~ ? ~ Or Commenting: A Dangerous Sport

Confused Winter Hummingbird

Confused Winter Hummingbird (Photo credit: Ed Gaillard)

Do you ever get comments that you don’t quite get? Or that you think may be humourous, but then again, may not be? And how about those ever so helpful comments you get that tell you that you are wrong about something (because they did not get your attempt at humour). And they always say: “I know you will not take this the wrong way,…..” (but I do). Then once in a while you get these people who take the moral high road and give you a tiny slap in the blog. It does not happen often. I have received (just a minute I am going to check here) 5,523 comments and less than ten were, shall we say questionable or insulting.

 But a few more were confusing—but I confuse easily.

 Because I love to read comments, I will sometimes answer with a ? and then the commenter will elucidate their thoughts (which it turns out was really quite clear in the first place—I am just a doorknob). Sometimes I will serve up a noncommittal answer to their comment with a clever emoticon, or thank them for stopping by when I am not sure what was meant.

When I first joined the blog world I made some mistakes in commenting. Once I was flippant, then tried to cover it up by making an apologetic re-comment. Once I corrected someone who needed no correction and found out that everyone loved her and that if I were to keep my place in the blog world, I better never hint at saying anything untoward to her again (sorry again Brigitte, though the angel that you are, you took no offence).  And once I did correct a spelling mistake in someone’s blog—because the rest of it was so perfect, I could not help myself. They thanked me, but I will bet they did not really want to.

So I have given. And I have received. But I have learned. And I am shocked that I have made so many friends—seriously who knew? I guess people who have a Facebook account know that you can have cyber friends, but I do not have a FB page. I have a Twitter account, but for the life of me, do not yet understand it. So my blog is my foray into having friends at the other end of a keyboard—and I must say I like it (I really like it – this is me channelling Sally Fields in a rather warped way).

So, if any of my comments ever offend you—I am sorry. If any confuse you, just ask me to explain, because I am sure it is my confusion not yours that is to be blamed.

 Adieu, and keep on commenting. (Yes, I mean you brother John. Sister Peggy comments on everything! lol)

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94 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I feel like I could re-blog this post, for I too fall into the same category. I’m dyslexic so I don’t always express my thoughts, feelings and humor so well. I misinterpret as often as people misinterpret me.
    The other day I was stumped for the first time. Someone left me a comment and I had to have my son explain it to me. It was sort of cryptic.
    I think the communication problem is solved once we get to know one another. Everyone has their own style and if you’re not familiar with it then you’re bound to misinterpret things on occasion.
    I don’t have a face book or twitter. The blogging takes up enough time as it is.
    Have a beautiful Sunday!

    • You are right – once you get to know your blogger friends then there is no misunderstanding–I am glad I am not the only one who gets confused sometimes–I have puzzled over some comments before finally just thanking them for stopping by (lol)

  2. I get really stumped by the acronyms!

    • I know two: lol and btw–the second one my niece had to explain to me; oh and pos (parent over shoulder)-learned that one a long time ago but never saw my sons employ it).

  3. Like you I have no FB page so blogging can be a bit more daunting in getting to know people and their personality. I try to leave clear comments but like you, if ever they are questionable I would hope the person would simply ask me what I mean vs reading something into it and they walk away feeling confused or bad. (Talk about a run on sentence..lol)

  4. All I can say is that you have never, ever offended me. You have only helped me to get through hard times, and you make me laugh all the time :). You’re doing great in my books!!

    • then I have learned my lesson – thank you – you have done the same for me

  5. Lou Ann, I do this all the time and I think most of us do. I don’t know what post you’re referring to that you EVER did anything to diss me or correct me or anything of the sort because you’re always kind and you leave intelligent and insightful comments. I misinterpret comments and I think people have misinterpreted mine. I’ve thought comments I’ve left have been just wildly funny or very insightful and it doesn’t always come across that way. I try to leave emoticons and that doesn’t always work either.

