Friday, March 5, 2010

one of our commenters wrote to us... Here's our reply.

Writing a blog in another language isn't easy.
It's a challenge, but to be able to communicate with people across the borders makes it very worthwhile.

Especially on the subject of autism it's important to work together with all parents and professionals all over the world, and I'm very proud to say that we manage to find each other, help each other and improve care.

Because the English language is a vehicle, and each person uses a personal vehicle, there are differences in fluency and writing skills.
Some native languages are far apart from the english language, both in grammar and in phonetics.
Some went to school almost 50 years ago, when English was not the same language as it is now.
But we don't care.
Like cars can get a flat tyre, a broken window, etc, we all write typos, constructions that reveal the grammar of the native language and we even translate words too literally or just plainly wrong.

As long as we're able to communicate and help each other to make life a little bit easier it's well worth the effort.

Until a few days ago I've met only respect for the fact that we all try to communicate with each other, and we've enjoyed writing this blog.

"We", as we are a group of women and 1 man from different countries and different languages.

And "until a few days ago", because at that date we found a comment.
This comment:

You need to proofread your posts. I don't know what you have against punctuation but you should at least check for typos.

Because it was Ava's shift she went to the site of the commenter and found a post about a 1,000 comments challenge, and she gave this reply.

Thank you for your com­ment at my site.
It’s fine you’re so good at punc­tu­a­tion. It’s always a happy event to deal with per­fect people.

I hope you can write my lan­guage 1% as good as I wrote your lan­guage.
Eng­lish is not my first language.

Well, that’s one com­ment more towards your 1000 com­ments.
What a nice way to reach that amount.

Thank you.

Today I found this comment:

At our site:

Dear Ava,

I’m Cana­dian. I spent years in school learn­ing French, writ­ing and speak­ing it. I also lived in a Span­ish speak­ing coun­try for sev­eral months and picked up some of that lan­guage too. I don’t know what lan­guage you speak. How­ever, I have yet to see a lan­guage where using cap­i­tal let­ters in titles and proof­read­ing for your own typos was as dra­matic as you make it out to be. Don’t use a sec­ond lan­guage as an excuse for sloppy writ­ing. The typos I caught were words you had spelled right in other places. You may post to my blog again, if you can learn to have some respect for peo­ple who have taken some time to give con­struc­tive feed­back to you. If you can’t han­dle that I will not post any future com­ments from you.

And at her site she replied to Ava's reply:

Using cap­i­tal let­ters to start a title isn’t hard in any lan­guage. I think it’s pretty stan­dard around the world. Glad I could give you the chance to rant at some­one. Thanks for the spew.

In case you want to read it yourself: this is the site.

The whole issue raised my eyebrows quite a lot.
We all have the freedom to do at our blogs what we want to do and to write the way we want.
Neelie Kroes hasn't called for a mission against typos on the www, and Blogger hasn't issued a rule against the lack of capital letters in the title of blogposts.
So I don't feel the need to comment on the individual writers at this blog at all.

In fact I want to compliment them on finding a tip/an advice every day so young autistic people have the oppertunity to improve their way of living on all sorts of subjects.

I do understand AVA's comment and I completely agree.

The way the comment was put on our blog was unkind.
And I also had the feeling that the intention was to lure people to her site so she would get her 1000 comments. I don't think that's the way Harriet intended the march comment challenge to be. But hej, who am I?

Ava's comment in no way deserved the reply it got.
She didn't rant at that Laura. To me it looks more that that Laura had a bad day and took it out on Ava.

I myself speak 8 languages more or less: Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Swahili, English, South-African and a bit of Japanese, and I'm sure I've made lots of mistakes, but all I've encountered was respect for the fact that I crossed the bridge and took the effort to communicate in the language of the other person.
Oh yes, I've been offered kindly some help when I asked for corrections.
But I've never ever had someone look down on me or others the way this person does.

I wondered why a person wants to push her own vision on such a rude way upon others.
It feels like bullying on the web.
We're not writing a Harlequin Romance here for women who've already played the housekeeper's role and had to find a new life as divorcee, and we sure are not writing for someone who mistakes rude comments for constructive comments.
There's a huge difference between those.

The way you dealt with this issue gives the impression you consider yourself better than others.
I guess you need that.
No problem with that. We're used to people struggling with their identity, and we respect the lack of self reflection some people have. It's a shame they have to learn about life the hard way.

It's a pity we've seen the worst side of you, and not the one you advert: One polite Canadian bent on World Domination, in a nice way.

So let us make our own mistakes as long as we don't hurt people.
Because, in fact, we're the real nice ones, who take our time to work for a good cause each day.

Thank you for your attention for this blog.



The Twitterer said...

i think of blogging as a way of expressing one's self. unless this is a technical site or one intended for scholarly pursuits, it's ok for writers not to strictly adhere to formal writing and all it's rigid rules on grammar and technicalities. i do that too in my blog and i even use words in my native language if i can't find the right words in english.

maybe she's just trying to give some constructive criticisms but framed the words in a way that sounded offensive for you.

just my POV.

Related Posts with Thumbnails