Do Me A Favor

OK, I am the Oldest Blogger and everything, and maybe I’m getting a little crotchety,

Crazy-Eyed Killer

but I have a request, and I hope you’ll all take it in the warm spirit with which it is asked and not get insulted or anything, because God knows I have very little social capital left and I certainly don’t want to squander it on a careless remark. And of course I am not addressing those Precious Few who actually look me up and read this blog on any kind of regular basis, because you are exempt at all times from any criticism here.

But to the rest of you, would you please stop saying “the internets” when you mean “the internet?” Yes, I know, it’s a joke. I get it. You’re misusing the word intentionally, acting like a goober to bring into sharp focus the fact that you are anything but. And oh, how witty and sophisticated it was, the first time. Yes, I got quite a chuckle out of it, the first time I saw it on somebody’s blog, who shall remain nameless.

But it’s old now, people. Get a new joke. Unlike the one about the penguin and the dish of vanilla ice cream, this one is not funny every time. And if you have a blog, there is nothing you can do to convince the world that you are not a geek.

Anyway, that’s it. Oh, one more thing. While you’re at it could you also stop using periods between.every.fucking.word? You know, to add emphasis? We are writing, aren’t we, and we should think of writerly ways to add emphasis. Unless you’re a teenage girl. If you’re a teenage girl, you are probably required to do that period-between-every-word thing at least twice in every post, because, OMG, that’s the way you talk!

Really, that’s all I need to be completely happy in life, so think of the power you hold, to cheer me. And next time you’re writing one of your trademark witty posts, weigh it against the nanosecond of pleasure you’ll get from writing internets.

Not worth it, is it?

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23 Replies to “Do Me A Favor”

  1. Larry, I think you’ve tapped into an interesting question about blogging. Is Blogistan (as Emma calls it) a big, extended converstation, suited to chatty turns of phrase such as those you deplore? Is it instead a forum for writers writing in a writerly way? Or is it a hybrid of the two? I think I’ve unconsciously tried to breach the two camps with my humble little blog, for better or worse, and I think yours is a delightful hybrid. It’s also interesting that (it seems to me) Live Journal sites tend to be more conversational, informal, and, well, journal-y than Blogger sites, which swing towards writerly.

    I think.

  2. kStyle – Of course, a blog is what you want it to be, and your writing style is, too. I generally eschew the trendy affectations myself (and smileys – God, make them stop), but I am aware that it’s none of my business how you write, and I especially want to steer clear of confrontation if you’re reading and/or commenting on my blog (short on social capital, you know). I’m not a purist or a prescriptive grammarian, but I do think the language is evolving away from my comfort zone, what with instant messaging and cell phone texting (there, look: “text” is now a verb).
    That said, my guess is that Shakespeare would probably have used smileys and SMS abbreviations, at least in the sonnets. CUL8R

    Jayne – You are totally exempt. I wish I were…

  3. Larry,
    You have quickly become my guru for blogging etiquette. Though I realize my rant is tugging on the coat tails of your rant, I hate overuse of brackets. I haven’t seen this too much in the blogging community yet, but myspace is loaded with it.

    I jumped that ship pretty quick. True to my 100 things, it was too mainstream.


  4. Ron – No exceptions to the exemptions.

    Apryl – I’m trying to think what I would use brackets for here, much less overuse them. In any case, it does sound annoying.

    Hey, have you noticed that revision99 gives you a live preview of your comment as you’re typing, down below? What other blog offers you that?

    Also, if you type in the URL of your blog when you comment here, a link will be created when you submit your comment, and many savory and unsavory characters will probably click on it, and read your blog. In case you want that, but maybe you don’t. OK, never mind.

  5. I only wish to say THANK YOU.

    Next time you do a rant about stale old jokes, feel free to add how very very tired the idea of Wednesday as hump-day has become. As amused as some people get you’d think they just now discovered that the word “hump” is a euphemism for S.E.X.

  6. Theresa – You’re welcome. I wouldn’t necessarily want to stop the humping, though, or the references to it at work. I’m trying to see how much I can get away with before it’s inappropriate. There are still a few people who will have lunch with me, so I guess I’m not over the line yet.

  7. Oh dang, somebody spiked your Geritol today, lol. Oops, should I have used lol? Meh, you’re allowed to rant about what you want to rant about on your own blog, that’s cool. Good thing I’m not on the “internets” and periods bandwagon, though–hate getting yelled at by Old Man Jones…

  8. Don’t you know it’s supposed to be “teh internets”? Because we’re all supposed to write “teh” instead of “the.”

  9. Dick – I’ll try to remember the joke. Right now all I can think of is the punch line.

    L – The Joke’s. Too. Old.

    Jack – Not dead yet, but I am still amazed at how often a car blows by my rear bumper as I am backing into my normally deserted alley.

    Goldie – You’re right. I forgot about the de rigeur transposition.

  10. Well! As a (reasonably) periodic reader, if not writer to the internet, I never knew that: so I’ve been educated at least.

    As for teenage girls, they should be locked up until they reach maturity. Which in many cases…!

    Thank you! You just reminded me how great it is to be a grumpy old man!

  11. Ok, I don’t know where I’ve been, but I never noticed the “internets” thing. But I have seen a lot of overuse of periods. And Theresa made me laugh.
    I myself abuse dashes –quite a bit actually.
    ~S 😉

  12. “And if you have a blog, there is nothing you can do to convince the world that you are not a geek.”

    I do believe you are correct! (My teenage son totally agrees with you.)

    I think George W. Bush said “Internets” in one of the debates, didn’t he? I think so. And people just type that to continually make fun of him while thinking they are clever.

    I am guilty of all you wrote about. Please forgive me! I will try to restrain myself in the future. Except for one thing. I can’t help myself. I have to use dashes. Have to — have to — have to. I’ve tried to break the habit. But. I. Just. Can’t.


  13. Blue Girl! Thanks for stopping by. Of course you are forgiven – revision99 is all about redemption. You’re the first one who has mentioned that Bush said “internets” first. Maybe he did. It sounds like his speech pattern. If you’re right, this makes me kind of lame-o, since I didn’t know. And I watched the debates.

    Regarding your evil typographical sins, please note the gray buttons above the comment box, some of which permit you to create instant emphasis with bold or italic letters. For even more hilarity you can cross out stupid mistakes strike certain words.

  14. Having been in publishing since the ice ages, I have useless knowledge to spout about dashes: There are 3 types, of 3 different lengths, used for 3 different purposes:

    – – —

    hyphen: for compound word or adjectives
    en-dash: to indicate a range in numbers or dates
    em-dash: to indicate a break in thought

    I know. I annoy even myself.

  15. 1. Emma Goldman should be praised highly for getting correct the sequence of punctuation when she put the question mark outside the quotation mark. It is odd that Larry Jones did it wrong, but it only goes to show you that even the greatest creators make mistakes. Perhaps Mr. Jones is making an intentional error, in the way of Islamic carpetmakers who avoid perfection so as not to offend what’s his name. (I’m right, aren’t I, that some of us humans should not use the word “Allah”?)

    2. Dashes are one of humankind’s finest inventions. But they must be correctly and tastefully deployed, and they should never be used more than once in a single sentence.

    3. These are the final words on both matters.

    4. At work I often have to encounter a writer who, when making numbered lists, does this:

    (1.). The first thing is …

    (2.). The next thing is …

    (3.). Thirdly, …

    I submit that my pain and suffering over this vastly exceeds that experienced by all you combined. I have probably made a boo-boo somewhere in all this, but let me say in advance that I did it on purpose.

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