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Re: rudeness in general

On Mon, Jan 10, 2005 at 07:14:29PM +0100, Wouter Verhelst wrote :

> Why don't you guys go to psychology class before telling people not to
> be 'rude'?

> It's impossible not to be rude on written media. What's a harmless joke
> to one is an insult to another, and an attack to one's personality to a
> third one. You can't expect everyone to be happy with everything you
> might possibly write.

	Then what about keeping jokes for our private messages to our
friends ? Your suggestion to go back to classes is, to my standards,
definetly rude. As it does not add anything to your message, I do not
understand why you want to take the risk to offend people, if there is
no payback for it.

> 'RTFM' means "Go read the documentation, that's what it's for".

	It also contains the "F word", which is related to the act of
having sex. I wouldn't expect everybody to understand that using such
a vocabulary has no mean to be instulting, as it is a hallmark of
sentences which contain words about sex, feces or body parts to be
more frequently insulting than average...

	As you say, any translation is sort of risky (even between
related languages, where identical words have changed their
meaning). My point of view is to minimise the risks when talking on
international mail-lists, and in any case, to avoid anything which
sounds like a personnal attack, including more general sentences which
include the person you are answering to, as the first one of your

> I personally find it far more rude to go on a mailing list, ask for
> the obvious, and expect a bunch of volunteers to come up with an
> answer that's been answered in great detail in the documentation,
> than to be sent back with an 'RTFM' as answer to that question.

Silence is also an answer. And sometimes, volunteers do come up.

> In any case, I strongly disagree with the stance that the rudeness of a
> particular developer would reflect on Debian as a whole. Sure, people
> who think they've been handled unfairly aren't going to talk positively
> about Debian; but that happens to any organization, commercial or
> voluntarily-based. That doesn't mean one rude developer will label
> Debian as a rude organization...

	Most commercial organisations do their best to contrtol how
their employees reflect their image, event to a point which is
questionnable, when they want to take a tight control of physical
appearance, or when they request people on phone hotlines to change
their fisrt name because being called Mustapha is less correct that
being called Pierre.

	The reason is they beleive that every invidual reflects the
image of the organisation, especially at the first encounter.

Charles Plessy

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