The Critical Post Ducks Into the Punch

The Critical Post Ducks Into the Punch December 19, 2011

A couple weeks ago I linked to a tribute to crazed lunatic Pam Geller written by a guy named Scott Pollack, who says he is the “chief editor” of something called The Critical Post. I noted at the time that it was simply one of the most badly written diatribes I had seen in a long time, bad enough to make a high school English teacher lose his lunch. Two other writers from the same site have now written amusing attempts to respond to my criticism, ducking directly into the punch in the process.

The first response is written by someone who uses the moniker Diogenes Bohica, with an introduction by Brian Sidler. Sidler ducks into the punch in the very first paragraph with this sentence:

Our readers are bid to recall, Diogenes of Sinope was a Greek philosopher and a Cynic. Among others, his distinguishing characteristic amidst the Greek pantheon of great minds and known by those familiar with his works, is anecdotal.

That last sentence is nonsensical, not just in grammar but in substance as well. Bohica does not better himself:

Shortly after reading Scott Pollack’s epic paean to Pamela Geller, I read Ed Brayton’s smarmy and malicious ad hominem critique. While Mr. Pollack’s article has occasional digressions and is at times poorly punctuated, it does have the mitigating virtues of enthusiasm, accuracy and supporting documentation.

Like most people, Bohica seems to have little idea what an ad hominem is. I’m sure Pollack found my mockery of his non-existent writing skills to be insulting, but that does not an ad hominem make. Pollack’s writing was appallingly bad, especially for someone who postures as the editor of a website. I pointed out that it was appallingly bad and I was right. Sorry if that bother you.

My efforts to find anything by Mr. Brayton similarly criticizing the TOTUS’ (Teleprompter of the United States) frequent use of “uh,” “um” and “y’know” while pausing to find his place on the scrolling screen, attempting to formulate a thought, or merely giving people a cue for a standing ovation, were fruitless.

Imagine that. But there is a difference, of course, between someone who uses “ums” and “uhs” while speaking — that is, almost all of us almost all of the time — and someone who writes as badly as Mr. Pollack does. If our pseudepigraphic Greek correspondent wants to find substantive criticism of President Obama, that certainly isn’t hard to find on my blog. I am one of the president’s most vociferous critics for his disturbing betrayals of the Constitution when it comes to executive power, the Bill of Rights, the rule of law and many other issues.

One may conclude that Mr. Brayton, a self described failed comic due to the illiteracy of his audiences, resents Mr. Pollack’s growing presence in the blogosphere and may be a misogynist envious of Ms. Geller’s courage, dedication, eloquence and appeal.

One could conclude such a thing, but only if one is an idiot. I had never heard of Pollack before stumbling upon the post in question, but I would have no reason to resent Pollack’s “growing presence” even if he had one. But since the Alexa ranking for The Critical Post is 3,733,130, compared to 17,752 for FTB, his “presence” has nothing to do but grow.

The second response is from the aforementioned Sidler, who decides instead to go for fat jokes:

Were I to be enthusiastically inclined to provide the kind of ad hominem attack that these dweebs who frequent the freethoughtblogs.com forum do not deserve, there would be no end to the tongue-in-cheek humor I could provide and enlist as well aimed arrows in an endless quiver of personal barbs.

That Mr. Ed Brayton seems to be a little fatty, like his acolytes, who have to reach underneath their rolls of flab to find only smidgens of manhood, a term I use loosely in their regard, is a laughable aside. I wish I could draw. I could render a wonderful cartoon depicting what their personal scenes staring at computer screens must assuredly resemble…

To conclude, Mr. “Defunct Non-Comic” Ed Brayton, not only sports a very generous girth where-under his manhood hides, he and his cohort are hypocrites to boot.

Come now, Mr. Sidler, you can do better than that. You neglected the obvious “he’s so gay” and you failed to end your post with an exasperated “Whatever!”

