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Nigel

Changing face of palmtalk

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Gbarce

Do we have statistics of forum members by country or region?  Now I am really curious as to how balanced "Internationally"  the distribution of forum members  is. ???

Does the modulator :D  have this data available???

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The Germinator

There are a number of species that are cold hardy and I would think they would work in the UK, but it seems like the Brits only want to talk about Trachys and Butias all the time. I would like to see more pictures of other species being tried over there. Do Nanny's work in the UK Tell us about your experiences, we are interested. In SO-CAL we are just burnt out on Trachy's because they have been so common for so many years.

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amazondk

(Al in Kona @ Feb. 05 2008,16:08)

QUOTE
Sometimes this PALMTALK site can be a little overwhelming.  If I took the time to read every post and make more frequent replies I'd be at the computer much too long and would not get much else accomplished.  Therefore I tend to only make comments on posts that interest me the most.  I don't totally ignore "cold hardy" palm posts.  I actually do read a lot of them when time permits but true, I seldom reply to them.

 

I often wish there was more participation from true tropical areas.  Of course the language barrier keeps a lot of that from happening.  However, we do now have occasional posts coming from such places as Brasil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Fiji, Thailand, India, Madagascar, &  N. Australia (but where are the Cairns guys?).  Did I miss anyone?

I certainly hope you will stay with us Nigel.  As I mentioned, just because many of us do not reply to certain posts doesn't mean they aren't being read and of an interest or help to those here reading them.

Al,

I wish there was more from tropical regions as well.  We are sort of the opposite of the cold hardy folks, not in the majority of the palm growers who participate in Palm Talk.  But, the basics of growing things are pretty similar anywhere and I learn a lot reading different posts.  I really enjoy the Australians input.  Maybe in part because they are also south of the equator.

dk

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Carlo Morici

I see nobody replied to my link about the multilingual bromeliad forum ?!?! But I keep on hitting the nail.

I think it does not matter if we have lots of non-English countries represented in Palmtalk. It is just a tiny hint of what we have lost, because many posters are not here (anymore).

I guess many of the non-posting Palmtalk members are non-English speakers who come here to watch, but don't feel confortable enough to post. I heard many times in foreign fora "I have seen this thing in Palmtalk, but I am posting my questions here because I prefer to develop the discussion in a different languages". "Foreign fora" is a blasphemy, because nothing should be "foreign" to an International institution.

Spanish is widely spoken, so the "illegal" Spanish forum is so good that almost all the SP-speaking (IPS) members left Palmtalk. They can get 95% of their questions answered there in SP. Some may speak English, but they really don't need it; and we palmtalkers are losing all this supreme information and pictures that could be hosted here.

I am here to learn and enjoy and I post here to teach and to ask my remaining 5% questions, that are not answered elsewhere.

Carlo

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PalmGuyWC

Carlo,

Actually, though I didn't reply, I got sidetracked looking at the multilingual bromeliad forum, and found it very interesting. This is one of the reasons I can't get to upset when a thread sometimes drifts off subject. Often times something attached to a thread is more intresting than the original thread. Most palm growers are interested in other plant famlies that mix well with palms and for instance, cycads are not considered off subject on Palmtalk. In fact, I use PACSOA all the time as a reference for spelling, etc. I doubt there are many palm gardens that don't have a few Cycads and bromeliads scattered around.

Dick

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Neofolis

Personally I think a forum is better in one language.  Anyone who comes to the forum knows that everything they read they can understand or everything they read will have to be translated, rather than translating some bits but able to read others.

The only way I can see a multilingual version being better is if the language is chosen as an option when entering the forum or at anytime afterwards and all posts are then displayed in that language.  For example, you could have es.palmtalk.org or fr.palmtalk.org, which show exactly the same forum, but in Spanish and French respectively.  Someone could then post in Spanish on es.palmtalk.org. but someone else could read that post in French on fr.palmtalk.org or English on palmtalk.org.

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GREENHAND

(Carlo Morici @ Feb. 05 2008,18:26)

QUOTE
It is quite off topic but I really do love the sight of wagnerianus leaves gracefully bordered by white frost. They grow well here in the Canaries away from the coastline, but frost is my forbidden dream, something that I have only seen in pictures. I will try rubbing a cold beer.

