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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.

15 comments

  1. I hope you both realize that you need to practice your spelling.

  2. i aGREE with everythink yOu sead!

  3. Yea, I blow my nose at your silly English (or Dutch in your case, Rob) spelling for the verb “practice”. In fact, I practice many practices, but in each practice, I practice spelling practice without an “s”. Happy Friday!

  4. I see only a few possibilities that could work: “!”, “.” and “…”.

    Really?

  5. Really?

    :) Yeah. I considered that, but I have to say, that’s just one bit too weird. Few people really ask their imperatives.

  6. Really?

  7. Language is about understanding. If you can tell what’s “wrong” about it you must understand it. Since you understand it there’s nothing really wrong about it. That makes you an idiot. I don’t talk to idiots, but I spam their little weblogs. See you later.

  8. Language is about understanding. If you can tell what’s “wrong” about it you must understand it. Since you understand it there’s nothing really wrong about it.

    That’s an excellent point. It’s just too bad you didn’t stop there.

  9. Language is about understanding. If you can tell what’s “wrong” about it you must understand it. Since you understand it there’s nothing really wrong about it. That makes you an idiot. I don’t talk to idiots, but I spam their little weblogs. See you later.

    Sommige mensen, Daniel, zijn niet zo getalenteerd als jij bent, en zij zullen dit niet begrijpen. Jij begrijpt natuurlijk dat de taal waarin ik schrijf, fout is. En jij begrijpt natuurlijk wat ik zeg, maar niet iedereen heeft zo een ongelovelijk “P=NP” talent. Om P=NP te gebruiken, is opzich niet helemaal correct, maar jij begrijpt mij vast wel, toch?

    META @ROB: Beslis zelf maar of je dit er op wilt hebben ;-). Misschien is het overdone.

  10. Whatever you say..

  11. Shove off, Rob is my evil nemesis!

    Rob, the best way to improve your English grammar-wise, would be to make smaller sentences. This’d make the style crisper, cleaner and faster. From seeing your (quite lovely) handwriting, I imagine that such a style would fit you.

  12. Yea I agree I delete any bad or misspelled comments from my posts, it amazes me how many people who do not write in good english. To improve grammer I would reccommend some college level english classes!

  13. “Yea I agree I delete any bad or misspelled comments from my posts, it amazes me how many people who do not write in good english. To improve grammer I would reccommend some college level english classes!”

    Oh, the irony is rich.. or is that just plain hypocrisy? Hmm, better go consult a manual and/or authority of some kind!

  14. It is unfortunate to see how many blog comments and forum posts that instead of focusing on what someone said the discussion turns into an off topic English spelling class.

  15. Yes indeed Roger, but tell me, aren’t you doing the same thing?!

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