Commentary

Well, it’s been about a month since the last argument about the value of blog comments among the sites I read. I said my piece in favor of comments (for me—I don’t care what other people do) in a comment (’cause I’m so clever and meta) at Macdrifter. I haven’t changed my mind, and I don’t intend to make any new arguments, but I felt I had to bring the topic up again because of two comments that appeared here on ANIAT today.

The first was from Nathan Grigg, who runs a smart blog on computer/Mac/technical topics that people who visit here would probably enjoy. Nathan’s comment is an example of why I have comments here. He provided an improvement to an AppleScript of mine, and in the process taught me a method for extracting substrings I’d never seen before. Because most of the people who come here are like Nathan, I tend to get good comments that improve the site.

The counterexample was this comment from someone who’s apparently never run across anyone referring to a country as “she” or “her.” Rather than spending a minute or so to look for examples (see Berlin, Irving by way of Smith, Kate), he decided to spend that minute writing a comment he thought was devastatingly clever, but which only displayed his ignorance to rest of the internet.

These two comments are perfect examples for each side of the argument. One is like a thoughtful hostess gift brought to a party; the other is like a turd dropped in the middle of the living room.


5 Responses to “Commentary”

  1. Jimbo says:

    In modern English, calling objects “she” is an optional figure of speech, and is advised against by The Chicago Manual of Style

    From wikipeida

    It’s not that I had not seen it before, its that I believe that calling objects ‘she’ in 2012 sounds stupid.

  2. Andrew says:

    If you can write a post on Afghanistan and the worst comment you get is Jimbo’s uncomprehending “Huh?”, then your commenters are truly the most civil people on the internet. (I excuse myself from this praise.)

  3. Dr. Drang says:

    I’m delighted, Jimbo, to see you using reference materials on the internet. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll probably learn that most people don’t use “Huh?” to mean “I strongly disagree with your use of a traditional figure of speech that I’m thoroughly familiar with but which is advised against by the current edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.”

  4. Dr. Drang says:

    Andrew, you’re absolutely right, but you shouldn’t exclude yourself. As a Canadian, you are, I believe, genetically civil.

  5. Andrew says:

    But as a Canadian (with a British parent) it would be most unseemly for me to praise myself.