Blogger tantrums

I don’t understand the recent trend of Virginia political bloggers writing in italics and also bold to make really serious demands that they insist that somebody in power do because they are aghast and hyperventilating and may well have the vapors. Things like:

I am OUTRAGED that Senator Smiley would send out a mailing in which he fails to fully acknowledge the support of Supervisor Smith. I have never in my 18-year-life been so offended. I demand that Senator Smiley apologize to me immediately.

This is not a practice that exists on any other blogs that I’ve ever read. I’m thinking that’s for a reason.

First, for the love of all that is good and holy, would you stop doing that? It hurts my eyes. Second, who are you to make any demands of the esteemed Senator Smiley? God help me if I ever become so self-important that I publicly post bold and underlined demands of my elected officials. (Note to self: Now you can really never do this, what with the blog entry about it.) If I’m upset with Senator Smiley, or whomever, I’m going to write him a letter like regular human beings do, maybe telephone him. Not call him out in public with horrible typography.

Tantrums do not become us.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

13 replies on “Blogger tantrums”

  1. I’ll usually bold a couple words, maybe every couple posts.

    Mostly because I figure, if someone is just skimming my post on a reader, I want them to see those two words (and the sentence that accompanies them).

  2. I couldn’t agree more.

    Good writers let their words convey the message.
    Others use italics, boldface, and other printed substitutions for screams and shouts. These devices never work, of course, because intelligent readers see through the typography to notice the absence of substance.

  3. I’ll usually bold a couple words, maybe every couple posts.

    That’s a different trend entirely that gives me headaches for altogether different reasons. I think that habit evolved on Daily Kos diaries (at least, that’s where I first witnessed it on blogs) in order to stand out from the crowd. But now everybody does it. I just ignore blog entries with every other sentence bolded. They’re too hard to read.

    Which reminds me of a story. I used to be in print design, back in the late 90s. I had a client who wanted a series of newspaper and magazine ads made up. He wanted every word in the ad bold, so that it would stand out. I pointed out that if every word is bold, it no longer stands out, but he insisted. So they had a bunch of ads with nothing in bold (because everything was bold), only they strained the eyes.

    That story wasn’t very good. Nevermind.

  4. Heh. Reminds of the marketing folk who wrote copy for the website of my old employer, Kesmai. They truly had an eyecatching way of communicating their ideas.

  5. Hey, I made that Gamestorm site for Kesmai, back in late 1998. Everything had to be in Eurostyle italic in those stupid red pills with nouns bolded to ostensibly make it easier to read. That was a hell of a few months.

  6. I think this is what happens when the Talkbacker culture gets into political blogging. Years of debating Bush at Ain’t it Cool News will rot your brain. Also, us film geeks have been exposed to it for so long from reading the backs of videos at the rental, what can ya expect?

    I’ve literally read some like this:


    Now… I ain’t duh patron saint of grammer and spelling, but (unless I’m trying to be) I’m not that bad! Most of what I write is crazy opossum talk and film review anyway. So I’m with Waldo on this. If you want to be taken seriously then write seriously.

  7. C’mon – when you’re in the echo chamber, you have to shout louder to be heard. ;-)

  8. “Hey, I made that Gamestorm site for Kesmai…”
    Hahahaha….I actually did not know that. Well, hey, I think it was a heckuva good-looking site for 1999. I don’t blame you for the reckless acts of boldness. :)

  9. OK. Tantrum is over. Now, go to your chat room and don’t come out until I say so!

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