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are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

this post is likely to get me in trouble from just the question itself, but i'm wondering if there's a correlation between intelligence and curiosity/passion for food. of course intelligence can be defined in various ways, blah blah blah, but i find that the comments from hounds are generally good ones.

lately i've been spending most of my online board time split between chowhound and a pregnancy board, and i've realized it's so much more of a pleasure to browse the posts on this board. on my pregnancy board, my head hurts from reading through horrible grammar and particularly lack of punctuation. and it seems the commentary and questions from posters usually make no sense, add little to the discussion, or don't make me think "interesting!" or "good question" like they do here.

of course all boards have their share of people causing drama or not adding any value, but i'd say we all have a great community here compared to others i've seen!

any thoughts?

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  1. Dogs and bears are about equally smart, I think.

    1. The online forum intellect bar is pretty low. Even CH is officially a grammar, punctuation, and spelling-free zone - more's the pity.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        I think too many people are relying on autocorrect rather than actually "listening" to what they write.

      2. The mean Chowhound user is probably a decade or two older than the mean pregnancy forum user, for what that's worth.

        27 Replies
        1. re: lamb_da_calculus

          do you think so? i know from the pregnancy board i'm on, an age poll of 400+ people showed a distribution that made the mean probably around age 28.

          maybe it's just the younger moms-to-be that are the most active in posting nonsense on that board, but i don't think i'm much smarter now than i was at age 28, and at 28 i don't think i was much smarter than at 22 (at least not from a board/forum posting perspective!).

          i wonder what the average age of chowhound users is...

          1. re: jen223

            There have been a couple lengthy "how old are Chowhounds?" posts over the years, and based upon the self-reporting I would guess the mean age here is 45-50.

            1. re: cookie monster

              Yup, and...

              New 60 year old baby here and proud of it! Woohoo!!!

              Let loose the Hounds!

              1. re: breadchick

                Hey breadchick,

                Do I read that right? Did you just have yourself a B'day?

                1. re: DuffyH

                  My b'day was late December, but I'm still celebrating - ha!

                  1. re: breadchick

                    Well, let me help. I'll just tune up my voice....

                    Ok, here's your birthday song, from me to you, because you're just that special. :)

                    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes,
                    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes,
                    Hippo Birdy Deer breadchick,
                    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes!

                    The song sounds much better with icons, but I have problems making them appear in website text windows, so you'll have to imagine the symbols. Even worse is that finally, finally, I've found someone to sing to whose name works perfectly with icons.

                    Anyway, Happy Birthday from one new 60 to another! :)

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      I LOVE it - thank you very much, and you sounded pretty darn good - even without the icons!

            2. re: jen223

              Like Cookie Monster said, the average age here appears to be 40-50. Also, as someone who was on pregnancy boards just a year ago (The Bump, primarily) - yeah, those girls are cuckoo for cocoa puffs and not very bright. I don't think it means 'Hounds are smarter. I think it means those girls are dumber, imho.

              1. re: BostonLover

                i wouldn't have guessed that the average age is 40-50! now i feel like i'll take everyone's comments more seriously knowing that you have a few more years of experience with food than i do!

                the people on the pregnancy boards are definitely interesting… i have to admit sometimes i'll get hooked on a thread. it's almost like watching really bad reality TV.

                1. re: jen223

                  Oh my dear young lady. I was much wiser at 28 than when I was 22 and I am much wiser now than I was when I was 28. Smarter? Perhaps no difference unless one says that with age comes more experiences and with those experiences comes some wisdom with which one can know things better. As the old lament goes, if only I knew then what I know now. I know so much more now about so many more things than I knew when I was 22. At 22 I thought I knew everything. At 28 I recognized the fact that my 22 year old self didn't know anything. At my current (secret) age I now can claim to know a few things but recognize the fact that there is so much I will never know.

                  1. re: Bkeats

                    i didn't think i was young, but i guess if the average age is 40-50, i'm a baby at (almost) 33. i do agree that my palate is much more developed now than it was at 22 (being a poor college kid doesn't allow for much dining extravagance), but i don't know that my ability to structure thoughts and convey them has really increased much!

                    I do agree with being wiser, though. my bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 22-year old self was ready to conquer the world. by 28 i was already mostly jaded. now… i'm with you. there is so much i will never know, and i've (somewhat) learned to try to be happy with my state in life!

                    1. re: jen223

                      33. I remember 33. That's when my son was born. Whole new set of experiences started for me then and are about to start for you. Congratulations.

                      1. re: Bkeats

                        thank you! my first child (daughter) will hopefully be born healthy and happy in a couple of months! looking forward to getting wiser and gaining new experiences, even if it doesn't mean i'll get any smarter!

                    2. re: jen223

                      The mean age on CHOWHOUND is way higher than 28. I would say probably 50 as cookie monster has stated. There are many people who are retired on CHOWHOUND.

