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3:18 AM
"rage quitting" is not allowed, what @_@?!
@jgn I don't think you need to use blockquote formatting when it's just a short phrase or something. I think when it's maybe 2+ sentences long, blockquote formatting is preferred. Blockquote formatting also does help rules citations stand out from the rest of the text. That said I don't know the context here.
@jgn I mean, you can quit, and even delete your account. You just can't delete all your contributions to the site (including potentially high-quality ones) when you do.
You aren't allowed to delete your content??
You can't delete questions that have answers (or some similar algorithm) as it's not solely yours. Also deleted content (not deleted comments) is viewable by members with 10k+ reputation
Q: How can I delete my account?

SauronHow can I delete my Stack Exchange account(s)? Also, What happens to my content? Can I request it be deleted as well? What if I'm suspended, rate-limited, or banned from posting questions or answers? What will happen to my votes? Will other users be impacted? Why wasn't my account deleted immed...

See under "What happens to my content? Can I request it be deleted as well?"
I have no ownership of content posted to SE?
3:22 AM
Q: Who owns the content I post?

Does Stack Exchange own the content that I post? What do I do if I want all of my posts and my user account deleted? Return to FAQ Index

I'm one of those weirdoes who reads those codes before agreeing
Me too, I missed the part where SE can control your content despite you being owner
I think that's a pretty crazy interpretation of what content is
This is a contribution site. You contribute to this site being a storehouse of knowledge.
That's how I like t othink about it anyway
Basically, yeah
If you think that's crazy, go read anything about Facebook
3:26 AM
@Medix2 It give the phrase "Don't post personal stuff on social media" a whole new meaning.
I mean, when they allow 3rd party video games (though often in those game's own EULAs) to view your likes and posts...
@Medix2 But facebook lets you delete your content. They don't keep all your images up with an anonymous name
Even facebook wouldn't dream of commandeering peoples "contributions" under the idea that their "content" is what they typed before hitting submit!
If you find significant issue with this I'm really not sure what you can do or what to say. Stop using the site if it's that bad
Have they ever made an official statement to that effect? The interpretation by paul-dixon doesn't make any sense with how I've seen CC licenses used before
Even CC lets you delete content @_@;; (CC itself that is, not the license)
3:43 AM
@jgn You can delete it, but they can share it at will
@Ben Correct. But Facebook, CC, etc generally consider the digital copy to be "yours"
AS well as use your information to target you with specific ads etc
But SE seems to think that the digital copy belongs to them, which seems suspicious at best.
On SE though, the content isn't really "yours", its information generated about other things.
I think it's very questionable as to whether hitting submit equals licensing content
3:46 AM
And that's also why at times the information you do post needs to be deleted, like the "5 ft square" photo I posted on the "exceediingly long jumps" question
By hitting submit, you are agreeing to allow your contribution to be added to the contributions of the site. If you own the content, outside of this site, then it's your choice as to whether or not you are willing to contribute that
SE is a Q&A site - for instance, if people could delete high-quality, accepted contributions on a whim, it can end up leaving popular questions without an answer because someone got upset with the site for some reason or another (this is just one example).
Semi-relevant XKCD:
@Ben The difference is that hitting submit on any other site doesn't mean you stop owning the content
4:05 AM
On any other site
So it seems counter intuitive that SE would work in such a vastly different way without ever saying so, except in a random meta by a random user :I
Surely they have a duty to say "unlike every other website that you are familiar with, your content is what you write in the text box, once you hit submit it belongs to us." It's really misleading to then say "users own their content" without a footnote saying "their copy of the content" doesn't exist.
@jgn Assuming you mean the answer to "How can I delete my account", Jeff Atwood (founder of SE) posted the original version, and it has gradually grown via edits from other SE staff and knowledgeable SE users - you just don't see their usernames on the post because it was posted as "community wiki" back when that was the common convention.
If you mean the "who owns the content I post" question, all the answers are indeed posted by community members rather than staff, but they do point to the Creative Commons license.
The first paragraph of the Tour:
> With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about role-playing games.
A related meta about a specific instance of a user vandalizing their own post (not deletion), with an answer by one of the mods of StackOverflow:
A: What to do when OP defaces his question?

Brad LarsonThis happens to be a user that we've been dealing with for the last few days. They post a question, then immediately deface it once they have an answer. This is a common pattern we've observed with students who want to hide their homework from their teachers and classmates. Usually, I recommend ...

