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josie's avatar

Do you consider it to be sort of rude for someone to answer a question on Fluther, without reading the details section?

Asked by josie (30931points) March 19th, 2011

Some of the best questions on Fluther have a humorous or sarcastic element to them that is clarified in the details section. Reading the question and then the details is an important part of the Fluther interaction. The details section often provides a context that is missing when people are not face to face.Some questions take on an entirely different meaning or intent after reading the details.

Maybe it is just one of my pet peeves.

But it is very obvious at times that people join into a answer/comment thread without having read the details section and thus they have missed the point.

It makes them look impulsive at best, or silly at worst. Having done it once or twice myself, I know.

But more than that, don’t you think that it is sort of rude, or at least a little inconsiderate?

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26 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

It causes some confusion, to be sure. Sometimes, though, the details make the Q sound quite different, then, after reading the details and answering, the OP mentions the topics tags, which also can change the nature of the Q. I try to be diligent, but it’s incumbent on the OP (IMO) to be as clear as possible in all the areas.
That said, I was a little annoyed when I asked a Q about laptops, mentioned in the details that I was not interested in Apple products, and got a umber of answers that said “Get a Mac”.

everephebe's avatar

Yes it’s rude/inconsiderate. However I could have skipped your details to answer your question.

The details aren’t always necessary to read, but it’s worth checking to make sure.
When the details are truly important, sometimes people put [details] in the question, so people know to look. I always read at least part of the details. And also the topics are helpful to look at as well.

If details are really long and I don’t feel like reading it, I’ll skip the question rather then post “blind.”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Nah. Why should I be considerate of someone else and actually give them a good answer. Screw them for asking.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Guilty!
I have done it and have answered the question completely wrong.
I assumed I had all the info I needed to answer the question.
Now,I do read through a question I answer.If I see a long winded question that doesn’t snag me in the first few sentences,I move on….or take a nap.;)

“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English – it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them – then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”-Mark Twain
:)

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Seelix's avatar

I think it’s inconsiderate. If the asker has gone to the trouble of including detailed details, you really ought to read them, especially in the General section.

Cruiser's avatar

No not at all. If anythinmg I find it more irritating when someone asks a pretty clear quesion and then gummies it all up with all sorts details that have harly much to do with the title AND then gets all blustery if you provide you answer just to the title qusetion! Now that IMO is rude!

ucme's avatar

Had that happen on a fair few of my questions. I just figure those folk are either way too eager to answer, or have issues with their eyesight. Either way I just ride with it & move right along.

marinelife's avatar

I tend to think that it is hasty reading that causes misunderstandings. I have been guilty of it myself. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Judi's avatar

Well, sometimes the details section DOES go on and on without really adding to the question, just rephrasing rhe same thing going on and on and on and on…. and it’s kind of rude to make a jelly go through that too.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I don’t consider it rude, but it can be annoying. I’m dealing with one right now.

In addition to reading the details of the question, I’ve learned to read all of the responses, particularly looking for any additional info. the OP might provide. There is often little nuggets of information that they later post that paint a clearer picture and aid in responding.

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s not rude. It’s simply not thorough.

janbb's avatar

I think we’ve all been guilty of it at times, I know I have. As a general pattern, it’s not a good idea.

TexasDude's avatar

I’ve done it before, once or twice, when I was feeling lazy.

That said, I do think it’s maybe a tiny bit rude rude, definitely lazy, and it makes the poster look like a dumbass. I do remember someone posting a question on here along the lines of “What do you read?” And then in the details section, they wrote “And by that, I mean how much of the details section on Fluther questions do you actually read?”

You could tell who the lazy folks are by reading the answers that said stuff like “Harry Potter!” or “Timeless stories of the human struggle against complex opposing forces!”

perspicacious's avatar

No I don’t. I don’t read more than a couple of lines.

talljasperman's avatar

no… not if the details are long and boring…some questions really need a writers touch

incendiary_dan's avatar

I find it incredibly annoying. If it’s not outright rude, at the very least makes the responder look like a complete dumbass (which, in my experience, is generally the case anyway).

Take the recent question by a young person whether or not their friend, a 12 year old girl, should have a knife for whittling, camping, fishing, etc. and someone said she should get pepper spray instead. Talk about a fail.

At the very least, if you didn’t read the details (I’ve skipped them a few times) don’t act like you read them or perhaps make it clear you didn’t.

wundayatta's avatar

My feeling is that if you don’t bother to read the details, you shouldn’t bother to answer the question. I generally find that people put in far too few details to even generate any kind of useful answer. It’s almost just a starting point. If someone answers without reading details, it’s like they’re in a totally separate conversation. They should ask their own damn question.

Yeah. It’s rude. It’s always rude to waste someone else’s time. However, most people who waste other people’s time tend not to know they are doing it.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I do, actually. It amounts to saying, “Listen to me, everybody. But I don’t have to listen to you.”

Same with posting without giving a glance at the previous responses. Sure, if it’s a survey question, you don’t need to know all the other favorites before you add yours. But if it’s a problem-solving or information-seeking question, you should know what others have said before you add your remarks.

I do agree that some questioners misuse the details section, writing a monumental wall-to-wall unbroken paragraph that kills your eyes and gives you way more he-said-she-said or more of a raving diatribe against some unknown woman in the supermarket than any of us needs to read. My response to those is just to skip the whole thing and move on without answering.

Kardamom's avatar

It’s not exactly rude, but it’s not helpful to the questioner or the person answering. But I know why some people do it, it’s because some of the details sections are extremely long (or poorly written), even though the initial question seemed pretty straightforward. I have learned that some of the questions are not always straightforward and often have some type of a twist or unexpected element to them. I try to read the details and everybody else’s responses.

Bellatrix's avatar

It is better if people do read the details, but I think the poster ought to try to be as brief as possible too. If there is a wall of text, sometimes I will just skim read and may miss an important element because it is buried in the detail. I think there is a two-way street here. I would put money on the fact that I have missed the point on occasions.

YARNLADY's avatar

I try to avoid it, and I usually apologize when I have skipped over something. What I hate is when the details have little or nothing to do with the question. That is rude.

Jeruba's avatar

While we’re on this, I will add that I am annoyed by details that ask a different question from what is in the subject line: for example, the subject-line question takes the form “What should I do about a too-strict parent?” but if you read through all the details you find that the real question is “How can I get away with sneaking out to a party with my friend?”

Kardamom's avatar

@Mz_Lizzy I love that term “wall of text.”

@Jeruba You are so right. That is kind of weird when that happens. I sometimes feel like maybe I’m a dingbat or I read the question wrong in the first place and then I have to re-read 3 or 4 times. I don’t like having to do that.

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