Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Not an argument

There's an annoying behavior I've recently started noticing (say, over the last year), and I wonder where it came from. There's an example at Megan McArdle's comment section. The commenter takes a previously-published line, makes a meaningful change to it, and then closes with something liked "fixed that for you," as if the original commentor or poster had made an obvious mistake. No reason supporting the change is offered, it's just a slap in the face, and one I can't even tell is correct.

It's self-serving, doesn't add to the conversation, and gives me no reason to respect anything the person making the comment has to say. Don't do it.


Laura Back said...

Ew. I'd not seen the behavior before, but then, I tend not to read comment threads on most weblogs... This style of discourse (more snark and one-upmanship than substance) is precisely why I don't -- it's way too common, and I myself get sucked into it way too easily.

On the other hand, I got sucked into reading some of the rest of the discussion at the post to which you linked, and there's a lot that's really good in there. Which, I guess, probably makes the occasional bit of really poor behavior that much more annoying...

Kai Jones said...

I agree, that comment thread is of unusually good quality--but then, I think hers usually are. She has bright commenters who manage to disagree civilly most of the time.