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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 384)...

    You answer your questions in a rather brisk and curt manner. I and a number of other readers have been curious why you seem to use such a harsh tone in answering questions. It may be just a personal mis-read of your mood. However, a few people have read your responses that way. Is there any reason why?

    ...and the response:

    With books to write, speeches to prepare, and dozens of letters to answer every week, I really appreciate it when people with questions respect my time by asking them in a direct and businesslike way, instead of expecting me to plow through hundreds of words in order to figure out what’s on their mind. I try to respect my readers’ time in the same way by answering questions briefly, pointedly, and honestly. This style is bound to bother some people---and so would any other style I might adopt. No public person in history has ever had a 100% approval rating, not even Mother Teresa.


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