Saturday 11 January 2014, 12.01am HKT
The WordPress.com stats helper
monkeys angels prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog, just for me, just for you, just for everybody else.
Here’s the standard G.I. excerpt:—
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 48,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Only 18 sold-out performances??? Blimey, not worth waking up to…
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014. (B14019)
Wednesday 2 January 2013, 11.42am HKT
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
“19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 86,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.”
Thank you, WordPress, for the ‘Automattic’ annual report.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. Images and stats powered by WordPress. (B13001)
Thursday 8 March 2012, 12.15am HKT
FROM PART 5
This staggeringly unbelievable, angry, tl;dr year-end review is also coming to an end
I could nearly hear and feel your sighs of relief. And I don’t blame you.
(Sighs of relief and sounds of bladders loosening heard in the background.)
* * *
THE SIDE SHED
My friends and ex-college mates (from my third run at university) have finally graduated. Good on them!
About 90% of them decided to become teachers. Not so good on them, I have to say.
Never mind. They must be better men (and women) than I could ever be, mainly because teaching is the one single profession that can drive me to drink within a space of three days.
(It nearly did, when I did that three-week-long school attachment.)
I work in financial printing and printbroking, and that’s a hard-scrabble, highly pressurised line of work. I’ve been in publishing before that, and that’s pressurised and low-paid as well. I’ve never ever had problems with both those lines.
But teaching … it ain’t worth the suffering (mine and the kids’).
About the only three good things to come out of 2011 have been (in equal order):—
(a) Popcorn the Housecat (not my own, but a relative’s) is one year old, fat and lazy, a wuss, overeating, overdrinking and oversleeping. Love him to bits. Reminds me of Mum, especially in his passive-aggressive posturing.
(b) The three or four regular commenters on this blog (you know who you are!), all of whom made the whole crappy exercise worth the crap.
(c) Getting The Versatile Blogger Award, which happened to be the only award I ever won in my life.
Not quite as bad as blogging a blood oath,
but the booze nearly became a permanent fixture
But the best thing is, you’ve read this whole post from beginning to end. And that, I’m very pleased to say, makes the whole thing much, much more beyond ‘worthwhile.’
Thank you, thank you.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Image via c4c.
Wednesday 7 March 2012, 3.00am HKT
(Updated 07 Mar 2012 to fix broken links)
If following some certain blogs has turned out to be a source of consternation for some of you, then tuning them out and unsubscribing clearly makes you a better man (or woman) than I am.
Here are my broadly aimed indiscriminate broadsides for 2011.
NOTE: ‘You’ is being used throughout below in plural form (i.e. ‘you yourselves’).
* * *
To the linguistics blogs
* MESSAGE *
You’re a goddamn disgrace to the language (any),
and to language lovers too.
Truth be told (and to behold), the attitude and standard of writing on many linguistic sites or blogs leave woefully to be desired. (Or do we say ‘room for improvement’ nowadays?) Of all people, it falls on linguistics people to make elementary technical mistakes, such as:—
- overlong paragraphs (i.e. more than 200 words a paragraph)
- using non-technical words with meanings that don’t conform to widely accepted meanings
- mixing metaphors
- incorrect levels of active vs. passive language
- inability or unwillingness to restate matters in everyday language or context after stating the matters in technical form
Point 5 is death knell to those who pitch their sing-song about making technical matters more accessible and eclectic to others.
Playing dirty little tricks
What’s so unpleasant for me (and also for quite a lot of people I know) isn’t the blog content itself. It’s the piss-pauvre way their bloggers and commenters treat and argue with other commenters (especially the new ones).
- They have a ‘tone’ in their writing.
- They have this offensive, surly kind of sardonism at those whom they consider to be ‘uitlanders’ (outsiders) seemingly based solely on their received academic wisdom.
Their sardonistic antics would have been funny and more entertaining if there had been humour somewhere in there. Instead of humour, there was overweening intellectual pride.
I don’t know whether to describe you as malicious in the sense of malice, or malicious in the legal sense of reckless, especially when you play dirty little tricks on your new readers and new commenters (as discussed in Part 4 before).
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then many of these linguistics blogs have a noticeable tendency to do this to their readers:—
To the China-related blogs
* MESSAGE *
See Ye Olde Hong Kong flag below.
Even the Chinese find themselves inscrutable and hard to explain — and here you are trying your hardest to be like the Chinese, when you’re anything but. And it shows.
You know the minutiae and mechanismata of life in mainland China more than the rest of us. That much is clear. Equally clear is that, your five to 10 years of living there, an expert does not make of you (broadly speaking).
Nasty and unspeakable
Many of the deeper, more fluid nuances of Chineseness, of being Chinese — of the seemingly atavistic ‘practices’ of the Chinese in general (and of the mainlanders in particular) — actually still escapes you. And it shows.
And for some bizarre reason, why is it that you — English yakkers the lot of you — end up writing English with a pronounced Chinglish bent?
