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st: A gentler introduction to Statalist and Seven Deadly Sins


From   "Biernbaum, Lee" <Lee.Biernbaum@volpe.dot.gov>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: A gentler introduction to Statalist and Seven Deadly Sins
Date   Wed, 1 Aug 2007 14:11:32 -0400

At the risk of over-generalization (or over-generalisation) Might I add
that part of the underlying problem here may be more cultural than
technical?

I recently spent some time in the UK and found there to be a
surprisingly large difference in email tone. Specifically, I found
emails written by Brits to appear quite terse. While efficient, it rang
as uncaring, or even mildly insulting, to my American (virtual) ears.
It took a while to convince myself that a 2 sentence answer devoid of
unnecessary niceties was not intended to cause offense. Now back
Stateside, Nick's emails often remind me of those I received from my
British professors. 

Also, a stern voice reprimanding someone for not following (or reading)
instructions, regardless of the document's length, is more common in the
UK than the US. If you want proof, spend 5 minutes in a British bank.

I wonder if perhaps the feeling of being "cyber spanked" is a result of
these cultural differences in email tone and style as well as responses
to ignorance of the rules, especially given the large proportion of
Americans on the list.

That said, I'm not certain what to do about this for newcomers to the
list who may not have experienced varying cultural norms, but perhaps
this can shed some light on the issue.

Lee Biernbaum
Economic and Industry Analysis Division
US DOT, Volpe Center

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