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st: Re: statalist-digest V4 #4296


From   Doug Hess <douglasrhess@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Re: statalist-digest V4 #4296
Date   Wed, 5 Oct 2011 10:08:49 -0400

First, as I have said in other emails in other threads, I greatly
appreciate what people do to keep this list going. I know from
experience (as I assume we all do) that keeping a common pool resource
going is not just hard work but requires a consistency of dedication
that few can maintain. So, thank you.

In responce to MP's comment: Yes, it is easy to criticize, which is
exactly the principle underlying my reaction. See what I mean?

But I agree that I should take a stab at rewording. Note that my
complaint was NOT about the underlying issue (that is, asking people
not to grovel). My complaint was entirely about the tone. Although it
did occur to me this morning that perhaps the tone of the FAQ is meant
to be tongue-in-cheek, ala Miss Manners at the Washington Post. If so,
I'm sorry I didn't get it. If not, it may still be a cultural
difference. I recall once reading an obit in a UK paper and thinking
it was rather harsh. Somebody informed me that it was just a style of
writing that people in the UK wouldn't have found harsh. (Similar,
perhaps, to how the Economist seems to me to have a editorial tone
that is too focused on irony and sarcasm.) Perhaps I just don't get
it, just like I don't get why people in style guides in some countries
put periods outside quotation marks. :)

Anyway, here's my attempt, and I do appreciate being asked/allowed to
make one. Essentially, I removed any attempts at explaining why people
find groveling off-
putting. Moreover, I don’t think a FAQ is a place to try to instill a
certain character or to make judgements.

----

Pleas of urgency, desperation, and the like. [Put previous sentence in
bold.] Many people on the list find pleas for urgent assistance or
calls for help before a certain deadline to be off-putting.
Participants on Statalist answer questions, as volunteers, whenever
they are able to respond. Most questions are, in fact, answered
swiftly.

----

That’s it.

-Doug


Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2011 15:27:10 -0400
From: Marcello Pagano <pagano@hsph.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: st: Claims of urgency

I was going to leave this thread be because Nick has responded properly.
But I would like to add just one more thought: It is easy to criticize.
It may be more difficult, but certainly much more constructive if we
heard an alternative.  Take the paragraphs in the FAQ you find
disturbing and suggest other wordings.  I know this would leave you
vulnerable to our petards, but what the hey, you have had your shot at
psychoanalysis, now grant us ours! :-)

m.p.

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