Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Wasn't Going to Do This, But...

A blogger who would probably appreciate remaining nameless took issue with Ronni Bennett's criteria for selecting blogs for her blog roll. She mentioned that she does not link pro-Bush blogs. This nameless blogger decided he would rather not be linked by such a one-sided blog. His prerogative. However, he then proceeded to suggest that she change her mind and include the "Bushies" for the sake of granting "equal time." She wrote an entry about it, and he wrote an entry about her entry. In his entry, he mentioned that he was a retired professor of English.

I left him the following comment:

"You know, if anyone tried to tell me who I should or should not link, I might get a mite testy.
Nobody is obligated to give "equal time." Why should any of us support and link blogs with which we disagree?
I had linked a truly funny blog, but removed the link when the blogger left a post on top which I considered distasteful in the extreme. My 85-year-old stepmother reads my blog, and I would be embarrassed were she to click on such a link.
If Ronni Bennett's choice of what to link offends you, skip over "As Time Goes by." Personally, I think you seem to be much more narrow-minded than she.
PS: I dropped out of University, but my grammar and spelling are not all that bad, are they?"

Lo and Behold, I received an email from the retired (Canadian) English professor:

"Thank you for your comments and the narrow-minded label. You made 3 errors in grammar and had 1 poorly structured sentence. (Hints-incorrect choice of verb tense in a conditional sentence; incorrect use of a pronoun; missing preposition). I will forgive you for the 3rd mistake since you are probably an American and even most American Uni graduates would make the same mistake. The Queen's English seems to baffle most Americans. Maybe it is your need to feel independent. If you were a 2nd year non English major taking my grammar class, I would give you a D on that message and if you were an English major, you would receive an F. So yes, not bad for a college dropout. Congratulations on your mastery of a spell checker. Sorry, but you asked :+)) At least I did it on a PM and not in a public forum."

I took his email back to his blog and posted it as a comment, wanting to keep the whole exchange public. He removed the comment; no doubt he saw that he sounded like a snob and also displayed an alarming lack of reading comprehension skills for a retired English professor. I did not label him "narrow-minded," I said he SEEMED much more narrow-minded than she.

Of course, there's a world of latitude there, as Ronni Bennett is not narrow-minded at all.

But, that aside, in my experience, there is a vast difference between SEEMING and BEING.

I am chagrined to note that my grammar skills are declining verily unto illiteracy, although it is heart-warming to be told that I spell as well as somebody who has achieved "mastery of a spell checker."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


  1. Priceless! Oh, what a stuff shirt!

  2. Honestly, I pity his students. Good grammar is for the comfort of a reader. It is not for the validation of a professor's ego. (At least it is in -this- former English professor's opinion!)

  3. Hi, Lisa. Yes, I bet a lot of people are glad he has retired!

  4. Oh, geez. Hard to believe he sent that private email and removed your comment. That says it all.

    You know, I'd stopped by his blog a few times before all this happened and he had some good tech information there. As I said in my post, omitting him when I updated the Elderbloggers list was an oversight.

    Lisa F: Great point about good grammar "for the comfort of a reader."

    Now I think I must have subconsciously known his is not a blog I'd want to recommend.

  5. I think he's just an old curmudgeon.

    I'm tempted to critique his comment, in terms of style, but I won't.