My sad life as a devout All-true-ist

    Just a quick testimony here from my daily adventure with Altruism™, the Religion which believes in helping the un-saved with grammar and spelling.

Imagine my surprise and disgust to discover that a nice comment I left on a Top-Blog entry mentioning “Tree’s” (sic-note the unnecessary  ‘green-grocer’s’ apostrophe) in which, after complimenting the post, I sweetly pointed out the flaw,  was Deleted. I then found I was ‘Blocked’ from ever again helping this chap.
I’m sorry that I can’t paste the original deleted comment; be assured that it was almost excessively charitable and asked forgiveness for my nit-picking, so to speak.
     Visiting the site anonymously, I now see a major foaming-at-the-mouth event; a post where the miscreant wrongly accuses me (‘a major troll’?) of confusing English(?) and American grammar. (As if ‘shred’ for ‘shed’, and ‘loose’ for ‘lose’, both of which I graciously overlooked, are ‘British-isms’)?)
 And further proof of his resistance to error-correction is evident by the  use of ‘Photo’s’ as the plural of ‘Photo  in a subsequent  post.
     I left this quick comment, (which I expect to be also deleted and blocked), under an assumed name. (see below)
And so it goes. My noblesse oblige as a journeyman English speaker, my hesitant efforts to sporadically help Top Bloggers embarrass themselves a tad less, are for naught. Perhaps there is simply no way to fix an unwilling patient no matter which finely-honed diplomatic scalpel one chooses. Still, I shall keep up my calling. One raving soul at a time.

Soon-to-be-deleted comment as of five minutes ago:

The ‘good’ part about simply blocking someone and deleting a friendly, tactful comment pointing out an embarrassing error is that you’ll never have to be bothered learning  anything . Really, there’s a limit to mis-reprentation. No issue involving  British/American discrepancies was even mentioned in the comment I was lucky enough to see. He/she simply pointed out the ‘Greengrocer’s (redundant) apostrophe in ‘Tree’s’ , and tactfully avoided correcting ‘shred’ for ‘shed, and ‘loose’ for ‘lose’.
Go ahead and delete this also, it won’t change the facts. Sometimes ‘Photo’s’ are really ‘photos’. /M Schlossberg/ Tel Aviv

Wu: Chill, bro. It’s just an apostrophe, after all.
Me: No, it’s a straw, and it broke my camelback.
Wu: You’re this pissed because one Xanga nin-com-poop pooped his diaper, and you coulda saved him, but instead he fought back  and insisted on his right to be ‘un-clean’
Me: Good point. maybe I should just revel in my having been washed in the Blood of Strunk & White. And let the Infidel’s take they’re chances?
Wu: Let us pray…

1) The comment you can read (above) was Not deleted, in fact, the fellow replied in a fashion sufficiently indicative of understanding that my heart was partially softened. His beef appears to be mainly with pointing out typos, etc. to someone I’m ‘not personally familiar with’. That criterion excludes 99% of Xanga, and so my job-description is being eliminated as of *checks watch* yesterday. By that reasoning I should also refrain from expressing my opinion about politicians with whom I have yet to play at least nine(9) holes of golf.
But seriously, my contention is that when a post makes the quantum jump from back-water -add comments-ville to the lofty peaks of Top Blah-blah-bloggs, it needs suffer a higher standard of lit-crit. The fact that Xanga employs not even  one(1) seemingly-literate Front-Page Editor-in Chief is a hole I intend to apply to jump into. (Please don’t parse that sentence, ha.) I envision sending nice pink emails to Top-100 candidates with, for example, the following wording.
    Dear Lucky Xangan ‘name-here-! We are pleased to announce that your post has been read and given
tentative star-status on the highly-vaunted Front Page.However, please note that the plural of ‘tree’ is ‘trees’, and not ‘tree’s’ as printed. As soon as this little error is corrected, do drop us an email at fixed/xanga/com and your post will duly appear. Once again, Congratulations, and thank you for helping in our effort to present this web-platform as an exemplary ray of light in the tunnel of internetz boor-dom. Sincerely, Xanga Teem.

