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For a group that supposedly shares so many common interests, you
people sure do argue a lot. In particular, the supposed gurus of planted
aquaria on the list - some of whom regularly publish magazine articles -
more often than not provide responses that are sassy, smarmy,
dismissive, and condescending. They always have an exasperated air,
as though it is through some higher calling they feel put upon to educate
the ignorant plebeian masses. Those of us who read regularly all realize
that you are providing free professional advice on your own time. For
your own benefit (and sanity) a beginner (i.e. potential customer) would
- in most cases - rather get no responses than ones that are hurtful
and/or embarassing. 

There are certainly ways to suggest in your messages that the inquisitor
needs to do more reading and learning on their own time, without being
offensive. I suggest speaking with magazine editors to find out some of
their methods for making columns more customer friendly. 

As far as the old fallback argument of "Well, they should go to the
archives anyway," I've used them, and admit that for someone who is
already experienced, sometimes a definitive answer can be extracted.
For those beginners who regularly evoke your ire, however, the
archives are full of contradictory information, bad leads, and vague

I hope you all can consider this input in the spirit in which it was
Kindest regards,
Mark Pellegri, temporarily of Tulsa