                      In addition, I think there is a difference of tenure. Most people who are interested in foods have been doing so for decades. You have people in their 50's and have been loving foods for 30+ years, so they tend to be pretty knowledge about many of the things they are talking about. On the pregnancy board, not only the people are a bit younger, but people don't come back and they don't keep thinking about pregnancy for decades. I cannot imagine many people who gave birth in their 20-30s and then decide to come back to the pregnancy board in their 60's.

                      As for the question of a dog vs a bear. Hmm, I think a bear and a dog is about the same, but I think a wolf is slightly smarter than a dog -- of course, that really depends on the definition of "smart"

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Depends on the dog.
                        Poodles are smart... in a devilish way.
                        Border collies are just... really, really responsible.

                        1. re: Chowrin

                          But wolves have larger brain size than dogs. :)

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Which reminds me of Mom's dear friend, a dog breeder, who once opined that all doberman pinschers will turn mean and attack people. She said that as they mature, their brains
                            continue to grow after their skulls, I kid you not, have stopped growing. The resulting pressure on the brain makes them go crazy and attack their owners.

                            Mom said "My daughter's got a degree in zoology, let's ask her." I very kindly suggested that this was not so, that such dogs would be at a reproductive disadvantage and be selected against, yada yada.

                            I don't think she bought it. :(

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              <She said that as they mature, their brains
                              continue to grow after their skulls...The resulting pressure on the brain makes them go crazy>

                              Ok, I doubt it. I think, if this is the case, the animals will just have seizure and die.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Oh, there are any number of reasons this can't happen. The lady was just cocoa puffs. There was no convincing her of the truth of the matter.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Actually, this notion is somewhat similar to syringomyelia (google it) which does cause increased pressure, pain, and neurological/behavioral problems, notably in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Surgery is required, but success is far from certain, and many owners opt for euthanasia. But that Dobermans turn on their owners by age 7 thing is a very old wives' tale, and very untrue.

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    <Surgery is required, but success is far from certain, and many owners opt for euthanasia. But that Dobermans turn on their owners by age 7 thing is a very old wives' tale, and very untrue.>

                                    I didn't even know there is a old wife tale like this. I wonder if this "tale" is suppose to make the breed more or less desirable. Sometime people are drawn to "dangerous" thing.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Indeed. But the third most likely dog to bite someone is a German Shepard. (of course, generally the kid deserves it).

                            2. re: Chowrin

                              Irish setters are smart, in a really dorky way.

                              1. re: Chowrin

                                And corgis will make you stay in the lines.

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                "In addition, I think there is a difference of tenure. Most people who are interested in foods have been doing so for decades. You have people in their 50's and have been loving foods for 30+ years, so they tend to be pretty knowledge about many of the things they are talking about. On the pregnancy board, not only the people are a bit younger, but people don't come back and they don't keep thinking about pregnancy for decades. I cannot imagine many people who gave birth in their 20-30s and then decide to come back to the pregnancy board in their 60's."

                                This is the most salient point, I think. The parenting board, maybe - but the pregnancy board, no.

                          2. Some of them certainly are. But there's also a small but mouthy contingent who seem to have fashioned their chef's hats out of aluminum foil.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: small h

                              Ah, but can they properly spell 'aluminum'? For the most part I think they can.

                              That's what the voices in my head tell me, anyway. ;)

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                But where are they from? English speakers on the north and right side of the pond have a different approach.

                                1. re: sr44

                                  Aw, crap, you've got me there. I should have used 'contingent'. Aluminum just made more sense, comically. ;p

                                2. re: DuffyH

                                  Repeat after me, al-u-mi-ni-um. That's the other and some would say proper way to spell and pronounce it.

                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                    Bkeats -

                                    Some would be right, it is the proper way, unless you're a cheeky American. Check out this article. What a tangled history, and fascinating, too.


                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      That's the proper way in most chemistry circles. But in ordinary usage by laymen, "aluminum" was established in the United States before the chemists decided differently. The person credited with its discovery preferred "alumium" by the way.

                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                        Alcoa says differently. And since I'm in pittsburgh...

                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                        Spelling it is no problem. But you folks on the western side of the Atlantic just pronounce it incorrectly.

                                    2. You're kind of posing two questions. Are 'Hounds smarter than your average forum poster? Probably. But are people who enjoy food smarter than those who don't? Most certainly not (in my purely anecdotal experience, of course!) I've met extremely intelligent people who have no interest in food and more run-of-the-mill folks who passionately love food.

                                      1. For the Chowhounds I've met (80+), I would say it's a remarkably intelligent bunch.

                                        1. I posted a thread asking if grammar-punctuation-usage affected your evaluation of a post. There was no consensus. Some said effectively expressed opinions seemed more valid, others pointed out that skill in English did not correspond to good food taste in any way. Especially for non-native English speakers. And without being snarky, since I could never be pregnant, I wonder how much raging hormones might contribute to a don't-give-a-ckuf-about-grammar attitude among the preggers. I would give them the benefit of the doubt.