    If I do think I’ve offended someone or someone says something where I think to myself, “What the heck did she/he mean by that?” Instead of worrying and fretting, I’ll email her/him directly to get it cleared up. Yes, I’m that annoying. Better to clear up misunderstandings than to let them simmer — right? Life’s too short!

    Anyway, this comment is convoluted and I’m droning on and on here, but rest assured I think you’re great, you’ve never offended me and if I ever misunderstand a comment from you, you’ll hear from me. 🙂 That’s a nice little emoticon to mean that you’ll hear from me in a non-confrontational and nice way. Take care and have a wonderful Sunday. It’s gorgeous here!

    • I just wrote the best reply in the world and it got lost–so I will try this again. I do not want to remind you of the little thing I mentioned, but Le Clown took me to task for it and I was very moved by his loyalty–
      You have never offended me–you have always been supportive and funny–I like the idea of a private email though if things are ever misunderstood–we will never need that, but for other cases-Thanks Brigitte

  6. You have never once offended me with your comments. I always appreciate someone commenting and you are very good about it. I only have friends on FB that I know in person so I’m with you on the new world of cyber friends! Nice post!

    • thank you and I love hearing from you —
      the few times I miscommented have hopefully stuck with me

  7. It’s really hard to convey subtleties online. I’ve received a few comments that, though they probably made perfect sense to the commentor, I couldn’t figure them out. For the most part, it’s been a nice give and take. I’m still amazed that nobody has said something like, “today it looks like you weren’t even trying”.

    Though I wouldn’t mind if those sex websites stopped sending me spam comments. Thankfully, WordPress has great spam filters.

    • yeah, I would not mind if those websites were eradicated too
      and it has been a good give and take on the most part–but I wonder how many comments I have made that made little sense–I do know not to make comments when I am in a bad mood

  8. I’m quite new in the blogging world as well. Don’t worry about commenting too much. It’s good that you’re yourself and honest as well 🙂

  9. Commenting and blogging really go hand in hand but both are challenging to do well. Agree with the point of the post but add something new? Disagree but with respect? Wise a comment when warranted? Just a thanks? Drop a link, or not? Every comment is such a judgement call and with 5500+ you have had quite a bit to consider. Well done if only 10 or so where iffy in nature.

    • I have only “edited” about four or five comments–by editing I mean deleted, and only dropped two links–who I think did not miss me in the least.
      You are right–comment and blogging are challenging sometimes

  10. I totally understand that, sometimes I wonder where the comment comes from and other times the comment is so deep, I feel philosophically overwhelmed 😛

    Choc Chip Uru

    • I know, and you don’t want to appear like you don’t understand – lol. Just give them an 😉 like you are in the joke or comment.

  11. I’m so undeep, I wouldn’t even know if I’d been insulted.

  12. Oh yes! I am confused by comments sometimes. I simply cannot figure out what the person is trying to say. Sometimes they are being way too deep, and other times I am feeling way to shallow, and sometimes the emphasis is on the wrong word and I’m probably taking it totally different than intended.

    It’s hard sometimes with the written word in ways it wood be easy if two people were standing face to face. Great post! We all relate, I’m sure.

    • you made some excellent points – I have a son who hates the phone because he cannot see people’s facial expressions

  13. Every so often I’ll get a comment, or a reply to one of my comments, and think, “Um, what?” but I generally will assume that it was well-intentioned, even if weird. Sometimes I get concerned that my own comment wasn’t received as it was intended, but so far my fears have been groundless, which is good. It’s hard to strike the right tone in writing sometimes.

