Grumpiness


George Lazarette

Link Posted 21/07/2009 - 23:57
I have in recent months been accused of being grumpy. Longer serving members of the forum will (I hope) attest that in days gone by such a charge (whilst possibly not lacking all foundation) would not have stuck for long.

So why the change? I asked myself that question, and here are the answers:

First, as a general observation, it is a matter of fact that over the past year or so there has been a large increase in the number of people claiming membership of the forum, and at the same time (in my opinion) there has been a decline in the quality of contributions TO the forum.

Specifically, I would mention three things that illustrate the decline I refer to:

1. The first Director-General of the BBC, Lord Reith, defined the duties of the institution as being: "To inform, To educate, and To entertain". It seems to me that these serve equally well as the acceptable reasons for posting to an Internet forum. If a post is neither informative (nor seeking information), nor educational, nor amusing, then what earthly use is it?

Occasionally, it is (in my view) permissable to praise unconditionally. When an unusually splendid picture is posted, then a simple "Wow", or words to that effect, is acceptable. In the main, however, few pictures deserve uncritical adoration, and it does no service to the photographer to pretend otherwise.

Currently, there are a great number of posts on this forum which don't meet any of these criteria, and, indeed, some are so mind-numbingly banal as to sap the very spirit of the reader. Gushing responses to quite mediocre pictures have almost become the norm. Seriously, chaps, if you have nothing worthwhile to say, don't say it.


2. Approximately two hundred years ago, the Archduke Rudolph issued a decree that Beethoven be excused observance of the usual rules of court etiquette. I am unaware of any prior or subsequent such indulgence granted to any artist (or, indeed, to anybody). Nonetheless, in the past year or so, a number of lesser talents have claimed a similar privilege on this forum; at least, in so far as criticism of their work is concerned. During the recent hyaena-fest I was accused (falsely) of critising somebody's pictures, as though that were in itself a crime, rather than one of the main points of the forum.

Whatever is posted here, text or image, is fair game for constructive criticism (which is much more useful than false praise).

3. Now, I admit that I am something of a pedant, but bad English distresses me. It is not that I expect everybody to write like Shakespeare, but I do take exception to the slovenly and discourteous manner in which some people express themselves. I know that there are those have trouble with writing properly, but I am equally aware that some who have difficulty (often great difficulty) take pains to do it as well as they can, whilst others think that any old slapdash rubbish will do.

I don't for a moment consider that people who find it difficult to write well are stupid, but I do think that those who don't take care are pretty deficient in the old grey matter. Language is what separates Homo Sapiens from the beasts of the field, and those who don't realise that, and can't be bothered to communicate their thoughts as well as they can, (or don't see the point in doing so) are little better than Dolly the Sheep.

That's it, folks. In closing, I would just mention that some erstwhile regulars have abandoned this forum, while some former regulars seem to be drifting away. Let's stop the rot, and get back to a situation where people contribute helpful, thoughtful, posts that reflect credit on themselves and which are both useful and a pleasure to read.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.
Last Edited by George Lazarette on 22/07/2009 - 00:21

johnriley

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 00:01
I've never thought of you as Grumpy George - too pedantic for some, clearly, but certainly not grumpy!

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and for sharing them so eloquently!
Best regards, John

Don

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 00:04
I like it here.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

Mannesty

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 00:15
I couldn't have written it as well as you have George, but those are my thoughts exactly.

Thank you.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

alig

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 00:56
George Lazarette wrote:
If a post is neither informative (nor seeking information), nor educational, nor amusing, then what earthly use is it?

When an unusually splendid picture is posted, then a simple "Wow", or words to that effect, is acceptable. In the main, however, few pictures deserve uncritical adoration, and it does no service to the photographer to pretend otherwise.

I agree with a lot of what you've said George.

I find this forum great fun and learn a lot from it and try at times to contribute.

