As those of you who check in regularly know, I was away for a couple of weeks on a trip from which I’ll have a few stories for you in the days ahead.
I returned to find 1,800 emails on my office computer. These included faithful reports by my colleagues to their editors that, yes, they’d be working on a given day, their wips and wabs* and lookaheads, announcements about vacancies, messages sent in Chinese characters that I couldn’t read even if I wanted to, money-saving offers on fall flowers and hams and flights to Iceland, and social-network requests from strange women (and some men) to be my friend.
*Wips (short for “works in-progress”) and wabs (“whereabouts”) and the like are in-house shorthand for updates required of us by those who plan VOA’s news and feature coverage. Why they need to share 25 or so colleagues’ wabs with me, I’ve never been clear.
I had to fish through all this chaff to get the valuable stuff, such as a report on the 2011 submarine championships, send to me by friend. It included a gallery of photos . . . of the surface of the sea . . . and closed with the note: “Well, what did you expect to see?”
I also returned to find a couple dozen comments on my recent blogs. THESE I sort of look forward to — rather than eagerly anticipate, as I once did when I began blogging three years ago.
Back then, I was thrilled to receive such comments as this:
great publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this. You should proceed your writing. I am confident, you have a great readers’ base already!
The imprecise syntax didn’t bother me, as I realize that English is the second language of most of my readers. While the praise was vague, it was positive feedback nonetheless — the elixir of the blogs!
For a while, I’d routinely publish these comments, and sometimes even answer them with a note of gratitude for their kind remarks and perceptive eye.
Then VOA’s webmeister took me aside and delivered the bad news:
These aren’t genuine. They’re mass-produced phishes or something. Bait, designed to get inexperienced, flattered bloggers to publish them. When we do, the sender apparently gets some sort of validation that he or she can use to sell products, or something of the sort. Or there may be an even more sinister barb on the hook, enabling the wrong sorts of people to gain entrée into our computer system.
So that writer didn’t think I’d produced a “great publish, very informative” at all. He or she — or it — hadn’t even read my blog.
I’m now wary of empty praise, of comments — positive or negative — that say nothing specific at all about the blog in question, and of messages from senders whose Web site urls lead directly to commercial ventures. I’m craftier now, in other words, even if I still can’t tell you exactly what “url” stands for.
Here were some of the messages I found upon my return, and promptly trashed:
Thanks, I be enduring recently been searching instead of intelligence on every side this point during ages and yours is the pre-eminent I’ve discovered so far. But, what upon the conclusion? Are you solid about the source?
The writer of this bogus accolade, of course, neglected to cite or discuss my “pre-eminent point.”
I have been browsing online more than three hours these days, yet I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely value sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the web shall be much more useful than ever before.
That person’s Web site sells some sort of games involving bubbles. I am not kidding.
Undeniably believe that that you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to consider of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed even as other people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you
This person or computer program put a lot of work into creating gibberish, eh?
This is certainly probably the most powerful web blogs I have read in a really long time. The amount of information in here’s spectacular, such as you pretty much has written the book on the subject. Your blog perfect for everyone who desires to understand this content more. Awesome stuff; please keep writing!
No thanks to people or computers like you, I will do just that.
It’s really a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.
You’re welcome, mass-produced message from the maker of barber chairs.
it is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this publish and if I may just I desire to counsel you few attention-grabbing things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things approximately it!
This one gives me life advice and offers “attention-grabbing things or tips,” does it? Go ahead. Lay them on me.
Just this week, I got this curious comment on a blog I wrote long ago, about Washington’s trendy Georgetown section:
Is there anybody who can translate this knitting pattern into german?
Maybe, but it won’t be me. I can’t knit, I got D’s in German in high school, and I don’t know what German knitting patterns have to do with Georgetown.
Thanks for this article is very good article. I have a great advantage. I think that would be useful to many people. Let’s put it this way again. Personally, I’m glad to get to know these stories. Wishing the author has lucky and happy.
Everyone wishes me happiness! including this person or company that makes kitchen faucets! I am gushing with appreciation.
I really do love feedback, negative or positive, on my writing and the content of these blogs. Questions, disputes, suggestions, real happy wishes, even tasteful condemnations are encouraged and will be published. But I’m smarter than your average bear these days, as Yogi Bear used to say in a popular animated cartoon, when it comes to empty rose petals strewn without any mention of the subject at hand.
Those, you peddlers of pipes and bubble games and barber chairs can keep to yourselves.
Ted's Wild Words
These are a few words from this posting that you may not know. Each time, I'll tell you a little about them and also place them into a cumulative archive of "Ted's Wild Words" in the right-hand column of the home page. Just click on it there, and if there's another word that you'd like me to explain, just ask!
Accolade. An expression of admiration. Praise. Accolades can also have a tangible component. Awards are accolades.
Gibberish. Meaningless nonsense, often impossible to decipher. There are many theories about the origin of this colorful word. One is that it derives from the name of a famous 8th-century Islamic alchemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, whose technical jargon, written in Arabic, was difficult for Europeans to understand.