Re: au revoir to good manners

From: Ingo Kraupa <>
Date: Sun Jan 05 2003 - 19:52:46 EST

Friends Of Salinger,

most of you seem to have a lot of time to spend - so I don't bother to
write more than just one line. In some places in the world you even get
presents today - or a peace of black coal.

Let me tell you a story of a friend of mine, who is a police officer and
the proud owner of a ridgeback. This south african dog is called "Poola",
which means "Regen", because it rained when he was born. My friend loves
his dog so much that he doesn't walk with him at the place where he lives.
Instead, he drives to the "Marienberg", as there are lots of companions
and it is a less boring walk for pet and owner. Once, when he called his
dog by his name as usual, a foreigner came to him and asked him: "Wie
nennst du deinen Hund?". "Poola", my friend replied. "Du Schwein" said
the man and grinned. Evidentally my friend found out what "Poola" meant
in his language: Schwanz.

I wonder why I tell this story. But isn't it funny how easily you can
offend someone without even knowing?

I give you another example. I'm an Austrian (suppose in this list I
don't have to explain the difference between Austria and Australia)
but I was born, raisen and I still live in Germany. Jokes about
Austrian people are common. Usually I feel somehow offended when
somebody tells such a joke. But if it's a good joke I laugh about it.

What's the point? Well, I can totally understand one is offended by
certain language, feels discriminated or is emotionally hurt. Now,
this can happen very easily and without intention. In this list
there is no way to avoid offending postings, like there is no way
to avoid spam email, so everybody has to deal with it. By the lists
nature, there is no "common sense" of "proper language" - und das
ist auch gut so.

So what is the best way to deal with? Here is my personal opinion
to this question.

There are several ways unless you go for silently ignoring, which
is in 99% the best choice.

It is always wise to sleep over it. If you still feel offended the
next day, try to find out the senders' intention. Then, find out
about your own feelings. Why are you offended? Be honest with your-

Most people will apologize if they receive a polite private email.
They may even apologize in public. Try to smile while writing it.

If that's not sufficient, send a polite public mail. Write for
yourself only and do not mention "all the others in the list" that
may or may not feel like you. Neither be personal nor emotional.

You can leave the list. This is not a very good reaction, but many
who felt offended have done it in the past.

The absolute worst is to write a common flame in anger while stating
to ignore any further postings of the sender.

Why do I write all this?

I'm a part-time read-only list member. I don't feel offended by
well intended and well indented emails. I personally like them.
Maybe it's only because I'm not familiar with words like yid and
wog and chink, they sound funny to me. Yid I don't know wog they
really mean, seems all very chinky to me...

Hey, now I'm the bad guy! Ban me! Flame me! Kill me! Hang me!
Don't waste a second.

Greetings, many

* Unsubscribing? Mail with the message
Received on Sun Jan 5 19:53:04 2003

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