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You can call me Hal.

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Rants and crit.
I'm not going to reply to the comments on the post where I linked to the tolerance discussion -- I didn't mean to start any discussion in my own LJ about it. I did comment on the linked post, so if you want my thoughts on the subject, go there. (Should have just disabled the comments on that one, I think.)

But I did want to expand on something that I said there, which is the difference between ranting and criticism.

Ranting has a strong emotional component, which is usually frustration. It's something that builds up in your gut until you have to blow off steam. Criticism is generally less emotional, and if it is emotional, it might even be an enjoyable feeling, like strong interest or enjoyment. (Not always, obviously.)

Ranting excludes the subject of the rant from the group the ranter belongs to. It's about saying: this person or these people don't belong with me. Criticism is more neutral, or might even be inclusive. Serious crit implies interest in the subject.

Ranting has an inflammatory tone. It's about getting worked up and getting others worked up too. Criticism is about making people think, which is harder to do if you're worked up. So it tends have have a neutral tone.

Ranting seeks agreement, the "amen!". Criticism seeks discussion, whether agreeing or dissenting.

And, of course: You rant. I criticize. *g*


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What was the original question?

I've discovered that one can discuss semantics until there's no more bandwidth left in all of cyberspace, and a discouraging number of people will still continue to equate *any* feedback that is not praise as a flame.

This applies to Usenet, moderated critique lists and fora, and private correspondence.

Someone will always read in sarcasm where none is meant, or interpret neutral commentary as hostile. Which is why I visit fandom_wank when I get bored. ;)

Re: What was the original question?

Honestly, half the time I'm surprised we can communicate with other humans at *all*.

And, of course: You rant. I criticize. *g*

You know, from what you were saying, I didn't think there was anything negative implied in your description of ranting--until you got to that and I said, "Wha?"

You made it sound (up to that point) like both ranting and criticisms are healthy reactions but distinct entities and shouldn't be mistaken for each other. Which seems right to me, as I rant and criticize at turns (and hope I can distinguish between the two).

Excluding the subject, provoking an inflammatory response, seeking the "amen!"--these are not useless. Ranting by definition should exclude the subject, as ranting implies "I don't like this and don't want to discuss it because I will not change my mind, so please do NOT show this to the individual about whom I rant; I would only like to know if anyone agrees so that I can, I hope, find out that it's not just me and feel relief."

Well, that was just the joke ending. :)

I don't think ranting is bad in and of itself. I don't disagree with you here at all. But rants are, like everything else, sometimes ill-timed or ill-placed.

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