Ok, I now believe I shall grant exemptions from error-correction to the following sub-groups, who shall be immune to any scrutiny:
1) Anyone using English as a second language. No merit in adding insult to the injury of trying to sort out ‘there,their, and they’re’. They will likely refrain from proof-reading my Swahili.
2) Anyone whose entry is not grabbed-up and listed on the Front Page. A man’s home is his castle, no matter how crooked the walls. (His comb is his hassle also, unless he’s bald. credit-RS.)
3) Anyone who is dealing with a recent loss: a death in the family, loss of job, misplaced car-keys, stuff like that there.
4) Folks previously (and hurtfully) called ‘feeble-minded’: Who among us knows how difficult it is to post an entry when one’s mind wanders, when distractions abound even in a quiet room, when our memory is clouded by frantic doubts and black holes. These folks’ input is equally important on a web-site dedicated to diversity.
5) Certain religious groups are of course to be granted carte blanche, especially if they historically don’t take
criticism well. The Aztecs come to mind. If the ascerbic H.L.Mencken could resist becoming a human sacrifice, his heart cut from his body and burned on an altar, I’ll defer to his tactful example.

 Well, whom does this leave, you ask? A: A surprising number of lucky blokes and blokesses. Stay
tuned as I wrestle with my now-more-carefully-delineated target audience. And thanks for reading . Corrections oh-so-graciously accepted.


31 thoughts on “My sad life as a devout All-true-ist

  1. SoapAndShampoo

    Gah, I really hate it when people excuse obvious mistakes by either saying “That’s how we write in *this* country,” or “That’s how we write in the 21st century.” Okay, we don’t spell “jail” like “gaol” anymore. But “lose” shall never become “loose”. They will pry the proper spelling of “lose” out of my cold, dead hands.

  2. jsolberg

    @SoapAndShampoo – I’m not keen on sitting in gaol in defense of my beliefs, but I do on occasion tread into the fray. I sure hope that if caught pissing my poetic pants on the front Page-o-Stars, I’d graciously accept the advice of an anonymous good Samaritan: “Woah.Easy on the diuretics there, JS!”

  3. jsolberg

    @an_OM_aly – Oh no. Now I’m torn between my Brotherly altruistic love for you and the, you know, other kind ♥. This was my third experiment in 5 years of helping someone. Three strikes and maybe I’m out?

  4. BoureeMusique

    Washed in the blood of Strunk and White. Amen. I proofread this stuff (and do some more finesse-level editing) for a living now. I even enjoy it. Some people do not want to be helped. You have to reach people where they are in order to make a difference. *le sigh*

  5. jsolberg

    @BoureeMusique – Yes, my wise father always stressed finding the audience’s level. In this case I could be a wit and say I strained my neck, looking up at Top-Blog Mt. Olympus, then down on the cutting floor, then back up again, quizically. And I’d dearly love to be better at ‘suggestions’, although I don’t lack charm and empathy./ Maybe post about one or more of your editor’s experiences.

  6. jsolberg

    @ordinarybutloud –  Holy One, you have truly achieved Bliss then. Story: Once, as a trial witness, I kinda blew the case by continually and snidely correcting ‘our’ side’s attorney. I couldn’t help myself; felt like a client with a fool for counsel. The guy wouldn’t give up, trying vainly to ‘best’ me. At least the Judge laughed… as he threw the case out. We say often in Hebrew ‘a big difference between being right and being smart (or ‘wise’ in this sense.’ excuse the Moby Dick here, you just reminded me of the incident after 38 years; laughing at malapropers

  7. HappierHeathen

    My interest piqued I thought I’d peek toward the peaks of xangalebrity. There they’re their own kind and the apostrophes’ desire to remain misplaced shall not be questioned. It’s its own thing in its own place, and you’re your own downfall if you question its placement for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup. Or something like that.Sometimes it’s fun to just stick your thumb out and see where you end up, but it’s best to always remember your towel. One never knows when it might come in handy; you may bear uncomfortable witness to a seminal thought meeting an onanistic fate.Ick.

