What are the best rules for a forum?

Hello everyone,

Is it proper to point out on individual forum-users’ language skills even though they do not ask for it? As I see it, correcting mistakes is very different from actually criticising the way a certain person writes and pointing out on defects in their English. I think that you ought to be very careful when it comes to commenting on other people’s writing: some people might get hurt if you criticise them too much for having less sophisticated English skills than others. What is worse, a learner of English might lose his or her interest in learning English if he or she gets to hear too many impolite remarks regarding his or her English. I know many people that have lost their interest in a language simply because they disliked the person who taught them. What do you think? How can we avoid being too severe and too critisising but yet point out on mistakes that a learner of English should try to avoid in the future?

Hi Englishuser

Yes, sometimes ‘too much critics’ is discouraging.

My personal attitude is:

  1. I came here specially to improve my writing and communication English skills.

  2. I consider Forum’s atmosphere – in general - as (1) friendly, (2) professional and (3) challengeable (for me), as this Forum joins highly professional and enthusiastic natives and real learners of different levels, from different cultures, with various motivation and personal characteristics and style of behave.

  3. I am not a child and I know how to learn useful experience from mistakes rather than to lose heart and give up. As almost everyone, I don’t love critics, but I can distinguish between ‘form and content’.
    When someone here points out my mistakes (even though with laugh), I firstly attempt to consider he/she does that to help me friendly and not for joke only. This is my personal positive look.

  4. Learning a foreign language in real environment, not in toy classroom’s situations, requires really great sense of humor and more-than-ordinary ability to laugh at yourself. Too trembling and sensitive attitude and defending yourself from any unpleasant critics prevents learning languages in real (not toy) environment. I know it well and in not ‘in theory’ only.

  5. I cannot require from people around – in any reality – to behave exactly how I would wish they behave. I can only change my mind about that and learn a next lesson.

So… I’d rather lose interest if people around do not interested in my mistakes at all. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I think, that for the Forum’s atmosphere generally – yes, it would be better. IF it is done friendly and within reasonable limits.


Hi Tamara,

You make many good points in your post. One the one hand, it clearly is not good if you’re too sensitive. On the other hand, people should avoid unnecessary criticism. I think that people should correct your mistakes if you ask for corrections. I might, for instance, be uncertain about a certain idiom or phrase, and if I post a question regarding an idiom or a phrase in the forum I’d naturally hope to be corrected should I be wrong. Other corrections are often a bit unnecessary, especially if the writer clearly made the mistake only because he or she typed carelessly. But, then again, it’s impossible to be absolutely certain about when a person makes a mistake out of ignorance and poor language skills and when there is another explanation for the incongruency.

Yes, you’re right: when I post question or an essay for correction I am ready to take possible critics in positive way.

But, again, it’s my personal attitude: I definitely prefer to deal with ‘unnecessary critics’ (with no my special asking) than to think that if no one around doesn’t point out my mistakes then my English is already good enough :slight_smile:

You perhaps know well, that when you learn a new language you cannot ask many useful questions directly – as you don’t know what to ask about :).
You can only rely on trusted people (as on parents in your childhood :slight_smile: ) to have an adequate feedback permanently. Rather than demand only politeness at the first place and above all.

But, yes of course, it depends…
As many people learning something new become (and feel themself) as being children again (in some sense) than pointing out mistakes without their asking depends on a personal attitude of more proficient persons and on personal ability of a learner to keep ‘positive look’ and not to lose motivation.


Remoting from the topic I want to congratulate Englishuser for becoming a moderator!!! :smiley:

Oh, does he? If so, I subsrcibe the congratulations! :slight_smile:

me too …congratulations !!! :smiley:

To add another “off-topic” topic I’d like to ask Tamara a question:
Why do you think (or how do you know) that Englishuser is a “he”. :wink:

I’ve decided that I made an error in judgment. :?

Hi Amy :slight_smile:

Yes, you’re right, I didn’t (and still don’t :slight_smile: ) know that… it was just a ‘subconscious’ writing.

A reason, why… hmmm… I think, mainly because of the way of thinking and the style of posts by Englishuser and the new moderator :slight_smile: My general impression from.
Of course, I might be wrong (and, probably, it has just happened :slight_smile: )
If so, sorry for that, I should be more carefull and attentive when posting messages.

The second reason is: in my language ‘user’ is he.

