Thursday, November 12, 2009

ON BLOGGING ~ Blog Snob...



Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

I am a grammar snob. My biggest problem is when people say "good" when they mean "well." I cringe when people mispronounce a word on a regular basis, or make one up entirely - a la "irregardless." But I bite my tongue to the point of pain because I don't want someone following me around and correcting me whenever I make a mistake.

It took me half my life to learn to spell "tired" correctly. I always spelled it "tierd" because when sounding it out - like Hooked On Phonics told me to do - that is how it seemed it should be. It sounds like TIE-rd, not ti-RED. Enough teachers and the evolution of Spell Check finally drilled the correct spelling through my thick skull. But because I wasn't the world's best speller didn't mean I was dumb. I had a lot to offer and wanted to be taken seriously.

In the blogosphere, when I see a post lacking in proper grammar I still cringe, but I keep reading. I know from my spelling struggles that it doesn't mean that blogger is stupid. Instead of being lazy, maybe they are misinformed, have a learning disability or are writing in a second language. Whatever the case, I can set aside my snobbish inclinations to find out what the blogger has to say.

I come across SAHM blogs everywhere. Not being one myself, it would be easy for me to discount their blog as nothing but cute pictures of toddlers. Yippee. Your kid is cute. Great for you. Let me know when you have something important to write about. And if I reacted that way I would miss out on some incredible posts from women who do more than vent about diapers. They speak of self-worth, respect, responsibility, frustration, anger, grace and love. They put up the photos to give themselves a break from all the inner work. And they also deserve to brag.

Having a pet peeve doesn't make you a snob. Thinking you are better than someone else makes you a snob. It also makes you intolerant. And basically, you shut so many doors on your own opportunities for discovery that some day you will end up ignorant and therefore overlooked yourself.

Do you struggle with blog snobbery? Have you ever decided to dig deeper into a blog that on the surface looked unworthy of your time? Did they surprise you? Don't be afraid to share - your blogger thoughts are safe with us.

30 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

You know, I have kids, and I think they are pretty cool, but I don't say too much about them on here, with the exception of what we are reading. Even though I am a SAHM, I have no interest whatsoever in reading about all that. Absolutely NONE. I forgive the occasional misspellings, because I know I do it too, but if the post is riddled with them, or if the message comes across as ditzy, I just won't keep following. I'm not sure that qualifies me as a snob. I think it just makes me picky. When you read as many blogs as I do, you have to draw the line somewhere!

otin said...

I am definitely not a blog snob! I know that I have faults and I know that not every blog is my cup of tea! I also know that what I do not like, someone else may love!

farmlanebooks said...

Like Sandy I am a SAHM, but I am fed up of talking about children - it is all I seem to talk about in real life, as it the thing I share with most of my friends. I retreat to the blogging world to avoid more toddler talk.

All mums need to talk about these things though, so if someone doesn't have anyone to talk about these issues in real life I see why they'd find great comfort from blogging about it. I don't have a problem with their blogs - I just avoid them in the same way I avoid photography blogs, or blogs about cars. It doesn't make me a snob, just someone who is only interested in book blogging.

Matty said...

I've always been decent at spelling and grammar, which is why I notice the mistakes when I'm reading. However, I don't point them out to the writer because blogging is supposed to be fun. Who am I to tell another person about the content of their blog? It's their page, and they can type as they see fit. For example, some people don't like to capitalize. Everything is in lower case. On the surface, proper grammar, spelling and prose suggest that the author is intelligent. While it might be true in some cases, it couldn't be further from the truth in most. Sure, I am drawn to well written articles with correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, but that isn't the whole picture. The content is what really counts.

First impressions can be accurate. They can also be deceiving. When I visit a blog for the first time, I go beyond the very first post and "dig" to see if it's something I want to stick with and follow. That first post might not be of any value or interest to me, but if I go back far enough, I might discover some gems that make me want to keep coming back.