  14. This is a very interesting post, I enjoyed reading. Just two days ago my blog reached five months old mark. When I started blogging (almost by accident) I did not know anything and was truly uninitiated in the ‘tricks’ of blogging. It was primarily thanks to comments (including those received via direct emails), I had to learn fast … very fast! And for that I am grateful! I love comments and appreciate those that point out something I missed, misspelled (not unusual for me since I am writing in a second language) or offer different point of view. However, all of that only as long as it is done respectfully … plain rudeness or malice I would not tolerate on my blog in the same way I would not tolerate it in my home. In that regard my blog is just like my home, only in a virtual, cyber space.
    All the Best,

    • I like that — regarding your blog as your virtual home and I so agree that respect is foremost – I would never have known it was your second language–

  15. I read most of the comments on your blog Lou, and I have to say, everyone is very supportive and intelligent. Must be indicitive of the blogging world you attract and of course the content of your posts.

  16. I’ve had a few confusing ones and only a couple of confrontational ones….but it certainly is a learning process to determine sometimes what not to say….Diane

    • that is true – can imagine you getting a confrontational one–but I guess we all get some we don’t understand
      my motto–don’t comment when you are in a bad mood

      • The one ‘extreme’ one I had was from a comment I made to another blogger and they actually confronted not only me but the other blogger. It was really something and it shook me up to be honest..But thankfully I don’t have contact with them anymore…although they may ‘monitor’ my blog ..Diane

      • gives you a funny feeling doesn’t it? commenting is not without its dangers–but this whole experience would be almost worthless without comments

  17. This made me laugh!! I’ve had more than a few comments I can’t figure out. Sometimes I wonder if they even read the post! Oh well, what can you do? I’ve chosen to decide I’m happy for the visit and thankful for the reader who took the time to leave a comment.

    • that is the best way–be happy for the comment, no matter if it fits or not (lol)

  18. wow! I always eagerly click on your blog when it is in my reader, I just didn’t know sooo many others did too–congrats! I had only 1 bad experience in the 1st month of blogging I read a heartbreaking one where the lady said she didn’t want to get up in the morning, or even take another breath, ect. So I just commented that getting out and doing anything-volunteering meeting new people always makes you feel better. She BLASTED hatefully back that how dare I make say anything when I knew nothing about her……well I recommented apologizing asked to her to delete my comment if it bothered her. Wheew….I felt terrible and learned to stay away from very dark troubling ones

    • live and learn–yes I have made a few booboos where my “help” was not really needed or appreciated so I have just learned to be compassionate but not “helpful”

  19. Who knew Brigitte had such a cyber-mafia defending her? Something to keep in mind.

    I find I got more bizarre or angry comments in the past, when more people encountered my blog by accident. Just as with a “flesh & blood person,” I think after a while of reading a particular blog, you get a good idea of how the author presents himself/herself.

    And of course, some people just enjoy being jerks.

    • there are a few of those — and some people like to start a discussion–but I do not like bizarre and angry
      You are right-once we get to know a blogger we then know how to take them–though 99% for me so far have been great–there is still that 1% but that is what delete is all about

  20. Good to know I am not the only one who has made confusing comments!

  21. I think I have had the same percentage, very few negatives (I’ve deleted only two of them) and only a few strange ones that made me scratch my head. I’ve had comments that thought I was seriously when I was joking, and I’ve had a few that have corrected me ( wrongly I proudly add but I didn’t tell them that.) Overall, like yourself, I’m pleased to say they are lovely, kind and giving.

    • and that “oveall” is what is important not that tiny percentage that is negative

  22. I believe one of the first comments I left on your blog got a little misconstrued and I felt really bad about it. Sarcasm is definitely hard to do and sometimes even a smiley face doesn’t help. Luckily, we cleared things up (from what I remember!) and I took care to always reread my comments after that. If something I write could potentially be taken the wrong way, I err on the cautious side and don’t write it.

    • boy — it made a real impression on me, as I do not remember–but sometimes I do get confused – we are blog friends forever and I have found you nothing but supportive

    • funny how it sticks with us and a lot of times not the other person isn’t it?

      • Indeed! Glad you don’t remember. 😉 A likewise thank you to you for supporting me well!