A closer inspection of their web metrics reveals freethoughtblogs.com is mostly frequented by young lads 18-24 with some college, browsing from home or school. Enough is said there to fill volumes of humorous, off color remarks. Moreover, it’s taken them a few years to get where they are which is not very far at all, intellectually or otherwise.

The point is however, they’re not worth too much. We’re too busy.

Right. That explains why you wrote two different responses, neither of them with a shred of substance to them. It’s because you’re too busy.

One last note. There is this curious subdivision within its confines called Maryam Namazie. What prey tell is the sole purpose of this meandering? To deride Islam of all things, can you imagine? Something which our friend Pam Geller spends her time doing very well.

He didn’t need to go to Maryam Namazie’s blog to find criticism of Islam; I am a staunch critic of Islam myself. I do not criticize Pam Geller because she thinks Islam is a bad thing, I criticize her because she turns criticism of Islam into virulent hatred for Muslims and a desire to violate their rights and because she promotes the patently ridiculous fantasy that America is on the verge of being taken over by Sharia law. You simply cannot maintain that last position without being either delusional or stupid.

I criticize Geller for her obvious hypocrisy in complaining, for example, about religious accommodations for Muslims but not for Christians or Jews. I criticize her for painting all Muslims with the same broad brush, as though they were all just waiting for their chance to behead someone. Reactionary Islam is the most hateful and barbaric ideology in the world and it must be firmly opposed. But it isn’t just irrational to include all Muslims under that label, it also harms our ability to fight against the most virulent strains within that religion. There are thousands of moderate, reasonable Muslim Americans working diligently with the FBI, the CIA and NSA, and the military to infiltrate, analyze and directly fight against Muslim terrorist groups all over the world. They should be praised rather than demonized.

So let’s recap. Incapable of defending Pollack’s inability to write coherently, Bohica and Sidler make the following points:

1. I’m jealous of the popularity of a blogger who doesn’t get even a tiny fraction of the traffic I get. And,

2. I’m fat.

3. I use ad hominems, which isn’t surprising since I’m fat and all my readers are losers.

Bravo, gentlemen. Your brave battle with rationality is bound to end successfully.


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  • captainahags

    Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition. . .

  • jamessweet

    I’m still trying to figure out what he meant by “his distinguishing characteristic…is anecdotal.” Was he trying to say that Diogenes is well remembered for a particular anecdote? Was he trying to say that the tale is an anecdote and may or may not have happened? I’m just… that’s confusing.

  • daved

    For those unfamiliar with the term, by the way, “bohica” is an acronym for “bend over, here it comes again.” (I encountered it in Richard Marchinko’s “Rogue Warrior” books.) That Diogenes — what class.

  • Are these guys trying for the David Berlinski Prize in Pomposity?

    Also: should I be flattered or insulted to be mistaken for a “young lad with some college”? (That’s about 30 years and two degrees short of accurate).

  • d cwilson

    Can somebody please explain the teleprompter meme to meme? Why do wingnuts find it so hilarious that Obama uses something every other politician in the world uses?

  • heironymous

    I’m pretty sure someone left a thesaurus out. Wait, no. That would involved looking at a real book. They googled and found some pompous sounding tripe. Yeah. That’s the ticket. I saw that shite earlier. As inane as it was, there seemed to be no point to jumping into the muck to engage in a battle of wits with unarmed… teenagers?

  • So, Mr. Sidler, as Ed Brayton’s acolyte I am a fat ‘young lad 18-24’… well, I am 6’ tall, 172 lbs. and on my 3 mile run I pause at the Mario Savio Steps on the UC Campus where there is a plaque that reads, in part:

    “The most beautiful thing in the world is freedom of speech. Diogenes of Sinope”

    Oops, is that an ad hominem anecdote?

    As for 18-24… I wish! Add several decades. And get your face out of the mirror when you write, nitwit!