There is another site that has become a lot worse since I joined it a few years ago and I hardly go there now.
Quite literally down right boring 'snaps' to which they receive great praise from their peers, Why?
If I posted rubbish I would love proper C&C from members, I am not going to learn if people are not honest.

That also goes for the mind numbingly boring topics on the forum, why?

Also the fact that when someone is looking for an answer to a problem they have there is always someone with a smart arsed answer, wasting there and the OP's time, why post it?
Just p*ss*s me off.

As George says above.

Quote:
Seriously, chaps, if you have nothing worthwhile to say, don't say it.

ali
Cheers

Ali

ist* DS & Ricoh GR

George Lazarette

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 01:13
And another thing......!

Because of the antics of some brain-dead nitwit, the powers that be have prevented people from correcting errors in their posts. As the forum's premier pedant, it wounds me deeply that I cannot correct two typos.

Aaagh.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

mikew

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 07:16
I broadly agree with George especially regarding sloppy writing. It takes a little longer to get it right and make what we write clear which in turn makes it easier to read and avoids misunderstandings.

I would gently disagree and suggest that there is a place for banter, especially light hearted banter between friends but perhaps such entries don't fall foul of George's suggestions.

Well done George for writing something which encourages us all to think about how we use the forum and post within it.

Mike
---------------------------------------------------

You can see some of my shots at my Flickr account.

PentaxBabe

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 07:58
I agree with George on the sloppy writing part at least. I believe part of the problem is the use of "text speak" in media other than mobile phone messaging. I studiously refuse to use it even in texts as I think it makes for more general use of poor English and is a very lazy thing to do.

Pwynnej

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 08:40
George, you are so grumpy, you are my hero!

I have seen quite a turnover of members, and many of the longer established members leave - this means the forums retains some freshness - but a disturbing trend I have seen more recently is that some people take offence too easily at the most trivial remarks, and threads descend into quarrels. This is not exclusive to PentaxUser either

What I particularly like about PentaxUser is the really good nucleus of familiar faces, yourself and John Riley, for instance. Your posts can be relied upon to give an unequivocal opinion or impartial advice. Other forums members like Gwyn, the other dutchies, Mike-P, Mannesty, Mattmatic and many others (even the Nikon traitors) make this feel like a good home.

Don't change George, many of us love you as you are.

Peter


PS

George Lazarette wrote:


Aaagh.

G

I thought there was an 'r' in Aaargh.
K20D, Z-1p, Z-1
F50 1.7,FAs 24,31,35,50 1.4,77,85,135. DA*16-50. DA*60-250. DA*300 D-FA 100
SA 12-24.
Metz 45 CL-4, AF500FTZ. AF540FGZ.
Some Mamiya and some Nikon
Last Edited by Pwynnej on 22/07/2009 - 08:41

Malo1961

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 08:42
Wise words George, and well spoken. But....as a witness of a certain decline on this forum (After the forum revamp),
I wonder if this can be changed. If a internet community reflects the real world, than there is enough reason to worry.

With the big increase of members, we witnessed on this forum, it was very predictable a change of tone and communication should take place.
It's a fast world out there, instant gratification seems to be the standard. If you are in need of some help, the easiest way is to drop it on a forum. Reading a manual seems Old School now. The same goes for posting photo's for C & C. With deep sadness I witness the Ohhhh's and Ahhh's or other forms of pampering being posted as C & C.Doesn't matter if most of the basic principles of Photography are violated.
Tilted horizons, Off focus main subjects, strong colour cast.....and the list grows.

On the subject of proper language I tend to agree. Being a Bl**d* Foreigner myself I know for a fact, I can be accused of bad spelling or incorrect grammar. I do try, but as a non UK citizen it isn't always easy to read between the lines or understand the deeper meaning of what is said. I do get really annoyed, when someone doesn't capitalize or use punctuations. Most of the times I stop reading and move on. Also I notice an increase of slang being used, what makes it almost impossible to understand or comment to. I assume it has to do with holding on to a certain identity, but it doesn't help a bit in preventing this forum from sliding down even further.