      • 🙂 this is an appreciative emoticon not a conufused one

  23. I stumbled on this issue for the very first time the other day after being Freshly Pressed! There was really only one comment I just couldn’t figure out, and I’m sure I didn’t handle it the best way, but you’re right, we learn! Great post, and so timely too 🙂

    • emoticon time! that is what I do when I do not understand

      • Smart thinking! I’ll have to utilize this little tip next time 🙂

  24. Ditto to most of the above…and you have never offended me. I LOVE your comments 🙂 And I do make typos and spelling errors from time to time, so please, please correct me!

    • and please correct me–for the longest time I had a “TO” in one of my titles when it should have been a “TOO”; it is hard to edit yourself because you read what should be there, instead of what is really there

      • Yes…and sooooo embarrassing when you realise!

      • it is – also I used to write per say for per se–and an editor friend told me–that was embarassing

  25. Yes, sometimes the humor doesn’t come over as well as it should. I’m guess there are people who’ve thought ????what???, but I figure people will go to my site, see that I’m insane and will understand the nature of the comment.

  26. No – you’re not a ‘doorknob’ LOL!

    I feel exactly the same way (and reading through the comments to this post – you are definitely not alone.)

    I’ve had a couple of weird ones that I kind of think ‘I don’t get it’ – but 99% of them are fine. I’ve only trashed one comment and that was on Saturday when I got Freshly Pressed for the ‘Colorful Language’ post. The comment (not from one of my ‘regulars’) was full of foul language (trying to be funny) but I looked at it on and off for about an hour and ended up thinking – ‘that’s not really in line with what my blog is about.’ Which is quite funny really because I was complaining about my mother and her form of ‘censorship’! 😀

    • I know, we like free speech, but sometimes what people do with free speech is questionable! Did I congrat you re FP–if not congrats!
      And thanks for thinking I am not a doorknob (lol)

  27. You’ve never offended me, and your comments always seem appropriate, relevant, and insightful. I’ve been very fortunate, and have gotten very few odd ones.

  28. I often don’t recognise when people are joking in their comments. I guess that’s why I use so many smiley faces in mine 🙂


    • I know – we should have a universal icon to let others know when we are joking shouldn’t we? (I am not joking about this) –how about putting our jokes in brackets like these { }?

  29. Your comments are always lovely and I like hearing from you. =D
    I try to be as polite as possible when I’m commenting, especially when it comes to new blogs, because they might not get my sense of humour. I admit I have received comments that did not make sense to me and I had to ask for elaboration, haha.

    • me too – a well placed ? has served me well–then when they explain many times I feel stupid because it was not all that confusing–it was just confusing in my mind

  30. Blogs are like in-person conversations …. in both cases, knowing the other helps one understand the other … but it is much harder in blogs. Nonetheless, I have a difficult time imagining you offending someone. Nonetheless, each of us need to keep ourselves on alert.

    • you are right – one bad mood and boom, you have said something you should not have (at least with me–so if I am in a bad mood I refrain from commenting)

      • …. or if I really am not sure, I tend to me generic.

      • good plan 🙂

  31. Oh LouAnn, I know you won’t take this the wrong way….but I really think that the sun is square.

    I don’t have FB either 😉 I love the comments part of many blogs sometimes more than the post that is being commented upon.
    It’s a funny world to navigate this cyber-conversation. I try to always comment when someone has taken time out to share their thoughts. When I don’t ‘get’ a comment, I usually do the online version of ‘smile & nod’ which goes something like this:
    haha! Thanks -or- as you say, emoticon.