Amy, thanks for re-quoting! I usually read your posts with great attention - as being written by a teacher who sometimes makes correction while quoting - even though you didn’t point out directly all my numerous mistakes. :slight_smile:

In this off-topic case it helped me to find my mistake. In my own, on my own :slight_smile: :
It should be: Oh, does he? If so, I subsrcibe to the congratulations! - shouldn’t it? :slight_smile:


Hi Tamara

More off-off-topic:

What about your “Oh does he?” What does “does” refer to? :wink:

With respect to “subscribe to”, yes, that would be better.

With regard to the word “user”: As yet, we don’t have the word “usess” in English :lol:, so I guess we’ll just have to live with “user” as a gender neutral form. :smiley:


I think,Amy,Tamara wanted to say Oh,is he(a moderator)?

Hi Pamela! Hi Amy!

That’s my third fault, thank you, ladies :slight_smile:

Because Pamela initially used becoming I had switched to thinking about ‘action’… :slight_smile:

So… Is he/she ? (a moderator)
or Has he/she ? (become)

Or, of course and above all :slight_smile: , just
[size=150]Dear Englishuser, ARE you? My congratulations!!! [/size] :slight_smile:

P.S.(off-off-offfff-… :slight_smile: )


It’s funny, but in Russian every noun has it’s grammatical gender and, moreover, most of ‘inanimated’, liveless, ‘soul-less’ :slight_smile: things (nouns) are NOT of neutral gender. Thus, they all are he or she by default :slight_smile: ).

For example, as a fork in Russian is ‘she’ and a knife is ‘he’, there is an old and approved :slight_smile: token : if a fork or a knife has fallen from the table during a dinner, there will be a sudden guest soon – a woman or a man, correspondingly :slight_smile:

Hello everyone,

I thank you all very much for your kind congratulations. It certainly is a great challenge to moderate the forum: all I can say is that I’ll do my utmost to make your visits to this forum pleasant as well as informative ones.

People over here have discussed my native language, nationality and gender. I dare say that it has been most interesting to read what people write about me. I think that the topic “Is it a he or a she?” is very intriguing, so I’ll post an entirely new question on gendered speech just to see where it gets us.

Once more, thank you all for congratulating me on becoming a moderator; I’m very much looking forward to nice discussions on various topics in this forum.

Hi Pamela

I understood what Tamara meant when she used “does”, but since Tamara mentioned that I hadn’t specifically pointed out her other mistake, I thought maybe she was testing me. :wink:

Hi Tamara!

Very good! I also had thought of the possibility of using “has” (in addition to “is”). Maybe Englishuser will clear this up with an “am”. :lol:

Yes, it’s similar in German. In order to talk about knife, fork and spoon, you also have to remember three different “genders”. To make matters worse, German cats are feminine, but French cats are masculine. It makes no sense to me. :roll: The good old word “the” in English is far less complicated, isn’t it? :smiley:


Hi Englishuser

I didn’t see your post before my last post.

Your gendered speech idea sounds intriguing. :smiley:


EDIT = - N :lol:

Let me join with everyone in congratulating our mysterious Englishuser on his/her promotion to moderator :slight_smile: . Things are being shaken up, which is great – changes usually make for excitement, don’t they?

Funnily enough, I also have a feeling that it’s a he. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Feminine intuition, perhaps?

Hi Conchita,

And thanks for your congratulations. Feminine intuition? Please consider posting a reply under Gendered speech.

[color=blue][size=75]Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 15:11 pm Post subject: Forum rules

Amy wrote
Hi Englishuser

I didn’t seen your post before my last post. [/size]

Hi Amy…I have one question,I was wondering if its right to say didn’t seen or if it is haven’t seen or didn’t see,according to my grammar book,now I’m not sure

Cris :roll:

I’m one more in the list that thinks you are a HE 8)
BY THE WAY,I have one question,on the left top part of all our posts each person has a different phrase,for example
I’m a communicator,New member,I’m here quite often,I’m a moderator Why???
How does each phrase change? who changes it?
and depends on something in special?

CONGRATULATIONS FOR BEING A MODERATOR :idea: .and Thanks in advance.

Hi Cristina,

And thanks for your question. Torsten would probably be the best person to answer it, but I’ll try to do my best.

The phrase that appears under your username depends on your status, i.e. if you are a guest (a person who visits our forum without being a registered user), a registered user (phrases like “I’m new here and I like it”, “You can meet me at english-test.net”: which phrase you get depends on how many posts you have), or a moderator. And, of course, Torsten has the rank of Site Admin (which means that he has can create moderators, ban users, moderate all forums etc.).