4:19 AM
> People asking questions can't just take their ball and go home. Questions are being asked not only for the original poster, but for many future visitors to the site.
(from that answer I linked)
The information has all been provided, it's just up to you to read it first, since there's no way to make you
(Terms and conditions can speak from experience)
@V2Blast If that were actually true then people could delete their content. However it seems as if people are not allowed to delete it, so clearly they do not own it.
@Ben It isn't a question of license, it's a question of ownership
@V2Blast Like I said, even CC itself allows you to delete content......
@V2Blast It's not really clear how much is "official" when the highest contribution is 33% by "Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog"
Jeff's original post didn't mention anything about SE owning all content as soon as people hit submit.
Apparently this isn't the first time SE has used licenses in illegal ways too, 3 months ago they changed the license @_@;;;
1 hour later…
5:55 AM
@jgn Of course one is always allowed to delete their own content, but having been given a CC licenced copy of the content, does CC really give the copyright holder the explicit right to revoke the licence or force others to delete their copies of the copyrighted work?
@kviiri Deletion is not the same as revoking a license
@jgn Okay, so what do you mean by CC permitting deletion?
@kviiri If I create a document, license it with CC, then delete it, that is totally fine
This is 100% acceptable by CC
by any version of CC.
Deletion is completely different to revoking a license.
Of course, but isn't that kinda obvious? No license limits whst the copyright owner can do with the work. Licenses are for non-owners.
Well, you say it's obvious, but you and others have confused the two
5:59 AM
I dom't think I have.
but the real problem is that SE does not allow users to retain ownership of their data.
I mean, we're not talking about the copyright owner's right to delete the content itself, but to force SE to delete their licensed content.
@kviiri Perhaps you haven't, in which case I'm confused as to why you would reply to a comment about deletion with a reply about revoking licenses.
@jgn Because that's what it is. If you give SE a copy of your work to use with a license, and then request that they stop using the work in a way that the license permits... it's revoking the license. Or attempt to.
Only if you do not own your data.
6:02 AM
That's not how it works?
I mean, let's drop the SE for a while and consider a simpler case. Suppose my friend gives me a copy of an article they wrote, under CC. Can they later call me and tell me to delete it?
(I mean, in a legally binding sense)
Depends what you mean by "give"
did they grant you ownership of that copy?
Or did they just hand it to you?
They gave me a CC licensed copy of their work.
If they said "can you take a look at this?" and gave it to you, then they absolutely have the right to ask you to delete it
Again, did they grant you ownership of that copy?
@jgn No, a CC licensed copy of the work.
You are missing the question
If I hand you a pen, it is still my pen
If I say "here, you can have this" then its yours
They are two different things
So, when you gave the copy to your friend, did you give them ownership?
"Give" is ambiguious
6:07 AM
Why is ownership relevant?
I mean, ownership is highly specific and usually somewhat immutable.
Because that is all that matters
No it isn't.
No matter the license, whoever owns the copy has the right to delete it
Yes it is
So in your mind, if I let you borrow my pen, it's yours forever?
As soon as someone hands you something it belongs to you?
6:09 AM
To continue with the pen example. If you hand me a pen with a legal license that says "you hereby have the right to hold and use this pen in these ways..." and that license does not stipulate that you can revoke it under certain circumstances, you cannot call me later and tell me that I must stop using it, even if it is your still pen.
Hang on, that's a strawman
Same with the article. If you write content and give it to me under a license that does not contain a revocation clause --- no, you may absolutely not request me to delete my copy of it just because you own it.
Am I handing you the pen and having you agree to the license? That is vastly different to just handing you a pen that has a license
Can we drop the pen example?
I mean, concrete objects and copyright do not exactly mix.
We can, but you brought it up............
Back to the article?
6:11 AM
@jgn you started with the pen example, not me.
@kviiri You mentioned it and I replied direclty to it :/
Look, ownership of the copyright is not the same as ownership of the object
If you buy a book, its yours, but the copyright belongs to the author (or publisher, etc)
Yes, that's all true.
So if I hand you MY COPY of MY ARTICLE then you do not own it in ANY SENSE
You have 0 rights to it
However, if I make a copy and transfer ownership of the copy to you, then it is YOUR COPY but still I have copyright
This is the very basics of how ownership of objects and intellectual property works.
So far seems sensible.
Owning an object is not the same as owning a copyright
So if you read my chat messages, you are reading a copy OWNED by SE, but I own the COPYRIGHT
6:14 AM
Yes. So now to SE. When you post an answer to Stack Exchange, you give them a copy of your work licensed under CC.
