October 10, 2008

I get email.

This just arrived:

I literally stumbled on your "blog" last night and tried to actually read some of it, feeling as though I was reading some highschool girl's diary to her girlfriend, complete with buzzwords and inside jokes. I assume that your writing is meant for a very small circle of friends who know or think they know what you're talking about.

"The debate was bad in ways that debates are often bad. The ultra-badness comes from being bad now."

What better example of liberalspeak.....meaningless even while at best it seems to suggest a negative reaction to the "debate!" Huah!

Ann, yours is the kind of spoiled silliness that Americans in flyover country have trouble understanding. I suspect that like Obama, you teach fringe elements of law school, more the liberal indoctrination theme, and I cannot possibly imagine you holding anyone in suspense over whom you will vote for in November!

You're certainly in the right place....Madison has more than their share of ding-a-lings!


(I added the link.)

I'm posting this as evidence of my cruel neutrality.

IN THE COMMENTS: Pete the Streak is moved to point us to The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

And Marcia said...
Sounds like Charlie's a bit grumpy.

Then again, I would be too if I had "literally stumbled on your 'blog.'"

Ann, you really shouldn't leaving it out like that. Someone could hurt themselves.
And you know, there is also a blog dedicated to the misuse of the word "literally": Literally, a Web Log. (The top post right now is about Biden: "I don’t know who this guy is. I don’t know his politics. But anyone who can use literally that many times in one speech has my vote.")


John G Lynch said...

I like to think of it as Ann's ant farm.

Mostly she's content to let the ants scurry in their tunnels to whatever destinations they each have, and marvel at the vagaries of our ways.

Occasionally, she taps on the glass and gets us all stirred up.

Sometimes she evicts an obnoxious one, but it's such a hassle that it doesn't happen often.

Tap, Tap, anyone watching?

(nto JL)

bleeper said...

Well, perhaps the "bad now" point was missed by the writer. War, financial collapse (well, so far it hasn't hit me), famine, pestilence, democrats and other rabid leftists, and we get a meaningless debate about nothing. Now is the time we should have politicians with leadership, insight, actual convictions and beliefs, and a plan other than "Change". More's the pity. But as always, we will look back on this time as the good ol' days, eventually.

Unknown said...

Sounds like Charlie's a bit grumpy.

Then again, I would be too if I had "literally stumbled on your 'blog.'"

Ann, you really shouldn't leaving it out like that. Someone could hurt themselves.

Pastafarian said...

That's really a very strange opinion of the Althouse blog. I find this blog to be less like a "highschool girl's diary" than almost any blog I can think of.

With the obligatory disclaimer of disagreeing with much of what Althouse writes, her writing is outstanding and clear and her thinking is (usually) very logical. Maybe Charlie is confused, and is thinking of some other blog.

I'd be interested in seeing what Charlie would consider a good blog. Only mildly interested, though, in the same way that I might be curious to see just exactly what sort of animal that roadkill was that I just whizzed past: Curious enough to wonder, but not curious enough to actually try to find out.

Anonymous said...

Althouse -- In all honestly, and believe me or don't, it I suspected that you were leaning toward Obama for a long time. But I think you have dome a stellar job at neutrality, one that puts all journalism entities that claim neutrality to absolute shame.

Your emailer is a know-nothing douche.

J said...

Do we know what you're talking about, or just think we know?

According to Wikipedia, "My Ding-a-Ling" was Chuck Berry's only number one hit in the US.

paul a'barge said...


That's the sound of Charlie's knee jerking.

Wow, that's loud isn't it?

Once written, twice... said...

Many conservatives-this Charlie is a good example-have collectively become a nation of whiners. It is all whining about how the media is not focusing on the most important issue facing this nation-"Bill Aryers." Whine, Whine, Whine.

I think most normal Americans appreciate that Obama is too cool of character to engage in personally diminishing whining.

George M. Spencer said...

You are clearly the Leonard Pinth-Garnell of blogging.

Stunningly pointless. Absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Rally sucks.

Joe said...

I love how he put "blog" in quotation marks, as if it were some new illicit drug a respectable person wouldn't be associated with. Or maybe he thinks Ann doesn't run a "real" blog, and she is some upstart, unlike the mighty bloggers of yore whose blogs needn't be belittled by quotation marks.

