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A Neg Rep Rampage

Posted August 21st, 2011 at 11:57 AM by ollie
OK, the title overplays it somewhat. But here's the deal...

I've been hanging around on the site quite a bit less recently. It hasn't been a deliberate decision, I've just been keener to ramble through other regions of the internet. The obvious explanation is the cancellation of the game, but I don't think that's it. One of the great things about this site is (or was, which is my point) that people posted as if they cared about expressing themselves clearly, following basic grammatical and spelling conventions.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that this is not the case any more. At least, I often find myself wading through a misspelt mess with random-seeming punctuation. And I don't enjoy doing that.

As I understand it, the point of negrep is to say "this post made my experience of heroscapers.com worse rather than better". This fits the bill for these posts exactly, so I'm going to start negrepping them. Indeed, the point of posting this here is so that I can link to it in the negrep text rather than explaining each time.

I think it's also important to note what negrep does not say (at least mine does not): "I think you suck". That is not the message I'm trying to convey.

I don't know what my threshold is likely to be. Probably something like three very basic errors in a post or two in a single sentence. I'm talking about stuff that a conscientious 12-year-old would catch; I don't care about dangling participles or who/whom.

Mistakes that are more likely to make me pull the trigger, just because they bug me disproportionately: lose/loose, compliment/complement, misplaced apostrophes,... I'm sure there are more.

On the other hand, use a neat word (correctly) and I'll likely ignore any mistakes.

What do you think? Is this a reasonable stance? Am I imagining the decline in standards? Am I just a curmudgeon?
Total Comments 55

Comments

Old
ollie's Avatar
Woohoo! Discussion on my blog. Thanks TGRF.

Greygnarl nails my point point of view, I think. A large part of the point is that negrep is taken too seriously. You don't take a posrep as equivalent to a proposal of marriage (I hope; I'm sure I've sent a few your way...) and the system explicitly rates negreps as half as important as posreps. Look at your least deserved (in your eyes) posrep and think about a negrep as half as meaningful as that. Big deal?

I'd love to see negrep used a whole lot more. I think it's equivalent to a PM in most cases (and in ones I've sent it's usually subsequent to a PM, becuase I'm a wuss and not enough people think about negrep like I do) because I sign it. This is, I think, important. I don't have any intention of sending people anonymous notes, whatever the site admins recommend.

That said, the "rampage" was even lower key than I expected. I can't remember the last time I negrepped someone (possibly not true: I remember negrepping someone for homophobic comments, and then some admins for allowing them, but I don't remember the last grammar/spelling negrep I sent).

But thanks to you, TGRF, consider the rampage back in full force. Posters with mildly substandard grammar beware. It's all TGRF's fault.
Posted December 28th, 2013 at 07:42 PM by ollie ollie is offline
Old
Joseph Sweeney's Avatar
Are you suggesting I should hand out more neg rep, too?

~JS, who has only done so once...but....
Posted December 29th, 2013 at 08:37 PM by Joseph Sweeney Joseph Sweeney is offline
Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar

To be sure...

And you hope to discourage me by neg repping again? I'm not about to let this go, Ollie. One of us is going to eventually change our opinion, and I have every intention of it being you.
However, it has come to my attention that we may not be on the same page here.

You are trying to fix the grammar of posters here, right? By neg repping them, you are trying to get them to use better grammar, correct? This seems abundantly obvious to me, but I want to be sure before I launch into my defense. Please let me know soon. Thanks.

~TGRF.
Posted December 30th, 2013 at 04:31 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Old
ollie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGRF
And you hope to discourage me by neg repping again?
In general, right, rather than a specific one? I haven't negrepped you for restarting this conversation; if someone has signed my name on a negrep to you in the last few weeks, please report it. It wasn't me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGRF
I'm not about to let this go, Ollie. One of us is going to eventually change our opinion, and I have every intention of it being you.
A healthy attitude that ensures productive discussion. Always important to let everyone know that you're unwilling to change your mind in light of future discussion. Avoids unrealistic expectations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGRF
You are trying to fix the grammar of posters here, right? By neg repping them, you are trying to get them to use better grammar, correct?
No, not quite. People not caring sufficiently about what they post and how they post it makes my time here less enjoyable. It's not the grammar for its own sake, it's the sense that people have enough respect for the site and their readers that they make an effort to post well.

What "posting well" means will vary from reader to reader. It's a perfectly acceptable option for people to get negrep from me (or someone else), think about how they've posted, decide it's fine, and carry on as they are.

Negrep is not important. It's the opinion of one person on how you made a specific post. With regard to this thread, it's me saying that you should care more about how you say what you want to say. I'd say exactly the same thing in real-life; negrep is the somewhat clumsy translation of that into forum conversation.

