Got Your Civility Right Here, Pal!"  
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,238
ny1911 Offline
2000 Post Club Member
ny1911  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,238
New York
This is probably it in a nutshell. Depending on each walk of life, interactions are very different. What is posted here is often over the line relative to what I am used to in my professional interactions, but probably wimpy to an army platoon. In a real coffee shop you get all sort of discussions...you choose where to sit.

Quote
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:

Yes, civility is a continuum. But there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. It is crossed here all the time.


So live your life and live it well.
There's not much left of me to tell.
I just got back up each time I fell.
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