Message board behavior vs. face to face communication

I’ve been realizing that people behave very strangely on English message boards in that they argue over what was meant when someone makes a post. For example I just made this post:

You ask who has the problem since 3 people made the same mistake you did. If you had read my link about illocutionary force and uptake, you’d realize that a misunderstanding is not a situation where someone has to be at fault.

People who refuse to resolve misunderstandings on the other hand are at fault. Allow me to paraphrase the conversation to illustrate:

Me: The new stadium won’t help our team.

NNYGman: I agree, the Maras are too cheap.

Moose: Trotta thinks the Mara’s are cheap.

Me: No I don’t.

Moose: Yes you do!

So instead of saying “Sorry I attributed what NNYGmen said to you” you’re arguing “Trotta implied the Maras are cheap.”

Interestingly, I have never experienced anything like this in face to face communication. However, on a message board, people will argue over very very stupid things. This is a case in point: You and I are arguing about what I meant in my original post. In face to face communication, have you ever argued about what a speaker meant? Probably not.

How did we reach that point? In a dialogue that would never have developed the same way in face to face communication:

Hard to get excited : jamestrotta : 2/10/05 9:44 AM

about the stadium business because it seems unlikely to affect the team. It’s not like the Maras will spend more money to get better scouts/officials with income from extra luxury boxes…

I agree : NNYGman : 2/10/05 9:45 AM

The Maras are too cheap to buy better officials.

Sigh… : Shawn in Jersey : 2/10/05 10:15 AM

will it ever stop?

trotta- : Da Moose : 2/10/05 10:17 AM

no wonder you’re offering to pay people to write for your site (this is a reference to an earlier post I made about paying for article for my other site, www.nfl-giants.com). You’re calling the Maras cheap and the Giants scouts bad.

Unbelievable.

Shawn : NNYGman : 2/10/05 10:18 AM

I doubt it. I know fans who think the Maras are too cheap to exceed the cap.

Ho Hum… : River Mike : 2/10/05 10:25 AM

Every year that the Giants don’t win the Super Bowl it’s because the Maras are too cheap, don’t care, yada, yada, yada.

Moose : jamestrotta : 2/10/05 10:33 AM

What are you talking about? You said “no wonder you’re offering to pay people to write for your site. You’re calling the Maras cheap and the Giants scouts bad.”

How is paying for writers even remotely related to my opinion about the Mara’s?

And I never said that the Mara’s were cheap or that the Giants scouts were bad. All I said was that extra income from a new stadium won’t be spent on scouts and the like.

That’s why I don’t care about the new stadium.

trotta, I think Moose is alluding to the fact : Randy in CT : 2/10/05 10:34 AM

that you write like an 8 year old and thusly NEED writers.

And, frankly, : Randy in CT : 2/10/05 10:35 AM

I wouldn’t go to an Eagles site and tell them that I don’t care about their stadium. Seems…What’s the word? retarded.

What do you think the Maras spend the money on? : Da Moose : 2/10/05 10:41 AM

Tiddly winks? Your implication was clearly that the Maras were cheap and didn’t care about the betterment of the team on the field.

You need to pay writers for your Giants site because it’s clear you haven’t got a clue about the Giants yourself.

Randy, : Da Moose : 2/10/05 10:41 AM

thanks for filling in the blanks. Subtlety is lost on these mooks.

The issue : jamestrotta : 2/10/05 10:56 AM

The issue here is not subtlety. It’s reading too much into what someone says. When I say that income from extra luxury boxes won’t be used to hire more scouts, that’s really all I mean. I just don’t see how a new stadium will make the Giants a better team. It’s not a knock on the Giants – I read before the 2004 draft that they spend more on scouts than any other NFL team.

You can imagine that I mean something I didn’t say, but you should at least admit that it’s in your head, not my words.

As for writing like a child, I’m not the one hurling insults that I haven’t heard since high school.

jamestrotta : johnclarke759 : 2/10/05 11:01 AM

Don’t sweat it too much. Its pretty much all he does and all he’s capable of doing on this site.

Nice. Eagles fans : Randy in CT : 2/10/05 11:07 AM

defending Eagles fans on a Giants website.

John : jamestrotta : 2/10/05 11:09 AM

Are you talking about Moose or Randy? I was just starting to like Moose because I liked about half of what he said on the thread about English as an official language thread…

Anyway it happens all the time but things develop differently on message boards. In a face to face conversation, when there’s some conflict between what the listener gets and what the speaker intends we generally work it out. On message boards people get very aggressive and there’s usually not much effort made to resolve misunderstandings.

Illocutionary force and uptake (new window)

When it comes to players salaries and : Dave in Ft Lauderdale : 2/10/05 11:23 AM

bonuses, the Giants are not cheap, never have been. Bad at cap management maybe. In any case, no team is going to take the extra income from luxury boxes and put it into salaries. The salary cap prevents that. Now, paying more money for coaches, scouts and organizational improvements that’s a whole different story.

This crap about the Giants being cheap and not caring about winning; can we put this point to rest already? There’s a BIG difference between wanting to win and knowing HOW to achieve it. That’s REALLY the point! As an organization, they’ve been relatively clueless for a LONG time now.

Some things seem to have improved the last 2 years (better drafting, in some ways, a better idea about free agents, not overpaying for their own players), so lets see how this off-season goes.

