HomeQ&AIs the system failing or our members?

Is the system failing or our members?

12
votes

You will need to read the thread on the Word of the Day pretender to follow my question. Also, I am posting links to our dictionary's definition of pretender as well at the R A E's dictionary definition. Next is an about.com article on the word. Sorry, for all of the research, but you will need the background information to answer my question.

If you read the thread you will see that several incorrect uses of the word pretender are provided in replies. Comments are often attached suggesting the use of other verbs for the context provided. However, several of these incorrect replies have been voted up and when I read the post none had been flagged for inaccuracy. The corrective comments seem to be ignored or misunderstood.

We have a system in place for handling such situations. We have a flag for marking incorrect or inaccurate replies. This situation is exactly what that flag was made for, but everyone seems hesitant to employ it.

An no one had created a reply drawing everyone's attention that an error was prevalent in the answers.

Now I see no problem with the incorrect replies. If you weren't aware that pretender and pretend are false friends in some contexts that's understandable and completely forgivable.

What isn't acceptable is the weak responses by those that did know. Why no flags when you noticed that the comments weren't preventing additional incorrect replies with the same error. Why no reply highlighting the problem for those that don't read the comments to other people's replies. Was a moderator contacted to say that a problem may exist in a thread?

If I hadn't known the correct usage of the word before reading the thread I would have left the thread wondering if pretender and fingir were synonyms. I think the shortcomings of this point system and flag system were highlighted in this thread.

So now my question: is the system faulty or are our members at fault for being hesitant to use it?

Postscript: sanlee diligently uncovered a dictionary that lists "fingir" as a synonym for "pretender". So, even though, I think that it is incorrect and my question was really more on handling errors than the meaning of pretender I'm deleting my question after a short pause to allow anyone time to finish their comments. (by request) The irony is that it will not allow me to flag my own question as inaccurate.

5454 views
updated NOV 19, 2011
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
I didn't look at the times, but didn't benz make that point? I saw yours also.that does not explain the continued confusion though - nizhoni1, JUL 11, 2010
Yes, several people made the point, but no one was getting the message and incorrect replies kept being made, possibly misleading other to make even more. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
I have to admit I don't always read Word for the day, at least, not on the I receive it on my mobile If I notice errors in either Spanish or English I will point them out to people in the comments box I will only offer corrections within the limits of - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
....my ability and rarely flag unless I am totally sure of the grounds for my concern. - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
My only point was that we can't just stand by and see egregious mistakes multipy themselves. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
I don't think you should delete the thread/question. A lot of members can benefit from this disussion. - --Mariana--, JUL 11, 2010
Don't delete. I have commented on that point. Edmumdos has used a false friend. - sanlee, JUL 11, 2010
yes, keep the thread up. The dictionary variations help make you point about the points/flag - nizhoni1, JUL 11, 2010
Well, I tried to flag it as being inaccurate, but it won't allow me to flag my own thread. Please, do me the favor! - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Q You have valid points. You are very accurate - sanlee, JUL 11, 2010
Thanks, Q - sanlee, JUL 11, 2010
I flagged it. - --Mariana--, JUL 11, 2010
Muchas gracias. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Please do not delete, may good points were made here!! thanks - 00494d19, JUL 12, 2010

18 Answers

8
votes

Quote from Quentin I couldn't care less about the word. I only care about how the problem was being handled. an error was being made and I don't feel that those that saw it were doing enough to stop it, correct it, or draw attention to it.

While I agree with Quentin that this is a problem overall, I found the corrections and conflicting information in this particular thread to be extremely confusing.

First of all, as Jeezle aptly pointed out, our own dictionary did fail in this case. I do care about that, it's a big deal, and it contributed to the problem in this case.

Second, the correctors of the "dictionary issue" helped out by posting dictionary entries that were completely in Spanish. Folks... some of us can handle that, and some of us can't. I imagine that many people read those all Spanish dictionary entries with eyes glazed over, then proceeded to vote for incorrect sentences because they didn't know any better - they didn't understand the corrections given, and kept going back to the good old SpanishDict.com dictionary, which said it was fine.

And the problem is that flagging someone takes away ten points from a person's reputation. Do we really want to penalize our learners for sincere attempts at participation? ¡Ojala qué no!

We have had a policy on the Palabra del Día that nobody's post may be accepted as the correct answer unless all the necessary correction have been made. That is an encouragement for people to come back and make corrections, and that's probably as far as we ought to take it.

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by Goyo
WE still have this policy, no answer can be accpeted that has not been corrected - 00494d19, JUL 12, 2010
7
votes

Quentin said:

I can't promote the idea of editing other's replies.

