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May 16, 2007 01:28 PM

stick to the question

Maybe the chow team could include in the protocol for commenting could stress sticking to the particular query. It greaves me when a poster's question is effectively ignored by someone practically challenging the poster with spiteful demands that the poster be more specific. eg what price, what menu item, your exact itinerary etc, etc. Just answer the question and let the poster handle the responses as his/her situation requires. Some of the demands for specificity are positively hostile. Nuff said...

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  1. While we definitely don't encourage hostility (if something's openly hostile, please report it, so we can remove it), it can be helpful to ask questions clarifying a request. A lot of hounds, especially visitors to new towns, ask very broad questions that could be answered with any of dozens or hundreds of places, and asking them to clarify their requirements makes that more managable. We encourage people asking for recommendations to include as much detail in their original question as possible, as well.

    1. Many posters aren't chitchatty kind of people so they're to the point, not trying to be hostile. If they're asking for more info, it helps them help the OP, instead of ignoring. If they didn't care, they wouldn't ask. On the DC board, and I'm assuming others, too, you often get people who say things like, "I'm going to be in the DC area for a few days. What's good?" I think some people who've been around enough respond by rote--where, when, how much, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        Agreed, Chowser. I think most folks here want to help, but details are needed. The South board covers a number of states that have towns and cities with the same name. Sometimes posters forget to specify which state they are interested in. Recently someone requested infomation on restaurants in Oxford. There are at least three Oxfords in the South (maybe more) -- Mississippi, Alabama, and North Carolina. I can only help with one of those three. My choices were (1) to spend several minutes "sticking to the particular query" as it relates to Oxford, MS, which may or may not be what the OP wanted; (2) post a quick question of clarification and then help if I could after being answered; or (3) ignore the post. Sometimes the OP has to help the helper.

      2. "Spiteful"? If someone is looking for a moderate priced restaurant, I'm not gonna recommend the most expensive places in town.

        1. As someone who regularly posts on the SOUTHWESTERN board, I will often ask for more information before answering a question. I would certainly like to think that I do not fall into your category "Some of the demands for specificity are positively hostile." when requesting more information. EX: the Phoenix metropolitan area covers hundreds of square miles. When a visitor says they'll be visiting Scottsdale, it is helpful to have a pretty exact location, whether or not they have a car since the town is about 50 miles long and our public transportation is virtually non-existent. It is also helpful to know what the OP is seeking -- moderate family food VS high-end romantic meal VS grease bomb dive VS corporate cocktail party. Oddly, some posters do not include the necessary relevant info. To my mind, it makes sense to ask defining questions before spending time on an answer that may be meaningless.