I strongly believe this to be the case and I'm not ever, ever going to change my mind so yah boo sucks to you.
Posted December 30th, 2013 at 06:45 PM by ollie ollie is offline
Updated December 30th, 2013 at 06:58 PM by ollie
Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar

Getting still clearer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGRF
And you hope to discourage me by neg repping again?
In general, right, rather than a specific one? I haven't negrepped you for restarting this conversation; if someone has signed my name on a negrep to you in the last few weeks, please report it. It wasn't me.
Yes, in general. Sorry, I should have made that a bit clearer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGRF
I'm not about to let this go, Ollie. One of us is going to eventually change our opinion, and I have every intention of it being you.
A healthy attitude that ensures productive discussion. Always important to let everyone know that you're unwilling to change your mind in light of future discussion. Avoids unrealistic expectations.
I wasn't saying that I would never change my mind. In fact, I said one of us would change our mind. I just said I had every intention of it being you. If you convince me that your method is the right one, well, then, I'll be convinced.

So, judging by the rest of your comment, I was wrong in my original assumption. This isn't about just grammar. It is about lazy posting in general. Am I correct in this?

~TGRF, who can't help but notice that every one of your three sentences in the last quote was a fragment, and who is also noting that that really has nothing whatsoever to do with this conversation.
P.S. One other thing has occurred to me. You've said, at least twice now, that when you neg rep someone, they can either take it or leave it. That would seem to indicate that you plan on only neg repping an individual once. I have been assuming you would neg rep every post you see with bad grammar, regardless of the user. Am I wrong in this?
Posted December 30th, 2013 at 11:24 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Updated December 31st, 2013 at 02:34 AM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Old
ollie's Avatar
Hmm. I think you're overthinking this TGRF. Here's the crucial bit from the original post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie
As I understand it, the point of negrep is to say "this post made my experience of heroscapers.com worse rather than better". This fits the bill for these posts exactly, so I'm going to start negrepping them.
That's about the entire philosophy and motivation behind the "rampage". Note that it's about me as well: an element of what determines whether a post makes my experience here good or bad depends on my mood and inclinations at the time.

I don't rep (positive or negative) enough to keep negrepping someone for the same issues. (Is there a way to see what rep you've given out? I'd be surprised if I'd given out more than a dozen negreps during my time here.) But yes, in principle, the negrep would keep flowing. More likely, I'd set the ignore function for that user.

The sentence fragments are an interesting example. I often talk in them, which means that they show up in my writing. For more formal writing it's one of the items I make a conscious effort to check through for. (Excessive use of commas, parentheses too, are others.) However, here I think they're fine: a more conversational tone is appropriate.

This is something about which we could reasonably disagree. There are no hard and fast rules on this type of question. If you find fragments objectionable to the point where me using too many in a post detracts from your experience here then you should negrep it. I'll consider my stance on it, look through again to see if it's gone from occasional grammatical breach to something more serious, and adjust my posting behaviour, or not, as I choose.

I'm curious, why do you have a bee in your bonnet about this? I don't really understand what you're objecting to here.
Posted December 31st, 2013 at 10:01 AM by ollie ollie is offline
Old
The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar
It's like you said: I overvalue neg rep. Even since it is only half as powerful, do people in general think of it as such? No, not really. At least I don't think they do.
That's probably why I'm going after this. I consider neg rep to be more harsh than it actually is. Also, it was my original assumption that you were actually trying to correct grammar with neg rep. I see now that that isn't the case. Had you been trying to correct it, a PM would have been superior to just neg rep, in my opinion.
HOWEVER, since I now understand what you are trying to do, I have little objection to it. You are simply stating your opinion via neg rep. I still think this is a bit harsh, but that is what neg rep is for (perhaps you should try a post in reply first?).
Now that I understand what you are doing, I feel a lot better. This is something I felt needed to be resolved, and it has been, at least to me.
Thanks for your clarity and patience, Ollie.
~TGRF.
P.S. The fragments note was just the grammar-freak part of me being obnoxious, by the way.
Posted December 31st, 2013 at 10:08 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Old
Midgieboy3's Avatar
I am trying really hard to post my thoughts correctly, it's really hard just because I've never gave it any thought. I understand the other side of the coin as well. Auto-correct screws me over sometimes tho truthfully.
Posted August 25th, 2014 at 02:24 PM by Midgieboy3 Midgieboy3 is offline
Old
Tornado's Avatar
If you would have joined during the rampage you would have been neg-repped into oblivion.
Your posts have been better as of late. Keep it up.
Posted August 25th, 2014 at 02:43 PM by Tornado Tornado is offline
Old
japes's Avatar
Actually Midgieboy2 is a good example of TGRF point. When he first started posting here, it gave me a headache trying to read his post. In his case negrep wouldn't have done anything but chase him away. However a few of us posted, PM'd, and discussed it with him and discovered his issue. He has since improved exponentially and even started taking classes at one point at a community college I believe. So by taking TGRF's stance we helped to improve his life as it created a desire in Midgie to search our more education, something that is never a bad thing.

I always took Ollie's stance more against the intentionally Lazy forms. The one long continuous sentence with no capitalization and no punctuation as well as the shorthand text speak that half of us don't even understand. I know my Grammar is terrible (that's why I'm an engineer) but I try.

Sorry to resurrect this but it was recently linked in a post and I only half remembered it so I read and felt the need to post about the "success story."
Posted January 17th, 2017 at 01:57 AM by japes japes is offline
 
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