A Woefully Overlooked Proposal

In the Biblical Studies Carnival XXIII, the Rev Mr John Hobbins, who hosted the affair, had this to say:

Have you noticed? Online discourse is becoming an accepted form of academic discourse. [….] If you can stand the heat, blogging is a great kitchen from which a scholar, aspiring or otherwise, may test out, refine, and serve on a golden platter his or her ideas.

But let me add a nasty comment. Too many bloggers use sloppy [….], ungrammatical prose [….], and spell atrociously, even in the title [….]. Not a good idea if you want a college or university to hire you in the future! On every board that does a first hire or reviews tenure, there sits at least one extremely anal individual who will make you pay for stuff like that. My proposal: that comments to posts of the following format become standard practice: PC (Please correct): [x should read y]. ETC (Erase this comment).

Of course, I couldn’t agree more with John. Yet I am quick to note that his brilliant proposal seems to not have caught on. I certainly have received no such comments on this blog, and to my shame, I have only made comments along those lines twiceand then only to bloggers I feel I know well, even though I have caught a multitude of unintentional errors elsewhere. I will admit that often I have shrunk from so commenting in order to avoid offending a blogger I don’t know very well (if at all); yet I know that I myself would be infinitely thankful if any readers of this blog would take a minute to let me know of any orthographical or stylistic infelicities that they may encounter. (After all, the editor is rather infamous for nodding!) Perhaps in this New Year, we should all resolve to follow John’s advice and, in the spirit of camaraderie, make watching out for each other’s writing a part of the culture of biblio- and theoblogdom. After all, we’re in this together, and the world appears to be watching.

4 responses to “A Woefully Overlooked Proposal

  1. Wish I could help you out bro, but I’m probably responsible for at least like a fifth of the atrocities Hobbins was talking about. I was thinkning about this the other day and I only actually have an 8th grade education. I was a freshman in high school 3 times and dropped out at the beginning of my third go around. I got a G.E.D. like 4 years later when I was 20 but I always tested well so it was no big surprise that I’d pass it. So I said all this to say that you can correct my sloppy, ungrammatical prose, and atrocious spelling whenever you please, but don’t expect the favor to be returned. ;-)


  2. Listen, Norelli, you better be on the lookout for misspellings and missing words in my posts! And frankly, your “8th grade education” (what rubbish! with all your independent learning!) counts for far more than the worthless college degrees of some people I know. Keep at it, my friend!


  3. I have a few comments on this.

    I’m one of those anal retentive people even though I’m a college dropout who can’t stand all the errors on web sites, especially business web sites. I used to offer corrections, but a large majority of them seemed offended and in the cases of grammar, didn’t even make the corrections.

    However I’m not a real writer, don’t know all the rules of grammar and occasionally use a correctly spelled word wrongly. So on my blog I put “Critique and corrections accepted”. Mr. Vázquez made a clarification on my blog once and I appreciated it.

    Sometimes when reviewing old posts, to my horror I find an error or two. But then I’m not an aspiring scholar, just a layman or whatever is below that.

    One thing that’s helpful is I use a Firefox extension that will underline in red any spelling errors in form fields. I can’t find the name of it right now. It isn’t listed in my Add-ons.

    I would suppose most scholars would compose in a word processing program when writing anything like a paper or something “scholarly” and thoroughly review their work but for some of us that may take a little too much time. I would imagine it depends on the subject matter.

    Sorry about the deleted post. My AR tendencies kicked in and I wanted to change some things.


  4. Welcome back, Esteban!
    I’m John Hobbins’ secretary, Debbie, and while you were away, I sent out some emails to Bible bloggers everywhere to ask them to send John Hobbins a birthday card for his birthday that was on January 12th. I’m venturing to guess that a lot of my emails ended up in Spam files. But I gathered and presented John with 15 or so cards from all over the world and he was thrilled. I’m so sorry that you were away at the time, but I wanted to mention what happened to keep you in the loop. Glad you got back from your trip safely!


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