As for "snobbery", I don't think we should impose our own pet peeves on others. Sure, I don't care for poorly written blogs, but that doesn't mean I should point it out to them. If the content is of interest to me, I'll keep coming back for more.

One final point....it irks me when someone posts a rant about blogging etiquette and rules. It's your rules, or his rules, or her rules, but they're not MY RULES. As I commented in your previous post, it's their blog and they can do as they see fit. If I don't like something about your blog, who am I to dedicate a post to rant and rave to tell the world about it. Usually, the people who do this are the ones with hundreds and hundreds of followers who think they're up on their high blogging horse looking down at everyone else.

I do find it of interest that the purpose of these BlogAnon meetings is to "confess a particular blogging sin". I don't think there are any sins in blogging. You run your blog the way you want, and I'll do the same with mine. I'll go with the flow on yours, and you run with it on mine. Pure and simple. No sins.

Now go back and find the error in my comments.

lareine said...

this is a witty post:)... you might be a grammar snob, but you made your point without sounding arrogant --- which is something others have a difficulty doing... i've read posts of other bloggers similar to this (i.e., things they can't stand) and they still tend to sound high and mighty even when they tried to downplay it by writing some of their weakeness... and that's what i can't stand...

well, i try not to mind too much the spelling or grammatical errors when reading posts as long as the blogger has something interesting to say... in return, i just hope they don't mind my errors and my fondness for ellipses and dashes when writing comments... i know i don't use them correctly i use them instead of a period or a simple dash or colon) but using them makes me feel like i'm talking to them in person (yeah, i know, if it's a real conversation, my voice would tend to trail)... but i'd like to think that it means the "conversation" can be prolonged, just waiting for a word or phrase that would set off another series of exchanges :)...

Missy said...

I am finding that the older I get, the less attention I am paying to my grammar and spelling. I have always prided myself on my grammar and spelling...I rarely misspell words. Now I am doing it all of the time. When I visit blogs and I see spelling errors, it does not deter me from reading that blog, or give me a pre-conceived notion about the person that wrote it. I hope that others are looking past my misspellings and bad grammar, and just enjoying what I have to say. :)

ds said...

When someone (usually an advertiser on television) uses "less" when they mean "fewer" I go ballistic. That's my real world peeve--I haven't come across it in blogworld. For the most part, the blogs I've read have been witty, intelligent, creative, and interesting. So I bookmark them, or follow them--regardless of subject (probably not cars, though). I make a lot of mistakes, so I try not to judge others that way. But if it becomes obvious that the person doesn't care, well, that's a different issue and I probably won't be back.

The Bumbles said...

Sandy = Picky vs. Snobby. Interesting. I would say picky is using criteria of interest to narrow your selections. And snobby would be dismissing something as interesting because you feel it is unworthy. Choosing not to read something because that is how you feel about it is not being snobby. Dismissing it as useless for people in general would be snobby. Personal choice is a good thing.

The Bumbles said...

Otin = Glad to hear it. I know that you have readers who on the surface would seem to be odd matches for your site, yet they are some of your strongest supporters - such as Pastor Sharon.

Though you come from very different belief systems you share a love of many of the same things. If she were a blog snob, she would have dismissed your site as improper - instead she stuck around and discovered a place she enjoyed and has probably promoted to others. That is the crux of what I am getting at in my post.

The Bumbles said...

Farmlane = Recognizing the driving force behind the variety of blogs out there is key. It doesn't mean you have to like them all or spend time with them. But lumping blogs into categories can do a great disservice to them, and the visitor. Not all book bloggers are alike. And not all SAHM blogs are either. But like Sandy mentioned, when you are trying to explore many options, you do need to use filters.

The Bumbles said...

Matty = I agree. Quality is king. The delivery of it sometimes throws up barriers to readers - such as an avoidance of caps or using nothing but caps. It might turn off some readers but many others are rewarded by looking beyond the first impression. I do the same that you do - explore the blog to get a truer feeling of the blogger and their message.

