I don't want this to be seen as a personal criticism of the relevant commenter, since I'm often guilty of the same "careless" behaviour myself. But I think there's something not quite right about how What do you call a person whose ideology is derived from several opinions? was handled.

For those who don't have the rep to see the post (now deleted by the OP), the entire text of the question was...

Is there is a word for a person whose ideology is derived from several people's opinions/thinking/ideology?

...and the only comment posted before deletion was...

Uh, "normal"???

This is one of those relatively rare cases where le mot juste is fairly clear-cut (eclectic - deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources), so I don't think it really matters whether the OP has provided an exact context in which to use the answer.

But I'm not putting up this post just to try and get the question reopened (though that would be good). My point here is that the only reason I can think of for the OP closing his (unanswered) question must be that he felt it/he was unwelcome.

In the spirit of "Be nice", may I respectfully suggest that we all1 make a bit more effort to avoid posting a "flippant, sarcastic" (potentially dismissive) comment as the first reaction to a question from a new user. If that new user might not see the funny side, it's probably inappropriate.

1 Okay, I know lots of established users here would rarely if ever do this kind of thing, so they don't need to change their ways. But I think that I do, and so do several others.

  • 6
    Has ELU ever been a welcoming site for new users? Maybe in its very early days. The approach is to focus more on finding faults with their unresearched, incomplete, unclear, and finally unwelcome questions. So, business as usual.
    – user 66974
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 15:19
  • I guess it's just human nature. Another possible factor (which I hadn't noticed until just now) is that a different user (not the commenter) edited the OP's post to correct a couple of instances of who's to whose. Which you wouldn't normally think of as "unfriendly", but perhaps in the circumstances was enough to tip the balance. Or maybe the OP thought of eclectic for himself, so the question became "redundant" anyway. I dunno - but watching events unfold (as I was putting the finishing touches to an "Answer" myself), I didn't think it reflected well on the community. Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 16:36
  • 2
    Another possible factor … is that a different user edited the OP's post to correct a couple of instances of “who's” to “whose”. Which you wouldn't normally think of as "unfriendly", but perhaps in the circumstances was enough to tip the balance I would have thought removing the misspelling (Yes, it was me) would have avoided the likelihood of sarky comments coming from the know-it-alls.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 21:41
  • 1
    Good to know that now even a simple edit can be viewed as being unwelcome, and seen to be the cause of someone deleting their SWR question not that I downvoted but I did cast the first vote to close. Well....maybe I should completely stop participating and contributing to the site.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 21:45
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA: You don't think that's a rather extreme reaction to my "highly-qualified" suggestion that it might have been a factor? Obviously I have no special insight into what was in the OP's mind when he deleted the question, but I certainly think there's an issue here. Which I think should be approached in a spirit of genuine enquiry, rather than automatically going on the defensive. Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 14:49
  • 4
    If fixing a common misspelling on an English site can now be interpreted as being possibly unfriendly and not "nice", well we're going down a very slippery slope. Feel free to flag hurtful and insensitive edits in the future.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 19:14
  • 1
    What's all this if business? Are you trying to find an excuse to be negative here? Against me? Or against the noobie user we appartently drove off? Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 19:19
  • 4
    Let me state positively that improving a question is not unfriendly. If anything, it renders the question less likely to be closed. And for the record, had I seen that comment it would have been flagged (and then instantly removed, cos my flags do that).
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 16:51
  • 3
    I think Stack Exchange in general would improve if there was a shepherding process to groom questions from newbies. I only have a vague notion of what the process would be like, but the idea would be to keep the question in a kind of quasi-closed state, more like an open draft copy state, until the community or a mod thinks its ready for primetime.
    – jxh
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 2:22
  • 2
    Personally, when I read that comment, I didn't see any malicious undertone to it. It just seems like a "ha ha, it's funny to realise that we all get our beliefs from others" comment. I didn't interpret it as "you dolt, you should know that we learn ideologies through osmosis". Maybe others saw the comment differently? I might have put a smiley face or something to make my intended tone clear, but as posted the comment didn't strike me as an insult or a slight.
    – user45266
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 3:32
  • 4
    I fought for friendliness for years, and it's still going on (of course.) I don't want to name the individual whose comments I found most offensive, but I do want to say this is ironic. Maybe because I wasn't a 'new enough' user? Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 3:42
  • @anongoodnurse: If it was me (quite possible, I suppose) then I sincerely apologise. But like the fabled scorpion, I'll probably do it again (it's in my nature). Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 13:09
  • 2
    tl;dr - I saw that question and avoided it. I avoid even reading questions from people who are looking for terms from their personal imaginations -- especially political, religious, or emotional terms. Nothing linguistic worth considering, normally. Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 22:07


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