What happened today that shouldn't have

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 24 1998 - 20:22:57 EDT

B-Greekers all:

I was dismayed when logging on this afternoon at about 2 pm EDT (US time)
to discover that six messages had come in to the list with the subject
header, "Re: Does the NT contain evident that Jesus was worship" AFTER
messages had been posted by both Jonathan and myself warning that this
topic was off-limits on grounds that the query initiated by the original
message was agenda-directed in order to attack a particular religious

I think a couple of those responses that came AFTER the warnings may have
been innocent; but others were, I think, sent deliberately in spite of the
warning. Even the innocent ones might have been avoided, however, if only
list-members would follow a suggestion that I have often urged on this list
and that is urged in the welcome message to many lists: BEFORE you respond
to a message that concerns you, PLEASE read at least the other posts in the
same thread that have come in your same download of new mail--I think a
couple of the responses may have been composed and dispatched immediately
before going on to read the rest of the incoming B-Greek mail. I think
that's a request that we'll try to incorporate directly into the revised
FAQ that we'll be working on as we continue the adjustment to the new
list-server at our new address.

On the other hand, I think that some other responses were NOT so innocent:
I think that they were composed and dispatched AFTER the warnings had been
read; I'd like to believe I'm wrong about that but I strongly suspect it.
IF anyone did in fact deliberately respond after seeing the warning, please
take note that the warnings are not issued lightly and we are not going to
permit continued violations of such warnings.

Having said that, let me add that perhaps Jonathan and I might have
followed a different strategy that could lead to some of the positive
things that ensued in the thread that was thus inauspiciously inaugurated
(if something is learned from this fiasco, perhaps it will have been worth
while?): we might have used an initial "WARNING" ahead of that subject
header in one or both of our warning messages--it would have read:
"Subject: WARNING RE: 'Does the NT contain evident that Jesus was
worship?'" Of course, this would have had no impact on those who didn't
read the rest of their incoming mail before responding, but it might have
deterred some of the others. And at the same time, we might have done what
Jonathan finally did this afternoon: suggest that "The semantic domain of
PROSKUNEW" is a legitimate subject of discussion, even if a response to the
original message is out of order as a violation of list guidelines.

I wish we'd done that. I also wish people would endeavor to read all their
new B-Greek mail before hitting the SEND button. And I really wish, indeed
I hope and pray that it won't be necessary to send this sort of an
unpleasant message again, either to the list, or privately to an offender.

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad@yancey.main.nc.us
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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