I don't like rules either. And that's not what this space is designed to do. It is a place to throw things out there related to everyday blogging - personal, professional, serious or funny. Share thoughts - gain perspective.

Keep sharing your thoughts. No red correction pens here ;0)

The Bumbles said...

Lareine = I am a grammar snob - with major grammatical failings. That makes me a hypocrite also! Oh well. All I can do is make a concerted effort to present clear writing properly. That's really all I hope for in others. No one is perfect - that would be incredibly boring.

I do enjoy casual speak in the blogosphere. I am a big proponent of dashes. And smiley faces. Lightens up the mood, makes things more personable and as you said...more conversational.

The Bumbles said...

Missy = Exactly. Don't judge a book by its cover.

The Bumbles said...

DS = Laziness is a deterrent for me. I spent a big chunk of my adult life being lazy - in language and in action. I pride myself in having moved on from that stage and feel better because of it. But technology provides such great short cuts, excuses and acts as one big enabler sometimes. Text speak, spell check, etc. It is the world we live in and so I live and let live. And I don't discount on the surface. After all, my lazy butt had great ideas for action spinning around in my brain.

kaye said...

The only pet peeve I have is when there are so many widgets and ads that the page won't load. And I have hit a few sites that for some reason freeze up my whole computer. I had to quit trying to visit those.

I can only think of one or two blogs that I didn't dig into, but not because I thought I was better than them. I just didn't get the whole blog format. one guy was a faithful follower and left comments daily for months. I visited his site but I just couldn't find a way to comment--I had no past experience to prepare me for it. I tried, but eventually gave up and he also in turn quit visiting me.

There are a couple of blogs that I really enjoyed and visited a lot, but they never returned the favor. I still stop by occassionally and view their pictures but I don't comment.

I'm OK with grammar and spelling mistakes--with no spell check (comments especialy) its kind of easy to make mistakes. And I think that in reality there are very few professional writers/journalists that blog.

Melissa Taylor said...

My only pet peeve is a lot spelled alot - AAAAH! While we all make mistakes from time to time, that one seems inexcusable (and can be picked up by spell check.)

(I've seen tweets with this and it's hard not to discount the tweeter as ignorant. I'm working on not judging.)

Melissa

The Bumbles said...

Kaye = Actually there is a very large niche of freelance writers and authors who blog. They blog about their craft, tips of the trade, networking and just their life in general. But just because someone is a professional writer doesn't mean they are any better with grammar than the rest of us. They have more at stake in their written posts though, I'm sure. If I get turned off by it, so be it. If a would be editor or publisher does? Bye bye bread & butter. You never know who is out there looking in. So I try to put my best face forward when I can. This is only a personal blog - but it is on a very public space.

The Bumbles said...

Melissa = Judging is hard to reign in sometimes. Is it our nature to judge or is that something society teaches us to do?

I read a great post on midlifejobhunter.blogspot.com/ recently about someone who discounted a resume as ridiculous and underqualified 20 years ago when a mom returning to the work force listed her life experience as a mother instead of traditional job experience.

That employer looked back, as a mother herself now, and felt ashamed to have reacted the way she did at the time. Had I known then what I know now...

That was being judgemental, perhaps even snobbish. Having walked in the woman's shoes she now sees that mom was being brave and creative as well as honest - with a lot (not alot) of valid experience relative to the working world she was trying to re-enter.

She may have missed out on the perfect candidate for the position. Or the mom may have been completely wrong for the job. Taking a chance to get beneath the surface can pay off big dividends in the long run and at minimum, it serves to clarify presumptions.

sherry said...

Molly, I think you've found a way to publicly and tactfully declare your lack of interest in 'mommy blogs.' I'm with you on this.

The Bumbles said...

Sherry = I was trying to say that it would be easy as me - not a mom - to dismiss "Mom" blogs as irrelevant or a waste of my time. But I don't feel that way and don't do that because I'm always up for exploring something new and different - and in the process some of my favorite blogs are those belonging to the "Mom" category.

