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.