With the written word, and an audience that doesn't really know me very well, I seem to find it incredibly easy to put my foot in it. Yes, I can be a bit "frank" from time to time, especially in the very PC mid-west of the USA, but I'm not a bee-atch for the most part and certainly never intend to hurt or offend. "Edgy" is about as far as I aim most of the time.
Recently however, I have found myself being extra careful about my writing. After the green bean casserole World War that erupted on the Pond Parleys blog last year, I know how easy it is to be perceived as a less than wholesome person. (81 comments fer feck's sake). And for the most part - I don't like it. I need to be loved. (With the exception of trolls like that posing as crazing women, of course.)
In case you're also treading warily through this blog-minefield, here are a few words and phrases that come in handy for smoothing out the rough edges:
- Learn all the text squigly signs you can, such as ;-) for "wink". In fact, have a look at an old Mad Manic Mamas post I did on the subject. Very enlightening and could save many a black eye.
- "Bless" - this is a great word for when you've just slagged someone off, don't quite want to retract it, but don't have the balls to really stand behind your words. For example, when speaking of someone's lazy, good-for-nothing son, you say "Well, he's always been a bit of a lump. Bless."
- "Wink" - this is the alternative to the ;-) sign, to be used when the other person might not get said sign. Usually required because what you've said could easily be taken the wrong way and you can't face the effort it would take to straighten things out.
"LOL" - Confession time, for a while there I was wondering why complete strangers were sending "lots of love" all over the place. It took me a while to realise it's Laughing Out Loud, and can be used to convey to people how great you thought their comment/post was without coming over all gushy.
"Just being picky" - fabulous when giving feedback (ie. comments on Michelloui's blog recently). Enables you to give requested "input" hopefully without giving offence.
- Smiley face - Warning - many people find the original intensely irritating. It makes you come across as a born again Christian wishing to spread love and happiness everywhere. If you must use emoticons, use better ones such as or or (My personal fave.)
And finally as the good ladies over at the British Mummy Bloggers web site have just blogged, we can all disagree on occasion, but let's keep it civilised. I'm all for a good (even heated) debate but just because someone doesn't share my point of view, doesn't mean I think they should burn in hell or that they're a bad parent/spouse/human.