  • the Alexa ranking for The Critical Post is 3,733,130

    Oh, damn. I am clearly not living up to my potential. The Alexa ranking for Halfway There is only 4,294,948. I knew I should have made more than 93 posts this year if I wanted to eclipse the traffic of “The Critical Post.” I feel so bad. Of course, my one-man show doesn’t claim to “sift the web” or draw inspiration from Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow. “The Critical Post” is clearly playing in the big leagues!

  • mattmeeks

    I’m still trying to figure out how you get ad hominem out of a criticism of bad writing. In order for that to work, you’d have to say something like “his writing sucks because he’s an asshole”, not “his writing sucks because his writing, in fact sucks”, which is what I got from Ed’s comment. Still, I suppose, it’s easier to build strawmen to attack instead of building valid arguments.

  • wscott

    Credit where credit is due, Diogenes Bohica is an awesome pseudonym! Shame it was seized by someone so unworthy of the name.

  • walton

    I think this response is actually worse than the first article. It reads as if it were authored by a somewhat-pretentious high school student who’s been spending too much time alone with a thesaurus. And how juvenile does one have to be to think that “you’re fat!!!” is a clever insult?

  • @9: “His writing sucks therefore his political opinions are stupid” might also be ad hom.

    However, what Ed did in the OP was more like: “His writing is muddled and incoherent, therefore his opinions are probably the same”. Sounds similar, but it’s not.

  • Pinky

    Diogenes Bohica; sock puppet or is it getting crowded in mom’s basement.

  • matty1

    A closer inspection of their web metrics reveals freethoughtblogs.com is mostly frequented by young lads 18-24 with some college, browsing from home or school.

    May I ask a question as a technology illiterate. How does he know the age and sex of readers? I can see how you could find if the connection was at a college or was domestic but as far as I know information like being 18-24 is not going to be available unless volunteered.

  • leftwingfox

    @d cwilson:

    It’s the classic Rove strategy: attack the opponent’s strength. Obama is a strong orator coming after a president infamous for malapropisms. Scream loudly enough that he’s just a big phoney with a teleprompter, and you have ammunition against anyone discussing his oratory abilities. Of course, being a classic republican strategy, the same folks making this argument are making it while reading off a teleprompter themselves. I remember Sarah Palin reading this accusation off cue cards in her hand. =/

  • DaveL

    If our pseudepigraphic Greek correspondent wants to find substantive criticism of President Obama, that certainly isn’t hard to find on my blog.

    You see, that’s where you go wrong. I think he was quite clear that we was hoping to see criticisms of Obama specifically relating to his use of a teleprompter and word whiskers. I guess all that stuff about covering for torturers and the abuse of the State Secrets Privilege are too depressing.

  • ArtK

    Of course we have the delightful hypocrisy of accusing Ed of ad hominem while implying that Ed’s arguments are worthless because of his weight and the supposed callowness of his readers. (Yeah, I know that it’s two different writers — maybe — but “birds of a feather” and all.)

    There’s also the delicious bit about this blog being for both “snobs and illiterates.” A budding oxymoron there. The “lefty” tag is amusing as well. While that describes some of the people here, it doesn’t really describe Ed or many others. In this case “lefty” really means “people who disagree with me” (cf. “Nazi”, “Socialist”, etc.)

    That Mr. Ed Brayton seems to be a little fatty, like his acolytes, who have to reach underneath their rolls of flab to find only smidgens of manhood, a term I use loosely in their regard, is a laughable aside. I wish I could draw. I could render a wonderful cartoon depicting what their personal scenes staring at computer screens must assuredly resemble…

    What a well-written, literate and un-snobbish paragraph that was.</sarcasm> Nothing like trying to boost your own “manhood” by putting down others.

    @ Zeno

    Well, since “Ed said bad things about my love poem to Pam Geller, so he’s a poo-poo head” is the real core of the argument, a strawman is about all they’ve got while trying to sound intellectual.

