Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 09:21 am
The word "trivial" usually refers principally to what is so insignificant as to be utterly commonplace or unremarkable. So, it is not an insult if "trivial" has been used in right context. But there is someone complains that is an insult. The context is below:

A talks to B: "You can use my server to upload your sig."
"Your suggestion is fine, and ... trivial...
Anyway, thanks.
Yes, you've once again showed me your kindness. " B replies.
And then B adds: " If you are a charitarian in reality, could I suggest you help those poor children?
" ... "

A: "Haha."Trivial" so it is you now who places insults in thank you notes....hmmm I have licked honey from a sharp sword now methinks."

Why does A think that is an insult? He is wrong I am afraid. Also I'd like to hear your opinion if you think that is an insult.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 09:26 am
Tough one Oristar. It has less to do with English than it does with whether you believe insult is in intent or in how a comment is received.

Calling a suggestion trivial in that case is hard to interpret as not being at least dismissive or something but maybe it was good natured, I don't know the context.
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Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 09:56 am
I would agree that this is a tough question to answer without a little bit more explication regarding the context.
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Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 11:54 am
Without the full context it's difficult to say. But I add three ideas for whatever they're worth.

Idea 1) "Trivial" is a very good thing.
The word trivial has been widely used for many years within the software industry. It means "the solution is so easy it doesn't require any actual work". There is absolutely no insult meant, because it's a happy and fortunate statement of fact.

Very often, the trick with software is to know one esoteric thing that makes an impossible job ridiculously easy. It's like the game of Trivial Pursuit, where that one obscure method makes the whole problem go away. It's no insult to let someone know what that special thing is, because then the person won't struggle too hard to find a solution that already exists. It's like saying "No worries!"

Idea 2) The "insult taken" may actually be an ironic joke.
Sort of like saying "Oh, thank me now, but then I'm on the hook to help you all the time. Why do I keep helping people, why, why?"

A. helped B. with a useful bit of computer trivia, and now rues how he may be expected to do all kinds of things to help. One of the unwritten rules of computer programming is "Never let people know how useful you are", because then you'll be swamped with work, demands and expectations! Laughing Being helpful to people may be a double-edged sword.

Idea 3) Charity is offensive.
In an entreprenuerial or business situation, nobody does anything for free. There is so much deal-making and favor-swapping that, for many people, doing something for free is unAmerican and just not right.

"If you are a charitarian in reality, could I suggest you help those poor children?"
This sounds like it may be sarcasm directed at how uncharitable person A. really is. It implies that A. is not the type to ever care about children, and that B. resents it -- even while he benefits from A's advice.
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Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2003 04:23 am
I feel there is a crystal clearness in CodeBorg'
analysis. Thank you CodeBorg! Very Happy
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