As a general rule I adore pictures of (healthy) palms with snow/frost. (--> post more those who can!)

Carlo

here you go, i wish i had a pict with more snow, it has a a little  ice on it. but it has been completely covered with snow before.

post-59-1202316314_thumb.jpg

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PALM MOD

(Carlo Morici @ Feb. 06 2008,03:02)

QUOTE
I see nobody replied to my link about the multilingual bromeliad forum ?!?! But I keep on hitting the nail.

Carlo,

I have been pondering your suggestion as I lay sick in bed with the flu. While a worthy goal, I have to look at things from a moderator's point of view.

Some questions to consider. Perhaps you have answers. You suggest Spanish as a language. I would think there may be as many French in the IPS and growing palms, with France, New Caledonia and Madagascar, as there are Spanish. So should two languages be brought in? Or three? Granted, the photos would be enjoyed by all, but the dialogue would still be lost to most regardless of where the posting takes place.

As far as the actual moderating, the screening of new registrants, and helping all those with problems such as lost passwords, logging in, posting pics, etc. --- I would be unable to communicate and offer assistance of any kind. And how would an English speaking moderator determine if there was something slanderous being said about another, or political bashing of the U.S. or other inappropriate comments?

I can see the advantages of being as all inclusive as possible, but it would require more than just the simple addition of a few new sub-forums. A native speaker would need to create them, and translate the rules and procedures. Someone would need to be on call to answer the foreign language PMs that would come in to the moderator about the Forum and the IPS. And I think a major change such as this should be discussed with the IPS board as well. Perhaps we can give it more thought, and raise the issue in Costa Rica where I hope the Forum will be given some time for a discussion.

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PALM MOD

(Gbarce @ Feb. 06 2008,01:24)

QUOTE
Do we have statistics of forum members by country or region?  Now I am really curious as to how balanced "Internationally"  the distribution of forum members  is. ???

Does the modulator :D  have this data available???

As far as the Forum goes, many have chosen to not even list were they live, or their full names. And if they did, there is no way to verify it. So those numbers don't mean much.

For the IPS as a whole, this would be a question for the membership wing of the IPS. I will forward the question to see if those statistics are available.

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Nigel

(IPSPTModerator @ Feb. 06 2008,14:15)

QUOTE

(Carlo Morici @ Feb. 06 2008,03:02)

QUOTE
I see nobody replied to my link about the multilingual bromeliad forum ?!?! But I keep on hitting the nail.

Carlo,

.

Having spent quite a lot of time recently with spanish and portuguese speaking palm people, Carlo makes a very good point, its not just spain and portugal but all of south america where English is not often spoken.

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Kim

(Neofolis @ Feb. 06 2008,08:27)

QUOTE
The only way I can see a multilingual version being better is if the language is chosen as an option when entering the forum or at anytime afterwards and all posts are then displayed in that language.  For example, you could have es.palmtalk.org or fr.palmtalk.org, which show exactly the same forum, but in Spanish and French respectively.  Someone could then post in Spanish on es.palmtalk.org. but someone else could read that post in French on fr.palmtalk.org or English on palmtalk.org.

Do you know of a site that currently translates the entire site, including posts, to another language?  I tried the bromeliad site Carlo posted, but even after selecting 'English', all the posts I saw were still in German.  Selecting 'Spanish' didn't change anything. :P   Only the headers changed languages.  I sort of expected the entire site to switch languages on command,  wouldn't that be cool.  Does software exist that can automatically translate posts instantly?

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Alicehunter2000

Nigel, I will start trying to post more pics from up here. I always assumed most people on here get bored with Butia, sabal etc. pics. But now that I know there is more interest, I will try and do better.

Here's a nice shot of a double-butia. Looks like it was planted when small because of the way it has those nice curves to the trunks.

post-97-1202332359_thumb.jpg

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Nigel

(Alicehunter2000 @ Feb. 06 2008,16:12)

QUOTE
Nigel, I will start trying to post more pics from up here. I always assumed most people on here get bored with Butia, sabal etc. pics. But now that I know there is more interest, I will try and do better.

Here's a nice shot of a double-butia. Looks like it was planted when small because of the way it has those nice curves to the trunks.

I bet that was a single seed that produced two seedlings.

Gaston once sent me two butia yatays that looked just like that.

