February 10, 2014

"I do appreciate your willingness to sound like an idiot in an effort to help me."

Things overheard at Meadhouse.

Context: Meade had just helped me proofread and edit the previous post by reading it out loud, which he does as if he were a generic reader who has no reason to apply his intelligence to making sense of hard-to-grasp locutions. It's annoying to hear your writing read out loud like that, and I need to control my instinctive reaction and remember why he's adopting the tone of a rather dumb reader.

33 comments:

Meade said...

_Proofreading Althouse For Dummies_ by Meadhead.

By it threw the Althaus Amazin portal.

betamax3000 said...

You Could try Alternative Forms of Capitalization, Perhaps.

Owen said...

Meade is your not-so-secret weapon.

Shouting Thomas said...

Speaking of idiocy...

We're waiting impatiently for you to begin crowing that the Where's Waldo crowd found a gay football player.

Unfortunately for you (and Meade), there is no story of persecution for you to glom onto.

There are approximately 2,000 professional football players, and I suspect that gaydom is probably about half as prevalent in football as elsewhere.

So, you've got approximately 20 more glorious stories of gays coming out and proud to crow over.

Too bad about the absence of the persecution bit. That's got to be disappointing. Of course, the persecution myth you've been promoting was always bullshit.

If you really are curious about the violence gay men fear, you might take a look at this guy. Imagine picking up a stranger who's this cut and muscular, as many gay men are, and taking him home for rough sex. Sooner or later, the game is likely to spin out of control.

betamax3000 said...

Hvae Meade Read it As if He Were Christopher Walken or William Shatner, Just Because.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Or Gilbert Gottfried

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Are you sure he's adopting the tone?

Maybe that's his natural tone, and the rest of the time he's hiding it so you don't find out.

surfed said...

"You talkin' bout me, Willis?" - quoting/paraphrasing Gary Coleman.

Bob Ellison said...

I do a good Diane Rehm impression. You could email me the copy, and I'd send back an MP3. It'll slow you down, though-- not because of the transfer process, but because Diane Rehm takes 10X as long as normal people to blurt out even the most meaningless statements.

Maybe you should send them to Dana Carvey and request Jimmy Stewart readings. That'd make every phrase sound thoughtful.

MadisonMan said...

I'd like the hear Meade read this.

betamax3000 said...

I Think There is More Here Than Althouse is Letting On. She is Probably Having Meade Read Aloud Her Work in the 'Voice' He Determines is Appropriate for Some of the Commenters. I Decline to Elaborate Further.

surfed said...

Salt water kills brain cells. I'm wandering proof of that. Just run it by me. I'm probably at the low end of the IQ spectrum of Althouse commenters..

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Nothing wrong with proofreading and especially reading it out loud. Often mistakes in syntax will show up in the spoken word that you miss by just reading. Also the realization that punctuation is needed in certain areas.

But.....here we see what the feeling is from the writer about the intended audience?

Althouse feels that she has to "dumb down" her rhetoric so that the morons who read this blog are able to understand it. Hurrr durrrr.....hope we can get the the big words with more than one syllable.

Oh my.. The sacrifices that must be made in order to attempt to communicate with such dolts.

EDH said...

"I do appreciate your willingness to sound like an idiot in an effort to help me."

It is a tale
Told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.


— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)

rhhardin said...

The proper tone youtube.

Inga said...

How many Lemmings have come back into the loving arms of Mama Althouse after leaving in a huff? Most of them unfortunately.

Inga said...

How many times have DBQ and others who have had their feelings hurt exclaim they will "never again comment at Althouse!"? Yet here they are once again commenting and complaining of hurt feelings. It is to laugh.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are you sure he's adopting the tone? Maybe that's his natural tone, and the rest of the time he's hiding it so you don't find out."

I'm amused by the implication that one could be dumb but play smart to trick people.

There are some ways to try to do that but they only work on people who are not smart… or who want to be fooled.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm amused by the implication that one could be dumb but play smart to trick people.

Ann Althouse said...

@Ignorance Meade will confirm that I made the same joke here at Meadhouse when I said the things in my comment that made that connection in your mind.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And yes, my comments were meant to be amusing.

But I do think there are people will relatively low intelligence but high social skill who succeed in adopting the social markers of higher intelligence.

