The phrase ‘without permission’ struck a chord with Facebook commenters.

EDITORIAL: Offence taken, as readers say no permission required

PAN report over thermostat poll has some calling for apology

The people of White Rock/South Surrey have spoken.

More accurately, readers of one specific article linked on Peace Arch NewsFacebook page have spoken, and the majority will not admit to seeking permission from others when it comes to adjusting the household thermostat.

The story itself was a report on a poll conducted by Research Co. released last Thursday, in which respondents were asked if they change the household temperature without first checking with their “significant other.”

The poll results broke down the statistics by gender and geography suggesting that women (35 per cent) were a little more likely to alter the thermostat without consultation than men (25 per cent), and that Quebeckers were most likely (35 per cent) and British Columbians least likely (eight per cent) to not check in.

READ: Do you adjust the thermostat without telling your partner?

For many readers, it was our article’s original use of the word “permission” that set them off.

“Without permission? Do you mean partners have to ask for permission to turn up the heat? Did we suddenly just go back 100 years?” asked the first of 169 comments posted to last weekend’s Facebook link.

“Who asks permission before changing the thermostat? Or asks permission for anything?” asked another.

Still others sought an “apology” or a “retraction” from PAN, with at least one calling for someone to lose gainful employment. Brrrrr, it’s cold out there.

Several referenced apparent sexism in our reporting that women were more likely to secretly adjust the heat than men, while a much smaller number noted the article was an accurate reporting of a poll, which went on to say that 40 per cent of Canadians said their energy and heating use at home has increased over the past few weeks.

For those who care about such things, the poll was conducted online Nov. 26-29, involving 1,000 respondents nationwide, and is said to have a margin of error +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

With regards to the use of the word “permission,” we readily admit that it certainly does give the impression that someone has authority over the respondent. But to the majority who acknowledge they would consult their partner before raising or lowering the temperature, we also suggest it would seem odd that you planned to do so and then ignore his or her expressed wishes, no?

And to those who say that they would simply change the temperature without concern for anyone else’s desire, well… you certainly rule your roost, don’t you? However, if you would do this – and you also took more than mild offence at our wording – we suggest it’s more than just weather that reveals the thickness of skin.

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