I feel somewhat scarred after answering this reference request:

Historically first axiomatization of the inner product

Was I wrong to say that the OP's subsequent comment was arrogant?

  • $\begingroup$ What is the reason for the down-vote? $\endgroup$
    – Rob Arthan
    Nov 3 '13 at 2:12
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ No, you were not arrogant. The OP seemed to forget you were doing them a favor. Better move on. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 '13 at 2:53
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @AndresCaicedo: thank you! Tomorrow is another day! $\endgroup$
    – Rob Arthan
    Nov 3 '13 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ The OP reminded me of the title character in the movie "Arthur". The proper reply is the one that John Gielgud so famously uttered, and which I will not reproduce here. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Gordon
    Nov 3 '13 at 20:47

What the OP did was to "look a gift horse in the mouth".

Or rather, after getting a horse without cost, he wants a saddle, shoes, stirrup, reins and food for the horse. It was natural to get annoyed.

But these are all natural wishes.. The OP just momentarily forgot that this is all a freebie. We are human and we have this weakness to want more and more even as our wishes are granted. You can reason like that and forgive/forget about this incident.


One disadvantage of Internet correspondences is that you do not get to hear/understand the intonation of someone else's sentences. For example, suppose that I told you, "You were damn wrong to say what you have said," what do you think my intonation is? Is it a "don't worry about these things a lot man, these things happen, laugh it off" kind-of sentence or a more serious one that carries its exact literal meaning? Given these possibility of ambiguities, both sides should exercise caution. Perhaps, the OP should have tried to be a little more polite to avoid misunderstanding. Perhaps, you should have been not so fast to take it as a form of arrogance. Rather you may have said, "Well, that sounds a little bit offensive, I hope you didn't mean it" or perhaps something a little softer. The OP may have better said: "Library is a little bit far, and I do not have much time, are you sure it is in that book?" or something like that. In any case, you both seem good people, laugh it off man :)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are probably being too charitable to me and to the OP. I think I found the right playground metaphor in the end. $\endgroup$
    – Rob Arthan
    Nov 3 '13 at 3:32

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