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Re: (subtitle: Britannia Rules the Waves)

on 20/4/04 1:08 am, Derrik Pates at dpates@dsdk12.net wrote:

> Ashesh Datta wrote:
>> I suspect Mr David Pye is living in the past, still hankering for Britain's
>> long lost colonies, but he should harbour no such hope about Iraq (Churchill
>> tried that in the 1920's but had to give up despite gassing the Shiites in
>> the South and putting hapless Indian troops on the ground for "policing on
>> the cheap" who were killed by their hundreds - a bit of history for you
>> Debian aficionados in the English list).
> Oh please. It's pretty well-accepted that unless specified otherwise, a
> mailing list is assumed to be English speaking. There are mailing lists
> for other languages, but this mailing list is (pretty obviously if you
> subscribe, or look at the archives) English speaking. I don't think it's
> unreasonable for people who want to participate in this, or any other
> mailing list, to be expected to follow basic 'netiquette. If you want to
> relate his complaint with the former British colonies, or the monarchy,
> or whatever, take your diatribe to Usenet, bring up Adolf Hitler and/or
> Nazis, and let Godwin's Law take its due course.
> End rant. And I'm not going to state an opinion on whether it's right or
> not that 'netiquette assumes (properly, in this case) that the list is
> English speaking - that's just the way it is.
> --
> Derrik Pates
> dpates@dsdk12.net

Absolutely, but the reason for my "diatribe" was the tone of admonition in
Mr Pye's note.  Netiquette is if you can provide help, do so, otherwise stay
quiet and do not use capital letters to pile on the advice seeker's agony.
Here is what David Pye wrote:

> c) Even ignoring a and b, you have given insufficient information for anyone
> to even ATTEMPT to guess what your problem might be.

If someone has "given insufficient information" for the problem to be
diagnosed, you could - if you have an idea - indicate what further
information is required.  If you have no clue, do not admonish, someone else
might be able to provide help.  If information is insufficient "for anyone
to even ATTEMPT to guess what [the advice seeker's] problem might be", the
poor mug will get no response at all from anybody!  I understand no French
myself, so I could not have provided help on this occasion even in the
unlikely case I knew the solution.

    I am a sole Apple Mac user and it is a debian-powerPC list, and even
Debian on a Wintel machine is not relevant to me or to this list, and
neither Iraq nor Anglo-American colonial pursuits can even remotely be
construed to have a relevance here, but I suspect Mr David Pye's wrath was
about the use of the French language, and wrath has no place in this list
either.  If the language used in a particular posting is inappropriate, it
is for the custodians of the list to take it up with the poster.

-- Ashesh Kumar Datta 

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