You do not give them a copy. You give them the original, they make a copy, and destroy the original
Thereafter you own the copyright, but not the content
"destroy the original"?
According to SE your ownership ends when you hit submit, if not before
That doesn't make any sense.
@Medix2 Presumably the original exists in the POST if not in the form
@Medix2 Whatever the case, by the time it gets to any other user, it is a now a copy owned by SE
6:16 AM
(never minding that the concept of "the original" is a highly dubious concept in digital media)
@kviiri It isn't. Copyright for digital media is quite mature
Keep in mind that the vast majority of copyrighted material is digital...
That's besides the point of whether the originality of a particular representation of the work is of any relevance, though.
@kviiri It is not. The fact that SE is holding a "copy" is how they justify not allowing users to delete their content
There's no meaningful difference in me composing the answer in, say, Notepad, and then copy-pasting it to SE.
If they were holding the "original" then they have no right to prevent users from deleting it
6:18 AM
They are not holding the original. Anything you send them existed on your computer before theirs.
And "original" or not, I don't really see how it applies to their rights given anything you give them is given under the CC license.
You are on real shaky ground there. I think you should do some research about copyright and digital content.
If that kind of logic was widely accepted then it would mean death to anyone who works with digital medium
Can you point me to any resource which explains in what sense "originality" is important in text-based digital media?
@jgn You'd be much better off (and much nicer) explaining why the difference matters than saying research ought to be done
And any precedent that works committed to online services can be considered as "original", or any precedent that it actually changes how licensing works?
@Medix2 Because like I said, it's how SE justify their hostile actions
6:24 AM
With what you're saying it sounds more like you ought to speak to an actual lawyer
@kviiri If you google something like "copyright digital ownership <your country>" you will probably find something
Well, assuming those here aren't lawyers...
@Medix2 Why is that?
@jgn I'm not going down the "google it yourself" alley. If I fail to find anything confirming your opinion, you can pin that on me just not googling good enough. Back up your own claims, please.
If you believe they are justifying wrongly hostile action, then prove it? Learn the actual legal reason why SE can do whatever it is you feel they shouldn't be able to do
6:26 AM
@kviiri How strange that it is suddenly my job to convince you despite you being the one who disagreed with me. I refuse ;)
If it's actually illegal, you'd need a lawyer to explain so. If it is not illegal, a lawyer would (easily) explain so
@Medix2 I did google SE's actions, and it turns out they have already done A LOT of illegal stuff to do with licenses. The bottom line is that they are a big company, and they don't care :/
[citations desperately needed]
@jgn Well, yes. Traditionally the burden of proof is on whoever makes these claims. Especially when it is accusing another party of illegal action
@Medix2 If you google "cc 4 license stackexchange" or "mit license stackexchange" you will find examples
6:28 AM
To be clear, I have absolutely no idea what kinds of misconduct there might have been, but I think your earlier statement that CC license somehow gives the copyright holder the right to "delete" content is not true in the way you think.
You gave SE a copy of your work to use under an irrevocable license, you can't demand them to stop using it unless they use it without complying to the terms in the license.
@kviiri Even if your content is under CC you can delete your content
@kviiri This is how SE see it, yes.
Deletion is not revocation, they are unrelated
To divert form the specifics of law and what is and isn't allowed in a legal sense, since I am sure that whomever might be in control of the SE domain would be more than happy to discuss it with you, I'd like to go back and paint a picture for you.
@jgn The deletion you mean is you telling Stack Exchange to delete their copy. It is revocation.
There is a community of people, and one person has a problem. They bring everyone together, and pose their problem to the group.
The group then brainstorms together, and pose some solutions.
The original person then chooses the advice that they feel is best, and that's the issue sorted.
On another occasion, the group reconvenes, and another person has the same problem, everyone says "oh, we gave the same advice last time".
@kviiri No, I mean deletion.
6:40 AM
@jgn Well, you have no legal basis to demand others to delete stuff if they have the right to use them.
@kviiri You are confused again. Let me repeat what I said before
"Owning an object is not the same as owning a copyright"
"Look, ownership of the copyright is not the same as ownership of the object
If you buy a book, its yours, but the copyright belongs to the author (or publisher, etc)

So if I hand you MY COPY of MY ARTICLE then you do not own it in ANY SENSE
You have 0 rights to it
However, if I make a copy and transfer ownership of the copy to you, then it is YOUR COPY but still I have copyright"
@jgn Stack Exchange owns a copy of each post and has a right to use it by CC.
