LINGUIST List 5.257

Sun 06 Mar 1994

Qs: Survey: Politeness on the Net

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  • Susan Herring, Politeness on the net

    Message 1: Politeness on the net

    Date: Sun, 6 Mar 94 04:09:13 CSTPoliteness on the net
    From: Susan Herring <susanutafll.uta.edu>
    Subject: Politeness on the net


    The following survey is part of a project I am conducting on politeness on the net. I'd appreciate it if everyone who reads this message could take a few minutes to answer and return the survey. All responses will remain strictly confidential. A summary of the results will be made available to respondents upon request.

    ======================================================================== NETIQUETTE SURVEY

    The following questions concern behavior on electronic discussion lists and/or newsgroups. Answer on the basis of your personal experience and reactions. Needless to say, there are no correct or incorrect answers.

    1. What behaviors bother you most on the net?

    2. What net behaviors do you most appreciate when you encounter them?

    3. In an ideal world, what one change would you most like to see in the way people participate on the net?

    SPECIFIC BEHAVIORS For each behavior listed below, place an X under the number that indicates how common the behavior is in your experience on the net, and your typical reaction when you encounter it. (If the behavior reminds you of a particular list or group, feel free to mention the group or otherwise comment.)

    rare common like dislike 1. Participants post very 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 long messages

    2. Participants post short 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 messages

    3. The same participant(s) 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 post frequently

    4. Requests are posted for 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 obvious or easily- obtained information

    5. Requests are posted on 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 FAQs or topic previously discussed rare common like dislike 6. Messages don't contain 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 explicit subject headers

    7. Messages contain typos 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 or spelling errors

    8. Messages are unclearly 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 worded or otherwise obscure

    9. Messages posted on topics 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 not directly related to focus of list/newsgroup

    10. Same msg. posted more than 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 once to same list/newsgroup rare common like dislike 11. Message cross-posted to 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 multiple lists/newsgroups

    12. Messages sent publicly 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 instead of to listserv or to a private individual

    13. Messages quote all of 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 message being responded to

    14. Elaborate signature files 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

    15. Messages contain personal 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 or intimate information about sender rare common like dislike 16. Messages compliment or 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 thank others for their messages

    17. Messages agree with the 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 content of previous msgs.

    18. Messages challenge the 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 content of previous msgs.

    19. Messages have humorous 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 content

    20. Messages are ironic or 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 sarcastic in tone rare common like dislike 21. Messages contain insider 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 references understandable only to members of that group

    22. Messages give advice to 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 other participants

    23. Messages sympathize with 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 other participants

    24. Messages are tentative or 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 overly polite

    25. Messages forcefully 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 assert sender's views rare common like dislike 26. Participants boast of own 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 achievements/importance

    27. Messages contain profanity 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

    28. Messages have racist 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 content

    29. Messages have sexist 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 content

    30. Participants "flame" or 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 express strong negative emotion

    OTHER 1. How many screens does a message have to be before you consider it "too long" (i.e. consider deleting it or skipping to the next message)?

    2. Would you favor limits on length and/or frequency of posting to public lists/newsgroups? If so, what limits would you propose?

    3. Put an X next to the statement that best applies: In my experience on the net, participants behave politely and appropriately a) almost all the time b) most of the time, with some exceptions c) about half of the time d) not very often e) almost never

    RESPONDENT BACKGROUND INFORMATION (important) 1. Age: under 25; 25-35; 36-45; 46-55; 56-65; over 65

    2. Sex: M F

    3. Ethnicity: White (non-Hispanic); Asian; African-American; Hispanic; Native American; other

    4. Native language if other than English:

    5. Academic position: Prof; Assoc. Prof; Assist. Prof; Instructor (non tenure-track); Grad student; Undergrad; academic staff; researcher; not associated with academia

    6. Field of specialization:

    7. Number of years using computer networks:

    8. Number of electronic discussion lists you currently subscribe to:

    9. How often, on the average, do you contribute to these lists?

    10. Number of newsgroups you read (regularly or occasionally):

    11. How often, on the average, do you contribute to these newsgroups?

    ===================================================================== Thank you for responding. Please send surveys and requests for summary of survey results to susanutafll.uta.edu or (snail mail): Prof. Susan Herring, Program in Linguistics, University of Texas, Arlington, TX 76019 USA.