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rehobothfool said:

I agree with p8ntball. I posted a question some time ago on this board and had the same experience: a non-respectful reply to a question I meant seriously. I haven't been back to this board until now. PMarti has many supporters but I suggest less "humor" because of the real chance for misinterpretation. I am not a humorless person and I don't think the author of the question is either. We ask a simple question and hope for an answer that doesn't demean our asking it to the point that we leave. If there was more respect for each other the world would be a safer place. And we would be laughing more.

OK, I'll bite.

I mean, sorry to beat this dead horse, but I feel the need to respond to this because I thought it was really sad that rehobothfool had such a bad experience that he or she would leave a board. Rehobothfool, I do not know the reply to which you refer in your case; I only know the situation with p8ntbal. I totally agree that these boards should be a place where people can be treated with mutual respect. And I am sad that anyone would feel so demeaned that they had to leave.

But in this situation, I really don't see where p8ntbal was demeaned or disrespected by Phil. When I look at Phil's post, I see maybe two places where he was joking around (at the very beginning and end) and perhaps this could be misinterpreted; the rest of the post was the "business as usual" approach you suggest. Example:

Make less money.

This is not as flip as you may think. You seem to be really bummed about an almost 100% increase in income over a year ago. Child, you need to get your head on straight.

My interpretation: "Wow, p8ntbal, you're doing really well, especially for someone so early in their career! Yes, you're paying a lot more in taxes this year, but I suggest you look at the big picture: you're also bringing home a lot more money this year over last."

Procreation is the biggest tax break going. Don't be surprised, though, when you wind up with lots less money in your pocket, even after the tax breaks.

My interpretation: "P8ntbal, other than the suggestions I've already made, you're just going to have to wait until you get some more tax deductions in the form of children. However, as much as it costs to raise kids these days, I don't know how much that tax deduction is really going to net for you!"

Again, I really don't see any malicious intents to demean here. Obviously, I am not Phil so perhaps he did have a malicious intent. But if you read through any of the other tons of helpful posts he has made, then I think you would see that this isn't possible.

Frankly, I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that the subject of taxes is a very dry one. I personally appreciate any attempts to "lighten up" the mood with a joking style here and there. In my outlook on life, I try to give people the benefit of a doubt unless they give me reason to feel otherwise. I think that in reading posts to a message board, where you can't pick up on any body language or inflection of speech, you need to assume that no one is out to demean you or insult you personally.

Respectfully yours,

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