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Computing hopkinsville

Netiquette Lesson: Avoid the Hostile “you”

Maintaining polite discussion on Internet forums is often a difficult task. For forum participants, it requires a concerted effort to avoid confrontational language, exercise personal self-control, and accept anger from others calmly. Oh, is that all? :) To illustrate, I’ll give an example of my own poor behavior.

Re: McCain Ad on Obama’s Sex Ed in Kindergarten

Obama’s policy decisions are based on the latest public opinion poll. I think you would fit into his cabinet as the Dept of Education director.

This is a mild personal attack against another user on HTH because there are any number of ways to reword this statement without pinning the target in a personal manner. As a general rule, I don’t believe it is ever neccessary to write the word “you” unless the writer has first-person knowledge about the target. Yet I have a bad habit of abusing “you” without enough thought given to what I’m saying. Here is a statement to make the same point without being aggressive.

Obama’s policy decisions are based on the latest public opinion poll. Now tell me why is it a good idea to move in any direction the wind blows.

Here this statement refutes the opposing argument without causing a personal attack.