Monday, February 8, 2010

The Curmudgeon

The Portable Curmudgeon is a favorite book because it makes me laugh at the silliness of people and life. Like Maxine from Crabby Road, it makes it almost acceptable to be a little bit grouchy. The humor from either is hard to equal, but everyone can be a critic.

The One Minute Writer had a great prompt today to write about whatever annoys one online or in e-mail. That subject is worthy of a book or two. I usually deal with the bumps in the information superhighway by ignoring it, mentally rejecting it, or deleting it. When I think about it, a few pesky features online can get a rise from my anger meter.

One of my greatest pet peeves is spam in my e-mail. I have the spam filter turned on, but the sneaky e-mails masquerade as a person that has a sender name the same as a person in my address book so I open it thinking the person that I know sent it. I can't imagine how they think I would buy anything when they make me angry.

When people send me e-mail about religion or politics, that really annoys me. If I regularly get e-mail from them, I probably already know what they
think about those issues and they probably already know what I think about those issues. Nagging me with their views isn't going to change my views; it is only going to make me angry that they would think my opinions are less important than theirs. If I want their opinion, I'll ask for it. It does irreparable harm to relationships. Underlying the message is the assumption that they are right and if I disagree, I must be wrong. I'm not that easily manipulated; propaganda doesn't work. The assumption that they are preaching to the choir is insulting.

I don't mind the forwarded e-mails if they are funny. I don't respond to requests or threats that an e-mail has to be sent to ten more
people. I don't waste my time sending forwarded e-mails to a blanket mailing of my address book. If I think it is appropriate, I sometimes send it to a person that I think might be interested.

I can't leave the subject without venting about the destruction of the English language online. It marks my age, but I believe in preserving
communication that uses capital letters, punctuation and appropriate usage. I'm not referring to the occasional misspelled word, or typographical error that can happen to anyone. I choose not to text on cell phones and rebel against the shorthand that has evolved. I prefer to see complete sentences and I prefer to see acronyms kept to a minimum.

Often e-mails are forwarded that warn folks that gas tanks will blow up or microwaved hot water will explode, etc. It would be better if the sender spent her/his time checking the facts on before mass e-mailing an urban myth.

I don't mind if people want to be anonymous online, but I consider it cowardly if it is used to hide an identity when posting foul, judgmental, and insulting personal comments, whether it is a response to an article on a news site, or anywhere for that matter. It really isn't productive to the public dialogue. Maybe it makes someone feel important to bleed venom all over the Internet. No one respects the opinion of someone who can't disagree in a civil manner.

Thanks to the One Minute Writer--my anger boiled over and ran dry.


  1. Oh, I am SO with you on the spam deal. I have several friends that have used our church email roster just for this purpose. Annoys me to no end. People--check snopes you dopes!

    Book looks fun. I'll put this one on my list.

  2. Enjoyed your comment. Thanks for visiting; I check on your blog every day. Along with the spam today for home security systems and viagra, I received this cute little site.

  3. I could have written this exact post! Well, not as well as you wrote it but with many of the same sentiments. I love the word 'curmudgeon' ~ I need to start using it more. Take care.