Depends on the context. Is this the lmgtfy poster's first response to a query? Does the lmgtfy poster have a history of being snarky? Has the lmgtfy poster tried to help in other ways? Has the OP been stubborn or difficult to deal with? Has the OP been ungrateful, demanding or sarcastic?
I'd say it is, regardless of context. It's another way of saying RTFM, or put another way "Do you own homework." It's something you would only say to someone asking a question that they should be perfectly capable of finding the answer to on their own had they done even a modicum of research, but were simply too lazy to do so and they end up asking in a forum hoping someone else will do the work for them.
What drives me mad is when responders actually do, instead of forcing them to Hunt down their own answers.
There are a lot of ways to respond that are snarky, acting superior, rude and just plain mean. We've seen most of them over the years from one poster or another. "Let me google" is not the worst, and could in some situations be helpful depending on the intent. There are other kinds of responses that are demeaning in any context. It's too bad that one of the most important rules of the forum is so often disregarded -- if you can't or don't want to help, just don't respond.
It's too bad that one of the most important rules of the forum is so often disregarded -- if you can't or don't want to help, just don't respond
It's that sort of cynicism and condescension that keeps me from participating around here more often.
...which is not to imply that I have any actual useful advice.......just that I would visit more frequently if my eyes didn't roll out of my head at the predictable initial responses I almost always encounter from certain users here when anyone asks a RTFM type of question.
......which is not to imply that the OP questions are always very well thought out.....just that everybody has an idiot moment. Or two. And it's not the purpose of this forum to expose morons as they come through here, but rather to help solve the OP problem when possible.
It's nice to teach a man to fish and all that, but sometimes we don't have time to learn to fish before we starve, and it's better that we hand the fishing nets over to a more experienced fisherman to help us get by for the day.
Simply put, I'm more turned off by some of the truly knowlegeable people around here than I am by the idiotic requests and FAQs by the so-called newbies.
If a person asks a question that has a simple question that can be answered with a simple search, I'll sometimes answer with a search string, like so:
My intent isn't to be snarky. It's to show someone that there's this really useful search engine, and to give an idea how it works.
There's nothing wrong with pointing someone to where the good information is, or even with instructing them how to find it for themselves. The sin is in acting as if the person should've known about these resources and tools already. We're not all born with intrinsic knowledge of online resources and how to search and navigate them.
I only use lmgtfy itself when I've answered the same person a gazillion times, and they clearly aren't trying to help themselves.
If a person asks a question that has a simple question that can be answered
with a simple search, I'll sometimes answer with a search string, like so:
Community Help search for 'CUDA new in CS5.5'
My intent isn't to be snarky. It's to show someone that there's this really
useful search engine, and to give an idea how it works.
Snark factor zero.
I firmly believe that the capitalization WAS intentional here, and probably with good reason. I'll often do as Todd suggests, and give a link to the search criteria and results, just so that the OP has a "leg up" on the "answer."
Sometimes that works, though not always. Not THAT long ago, I furnished the Google link to a request. There were maybe 100 hits, with the answers. A poster (not the OP in that thread) came back with "if you weren't so lazy, you would have read all the hits and would have posted just the ones that would have helped... " OK, so exactly how would I know which of those 100 would have been helpful to the OP?
One can only do so much of the "heavy lifting," and at some point, a poster might actually have to read a bit. It's like the links and articles for a problem's solution. We can likely prioritize the "solutions," but much will depend on ALL of the possible variables, many of which, we might have the info to distill the answers.
No, I think that Jim was correct in the capitalization in this case - at least I think so.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this poll.
For what it's worth, here's my take.
I do think an amusingly prickly response is often ok.
Here's a recent example by our resident master of abrasive humor:
To the uninitiated or thin-skinned, this reply might seem
flippant or dismissive... but as Jeff and Hunt assert,
the context will occasionally excuse an acerbic reply.
