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On 19 Mar 2005, Andrew Gwilliam wrote

I think that remark is in rather poor taste.

Me too: and it meets the requirements of Godwin's Law, as well. Cheers, Harvey

Another Law? What is it?
Joanne
On 19 Mar 2005, Kat wrote In Usenet, as I ... in a group called "alt.english.usage" are, by definition, not off-topic.

The "topics" to which I refer when I said "off topic" are the topics on which original posts of each thread are about. The larger "topic" of the newsgroup is not what I was referring to. if you say that anything concerning English usage is fair game in any thread, then you end up with what we've got here: a group where good threads often degenerate into a childish sqabbles. It happens to many groups and sometimes they eventually die off, because no-one wants to go there.
You may dislike the fact that the discussion of usage ... the original post, but that doesn't make the discussion "off-topic".

In your not-so-humble opinion, perhaps. It depends what one means by off-topic.
Kat
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Me too: and it meets the requirements of Godwin's Law, as well. Cheers, Harvey

Another Law? What is it?

I had to look it up myself:
"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
Joanne Marinelli schrieb:
Me too: and it meets the requirements of Godwin's Law, as well.

Another Law? What is it?

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Or ask google to find law and a plethora of other explanations, then memorise it as a fundamental principle of Usenet communication ;-)
Cheers,
Malte
Kat, your defense proves the point that Luke didn't quite ... over minor pondian spelling differences was more fluff than substance.

He may have been a perfectionist. As a journalist myself, I often get caught up in dilemmas that may seem like trivialities to some especially during the fifth-or-so rewrite of an article. However there is invariably reason behind my apparent madness.
Of course, Luke may conversely have been a complete novice. We don't know.
If he was targeting Americans abroad in Britain, he could ... that he wasn't quite sure who he was writing for.

I think he stated that at the outset. I believe he stressed that he didn't know the proportion of Brits and Americans in his readership? I've been there myself, which is probably partly why I found this one interesting.
Kat
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I think that remark is in rather poor taste.

Taste didn't come into it. I was making a point. Anyway, folks, I'm off on my travels for the weekend. Have fun! :-)
Kat
Not evidently at all. He may be selling cheques signed by famous people, or he could be selling a book ... was off-topic - and now you've made it clear that it was off-topic coming from someone with a prejudiced outlook.

This whole thread has developed a strange and unsettling tenor. To me the most strange and unsettling posts have been by the OP, Luke, and by Kat.

Luke's original question was:
If I am writing an article about paper money, to a world-wide readership, including an uncertain number of Brits, Americans and Australians. Which spelling should I use: "cheque" or "check"?

He received some reasonable replies to that.
Later in the discussion Luke replied to JPG thusly:
No doubt, but the article in question is a self-published thing that I avail to my clients via the web and in hard-copy form.

This triggered a discussion about the use of "avail". The basic point was that this usage might not be understood by all of Luke's "world-wide readership". I consider that to be a valid point within the general context of Luke's attempt to write an article for a world-wide readership.

In Luke's position I would have been grateful to have been reminded that there are other problems with the use of words apart from spelling.

Kat.
In response to Robert Lieblich
So I've noticed! Just because it happens here doesn't make it healthy form or good newsgroup etiquette. It was common practice to persecute Jews in Nazi Germany, but it doesn't make it good practice.

That could be considered to be the most insulting paragraph posted here for a long time. However, it is a false analogy and not to be taken seriously. You weaken your case by using such an overheated comparison.
I thought Luke was genuinely incredulous that someone could have not heard the word used in that way before.

Yes he was. That is why it would have been sensible for him to recognise our incredulity as a warning sign with regard to his choice of vocabulary.
If you say that anything concerning English usage is fair game in any thread, then you end up with what ... a childish sqabbles. It happens to many groups and sometimes they eventually die off, because no-one wants to go there.

I do not recognise this group from your description. This group is not sweetness and light all of the time, but it is much more civil than many others.
This thread does not contain anything I'd describe as a childish squabble.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.e.u)
Andrew Gwilliam had it:
Another Law? What is it?

I had to look it up myself: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

And there is a rider: anybody who resorts to comparing his opponent to the Nazis has, by definition, lost the argument.

David
==
replace usenet with the
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
This thread does not contain anything I'd describe as a childish squabble.

OK. I agree that was an exaggeration. But it seemed a bit like a childish squabble waiting to happen... I got the feeling 'the boys' were trying to pick an argument with Luke.
Now I really am off on my travels. Bye!
Kat
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