  • DaveL

    That Mr. Ed Brayton seems to be a little fatty, like his acolytes, who have to reach underneath their rolls of flab to find only smidgens of manhood, a term I use loosely in their regard, is a laughable aside.

    Someone had better tell Greta, Jen, et al. that their manhood is under attack.

  • harold

    I happened to have the misfortune of following one of those Critical Post links a few days ago. (If no-one else noticed, someone obsessively posted them in the comments section of several different threads.)

    Ed has already covered the irony of these stammering, barely literate dullwits’ clumsy attempts to sound pompous and pretentious.

    I also noted that “Critical Post” is, quite apart from its idiotic content, one of the most incompetently designed web sites I have ever laid eyes on.

  • eric

    @17 – that part struck me too. Who would be dumb enough to think (paraphrasing) “You use illegitimate ad hominems! And you’re fat, and your readers are dweebs!” would be an effective argument?

    Its so bad I’m still about 30/70 on poe/actual conservative.

  • frankb

    Jamessweet #2 I promptly noticed the claim that a distinguishing characteristic of Diogenes is anecdotal. I think Sidlar made his sentences so long that he lost track of where he was in his message.

  • ArtK

    @ DaveL

    Mr. Sidler wouldn’t think of mentioning any of the women on FtB because everyone knows that only men can really talk about substantive things. He doesn’t need to attack the women here.

  • Stacey C.

    Well, as a 33 year old woman I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my manhood is very small. Of course I *am* fat but I don’t give a shit what other people think about that fact. I think it’s pretty clear that when your arguments can be translated directly into playground taunts…you’ve already lost.

  • fastlane

    Out of curiosity, does this Sidler fellow provide a photo of himself for comparison? Hopefully taken outside, and not from within the confines of his mother’s basement.

  • Jim

    “Our readers are bid to recall, Diogenes of Sinope was a Greek philosopher and a Cynic. Among others, his distinguishing characteristic amidst the Greek pantheon of great minds and known by those familiar with his works, is anecdotal.”

    This is how very bad writers and very dumb people think smart people write. I would suggest to them Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

  • The Christian Cynic

    ArtK: I don’t think there’s any actual ad hominem in this post (although the author certainly thinks there is, but we’ve already covered that ignorance), only juvenile insults.

  • The Christian Cynic

    Jim: As an English teacher, let me vehemently disagree with your recommendation. Of all the writing books out there, Elements of Style is the one I would least recommend. (Some better recommendations, in my opinion: Style: Towards Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams or Rhetorical Grammar [for more specific work with grammar and mechanics] by Martha Kolln.)

  • Ben P

    May I ask a question as a technology illiterate. How does he know the age and sex of readers? I can see how you could find if the connection was at a college or was domestic but as far as I know information like being 18-24 is not going to be available unless volunteered.

    I suspect it’s a stock characterization. The internet as a whole skews toward what was called the “MTV demographic” in the 90’s, skewing heavily male and the 12-18 and 18-34 age range. You can claim any website is like that, and you’re probably not too far off.

    Most of the crowd here migrated from Scienceblogs, and with no offense intended to PZ, his commentar base is probably the most immature of the bunch. But Scienceblogs commenters are a far cry from commenters on typical websites. Older and more educated is just a start.

  • mucklededun

    Also note that ‘prey tell’ is what happens when, for example, a lion is playing poker with an antelope, & the antelope blinks his eyes really fast when he gets a good hand.

  • randyjordan

    May I ask a question as a technology illiterate. How does he know the age and sex of readers?

    The “writer” was just reading Alexa’s assessment:

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/freethoughtblogs.com#

  • DaveL

    Here’s what I get from Alexa’s description:

    disproportionately childless, higher-income men aged under 25 and 45–55 who have attended college

  • chrisc

    That Mr. Ed Brayton seems to be a little fatty, like his acolytes, who have to reach underneath their rolls of flab to find only smidgens of manhood, a term I use loosely in their regard, is a laughable aside.

