i saw u
I saw u Thurs. at Sam's Bar & Grill. Me: blond, blue eyes, jeans, Hooters t-shirt, approached and suggested that we go to my place so you could check out my hard drive. You: pretty, petite, dark hair, reading "Underworld", said you'd rather eat a thumbtack sandwich than go home with me. I didn't get your number. Call me, drinks? 5099That's an old post of mine from 2002, later reprinted in the book "Never Threaten To Eat Your Coworkers: Best of Blogs".
I'm not entirely sure what's going on, but, as near as I can tell, some students in a Ohio State University English class are reading Never Threaten, and have been told to comment on the "i saw u" entry. As that post's comments have long since closed, I'm creating this one in its stead. Go nuts.
P.s. I've been in touch with the class instructor and verified that this is on the level, despite all appearances.
P.p.s. Uncharitable comments will be deleted. The OSU students are welcome here and I'll thank you to treat them as guests. Update: I have given up. The "go nuts" exhortation now applies to all.
Posted on May 02, 2007 to dy
hi,my class has to read blogs from a book, and i saw yours. The title of that blog was I Saw U. I think that blog was pretty interesting. It's like your doing dialogue the whole time, but at the same time I was confused. Please comment on one of my blogs.
I was trying to find your post on "I saw you". It was pretty funny I enjoyed reading it in the "Never Threaten to eat your co-workers" We have been posting our own blogs while reading the book. You should come visit my blog at http://stressmania2007.blogspot.com/
Defective yeti i read ur post I saw U in the book never threaten to eat your co-workers. I think the girl was scared and i don't think you should of came on that strong. But for my english class we have blog you should come check mine out
I have been readng the book "Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers" for my college english class and came across your blog. We have been also writing our own blogs in class and it would be cool for you to check it out and comment on mine. Your blog in the book was not found on your website here. I enjoyed your blog it http. Heres my link http://nursingstudent06.blogspot.com/
I'm also reading the book "Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers" for my english class. When I came across your blog "I Saw U", all I could do was laugh. I love like the dry humor like that. I enjoy what you write and I would love for you to stop by my blog at http://lifeatosu23.blogspot.com/
I enjoyed your blog titled "I Saw U", I am reading the book "Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers" for my college english class. I thought your blog was very funny, it was nice to be able to read a funny not so serous blog in the book. I hope you can make time to look at my blog http://smalltown07.blogspot.com/
Thank you! Elizabeth
What kind of English class is this where your assigned reading is blogs? I want to take that class!
I have not read your book, and am not taking any English classes right now. I have a blog as well, but I don't care if anyone reads it, so I won't include a link.
Also, I like to be contrary.
We've now officially entered bizarro-world.
Have we, Nathan? Or is this the real world and you were just in the bizarro world before now?
I would personally recommend that the OSU students take the opportunity to read more Defective Yeti! Maybe starting with the Favorite Posts link on the right. Matthew is awesome to the nth, and it's well worth your time. Plus, humor is good for the soul?
I, personally, would also be curious what all of you are learning from the course (or, perhaps what you're being taught, if it's one of THOSE courses). :D
It being an English class, shouldn't there be some commentary on the imagery supplied by "thumbtack sandwich," the metaphorical implications of the narrator's reference to his "hard drive," or the irony that the narrator is wearing a Hooters T-shirt inside Sam's Bar & Grill?
do you suppose they get a better grade based on how many hits they get from their comments? They don't appear to have anything to say other than "I am reading a book, I read this post, PLEASE COME LOOK AT MY BLOG!!!!"
I guess those shouldn't be quotes since I'm paraphrasing. I'm going to click on the link in the best comment and hopefully that person gets at least a C+ based on my efforts. It's almost like performance art but different.
All righty guys, your assignment is to read "i saw u" and leave a comment. Remember to use the comment template on page 65 of your workbooks. 1) Describe how you came across the blog entry. 2) Give an opinion on what you read. 3) Leave a link to your blog, and encourage them to visit. Next week your homework will be to comment on a "YouTube" video. Good luck!
Thank you, Matt, for opening up the comments function to an old blog. I gave the students in the course an in-class assignment to comment upon one of the texts from Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers that we read for today. I apologize for any confusion this caused. The hope was that the comments would have more substantial and fairly self-explanatory, but. . .
