Thursday 12 August 2010

Your an idiot

Anybody who publishes on the Internet has to be prepared to be criticized. You write something while crafting your prose to best explain your point of view to the world and then the world comes and gives you thumbs up or thumbs down. Sometimes, the world uses another digit.

A blog is certainly more of a personal nature, a series of "opinion pieces" as opposed to "hard news" or a factual description of things. I guess you could say that stating your opinion is pretty much opening the door to comments not necessarily about the material, but about your opinion if not yourself personally.

The other day, an anonymous person commented on one of my blog entries by writing "Your an idiot." An Internet resource called WordNet, a "lexical database for English" hosted by Princeton University of Princeton, New Jersey, succinctly defines the term "idiot" as a person of subnormal intelligence. Obviously, the commenter did not have a very high opinion of my blog entry and was certainly extending his opinion to me personally.

However, as I contemplated this comment and whether or not my ego would be able to sustain the fury of this brief and conclusive assault on the very intellectual foundation of the raison d'ĂȘtre of my blog, I was very much stuck by one particular detail of this fortuitous bit of literary criticism which had escaped the attention of the author.

I was very much appreciative of the commenter's brevity; after all, let's not waste time by beating around the bush. The presentation followed the accepted rules of grammar. Capitalization was impeccable. The use of the indefinite pronoun was superlative and I noted how its use by the author implied that I was not alone in the world of those deserving this qualifying moniker. But, and I must repeat but, the author had unfortunately overlooked one small but important detail in the expression, or should I say the correct expression of his disparagement by falling into what may be considered a familiar homonymic trap. He had written the possessive form of the second-person personal pronoun you instead of writing the accepted form of the contraction of the second-person personal pronoun you and the verb to be.

Yes, while my bruised self-image figuratively attempted to pick itself up off the floor after this verbal fist to the chin, I couldn't help noticing that the corners of each side of my mouth had begun to slowly curl up into what any innocent passer-by could have easily construed as a smile. A memory from oh so long ago had welled up, a story of some amusement about my youth.

Sometime during my teenage years, I got into a verbal exchange with an acquaintance. This had evolved for my sparring partner and me into a winner-take-all, no-holds-barred debate about some topic of profound importance about the fate of all humanity and the future of the entire planet. At the culminating point of our oratorical competition, I scored a touchdown which brought down the house, showered me with accolades and left my opponent speechless in a quagmire of certain defeat and humiliation. There was a pregnant pause during which both I and the surrounding crowd waited with bated breath for a rejoinder which would possibly see the successful comeback of the boxer who has been knocked to the canvas and is in the process of receiving the ten-count. We all watched with great anticipation as the face of my adversary indicated that every neuron in his head was madly firing off at once in what turned out to be a futile attempt to get back up and take another swing. Finally, the expression on his face turned to a look of both frustration and anger. He glared at me and snarled, "You're an idiot." Then he turned and stomped off.

As a final word, I will stick with leaving the comment feature of my blog turned on. I know that some people turn comments off as one way of dealing with unwanted, no undesirable comments but this could be interpreted as "I'm saying the final word on this topic". I guess I would like to feel I'm trying to open some sort of dialogue with a potential reader and would not want to miss out on having some feedback, either positive or negative on my personal observations on life. Nevertheless, I will moderate comments with an eye on sorting out which ones may be deemed of questionable value. After all, I would hope to maintain a certain level of literary merit.

A friend, who works in I.T. (Information Technology) field, told me that he and his colleagues had a private joke amongst themselves for labelling troublesome users. He told me of attempting to fix a user's problem computer only to find out that the user had done something extraordinarily stupid. My friend turned to his partner and said, "Yep, it's an eye dee ten tee." The user, who overheard my friend, asked what that meant and my friend explained it was a technical term for the problem. After a moment, the user said somewhat surprised, "Hey, I just wrote that down. Did you know that the term looks like..."

I D 1 0 T

[chuckles] "Your an idiot." You're an eye dee ten tee?

Hmmm, I just noticed that I've received another comment. Gosh, this author is certainly upping the ante in the strength of his resolve to impress upon me the unworthiness of my intellectual capacity to formulate both a rational thought and a grammatically correct sentence. This may be worth another blog entry! Now if I can only figure out how to respond to "You're a f**king douchebag."* :-)

* Seriously, I did receive this comment but have now removed it. Censorship? I suppose, but I wanted to spare him the embarrassment of his mother finding out.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny! My mom always cautioned me against pointing a finger at someone. When I do so, she warned, "there are always three pointing back at you." Your anonymous heckler would be wise to heed those words!