    Not that it in any way matters, but I’m a semi-elite distance runner and triathlete and I read Dispatches most days. I am, however, a “dweeb” (I would insert a smily face, but I hate them so…).

    Also, I seem to remember a great deal of debate within these hallowed (digital) halls on several subjects (the one that comes to mind immediately is Libya, US bombing thereof). I recall a bunch of the regulars disagreeing strongly with Ed’s take on the matter. That’s far more disent then you would ever see on sites like the “Critical Post”.

  • otrame

    I am a fairly frequent commenter on Pharyngula. I am not, in fact, immature. Far from it. Ask my poor arthritic back. I have definitely reached “the other one” status.

    I must say, though I confess to letting my less mature side out to play sometimes at Pharyngula, as do a number of other commenters there, I don’t think it is fair to say we are immature because we use bad words and frequently suggest an unorthodox use for deceased members of the Family Erethizontidae. Oh, yes, some commenters there are pretty immature, but no more so than anywhere else. For the average regular commenter there, it’s less immaturity than a refusal to continue to engage with people who are not arguing in good faith, but instead repeat dishonest assertions after they have been refuted, or refuse to answer questions. Past a certain point, it’s a waste of time to try to engage in a “serious discussion” with people who will not, in fact, discuss. Those who actually do discuss get discussion. If their arguments are, in the individual opinion of the commenters, disgusting or hateful, this opinion is often expressed in uncouth language. If that is a definition of immaturity, I can cop to it (though it is really more an expression of my contempt). I sometimes write in a somewhat immature fashion, especially when addressing trolls, or haters of any stripe. Calling such people names may be somewhat immature behavior, but that hardly defines me, or any other commenter who behaves in that way.

  • keinsignal

    But since the Alexa ranking for The Critical Post is 3,733,130, compared to 17,752 for FTB…

    Man not to whip out the e-peen or anything, but just for giggles I went and looked up my own website and it turns out my ranking’s 1,190,944 (147,074 in the US) and there is nothing there but a script that generates random (but occasionally amusing) text.

    So, yeah, these guys are getting their asses kicked by a perl script.

    Just throwing that out there.

  • robnyny

    I can always tell when someone has read Strunk & White because they write things like “fewer than three hours later” or “boldy to go where no man has gone before.” The only person worse for English writing was Edwin Newman, with his ignorant and ahistorical objection to “hopefully.”

    Read this and learn.

    http://chronicle.com/article/50-Years-of-Stupid-Grammar/25497

  • ArtK

    @ robnyny

    Thanks for that link. My youngest son (a freshman in HS) has a teacher who has obviously drunk the Strunk & White Kool-aid. No more than a couple of uses of ‘to be’ are allowed in an essay and I’m sure her justification is avoidance of the “passive voice.” Bah.

  • Pinky

    Thanks Robnyny – I read the link and deleted the bookmark for Strunk & White from my browser.

    I was introduced to the guide in high school and used it through college. It saw me through many papers, but it is time to move on to better advice.

    I am always willing to learn something new.

    Interesting how casual (good) advice can change people like myself.

    Fnord

  • bahrfeldt

    “That Mr. Ed Brayton seems to be a little fatty, like his acolytes, who have to reach underneath their rolls of flab to find only smidgens of manhood, a term I use loosely in their regard, is a laughable aside”. Chris Christie, the Donald and Rush Limpbag are your acolytes? The guy’s really too fixated on fat men’s manhoods although I might presume he is quite familiar with smidgens.

  • Doug Little

    Mark me down as older than 24 with 2 bachelor’s degrees, 6’3″ 215 lbs with a 37:30 minute 10,000 meter Concept2 erg time. Not that any of that matters as they are content weaving their own reality and they are not going to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  • dingojack

    Perhaps he meant Diogenes the Cynic, Suetonius mentions him in his biography of Vespasian.

    It seems that on the Emperor’s peregrination of the Empire he met exiled Diogenes in Athens. Despite being ordered to stand in the presence of the emperor, Diogenes refused, growling some remark from his belly. Vespasian walked over to him, patted him on the head and said ‘Good dog!

