Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Hello, everyone. I’m new to the site and have had a great time learning about eggcorns and posting a few of my own. But I have a question: How do you post so that you actually get responses from other users? If you look at the forum, in many cases there will be 10, 20, 50, or as many as a few hundred views of a topic, but in many cases there is only a single response, and and in some cases there are none.
It’s as if we post and then thud the posting is read but not responded to. I realized in considering this question that I have posted things such as “I’ve come across this usage” or “here’s one I found,” but maybe I need to be asking a question in order to get a response: “Have you ever heard this one?” or “Why do you think people say such and such?” or “Does this qualify as an eggcorn?”
I’m not sure. So I figured I’d ask…
This is a great place to post our eggcorns, and naturally, most of us are probably hoping our contributions eventually get placed in the actual database (“Pick me! Pick me!”), and of course most of us are word lovers, but it would be more interesting and lively if there were more responses to postings. So many postings have just a single response or no responses at all, and that seems to me in a way to defeat the purpose of a forum.
How can we get more responses to our postings?
Feeling quite combobulated.
I don’t know—post on a day when more people are online and checking? Post on a day when they’re feeling talkative?
Thanks for responding! :-)
Feeling quite combobulated.
JonW719’s post caught me a bit offguard. When the forum was first created about two years ago, people almost never responded to each other’s posts. We just didn’t really have a critical mass of regulars on the site, and people came and went a lot. That started to change quite a bit last summer, and now there’s a small but pretty enthusiastic little community here. Along with the greater number of regulars has come an increase in the number of responses. For me, the change is almost startling. For instance, on Contribute right now there are responses to all but 5 of the 30 posts on the current page—that’s an 83% response rate. And some of those posts have as many 7 responses. From my perspective as a 2-year veteran, that’s not just good—it’s almost unbelievable. As far as I can tell, we’ve never had a higher rate of interaction than we have right now. Sure, an even higher response rate might be desirable. But I’m pretty darn happy with the improvement we’ve seen over the last year.
And there are other things to consider. For example, speaking just for myself, I don’t want to start writing “Nice find!” or “That’s probably not an eggcorn” on every post I come across. I simply don’t have the time. But more importantly, I personally don’t want to post unless I think I have something substantive to say about a given thread. And frankly, it often takes people a while to get the hang of eggcorns; we’ve found that newbies who are told “That’s not an eggcorn” too often—however gently—have a tendency to disappear. And I also enjoy plenty of posts that I never respond to.
Moreover, I hope that members don’t come to feel that they have some sort of duty to make sure that every post here is responded to. Duty quickly becomes a chore, and people have many creative ways of avoiding chores. Forum members should do what they’re already doing—which is responding to posts when they feel they have something to say. If our pool of regulars keeps expanding, I’m pretty sure the response rate will keep rising.
yeah, it pretty much just comes down to whether or not further input is required. I respond if I think I have something to add, a different perspective, a disagreement, or if it’s an eggcorn that just delights me enough that I have to say “ha!! I love it!”
otherwise, I just read them and think “hmm… interesting,” and then move on.
That having been said, I too feel that “thud,” and I come back to see if my posts have been responded to over and over again, because its always fun to be engaged by someone who finds your find interesting or worthy of comment… and it is a little bit of a let-down when your posts just float downstream without being caught in any eddies of conversation.
sometimes it just be’s that way. If it’s a good eggcorn, it’s a good eggcorn and I hope it gets added to the list(a little excerpt of commentary would be nice, too). Perusing the collection is to word afficianodos what touring a museum is to artists. So there’s always that. Working here in the trenches must be a labor of love. Encouraging one another and discussing recent finds are great elements of the forum, but sometimes you have to go it alone. Take heart, the good parts can’t help but resurface.
Thanks, all, for your responses. I think booboo’s response perhaps hits the nail on the head: ’”I hope it gets added to the list.” Perhaps that is really what I was asking. We come up with what we think are great “finds,” and then we have no idea if it will ever be listed in the database. We list them, see them “thud,” and then wonder if anyone will see them again. By saying that, I don’t mean to diminish the forum; it is a wonderful depository. I realize there are already more than five hundred eggcorns in the database, and probably thousands of unique eggcorn topics waiting to be sifted through. I think we just want to know that someone has read one of our postings and thought, “Oh, that’s an interesting one!” or better yet, “YES, that one MUST be added to the database!” :-)
Feeling quite combobulated.