04 March 2012

Is Master's Voice

I've had a few entries on the back burner for some time, at least three in the past week that have been relegated to "drafts" for various reasons, mostly refinement and fact-checking. I realize it's a bit lazy, even unprofessional from certain perspectives, to then post an entry practically made up on the spot. However, even with that spontaneity which leaves other and more refined projects in the wings, somehow I can't help but feel like I've lapped 90% of the world's population at least twice in a sack race where my sack is the only one made of chainmail instead of burlap. In other words, I still feel superior when I look around and see remarks like this:

In the interest of full disclosure, I was one of those lucky little boys who had teachers for parents. In fact, one of them is an English teacher, so I'm used to hearing terms like "Grammar Nazi" hurled in my direction. As such, I have to respect that not everyone had the kind of background I did where re-reading and double-checking what I'd written became an almost unconscious habit. I also have to respect that lingering on someone's lack of articulation is a bit of a straw man situation which might ultimately undermine any credibility I'd otherwise have in the discussion. That said, when someone is talking about being mis(understood/interpreted/quoted) or chastising others for how they speak or write when they themselves can't rise to the level they claim to champion, how they handle themselves at a keyboard should be fair game.
In this case, it's especially fair game considering the overall length of the phrase. I can forgive a typo in a novel or even a somewhat lengthy weblog entry, but this is just incompetent.

To his credit, he starts off well enough from a technical point of view, his only real misstep being that he doesn't back up his assessment of the video's "dumb and stupid" narration with specific points of observation, but then we get to the third sentence. Verbosity can't be spelled without "bore," it's true, but sometimes the pursuit of conciseness is equally overbearing and tedious. Moreover, in addition to the uncapitalized abbreviation for "by the way," he forgets part of his own hyperbolic metaphor; what is he speculating being put down the reviewer's throat? He's not even leaving it open to interpretation with an all-purpose placeholder like "something." It's not just bad grammar, it's bad writing full stop.

The final straw is the last sentence, where he remembers to capitalize the first word of the sentence, but forgets how to spell the first word itself, carrying over the same spelling error as the sentence containing a missing word. It's not just incompetence, it's committed incompetence.
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