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J. australis

(Wal @ Feb. 03 2008,15:47)

QUOTE
I have just returned from one of the biggest cities in Australia, that being Melbourne, and as for palms there, all you seem to see are Phoenix canariensis, Syagrus romanceyourpantsoff and Washingtonias, nothing else.

.

:P  G'day Nige!

Oi Wal! You came to Melbourne, you didn't look me up, and now you misrepresent our palm stocks. There are 47 more species than that in my garden alone!

:(   I s'pose the place was full of southerners, too.

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amazondk

International business is done in English for the most part no matter what the native language is.  I work with people around the world and never have a hard time using English.  Since English is the current interantional language why shouldn't it be for palms?  That does not mean that every palm grower speaks English though.  I know that limits things somewhat, but the alternative complicates it a lot.  Especially for the moderator.

dk

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PalmGuyWC

Don,

I totally agree.  English is the accepted lauguage with the airlines and it's spoken from China to Madagascar. (Even though sometimes hard to understand) :) Untill software is developed to translate language, and it's not here yet, I expect this Board will have to use English. I hope I don't offend anyone, but presently a multilingual board would be impossible with the present technology, but as the moderator mentioned, who thought 10 years ago we could zap messages and pictures across the oceans in a split second. Who knows what the future holds?

Dick

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bgl

I'll be adding a new thread in the IPS sub-forum with membership info.

Mod edit: Membership info is here. http://palmtalk.org/cgi-bin/forum/ikonboar...T;f=20;t=10010;

The discussion whether to, in one way or another, expand our coverage to languages other than English has been an ongoing one for a number of years. Primarily whether to offer some sort of supplement to Palms, our journal, in either Spanish or French - or both. There has never been any discussion whether we should also expand the coverage of PalmTalk to include languages other than English. Having a bit of experience in how things work, I have a hunch it would be a tough sell at the present time to do anything in an official and inclusive way with PalmTalk. And I don't even know how that would work. There ARE programs that will translate from one language to another, but based on what I've seen, these are NOT to be recommended. The translation is almost as hard to understand as the original text in the foreign language - even if you don't speak that foreign language! In other words, and in my opinion, these translations are an absolute joke.

Personally, I have to agree 100% with Don and Dick - English has become the worldwide unofficial international language over the last 50 years or so. Like it not, but that's a fact. (Well, in some cases - aviation being one, it's actually the official language).

English, of course, is not even my native language. Swedish is, but I currently don't have any plans to request that we expand our coverage to include native Swedish speakers! :D  I'll just continue with my feeble attempts to get my point across in English! :P

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PalmGuyWC

..........and you do an excellent job in that, Bo.

Dick

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palmsrgreat

Just for the record I look hard for Nigel's and merrills post about hybrids and cold hardy palms. This happens to by my number one interest on this board, just as others have their own. I have also particpated and will continue to do so in the future in those discussions and encourage them.

Change is going to happen no matter what, but giving up is no answer either. At least be part of an evolving forum and I think people will be encouraged to do the same. The more posts the merrier. :)

...oh, and I just planted out a nice 5 gallon xButyagrus today, grown from a liner! :)

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SunnyFl

Nigel, I hope you won't mind my adding my thoughts.  I'm sorry that people have left, especially those who are growing palms in unusual places.  Posts from OH, NY, Atlanta, and "across the pond" are quite fascinating - species we don't have here, different ways of growing palms when you can't grow them out all year.

I love your posts - esp. your visit to a botanical garden in the UK, I still remember that and the pics you posted - and find them very informative.  But I don't usually post in these topics because I know abso-freakin-lutely nothing about any kind of palm-growing or gardening at all north of zone 10.  This is the only place I've ever grown anything.  So any "contribution" I made would be even lamer than my usual.  ahem.

And even those of us who are in FL, we're not all in the cliquish thing here or in other chapters  - so just because there are some cliques, it shouldn't lessen someone's interest in the subject at hand.

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is that I hope you won't leave, and maybe you could try to encourage those who have complained to you to come back.  That would seem to be the quickest way to get the forum back to a more inclusive nature, yes?

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SunnyFl

(Alicehunter2000 @ Feb. 06 2008,16:12)

QUOTE
Nigel, I will start trying to post more pics from up here. I always assumed most people on here get bored with Butia, sabal etc. pics.

