i feel that sometimes we here on chowhound miss intonation because we simply can't express it well in writing (other than my oft-present smiley emoticon). anyhow, i think if we said IN PERSON in a conversation what we say in writing here, we would just glide over and incorporate each others' comments as part of the conversation, rather than viewing every post as an assertion that must be directly addressed (if our name is in the "re:" line on the upper right of someone's post).
i'm not expressing it very succinctly, but i think you all can understand what i'm saying. sometimes a contribution is not directed at another person's comment, it is just a contribution. i get it. i do the same thing. sometimes a post takes things off on a little tangent or a pet idea, or something we really get excited about. sometimes we read a contribution as a slight or rebuke to our post, and very very rarely is that in fact true.
i am susceptible to doing the same thing on all these counts.
we all miss intonation, because we just cannot possibly "get" intonation (because we can't hear the conversation in our ears; we see it in writing). to really be explicit about intonation, one must really get wordy and i just don't think like that.
this is a general observation, and not directed at anyone. it is something i've seen over and over again on so many different threads, creating unnecessary friction where it really isn't intended or warranted.
grace, my friends, extend grace as much as you can muster -- 'cause we get enough junk in so many other places in life. ;-).