And of course, pickup artists are people who have learned to act like alpha males ( or caricatures of such ) in order to pick up women.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...when I said the things in my comment that made that connection in your mind.

I'm amused that, in that sentence, the things you said are the actors, and my mind is simply the object of their actions.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Of course that's exactly the reaction your comments wanted me to have.

jacksonjay said...

"There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs."

Thomas Sowell

I read something very smart last week about fewer work hours being a great thing!

paminwi said...

I don't believe anywhere in DBQ's comment did she say she would never post here again. (To paraphrase your comment).

Maybe you need to go back and read her comment again or do you like to put words in someone's mouth just to try to prove your point?

You could try to prove your point without making shit up.

This is a comment from someone who felt the same way DBQ felt about reading the post. I believe every once in a while Althouse has to present her "I AM" better and smarter than many of you rubes who post here and today I need to make that point again.

So......if it makes you, Inga, or you, Althouse, feel better about yourself - that's great! Go for it!Just don't hurt yourself patting yourself on the back!

Rusty said...


"Althouse feels that she has to "dumb down" her rhetoric so that the morons who read this blog are able to understand it. "

I hope she isn't doing that. That would be bad.

Inga said...

Pam, she has said that she wouldn't comment here anymore several times over the last three years, in two different places, other blogs, who's names I won't mention here unless you insist.

Inga said...

And Pam, don't believe me, I don't really care one way or another, ask her yourself, see if she denies saying she wouldn't comment here anymore. I just enjoy pointing out whiners and hypocrites.

Owen said...

I don't see a problem with our host doing some reader/road testing of her remarks to see how they play: whether for sense, style, pitch, whatever. Considering the prodigious blogging done here, that kind of process control probably helps keep it in the zone. As for readers taking umbrage --"who ya callin' a moron? Huh?"-- that's their choice.

Drago said...

Inga: " I just enjoy pointing out whiners and hypocrites"

You must not have a free moment between the Occupy movement and the obama administration.

And yourself, of course.

Moose said...

So you paying Meade or is he an unpaid intern.

For that matter - what does Meade do other than pithy comments?

Ann Althouse said...

""Althouse feels that she has to "dumb down" her rhetoric so that the morons who read this blog are able to understand it.' I hope she isn't doing that. That would be bad."

Well… consider that this post was not pre-read by Meade to help me "hear" it as others might read it.

I know some people are just looking for things I might say that can be characterized in an unflattering way.

What Meade is helping me do is hear the ways in which a post would seem to a reader who isn't ready to "get" me or who might get confused by something strange about it, some ambiguity or different stress, something that I would have missed because I'm writing quickly and off the top of my head and my thoughts obviously make sense to me.

I do want to make things clear. I'm a big proponent of clarity, though I do deviate from the clearest writing sometimes to be funny or to capture something immediate about my train of thought.

I'm never trying to be pretentious or to make it hard for people, but I don't consistently take the time to reread it from an outsider's point of view.

I don't want anyone to have to spend extra time reading to figure out something that I had no reason to make unclear, and there's always little things like that. Meade is great at making that sort of thing visible to me.

I thought you'd find the around-the-house quote in the post title funny or I wouldn't have done a separate post about it.

The phrase "as if he were a generic reader who has no reason to apply his intelligence to making sense of hard-to-grasp locutions" should have worked to explain the concept. I'm not saying I think the readers might be dumb, just that casual readers may take a glance at something and feel like it's just abstruse and if they're not motivated to try to understand, they'll just go somewhere else.

Meade reads in an especially slow-to-understand manner that gets on my nerves, but I have to remember why he is doing that: to help me hear problems. It's like he's doing reading in slow motion.

I don't say that I think the readers are dumb, but Meade reads as if he were dumb to highlight the problems an impatient reader might have. He certainly doesn't pretend to be "the" typical reader of this blog. I say "a generic reader" who's not up for any extra work or inclined to be sympathetic to me, and then I say "a rather dumb reader." The use of the indefinite article should reveal that this is one reader, Meade himself, going slow and showing by his inflection where he's having difficulty.

If you are reading that as a statement of what we think of "the" typical reader here, you seem to be looking for ways to attack me or just a tad too defensive.

Anyway, I write what I think and I try to make it very concise and clear and fun to read.

Rusty said...


"Anyway, I write what I think and I try to make it very concise and clear and fun to read."

And you very nearly almost always pull it off.

Cheers