Andrew McKay birminghamweb at
Tue Feb 12 12:13:48 GMT 2002

On Tue, 12 Feb 2002, Natalie Ford wrote:

NF> Also, I heard on a different forum that someone here thinks I got
NF> 'all sniffy' on the list.

The only thing I have seen was you replying to people who made unhelpful
comments with 'gee, that was an unhelpful comment'.  It's something I
don't bother doing because unhelpful comments are a fact of life on lists
and are usually sent with the best of intentions even if they are
unhelpful, pointless or wrong.

But, quite frankly, it should probably be done more.  That way people,
when asked for help, will stop throwing 'RTFM'[1] and other such unhelpful
help around when they don't know or can't be bothered to offer real help.

If someone regards being told that their advice is unhelpful as 'all
sniffy' then that's their problem and their definition of 'all sniffy' is
different from mine.  I, for one, advise you to ignore such people :)

NF> It would have been nice to be told personally that I was considered
NF> 'sniffy', but never mind.

Indeed.  But if they did that then you would probably be able to defend
yourself, make them look stupid, and give them a complex about the size of
their...hard drive :P


[1] As I've mentioned before in various fora, I don't have a problem with
RTFM per se, especially not to recidivist questioners who refuse to even
acknowledge that they should try documentation first, but I do have a
problem with the 'this trivial problem is not worthy of my attention and
as such I'm not going to bother wasting any time to help you with it but I
am going to waste my time bothering to pretend to help you by pointing out
what you already know which is that there is probably some documentation
out there which you clearly have not read' attitude that generally goes
with it.  Quite often when people are asking 'how do I do x?' they really
mean 'what do I have to read to do x?'.  The correct answer to that
question is not always obvious and RTFM is not always sufficient.</rant>

Andrew McKay <birminghamweb at>

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