                                          29 Replies
                                          1. re: mwhitmore

                                            I'm in the "effectively expressed opinions" camp. With the written word. Still, I admit that it's not easy for me to overlook 'their' for 'there' and similar misspellings. I'm working on it, recognizing it for the form of snobbism that it is. It is not an attractive trait.

                                            When speaking, I have a hard time with certain regional idioms, like the southern tendency to use "whenever" for "when". As in "Whenever I went to the store last week." Again, it reflects poorly on me that it bothers me, but there it is.

                                            Don't get me started on politicians who say "nucular" when they mean "nuclear". They have no excuse and deserve a special place in grammatical hell.

                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                              There's a book, "Going Nucular", by linguist Geoff Nunberg. If memory serves, it explains that people who mispronounce "nuclear" in this way do not actually perceive what they are saying. It's like the "merry/mary/marry" thing, which many people hear as homophones. My German-born mother could not hear the difference between "solid" and "salad". This makes me feel ever so slightly better that people who SHOULD know better (Jimmy Carter, et.al) say "nucular". When Michael Douglas said it in The China Syndrome, I assumed it was on purpose, to highlight public ignorance of the risks of nuclear power. But then he also mispronounced it on a talk show. Some years back, Whoopi Goldberg had a sitcom in which she owned a small Manhattan hotel. Loved that show - especially the scene where she's watching Dubya making a speech on TV, yelling at the set, "Say NUCLEAR! I know you can do it...say nuclear!"

                                              1. re: greygarious


                                                I give special praise to people who say nu-clear, 2 syllables. It sounds quite elegant. It may or may not be right, but it's sort of like things said with a British accent, they just sound more correct.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  I'm fairly convinced that Dubya's frequent mispronunciation and neologisms were intentional and affected.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                    Like the southern accent that the rest of his family doesn't have?

                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                  Whenever an old thread pops up I usually open up my posts to see what I wrote. Recently I saw that I used 'their' instead of 'there'. I don't usually make many mistakes like that and I was chagrinned at my error.

                                                  Before the many format changes on Chowhound the username was at the bottom of the thread. I would be reading a post and think this person really seems to agree with my thoughts on the subject. Then I would get to the bottom and discover it was one of my own posts written months earlier.

                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                    <Then I would get to the bottom and discover it was one of my own posts written months earlier.>

                                                    Ok, that's a total riot, and oddly endearing. But I'm calling the homonym police on the other thing right now, be warned. ;)

                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                      Don't you mean homophone? Ok, this is going to make me sound like a total wierdo, but I actually have a homophone collection. It started when I got bored sitting on a deer stand. Now I have over 200. My own rule is that I can't search for them, I have to just happen upon them. You would be surprised how many are just lying around. ; )

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          Started mine when I got board sitting on a dear stand. :>)

                                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                                      I share the unattractive trait. Want to get together some time? Form a 12 step programme for self-proclaimed snobs?

                                                      1. re: Chatsworth

                                                        <Form a 12 step programme for self-proclaimed snobs?>

                                                        Sure, but only if we lose the whole "12 step" thing. I mean, seriously, everyone's got one of those. And lose the snooty British "programme". We're aiming for snobbish here, not pretentious. Of course, it can't be anything new-agey like discovery, medical like recovery; well, you see the problem. It just can't be like everybody else's program, because we're better than they are.

                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                          How about a 13 step program? Or programme?

                                                          1. re: 512window

                                                            Well, maybe... but.... I hate steps. I like a gentle rise, or a nice slope. Maybe one of those?

                                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                                        "Your welcome."



                                                        and so on

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          Tidbit: "realtor" is not an allowable word in Scrabble, because it is trademarked.

                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                              That's too cool, Veggo, and just the kind of trivia I adore. :)

                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                "Tidbit: "realtor" is not an allowable word in Scrabble, because it is trademarked."

                                                                I did not know that!

                                                              2. re: sandylc

                                                                Exactly. I understand verbal tics that prevent us from pronouncing a word correctly, but the widespread mispronunciation of words like Realtor make me think it's just mental laziness.

                                                                I'll forgive Chipole-tay, because I always remember my 16th summer and my job at a local taco stand. This was SoCal in 1970 when Mexican food wasn't as widely available as it is now. I never knew just how many different ways there were to order things like tacos, enchiladas and burritos until I worked that drive-thru window and heard the tourists mangle the menu.

                                                                Yes, I was so much smarter than they were. I thought the geography of the west coast of North America went Mexico, California, Oregon, Canada. Washington being somewhere on the east coast where the Capitol was. It is known. :)

                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                  Things that grate (and are not great):

                                                                  'Could of'

                                                                  'Woof down'

                                                                  And Duffy? Has it ever occurred to you that some of us are not writing from America, and thus our spelling is simply correct, and not 'snooty'?