    “Good dog, Diogenes Bohica, good dog!”

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    Oops. I, of course, meant Demetrius the Cynic.

    Bad Dingo! 🙁

  • I’m gobsmacked. Stunned! I had no idea that Vox Day had kids!

  • Even my little art website ranks better than the Critical Post (noadi.net has a rank of 2,582,824) and I barely update it.

  • F

    Can somebody please explain the teleprompter meme to meme? Why do wingnuts find it so hilarious that Obama uses something every other politician in the world uses?

    They are upset because even with a teleprompter GWB couldn’t speak to save his ass. Dude couldn’t read, couldn’t speak; I’m not even sure he knew what words were. They were like vocal farts to him.

    but that does not an ad hominem make.

    What you must understand is that these people who don’t know what an ad hominem is think they know what it is, and that the prhrase is short for “ad hominem attack”. (“I think you are rude, I didn’t like it, and I have absolutely no counter arguments other than to call you vulgar.”)

  • crissakentavr

    But he’s so boring, how could you have an argument with him? He’s obviously unarmed.

  • chilidog99

    speaking of writing issues.

    Did you know that if you are typing a post using your Iphone, hitting the spacebar twice automatically puts in the period and starts a new sentence?

  • “Prey tell” is when a gnu, cornered by a lion, points to a tender tasty gazelle sleeping nearby.

  • dingojack

    Wasn’t ‘Prey Tell’ Rossini’s less famous opera?*

    Dingo

    —–

    * Effete elitist joke

  • flherp

    Is Oswald Bates also a contributor?

  • Azkyroth

    Robnyny,

    That was an interesting link.

    I wonder if Strunk and White are also partially responsible for the modern misconception that the meaning of “run-on sentence” extends to “otherwise grammatically correct sentences that happen to be long enough to make a stupid reader uncomfortable”?

  • Since I qualify for senior-citizen discounts in several venues, let me stand up and be counted as not one of the “young lads 18-24 with some college.” And to go with my many years I got me big heapin’ helpings of college and gobs of literacy, too. Maybe that’s why I can discern that the self-important kids at “The Critical Post” are trying too hard and outpacing whatever talent they might have.

  • @ Azkyroth #50

    Guess they weren’t William Faulkner and Thomas Wolfe fans.

  • wheatdogg

    There is a law to the effect that, for most non-specialist writing, the bigger the words, the more trifling the ideas. If there isn’t a law like that, then I claim it as Wheatdogg’s Law©.

  • ArtK

    If we’re doing demographics, I’m over 50, married with kids and in moderately good shape (field sport referee.) Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

  • truth hurts ed?

    just saying man.

    looks like you got your ass capped.

    question: how’s it feel?

  • Anri

    Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition. . .

    You see, I gisagree with this asessment. I would say that their rhetorical sniper rifle is fully loaded with deadly rounds, primed and well-sighted.

    The only minor issue being the fact that the sniper has the wrong end of the rifle pressed to his shoulder.

  • fastlane

    Hey look, Ed! It’s your old friend Pat.

    What is it with dumb right wingers and violent imagery?

  • Jim

    @27, Christian Cynic,

    You must be kidding. Strunk and White is a great book. It is short, concise, the grammar is laid out well, and the writing tips proved very useful when I was a graduate student. I know many teachers in high school and college education who still use it. Get a life.

  • interrobang

    I must have missed the part where I turned into a “lad” of 18-24 with “some college.” I didn’t go to college; I went to two different universities, thank you very much. (Where I’m from, there is a significant difference, in that one doesn’t get a degree from a college; one gets a diploma or a vocational certification.)

