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Writing good comments

You wonder just what calls out the ire in persons when they leave a comment that feels rather hypocritical. In case you’re wondering, it was left on my practise-related post, hence the truly evident stab. Too bad it was a bad stab. Have a look yourself, it’s not too long a read:

practise writing english

I decided to delete it as spam, but now I think that’s too bad, as it made me laugh a little. Let’s dissect.

  1. A proper sentence should start with a capital, bar a few exceptions. A very few.
  2. A proper sentence is supposed to end with punctuation. In this case, I see only a few possibilities that could work: “!”, “.” and “…”.
  3. English is a language: it must be capitalised (I’m not using “should” here, as people tend to then think they’re free to do whatever they please).
  4. It’s an attack. Few will argue that this is meant as a friendly constructive remark regarding my writing skills1.

Some tips for those to comment: don’t attack without sound arguments; don’t tell me what to do; don’t be stupid. Hey! That’s a pretty easy list to remember!

On this topic, by the way: if you spot mistakes in my English—it happens to the best of us, and to me a little bit more often—, just tell me about it via e-mail, IM or even in the comments. As long as it’s constructive, I don’t see any problem with it. We’re here to learn, right?

  1. I know this doesn’t say anything about the form of the comment, only about the contents, but I consider it worth noting.

On the topic of practise

When I feel a slight irk in things, I try to find out what the problem is. I mean, there usually is a problem when I feel an irk. I evaluate the problem, think about it a lot, think about a possible solution and then play with ways of solving it. I’ve noticed how improving things in a playful manner pays off a lot more than just “regular” improvement; for my personal satisfaction, it does.

An example. I didn’t like writing. With pen or pencil or whatever. Just plain writing. I just didn’t like it. It was a mess to read and I just couldn’t see myself in it: to put it simply, I hated it. I knew what the problem was. I hadn’t practised writing for myself for quite a while. Best I had were some notes on my desk. I knew that I had to change things, so I looked at the letter shapes the next time I was jotting down things in class. I tried to give them all a consistent size. I gave my ascenders serifs. I added ligatures (I’m a typophile) and special letter combinations and I had lots of fun doing that. You may consider that nerdy, but it was fun. A good two weeks of practice, most of it in class, had made my handwriting pretty neat. I am actually proud of it. I now write a lot, because it’s a heck of a lot of fun to write things that simply look so nice!

There is now an image of it that I drew, then photographed myself!

There is a point in this?

There is a point in this indeed. If something isn’t right, work on it. If solving it doesn’t work as well as you had hoped, try and make it fun. What I did was finally putting my typophile heart in it. I made sure I was working towards something that would be fun to look at, and above all, I made sure I liked to do it. What works for me could work for you.

One thing, though, that still bothers me about my handwriting: my numerals. Anyone has tips regarding numerals in handwriting?