Nevertheless, the constructive criticism is appreciated as an opportunity for "learning" that I may not have been able to "teach" the class myself. The class is investigating the rhetoric of blogging (and the ethos of the blogger) in comparison to traditional essay rhetoric, and keeping a blog is a--big--part of the coursework. And now, it's my turn to be the shill: should those who commented be interested in the students' progress or in the course, my class blog is linked below. In other--overly-punctuated--words, please check out my blog!!!
Yup it's legit. I should have let all the bloggers in the book know their writing is now being dissected in a college class. But I'm glad they picked your stories to read first.
Ironically enough, I started to work at Lucasfilm when we published the book, so your meeting Darth Vader story was a big hit around the office! ;-)
Hope all is well with you!
Thank God kids are reading our deathless prose in English class and not something overrated and crappy like, say, Shakespeare or Salinger.
Geez Greg, makes me wonder what Shakespeare's blog would have been like in the current context -
2b or not 2b...
I saw U? Sorry never heard of it (but I wouldn’t, you would understand if you knew me, no offence). I found this site because a client ended his email with the last line reading "and when you find all these items for my new house, add a yeti skin rug to the list". I will give them your URL.
I can't wait to read the book on this blog entry--the comments are priceless.
For you guys wonder if we get graded on how many hit we get,no we don't. We have to write an essay every Friday and then we are graded on our writing. Us commenting on other blogs is just a way of our teacher getting us out into the world of blogging. We all would enjoy you to visit our blogs and comment, just to see what other people outside of the class has to say.
Well, when *I* was your age, we didn't have fancy courses to teach us how to be blog spammers. We had to figure that shit out all by ourselves.
Damn kids. Now get off my lawn.
Hey college kids! I'm glad you're all enjoying the intertubes. I just graduated from school about a year and a half ago myself, so I offer you the following advice:
1. Sleep in. Seriously, you're not going to need that English class, but you do need sleep if you want to be healthy. Plus, you'll have more energy for partying.
2. As long as you're at it, fail that English class. College is a blast - why graduate on time?
3. Don't worry too much about grades. Try to keep it above a 3.0, but unless you're the valedictorian, anything in between won't matter that much.
4. Try to find an internship. Experience means a lot more to employers than a good GPA.
5. Have a drink and a hit. This is the only time that it will be socially acceptable to spend your day watching cartoons completely out of your mind. Enjoy it while you can.
6. These are the happiest days of your life. Your parents probably told you that about high school, but your parents are lying assholes. When you graduate, move to San Francisco, come out of the closet, and renounce the religion they raised you in. They love that sort of thing.
Actually all of you who are down grading the class need to know all the facts before you go and run your mouths. We write many other papers and have other books that we read. I dont think you all know how much work is actually done in an english class but its way more then a little wirting on someone else's blog. Most of the blog work we do is outside of the class. Atleast college students can be more mature about others commenting on our bolgs than most adults obviously can be! We learned a lot by having to do this assignment that was not even graded!!!!!!!
I finished college about a year ago. Some of my English classes were a fair amount of work, and some...not so much. I'm wondering why this post was chosen, in particular. I'm skeptical because I think one can learn a great deal about the rhetoric of the internet without spending class time on it.
(For instance, as you see above, that if some people don't perceive you to be as witty as they are, they will make fun of you. This is pretty much a given.)
Although I guess I have to admire anyone who has been able to blog consistently for a whole semester. I've never been able to keep a grownup blog for more than two posts, so, um, I'm linking to my...livejournal. *hangs head in defeat*
We were given a reading assignment from Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers, in the book we had to pick which blog we would like to comment; that’s how this blog got picked! This English class keeps you on your toes with a lot of writing and reading. We don't spend a lot of time in class on the internet we have to post our blogs outside of class.
I'm wondering if the class professor will be checking all the comments left by the class members. If so, will spelling, punctuation and grammar count?
I'm assuming that since the assignment is about writing in the social world of the net, that "netspeak" (U for you etc..)is permissible and considered appropriate.
I know that I am often lazier about using proper writing skills when online. I am especially bad about it when IMing or chatting, leading me to be dubbed a "typo queen" by friends. Sometimes, I'm even bad in emails to friends. But in business emails, I edit carefully.
I do admit to having an extreme fondness for overusing the ellipse, no matter what the forum....
I do NOT mean this as a slam on the students - it is simply an honest question. Is proper English not considered necessary in the online medium? Or does the type of online communication make the difference....casual versus formal or social versus business?
wow. for ostensibly college-level english that's atrocious.