                                                                  1. re: Lizard


                                                                    < Has it ever occurred to you that some of us are not writing from America, and thus our spelling is simply correct, and not 'snooty'?>

                                                                    Oh, absolutely! That's why I added the 'snooty'. It's well-established on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean that anything spoken in an English accent automagically sounds more intelligent. This breeds envy in Americans, because we've always felt culturally inferior to our Brit brothers and sisters. So I brought out the snark. Forgive me, please?

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                      Duffy, although I risk angering people with this, I encourage you to consider the variety of English accents. There are a range of cultural assumptions affixed to each. But in general, I'd say it's a good idea not to condemn entire nations to cultural inferiority.

                                                                      1. re: Lizard


                                                                        Can we please not get into the significance of accents? It was a joke. My entire comment about a 12 step program was in jest, so please don't pull out one word to treat seriously. It was all meant in fun, every word.

                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                          I'm not getting into the significance of accents, but the variety for such a small place is amazing. I've worked in the UK and have worked for UK companies here in the states. So I have a pretty decent understanding of a fair amount of English accents. It was always amusing to have a conference call where there were Americans from a variety of states and a bunch of Brits who might be from Devon, Wales, the North or where ever and I would sometimes have to translate for the Americans because they couldn't understand what was being said.

                                                                    2. re: Lizard

                                                                      What? "...some of us are not writing from America, and thus our spelling is simply correct..."??????

                                                                      Care to expand upon this?

                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                        Sandy, perhaps you can read Duffy's comment, which acknowledges that there are differences in American and British spelling, and that makes certain choices less one of affectation than of correct (for the region) spelling.

                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                          I tend to the view that, when something is written in English, then English English is correct and that all other spellings are mere affectations ;-)

                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                            My favourite colour is silver. I am also fond of aluminium foil.

                                                                2. Don't have a theory but I think your observation is correct. I spent a lot of time on pregnancy boards and apps and my god! It makes me sad that some of those people are reproducing. Less so has a chow hound post slapped me in the face with WTF I can't understand whst this person is saying than pregnancy forums.

                                                                  1. There's a recent thread about what chowhounds wouldn't eat. I have a hard time believing that membership here really makes one a Chowhound. My point is membership here has little to do with passion about food. And one shouldn't mistake maturity for intelligence. People may get wiser, but they generally don't become more intelligent.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                      noun informal
                                                                      noun: chowhound; plural noun: chowhounds
                                                                      1. a very enthusiastic eater.

                                                                      *There is no second definition. It's military slang.

                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                        Worldwide D, if folks aren't here about food and their passion for food why do you believe they come to this website and join food discussions?

                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                          fad. It seems like there are lots of food/beverage hipsters.

                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                            There's a good deal I don't notice, WD. In a community with over a million members "a lot" is hard for me to fathom. There's all types, sure. And thank goodness. Sameness is incredibly boring.

                                                                      2. Jeni, I think a lot of the people here are more experienced in life's ups and downs than the women on the pregnancy board might be.
                                                                        At the average age of 40+, they're better traveled and better fed than most 28 year olds.
                                                                        I've been on two other forums in the past and gave up on them. One was for a particular health issue I have, and one was for Navy moms. The first one had a bunch of whiners, and the latter had a bunch of sob sisters.
                                                                        At least this bunch is happy!

                                                                        1. Maybe other people on this website are. I'm not. It's fantastic social media to me.

                                                                          1. I think there's a correlation btwn passion for all things food speak and needing to speak/be heard. In the years that I've been posting and reading, lurking and learning I've observed and enjoyed two things: a) no matter how many times the same idea is said, there's always a new way to say it and b) having a real NEED to speak about food daily is not all that uncommon..in fact it's very common.

                                                                            I don't care a lick about horrible grammar or a lack of skill. This isn't the English class forum, I am not paid to contribute here and I've never had an experience that left me thinking less of someone because they said THEIR when they meant THERE. I've been miffed over a temporary lack of tact, kindness or patience but that too shall pass. And I'm far from perfect.

                                                                            At the end of the day, I come to have fun, share ideas and learn.

                                                                            As for age or wisdom..I've learned as much from the young people visiting this site as I have from peeps in my age group. Collective wisdom has more value anyway.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              <At the end of the day, I come to have fun, share ideas and learn. >

                                                                              That's a sentiment we should all be able to embrace. Thanks for saying it. :)

                                                                            2. what's amazing to me is how many people (allegedly) post on CH while tipsy or drunk, and how high the overall bar remains for grammar, spelling, usage, and general coherence...

                                                                              more seriously, i think a lot of it has to do with this being a community where the expectations got set pretty high early on. it's a virtuous cycle. when people observe others around them flouting the laws of english, they tend to put less care into what they themselves write/publish in that community. likewise, when people observe others following those rules, it establishes an expectation that they will also follow those rules.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                I agree to a degree and I also believe the level of Moderation and style of Moderation within a given forum speaks volumes for the membership. Lazy or infrequent moderation is very evident on forums. Caring, careful and fun loving moderation also easy to spot.