As in the above example, other knowledgeable regulars will always
offer their best efforts to Hunt down and solve the OP's problem,
and we all know that if enough relevant information is provided
they are likely to get the very best advice available anywhere...
even from the most bluntly spoken of contributors.
But, it is not a "RTFM" or "Do you own homework" response.
"...cynicism and condescension that keeps me from
participating around here more often."
That's a shame.
I agree that establishing an atmosphere that discourages
irrelevant or superfluous posts is in the best interest of
the forum as a whole, but all input should be welcomed,
and no one should feel intimidated out of participation.
"..."Let me google" is not the worst, and could in some
situations be helpful depending on the intent."
I am sure that's true, and I generally tend to agree.
But I do think lmgtfy is an inelegant approach.
It takes more time and effort to send a lmgtfy link than to
do as Todd and Bill suggest and post a link that may enlighten
the questioner about available resources... even if the note
"found with a google search" is added.
The same intent is achieved, minus the snark factor.
There's a "nicer" version of lmgtfy you can use by adding: &n=1
to the end of the link. It will say "It's that easy." instead of
the disparaging "Was that so hard?".
A subtle difference, but at least it means the poster took the
time to append the link in order to soften the message a bit.
I'm not sure adding a "smiley" to a lmgtfy means anything
(except possibly "I'm laughing at you").
When I see lmgtfy used, my visceral response is to assume
the responder's intent is to rub the questioner's nose in
the presumption of their ignorance and / or laziness.
It was sort of a funny novelty for a while,
but I'm saving it for my Mother-In-Law.
I agree that the "just rotate the monitor" reply was a funny one, and was appreciated by me, as I needed a laugh that day.
Also, it was most likely that someone would have the details to actually help the OP, so nothing lost, and a laugh was gained in the process. Also, the response was not incorrect, as it WOULD "set things straight." [Sorry, could not resist.]
Along the initial lines of this subject, there are often times, when an OP comes up with a problem. In the process, a user will gather several existing threads, that seem similar, or at least the same keywords, though perhaps not the exact solution that the OP desires. I'd like to see the OP's say "thank you, but none of those were my exact issue," instead of the oft repeated reply, "why did you waste my time with those links? Nothing in any of them worked for me." [Just a little personal comment on the responsibility of the OP's to follow the links, read, and then interpolate the data, that might, or might not prove germane to their particular problem. At least someone tried... ]
OK, back to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress.
Yes I think it is. It's a useful service let down by a condescending attitude.
How about instance where I might want to send a similar link to someone without coming across like a jerk?
Imagine I just want to send a link to a friend to a set of google search results - but as opposed to a link straight into the results, I GENTLY! want to show them how I would have got there myself.... LMGTFY would be a useful tool - if it didn't berate you at the end..
Oh well, since the previous post woke up this long sleeping thread ...
I do that all the time. I just don't say it that way.
I generally just say "Give me a moment to look that up". Or, "hmmm, if memory serves, which it doesn't, oh well, give me a moment."
Although a lot of the people I know would just respond to LMGTFY with, "Oh great! Thanks!"
I have to agree with Steven... the words you use will influence the response
I have a file of Adobe notes to be able to post links to previous discussions when someone asks a question, and I think the previous discussion may help
I also, rarely, go to Google and then post the search link (this will be for a product where I can't find a previous forum discussion... such as a new camera)
I will generally post my reply by writing something like "see if this previous discussion or search link will help"
The exact choice of words aside, my feeling is that whatever works to help someone is good... but deliberate put downs are not good (and, the Moderators have recently posted notices to that effect)
About the only time that I get snarky, is when the answers have already been given, but the OP won't even read the linked files, etc., and keep on arguing that the info does not exist. Then, I bring out the "Here, let me Google that for you," and then supply the Search URL, with all of the hits showing.
It's the same as when one furnishes an Adobe KB Article, and the OP does not want to bother to follow the link and read. Then, with a snarky reply, I will Copy the pertinent material FROM that article, and post that.