You see, this is why Kingdom of Loathing makes you take a punctuation and spelling test before letting you enter the chat.
I teach English and Journalism; I've had my students read Defective Yeti in the past as a model for blogging rhetoric (although I would have rather eaten a thumbtack sandwich than use that phrase in class). And I wasn't the first to do it. I'm betting that Matthew is one of the most-used bloggers by college instructors. Someday, all this will be in 75 Readings Plus or one of those other f***ing anthologies we have to use to teach English composition.
Honestly, though? I'm curious as to how long the other read-and-comment-on-a-blog-entry choices were, and whether they had comparatively more intellectually-taxing diction/subject matter.
Still, it *is* a useful lesson to learn. Goodness knows how long it took me to actually get out there and start leaving comments instead of just admiring from a silent distance.
I am glad that I did well on my SATs and never had to take a class with Nadine.
She sounds very angry.
Hmm.. perhaps if students were to study something other than blogs, they would know to capitalize things like "I" and "English".
Just a thought.
Wow. If these comments passed Matthew's "uncharitable comments will be deleted" test, I shudder to think what didn't make the cut.
Today's there's a story in the NY tabloids about a high school dean who sent a letter to parents that was filled with misspellings, and people are calling for him to be fired. His excuse: he wrote it in a hurry. Not really an excuse. But also not written by an 18-year-old in the comments of a blog.
Why don't some of you critics actually go to one of the kids' blogs and see what they're writing about? I went to the first commenter's blog and it broke my heart. Beautiful and moving. Maybe you should judge them on more than a 4-line comment?
The adults on this blog are very cranky. Check yourselves before you wreck yourselves.
Interesting that the instructor is using blogs in a composition class--I think that's much more useful than the lame "journaling" they made us do! (Yes, I'm a "spotlighter"--I much prefer to write stuff that someone else will read than sit around a talk to myself.)
As far as the grammar and such, I think it's really important to recognize the written equivalent of "conversational English": very few people say "It is I" in place of "It's me", and even fewer people correct others in conversation. IMs certainly count as conversation, to me, and as long as the writer is successfully communicating, grammar is secondary. Blogging posts are more formal--I try to use SAE in mine--but blog comments are a big gray area. (I wonder if our visiting composition teacher can weigh in on that?)
Oh, and as far as the comment template goes, I think the students are being set up for flaming here: "Hi, nice blog--come check out my blog!" is the standard template for comment spam, not regular commenting (my filter will stop all of those templates automatically to prevent male enhancement drugs and porn sites from taking over my comments!). At best, it's called "blog-whoring" and it's considered rude.
I would only reference your own blog if you have a specific post relevant to the subject or if you feel your comment is too long. (Like this one! Normally, I'd put a summary at the top and post the bulk of it my own blog to avoid taking over someone else's comment section.)
Anyway--coolness on the student influx, Matthew: you're either a very good or a very bad influence on new writers (probably both simultaneously!).
Oh, I totally get it now. I'm off to check myself. Is that right Hugh?
On another note, this whole comments thread is fascinating. The students do their thing, the regulars try to figure it out, the students percieve condescension and react either in anger or trite slang, the regulars percieve that they're being slighted by the students and react with their explanations...
Maybe the assignment for the students is really to see reactions to their comments (instead of just comment) and if they can influence the readership of particular blogs.
Wow, James' idea is BLOWING MY MIND, man!
Despite the aforementioned possiblity that I might just be being crassly manipulated to do so, I just thought I'd weigh in with my two cents on the "blogging as classwork" thing. In my job, I am required to review a LOT of written material created by other people and I am consistently appalled at what appears to me to be the generally diminishing capacity of people to express themselves even moderately coherently in written form. It seems to me that, at least from a rationalist perspective, any exercise that gets people practicing that skill has to have a salutary effect on our collective ability to function as a civilization.
So, "yay Teacher" and "Go Blogging Buckeyes". As for the rest of the grumpypants hanging 'round here, pull your pants up around your nipples and go back to complaining about the government full time.
I read this blog, never comment... but I have to say
I am amused.
And I really do want to take this class - I hated journaling too, mostly because I would lose my journal halfway through the course and have to make it all up three days before it was due. Not that keeping a blog would have made a difference since I'd have done the same thing, only backdating my posts. (Can you do that? It feels illegal, like hacking an odometer or something.)
Anyway. Ha ha.