    • I agree with you about the sun — so no controversy there–
      –sometime I will respond with a ha ha — but I am not sure the comment was meant to be funny — it is a hard world parsing comments sometimes–but I would not give them up for the world

  32. Great post. I am relatively new to blogging, but I’ve experienced this on Facebook: after writing a few seemingly innocuous comments my sense of humour is a bit whacky sometimes!) that were taken the wrong way, I have learned to think twice about what I say online or not say anything at all. I enjoy having intellectual debates but have discovered this it is hard to do online where you often have never met the person, and can’t see their body language, or offer a quick apology for unintended reactions. For this reason, I use blogging as a way to practice my writing and express myself without expecting any serious sharing and debating of ideas. I don’t actually get many comments, so I’m likely not delivering what most people want to read anyway (which is ok too!). It seems that lack of comments, etc. are also hurtful to some people. And I think this can make people feel sad and unconfident about their blog work–and may even affect their overall feelings of self worth (in fact, studies about other forms of social networking like FB back this up). It seems that life online requires a lot of confidence. For me, I worry more about cyber bullying, cyber stalking and just plain old lack of manners online – especially with teens. I think we are still figuring out how to communicate online…thanks for wading into this interesting topic.

    • sometimes sense of humour does not translate–I find I get a lot of good feedback, but I agree that this is not really an overall forum for serious discussions–or at least my blog is not–
      it took me quite a while to build up commenters–I went months with barely a nibble–but it did not affect me at the time because I did not understand how to get traffic — glad you came by and commented 🙂

  33. I have had a handful of negative comments, people who actually thought I was being serious with my writing, even though the tag was ‘humor’. These were obviously people who aren’t regular readers as my readers know I am almost always tongue-in-cheek. I do have several people correct my typos in my posts and point out anything spelled incorrectly. That is fine by me. I don’t mind. I only have so much time to type out a post, so I appreciate it and if I’ve made an error. I will fix it.

    I do leave a lot of comments to other bloggers where to ME I am clearly teasing. But then I worry they didn’t get the same vibe. It’s hard sometimes to not offend someone!

    • if anyone has watched your video blogs – they know you are one funny girl–I read you religiously because I know I am going to laugh–never had any problem deciphering your comments–they are always clear and funny

  34. Being a writer sometimes the critique can be very useful, but it’s those comments meant to pacify me just make me feel like the reader was only passing by.

    • I know what you mean–but meaningful comments are sometimes difficult to come up with

  35. I sometimes have a problem figuring out who has the last word when commenting. I mean this in the best possible way and figure that the reader, having made the effort to comment, should be the last to have a say. But sometimes it seems a further reply is needed. And what about just plain good manners or blogging etiquette that can take you into the area of who ‘hangs up’ first. You, no you, you…. Enjoyed the post, Bruce

    • I know–it is all a matter of judgement isn’t it–I figure if someone takes the time to comment, the least I can do is answer back. Glad you enjoyed!

  36. I love your writing! You’ve just made a new friend. Maybe I shouldn’t be so presumptuous; perhaps you did not want a new friend (hehe). 🙂

  37. BTW, love your name! 🙂

  38. It was really really nice to read this post! I’ve had my blog for 15 months, and find the comments to be a double-edged sword. Sometimes they make my day–other days they drive me crazier than usual. I’ve definitely made my mistakes and learned from them, and I’m thinking of putting “Comment At Your Own Peril” above the boxes. I don’t do FB or Twitter, though I keep thinking I should learn the latter…not today. God bless you Big–love, Caddo

    • my son set up a Twitter account for me, but I really do not quite understand it – I have fought having a facebook account for a long time and I am still winning that one
      Comments can be tricky until you get onto them, and even then…

  39. I got my first corrective comment several days ago and the correction was incorrect which put me in somewhat of a quandary as to how to respond! Great post!

    • I know – it is hard sometimes isn’t it? You don’t want to come off badly, yet you don’t want something that is inaccurate – good luck

  40. I think it’s really weird that we can edit people’s comments on our blog, but not our comments to other blogs. How many times have you pressed “post comment” and in the same moment spotted a typo? Now if someone makes a spelling mistake in my comments, i can correct it for them, and do. 😀

    • sometimes people ask me to correct their comments and I do — I know it is frustrating to see a typo (or two) and not be able to fix it

      • When my hubby comments, he often makes a couple of typos, and I’m so happy that I can correct them. 🙂 What makes you think I majored in English and used to be a teacher? 😆

      • ha ha

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