www.whyville.net Jul 3, 2005 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Your Article Is Stooopid!

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The Times has always been one of my favorite things in Whyville. It allows citizens to express their veiws in a public way, and alerts Whyvillians to issues and events. However, everything has a down side. And this one goes by the name of Phlyteus McGirdle Joe-Bob. Just kidding. It goes by the name of... the BBS!

It seems that in almost every article's bulletin board, there is someone criticizing another citzen's work. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for constructive criticism, but that's not the kind that many Whyvillians are guilty of.

Example: "Anyway, the point of this article is that I think Why-Passes should be paid for in clams."

Wrong Response: "OMG! i canot Blieve u! duh! i meen, we cant just pay 4 them in clams! Whyville need the money, stupid!"

Right Response:
"I simply disagree. I liked the way that you wrote the article, but I find fault in your idea. You see, Whyville City Workers are real people, and they rely on the money from Why-Passes and other things to keep themselves and Whyville going. Keep in mind that running Whyville is their job, and Whyville needs money to pay them and to pay for new servers and other things. Maybe you could come up with a way to make it easier to pay in money, or another source of income for them?"

The Difference
The first difference you'll most likely notice is that in the wrong response, the person is using 'computer speak', or crude shortcuts that they call words. Now, I'm not saying that if you use computer speak you're being rude. However, if you form proper sentences with real words, it might help your criticism seem more polite and thought out. You're less likely to come across as small-minded or slow-thinking.

However, what really makes the right response right is not that it's typed properly, but what it says. As you can see, the post's author gives some sort of compliment to show that they see the good as well as the bad in the article. This lightens the blow, allowing the poster to then calmly explain what they disagree with. The post then follows that up with facts to support the opinion, and even suggestions as to how to correct what they see as a mistake in the article.

The point of criticism is to help the author and their readers in the future, and you're not going to do that by calling them an 'idiot', or by saying their article was 'SO COMPLETLY STUPID, SHEESH!'

Now, you try:

Example: "BBS abuse and behavior issues can be stopped. Take time to think about what you're saying, and support a disagreement with backup. Try to refrain from calling others names, and if possible, type normally, in full words and sentences."

Wrong Response: "OMG! THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH BBSES. your just bing a freek. if u cant take a little name calling then u shudnt b writing! and u cant tell me wut 2 do!!!"

What would a correct agreement response be?
What about a correct disagreement response?

Tell me, or better yet, show me. As you can see, this second example is this article. In the BBS below, try to refrain from the Wrong Response given above, or you might just look like you haven't really read or thought about the article. =)

Anybody agree with me? Why? How about disagree? Why?

Signing off to go watch "Nanny 911", a show about manners... go figure.



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