April 24, 2005

Comments persona.

An emailer writes:
I immensely enjoyed your comment response appended to the Feingold post. If I read it correctly, it was not quite written in your usual voice, and that change was part of what made it so entertaining.

Do I have a different persona in the comments? Maybe so. I feel more casual writing on the comments pages and tend to dash things off without thinking so much. It's more like email or an in-person conversation.

But generally, on the front blog page, in the comments, and teaching, when the subject is constititutional law, I tend to shift around to different levels of observation. Sometimes I'm trying to convey how the judges put the argument on paper, just to translate difficult textual and doctrinal arguments for laypersons or law students. Sometimes I'm trying to locate the debate in a political context. And sometimes I just step back and speculate about what kind of a human being would think about things like that.

And even in speaking on these different levels, sometimes I adopt a sober tone that channels the judge (or legislator or litigant) and defends him as he would defend himself and sometimes I adopt the voice of that person's opponent restating his motivations in rough sarcasm. Sometimes when I'm teaching I just walk to the other side of the room to play the cynic -- a move that worked better when a room had a stage. (All the stages were ripped out in the last renovation -- for various political reasons.)

But maybe, for the blog, I should add a new "team member" over here that would just be my nastier, more cynical alter ego. Or maybe I should just put the text in red when I'm walking over to that side of the stage.

8 comments:

PORTSIDER said...

A "nastier, more cynical" Ann. I'm all for it!

SteveR said...

When I email you or post a comment, I *tend* to be more careful and thoughtful than with my casual correspondence, so we met in the middle.

SteveR said...
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TWM said...

When I first discovered blogging I tended to be more casual in commenting on posts and, as a result, ended up in some hot water for letting my first thought spew out on the page. It is especially easy to say something the wrong way when you are in a hurry and just want to comment and move on to other things.

Now I constantly remind myself that a comment is the same thing as a post and I need be more thoughtful in my remarks -- to the point of sometimes coming back later to post the comment just to make sure I think it through.

By they way, while I have always enjoyed your blog, I think the comments make it even more enjoyable. So please keep it up.

Ann Althouse said...

Hmm... there seems to be a difference of opinion about how free-wheeling I should be in the comments.

TWM said...

See, even when I take my time I made a mistake. It should be "by the way" and not "by they way" by the way.

But you knew that, of course.

Patrick said...

I think TWM was mostly talking about what works for TWM, not about what would work best here. I kinda like the alter ego idea -- what shall we call her?

NewsMan said...
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