Reading Comprehension 101 December 4, 2006 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Reading Comprehension 101: I'll admit that glueschk was a little over-the-top here but I come here not to damn him but to...empathize with him.

His comment was followed up by yet another person mentioning Marathon Man. Meanwhile, in this thread, I was making a bet with myself to see how many comments until we got Nixon and Elvis. The answer is 15. I'm trying to understand why this happens. Is the poster not being clear enough?
posted by vacapinta to Etiquette/Policy at 1:21 PM (43 comments total)

I'm trying to understand why this happens. Is the poster not being clear enough?

In the Marathon Man question, the poster is being clear enough. In some questions sometimes, that might not be the case, but I think the blame in general goes to the answerer: not everyone reads the question (specifically the More Inside) thoroughly before answering. Simple as that. They should, they don't.
posted by cortex at 1:28 PM on December 4, 2006


Pure laziness in reading and answering. And some of the questions on the green lately (not these) have been appallingly simple to find from Google, which is laziness as well.
posted by agregoli at 1:30 PM on December 4, 2006


for the record, gleuschk's now removed response was "mitocan and hardcode, did you nitwits even read the question?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:33 PM on December 4, 2006


That guy should check out "Marathon Man." There's a scene in it just like the one he's decriving.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:38 PM on December 4, 2006


No, I don't know what decriving means.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:40 PM on December 4, 2006


Is the poster not being clear enough?

No. People are idiots. But you knew that already.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:43 PM on December 4, 2006


(However, now I have a truly excellent mental image of Nixon drilling Elvis's teeth and yelling with great Nixonian paranoia, "Is it safe?")
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:45 PM on December 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


I just saw it happen again. And this time the commenter says its because they didnt read the More Inside.
posted by vacapinta at 1:57 PM on December 4, 2006


Damn these people for volunteering their free time.
posted by cillit bang at 2:00 PM on December 4, 2006


I heard glueschk had some pretty strong opinions about this, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:06 PM on December 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the whole "more inside" segment should blink. Or, you know, something similarly visually effective that wouldn't cause murders, I guess.
posted by cortex at 2:10 PM on December 4, 2006


I think it's an offshoot of Male Answer Syndrome.

In this variant, the person reads the front page of ask mefi and makes up their mind what the answer is after the first sentence. They click through but ignore the more inside. They also ignore the previous comments and go right to the comment box to leave their answer.

I see this behavior almost every time I ask a question, because I'll add more details about stuff I've already tried in the more inside section and every time someone will say 'have you tried x?' without reading my complete question.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:17 PM on December 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


I wonder if these troublemakers are more likely to be reading AskMe through an RSS feed?
posted by mullacc at 2:26 PM on December 4, 2006


Damn these people for volunteering their free time.
posted by cillit bang at 2:00 PM PST on December 4


The thing is...I've rarely if ever seen a well thought out answer that repeated information in the question.

There's another variant here. Someone asks for recommendations on where to travel in Central America and someone answers simply "Costa Rica". I cant imagine how that could possibly be helpful. Why Costa Rica? Have you been there?

Its another example of people just wanting to hit the post button compulsively. They're not helping the Asker and by adding to the noise, they are in fact making it more difficult for someone to get their question answered.
posted by vacapinta at 2:28 PM on December 4, 2006


For clarification I did read the question, just not the whole of the "more inside".

On preview what #1 said.
posted by hardcode at 2:32 PM on December 4, 2006


The "more inside" is part of the question. Usually, it's the most important part. If you're not reading that, then you're not reading the question.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:45 PM on December 4, 2006


Other variants of male answer syndrome are that the poster ignores salient info, such as the poster isn't in the US or isn't an American; assumes information that isn't in the text, and so grabs the wrong end of the stick; or tells you a wrong answer, because you asked the wrong question!

Good times, good times.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:03 PM on December 4, 2006


Yeah - guys are dumb. And women be shoppin. What's up with that?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:11 PM on December 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Black people eat airline food like this, and white people eat airline food like this!
posted by Kwine at 3:49 PM on December 4, 2006


I believe it's time for a frank discussion of the nature of CornnutsTM.
posted by cortex at 3:56 PM on December 4, 2006


Here's an awesome youtube video about cortex's joke0:22possibly NSFW!
posted by Kwine at 4:03 PM on December 4, 2006


Send more video links Kwine kthxbye
posted by Meatbomb at 4:41 PM on December 4, 2006


My only MetaTalk post ever was about this phenomena which I find unbelievably irritating (limited to circumstances where the question itself was not confusing or poorly written).
posted by Falconetti at 4:55 PM on December 4, 2006


Good to know "nitwits" was over the top. I was going to go with "illiterate male-answer-syndrome-having attention-deficit-suffering lazy fuckswizzles".

Thanks, vacapinta, for the empathy, and my apologies both to mathowie/jessamyn for adding to his/her workload, and to the original poster for muddying up their thread. Those clods who can't read a 100-word question to the end without paging down to the textarea, though: you people make this more like Yahoo! Answers every day, in every way.

My first MetaTalk callout, after six years! You hate me! You really really hate me!
posted by gleuschk at 4:58 PM on December 4, 2006


Some people only read the headlines. It's easier to change the headline than force them to read past it.
posted by smackfu at 5:00 PM on December 4, 2006


This brings to mind the bizarre and slightly frightening world of the televisionwithoutpity.com message boards, where the admins will add "No time to read? No time to post" to any post that states straight-out that they didn't bother to read the rest of the thread to see if their question's been answered already.

