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RE: Note to list owners

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 16:36:22 -0400
To: "Ian Anderson" <lists@zstudio.co.uk>, "W3c-Wai-Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> Mr. Clark has a sophisticated sense of humour, a unique style and probably
> injects his posts with a little too much personality. Some say
> obnoxious, I
> say colourful. But do you have to take *everything* the wrong way?

Ian, the problem with the written word (especially in forums such as these)
is often determining the true intent of the author.  For example, in the
statement above, are you referring to me individually, or as part of the
collective WAI-IG list?  *You* know what you mean, but assuming that
everybody does is often a difficult assumption to make.

> Can we really no longer distinguish between irony and sarcasm without the
> use of smileys?

In informal discussions, correspondence between friends, family or close
associates, then perhaps there is indeed room for "personality".  But
remember, this is a public, international forum, and as such requires that
we should all perhaps be overly cautious (and polite?) rather than
under-cautious when exchanging ideas, opinions, etc.  Is a public forum
really the place for sarcasm?  I personally think not; that a more formal
and academic tone is perhaps appropriate and productive. Sarcasm as humour
is not as appreciated in some regions as perhaps in the USA.

I do not consider myself a curmudgeon, far from it (my personal
correspondences have a way different tone than this response), but again,
given the nature of the forum, I prefer to be business-like and
professional.  If a comment or topic arises on this or other lists which
lends itself to more informal correspondence, then I take it off list, as
recommended by most list etiquette guidelines.

> Sure, he would get his point across better occasionally if
> reading his posts
> didn't feel like tearing off a bandaid. But that's his choice to make.

Correct, but since he has placed both his words and his opinion into the
public discourse, he exposes himself to both rebuttal and comment.  With
choice comes responsibility.

> I for one am glad not to live in a world where everyone talks and
> acts with
> Stepford-like blandness.

And that, of course, is your opinion, every bit as valid as any other.  I
can only hope that you can understand mine, and the reasoning behind it.

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca   1.866.932.4878 (North America)
Received on Wednesday, 7 April 2004 16:36:24 UTC

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