I wish you would post more pics!  Would be great to see more photos of palms and gardens in your neck of the woods, I've heard there are beautiful areas up there.  And sabals and butias are definitely not boring - sheesh that double-trunked butia is positively grand!

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Neofolis

As mentioned, translation software is somewhat limited at them moment, in that it usually creates fairly literal translations.  Personally, I think it is reasonably easy to understand for the most part.

Do a search on Google and you will often see pages in languages other than English listed with a translate option next to them.  I have used this option, which uses server side software based on Google's domain to open the page translated into English.  I find it, for the most part, usable, but a long way from ideal.

Such server side software could easily be implemented on any website and set up to cover the entire site.  The software is improving as it is constantly receiving ongoing development, but good software that offers reasonable results is likely to be fairly expensive at the moment and using cheaper alternatives would negate it being a worthwhile option.

Give it a few more years, software will improve, become easier to implement and decrease in cost.

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Nigel

(J. australis @ Feb. 06 2008,18:45)

QUOTE
:P  G'day Nige!

Oi Wal! You came to Melbourne, you didn't look me up, and now you misrepresent our palm stocks. There are 47 more species than that in my garden alone!

:(   I s'pose the place was full of southerners, too.

Jooooooooo !!!!!!!

Well now here is one of those long lost souls back....and its Jo.

Now the entire thread has been totally worthwhile.

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J. australis

That's very sweet of you, Bristol Boy. I is blush. Sorry (to Wal) that it was a rather graceless re-entry.

Frond vibes to all me old palmies (and especially, congrats to Gaston the daddy-to-be!).

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Exotic Life

Hi,

I don't read all the reply's on this treath, but i know also that there more people from the South Usa are active, but i read almost all the input what they have about all the tropical palms what i can't grow here... But i read them and not answer there always, but i learn from that post...

The input from Nigel i read that always, most of the time it's always good information for what i can grow over here...

For me, this forum is one of the best i know.

Robbin

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Nigel

Robbin, its always nice to chat to fellow europeans about palms.

Something else I have realised from this thread is that at times when I have felt like I am flogging a dead horse a lot of people are still reading it even though it feels like nobody is interested.

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BS Man about Palms

For a little levity,  Nigel, I am envious of your location for at least ONE reason!  You have access to any TVR car you want!!  (or more specificly, I would want)  :D

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Nigel

(BS, Man about Palms @ Feb. 07 2008,09:31)

QUOTE
For a little levity,  Nigel, I am envious of your location for at least ONE reason!  You have access to any TVR car you want!!  (or more specificly, I would want)  :D

You`re kidding.....right ??

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Carlo Morici

(Neofolis @ Feb. 06 2008,08:27)

QUOTE
The only way I can see a multilingual version being better is if (...) all posts are then displayed in that language.  

(Kim @ Feb. 06 2008,20:13)

QUOTE
Do you know of a site that currently translates the entire site, including posts, to another language?

Corey and Kim,

This does not exist... and it will be so for a long time. Virtual translators as still very primitive.

(Kim @ Feb. 06 2008,20:13)

QUOTE
I tried the bromeliad site Carlo posted, but even after selecting 'English', all the posts I saw were still in German.  Selecting 'Spanish' didn't change anything. :P   Only the headers changed languages.  I sort of expected the entire site to switch languages on command,  wouldn't that be cool.  Does software exist that can automatically translate posts instantly?

Ok. The http://www.bromelien.net/index.php forum works like that:

When you enter for the first time you see all the titles in German (Palmtalk will always be in English) but when you scroll down the page you see there are different subfora for different languages. In this case, German has the most traffic, and English is below, Spanish is below English, etc.

Then you clik on the flag you chose to select your language. Since now all the TITLES and general forum texts will switch to English, BUT the messages will still be in different languages, unique and not translated.

Once you log in, the site will recognize you as an English speaker and set the whole thing in your language.

A multilingual palmtalk like that would work so: English speakers will always post on the main section of the forum and once a month or so they will give a look to what is going on in the other subfora listed below. They will see a nice thread with pics in French and they will:

- Smile and go back to the main English forum.

- Post a short message "Fantastique!" to show they liked it.

- Go to the main English forum and post something like "Check how nice this (link)thread in the French subforum". It will automatically start a discussion in English about the topic posted by the French.