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  this is very true! chow in general is a remarkably civilized island drifting in the cesspool of internet forums writ large :-) i really enjoy conversations with most hounds, i always learn something, and you're right about the moderation. sometimes it feels a little overkill, but in general it's very well-reasoned and appropriate.

                                                                                2. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                  I really hope you meant "virtuous cycle", rather than posting an auto-complete flub of "vicious circle", because I ADORE it and fully intend to commandeer it! As I did the computer-generated Cabbage Patch doll name, "Ramona Leona". Used it for a van calico DSH.

                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                    i did mean virtuous! opposite of vicious cycle; a virtuous cycle is obviously when good behavior begets good behavior :) or really, when good things/positive things of any kind beget more good things.

                                                                                3. Total theory, throwing it out, musing out loud: it could be the case that, in general (acknowledging there are always exceptions), being a "chowhound" is somewhat of a luxury, as it often (not always) entails shopping for higher quality expensive ingredients, eating out frequently and/or at expensive restaurants. As such, "chowhounds" may be of a higher socio-economic status than posters on other message boards. While this obviously does not equate to intelligence, it may indicate chowhounds have a higher level of education, on average, than posters on other message boards, which could translate into some of the tendencies you have observed (i.e., better grammar or punctuation, more insightful commentary or critical thinking, etc.)

                                                                                  ... There! Hopefully that was sufficiently qualified to prevent the flames!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                    Yeah, I could not agree more. Of course there are people across all SES who love food, but really, those who are able to post about/discuss The French Laundry (or even home cooking with expensive ingredients) are very likely to be college educated. And I agree again that this does not make a person intelligent, but it tends to cultivate somewhat less-casual writing. On the one hand I like it because I like good writing, but on the other there are a lot of people who either are not native English speakers or who are more relaxed in their style who have a great deal to contribute.

                                                                                  2. I've never been tested vs. a bear, but I did wrestle one once and lost. It could have been he had a better strategy than me.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                      Well, duh, they invented the bear hug...:)

                                                                                    2. Not smarter, just hungrier

                                                                                      I think Yogi was a hound given his constant raiding of picnic baskets

                                                                                      1. How would you compare the moderating on the two sites? I think one of the reasons Chowhounders seem so smart is that the site is moderated in a way that insists on courtesy but still allows factual smackdowns of people spreading or even believing ridiculous things. I'd imagine that an unsmart person who insisted on demonstrating one's unsmartness on these boards would quickly become uncomfortable and either leave or (preferably) read more and post less and thus become less unsmart.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                          you may have a point there. the other board has moderators, who have rules to follow (not allowing direct attacks, but allowing opinions, etc.). BUT there are no rules (that are enforced at least!) around drama-inducing, stupid, or incomprehensible posts. the moderators are posters themselves, and i find it hard to understand a couple of them as well.

                                                                                          and i'm not being a snob! i do believe in spelling and grammar, but i'm not going to make a big deal about it unless it gets to the point where i can't understand what's being said. or if i need to re-read over and over to understand what's being said. usually the culprit is lack of punctuation - run-on sentences can be especially painful, but i'm fine with fragments!

                                                                                          i just believe that trying to understand what someone is saying shouldn't have to be difficult if the topic itself isn't a foreign or complex concept!

                                                                                        2. I got me a degree in english but sometimes my writing don't be so good.

                                                                                          1. Oh, just realized one more thing. This will probably get me flamed, but a board full of pregnant women? OMG. Ok, I'm a male so obviously I can't speak directly to the experience, but based on first hand observation as husband, brother, brother-in-law, etc. to pregnant women, women lose their minds when they become pregnant. I can only imagine what happens when you have a forum full of pregnant women. You're all a bit crazy. Of course the content will be a not so measured discourse. If you think I'm crazy, go ask your husband/significant other. May the flames begin.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                              No flames, here, bkeats. You're absolutely right. I was not only a whack job when I was pregnant, I was clumsy and a klutz.
                                                                                              It's not only hormones that make pregnant women nuts. It's knowing there's a child living inside you and you have no control over what the hell it's got itself into now.

                                                                                            2. Being an old man , my interest in pregnancy boards is less than zero, so I'm unable to make a comparision with here.

                                                                                              But if the question posed in the OP is - "is this board a better community than others", then my answer is no.

                                                                                              It has its good points - most folk are interested in the subject, contribute wisely and are pleasant to other contributors. But so do others I know. And a couple do it better. But here, as with any other board, there are the complete arsewipes - you try to engage with their point....they continue to be complete arsewipes....eventually, you basically blank them.

                                                                                              Another board where I spend a lot of time has an "ignore" feature. You can physically blank out the arsewipes - you don't see their posts, they can't send you PMs, etc. It's great if used sparingly.

