I am convinced that there isn't a single one of us here at SZ that, if we meet a fellow member face to face wouldn't get on with them like a house on fire. We have FAR more in common than we have differences
I would be honored to meet Ian, TTG, Spalding, Kingfrog, even Donny
, should I ever have the opportunity. It's simply the nature of the written form, and forums in general, that makes the tone so combative. A smile, a wink, face to face they make even the most blatant statement less combative, more tongue in cheek... Sadly, emoticons don't seem to take as much sting out of a statement than seeing someone do it!
Add to that so many different styles and abilities to articulate your opinion, and often we find ourselves arguing, even when, at the core, we probably agree! I know my wordy formal tone and cut and dry writing style often gets people's backs up no matter WHAT I write, but I'm afraid I don't like the idea of stooping to incoherent, badly spelled ungrammatical English, just to fit in, sometimes..!
We've also got a fairly rare thing, a complete mixture of amateur and pro, stellar player and tyro, all mixed up with often no idea who is who. It's hardly surprising that misunderstandings, or utterly different viewpoints often crop up...
I tried, I honestly did, to give this place a rest, but it didn't last long. Talking about arrangers and music (very occasionally!) is so much FUN... We used to be a nation of letters 100 years ago, and written communication was the primary means of information exchange. This is sadly what that has devolved into, but I GUESS that's progress..?!