The same could be said for "Pet" blogs. On the surface they may seem utterly ridiculous - but there are many which, if you dig deeper, uncover some pretty cool people who entertain and educate.

All of that being clarified, there will always be an overload of blogs that don't suit my particular taste or interest so I wouldn't be out and about exploring their world actively. And their existence doesn't bother me. There is room for everyone in the blogosphere.

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

This has been the best BiogAnon meeting so far. Your post was excellent but look at the quality of the comments - all excellent. Thanks for hosting, Molly.

My pet peeve is not spelling and grammar. I can never remember well and good or any of those others I always seen to mess up. I like to write the way I talk, only nicer. So, I don't mind the blogs with errors unless.

No, my complaint is personal: I am spending way too much time blogging. I love writing my blog but I don't spend as much time creating as I used to. My time is taken up with reading other blogs. I usually read two to three books plus magazines and journals a week. The past four to six weeks I'm doing good to read two books a week.

The posts are so compelling that I'm blog hopping (in my Reader) for hours and hours. It's addictive. And, I see no end in sight. For instance, I love the comments of Matty and Missy and, when this meeting is over, I'm going to go visit their blogs.

Somehow I need to get organized. I have folders in my Reader but I still get sidetracked when I get to a blog and find some new book or website that I just have to go visit. Thank God I'm retired. I don't know what I'd do if I were still working - probably not blog.

The Bumbles said...

Margot = Seems like you are the opposite of a Blog Snob. You find appreciation for others' thoughts and ideas everywhere you go and can't get enough of it. I hear you. I am all about exploring new places and meeting new people. Here and out there. Just like you in your RV - it doesn't surprise me that your tendencies are the same online. The world was opened up to us but hours weren't added to our days. So we have to be selective - like Sandy said way back up top.

LJ Ducharme said...

You would not do well when speaking with my husband. He LOVES to create his own words, and on 'porpoise'. Get it? .... porpoise / purpose ....?

Ok, so I'm the only laughing. Truth be told I'm with you on your sentiment. And it drives me crazy when my hubby makes up words too.

The Bumbles said...

LJ = hahaha! I get it. Good one ;0)

I don't mind self-created words on "porpoise" - it is when people mispronounce words or display words thinking that they are real when they aren't. Some just become so commonly used that if you hear enough other people pronounce them or spell them that way you have no reason to believe otherwise. I told one of my good friends that "irregardless" should really be "regardless" and she didn't believe me. I think it may have even worked its way into modern dictionaries (albeit as "nonstandard") because the grammar police just gave up.

stacybuckeye said...

I'm with Margot. I tend to blog as I speak and that is not the same as when I sit down to write a story or even a letter. A blog is a conversation, so as long as the conversation is one I want to have I am willing to overlook many things...and I hope the readers that stop by my blog feel the same way ;)
Another great meeting.

The Bumbles said...

Stacy = Good point - blogs are conversational. Slang and such permeate my posts. Rules are more relaxed. And my grammar 'tude should chillax along with it ;0)

LJ Ducharme said...

You reminded me of a boss I once worked for. She constantly used the word "irrigardless" and it really drove me crazy, but when she started doing an event which she advertised as the "50th Jubilee Anniversary". this can be read two ways - its either the 50th 50th Anniversary, or the 50th anniversary anniversary.
I gritted my teeth a lot during those days.

Ashley Ladd said...

I read several different types of blogs even though my main thing is reading and writing. When I have time I click on new links and let the blogosphere take me where it will. I've found a lot of new great blogs that way - including yours. :)

Ashley Ladd said...

As far as someone misspelling or misprouncing a word, most people who aren't English majors have one or two they never get right. My father who uis a very smart engineer always says "seckytarry" (although I'm sure he pronounces it right). My husband can't say "fustrated".

Little Ms Blogger said...

I'm with Otin on this one. I read all types of blogs for all different reasons.

In the end, I have to be interested in what the blogger writes. That's why I read a blog.