                                                                                              But active moderation might be a pain at times, but it generally makes for a pleasanter community. And I say this as someone who has received a temporary ban from another board for aggressive posting, the use of profanities and a refusal to apologise. All one incident I hasten to add - I'm not a serial offender. You don't believe that moderation is a good thing? Go try playing on an unmoderated politics board - but go with a very thick skin - there are some deeply vile people out there.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                It's great if used sparingly.

                                                                                                I agree and I also believe that the Recommend feature while well intended can fall into the same small rabbit hole.

                                                                                                I've never used the People I'm Watching feature and I don't know the CH's Watching Me. I def. learn more if the conversation takes place within the thread than offline in a PM, yahoo egroup or email space and now that the Recommend feature has been around a bit, I'm finding it playful more than hurtful but I miss the comments it replaced.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  I'm a regular contributor to the "What's for Dinner" threads and a big fan of the Recommend button. It goes some way to cutting down a lot of repetitive "Ooooh, that sounds lovely" responses. That's not to say that I don't like to tell folk that their dinner sounds lovely but I tend to only do so when I think it really is - if you see what I mean.

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    I do. However, those short impressions, plus one's and the like still happen and the feature is used site wide. I still read plenty of oohhs and so on.

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                      I feel like the oohs have dropped dramatically, as well as the use of the ubiquitous +1.

                                                                                                      I am generally in favor of the recommend button and in my head use it to "like" or "agree" most often.

                                                                                              2. I generally do not point out grammatical errors in online discussions. It does nothing to move the discussion forward.

                                                                                                I do have one exception. If someone mentions speeling, grammer and punctuation i will point out there own errors.
                                                                                                jen, I don't think you used a capital letter in any of your posts on this thread. ; )

                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                  Ha! I do generally prefer to write in all lowercase, especially if I'm in a hurry. Although right now I'm writing from my phone, which capitalizes on my behalf (although not always correctly). Let me be clear - I don't have issues with misspellings or grammar in general. It's only if it's so bad that it interferes with my reading of the post. I don't think lack of capitalization has this kind of effect, although if I were typing in all lowercase, I'd probably still capitalize names of books, etc. I think I actually capitalize in most of my Chowhound posts and this might be an exception! But note that I called out horrible grammar and punctuation, not capitalization!

                                                                                                  So please note, for the record, I don't expect people to write perfectly (I'm a chemical engineer by training, so this stuff isn't my forte by default!). I'm just pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to read posts here and also value the discussions, so I end up wondering why this is such a better experience than elsewhere and can only conclude that it's the people.

                                                                                                  1. re: jen223

                                                                                                    Isn't capitalization part of grammar?

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      Actually, capitalization is a part of mechanics, not grammar.

                                                                                                      (Meant with a wink and tongue-in-cheek.)

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        No, capitalization is a matter of style.

                                                                                                      2. re: jen223

                                                                                                        Of course you are correct, all of your posts are easy to read. I was just trying to have a bit of fun.

                                                                                                        I have read posts on other boards that are in "text speak" and I find them difficult to read.

                                                                                                        I do most of my posting using an iPod Touch.

                                                                                                        1. re: jen223


                                                                                                          My son was was texting me one day, trying to make lunch arrangements with me and his wife. He apparently got so caught up in what he was writing that he forgot to double check spellchecker. He gave us directions to an orgy.

                                                                                                          It took him two years to live it down. I saw to that. ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                            DuffyH - I do have to mention that this happened to a friend of mine with a different word. I don't remember what the word was, but when I tried to type in that exact word into my phone, my phone instead autocorrected it to something different. So I concluded that he must've used that other word often enough that his phone memorized his usage! I was going to ask you if you had to consider why that word popped up on your son's phone, but when I "Swype" the word "orgy"on my phone, I also get "orgy". Oh well, would've been interesting.

                                                                                                            At work, I generally proofread all my emails, but once I got a few laughs from typing out "tit" instead of "it". Actually, this happens quite often, but I usually catch it. Wonder what that says about me!

                                                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                                                          Agreed. Generally I do not point out grammatical errors in online discussions. It does nothing to move the discussion forward.

                                                                                                          But, didn't you mean spelling, not speeling JohnE. ?

                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ


                                                                                                            I think Jen wrote that comment. There's an uncapitalized "i" after "punctuation". ;)

                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                              No, John E. wrote it. Speeling. Eight comments up.

                                                                                                              John E. wrote: I do have one exception. If someone mentions speeling, grammer and punctuation i will point out there own errors.

                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                Some of the most common mistakes I make include common typing errors and thinking a small word like of but spelling or without going back to proofread the entire sentence. Or spacing out during a comment because the phone rang or the oven needed attention.

                                                                                                                In other words, I can spell and I imagine John E. can too but can we type?

                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                  i think he was making a joke. he spelled "grammer" wrong as well and used the wrong "there".

                                                                                                                  1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                    No kidding :) Oh for the love of chowhound do any of you think I can enjoy a joke too.

                                                                                                                  2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                    That was a joke, too, about Jen's self-admitted lack of capitalization. ;)

                                                                                                            2. My niece's husband uses the word 'are' for 'our' in the written language. I have never corrected him. I would bet his 10 year old twin daughters will eventually correct him.