@kviiri Yes, the original doesn't exist as far as they are concerned, they have a copy they produced of your original which is licensed under CC
@jgn They have a copy you produced of your original.
@kviiri I typed this message in to the form on their website that they own and hit submit. At what point did I 'produce a copy'?
6:44 AM
Ok, I think this is getting a bit beyond what the chat is meant for. I'd suggest this gets moved to somewhere else.
I'd just suggest consulting a lawyer if you really feel this is breaching something
@jgn You created a copy when you clicked "submit". (But I think that is besides the point --- I still have no belief in copyright being significantly different for an "original" and a "copy")
@Medix2 this.
@Medix2 I mean, it's obviously unethical and slimey, this is territory that not even Facebook treads. I'm not sure if it's illegal, but even if it is then there's not much point suing them to get your content removed.
Then why discuss it?
If you don't like the sites policies, don't use it
I at least will fully and gladly allow SE to have my content and want them to
183 messages moved from RPG General Chat
6:48 AM
:52799130 Because V2Blast brought it up and I was pretty surprised that they would do this
2 messages moved from RPG General Chat
@jgn Hello, Sonic here. Yes, I have contributed mostly to that FAQ you mention. However, most of it was actually from other posts made by staff members across the network. For many years, SE has passed the responsibility to keep these FAQs up to date to Meta users. In recent times, I'm the one who has done so most of the time...
@jgn I don't think it's that unusual. Take Wikipedia for example, imagine what a mess that would be if users had the legal right to force Wikipedia to remove user-submitted content.
@gparyani I have no problem with that, just that it makes it hard to know what is official. I understand that's the way SE runs, and that's fine, it just makes things very difficult.
6:51 AM
@kviiri That is a very different situation.
@jgn In what way?
Also, I haven't scrolled up this chat transcript, but if this is about SE removing your attribution upon deleting your account, see:
A: Licensing question: Should Stack Exchange delete all my questions and answers when my account gets closed?

Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hogNo, by deleting your account, you are also requesting that your attribution be removed from all of your posts, which the CC licenses (both 3.0 and 4.0) allow. You are notified of this fact at the time you delete your account, so there is no license violation on SE's part by keeping your posts he...

@kviiri Obviously wiki doesn't have a username attached to every contribution. If you look at a wiki page you don't know who made what contribution.
@jgn Neither do we. We have lots of userXXXXX's rolling around.
But apart from that, I might be wrong, but the only significant difference is convention: by convention Wikipedia articles have lots of edits that are not from the original author, our site has some but typically way less.
You don't need to have a nonymous account on here
6:55 AM
@jgn SE changed the license from 2.5 to 3.0 in 2010. There were no complaints at the time.
@kviiri And in your mind that is the same thing? I don't know if you are being argumentative on purpose or not but the way wiki and SE run is so vastly different...
@jgn Yes, why wouldn't it be?
@gparyani Jeff said the same thing when there was the controversy about the change to 4.0, users pointed out they shouldn't have allowed it to happen then either :/
Both are procedural pseudonyms for telling apart unregistered users. The method of generation is of course different but I don't really see how it is relevant to copyright in the slightest.
@kviiri You are seriously saying that right now in this chat seeing names next to text is the same level as ownership you see on wiki when you see absolutely no names?
6:59 AM
@jgn I'm not saying that, no? I'm saying that our site, like Wikipedia, has "anonymous" contributions.
@kviiri That has absolutely nothing to do with what we are talking about...
@jgn Well, you said that Wikipedia is somehow greatly different to our site, and explained it by saying that Wikipedia doesn't have an username attached to every contribution. What did you mean by it?
I did not say "somehow", I gave specific explanation.
Yes, and I'm failing to understand it.
@kviiri I think they meant, "there's no highlight on every article indicating the specific parts of an article that were contributed by specific users".
7:02 AM

Usernames in SE are front and center, with icons, rep, badges, date posted etc.
If you look at a wiki article, you can't even see the user names. If you open up the edit history, you will see usernames, but even so you can't see who did what easily.

There are vastly different expectations of ownership in wiki and SE
If you are an avid wiki user, perhaps you can point out "that's my edit, I put that in!". But on SE anyone can spot your post. It has your name and avy right there.
Ownership of questions and answers is a HUGE part of SE.
Yes (to both), hence my point on convention earlier. If we had a culture of "everyone edits everything" like Wkipedia does, we would have a similar situation as they do. But is that culture enough to somehow alter how copyright works?
