Must have happened with you. At sometime or the other, you must have met someone who has the most irritating habit of correcting you at every word that you speak. Nodding your head in agreement? Well, read on...
I can summarise my opinion about these people in just these words,
Dude! So &^#%@*&^#* irritating! That would be the natural response of most people. However, courtesy dictates that we keep such comments to ourselves and then disclose them on blogs like this one, where no direct mention is made about the person who is the apparent target of the author, but subtle hints embedded in the content of the post inform everyone knowledgeable about the person who has unwillingly (or willingly, as the case may be) become the subject of the post.
Well, I must have already lost many of the readers because of the most uninteresting first four seconds that decide whether they stay on this blog or check out other blogs. But I rant on.
It happens every time in magazines, newspapers et cetera. There are some people who seem to have no job worthwhile in the world but pick out typos and grammatical errors in the articles, and then write to the editor informing him of the error. Perhaps they get a whole deal of satisfaction, that having done nothing particularly worthwhile in life, thinking that they can prove to the editor that they are smarter than him/her by pointing out,
Hey! You missed out on that typo, you're so dumb. Editors sometimes reply to the mails, sometimes acknowledge the mistake publicly (if the typo is serious). But sometimes, they too have their share of fun.
Take for example, Mohan Sivanand, the editor of the Indian edition of Reader's Digest. Ironically, in an article in which he went on and on about the poor English of Indians, and lamenting the loss of the Queen's language in the country, he accidentally fat fingered
nust instead of must. Sure, the alert readers of the magazine did not leave him in peace. But he too decided to have his share of fun, by replying to the readers with a long winded etymology of the word
nust. Surprisingly, the brilliant know-it-alls accepted his explanation without further argument, some went ahead and thanked him for updating their vocabulary, but a few called his bluff. Of course, when the others learned that nust was a figment of Sivanand's imagination, they claimed to have known it all along.
Why this rather long winded anecdote that you may find in the archives of Reader's Digest? Because it highlights the most important and most irritating aspect of the irritating people. The fact that they can be bluffed and that they may believe you if you sound convincing enough.
But such people are the headache of editors-in-chief, not of simple bloggers like me. With no one bothering to pay any attention to what's written in the space that you are reading (which means that you don't exist, actually) I hardly have to bother about people writing to me about how I fat-fingered some word. No, my concern is the people who pipe in suggestions for improvement every now and then, and in no polite way.
Some do it on my face, and it's hard to have a grudge against them, I mean, they would really want me to improve, otherwise, they would not have said anything in the first place. It is the other type who annoy me, the one's who use subtle tricks to drive the message home.
Like imitating a really bad habit/pronunciation that I may have.
Like writing a blog post about how some people have some really bad habits, when not being free of some other bad habits themselves. (It is at this point that I would like to point out to the fictitious reader that the author has become the subject of the blog, but I doubt that he shall remain that way for long). Micro-blogging is just as bad. Sometimes, people who are as obnoxious get a full blast when they try to handle someone really bold, who does not keep quiet. (Again, I think it is my duty to inform the reader that the author no longer refers to himself, it is best to avoid misconceptions by nipping them in the bud). Such people then tend to resort to sly tactics like deleting and disabling comments. But what happens when the person refuses to keep quiet and instead goes on the rampage, with rather ill comments on his own blog (or micro-blog, as the case may be)? Well, don't ask me, I have never been in that situation, though I feel that my post on the Harry Potter series brought me close to such a situation. And I did lose some
friends on facebook, but directly through my actions, and that is another story.
But I digress. Coming back to what I was saying about the second kind, there are some people who cringe when someone says
mo-jee-toh, but themselves put in
Met the President of Russian tomorrow as their status messages.
Well, I guess that there is a saying that
Nobody is perfect. The sooner we realize that and stop poking fun of other people's faults, and try to work on our own ones, we shall have achieved a great deal.
I am just a little nobody.