The reality is always this: we are pretentious.
It is that inherent thing we are always talking about, the “I just know I am cut from different cloth—maybe paisley or something. But anyhow, my star is like the brightest and I know I’m going to hand the world something fabulous.”
I mean, would we be writing, if we didn’t think we had something worthwhile to say? The ambiguity of being a writer doesn’t last. You are no more amorphous than a cherry pie. And, I suppose the point I am trying to get at is Have you ever noticed how writers approach commenting on blogs?
I was on a writing blog the other day scrolling through some articles and comments, etc. And I was reminded of something I learned in French class.
In France, if you are going to correct someone you begin by apologizing. You use the full and formal title of the person addressed and then you say, “Excuse me, I’m so very sorry but you are incorrect. Civilly and humbly yours, X.”
When a writer comments on a blog with some sort of dispute, they tend to butter up the other writer first. Then, they commence correction. Next, they thank the first writer for being so articulate as to allow them to spot all the holes in their argument, only they do this in a manner that makes those outside the know feel as if the exchange could be nothing shy of civil.
[Here is an example I stole from an unspecified forum]
LANCELOT: “when some asshole publisher and asshole writer decides to take this only thing I concede to holding complete control over and decides I’m wrong and changes it without my say-so, I’m going to fucking flip out.”
WILLHELM: “So, if an editor uses his will and desires to alter my work, especially in a such a seemingly rare and odd way, I can’t imagine myself getting upset over such an issue. Again, I just mean this as what your thoughtful response brought up in my head.”
GENNIVIVE: “I have to default to Willhelm on this. It seems strange to me that one would think of writing as something they can have complete control over. I mean, I suppose you do have complete control over the words you put on the page, but you have no control whatsoever about how a reader is going to receive those words.”
LANCELOT: “Well that’s what I mean, Gennivive. The only thing I have complete control over in this entire fucking miserable world are “the words put on the page.” That control does not extend to a reader’s interpretation. I’m fine with that. I advocate that.
Thanks for the thoughtful response, Willhelm!”
Do you understand what I mean, reader?
Does this help:
I suppose I’m just curious if anyone else has noticed. Is there a specific etiquette one should follow as a blog commenter?
THIS has some suggestions for commenting. What do y’all think?