Unknown said...

wow. i still don't know how you rile so many people. yeah, yeah, it's your neutrality, but it must be about your personal honesty. not something many people are used to in politics, i suppose.

anyways, i have always been certain you would vote for obama though--iraq is too much on the up and up for you not vote your colleague.

Anonymous said...

And then L.E. brings the whiner meme. That's original. Wow. Do you go to parties four weeks late, too?

Anonymous said...

John Lynch said...I like to think of it as Ann's ant farm.

I nominate that line to replace cruel neutrality when the election is over.

Welcome to Ann's Ant Farm.

Anonymous said...

I love how he put "blog" in quotation marks

Anyone else picture Dr. Evil doing air-quotes?

Joe said...

That noise? Maybe it wasn't a knee jerking; it was the crash of him "literally stumbling" over the blog. He could have broke a pixel.

Brian Doyle said...

Only a truly sensible centrist would ever get email like that!

Simon said...

I don't know why people even bother to write this kind of stuff. As George said above, wholly pointless.

I apologize for Charlie on behalf of conservatives who didn't check their IQ at the door.

Darcy said...

Oh, for goodness sakes.

Charlie's just jealous, would be my guess.

Once written, twice... said...

Well Seven Machos, what can I say except that I am just reporting the way things obviously are. Sorry to make you look in a mirror...

integrity said...

I had more fun when I thought you were definitely voting for McCain. I'm still trying to convince myself that you are voting for McCain.

Charlie is one of the douchebags from CNBC. I know it.

The 89% is one of the funniest things I have seen. This arbitrary number is witty, whimsical and extremely hostile in a riotously fun way. Excellent blogging, really fun.

I wonder when the McCain endorsement is arriving?

MadisonMan said...

literally stumbled

Was he on a treadmill?

A better question: What google search lead him here? (And did it contain the word breast)?

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernesto Ariel Suárez said...

I hope you have insurance, Professor Althouse, he may sue.

Some people have no sense and no humor. Alas, it is on both sides of the spectrum.

Pete the Streak said...

Perhaps you should reply,with this:


Ernesto Ariel Suárez said...

MadisonMan said...
literally stumbled

Was he on a treadmill?

A better question: What google search lead him here? (And did it contain the word breast)?

9:56 AM

And dog pee. Yes, in the same search.

Lorelei Leigh said...

I really hate when people misuse the word "literally." Makes me crazy.

Funny, because I kind of liked the line about the debate being worse because it happened now. I thought that was a good point.

And I really hope that this Charlie never stumbles across my blog. If he things reading this blog is like reading a high school girl's diary...Oy.

rhhardin said...

Here's a beagle video from yesterday, one of the beagles of the apocalypse. They herald bike riders.

Lorelei Leigh said...

Oh, and I hate unnecessary quotation marks, too. So this guy Charlie is definitely a loser in my book.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

I don't know about Prof. Althouse's readership, but her commenters are mostly conservative.

So, I suspect "Charlie" is either dense, or is actually a liberal posing as a conservative.

Ernesto Ariel Suárez said...

wurly, TiVO does the same, and they throw in a new DVR for $100 off.

KLDAVIS said...

Evidently, Charlie does not know 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'(™). Berating the Professor for living in Madison is just silly to anyone that has read this 'Blog' for more than a few days.

I don't understand why she's so set on Obama, but I think there's still a chance she can be convinced to vote for McCain. If Republicans care about her vote in that precious purple state of WI, there are much better ways to sway her than with this sort of abuse.

It's not like she hasn't printed a guide for how to convince her to change her mind. It's time that someone go back in the archives and dissect 'How Kerry Lost Me' and show Ann how the same points map to B.O.

garage mahal said...

In what respect Char-leeee?

Ron said...

This blog is a bug zapper for morons!

UWS guy said...

I gotta admit, that "high school girl diary" is pretty good copy.

Ironic he reads you after you have broken your chastity belt of cruel unavailability to Obama.

Or should it be "ironic".

Chip Ahoy said...