I have to say, if the purpose of the assignment is to understand blogging and the community that goes with it, then this thread is a good lesson. You control how you present yourself in the medium. If you are careless with your spelling, you will probably be criticized. When you blog and when you comment, you have to be making the conscious decision to put yourself out there and accept the feedback, because that's how the exchange works.
Also, Dorothy is right on track about the blog-whoring. If you have an interesting comment about the post, people will want to click back to your blog (which is frequently linked via your forum ID or elsewhere in your submission, if you choose).
And Matthew, thank you for your offering to human decency. (And seriously, my friends and I use your re-worked cliches all the time).
This has been an interesting comments section to read. I come by defective yeti every day, thanks to my friend JP over at Aces Full of Links pointing me here so long ago.
As someone holding two relatively useless Bach. degrees (BA English Literature, BS Clinical Psychology) it's always interesting to hear how the modern university chooses to embrace new media. Do I think "blogs as literature" merit a whole class? Not really. I do think they merit some study, though, so more power to the professor and his students.
I kept thinking about this thread on my drive to work this morning and here is the metaphor that I came up with:
There is a potluck going on at Defective Yeti's house. Some of the people there go to all of DY's parties and some have only been a few times before. We go in, put our dishes on the table (or our URLs in the URL field) and join in the current conversation with DY or our fellow commenters.
Then a big group of OSU students arrive at the party. No one's met them before, but their teacher talked to DY and he said it was okay if they come. So we're okay with that, except that rather than setting their dishes on the table and joining in the conversation, they keep walking up to us and holding spoonfuls of food up to our mouths. If we wanted to eat their food, we would know where to find it. And I'm sure many of us would have gone over to taste it except that now we're annoyed by having it force-fed to us. Plus, they don't seem to want to talk about anything other than their dish. What's even worse is that we're all used to having party-crashers show up and try to force-feed us food that's laced with Viagra or p0rn (okay p0rn in the food is stretching the metaphor to the limit) so we're immediately suspicious of any food that someone seems a little too eager to give us.
When you're travelling to a foreign country, it's best to learn about their culture before you go, so that you know what to expect and how to avoid offending people. The Internet and blogs have their own cultural norms that it would be a good idea to understand before you jump in, too. It sounds like your class has covered blogging, but not necessarily commenting so I think it might be a good idea to surf around to different blogs and get an idea of the cultural norms of commenting.
Yeti, as a faithful reader of your blog for years (though an extremely INfrequent commenter), I was so disappointed that you took down my post from yesterday inquiring whether others noticed the grammatical & spelling errors in the students' posts. This was, I believe, a valid criticism - I was not pointing out any individual's mistakes to cause embarrassment or being overly picky about one or two misspellings, but was really demonstrating concern about the lack of basic grammar and spelling skills in a college English class. Subsequent student posts have reinforced my observation, which others have mentioned as well (without having their comments removed, I might add).
Wow, the cyber-equivalent of "damn kids get off my lawn!". Interesting.
Rg, is there any way you could make your sentences longer?
Marianna: "You control how you present yourself in the medium. If you are careless with your spelling, you will probably be criticized."
Exactly. The construction of a personal image is, I think, the most important lesson that blogs have to teach. Yes, you can certainly get by so long as you can communicate a point, but where the Romans had "vestis virum facit", we have "please spellcheck".
rg (and others): I was deleting uncharitable comments back before I knew what was going on. My fear was that the students had, for some unfathomable reason, be assigned to comment specifically on dy, and a hostile environment would result in some choosing not to and having their grade suffer.
I stopped removing comments once the assignment was explained to me. I now agree with Marianna--this is probably proving more educational than even the instructor intended.
This is for an English class, yes? While I think that reading blogs and talking about their role in this increasingly global e-world is important, these students should probably spend a bit more time on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and subject-verb agreement. Ex-"We all would enjoy you to visit our blogs and comment, just to see what other people outside of the class has to say." Yes, I would love to visit your blog, but as someone who makes their living editing the written word, I'm afraid my head would explode.
Huh - the professor's most recent post (which had several comments from people who came over from here) has been taken down. I wonder what's up with that.
I too wondered what was up with the disappearing act. Then I realized that (per Elizabeth's admonishment), having fixed my spelling of "Technorati," I saved the post as a draft instead publishing it. In blogging terms, is that less or more socially suicidal than failing to zip up your fly after visiting the bathroom in high school?
