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I'm familiar with a few other StackExchange sites (and other online communities as well). They all have their share of arguments but it has never reached the level I find on Japanese Language and Usage.

For what I have gathered, it is coming mainly from 2 users.

They are unnecessarily overly aggressive in their comments and have an ego the size of a Nike advertising.

Being valued assets of this website they have the last word but the numbers show that people are staying away from a site that otherwise might be helpful:

  • 818 total users of which 103 are more or less active.

    (1/8th of active members)

  • 461 visits a day (103 being from those "active" members)

  • 2.4 questions a day

It can be analyzed in 2 ways:

  1. People are afraid to ask questions
  2. There are too many experts (with different opinions) who don't need to ask questions

and last

  • 2.2 answer ratio

That's the experts engaging in arguments, while the other are too afraid to answer.

I myself will not engage in conversations with these people and I suggest others do the same.

As for the members targeted by this message, I suggest your review your attitude, make your point simply without forcing your opinion on others and let the community decide for itself.

After this post I'll probably be judged as a drama-queen as it is the fashion on internet when someone tries to resolve conflicts but others will maybe understand the message.


Oh I forgot... Incidentally, after exchanging arguments with a certain long time expert of this site I received 3 downvotes on some of my answers in a time interval that suggests retaliation. That's what I'm talking about...

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    Please do not blame those who pointed out that some of your posts are incorrect. – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 8 '11 at 15:39
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    @TsuyoshiIto: Looks like you have 1 supporter in all your comments (who is probably sawa, surprisingly) All my posts are verified and correct. Your arguments are: I'm native, I'm right. Well I'm half-native (you like it or not, that counts) and I'm right also. Competition is hard Tsuyoshi .......... – 龚元程 Nov 9 '11 at 2:19
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    Who verified your posts? I do not claim that my posts are verified because that is false. I am not saying that I am correct because I am native. But some of your posts just do not reflect the reality of the Japanese language. – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 9 '11 at 3:00
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    @TsuyoshiIto There is a difference between pointing out something is incorrect (a perfectly valid thing) and deriding users who get something wrong. Unfortunately, there are more than just two people doing the latter. It would greatly help if all parties would remember to be civil when there are disagreements. We're here to learn (or teach), not pick fights with each other. – Troyen Nov 9 '11 at 3:01
  • @Troyen: Deriding? Yeah, that is what 龚元程 is doing. What I did is point out his mistakes, and he took it personally, that’s all. – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 9 '11 at 3:03
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    @TsuyoshiIto: ok, everyone had their say and voted accordingly. Let's leave it at that. Both sides are at fault and I'm sure we'll find a way to avoid arguments in the future. – 龚元程 Nov 9 '11 at 3:29
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    FWIW, I'm very new to Japanese, about 5 months ago I saw this site spring up and my interest was piqued. With my current level of knowledge the most interesting posts revolve around resources for learning, but those questions have been pushed off of the site. If this site could foster my early learning I would probably use it daily, for now the site is far too advanced to be of any use to me. – jessecurry Nov 10 '11 at 20:50
  • @jessecurry: Thanks for the feedback, I hope others will see it. – 龚元程 Nov 11 '11 at 0:28
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The purpose of my post is not incendiary, though I acknowledge that it may appear so. My post is to help clear up the logic.

The most common error I see here is the logical fallacy of "post hoc ergo propter hoc". Simply put:

If A occurs, B occurs
Therefore A caused B.

There are several things to look out for here - possibility of other causes, a third cause causing A and B, etc.


The logical structure is roughly "A occurs, B occurs, C occurs. Therefore A caused C."

First off, the "A" in question is "They are unnecessarily overly aggressive in their comments and have an ego the size of a Nike advertising." These result in a few "B"s which allegedly causes the "C" (C being "poor" site statistics):

Some "B"s:

  1. People are afraid to ask questions

A second logical fallacy of "petitio principii" or in short to assume the initial point. Here the initial point of "afraid to ask question" is adopted without sufficient justification.

Assuming that low question count as a result of "people being afraid" is committing the fallacy of "post hoc ergo propter hoc". There can be many reasons why question count is low:

  1. Not enough time to commit to the site

  2. Did not think of posting any question (passive learning from the site as opposed to active participation)

  3. Simply because we do not have a high amount of active people. (It's a far stretch to assert that because of a few "unnecessarily overly aggressive" comments, people avoid the site)


There are too many experts (with different opinions) who don't need to ask questions

Again "petitio principii", there is no basis to assume that there is a group of people that do not need to ask any questions.


That's the experts engaging in arguments, while the other are too afraid to answer.

Again many possible reasons for not answering


I myself will not engage in conversations with these people and I suggest others do the same.

This is your opinion, I respect your opinion. You may suggest what others should do but that's about it.


Oh I forgot... Incidentally, after exchanging arguments with a certain long time expert of this site I received 3 downvotes on some of my answers in a time interval that suggests retaliation. That's what I'm talking about...

There are many causes for downvotes, primarily being:

  1. Poor quality of answer

  2. Poor readability (no formatting)

  3. Misleading

  4. Too vague

  5. Not answering the question

  6. Should be a comment instead of an answer

It is quite a far stretch to say that because downvotes occur, they are retaliatory. We must first consider the quality of the answer itself.

  • I give numbers (beta stats) and facts (people's attitude). If you don't see the relation between numbers and facts at least you can understand that both are very sad. In any case, you've completely missed the point of this post (see title) – 龚元程 Nov 8 '11 at 11:10
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    @龚元程 I'm totally there with you in that I see "unnecessarily overly aggressive" comments more than I'd like to in JLU. However, I agree with Flaw that no one can say for sure that people's attitude is the direct cause of the beta stats. Because numbers are excellent bait for sophistry and sidetracking, I think focusing on the feelings they're causing you and me 「:(」 will be of benefit for us all, with numbers mentioned as ancillary information at best. – ento Nov 8 '11 at 11:40
  • @ento: Yes, I admit that linking the stats with some events on the site was bad taste and misguiding (as in probably wrong or cannot be proven). Thanks for the interesting link. – 龚元程 Nov 8 '11 at 12:10
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    @龚元程 I agree that there is a general sense of unnecessary aggression and we should find a way to resolve that. My intention was to help see the issue for what it is so that wrong conclusions don't get drawn and we start blaming people when that's what we've been trying to avoid. – Flaw Nov 8 '11 at 12:33

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