@kviiri It is. It's all about expectations.
On Wiki there is no expectation that your specific edits to random parts of the article are "yours". On SE not only are they tied to your name, and avatar, there is an entire rep system behind it. Who made it is as visible as what is said. This is very different to wiki.
A quick factoid: CC BY-SA was briefly branded as "CC-Wiki", in order to push its adoption on collaboratively-edited platforms such as wikis. If it couldn't legally be applied on wikis in the first place, why would they do such a thing anyway?
@gparyani It can be, that's not the issue.
@jgn But do you think someone who writes the original of the article has the right to request Wikipedia to delete it?
7:05 AM
@kviiri No.
The way wiki looks and works is not the same as SE.
I am pretty convinced we have now veered out from where copyright law ends and are now discussing particular moral viewpoints instead.
Which is not a bad thing, but it's a discussion where I don't have much to contribute.
If Wiki changed to say "Hamburger - posted by jgn 1/2/2003 rep 100k 1 gold badge 2 silver, etc" then it would be reasonable to assume that jgn can delete it
@kviiri On Wikipedia, authors of an article can actually request its deletion provided there have been no major edits by others. See enwp.org/WP:G7
Likewise if SE changed to remove visibility of ownership and instead of discouraging collaboration they encouraged it, then there would be no expectation of ownership.
@gparyani Yeah, but it is a service provided by Wikipedia, "goodwill" so to say, not something they have to provide.
(in the legal sense)
7:10 AM
@kviiri Absolutely, I agree. Wiki is doing something that perhaps disadvantages them, but is the ethical and "good" thing to do. They could legally be hostile to the users, but they choose not to. Even if it wasn't legal, it would be hard for users to challenge them.
I'm not super well-versed with the US copyright law, but I think most Wikipedia edits can't actually even be copyrighted by at least my country's law.
They are.
Copyright is automatic
@jgn Copyright is automatic but applies only to creative works
*(for almost every country)
@kviiri No, it applies to all intellectual property. Regardless if you think your SE posts are creative, they are yours. (well, yours in a legal sense)
@jgn No, I mean... it doesn't have to be "creative" in the "oh you're so creative" sense but things like typo fixes and so aren't copyrightable.
That might clean the Wikipedia copyright tangle (in the hypothetical scenario where they weren't CC anyway) since most alterations to existing work could just be ignored.
7:14 AM
@kviiri Correct, that concept is called being an "original work"
If you modify enough then it becomes "original"
@kviiri No, that isn't the case. There absolutely is a tangle.
7:27 AM
5 hours later…
12:07 PM
@trogdor a new trailer, just in case you were interested.
and gematsu has some relevant info this time
3 hours later…
3:06 PM
@KorvinStarmast If I might bring your mind back to the pronouns rules: consider how badly they were received by the majority. Consider that policies regarding trans people have been put into Q&A votes beforehand, and imagine how that's gone regarding finding any solution acceptable to trans people, vs something that the majority are happy with and which leaves trans people more vulnerable than they were beforehand. Sometimes, the system is just a complete failure.
@doppelgreener There are many times when the most effective solution is for leadership to just make it and say "this is it". Putting things up for a vote isn't always the best idea.
@NautArch That is absolutely true
At this point it's galvanized for me that I will simply not entertain the idea of putting any LGBT issue to a vote, meaning I will not put it in a question or an answer.
Because putting anything to a vote on that topic has historically been a disaster and it's done some serious harm, even to me and some others personally. I am not open to expressing those issues in any form the majority gets to numerically weigh against because there is no justice available through that route.
@Derpy ugh, that eye fungus still makes me uneasy
That's the thing that made me go "Oh. So this is how meta works for some people. Crap."
@doppelgreener Yeah, it's a mess. I made a post on meta SE where I came out as advocating going back to the general Be Nice as being a pretty good rule ... and one that most people seemed to have no problem with.
3:12 PM
Be Nice was failing trans people too, because sometimes people need to be told what "be nice" means. Many felt misgendering was fine as long as you were "nice" about it. (Spoilers: there's no way to be nice about it.)
@doppelgreener Ah, are you referring to deliberate misgendering or the awkward "whoops, I was unaware" kind?
or both?
@doppelgreener I agree with this. Also the "I didn't know one" one is excusable if they adjust. if they don't then it's not.