The place is so rigid as to be wholly unpleasant, but I do understand after seeing "i didn't read the whole thread, but did anyone else notice that the name 'henry gale' must be a reference to 'wizard of oz'??" repeated x10000.

It's annoying... but what can be done? People suck. (Not you guys. Other people.)
posted by loiseau at 5:24 PM on December 4, 2006


One reason why people might not read the More Inside is that they're clicking on the 'new' comments link rather than the 'X comments' link. 'New' comments jumps past the More Inside. I do this habitually and have to scroll back up to get the More Inside.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:44 PM on December 4, 2006


I will be spending my next few weeks attempting to work "fuckswizzles" into the conversation.

That is all.
posted by pompomtom at 9:31 PM on December 4, 2006


Someone asks for recommendations on where to travel in Central America and someone answers simply "Costa Rica". I cant imagine how that could possibly be helpful.

Oh, man, thank you. That's my only AskMe peeve right now - folks who offer one-word answers in response to requests for recommendations. How useless is that? If you're gonna bother answering, explain your damn recommendation a *little* bit.
posted by mediareport at 9:35 PM on December 4, 2006


This bugs me a lot, and I see it quite often. The thing is, because we have the (good) policy of keeping snark off AskMe, people are not going to be shamed into changing this behavior, so I'm wondering if it might be helpful for Jess to drop in some comments like "UserX, please read the full post before answering" when she notices it, so that users will see that this isn't good form. (Yes, Jess - more work for you, please - bwahahaha!)
posted by taz at 12:02 AM on December 5, 2006


I wonder if these troublemakers are more likely to be reading AskMe through an RSS feed?

Doubtful, since the RSS feed for AskMe shows the whole question, including the more inside.
posted by antifuse at 1:57 AM on December 5, 2006


That's my only AskMe peeve right now - folks who offer one-word answers in response to requests for recommendations. How useless is that? If you're gonna bother answering, explain your damn recommendation a *little* bit.

Questions usually have a very long list of criteria they want the recommendations to meet. If you've got a recommendation that meets those criteria what more is there to say about it?

If someone has asked a stupid, general question like 'Where should I eat in New York?' or 'Where should I go on vacation?' with little other information, then sure, you're going to have to add some information about your recommendations. But when someone asks for a something like a good place for pre-theater dining within 10 minutes of the theatre district that is wheelchair accessible and serves Italian food for under $25 per person, what other information do they need besides the names of restaurants that meet that criteria?
posted by jacquilynne at 7:10 AM on December 5, 2006


Ha! Someone else suggested Nixon-Elvis!
posted by mattbucher at 7:41 AM on December 5, 2006


Someone asks for recommendations on where to travel in Central America and someone answers simply "Costa Rica". I cant imagine how that could possibly be helpful.

Oh, man, thank you. That's my only AskMe peeve right now - folks who offer one-word answers in response to requests for recommendations. How useless is that? If you're gonna bother answering, explain your damn recommendation a *little* bit.


Eh, I think this is unnecessarily picky. A one-word answer that's on target will usually spur elaborations from other eager helpers, and a one-word answer that isn't that helpful barely registers as noise most of the time. Or, it's a form of seconding previously expressed opinions.
posted by furiousthought at 9:59 AM on December 5, 2006


Someone asks for recommendations on where to travel in Central America and someone answers simply "Costa Rica". I cant imagine how that could possibly be helpful.

Oh, man, thank you. That's my only AskMe peeve right now - folks who offer one-word answers in response to requests for recommendations.


Costa Rica is two words.

*ducks*
posted by phearlez at 12:59 PM on December 5, 2006


jacquilynne and furiousthought, I was thinking of art/book/music questions, mainly. I'll stand by my pickiness on others as well, though - if you're going to bother recommending that someone try something, the least you can do is explain a bit about why they should try it.

If you want to be helpful, I mean.
posted by mediareport at 3:20 PM on December 5, 2006


Yeah, because just reading the question and responding to it, that's not trying to be helpful. The selfish pricks.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2006


Ten things I learned about people from MetaFilter:

10. People want to know why their computer is beeping.
9. People don't understand that they control what happens to their withheld tax.
8. People can't read plain English. Some of them don't even have the excuse of knowing another language.
6. People can't count to 10.
5. People don't understand what inflation means, or how holding money makes them currency speculators.
4. People think that a bunch of people on the internet can somehow give them better health advice than their doctor.
3. People think that a bunch of people on the internet can somehow give them good relationship advice.
2. No, the bear will consistently kill the fucking shit out of people.
1. People are idiots at all times.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:30 PM on December 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


9a. People don't understand tax brackets.
posted by smackfu at 6:57 PM on December 5, 2006


The selfish pricks.

Hoookay...

*backs away slowly*
posted by mediareport at 7:10 PM on December 5, 2006


9b. People don't understand the effect of negative equity on amount realized in situations involving transferred property subject to nonrecourse debt.

Oh wait, that's me, I'm that one that doesn't understand that.
posted by Falconetti at 8:39 PM on December 5, 2006


Falconetti: you ain't the only one. It took me 3 tries just to parse that sentence.
posted by antifuse at 1:10 AM on December 6, 2006


antifuse: If the exam I took today is any indication, I still don't understand it.
posted by Falconetti at 1:12 PM on December 6, 2006


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