  8. an_OM_aly

    red it all again, including comments and replies, still laughin’, till i’m almost read in the face, wish i could wreck again so u could bee up their in top blogs with yer here-oe’s

  9. ZSA_MD

    I love this post. I have tried to light a fire under somehard butts too. I cannot understand why some people do not exercise the desire to write good and proper sentences, without that unholy apostrophe showing its ugly teeth. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I am with you, and uphold my altruistic beliefs.PS: there is a typo in the second sentence of the ‘comment’ you’ve posted on his/ her blog. I believe you meant ‘ misrepresentation ‘. Best regardsZakiah.

  10. jsolberg

    @HappierHeathen –  Right you are. In ’67, the incidence of stone perverts among those giving me rides, both local (PA to MA) and cross-country was at least 25%./ Your Errors in Regalia verbal tour-de-horse here is knowing. I’ll reserve a room for you at the Rest 4 the Weary Home for Exhausted Pedants.

  11. jsolberg

    @ZSA_MD – Great to have your on ‘our’ side, although I never doubted for a wink, having read your poetry. As to the typo, yes, Schpell-checquer don’t like it, but I for my part look at ‘misrepresentation’ *spits* and see a soup-mess of miserable flavours squashed into a half-litre pot. My private campaign, I guess. “The world shall one day come to acknowledge my prescience”, ha

  12. an_OM_aly

    I looked at top blogs (*shudder*), and could not find the one you referenced, please, please tell me.  Oh, and you’re not embarassed to be up there?   -(sorry [not], my sense of humour)

  13. jsolberg

    @an_OM_aly – L, top-blogs changes almost hourly, and his nice photo-post of chestnut trees is now four days buried among the rich thinspo humus. I won’t name names; not my style. The ‘Je accuse’ piece faulting me for fault-finding is also a few days into the past. I prefer to have simply learned a minor lesson; the difficulty these days of being thought innocent even when one could safely hide by lying in the driven snow.Yes, they ‘T-100’ every post I scribble, which is both unfair to better writers and also confers a heavy responsibility to Also to represent my country without antagonizing the gentle gentiles needlessly. This explains the bite-marks on my tongue. Hmm.. ‘tongue-in-cheek’. What a weird expression. See, I changed the subject already, ha.

  14. Roadkill_Spatula

    I had surprising success with a similar attempt two weeks ago; someone posted about “Capatilism” (and made it into Top 20), so I left a comment saying, “The misspelling in your title is undermining your message. You might want to correct it.” He had the grace to respond with humor and fix the title.

  15. elgan

    I agree. Completely. Well, you knew I would. I saw a laminated poster on a bathroom wall tonight, a very tasteful bathroom in a vegetarian café, and separated was spelled incorrectly as “seperated”. Bad form, Captain Hook.

  16. dirtbubble

    You just get me laughing and I’m useless around here. But I was especially pleased that you mentioned Aztec human sacrifice because I’m starting up the new Xanga Cannibal Gang, in which, by my mere presence here on your page, you are automatically enrolled  and in the charter of which there is no clause for parole. Or something.

  17. jsolberg

    @dirtbubble – Hmm.. sounds compulsory, mandatory, obligatory, and ‘beelti netan le’sarev lo’ as we say in quexahatl. I’ll try to throw my whole heart into the group activities. Which wine goes with ‘Young Maiden parmesan’?

  18. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Thanks, partner. At a certain point, a scientist kinda assumes each year will bring ‘more of the same’, barring a sea-change. And yet the new hebrew year, designated by our letters-as-numbers system, may yet be fortuitous. I need to check-out what this current one spells; we’ve already weathered Ta’sh’ma’D, which spell ‘DESTRUCTION’. I think it was ’84, and it didn’t like pan out as feared. My goal is to get to the Year of the Armadillo, the world’s original Roadkill Poster-beast.

  19. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – I read one, Interesting Times, and fell hopelessly in love for life. As to the profile, the real-world consideration is the cost of facial-reconstruction surgery before each new shoot versus reader boredom with ‘yesterday’s Tim. You decide, ha.


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