- Reply to the French topic with a question in English, because they don't feel confortable in French. I bet in 99% they will get a short reply in rough English by some frenchman. This happened over and over in the Spanish fora, people from abroad asking questions in English, and getting replies and making new friends.

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sonoranfans

(PalmGuyWC @ Feb. 06 2008,19:27)

QUOTE
Don,

I totally agree.  English is the accepted lauguage with the airlines and it's spoken from China to Madagascar. (Even though sometimes hard to understand) :) Untill software is developed to translate language, and it's not here yet, I expect this Board will have to use English. I hope I don't offend anyone, but presently a multilingual board would be impossible with the present technology, but as the moderator mentioned, who thought 10 years ago we could zap messages and pictures across the oceans in a split second. Who knows what the future holds?

Dick

In my experience, americans have terrible education in secondary languages, while europeans tend to be very good at languages, its taught at a young age over the pond.  I have met dozens of european scientists that speak up to 5 languages fluently and their english was excellent.  Imagine having command of german, russian, french, dutch, and english. Any language other than english would be mostly incomprehensible to most americans, its sad, but true.

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Tad

yo concer muchos americanos y casi todos sabe hablar en dos lenguas, que incrible.

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Carlo Morici

(IPSPTModerator @ Feb. 06 2008,19:15)

QUOTE

(Carlo Morici @ Feb. 06 2008,03:02)

QUOTE
I see nobody replied to my link about the multilingual bromeliad forum ?!?! But I keep on hitting the nail.

Carlo,

I have been pondering your suggestion as I lay sick in bed with the flu. While a worthy goal, I have to look at things from a moderator's point of view.

Some questions to consider. Perhaps you have answers. You suggest Spanish as a language. I would think there may be as many French in the IPS and growing palms, with France, New Caledonia and Madagascar, as there are Spanish. So should two languages be brought in? Or three? Granted, the photos would be enjoyed by all, but the dialogue would still be lost to most regardless of where the posting takes place.

As far as the actual moderating, the screening of new registrants, and helping all those with problems such as lost passwords, logging in, posting pics, etc. -- I would be unable to communicate and offer assistance of any kind. And how would an English speaking moderator determine if there was something slanderous being said about another, or political bashing of the U.S. or other inappropriate comments?

I can see the advantages of being as all inclusive as possible, but it would require more than just the simple addition of a few new sub-forums. A native speaker would need to create them, and translate the rules and procedures. Someone would need to be on call to answer the foreign language PMs that would come in to the moderator about the Forum and the IPS. And I think a major change such as this should be discussed with the IPS board as well. Perhaps we can give it more thought, and raise the issue in Costa Rica where I hope the Forum will be given some time for a discussion.

Yes, Dean, my guess is that French and Spanish are the second and third "most spoken palmy languagues". I don't know in which order. Three languagues would be more than a good start.

Regarding, the actual moderating, the screening of new registrants,etc. Yes, we would need at least one native "submoderator" for each subforum. Maybe some of the bilingual foreigners who regularly post here could face the effort. Moderation of "second languages" can be very easy, much easier than English - The main traffic will always be in English - who knows, maybe 50-90% of the messages. Much less will be posted in Spanish, French or whatsoever. But, yes, there is a need to have someone "on call to answer the foreign language PMs that would come in to the moderator".

As for slanderous posts, I don't see it as a real threat. Here on palmtalk is where I have read the most horrible things  :D  Foreign palm fora have been much more peaceful and less politic than this. Just don't start any "foreign" off-topic subforum and everybody will be happy.

Another issue is how to rescue the heavyweights of foreign fora who left palmtalk and conveince them to abandon the other fora to come back to a multilingual palmtalk.  Maybe it is not so hard, if you bring back the big ones, the rest will follow. Some of the leading posters of the SP forum are logged on palmtalk too, but they chiefly post elsewhere.

As a last thought, English is the most widely spoken language, but the information technology is working on the opposite side, as it is reaching more and more lost cultures that have been away from the mainstream. The feedback proceeding from "lost" countries can be by far more valuable than the mainstream.

Think of Bruno and Tahina.

I wish we had even Chinese featured in palmtalk, it sounds as a joke today but it will not be so in less than ten years. (think of Trachycarpus fortunei 'Winsan' or the incredible Cycas spp. that are coming from there). Think big, and think on the long term.

