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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think the important issue here is that what is perceived as 'rude' depends a lot on the society you are in. What 'firefly' failed to realise is that, by the standards of technical forums, he started out by being fairly rude: he wasn't personally insulting anyone, of course, but he was asking for help and completely failing to provide any useful information about what was going wrong; instead he was whining about how hard his life was. Thus, he was wasting the time of a whole lot of volunteers, which is considered to be rude, and had he spent a small amount of time lurking in the channel I'm sure he could have found that out for himself. He then proceeded to try to suck up to the person trying to help him ('I will ... proclaim you god of wordpress and all existence'), which I at least would be inclined to take offence at, and then actually personally insulted him (I don't know about you, but I consider 'abuse' to be a pretty strong word, with implications of at least deliberate cruelty).

    The other person, in #apache, seems to have been much less reasonable, even unnecessarily nasty; but given that he hasn't quoted the whole conversation we can only imagine what provoked those responses. His general attitude of 'I am an idiot and fully expect you to treat me as such' is not likely to elicit a positive response from anyone who knows anything useful.

    You are, of course, correct that incivility is rarely helpful, and, even when it is, it's still not a Good Thing; however, incivility and profanity are completely orthogonal. Calling someone a 'f**cking a***hole' (asterisks left there in deference to the fact that this is your blog, not mine) can be anything from unacceptably rude to completely unremarkable, depending on the circumstances and the expectations of the person you are talking to: what's important is that you consider ('one considers', I'm not talking about you specifically, of course) how that person will take what you are about to say. This is especially important in today's society where we so often have dealings with people from completely different social and cultural backgrounds; what's also important is to be careful not to take offence at something unless it was intended to be offensive. It's terribly easy to hear only the form of what someone is saying, and be offended by it, without considering that perhaps this is a perfectly normal mode of expression for them and perhaps the content of what they said should be considered instead.