In the blog-writing world feedback is king. To understand and realize how you are doing, who you are reaching, and who likes what is paramount to maintaining your enthusiasm for the hard work that all of us do. Sure, there’s the whole ‘personal satisfaction’ thing to be dillied and dallied with, but for the most part – the readers have a huge say if the blogger continues to spew his/her spasms of brain matter throughout the virtual world. For the most part I’ve been very lucky to have some great support and some great fans. So a huge thank you for that.
But lying on the other side, slightly out of reach of a good firm slap on the back of the head, we have the vast desert of internet wasteland. In this desert lies every one of the vermin, rapscallions and scalawags that prey on unsuspecting bloggers. They lie in wait for an improper use of their vs. they’re vs. there. That is apparently their whole aim and focus in life. Whether it’s correcting grammar in a celebrity tweet, or calling everyone who doesn’t agree with them a moron, or just doing a fly-by ‘I Hate You’ rant – these desert-dwellers are poised at the precipice as the punctuation police and seem to be perpetually perturbed.
I get very few negative comments luckily – but when I do, they rock. When I started this whole adventure several years ago I used to be afraid of these desert-dwellers. However, now I look forward to each and every one of them. They all have several characteristics:
- They are anonymous. I’m sure some of my friends read my blogs and see the same issues and problems – but you know what? They keep it to themselves. How about that? I’m far from perfect so just move on. Some. Just. Cannot.
- The negative comments invariably have spelling errors or punctuation errors in them as well which is the very definition of irony.
- The best part of these? I can write about them in a future blog. The people that leave these comments basically are just throwing gas on the fire, or putting whipped cream on a nice piece of pumpkin pie, or toasting their pop tart just a little bit longer to get all the edges nice and browned. See? I came up with two complete random thoughts that don’t make sense just BECAUSE of the desert-dwellers. So you’re only helping me.
The first comment I would like to discuss today was one made on a recycling blog that I had written a couple of years ago. In this blog, I was basically complaining (shocker) about having to split my “types” of recyclables to the point of not wanting to do it any longer. Here is the comment that desert-dweller #1 just left me (2 years after the original post):
wow, you’r ignorant and lazy.
No capitalization, obvious misspellings, but at least this comment was quick and to the point. I applaud his/her scorched earth method of commenting and will certainly take the comments under advisement. By the way, this is nothing new – my wife has been telling me that for years – so THEIR!
The second comment I received last week (‘twas a bad week in desert-land apparently) was on my most ‘popular’ blog I’ve written – the one where I criticized Wegmans for being pretentious, annoying, and generally just a big pain in the butt. I’ve received many comments on that one from both fans of Wegmans and from haters, but none of them have gone to the length of our featured desert-dweller this week – #2. I’ll break up the comment into sections so that you can gather the true nectar of the commenting flower:
1st off I’d like to give you some synonyms for the word pretentious since you use it repeatedly in a short time: Synonyms: affected, arty, assuming, aureate, big*, bombastic, chichi*, conspicuous, euphuistic, exaggerated, extravagant, feigned, flamboyant, flashy, flaunting, flowery, gaudy, grandiloquent, grandiose, high-flown, high-sounding, highfaluting, hollow, imposing, inflated, jazzy, la-di-da, lofty, magniloquent, mincing, ornate, ostentatious, overambitious, overblown, pompous, puffed up, put-on, rhetorical, showy, specious, splashy, stilted, swank, too-too, tumid, turgid, utopian, vainglorious
So not only did #2 find my continued use of the word pretentious to be, well, pretentious, he/she took the time to google synonyms of it and list it out for me. He/she obviously did NOT catch the comedic value that I was using it over and over again to prove a point. This was my attempt to use anaphora to draw the reader in. And by the way, #2, I believe the very definition of the word pretentious is to do exactly what you did there. On to the next part of #2’s comments:
2nd this would sound much better if you were reading it out loud. That way we the “readers” would be able to literally hear your tone and inflection versus guessing it.
Um. Is this helpful? #2, if you’re “reading” this – please send me your address and I’ll send you a book on tape of me “reading” this blog out loud. I have told people this repeatedly, but I WRITE like I speak – so while you’re very perceptive in what you have determined, you are in fact saying “exactly” what I say in every single blog I write. And just what is a “reader”??? Air-quote error.
3rd there is a Wegmans app and according to mine Apple Cinamon Rice Cakes are in aisle 7b.
That’s a helpful comment, #2. Thank you for adding that. With typos.
Good luck on your future endeavors.
Don’t know if this was #2’s version of a microphone drop or not, but it was a surprisingly cheerful and friendly adios to a blog that he/she will undoubtedly never read again. OR WILL HE/SHE?
Please don’t take this the wrong way. I have absolutely no problem with constructive and helpful criticism. Sign your name, take it like a man/woman like you’re expecting ME to do, and don’t criticize punctuation or grammar. Disagree all you want, but desert-dwellers ahoy – there’s nothing to see here. Until you write a weekly blog about all the horrible people in non-desert land, you can’t sit there and complain about the use of a word.
Go out and campaign for Mr. Trump. I hear the KKK and fourteen other hate groups are there ahead of you.
Next blog – off my soapbox and into a cereal box. Now THAT will deserve negative comments – IF YOU’RE NOT A FAN OF FUN!!!!