    I also must’ve missed the part where I had “manhood” at all. Or the part about being fat. I’m kinda burly, but I lift weights. I also don’t live in my mother’s basement. My mother doesn’t have a basement, and I do have a job…

    I do disagree with our esteemed host about reactionary Islam, though — I’m far more afraid of the reactionary Christians than I am of the reactionary Muslims. Not only are they every bit as barbaric and hateful (if not more so), but they lie about their motivations (for instance, they love to execute people, but don’t have the guts to behead them, and say they’re ‘civilised’), they have a lot more power in practical terms, and they have nuclear weapons. Be afraid, be very afraid…

  • kermit.

    Well, Patrick from Michigan, I uprooted your rose bushes and stopped up your sink before leaving the water running; how’s that feel?

    No really, what is up with the violent imagery? Someone insulted him, so Ed lost that encounter? Which, of course, is just like getting murdered.

    For the record, I am 60, been through college, and have a garden. Oh, and I’ve trained in and taught martial arts for the last 34 years. I admit I am a good 5 pounds or so fatter than I should be.

    And another thing – some of you folks seem a little unclear on the concept: ad hominem is a logical fallacy. That is, it’s a claim that “Mr. Smith is (something bad), therefore his argument is wrong.”

    It requires a claim that somebody is wrong because of bad grammar, or being fat, or male, or whatever.

  • The Christian Cynic

    Jim: First, go read the link posted here by robnyny @35, which is written by Geoff Pullum, a linguist at the University of Edinburgh. If that doesn’t demonstrate nicely how awful Elements is – for instance, that neither Strunk nor White could properly identify an instance of the passive voice in Elements, which they irrationally railed against – then I’m not sure what will convince you. (By the way, I had a former student taking a freshman-level composition class come back to ask me about feedback she’d received, and that college instructor flagged her paper for passive voice – there was none – and had marked a complete sentence as a fragment. I can almost guarantee you that the passive voice comment was due to an unhealthy reliance on Strunk & White’s flawed writing tips.)

    And “Get a life,” seriously? I’m a writing teacher; making sure people have good resources for writing is an essential part of my vocation.

  • DaveL

    truth hurts ed?

    just saying man.

    looks like you got your ass capped.

    question: how’s it feel?

    Pat, I suggest you get yourself two copies of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style. It may not help you write better, but if you keep one tightly gripped in each hand at all times it will at least prevent you from typing anything stupid.

  • imrryr

    truth hurts ed?

    just saying man.

    looks like you got your ass capped.

    question: how’s it feel?

    If anyone can show Diogenes and Sidler how to properly duck into the punch like a true master, it’s our old friend Pat.

  • Chris from Europe

    Jim, the link that Christian Cynic mentions shows pretty well that the grammar in the book is, at times, nonsense. Seriously, how can you misidentify passive voice in that way without being totally clueless?

    The author of the linked piece also shows advice that isn’t wrong, but certainly trivial without practical use for anyone who actually needs it.

    I encountered the same generalized anti-passive voice advice for the German language. Maybe there are other sources than just this guide, perhaps it was the fashion of that time among writers. Or the its bad effect managed to cross language boundaries. Unfortunately, this guide doesn’t seem to be an exception in respect to pushing peculiar preferences of the author.

  • dingojack

    Ooh look, it seems that Diogenes dog has picked up a bad infestation of Pat. Nevermind Diogenes you came to the right place, we can easily fix that problem for you.

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    The passive voice is to be avoided (if possible) because it sounds weaselly.

    Cf. ‘I made a mistake’ & ‘A mistake was made’.

    Dingo

  • jpscso

    I think Diogenes might be Pat’s younger, smarter brother. Doesn’t speak well for either.

  • jpscso

    Also, Scott seems feel great affection for his ampersand.

  • dingojack

    jpscso (#s 67 & 68) – Don’t knock the lonely ol’ &.

    🙂 Dingo

  • jpscso

    Dingo, according to Diogenes, you could be accusing me of an ad hominem attack. I was merely making an observation. I happen to be a frequnt user of the “lonely ol’ &”. Maybe not as frequent as Scott…