Right. No matter that Scott thinks conversations happen when someone reads and comprehends every word, if they then ignore those words and turn the conversation to their own ends, they just hijack it for their own purposes.
For example, I said I’d like to have a conversation to decide the best course of action for trans women athletes. The outcome I’m looking for in that case is a totally non-theoretical outcome which could impact the sport I personally manage, which hundreds of people take part in and thousands of people watch, and could change the lives of all the women (both trans and cis gendered) who take part.
Nothing that Scott contributed helps that outcome, because for him, making sure people use the right jargon within that conversation, and having people call them out on innocent mistakes, comes first. Having a conversation where anyone feels free to dive in and overwhelm the discourse with jargon-correcting posts is great for sorting out current jargon.
However, if I was a person who wanted to join in that conversation, and have unique or interesting viewpoints to add, or pertinent questions to ask, wading through such posts would be a big discouragement.
This isn’t to say using the correct terminology isn’t important! It’s just that in real world conversations, where there are maybe four or five people taking part, correcting jargon is a small diversion. In a public, online, recorded conversation, four or five people could be having the actual conversation, and there could be 100 people who only want to chime in with terminology corrections.
Let me clarify the nuance of this situation:
There are tradeoffs! Neither situation is perfect.
You can’t say “It’s ALWAYS better for people to only join in a conversation when they want to correct someone else’s language”, and not acknowledge that sometimes you want a conversation to run more smoothly, so people can concentrate on the topic at hand and the goal in mind.
On the other hand, you can’t say “Nobody should ever be called out for incorrect terminology ever” because, of course, they might unintentionally be using language that is insulting or hurtful, and that should be fixed before it becomes unwelcoming.
The nuanced view must include this possibility:
“And if the only response to what they contribute is people correcting their terminology, and nobody acknowledges the substance of what they shared, they wonder what the point was in the first place. They then don’t bother contributing further, and other people see that and don’t contribute either, and the entire conversation devolves into terminology discussions. Seems like a pretty unsuccessful conversation outcome.”
Again, my concern here was that in a historic record, no matter how well the people at the time thought they were using the correct terminology, 10 years later their words or thoughts will way more likely seem ableist/sexist/racist/etc. But to get shit done sometimes you don’t want to have that weight of historic judgement on your mind as you’re having a conversation to get shit done.