Misinterpreted sarcasm

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Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by Dark Hellion » 2009-02-02 05:55pm

Since it obliquely just came up in this thread and has happened numerous times in the past I would like to bring to the attention of the Senate/moderators that there is very little clear precedent on how we deal with misinterpretation of sarcasm/black humor.

Sometimes sarcasm is unclear to one poster but clear to the other. Many times posters seem loath to admit that they missed the sarcasm, even when other posters say they thought it was obvious. On more than one occasion this has spiraled into multi-post hijacks.

I do not expect any grand motions. I simply wished to bring the problem up through the proper channels. Perhaps the moderation does have a policy in place that non-administrative persons simply do not know about. If such is a case you may lock/delete this thread at your leisure. Otherwise, I felt that this warranted being brought to the attention of the staff, even if only for their private discussion.

When this thread becomes unnecessary, because policy exists or is formed, please feel free to lock it.

Thank you for the consideration.
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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by Thanas » 2009-02-02 06:06pm

You can't enforce/improve the reading comprehension or sarcasm detector of anybody on the board. Once you figure out how to do that, please let me know. The fault lies not with the person who uses sarcasm.
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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by Stark » 2009-02-02 06:09pm

The thread you link to demonstrates how it's handled; either it's obvious and it's not a problem for anyone, or it's not and it may be a problem. The only times I recall seeing it be a 'problem' is with people trying to make a 'joke' about their own hobby-horses, which is always going to be quite difficult to do with text-only.

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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by GrandMasterTerwynn » 2009-02-02 06:36pm

Problem? There's a problem here? Why should the board be concerned to the point of making policy if someone can't ascertain sarcasm over an internet BBS? If someone fails to spot sarcasm in another poster's statement, they'll be jumped on by someone or a number of someones who saw it in short order. Life goes on, and the worst that happens is someone ends up with a bit of virtual egg on their face. Even if someone makes a statement that they supposedly thought was sarcastic, and the sarcasm was too subtle for the majority of those reading the statement, then we already have a rule covering what to do when one makes a potentially contentious assertion: DR6.

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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by Phantasee » 2009-02-02 07:26pm

Guys, you aren't taking this seriously enough. If someone doesn't get it, he could look really bad in front of everyone. You don't want that, do you?

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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by Havok » 2009-02-02 07:28pm

I have to agree with Thanas, Stark and GMT. The problem is not with sarcasm (this place would suck without it), but with people not being able to comprehend it. Nothing you can do about that.

However, the way I see it, there is more of a problem with people purposefully disregarding sarcasm to make a point, or try to score some easy "win points" by calling someone out on it like in the thread that was linked... "Boy I would be so ANGRY with you IF..." etc., as STW pointed out.
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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by Dark Hellion » 2009-02-02 07:40pm

I think Hav gets it a bit better than I put it out. I don't think there is a massive problem requiring some major policy change. I am was just wondering if a policy like moving the minor hijack to testing would be appropriate. However, since this is primarily a point for either Senate discussion or discussion by the mods I thought I would attempt to make proper use of the HoC.
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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2009-02-02 08:43pm

Is this really needed? You can't legislate to prevent misunderstandings. As for splitting it off, that would happen with any major highjack but if its just a few posts, does it really matter? A mod can just make a quick post warning people to get back on topic if its a problem.

Why make more rules and/or more work for the limited number of moderators if the "problem" is already covered under existing rules?

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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by Coyote » 2009-02-03 08:24am

People will gradually learn to ask themselves, "was that sarcasm?" and drive on. Unfortunately, for each person that leans, becomes enlightened, and drives on, there will be one or two newbies that sign in that still have to go through the learning cycle, so it'll be a perpetually self-sustaining cycle. We'll just have to endure.
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Re: Misinterpreted sarcasm

Post by General Zod » 2009-02-03 11:00am

Coyote wrote:People will gradually learn to ask themselves, "was that sarcasm?" and drive on. Unfortunately, for each person that leans, becomes enlightened, and drives on, there will be one or two newbies that sign in that still have to go through the learning cycle, so it'll be a perpetually self-sustaining cycle. We'll just have to endure.
I've learned to force myself to ask the person that made the post whether or not they were being sarcastic a good deal of the time before jumping down their throats. Personally I've found doing this cuts down on a lot of misunderstandings significantly; it really does boil down to modifying your own behavior rather than imposing regulation, it seems.
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