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                With hands on hips and exasperated sighs, no doubt. Watch as "Dad" becomes a 3-syllable word.

                                                                                                                I was a 10 year old girl once, they're horrid, snarky little animals. But cute at the same time. I want one.

                                                                                                                With 4 grandsons, I have to settle for fart jokes. Not nearly as cute. :(

                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                  No? Go to youtube.com and search for 'beans'. It should be the first one with an American flag.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                    It's a little funny, but not that much. Then again, I'm the girl who doesn't see anything funny about the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles.

                                                                                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                    My daughter had twin identical daughters back in early November. Cute little beans, and pretty gassy actually.

                                                                                                                    (First grandchildren - 2013 was some year!!)

                                                                                                                    1. re: breadchick

                                                                                                                      Conga Rats!

                                                                                                                      *You'll need to imagine the icons again, please. Make them high steppers. Thank you. :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                        You are too cool for school, DuffyH!

                                                                                                                        I am definitely stealing Conga Rats..

                                                                                                                2. No. probably not.
                                                                                                                  I do post on forums where the average IQ is well into the 130s. Not here.

                                                                                                                  35 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                      1) use of extensive vocabulary.
                                                                                                                      2) Flexibility of thinking.
                                                                                                                      3) Amount of sheer stupidity and dunderheadedness
                                                                                                                      (you can not count the number of threads of completely irrational commentary on this site.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chowrin


                                                                                                                        First, let me admit that my IQ is lower than 130. I have not tested it, but I am very sure that mine is not 130.

                                                                                                                        Anyway, how does "use of extensive vocabulary." affect IQ?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                          Habitual use of extensive vocabulary is a proxy for extensive reading, which is a VERY GOOD proxy for extelligence, and a more moderate proxy for intelligence (mostly cultural, I'll admit, as we say "smart kids read and dumb kids play sports" -- if we said the other way around, it wouldn't be nearly as good.)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                            I both read and played sports when I was a kid... what does that make me?

                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                              Me too. I was also a college athlete who was literate, and I graduated, and I was already a decent cook, thanks mom.

                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                This is odd to admit.... I am neither. I was not very good in sport and worse in reading.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                  I don't know if I should ask this, but is English your first language? If you are saying you were not a good reader in English, and it is not your first language, then there is nothing you need to admit.

                                                                                                                                  I remember that Reading was my favorite part of grade school. There were boxes of big cards with stories on them. We would read them and then take a comprehension test. I actually really enjoyed doing that in school. This started in the third grade. At the same time we started doing division in arithmatic and I really did not understand what was going on with division until a couple years later.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                    John E.,

                                                                                                                                    I loved those reading cards! In high school I had to retake Algebra 2, then in college I aced calculus. Although to be fair, today I recall nothing beyond geometry. I've forgotten all the higher math I ever took, quite happily. I did not like it one bit. I only think I did well for fear of having to repeat another math class.

                                                                                                                                    I think I might be too visual for higher math to take up residence in my brain.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                      The first day of my college algebra class we took a ten point quiz. If we did not get at least 7 correct, they advised us to take a lesser class. I got 3 correct and decided to stay. Nothing like a challenge to get me motivated.

                                                                                                                                      I had a roommate who was a math whiz but could not fry an egg or cook a chicken.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                    I loved to read and was very competitive at mental games. I was also good at sports* but couldn't have cared less if I won.

                                                                                                                                    *sports being anything that didn't require running or sweating. Like archery and speed skating (ice).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                      I was a 190# college wrestler. I am quite sure there is not an athletic sport that involves more sweat.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                        Based on the state (and smell) of SO's hockey equipment... hockey might win. Weird since it's played in the cold.

                                                                                                                        2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                          In my experience, there are truly some bad science here. What is even more amazing is that some people post crappy science and you get a bunch of people dancing around them. This shows not only people are spilling craps, but other people cannot distinguish truths from fictions.

                                                                                                                          Of course, science knowledge does not equal to IQ, but there are just some real bad things here.

                                                                                                                          Just to put all things in perspective, I like to mention Richard Feynman. Feynman who won the Nobel Physic prize and a highly celebrated American scientist -- very charismatic I may add, was also the one given in charge to investigate Space Shuttle Challenger Investigation because of his reputation. At the time, the US government needed to have a highly respected scientist to head the investigation without any sign of cover-up. Feynman, not only highly intelligent, also has a reputation of incorruptible.

                                                                                                                          Richard Feynman has a IQ of 125.

                                                                                                                          Is the average IQ of people here 130?

                                                                                                                          *Correction: Feynman was not the head of the investigation as GH1618 pointed out*

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                            Feynman was not head of the investigation, but he was on the commission. The chairman, if memory serves me correctly, was William Rodgers.

                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                              Thanks for the correction. I appreciate it. My bad.

