31 July 2005

Species of forum threads

As you work your way through various forums and comments pages on the internet you begin to see similar patterns emerge. Two that I have most recently encountered go along the following lines:

Type 1 - A new user posts a torrent of mindless drivel, usually under the pretext of being so sophisticated and above the grasp of the other forum members. The forum regulars then, quite rightly, deride the post for being an inane stream of nonsense. Then up pops the original spammers knight in shining armour, who points out to the forum regulars that they should stop being so snobbish and engage the spammer. The thread is then usually abandoned, as there was never coherent point to it in the first place.

Type 2 - The classic grammar/spelling attack. Now I have some sympathy with this as it is annoying when someone cannot be bothered to make their posts generally conform to some kind of comprehensible English, however this type of response is usually nitpicking and there are situations where posters are either very young or are afflicted by dyslexia and the like. The entire thread then degenerates into an argument about spelling, grammar and punctuation, which is not particularly interesting to anyone except pedants.

Type 1 really annoys me, but I could be prey to being involved in Type 2 as some people could really do with brushing up on their English. If anyone else has noticed threads with recurrent themes, post them here!


idlejimbo said...

Type 3 - In an hour of technical need, you turn to Google Groups for the answer! You type in your question, and it returns exactly one hit. Someone else, months before, has done you a favour by asking Usenet about the exact same problem as you have. Thank heavens! What a service they have done you! Alas, the lonely post has no replies.

As for Type 2, I shall quote Frasier. "It's like correcting people's grammar - I don't do it to be popular."

idlejimbo said...

Though technically, Type 3 is not a species ~ more an unfit mutation, a dissenting spare drop ejected from the gene pool of information dissemination.