What can we do to change things for the better? Without causing irreparable damage to the forum by splitting it into two camps.
Starting threads like this one, is one way to shake things around a bit.
I do hope the Mod's are taking notice and will react accordingly when needed.( I know they will )
Let's see if this topic develops in a fruitful and respectful way. So.... that in the end the forum and it's members will benefit from it.

Oh....on the subject of grumpy?? Grumpy isn't bad. I had a old grumpy school teacher once. Of course in those days I thought the world was mine
to conquer, and against his well meant advice I plotted a course which was bound to end in failure. (of course the generation gap, was playing a major role here) Lucky for me, it turned out well (after a very hard reality check) And Grumpy or not, that old teacher still holds my deepest respect, because the life and social experience he has build up in all those years of teaching, are priceless and can not be measured.
Not in my life time or that of his students. So once and a while.....be grumpy and don't despair. The last time I witnessed the hyaena's coming,
The Ol'Lion wasn't giving in, an inch.

Martin.
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

Hardgravity

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 08:43
Well said George.

I know I don't always take things seriously but on the whole I try and be constructive.

Unfortunately not all my posts are directly related to Pentax items, but that's what the general chat bit's for. An example is my recent venting on ebay's new rules, which raised a lot of discussion.

I will try to be more serious in the future.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

I've some gallerieshere CLICKY LINK! and my PPG entries.

Don

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 09:32
Are you starting to understand why I like it here George?
Pwynnej wrote:
George, you are so grumpy, you are my hero!

I have seen quite a turnover of members, and many of the longer established members leave - this means the forums retains some freshness - but a disturbing trend I have seen more recently is that some people take offence too easily at the most trivial remarks, and threads descend into quarrels. This is not exclusive to PentaxUser either

What I particularly like about PentaxUser is the really good nucleus of familiar faces, yourself and John Riley, for instance. Your posts can be relied upon to give an unequivocal opinion or impartial advice. Other forums members like Gwyn, the other dutchies, Mike-P, Mannesty, Mattmatic and many others (even the Nikon traitors) make this feel like a good home.

Don't change George, many of us love you as you are.

Peter


PS

George Lazarette wrote:


Aaagh.

G

I thought there was an 'r' in Aaargh.


Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

davidtrout

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 09:48
What a refreshing debate. George, its not being grumpy to expect higher standards in both photography and the use of language and you have eloquently expressed the views I hold on both these subjects. We should all seek to improve our photography and can only succeed when colleagues offer honest criticism so we can address our previous mistakes.
On the subject of the use of English language I feel irritation at the poor grammar, spelling and punctuation that seems to abound in these forums. At the same time I have nothing but admiration for our many 'foreign' friends who tackle our hotch potch of a langauge so well and I'm happy to make allowances for their occasional slips.
Re your comments on correcting posts: I felt annoyance this week at my inability to return to an earlier posting to carry out corrections. I wrote the comments for the weekly competition Action when I was tired after midnight on Monday morning and when I returned to the site later in the morning I was horrified by my clumsy typing errors. I was even more annoyed to find the system wouldn't allow me to correct the mistakes.
Keep up the grumpiness George, its all in a good cause.
David
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 09:57
I think this forum caters for a lot of beginner photographers who I believe benefit more from constructive criticism put in a sensitive helpful way rather than a ‘short sharp shock’ of excoriating prose. It’s a question of balance I guess. But we are here for enjoyment as well as to learn.

But that’s just me. There’s room for all sorts, and I don’t have a problem with amusingly ‘grumpy’ forum members – they keep things interesting – but they should expect to encounter a bit of criticism when they go a bit too far.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

Gwyn

Link Posted 22/07/2009 - 10:00
George, you have put, very eloquently, into words what I have been feeling for some time. For that I thank you.
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