                                                                                                                              I still want to point out that he was selected due to his reputation. Sorry.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                              The smartest guy I know tests as an idiot on the IQ scale. (literally, below 50 pts.). I take the whole numbers thing with a grain of salt.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                  Learning Disabilities, MamasCooking.
                                                                                                                                  And getting very, very good at using your strengths wisely.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                    I am a retired Psychiatric R.N. Chowrin and very familiar with developmental disabilities etc. I understand what you are saying about your friend. Funny how we all think we are the smart ones then we meet special people who teach us a thing or two:)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                      He majored in physics in college, and can do math in his head quicker than I can, despite the dyscalcula (okay, so he's using two's complement. it's the only way he's ever been able to do math).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                        OK you are not making any sense now. Just a heads up.... making fun of people with developmental disabilities is ruthless so maybe you should just stop.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                          I'm not making fun of anyone, just noting that for folks with Learning Disabilities (not developmental dysfunction), IQ tests don't provide a reasonable gauge of how smart they are. (also, i'm pretty sure he didn't score that low on ALL the IQ tests he's ever taken.)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                            Oh ok Chow thanks. I thought you were mocking him because an IQ of 50 is incongruent with majoring in anything in college let alone physics:)

                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                I once attended a conference on the brain, and a doctor giving a lecture said that his research showed a fundamental trait found in people with high IQ: they compartmentalize what they know they know about and what they know they don't know about.

                                                                                                                                So someone with a lower IQ easily confuses the two and will take a little bit of knowledge and extrapolate all kinds of meaning which doesn't necessarily exist. Nutrition and health are two common areas where one kernel of truth often gets stretched to the breaking point.

                                                                                                                                On "This American Life" they called the phenomenon Modern Jackass. This is a tremendously funny and beautiful episode:


                                                                                                                                1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                  :) So true, and you and I see that quiet often here as well.

                                                                                                                                  partially hydrogenated oil!

                                                                                                                                  < Nutrition and health are two common areas where one kernel of truth often gets stretched to the breaking point.>

                                                                                                                                  Yeah. Sometime people made up their minds and simply just randomly look up information. This is not scientific debate. It is a political campaign debate. Scientific debates are about seeking truths. Political debates are about winning.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                  Chem, assume you've read "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" ? Great book.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                    :) Actually, no. I have seen the book on a couple of my friends' desks when we were students, but I have probably only read 2-3 pages of it.

                                                                                                                                    I am still working on the my "Feynman's Lectures on Physics"

                                                                                                                              2. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                                                In order to impress a girlfriend, I once paid someone to take an IQ test for me in a Pakistani restaurant.

                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                  Have you ever considered becoming a latex salesman?

                                                                                                                                  To the OP - no no no no no
                                                                                                                                  although our children are all above average.....

                                                                                                                                  1. re: 512window

                                                                                                                                    My dream is to pretend to be an architecht. Have you seen the addition to the Guggenheim?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                      Alas, I've never seen the original, much less the addition. I once explained to someone that I was the division coordinator for the soccer league - he wanted to know if he could handle multiplication.

                                                                                                                                      However, you strike me as someone who might pretend to be a marine biologist.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: 512window

                                                                                                                                        It WAS a Titleist.

                                                                                                                                        To keep this related to food, I'm also lactose intolerant. I have zero patience with dairy products.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                          < I'm also lactose intolerant. I have zero patience with dairy products.>

                                                                                                                                          That totally cracked me up!. That's saying a lot, too, because I've got a 153 IQ and it takes quite a bit of funny to make me snort a cold beverage out my nose.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: 512window

                                                                                                                                          I don't know his symbol looks like an owl, so I think he is an ornithologist. I wonder if ornithologist has a higher or a lower percentage of being a lactose intolerant.

                                                                                                                                2. Not at all. Many seem to feel they are but no we are not.

                                                                                                                                  1. It is very unlikely that people who are curious/passionate about food are more "intelligent" than the average bear. It may be that they are more cultured and educated than the average Joe. These things tend to be associated with higher levels of wealth, not higher intelligence.

                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately, "foodies" are often also associated with higher levels of snobbiness.

                                                                                                                                    1. If I may weigh in at this relatively late date:

                                                                                                                                      I suspect that people who obsess about food, as we CH'ers do, God bless us, tend to be folks with the discretionary income to spend on top-flight ingredients, restaurants, cookbooks, cooking tchotchkes, etc, etc, etc. That implies a certain level of income if not affluence, and that, in turn, implies a certain level of education and, by extension, intelligence.

                                                                                                                                      And even regarding the more budget-minded among us, I would suspect someone with the awareness and sophistication to peruse these boards would, again, be someone with a bit more education and hence maybe a few more IQ points.

                                                                                                                                      Which is not to say that all smart/educated/affluent people are Chowhounds -- I know plenty in that category who eat to live rather than live to eat. Poor them.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: medrite

                                                                                                                                        LOL! Whatta mouthful of...you know what:)