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Editorial policy of this room

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
United States
Joined 7066 days ago

609 posts - 2102 votes 

 Message 1 of 2
14 October 2008 at 9:34pm | IP Logged 
Dear Readers:

Given that I have reiterated my requests several times in several different ways in the “about this room” thread, and given that we have discussed this matter again in another thread entitled “making this site citable,” I really wish I did not need to bring it up again, but not only have new people - who may be unaware of all of this - joined the discussion during my own recent protracted absence, but several longstanding stalwarts continue to ignore my entreaties.

I view my participation on this site as a virtual extension of my actual lecturing activities as a university professor. If you were to visit a class that I were teaching in person and ask to sit in even though you might not be registered, I would readily agree, but I would want to know who you were; I certainly would not let you participate in the discussions on a regular basis if I did not know your name.

Likewise, while I do not derive any satisfaction or fulfillment from interacting with the anonymous internet, I do find it quite rewarding to know that I am assisting real, identifiable students of languages who happen to be elsewhere in the world than in my physical classroom.

Furthermore, I find that there are always far, far too few hours in a day to accomplish all that I would like to do, and I myself find myself much more inclined to feel like answering questions here if they are posed in a fashion that suits my sensibilities in being more polite, formal, and substantive than is the norm for the internet or even for the other rooms on this forum.

Moreover, I confess to sharing an inherent professional class suspicion of the very open, fluid, anonymous, and informal nature of internet forums: in general, if I were to assign a research paper, I would not allow my students to cite forums as sources. However, I would allow them to do so if it were proven to me that a central participant on a given forum was an identifiable and reputable authority and that submissions on that forum took the form of old-fashioned formal correspondence with him by actual identifiable individuals.

In other words, it is only worth my while to answer questions here if I can feel that what I post might be citable by anyone interested in doing research in language learning. In as much as possible, I would like all threads here to read as actual formal correspondence between you and me that we agree to make public so that in responding to your questions I benefit whoever reads the answers rather than just the single individuals posing them.

Thus, in the hopes of meriting recognition as a reputable and respectably citable source of information about language learning, it is the editorial policy of this room for all submissions to be
1)     substantive,
2)     written in a formal tone, and
3)     signed with a full real name.

If you have not posted in this fashion in this room, then please amend your own writings – especially your most recent ones – to bring them into accord with these policies if you would like for me to add my comments to them and to leave the threads in which they appear in “lessons in polyglottery.”

Thank you all for your prompt attention to this matter,

Alexander Arguelles

2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 5808 days ago

220 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Cantonese, Polish, Spanish, French

 Message 2 of 2
15 October 2008 at 11:01pm | IP Logged 
Sorry to pollute a purely informational thread, but as this is the only relevant place
to bring it up, I've chosen to post here. Feel free to delete this message later on.

Professor, while I'm sure there are some people out there who just don't care enough
to follow your requests for formal and substantive posting, I think that a big part of
the problem could be solved by requesting that the site administrator inject some
words of warning into the template for the text that goes above the reply box for this
area of the forum. I think the problem is not so much that everyone is being rude, as
much as it is that:

(1) Some people that initially have no idea who you are and what this site is may
reach a certain thread directly from a search engine or link from another website.
These people really have no reason to expect that the forum has any specific rules
above and beyond those of 99% of the rest of the internet, and so register and post a
reply on a certain thread without ever having seen your posting rules messages.

(2) Some people who only occasionally make casual visits to this website will randomly
click messages that spark their interest and sometimes reply to messages in your
section of the forum without having realized it has a different set of rules than the
rest of the website. I myself read many many posts in your area of the forum before
ever happening across the rules of posting. (Part of the problem is my habit of
reading everything in reverse chronological order and starting from page 4.)

So my simple solution suggestion: in the area above the "Post Reply" box if the
administrator adds some bold text explaining that casual posts with no substance are
not welcome and that anyone who is posting for the first time must FIRST read this
thread (with a hyperlink to this thread provided), I think it would cut down
significantly on the problem.

Justin Wilson

2 persons have voted this message useful

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