Friday, November 02, 2007

Snark: Mea Culpa?

This is a good day for the sorrowful mysteries.

I couple of incidents have opened my eyes to a potential character flaw. I won't go into detail, but one was from someone very close, and the other from someone I don't know. What both of these incidents revealed to me is that how I intend to be heard is sometimes not how I come across. This shouldn't be a surprise to me, especially when it comes to written communications via the Internet. However, those who know me well will know that the possibility I might have offended someone inadvertently caused me some anxiety and no small amount of reflection on my "style." (No, I'm not kidding or being flippant. I can be overly scrupulous when I believe I've offended someone.)

For the last year or so, I've tried to keep this blog a relatively snark-free zone. I figure that there's more than enough of that going around the blogosphere and that my adding to it was unnecessary: first, because I'm just not as witty as many of you out there, and second, because I often find it to be uncharitable. The second, to me, far outweighs the first in importance.

However, when I comment on other people's blogs, I have a slightly different approach. If the tone of the blog post is light hearted, I try to make my response light hearted. If the tone is sort of smart-alecky, I'll do the same. I still avoid being acerbic, antagonistic, or confrontational (although I have certainly failed on those points before). My humor tends toward the wry or terse comment, and I can see how that can sometimes come off as sarcastic or cynical. The latter is the last of my desires; I've been attempting to excise cynicism from my mindset ever since I returned to the faith. However, it does occasionally sneak in.

In any case, I've received an occasional sharp comment in my combox, and I've noticed far too often that people don't respond to my comments on their blogs (or respond in ways that surprise me), so I have to conclude that perhaps my attempts at humor have been weak, at best, or hurtful, at worst.

In any case, the fault is mine for writing in such a way that my intentions have been misunderstood. Mea maxima culpa. I hope you will accept my apology.

UPDATE: One more thing... I'm not a spiteful person. If something I wrote rubs you the wrong way, please attribute it to ignorance on my part rather than malice.
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