18 January 2012


I've just been banned from one of my favourite websites -- hooray!  This means I'll waste far less time on the internet and be able to devote more time to learning.

Thank you, admins!


Daristani said...

I saw after the fact that you'd been banned from the HTLAL forum, but it wasn't clear for what specific posts, as they'd evidently been removed. You should be aware that various of the regulars have expressed sorrow that you're gone, although a couple of people did see the banning as justified.

For my part, I thought you were a bit sharp-tongued at times, and I never shared your enthusiasm for Michel Thomas, but I always thought your posts were well thought out and well expressed, whether or not I agreed with them. (In retrospect, I think I usually did.)

At any rate, while the admins may indeed have been justified in banning you for whatever offense(s) you've committed, I for one will miss your comments. I hope your language learning goes well, and suspect that you probably will find the time spent in actually learning languages rather than jousting in the forum will probably, over the long run, prove to have been time better spent.

Best wishes in your studies and all the rest.

Nìall Beag said...


In this case, I don't think the banning was justified.

I got a final warning when was locked, an it was fair enough. I did overstep the mark there.

However, if you read the last post of the thread, it says:

This horse has been beaten several times now and nothing new comes of it. Everyone has stated their
criticisms and counterarguments ad nauseum. Any future threads on the topic will be deleted or closed
without a warning. This goes for Benny lovers as well as Benny haters.

This was posted on the 9th of January. But 5 days later, Benny himself started a new thread seeking feedback on his video, which is even now accepting posts.

I don't believe I said anything in that thread that warranted any censorship or was a breach of the rules.

I certainly didn't say much of what I thought about the video. I was only really discussing the amount of language in the video. Other people said Benny should dedicate more time to speaking foreign languages, I said that was a bad idea. I pointed out that you can't evaluate someone's language expertise if you don't speak any of the languages (the target audience is monolinguals, specifically anglophone monolinguals) and I pointed out that we can see from YouTube how people interpret this as showing off.

I'm assuming that because I said it, it was interpreted as a personal swipe at Benny. Because he is absolutely convinced that I've got some sort of personal vendetta against him.

But you may notice that I've never posted about him here. If I had a vendetta, I wouldn't be posting my criticisms on a moderated board, I'd be posting them on my blog, which is under my full, uncensored control.

Maybe the time has come to write a post after all.

Nìall Beag said...

(Oh, but I opened my first comment by saying that the thread would probably get closed, so maybe the mods objected to that.)

Teango said...

I only just found out about you being banned from the forum (having been absent for a short while myself) and am naturally sad to see you go, this is a big loss to the forum. I'll miss your insightful posts and passion for learning, and hope that this hasn't discouraged you in the slightest from your commendable goal to learn more languages in 2012. In all honesty, I'll be glad of another fellow traveller on the road to conversational Irish, especially one with an impressive knowledge of Scottish Gaelic already under their belt. And I can only bet you'll be watching TG4 with a cuppa and rich tea biscuit in hand long before I ever get around to understanding what on earth's going on in Ros na Rún with a soggy chocolate digestive dunker in mine.

In the meantime, I hope you don't mind this old mut dropping by your log from time to time to keep in touch, and I wish you all the best with your plans and courses this year.

So here's one for the road, and another for the critics, let's leave behind the politics, and concentrate on clitics! (couldn't resist ;) )

Nìall Beag said...

Ah, Teango,
Every reader is of course welcome -- I don't get that many eyeballs round here. :-)

One forum couldn't make me abandon something I've now dedicated my life to, and I've known for years I was going to end up banned at some point or other. (In fact, that's the reason I never made any donations via a subscription -- I knew I'd be hacked off if I got banned from something after paying for it, and I knew I'd get banned in the end. So I didn't opt to pay, and I'm not that bothered.)

Actually, I think the timing is excellent: one thing I've found is that most language learning resources on the internet (whether a blog, a forum, or a how-to site) is characterised by heavy editorialising -- including mine.

Lots of opinion, and lots of selective evidence and citation. I'm as guilty of this as anyone, and I'd like to be able to see past my own beliefs.

As I'm effectively starting a new language, and I've got a fixed deadline, it sounds like the perfect time to start a log that's as objective as possible. Rather than mix it into this blog, I'll set it up as an additional one. It's foghlaimbeag.blogspot.com, which is probably grammatically incorrect in more than one way, but hey ho.

Anonymous said...

Just found out you have been banned,I didn't always agree with you but you always made me think, even right back on the old MT forum, you even changed my mind a few times!. HTLAL will be the poorer for it. I hate censorship. :-(

Good luck with everything, on the plus side, now that you no longer post on HTLAL I'll be reading your blog more often, maybe that might be the case for a few people.

Best wishes

Martin (random review).

Nìall Beag said...

Cheers, as I said, I don't blame them, although I do think it was a little silly which particular post they banned me for.

I keep popping in from time to time and seeing posts I'd really love to comment on, and occassionally they do seed another blog post idea....