Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Civility in Any Language

As I have mentioned repeatedly, Gates of Vienna is open to commenters across the whole spectrum of opinion, provided those opinions are expressed in a manner that stays within the rules. Our rules are that comments must be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. See this earlier post for more detail about the rules.

“Civil” means: no name calling, gratuitous insults, personal slurs, denigration of someone’s intelligence, etc.

On a recent post two commenters switched to a different language so that they could insult each other without bringing down the wrath of the blog owners.

The Rosetta StoneFortunately for me, the Rosetta Stone projects have given me access to volunteer translators who are kind enough to help me decode virtually any language that is native to those who comment here. This morning I found out what yesterday’s foreign-language comments meant, and I have deleted them.

I require civility in any languages used here. It’s very annoying to have to chase down a translator to discover what’s in a comment, and it’s a waste of a volunteer’s time to have to deal with all the vulgarity and childishness.

The miscreants know who they are. If you continue to do this kind of thing, I will simply delete your comments when they are wholly or partially in a language I don’t understand. That will save both my time and that of the translator.
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It would be better for all concerned if comments remain in English. However, a possible solution is that anyone who uses another language also accompany it with his own translation, as some of the Danes and the Dutch have been kind enough to do in the past when they leave jokes or aphorisms in their native languages.

One of the things that I value about our comments sections is the civility exhibited by almost everyone who contributes. Those of you who seem determined to be vulgar and insulting are doing no one any favors, because such behavior, when it appears in a thread, tends to spoil the rest of the conversation.

If certain commenters become annoying enough, I will have to delete their comments outright whenever they appear. I hate the idea of doing this, so please restrain yourselves.

All ideas are tolerated here, but not all modes of expression are acceptable.


. said...

Danke schoen, Herr Baron!

(the "oe" is in place of an umlaut - I'm sure there is a way to switch to a German keyboard, but I'm not aware of it)

Sodra Djavul said...

El queso está viejo y pútrido. ¿Dónde está el sanitario?

Baron Bodissey said...

You guys are so cute. Sodra, it's a good thing your Spanish is so simple-minded that even I can understand it.

Zenster said...

Those of you who seem determined to be vulgar and insulting are doing no one any favors, because such behavior, when it appears in a thread, tends to spoil the rest of the conversation.

I will take the liberty of inviting those who simply cannot control their vulgar inclinations to participate over at LGF.

Long ago, after hearing all sorts of things about LGF, I lobbed in a few comments at that site. However, the overall tenor of commentary there was so street level (can you say "raghead" and "diaperhead"?), that I felt no impulse to continue participating.

It is a consistent trait of those who maintain civility that their contributions tend to be more well-considered and insightful. A descent into personalities most often signals an end to thought processes and a rapid decline in useful information. While an ocassional bit of colorful language can spice up one's overall meaning and lend statements some impact, if a person cannot generate those effects without resorting to such devices then it is just as likely they aren't able to convey anything of import.

Finally, in an effort to lend honor to Dymphna and the Baron's labors here at GoV, I do my best to maintain a high level of content so that new readers who stumble onto this excellent site are not given the impression that I carried away from LGF. There is much important work to be done in repairing the world (tikkun olam) and the more thoughtful people that are engaged by this site's honorable work, the sooner victory will be ours.

Thank you, Dymphna and Baron Bodissey for all of your hard work. It is my personal commitment to you both that your efforts shall not be in vain.

Sagunto said...

@Baron & Dymphna,

Graag wil ik mij aansluiten bij de fraaie, welgemeende woorden die Zenster tot jullie heeft gericht. Amen!

The same, in English:
I say "Amen!" to that.


Sodra Djavul said...

Baron Bodissey: You guys are so cute. Sodra, it's a good thing your Spanish is so simple-minded that even I can understand it.

I apologize. I didn't even look at the thread in question until just now. That was supposed to be an obscure Encino Man reference. Incidentally, that's about the extent of my Spanish as well.

- Sodra

Conservative Swede said...

Sociologiskt intressant anarkist-mentalitet här i kommentarerna.

(I consider above written in lingua franca, so no translation will be needed)

/Anthropologist Swede

Findalis said...

OK. I'll refrain from calling people meshuge and use the bland word crazy instead.

I've been impressed with the way your site controls the temperament on these posts. The issues that you raise have been known to raise tempers (and blood pressures). You control the temperature level to a manageable one. You should give yourselves a pat on the back and a round of applause. Good Job!

Lugundum said...

A kdože se to tu tak strašně pohádal? A o čem vlastně byla celá ta hádka?

Každopádně dobrou noc!


Baron and Dympha will have to rename their blog to "Gates of Babylon" soon.

Paul said...

Well, the only foreign foul language I know I learned while working on truck loading docks in east LA in younger days. The content was totally crude, from every possible sexual perspective.
Hey, chula culito... I didn't know what it meant at the time, and I'm glad I didn't. What a world we live in.

Is it my imagination, or is conversational profanity pretty much universal now?, except in polite circles. I don't remember it being that way when I was a kid around my pioneer relatives in west texas.

Findalis said...

Paul it isn't you. It is society. When I grew up I never heard either of my parents curse. My father had unique ways to make his point very well, but those dirty four letter words were not allowed. I even remember getting my mouth washed out with soap for saying them.

Today they are part of the vocabulary of school children. They hear their parents, friends and teachers all use them. It is acceptable.

Not to me. I still look in horror at the child who uses them, wondering (sometimes out loud) what type of parents this child has. I still blush when they are said.

The PC Police limit the language of racial slurs, why can't they turn their attentions on the real filth of language?

Mother Effingby said...

I promise not to use the brown word, or the f-word...I think it's called.

Mother Effingby said...

...but I won't promise to not say Sporco figlio d'una puta! Il formaggio è molto putrido. And, just for everyone's benefit, I would like to point out that Sagunto said Graag...not me, not ever.

Mother Effingby said...

To the Former Gordon, you can use the English (international setting) on your keyboard, when selecting your language. You can even add languages to your selection. I have French, Russian Arabic and Hebrew on mine. The selection appears in the bottom right side of your toolbar.
Sëè? Yõû çän add as many umlauts as you wañt!

Obi's Sister said...

Sadly, I had to remind my readers of the exact same thing just a few days ago!

Is the moon full or something?

Dymphna said...

Obi's sister:

Your post on civility was comprehensive. What I found surprising was your illustration.

If I knew your email address I'd tell you why.

Anyway, yours and the Anchoress' idea about not using insulting names for present and past US presidents is a good one. If that were nationally invoked, it would bring up the levels of civility quite a bit.