Tuesday, 4 August 2009

I asked for it

So I got my review from Ask And Ye Shall Receive, and it was good and bad.

On the whole, considering they promise they "will fucking tear you apart" (see the URL), I think I got off lightly.

The main criticism was my slap-dash punctuation and editing. Which is a fair point, and one that has been made many, many times. What can I say? It's a blind spot - I have read Eat, Shoots and Leaves and I understood it perfectly. But as soon as it comes down to my own writing I am unable to proof it. I read what I wanted to write, not what is on the page.

A specific complaint was my inability to use commas. Particularly galling, as this is something that the husband is always criticising me for (not for me the normal wifely complaints about burnt dinners and scum marks round the bath). You have no idea how smug he was that the review i) vindicated him, ii) praised him for his own grammar, and iii) suggested that I should have sex with him before publishing each post.

She also hated my hand-drawn header. Admittedly the colour is a little garish, so when I next get on a computer with Photoshop I'll have a play with it. But the hand-drawn? I'm surfing the crest of a trend.

She said of my About Me page that: " the level of boring oozing off of it that your average visitor will be affected by narcoleptically is more toxic than the unmanaged asbestos in the school cafeteria ", and it won't be of interest "unless there is some off-chance that the visitor is also desperately TTC". Which most of my visitors are. But yeah I can see that, I'll separate out the Time-Line and rewrite About Me.

But on the whole the actual comments about the writing were pretty complimentary, and a few of her choice phrases had me beaming. And yes she chastised me for some of the duller posts, and I know that sometimes I post for the sake of it rather than because I have anything to say so I will have to address that - but hopefully I'll have a bit more to write about in the next few months than the last six.

Judging from the links she chose to illustrate her points with she must have read pretty much all of my 175 posts, so a massive credit for dedication to her review. (I think I took her reviewing cherry so she is still keen.) Although I can't believe she didn't link to what I consider my crowning glory posts. (Yeah, I'm so linking for any strays who stumble back this way from AAYSR)

The one things that totally threw me was her description of my humour as "subtle". I presume Subtle is a brick manufacturer in the States.

Now I'm a bit scared as she said she'd keep reading, so I have got to start pulling my socks up. The head mistress' red pen is hovering.


  1. madame bellicose5 August 2009 at 01:06

    While I hope you pay more attention to the commas, I'll keep reading anyway. And yes, I read the whole blog, and enjoyed it very much, and not only because I am TTC.

    In terms of the humor, it's the kind I really dig because it sort of sneaks up on you sometimes and I love that. Or maybe it's more English than what I'm used to. Anyway, it works.

  2. I'm definitely not TTC, but I love your writing and have been following your journey for the past couple months. I had not noticed any of your grammatical shortcomings, but now I will be much more cognizant!

  3. Some people know nothing. You are writing for you firstly, us second, I hope. Fuck any bad reviews we love your shit!

  4. commas?? she's worried about commas???

    FWIW I've never cared much for commas.
    I guess that gives me a big FAIL as an educator. But then as a scientist I've always beena content girl and think spelling and punctuation are for those weak pedantic souls who get easily distracted and can't read a graph. Or follow directions.

    Forget the commas - I can see the happy, the sad, the funny, the uncomfortable,the down right hilarious, and the damn *aesthetic* from a mile off.

    Besides - you provide a caveat for any imperfections in the blog title.

    (ooahh - look at the acronyms, the split infinitives, the typos, the starting senteces with "But" in this comment - I must away to the bad grammar naughty chair).

  5. Thanks Madame B, your comments are getting nicer and nicer!

    Anon, Wow, maybe my audience is broader than I realised. Please continue to be oblivious to my errors!

    PiB, those are my two main audiences, but I asked for a review precisely because I wanted an objective view and pointers. And I think that is what I got. Although I only got two stars I don't think that what she actually wrote was that bad.

    Corymbia, go and think about what you have done! (And I think your results prove you are a top notch educator)

  6. I saw your review there...and hell, you KNOW it could have been a lot worse. I've seen so much worse. Hooray for your two stars, sister.

    Will look forward to your commas.

  7. What, I, love, about, people, that, critique, the, work, of others, is, that, they, are, usually, self, righteous, and, self, important. Someone always has an opinion. I love your blog, I love your hand drawn pics, I love your humor. It works for you, it is you! That is why I keep coming back. Not to criticize your use of commas, but rather to see that your journey ends well! Now, I have given you enough commas in my comment here to last you for at least 2 posts. haha. You keep on being you!

  8. You are so brave. Dare I review the review? Commas or no, I have an easier time reading your blog than her review. I guess my vocabulary isn't big enough!

  9. madame bellicose5 August 2009 at 14:39

    Just for the sake of putting it into perspective, two stars is like a B-. It was definitely not an unfavorable review. But I did feel the need to point out areas where I thought Womb4improvement could...well, improve. When I asked for a review over there for my blog, I also got some constructive criticism and thought it was very helpful. That's pretty much the whole point of asking for a review.

  10. Oh I would be so screwed then since I'm not english mother tongue and have a hard time keeping up with commas!I agree:write firstly for you and secondly for us, so keep on doing that the way you know best. We will still read you and love your stuff anyways.

  11. I'll trade you my "meh" for one of your stars?

    No? Bah.

    I love your blog and couldnt care less if you use commas or not. =)

  12. Of course I know that Murgdan, and I hope I didn't sound like I was complaining, just responding.

    Thanks Sandy, I think I'll need those commas. But I did ask for the review so I'm not sure I would describe her as self-righteous.

    Megan, I had to read some of her sentances twice too!

    Madam Bit was constructive and I hope the post I have just written shows that i have started to proof-read more carefully (if not then I am clearly a lost cause because I really tried!) Thanks.

    You appear to have developed a lisp Xbox.

    Then you have a better excuse than I for poor punctuation Leo

    Sarah, You certainly deserved more than a meh, and considering how many of the commentors read your blog now I think you know that!

  13. To be very honest, considering my complete lack of punctuation and slaughter of the English language, I was pretty pleased with my "meh"! Lol. I was expecting the short bus or flaming finger.

  14. Don't believe her, you are friggin' hilarious! And I love your header. Don't ever change.

  15. Yep, you asked for it! You're one brave girl.


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