Written words VS in person conversation

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Written words VS in person conversation

Postby gmattson » Thu Jul 20, 2000 1:15 pm

One of the main reasons I suggested this forum, was to tackle the problems encountered on the Internet. I'm not the greatest writer. Susan is a great help, proof reading documents before they get mailed.

However, when I'm chugging away on the forums, I'll usually reply to a topic or creat a new topic by rapidly typing my thoughts in this little window and after quickly re-reading the post, click on 'submit'.

A day or so later, I'll come back to the thread and re-read my post along with what others may have added and to my dismay, discover that my words were misunderstood. Sometimes, as I re-read my own post, the words can be interpreted a number of ways.

If my post refers to a subject that may have been posted by another person, my words can be interpreted as a 'cheapshot' at the original poster. . . which results in a less subtle reply, which results in a war.

I was hoping that this forum might look at some actual situations where this happened and participants here might focus on the choice of words that caused the problem and rewrite the offending sentences to better reflect what the poster was saying without offending others.

Naturally, there are cases where the person actually is trying to offend others. We might also be able to learn how to determine when this is the case.

In the process, perhaps we might all become better communicators.
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Written words VS in person conversation

Postby LenTesta » Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:23 pm

This is an excellent topic to discuss, Sensei Mattson.

I believe most of the members who frequent this website will be apologetic if their words are misinterpreted or taken out of context. Sometimes we think we are conveying a message that everyone can relate. Others see this as an attack on their comments. Unfortunately, some want to start controversy.

In my opinion, it is easy for some to hide behind a keyboard and insult others because of their view on a particular topic. There is no face-to-face communication where subtle body language can make the words less threatening.

I am certainly not a writer by trade. I try to trudge along with my thoughts also. It also helps if I use a word processor to write these posts. It helps me with spelling and with grammar. Sometimes I construct a sentence and get those green squiggly lines to appear under the sentence. I revise it and then see how the meaning of the original sentence could have been misinterpreted.

The policy I would like to convey for this forum is similar to that of Bill Glasheen’s forum. Anyone has a right to his or her opinion. I will respect their opinion, even if it not my opinion. However, like Van, I will not tolerate anyone attacking a person for his or her beliefs, or opinions. Freedom of speech does not give the right to slander for personal gratification.


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Written words VS in person conversation

Postby Jake Steinmann » Fri Jul 21, 2000 5:00 am

I too, suffer from the problem of typing, sending, and only later wondering about what I wrote...

One of the greatest problems I've ever found with written communication is the lack of any kind of inflection or intonation in writing.

Example: If I say "I think George Mattson is a great martial artist".

Now...if you don't know me, and depending on the context, your mood, the weather, whatever, you may read that as Sincere, Sarcastic, Deragotory...who knows? There's no intonation to convey whatever feelings I'm attempting to get across.

I've found that there are times when the best response is simply "I don't understand what you mean...please clarify", or something to that affect.

Food for thought...

Jake

Oh...and for clarities sake, I'm serious, Sensei Mattson is a great martial artist Image

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Written words VS in person conversation

Postby LenTesta » Fri Jul 21, 2000 1:32 pm

Jake,

Thanks for posting in my forum.

I enjoy all your posts in the other forums and I welcome you as a contributor here! (Sincerity Smilie inserted here)

It is very difficult when reading printed text to determine if a person is sincere. Without benefit of sound and body language, some text can be misinterpreted.

If more of us forumites (is that a new word) would learn to use the smilies legend, we might not have the misunderstanding of the context of our messages. I try to add one of these whenever a sentence that I write might have more than one meaning if voiced rather than printed. Maybe we could add a sincerity legend to the others if possible. Image


BTW...Still waiting for your visit to the BUKA for the Monday TC class. Image

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[This message has been edited by LenTesta (edited July 21, 2000).]
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Written words VS in person conversation

Postby david » Fri Jul 21, 2000 1:50 pm

The lack of context and physical cues is a problem endemic to this medium. Agree that folks need to edit more not so much for spelling or grammar but for conveying the right intent of their message. I personally get up early and write but my mind often thinks one thing and the fingers sometimes do something else... Image

At the same time that one is careful to not convey the wrong message, one should also step back and not be so quick to fire back a written missile...

The forums can be a source of fun and information. It can also be a source of annoyance, frustration and worse. It doesn't have to be. There is enough of that already in one's daily life. We don't need to seek that out in a forum.

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Written words VS in person conversation

Postby Jake Steinmann » Fri Jul 21, 2000 7:03 pm

Image

Smiles Legend? There's a smiles legend?
Seriously...I've never looked at it. I kept wondering how people were generating all of those weird faces...

Now I know...

Seriously though, the english language is a tricky thing. And, as David points out, many times, we fire something off, or back, without entirely paying attention to what we're writing.

Later on, it comes back and removes a chunk from our posterior...

Perhaps we should take a hint from Virgil, who reportedly would spend hours, if not an entire day, revising one line of text at a time.

Having said that, I'm going to fire this off and go back to work...

Sigh...

Jake

P.S. Testa-Sensei: I will gladly join you someday, but I am on a temporary hiatus from the TC. My performance in the TCMS cirriculum has been slipping, and I need to strengthen that before I move on up the Uechi ladder.
If nothing else, I will definitely see you at summer camp. Image

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