@doppelgreener Actually, I had a couple of mods on this SE try to tell me what Be Nice means, and while I generally agreed I rejected the demand that I assume good faith. I've been on the internet too long to be that naive. But I needed to go about how I deal with that differently ...
@KorvinStarmast Neither one is nice, kinda like elbowing someone in the face: there's no way to nicely do it. If you mean well you can handle it. But yeah, there were people thinking they were completely allowed within the rules to deliberately misgender individuals, hence it reaching a point of needing to be codified in the rules.
@doppelgreener Still boggles my mind that Be Nice is...being nice.
3:16 PM
(Even if the process of codifying it was not good, the fact it is now in the rules is good and frankly necessary. I wish it didn't have to be, but it is.)
and that folks don't get that.
@doppelgreener Well, that saddens me, the deliberate thing. sigh There isn't any reason to do that deliberately. There are rules lawyers everywhere, I guess But yeah, there were people thinking they were completely allowed within the rules to deliberately misgender individuals
I chose a really lovely site to get involved with here on RPG.SE, honestly. Y'all are wonderfully supportive.
What is weird to me is that the coding sites are a neutral topic, so I'd have thunk that the topic itself would lend itself to focusing on "problem" not people .... but that's likely naive.
@KorvinStarmast Can't take the humans out of it.
3:22 PM
The pronoun thing is an artifact of language, though. IN German, there are three distinct pronouns: der, die, and das. Masculine, Feminine and Neuter. English, albeit a Germanic language, didn't carry over that feature.
@NautArch not with that attitude
@KorvinStarmast That's what many folks have said, yes. Though we are inescapably also social here; we have comments and chat. As I've also had the joy of mentioning before: it wasn't the trans people who made our transness matter, it's been the people who found out we were trans and behaved poorly about it that made it matter.
@NautArch For sure, as my Meta post on New User experience tried to address.
@doppelgreener yeah, it's the people who would not Be Nice.
@KorvinStarmast And I just learned something new today! I thought it was a romance language, but nope, you're right! It's Germanic that has a lot of vocabulary from romance/latin.
3:25 PM
@KorvinStarmast Chinese has three pronouns in a similar fashion: 他, 她, and 它.
But here's the fun part. Even though they're written differently, they pronounced exactly the same.
So using those pronouns, it's impossible to misgender someone in Mandarin.
@Yuuki did you saw the full trailer?
or clicked on the gematsu link?
@Derpy I remember seeing a trailer for this. Didn't click on the trailer you just linked though.
@KorvinStarmast English has three pronouns just like German. It just that German has a more even distribution of genders, while in English the neuter is given an overwhelming preference.
Amusingly, native speakers sometimes don't notice the features of their own languages.
3:28 PM
^ taken from gematsu
I already saw people questioning if the terrarium is placed inside the Abyss.
@Yuuki you are better avoiding it if just the eye makes you uneasy.
The trailer shows other bad things that can happen
@vicky_molokh he, she, it. People do not care to be described as It, Vicky. Not just like German, I'll suggest. English is a high context language. It tends to be reserved for objects.
..... I just hope they didn't had the evil idea to make the game run on the internal console clock.
@KorvinStarmast 'People' (as a universal category) don't seem to care about that. It's specifically the cultural descendants of a certain island nation that seem to make a fuss about it.
that would be pure evil.
@vicky_molokh to be a bit m ore pedantic, personal pronouns versus pronouns... the only neutral one is they, which encompasses all genders.
@vicky_molokh as it's their language, they get to.
3:35 PM
E.g. in formal Russian, it's common to have an unknown person referred to as it (the word 'face', meaning non-judicial person, is neuter), or in normal Ukrainian she (in Ukrainian, humans are feminine).
@vicky_molokh There's a lyric by the Who that refers to people as faces, but I think that was Brit slang from the 60's Mod era.
(and there was even a group who adopted that name ...)
@Someone_Evil @NautArch Good call. A reminder should definitely be present. I'll put one in bold so it has a diamond attached.
@KorvinStarmast A lot of this seems to be all about who gets to tell how language may and may not be used and structured. With English it seems super-hard because when I ask for an authority on the language, people shrug and say there is no such thing. But then at other time, the same groups of people act as if they're an authority on it.
@PierreCathé I agree very strongly.
@vicky_molokh I'd start with the OED as a first source, but as with Spanish and Arabic, each region/nation has some unique usage habits.
3:39 PM
@KorvinStarmast I thought the OED is an observer, not an authority.
@vicky_molokh It's both.