I have spoken too much, now I am happy  :laugh:

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PALM MOD

Carlo,

Mod edit: Carlo, just saw your post above that you snuck in ahead of the following reply. I'll just leave it as is for your review.

I understand your desire to include as many non-english speaking members as possible. I am trying to keep an open mind, even though like Bo, I think it would be a tough sell to the Board of Directors.

The biggest hurdle, that hasn't yet been addressed, is how does a Moderator handle it all. I speak Spanish, but my writing is very primitive. While screening the new registrants, I have to weed through 50-100 registraations per day in order to find 3-5 legitimate people. The rest are all sorts of trouble makers. I have to email many to confirm they are not someone that will cause trouble, or start PMing everyone on the forum to sell them something, or even worse, to start posting undesirable pics.

As I see it, the IPS would either have to find a Moderator that spoke (and wrote) all those languages, or have volunteers for each language to create and maintain the forums, moderate them, admit/screen new members, and to answer the questions that come in. This is what I see as the main problem.

We have become a fairly popular board, so we have many trying to "crash the party" these days. I would assume that by opening it up to other languages the amount of undesirables would only increase. Even one trouble maker can spread some pretty disgusting stuff around until they are stopped. I would be totally unable to verify the legitimacy of someone speaking French or German.

These issues would have to be resolved before I would think we could proceed with your idea.

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amazondk

Tom,

In defense of Americans linguistic capabilities it is a bit different living in Continental Europe due the proximity of people speaking different languages and ones need to use them.  In a continental country speaking mostly one language this is not really needed much.  Brazil is a similar country of continental size.  In spite of Portuguese being similar to Spanish hardly anyone speaks the language.  I would say a lot more people speak English than Spanish.  And almost all the neighbors speak Spanish.  I have not met many British speaking other languages either.  I think there may be another factor in many areas which is general lack of interest in ornamental plants and landscaping.  To a large degree that is the case here.  People with money, and that includes the middle class, tend to hire someone to do everything and don't really pay much attention to what is going into the ground.  And, poor people are more concerned with getting something to eat.  I know that there are some people growing palm trees around here.  But, doing it to the degree of collectors and growers in Palm Talk is pretty rare.  There are some gardening forums in Brazil.  Maybe there is even one with palms.  But, I have not seen one.  

dk

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_Keith

Might be my overly simplistic American view, but forums in other languages will just needlessly complicate the board.   Keeping things simple is a big key to success.  

The more complicated it gets, the more likely it is to put energy into places that don't add to its central mission.

Keep it simple and keep it focused on sharing information in the most common form, which is English.

In English, 100% of the people can share the information, at least to some level.  In Spanish, maybe 10% will get that benefit, same for French, or Chinese, or whatever.

Simple is the key  and that is English.

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Carlo Morici

Dean Moderator,

This is what I did not know - you "have to weed through 50-100 registrations per day in order to find 3-5 legitimate people.". Of course this needs a lot of work and approval by the Board of Directors. I understand they are possibly still upset with the recent fall and rise of the Off topic forum and the sudden appearance of Palmtalk as a main issue on the board. I understand thes changes can be hard to accept at the moment, but maybe you know better than I.

Don,

I would stop the discussion about "Americans linguistic capabilities" in this thread. It leads to vicious off-topic fighting. I speak different languages and I wish to make changes in order to make this better for those who do not.

Let's not to talk about if it is worse to be an only-English American or a Latin who can't grasp the basics of the mainstream language. It is all nice people  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

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Carlo Morici

(keiththibodeaux @ Feb. 07 2008,23:40)

QUOTE
Keeping things simple is a big key to success.  

Being able to watch, understand and possibly control this increasingly complicated world is the ultimate key to success.

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_Keith

(Carlo Morici @ Feb. 07 2008,18:12)

QUOTE

(keiththibodeaux @ Feb. 07 2008,23:40)

QUOTE
Keeping things simple is a big key to success.  

Being able to watch, understand and possibly control this increasingly complicated world is the ultimate key to success.

Watch - Yes

Understand - Unlikely

Control - Impossible

:D  :D  :D

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Walter John

He who is without hope is without care..........

If you knew Suzie like I know Suzie, Oh, Oh, Oh what a gal........

Palm lingo is the only lingo...........

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