That's funny! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Oh boy, I literally laughed out loud at that one, I did, what a great way to start out the day.

You know, when I "literally" stumble, I "actually" scald myself or "literally" land on the "actual" floor. Wham ! It happens a lot. You should see the insurance forms I fill out interrogating me on this very subject.

This is why I hang out at this "girlish" site. It's always up for a good larf.

Chip Ahoy said...

If you think about it, and who doesn't?, "air quoting" as it's typically performed is bad sign language.

The reason is chronological. In typing you have open quotes, then the thing being quoted, followed by closing quotes. Air quotes should follow this pattern. Otherwise, you have quotes floating around in the air with nothing between them.

What? Are you trying to confuse me by physically holding up the quotes in the air while you use your mouth to say something being quoted then simply remove the quotes when you're done quoting? Quotes don't work like that.
A proper air quote would go, boink two fingers indicating opening quotes with the right hand (left-facing to the listener) then the quoted phrase, then boink two fingers indicating closing quotes with the left hand (right-facing to the listener)
Now that would make sense.

blogging cockroach said...

i ll have you know that ants are the worst
if beetles are like mobsters who stomp in
and take over da joint and say things like
youse guys you betta watch your abdomens
you re gonna be mister yellow and black stripes
well ants are like those swarms of kids
who steal your purse
and pick your pocket in paris
they show up talking gibberish
formic i think they call it
and they scurry around in all directions
while picking the place clean
and g-d help you if you get swarmed
the thought of them gives me nightmares
they re the ultimate collectivists
they seem random and offbeat
but one molecule of direction from higher up
and they re off on some new rampage
now i like to think of myself as an independent
sturdy yeoman type of cockroach
and while i believe in taking care of your own
i ll have no truck with reds
so if althouse is going to turn
this place into an ant farm
i m just going to have to skedaddle
and please take down that bug zapper
while you re at it
i don t care who it s intended for
the symbolism bothers me
living as i do near harvard u
i personally think of this blog
as the middle of mass ave
during rush hour for morons
thank you
b c

Anonymous said...

A few minutes of googling failed to turn up the Blog of Grocers Apostrophe's, but I know there's got to be one.

Unknown said...

Charlie sounds like he came to a party late and feels left out because he doesn't know anyone and can't participate in the conversation. Did he make any effort to understand what this blog is all about?

Ann Althouse said...

Paul, you're looking for Apostrophe Abuse.

Anonymous said...

Thank's, Ann!

KLDAVIS said...

So, "blog" is pretty bad, but I think 'blog is worse. "Blog" shows an ignorance of the term in general, and specifically that the term has entered common usage. However, 'blog implies that the user is certainly familiar with the term (familiar enough to know it is derived from weblog or web log, but you never see 'b'log, do you?) but feels some sort of anachronistic pull to demean the word with unnecessary punctuation; to say it can't stand on its own.

blake said...

Anyone else picture Dr. Evil doing air-quotes?

Can I get some frickin' commenters with frickin' laser beams on their heads?

vbspurs said...

Dear "Ann",

Sorry I have been away? from your "blog", but I am currently sticking to my "own". I read Drudge! first thing when booting up my cOmPUTer, whereas previously your "blog" had been first for years (sic).

I need sustenance (!!!).

Or, in "conservativespeak", as we intellectuals call it, your cruel neutrality is not as cruel anymore.


former law student said...

One test for "unnecessary" quotation marks is simply to replace them with the word "so-called." (Here, "so-called" is in quotes because we are examining the noumenon of so-calledness.)

Here, Ann's emailer might not have put blog in quotes because he believes a "highschool girl' s diary" is not worthy of such a title, but rather because he believes the very word "blog" is an annoying, unharmonious contraction of weblog. This should probably be spelled as "web log," to avoid confusion with "we blog."

The second "debate" was hardly a debate, of course, but an invitation to recite snippets from the candidates' stump speeches, so the emailer was correct.

And, as I have recently learned, "literally" can be used figuratively, as with any metaphor.

Note that I am not Ann's anonymous emailer. Ann is an East Coaster plying her trade in the Heartland, the home of Oscar Meyer all-meat wieners, the Progressive magazine, and The Onion.