@vicky_molokh I thought it was both
Ah, Ninja'd! by doppelninja!
@doppelgreener Wait, wasn't Shazam a wizard?
(I am reaching back about 50 years to some comic books or newspaper comics here ...)
3:41 PM
@KorvinStarmast You mean when a politician wants to start a language reform, it submits a request to OED and OED implements it and that is based to affect English schools worldwide? Because I'm pretty sure that's not how it works and it's not what you mean.
Thus the point that it's an observer, not authority.
@vicky_molokh what makes you think that it's politicians who start language reform?
@vicky_molokh English authorities are not that kind of authority, the same way the principal is not the same kind of authority as a judicial bench.
@vicky_molokh Usage is a werid thing that morps in ususual ways.
@KorvinStarmast Well, that's what happened, for example, when the explicit use of Ъ in non-ambiguous cases was deprecated.
@doppelgreener Exactly, they're not an authority at all, they're observers and documentaries.
@vicky_molokh Are you referring to Russian usage?
3:43 PM
@KorvinStarmast Yes. Remember when the Ъs got confiscated?
@vicky_molokh that's bs!
@vicky_molokh My brother is the one fluent in Russian, not me. I'll ask him.
@vicky_molokh Yeah they took all our bs for themselves and they won't give it back !
@vicky_molokh The word authority has multiple meanings. If I could refer you to this dictionary definition for point of reference: when we talk about a French language authority, we talk about something like sense 2. When we talk about an English language authority, we're talking about sense 1a. Or by Cambridge, French authorities would be B2+C1 vs English authorities as C2.
@doppelgreener Thanks for doing what I was thinking ...
3:49 PM
They are completely different kinds of authorities and have almost no resemblance, but they are still very much authorities.
@doppelgreener Sorry about being ambiguous. Perhaps I should've used a different word in my post. Regulator? My point is that on one hand, people say that there's no entity that has legitimate power to shape the English language, and everyone is free to speak as one pleases. On the other hand, often the same groups of people tend to act as if they have such legitimate power and everyone must follow their lead.
@vicky_molokh where as the reaity is that what you get taught in school and how the pedants discuss things is where 'rules of usage' tend to come from. Conflation with government is farcical.
@vicky_molokh I agree, there is no single English regulatory body; English speakers regulate it as a community. I get the sense given the circumstances of this conversation that we are circling a discussion of trans pronouns, which trans people as a body are regulating. I will make it very clear I am not interested in discussing that from a skeptical point of view; a minority has every right to regulate matters of importance to it.
If that's were we are headed back to, Naut did ask us to take it to not a bar ... which I think is good advice
3:54 PM
I'm going to move it there now. One moment.
@doppelgreener I'm talking specifically about the fact that Englishmen seem to be the group to resist the adoption of the neuter pronoun for various purposes (as the generic, as the undefined, etc.; which does include use for socially neuter people, but that's just one of the uses). For instance, English people seem to get awkward over the question of what gender the word human is.
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@vicky_molokh Thanks for clarifying.
That's a relief
(I've been dealing with a lot of "trans people shouldn't be allowed to tell us what we say! they can't tell me what to do! free speech!!!" recently, which is so tiring. as if societal standards don't already enforce rules on pronouns: they get applied to cisgender people plenty.)
And yeah, English is pretty split down on the middle over that. Which is funny because singular they is older than singular you. There was just a century or two in which academic dudes decided they didn't like it.
("You" used to be a plural term exclusively. Remember thee/thou? Those were the singular forms. People started transitioning to using "you" in a singular sense in the 1500s & 1600s, and the historical records have many people penning angry letters about it saying the exact same things people say about singular they nowadays.)
@doppelgreener Speaking of which, I'd have thought that Englishmen should've learned something out of the issues created by using you in place of thou, and the various crutches that sprung up (the most famous of which is all y'all), and would've shied away from doing the same thing to another pronoun after it has been deprecated for a while. But apparently not.
Don't get me wrong, we too have the pretentious and confusing pluralisation as a sign of respect (ви), but thankfully it's going away in more modern and egalitarian circles of people.
4:12 PM
@vicky_molokh we also seem to have lost the formal/informal distinction of thee/thou - I recall German sie/du and in Spanish ustedand tu. (And IIRC Italian, tu, lei, and voi? argh, use it or lose it)
@KorvinStarmast I read from some linguist that the French seem to be transitioning to using tu towards strangers without feeling ashamed of it. I wish the same happened in English and East-Slavics . . .