I completely agree...I'd be very upset if another member edited my answer and made corrections. It's more appropriate to put a comment below my answer.

As for that particular post, it occurred to me that "pretender" was a false friend, but I admit that I didn't take the time to research it. I posted a very different use of the word, i.e., to make a claim.

As for using the "inaccurate" flag, I seem to recall a post where some Admin (not sure who) said "be careful to only use that for outrageously bad answers." So, I almost never use that flag. I would certainly be willing to use the flag a lot more often if it didn't subtract 10 points from the poster.

Bottom line: I think SD policy is failing our members. If you want us to be comfortable using the "inaccurate answer" flag then there should be no points deduction attached to it.

updated NOV 19, 2011
edited by --Mariana--
posted by --Mariana--
That's my point Marianne... If I had flagged your wrong answer, would you have been mad at me? or Would you pay more attention next time before posting? :) - Benz, JUL 11, 2010
I agree, Benz. It's a sticky situation. People would be so angry if we flagged them for their mistakes. - --Mariana--, JUL 11, 2010
Q, please don't delete this post/your question. A lot of members can benefit from the discussion. - --Mariana--, JUL 11, 2010
I agree. No points deduction would be needed. Also I can imagine a huge influx flags that would be really annoying. - jeezzle, JUL 11, 2010
What can I say. Flag it for being inaccurate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
I flagged it. - --Mariana--, JUL 11, 2010
All good points. - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
5
votes

I think most people would be scared to hit flag because usually flag is used just for inappropriate comments that should be removed, they aren't used to there being options for why they're flagging it. At least that's how I feel a little bit. I didn't know there were flagging options.

EDIT: UGHHHH I cannot believe I wrote "their" instead of "there". I never make that dumb mistake.

updated NOV 19, 2011
edited by socceryo3
posted by socceryo3
5
votes

Good discussion of the point system Q.The fact that the dictionaries vary in their definitions lends greater weight to having a flag just for attention of a moderator without penalty.

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by nizhoni1
Good solution if it can be done. - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
5
votes

I agree with you Quentin. Particularly in this case -the pretender thread- I was the one that corrected many posts where the verbs were misused. I also posted the meaning from the WR dictionary with several examples so that posters could understand the proper use of the word (because it's confusing sometimes). You're right when you say that very few people corrected their posts. I had a look at the thread this afternoon...

.

Do you think I should flag those responses when they are wrong or when the word is misused? This is what Luisa said:

Después de este fin de semana yo he decidido no meterme más en respuestas ajenas. Me encanta este sitio y no quiero crear animosidad. - LuisaGomezBa 9 mins ago flag

Cuando he hecho comentarios las respuestas que he recibido me hacen sentir como una "sabelotodo" y eso me incomoda. - LuisaGomezBa 9 mins ago flag

And I back her up here... In general people don't like to be corrected. Can you imagine if we flag them?? . Be honest please... They're gonna hate us!! I feel flagging is like foul language here... correct me if I'm wrong please... but that's how I feel.

.

I guess it's a 50-50... a faulty system and hesitant members afraid of the big egos wandering around wink

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by Benz
Gracias Benz. - LuisaGomezBartle, JUL 11, 2010
Well, sanlee pointed out a dictionary that uses fingir as a synonym for pretender, so I may have to withdraw my thread even though it was more about how to handle errors that the word pretender. Did you see my comment about I never agreed with the policy - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
I really appreciate everyone's corrections. I would not know what to do without them. Please continue to correct me!! - sanlee, JUL 11, 2010
I would like to flag to call attention when I know enough to do so. I do feel bad for the point subtraction though - nizhoni1, JUL 11, 2010
of attaching negative points to inaccurate answers. Several of us objected to that policy when it was implemented and continued to do so in a thread on modifying or adding flags. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Yes, and I think you're right about flagging wrong responses, but it's very difficult since it's never been done before. What do you suggest? Start flagging now? - Benz, JUL 11, 2010
nizhon1 Join the club, but the administration is recalcitrant about dropping the negative points accompaning the flag . - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
People need to offer tehir corrections then give the person a day or two to correct their post and if not corrected within a reasonable time limit to be agreed by admin here it could be flagged if inaccurate. I was flagged a little while ago by a person - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
.who said my post was inaccuarte because I had made a mistake and they offered no correction so I had no chnace to put it right. Heidita gave me 10 points back to compensate me for an incorrect flagging not being given the chance to make my corrections - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
typos: their , inaccurate and chance - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
I had a comment from an administrator saying I was wrong, but with no correction. - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
4
votes