Nah, I've done that myself more than once. Social suicide is intentionally taking down a post because you can't bear the criticisms in the comments. :)
mmmm. Porn casserole. That's good eatin'
I've been noticing students and other posters alike referring to the students as "kids" and the others as "adults". Since when is a college student not an adult? When I was in college, I was on my own financially and otherwise, and was considered an adult by myself and my family.
Danielle, you make a good point. BUT, having scrolled through the comments and visited a couple of the students' blogs, it seems to me that SOME of the students (aka kids) are much less... mature? grown up? educated? than I remember college students to be when I attended college. This is not intended as an uncharitable comment. I am just pointing out the fact that one's age is fairly transparent from the comment.
So, yes, the students' comments and blog entries expose them as kids.
Is it possible that you have a slightly skewed memory of what it was like to be a college student or to be surrounded by them? I work on a university campus now. Please believe me when I tell you that undergraduates come in all different maturity levels. This is somewhat similar to the vastly divergent maturity levels exhibited by "adults" who, say, have their online blog turf invaded by "kids."
We all have frames of reference for our social judgments; we all tend to think ours is the best. And why wouldn't it be? It's ours.
Do I think "blogs as literature" merit a whole class? Not really.
Well, I don't either, but blogs as composition practice seems dead on to me. (It's a composition course, not a Lit class. Back in MY day, there was no such thing as separate comp classes...and we walked uphill to school, both ways...)
A few weeks ago my local news station (Cleveland) ran a segment about protecting your child from sexual predators online. One of the "tips" was that if the person the child was talking to "slipped up" and used correct grammar in the IMs, it was to be taken as a red flag, since it was probably an adult.
And college "kids" are, in my opinion, half kindergartener and half adult. While there are exceptions, most students are ensconced in a college utopian bubble from day one. Well, at least I was lucky enough to be.
I don't know what it's like in the US of A but here in good ol' Blighty there seems to be a shocking downturn in the English language. Apart from the spread of a kind of teenager's patoi (borrowing from ghetto language used in gangsta rap [Ai'aight] and pakistani slang ["is it" - used as an affirmative response amongst other uses, it's a bit of a catch-all] amongst our country's youth (which will probably wear off as they get older as most teen-slang does) there is the more serious issue of poor spelling in the general public. My lecturer in computer networking holds Microsoft and CompTIA certifications and probably degree level ones as well, yet he sent an e-mail with the phrases "planned role out is May 25th" and, even worse "The E-Live scheme of work will be role by 25th May 2007". That should be roll. One 'r' one 'o' two 'l's. I despair.
As far as the 'kids' go.
1. They don't like being called 'kids' any more than you would like being called grumpy old farts. So don't.
2. Find constructive ways of correcting spelling or don't do it at all.
3. The same goes for explaining blog etiquette.
Don't put them off something which could be a valuable educational resource to them.
Well, it seems that we ran off the students pretty quickly (Sorry, "pretty" is weak writing.) We chased the young bastards away, posthaste.
Yeti shows up in various media, course selections and such because of the quality of the WRITING! We ALL visit here for the quality of the WRITING! Duh! He writs gud. He spels gud. He's funy. If I were teaching an English course, I would send my students to DY with the hope that some of these qualities would rub off on my them. Sadly, it seems that the few who commented missed this point.
So, to the students, come on back and try it again. Use your shift key and a little punctuation. Pause to think for a moment before you post something. Come up with something to say besides "...please visit my blog".
Or the University of Florida will continue to kick your asses.
I think we're all missing the most important part: Sam's Bar & Grill no longer exists. Sad. Damn Eastlake!
Regarding the criticisms of spelling and grammar: some of the errors made by the students in the above comments look like ESL (English as a Second Language) errors to me. (Some just look like bad English, I admit.) We see ESL errors among the "adult" fans of DY sometimes, too.
I won't try to send anyone to my blog because I also can't seem to keep my post rate up to anything worth following.
Maybe this debate is dead, and I shouldn't kick a dead horse.
But, but... you writer people... how has no one commented that the first six responses to this entry (by "students") all took place in a five minute span, all use the same capitalization and sentence structure, and all the blogs they link to use exactly the same VOICE?
I would bet $10 that those comments were left by one crazy person with six blogs. I taught seventh grade for three years, so I am no stranger to creative punctuation and grammar--and my teacher spidey-sense says that some ONE is writing those blogs. All of them. One person.
Either it's the professor who is crazy, he's had the wool pulled over his eyes, or that is just the weirdest thing I have ever seen.