> Quoting Rick Moen on 25 June 2002 22:38
> I think I mentioned this before, but I have no idea how I offended John.
I partially blame cultural differences, and partially other personality
issues. An example from the same mail follows:
> For the record, my surname has two syllables, with stress on the first
> I try hard not to mangle other people's names, and my wife is even
Hmmm. Correcting Herr Kate's pronunciation "mistake" - which was clearly a
pun - while claiming the moral high-ground. Not that there's anything wrong
with this per se, just it's not the way of the group. We tend to be a
self-deprecating bunch of alpha-males generally, if that's not a complete
Anyway, back to the cultural thing, to which I apportion most of the blame.
This sub-thread has come up before (usually with the word "killfile" in
close conjunction to a particular name) reminds me of an interview Dunphy
had with Robert Fisk and Alan Dershowitz (can't find a transcript online
unfortunately). As interviews go, it was pretty much a shambles - neither
side got much said, and one party left early, so rendering the discussion
fairly lop-sided. The best thing about that interview, and what made it
stick in my mind (and in the minds of any of you who remembers it) was this:
there is a HUGE difference in how Americans and Europeans handle conflict in
public debate. That may be a huge generalisation, but then again it may not.
Dershowitz shouted, insulted, berated, libelled, and in general behaved like
a spoiled child, to the extent of hanging up half-way through because he
didn't like the way in which Dunphy asked him to behave. Fisk on the other
hand was much more softly spoken, reacted in a very English Gentlemanly way,
almost apologising for upsetting anyone.
Setting aside the issues they were arguing over (I'm not bringing those up
here - enough verbiage has been spent on them elsewhere and I'd rather not
bring up cross-Atlantic divides beyond the relevant cultural ones), there
appears to be a common view that the American way of argument is rather
distasteful in this list.
Kevin, if you're still reading, how have you managed to tone down your
yankish tendencies? I can't remember anyone mentioning they'd killfiled you
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