This might be stupid but I personally thought that the flag was to flag inappropriate material...

updated NOV 19, 2011
edited by Kiwi-Girl
posted by Debiera
Tienes razón :) You're right - for that reason people don't like to use the flag to alert people to an incorrect answer - hence my suggestion for having 2 different coloured flag - one for inappropriate material the other for incorrect grammar etc - Kiwi-Girl, JUL 12, 2010
I thought so too, but the responses I've had seem to disagree. - fontanero, JUL 13, 2010
4
votes

I believe there was some problem with the SD verb conjugation on pretender. Krama asked the question, if you want to check it out.

Many of my answers need correcting, mostly because I'm not that good. I don't always correct them immediately. I may not see it immediately. I may be unsure of the correction, and wait for another. I may ask a further question in order to understand.

My answer to pretender is a good example of this. I waited. I checked, I corrected and I learnt. You can't punish someone for not sitting in front of a screen 24/7 waiting for a correction.

If I was flagged for every remark which required correction, I would have a minus score. My only choice would be to refrain from participating in the forums.

I would not use the flagging system for corrections, only for inappropriate questions or comments. Perhaps that is a fault with me.

updated NOV 19, 2011
edited by fontanero
posted by fontanero
My point exaclty. That flag is for corrections. Not for inappropriate responses or comments, but no one is using it. And what do you care if your score is negative if you are learning from your mistakes? Why would that prevent you from participating. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
By the way, I was one of the people that criticized putting penalty points on flags when it first came into existance, because I thought it would inhibit beginner participation. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Should I flag every spelling, punctuation and grammatical error in every English statement? - fontanero, JUL 11, 2010
I'm discussing correcting an egregious error, if you want to be ridiculous let's not discuss it. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Should I flag a comment that is insulting? - fontanero, JUL 11, 2010
Of course, but there is a different flag for that than the one for inaccuracies. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Yes, flag one that is insulting as that kind of post can be very offensive and if left unresolved could cause alot of unnecesasry hurt and damage SpanishDict's reputationa s a caring community - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
Perhaps the flagging system needs clarification, possibly modifying. - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
3
votes

A minor contributer to the aspect of the voting issue might be that some individuals vote people up for no reason. I've definitely seen irrelevant posts voted up before, so aside from the issue of flagging there is something more than well intended members who gloss over corrections to other posts.

I personally never use the flagging system for things other than bots selling things or intentional vulgarity. I wasn't aware that it could be used for things other than this.

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by Fredbong
3
votes

And the problem is that flagging someone takes away ten points from a person's reputation. Do we really want to penalize our learners for sincere attempts at participation? ¡Ojala qué no!

- Goyo

I think most people would be scared to hit flag because usually flag is used just for inappropriate comments

- soccoryo3

I almost never use that flag. I would certainly be willing to use the flag a lot more often if it didn't subtract 10 points from the poster.

- Marianne

Is it time to revisit flagging? Deducting points for spam, insults, obnoxiousness (and some forms of outright stupidity) makes sense, but those committing that kind of behavior probably don't care about points and Admin seems to do a good job of showing them the door.

I would like to see a box to check that imprints a message similar to:

validity of this answer challenged with maybe a place for challenger's name so that you know where to look for an explanation. Point reduction may or may not be necessary - I won't vote up a challenged answer without more input, would you?

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by LateToDinner
3
votes

I had a feeling pretender was gonna cause some problems, if that's what you mean, but you know that our dictionary lists "to pretend" as the definition so I can see why some of the members are having problems with it.

From the Spanishdict dictionary Pretender = to pretend. Of course you and I know that fingir means to pretend and pretender means to intend, or to aspire to be.

Here is my thread that I created long ago about pretender. I wanted to post at the very beginning of that thread a warning about pretender but I wasn't sure how to begin to do that.