The Maras are not cheap : LT56 : 2/10/05 11:50 AM

If they were, Lawrence Taylor would have defected to the USFL for the big money Donald Trump was offering him back in the early 80’s. If anything, the team is loyal to a fault.

My pitch : MtChas : 2/10/05 12:03 PM

Since we are usually always fighting the salary cap, it means we are spending as much on players as possible.

Granted, we do seem to invest too heavily on some few individuals, at the expense of the rest of the team. So we end up with a few extremely highly priced players, and then we are forced to fill out the rest of the roster with mediocre types. No where even close to how Belichec seems to operate. He let that All Pro DB go, rather than pay the hugh increase.

Looking back now, at our dismal record, it may be argued that paying Strahan (like Sehorn before) that hugh salary, cost the rest of the roster dearly.

There is no limit on paying for staff. I don’t know how the Giants treat their coaches in relation to the rest of the league. But I remember when Scott Gragg went to SF he remarked how much better the treatment of the players was at that team.

From my observations what is killing the Giants is the old ‘cronyism’ where the personnel department ‘oldtimers’ are not held responsible for the seemingly poor scouting, rating, drafting and paying we do.

The ‘oldtimers’ there even got a new director fired. Inmates running the sanitorium.

jamestrotta… : Da Moose : 2/10/05 12:12 PM

since three other posters inferred the same thing I did from your statement, who has the problem?

yawn : djm : 2/10/05 2:54 PM

it’s been firmly established that the Mara’s have done a poor job earning revenue and the Giants, despite the fact that they play in a HUGE market, or run like a small town franchise. They cannot financially compete with the big bonus spenders in the NFL. This is fact. Why jump on the guy’s opinion? It’s reality.

typo… : djm : 2/10/05 2:54 PM

or should be are run

Where has it EVER been shown… : Da Moose : 2/10/05 2:56 PM

that the Giants don’t pay their coaches, scouts, front office, or players very well?

maybe “cheap” is the wrong word : djm : 2/10/05 2:57 PM

how bout fiscally antiquated?

do the Giants have the best practice facilities? : djm : 2/10/05 3:04 PM

Do the Giants have the best scouting system? Do the Giants have enough money so they are able to pay the best scouts in the business? Can the Giants compete financially with the Skins and Broncos of the NFL or was Accorsi just blowing smoke?

I tend not to believe… : Da Moose : 2/10/05 3:08 PM

anything Accorsi says. It doesn’t mean he never tells the truth, it just means that I don’t take any of it at face-value.

djm : Mike fr Warwick : 2/10/05 3:09 PM

I suggest you look at the signing bonuses the Giants have handed out the last 6 years or so. Start with Eli, Strahan and Sehorn. People just make it up as they go along.

Going into : Mike fr Warwick : 2/10/05 3:12 PM

2004 had one of the highest payrolls for scouts. Can’t remeber what paper reported that. Remember just a couple of years ago the Giants expanded their scouting staff.

djm… : FatMan in Charlotte : 2/10/05 3:14 PM

You might also want to look at the fact that each year the Giants scouting department is compensated in the Top 5 of the league. Whether that money is well spent can be debated, but the fact that it is spent nullifies any argument on cheapness.

never said cheap : djm : 2/10/05 4:46 PM

and I never said that Giants don’t spend money on scouting. What I did was question if the Giants have the cash at their disposal that the heavy hitters of the NFL have. I know the Giants want to win. I know the Giants spend bonus money that is on par with the NFL. What I don’t know is whether the Giants earn enough revenue to financially compete with the big spenders. Why this topic is considered taboo is beyond me.

FatMan : djm : 2/10/05 4:47 PM

interesting to know that the Giants spend that much on scouting. Thx for the insight.

Again I am merely questioning, not accusing.

Eagle fans? Here? : mgorga : 2/10/05 5:52 PM

They ought to be writing on Eagle sites demanding McHeave spend more time throwing passes and doing cardio work than making his body so thick he can’t catch blow enough between plays to run a friggen hurry-up offense.

STILL RINGLESS!!!! 45 years.

Moose : jamestrotta : 2/11/05 1:38 AM

You ask who has the problem since 3 people made the same mistake you did. If you had read my link about illocutionary force and uptake, you’d realize that a misunderstanding is not a situation where someone has to be at fault.

People who refuse to resolve misunderstandings on the other hand are at fault. Allow me to paraphrase the conversation to illustrate:

Me: The new stadium won’t help our team.

NNYGman: I agree, the Maras are too cheap.

Moose: Trotta thinks the Mara’s are cheap.

Me: No I don’t.

Moose: Yes you do!

So instead of saying “Sorry I attributed what NNYGmen said to you” you’re arguing “Trotta implied the Maras are cheap.”

Interestingly, I have never experienced anything like this in face to face communication. However, on a message board, people will argue over very very stupid things. This is a case in point: You and I are arguing about what I meant in my original post. In face to face communication, have you ever argued about what a speaker meant? Probably not.

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  1. Dave MacLeod says:

    I myself prefer a moderated board like Dave’s to Expatinkorea, for example. Well moderated, I should say. Boards that are moderated so much that you have to wait for permission to post are too extreme though; I like a swear filter and mods who are willing to step in and stop a post for 24 hours if it gets too petty. Englishspectrum showed us what can happen when things are allowed to get out of hand.