@vicky_molokh usted what, being ashamed to be coarse and informal as a default?
Yeah, Slavs and Englishmen seem to shy away from using singular second-person pronouns (either towards strangers or at all respectively).
@vicky_molokh The need for a singular pronoun has been present for a long time, even putting aside people who want to use it for a personal pronoun. ("I was told someone bought that yesterday. They're picking it up tomorrow.")
And practical needs outweigh some minor grammatical issues that we can very well resolve.
Also, about Spanish: at least they have Usted and Ustedes to avoid ambiguity for the formal occasions, which is distict from the second-person singular and plural (which I'm no longer sure I remember the spelling of correctly).
4:16 PM
@vicky_molokh I was raised by my parents to be formal first, and then informal once that becomes socially appropriate. I dislike, still, people I don't know referring to me as "hon" or "honey" - it's very common in the Southern US. I am old enough (and I look it) that I ought to be addressed as sir or mister by strangers ... but that social assumption seems to be both more "yankee" in nature and "being overcome by a change in societal assumptions"
@vicky_molokh That's singular and plural,
I don't recall there being a plural form of tu, but my Spanish is rusty. What gets spoken around here is Tex Mex, which proper Spanish speakers tend to sneer at.
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(I missed one earlier)
@doppelgreener Our solution to that would be to use the pronoun that matches the word it stands in for, e.g. the pronoun that matches the word 'human/person' (that's a common word to come up when talking about some stranger).
That makes a lot of sense to go with.
Or the one that matches the word client if talking about purchasing things.
3 hours later…
6:59 PM
Saw gender discussion so just something I'll say as a linguist. Gender has many meanings, there's gender in languages such as Spanish/Italian/Latin/etc...
That is grammatical gender, gender that is called for in the grammar of the language, and shows what adjectives agree with what nouns and similar things. The other notion of gender is the one English almost entirely uses, the social construct of gender. They are very separate, especially when new Spanish forms such as esto/esta/est@/este or Latino/Latina/latinix/Latine/Latin@ are used (though primarily online and with various people backing different forms)
Various languages have new methods to account for "new" (now more acceptable) social genders given their language's own current grammatical gender. Related are languages with noun classes, such as "animate", "inanimate", "human", "family/kin" where a noun belonging to group X behaviors fundamentally different than another group
In English nouns used to have gender (Old English) but now they do not. There's the occasional carry-over with things like "ship" being feminine, but there's no real level of grammatical gender like in other languages
@Derpy ah nice, yeah I am interested, at the very least I'm very curious about this weird seeming game
I've not seen anything specifically like it before
This was always the argument I've seen for singular they: typing his/herself him/herself he/she etc... Every single time is awful, and hard to read. And using gender-neutral "he" results in sentences such as the following: A father or mother should care for his child
Obviously there are excellent reasons to use singular they because it's a word and people wish to be referred to with it so why wouldn't you be nice? But for the real sticklers I explain the above
Maybe that whole blurb was unnecessary but that's at least my own few cents
7:27 PM
@Medix2 That's an odd example, because English does have an omniapplicable possessive pronoun: one's. And that's assuming one has some issue with aligning a pronoun with either of the preceding nouns in the sentence (clearly father is masculine and mother is feminine even in English where most words are silently filed under neuter).
1 hour later…
8:43 PM
@vicky_molokh Is that grammatical? "He should take care of one's child"? "A father should take care of one's child"?
But if you've got a better example sentence that'd be great. Singular they has been used by Shakespeare and plenty of authors for years until some people decided it was "grammatically incorrect", I unfortunately don't have much to argue against people who will only listen to "proper grammar"
What more grammatical way is there to make a reversive statement? Consider what seems to make more sense in terms of grammatic clarity:
"John gave Alex his hand," <-- whose hand? Alex had a severed hand?
"John gave Alex one's hand," <-- clearly John is the subject of the sentence and thus the pronouns applies to the active subject.
English seems to be very permissive with the former construction despite the ambiguity, but when it goes to *Father **or** Mother*, suddenly 'one' starts looking clearer.
This why the word own exists. "his own" and "one's own"
Though I will continue to be a proponent of using singular they instead , and for me, those sentences using "one" simply can't exist, they are ungrammatical (different from grammatically incorrect)
@Medix2 Yeah, I suppose one's own child is even clearer.
@Medix2 It's not like use of plural second-person is any more grammatically correct if one thinks of grammar as a thing that is supposed to make communication standardised and disambiguated.
1 hour later…
9:59 PM
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