Re: 'The TarBoard Arms' (Was What People Post (or should or shouldn't!)

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Posted by PeterH on August 26, 2006 at 19:34:16 from user Peter_H.

In Reply to: Re: What People Post (or should or shouldn't!) posted by Jenny Berki on August 26, 2006 at 16:50:56:

Jenni - ten years of participating in internet forums have convinced me that 99% of angry exchanges are caused by misunderstandings, rather than a deliberate intention to insult. Because of the abbreviated nature of a board posting, it is very easy to misconstrue it, particularly when one brings one's own expectations to bear on it. If you are looking for an insult on a chatsite (and people sometimes do), then you will find one soon enough, or you will think you have found one. Also - we cannot see each other's faces, and so we miss the 1001 nuances and 'messages' telegraphed by facial expressions, like we see during a normal conversation.

Although I recall the 'milk in tea' discussion, I can't off-hand remember any rubbishing of it. One or two of the Tarboarders have a very dry humour, and it is also a bit hard to get too serious about this particular topic - some teasing is inevitable!

However, I for one will always take Susan, as an AR character, very seriously, as I have always had an attachment for her. Deep down under that fussy maternal exterior there was a sensitive emotional person - remember (in 'Swallowdale') the tears when Titty was lost, and how Nancy rallied to her immediately? If Nancy empathised with Susan, then that's good enough for me. I have had some leg-pulling over this Susanophilia, and one outright row, but you have to try to get through this and stick with your beliefs.

No one said entering TarBoard was easy, but by heaven have a look at some other chatrooms and you will realise how tolerant TarBoard is by comparison. I always liken this Board to a busy pub or bar. There are groups sitting at various tables ('threads') chatting. If you see a pleasant-looking group, join them. If you notice a noisy row going on at the other end of the room, give it a miss. You will see a table at which the participants are fiddling with eggs, or making bread sauce, or trying tea with milk in first. They shouldn't really be doing that in the bar, but bar-owner Ian pretends he hasn't noticed. If you're in a frivolous mood - join them for a bit. You can always slip away quietly when you've had enough.

That's the beauty of the 'Tarboard Arms' - you are not forced to do or say anything, you can sit with whoever you like and you can switch tables whenever you like. As in any gathering, it's wise at first to sit quietly for a few seconds (not 5 years) and find out exactly who is saying what. If there is a group at the back who are hunched over their table having a very intense and lofty debate on an esoteric AR point, it would be polite, would it not, to let them be and not to criticise - one doesn't need to join in.

So all in all, Jenni, I see little reason to grumble about TarBoard. Mind you, some of us do, but we love the old place really. You are very welcome here. Sit where you like.

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