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An elevated comment

A gentleman named Arlan Purdy left me us a very lengthly comment below. The first paragraph is this:

I think I am sticking my nose in where I am not really welcome, because it seems that all parties present have already decided, and are firmly convinced, that corporal punishment is a bad thing. And I am not going to attempt to change anyone’s mind on that count. I think that some of you are interested in hearing someone from the other side address the subject in their own words, so, merely for your interest, I offer this.

Arlan, I have to be honest and say that I grew up in a bit of an isolated society and there were/are people who I knew/know who prefaced most any opinion they offered with a sentence or 2 that sounded alot like this. Whether or not I feel a preface like this serves a useful purpose in some situations, this is not one of them. What this paragraph suggests to me is that journals, weblogs or blogs are not something with which you have had much experience. (eg. contrary to what this paragraph suggests, there are considerably more than 5 people who read this blog.) So, allow me to briefly elaborate for your benefit.

The vast majority of written material that is available on the web provides no means providing feedback directly to the author. Among the remaining sites, many require that you be a registered user, agree to terms of service, etc. Others require that you contact the author to receive a password which will allow you to read and/or comment on what they have written. What I am trying to tell you is that when you encounter a blog which allows you to leave an anonymous comment, the owner of the blog has welcomed you without ever having known anything about you.

Arlan, I’m assuming that your first paragraph is due to your inexperience with this method of communication and I’m not holding it against you. I’m also going to be straight up about it. Going out of your way to tell someone, who has offered the best welcome possible, that you don’t feel welcome is horribly inhospitable and ungracious.

If you are going to leave comments in blogs and identify yourself as a Christian, don’t offend people before you get to your point. If you have an opinion and you feel it’s worth stating, get used to the idea that people are going to disagree with you. And if you are going to preface everything you say with something like the paragraph above, don’t expect that you are going to have very many deep and meaningful discussions from it because most of the people I’ve met on the internet don’t have the time or interest it takes to get past prefaces like that.

To everyone else, please excuse this tangent. If you are so inclined as to read his entire comment and respond, I’m asking you to overlook the first paragraph. I will get back to some of the remainder of Arlan’s comment in another post.

About Ron

Homeschooling dad of 4 (ages 27 - 14), grampy to 3, WordPress core contributor, former farmboy & software developer by profession.

Comments

  1. You are right. I am sorry.

    I know by now that such prefaces are offensive, although we who write them never concieve of them so.

    I was genuinely ambivalent about my reception because of the comments I had seen, some of which seemed to be open to another view (but, not knowing the people better, I was not sure) and your post on “Elevated Comments,” to which you refer.

    Still, there was a much better way I could have said that I wasn’t trying to “flame” anyone. It was a poor introduction to a rather long post (I guess I got carried away).

    Thanks for your direct rebuke.

    Arlan

  2. I can’t say that I saw it as offensive as such, but I do find that sort of thing off putting – as Ron says. And saying ‘I don’t want to flame anyone’ isn’t really any better IMO.

    If you have somethign to say, say it. Most people will repasond to a sensibly argued post in a simialr vein – not always though – just something to get used to.

  3. Arlan – Thanks. Just to add to what Chris said, flaming tends to be direct (although sometimes done in an indirect way) attacks on a person (eg. calling them an idiot, narrow minded, etc.). So far, I’ve only actually had one of those.

    To be honest, I’ve found that most people who don’t want to be disagreed with don’t give you the opportunity to leave them a comment. Or in some cases their writing is posted in a place where they are not expected to read or respond to the comments left. There are some that take great offense to being disagreed with, but if you continue to browse and read, you should be able to develop the knack for know when that is the case. The worst that can happen is someone can tell you where to get off at.