link text

updated NOV 19, 2011
edited by jeezzle
posted by jeezzle
I couldn't care less about the word. I only care about how the problem was being handled. an error was being made and I don't feel that those that saw it were doing enough to stop it, correct it, or draw attention to it. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Después de este fin de semana yo he decidido no meterme más en respuestas ajenas. Me encanta este sitio y no quiero crear animosidad. - LuisaGomezBartle, JUL 11, 2010
Cuando he hecho comentarios las respuestas que he recibido me hacen sentir como una "sabelotodo" y eso me incomoda. - LuisaGomezBartle, JUL 11, 2010
I totally agree. I can't tell you how many times I've decided to leave this site, because of the reactions to discussions that were not meant to be acrimonious, but ended up that way. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
I agree with Luisa. I feel safer in the background with my mouth closed. - jeezzle, JUL 11, 2010
jajaja who are you afraid of Jeezz? - Benz, JUL 11, 2010
Please don't any of you leave I value your friendship too much. I once flagged someones unclear Question post and someone commented that they couldn't understand why I had done so as they said it was clear Sometimes such things seem so subjective and - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
it is hard to take the risk of being wrong when people expect those of us who are more experienced to get it right most/all of the time - FELIZ77, JUL 11, 2010
I agree Feliz... sometimes it could be very subjective :) - Benz, JUL 11, 2010
I have seen criticism of flagging for lack of clarity. I usually try to ask a question to clarify - nizhoni1, JUL 11, 2010
My answer was based on SD's dictionary and conjugator. Should I lose face because of small error in them? - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
2
votes

I too found the thread you were referring to Quentin as a little frustrating, I did leave comments on a couple of posts to let them know that either their use was incorrect and/or fingir etc would be a much better choice and then I'd see multiple other posters doing exactly the same thing. :(

Still, having read the concerns above about flagging -

I wonder if it might be possible to bring in a different coloured flag for the purpose of flagging incorrect answers.

This wouldn't need to carry any penalty but just serve the purpose of alerting those who might not know better that the answer is incorrect and shouldn't be learnt from. Just an idea - I guess it would be up to the site operators whether or not to rework the site and implement such a thing and I don't know how much work is involved to do so.

Incorrecto

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by Kiwi-Girl
great suggestion! - Silvia, JUL 12, 2010
2
votes

Here´s my view on people gett up set over being corrected which the point of qfreed´s thread If you believe that you´re perfect, you´ll get upset when someone correct you If you´re humble and realize you´re going to mistakes that you won´t be.

What I do is compare the definition of the Spanish word with the definition of the English word and try to use the word that is closest in meaning. Sometimes, I need to clarify in what sense I am using English word before I can chose the right Spanish word. Also realize that languages don´t always follow the rule so pretender might be increasingly used like pretend as in claim faslely or to fake although that not the true definition of the word especially where Spanish has been influenced by English.

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by BellaMargarita
Basically, you try your best to give an accurate translation. I believe you should be commended for that. - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
2
votes

Plus, context context context. Some of the answers used the word in the wrong context. - LuisaGomezBa 25 mins ago flag

Once again Luisa... I agree with you wink

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by Benz
La gente se olvida que las lenguas no son matemáticas... - LuisaGomezBartle, JUL 11, 2010
A comment stating translation is ok, but context is wrong, would be helpful. - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
2
votes

As you can see from Diccionario, here are the synonyms for pretender. Now what?link textJust put in pretender I want the admin to see that Elmundo's lists fingir the false friend as a synonym for pretender

updated NOV 19, 2011
edited by sanlee
posted by sanlee
Sorry, I would have liked to have seen your synonyms, but the link didn't post. But honestly, my question has little to do with the word. It has more to do with how the point and flagging system is used. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
I looked up pretender in that dictionary. Same defintion as all the other dictionaries. No context of fingir or simular. It doesn't have that meaning. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Plus, context context context. Some of the answers used the word in the wrong context. - LuisaGomezBartle, JUL 11, 2010
It does list it as a synonym. - sanlee, JUL 11, 2010
Ves Gfreed, qué tonito tan feo... - LuisaGomezBartle, JUL 11, 2010
Oh, I see it under the link for synonyms. I think that is a mistake (see the about.com article) and the comments on the thread itself. I'll give you time to read this then delete this thread. If I'm wrong, then I cerainly don't want to mislead anyone. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
Sanlee And thank you for checking a 3rd dictionary. - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
2
votes

If the members don´t pay attention to the corrections that their problem. At least you pointed t out I know I am grateful when someone points it out. I don´t think it is failing of the system, it just the member have varying amounts of knowledge. I don´t know if I would use flags for inaccurate information I only save that for inapporpriate posts. That´s why when I am not sure I check the definition in the monligual dictionary or compare definitions.

updated NOV 19, 2011
posted by BellaMargarita
Sanlee just pointed out a dictionary using fingir for a synonym for pretender. What does your dictionary say? - 0074b507, JUL 11, 2010
I believe they used fingir incorrectly as a synonym - sanlee, JUL 11, 2010
I have had differing corrections for the same post. Who do I believe? - fontanero, JUL 12, 2010
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