13 October 2004

I gotta use words when I talk to you

So said, T.S. Eliot's Sweeney. Somewhat prophetically, he hit on the perpetual dilemma of the web communicator. Whilst this rapid, borderless medium has some of the hallmarks of conversation, you can't see my expression (count yourself lucky), my posture, the way I stick my tongue out a little when thinking, or that strange thing I do with my right hand.

As if I didn't have enough on my plate, I have recently taken to clicking on the button on the top right of a Blogspot blog, optimistically labelled 'Next Blog'. It's fun entering other people's worlds, engaging with their views on life. Or at least it would be if the signal-to-noise ratio weren't so poor.

The first problem is how many blogs have a single entry, half complete, and dated when Adam were a boy. Thought of blogging and changed your mind? Fine, but please pick up your litter on the way out. Problem number two is the blogs which are just lists of links for marketing or traffic purposes. They're the blog equivalent of spamming in my book. Perhaps we should dub them blams or spogs.

But perhaps the biggest problem of all is people who refuse to use words and punctuation when they write. Is it really cool to leave out every clue to meaning and aid to readability? u mt thnk so...bt u no 2 me imnsho it jst sks. So I was amused to read Jennifer Garrett's excellent article Eats, Blogs and Leaves. It's full of pearls of wisdom like:
It's time for a little tough love, people: Anyone who types in all lowercase needs to be taken out back and beaten. You are not e.e. cummings; you are not being "artistic." You're just too lazy to hit the shift key. If you can't be bothered with the extra keystroke, I can't be bothered to read your site.
Go girl! Fellow bloggers, when I read your blog there is a conduit between what I am reading and what you were writing. It's made up of words, grammar, punctuation, page design, and so on. The clearer you can make that conduit; the less congested by bad spelling, abbreviations, and dots, the more I can connect with you, and isn't that your goal?Go to eebahgum!

8 comments:

Mia said...

My friends call me the Grammar Nazi...so this post of course made me laugh. I soooo agree with you. People that are just too ignorant to type correctly drive me nutzo. You can tell the difference between stupidity and laziness. I mutilate the language out of sheer laziness. I make up my own words and run words together (i.e. dunno instead of don't know)...but that's only because I type so fast it saves me time. I'll shut it now...but I love your site, I got here through Blog Explosion...and I'll def be back!

ladybuggin.com

eebahgum! said...

Thanks for your kind words, LB.

Given what a grammar-nazi you are, though, I am in some trepidation about your future visits :-)

. : A : . said...

I used to do the 'Next Blog' thing on Blogspot earlier - but stopped (or brought it down to a trickle) for the same reason. Over time, I have tried to build up a list of blogs that I enjoy reading and keep going back to them. But I like 'discovering' new ones from time to time.

JEA said...

I wholeheartedly second your expression of distaste for the many messy blogs out there.

And I almost agree with Mia's. However, it troubles me that the Grammar Nazi is making use of "def" and "nutzo" in self-proclaimed laziness. Isn't grammatic nazism all about the detail?

(I very much like ladybuggin; I'm just quibbling over the GN title.)

Trillian said...

I'm in complete agreement on this one. There was a time when I thought that my inability to understand other people's prose was a lack of understanding on my part. Now, I recognize that a writer's inability to engage me with their writing is their problem, not mine, and I am very quick to move on these days.

Nice blog, by the way!

Anonymous said...

I'd steer clear of the next blog button if I were you. The temptation that just 'one more click' may yield something interesting, is just too great (and seems to only lead to disappointment and many wasted hours :) ) If you want to surf 'randomly' I'd stick with using peoples blogrolls and moving from one to the next that way...
imho
Sam

golfwidow said...

I don't know whether or not you need another comment from someone who surfed in via Blog Explosion and agrees with you totally, but here I am, nonetheless. I have adopted a superhero identity, Golfwidowpuff, who appears periodically in my blog and fights for truth, justice, and abolition of "LOL".

eebahgum! said...

Always happy to hear from someone who agrees with me completely, Golfwidowpuff! If more people did so my plans for global domination would be further advanced.