Have you forgotten your own tongue?
Did you do something nasty and unspeakable with your tongue somehere?
Most of you are (or were) in China as foreign-language or English teachers of one shade or another, living (or having lived) there with all the mod cons (relatively speaking) of an expat life there. Let’s make no mistake about that, shall we?
Chalk and cheese
If expat and local life in Hong Kong (a place with a high degree of Westernisation among the Chinese part of the population) are as different as chalk and cheese, then it behoves you to realise that yours over there is even more different.
In my own experience of China-watchers and China-livers (and it IS pretty extensive an experience), you are only touching the surface surfactant (the thing that lowers the surface tension).
Not very good in self-control
Credit where credit’s due, there are a handful of smashingly good China-watching blogs, particularly one whose host is extremely adept at playing ‘softball’ (figuratively speaking). And there are some really good and easygoing commenters who do know what’s what and what’s not in China and about the Chinese.
However, the large morass of this ‘chinesed’ community of bloggers and commenters are:—
(a) mostly pugnacious crybabies,
(b) spreading their need to make a ‘statement’ a bit too thick sometimes,
(c) not noticeably gifted on the context-spotting department, and
(d) prattling on about some trivial WTF behaviour of the people in their locale.
Some people are not very good in self-control and don’t realise when they overdoing their bit of trying-ever-so-hard to stand out from the competition.
China isn’t a pretty place, and most Chinese (on home turf as well as overseas) are insightful enough that they themselves are either bitches or bastards — you knew full well when you got there, so quit complaining.
Were YOU here when THIS was here?
If not, then you know bollocks about China or Chinese people.
To the Chinese-related linguistics blogs
* MESSAGE *
Are you a true, real-life licensed professional?
Or are you just another ‘professional’?
You should be so lucky that you are enjoying your success in the blogosphere. I am happy for you in that respect (and that respect only). Otherwise, you come across roundly as self-righteous and more than a little biased in your views.
I have never ever in my life for the longest time met anybody so swelled up in their (or, prescriptively grammatically, his or her?) ‘discipline’ (i.e. field of study).
Please don’t project yourselves as ‘professionals’ because, otherwise, you’ll need to reassess your understanding of the word ‘professional.’
As a non-practising professional myself (lawyer), I reckon I have a better-than-expected understanding on this score. *Snorg*
Just because you can speak and/or read and write Chinese (plus a dozen or so other languages, whether or not deeply or fluently), please don’t diss the rest of us for being ignorant. We’re not unaware you’re dissing us.
- You have a ‘tone’ in your writing, and that’s upsetting to say the least.
- You come across as argumentative, which is consistent with self-centredness.
- You mostly have an avoidance personality disorder in the way you generally regard other people’s comments.
‘When you put in the hours’
The really grostesque aspect of these Chinese-related lingo blogs is that they have a high number of commenters who adhere (obey?) the line that Chinese is not difficult, often occurring in the same breath with the words “when you put in the hours” — all suitably laced with all manners of arcana linguistica just to prevent others from putting in a slightly different viewpoint.
- Just because you’ve learnt Chinese and maybe because you like to learn Chinese, what makes you so goddamn sure it isn’t hard for the rest of us?
- Just because your linguistics background says you’re right, what makes you so goddamn sure that the rest of us is not right?
Actually,organic chemistry and biology (both I got trained in before law) aren’t difficult when you put in the hours. Neither is law when you put in the (massive) hours. But we don’t hear you saying dimethylphosphatase-assisted redox reactions or promissory estoppel or liens or constructive superannuation not difficult, do we? Derp.
Even mathematics frequently gets things wrong.
What makes yours so infallible?
Try actually asking an actual Chinaman about his or her actual history of learning the actual Chinese language on an actual day actually face to face. To say nothing also about actually learning your actual Chinese history actually better with regards to the actual politically inspired (vs. formalised linguistic) evolution of the Chinese language. Actually.
- The truth is, many, many Chinese themselves consider Chinese to be quite hard, even with the hours put in.
These Sino-lingo blogs are the equivalent of the space virus in “The Andromeda Strain” for those old enough to remember that 1969 film.
Did you have to start learning this at kindergarten age?
If not, then you have no idea how hard it is to learn it.
Because the hours put in, likewise take away hours from childhood.
“You make me wish I had more middle fingers.”
Be thankful, be gracious, that I have not named names. In the Year of the Destructive Dragon, I may change my mind. As a lawyer myself, albeit non-practising, I can shut you down with little or no cost to me if I get riled enough to do that.
Believe it or not, one Sino-lingo blogger managed to get me into such a rage in a certain thread that I was clenching fists that went white at the knuckles. Still.
I’ve had only four other ‘white-knuckle’ incidents before (not counting this one). Three of them ended in litigation in my favour, and one (shall we say) led to considerable distress for the other person.
I’m not naturally a vicious person, but I did go to law school, which is where they teach people how to be vicious. So there.
The timebar for litigation is six years.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
Give me grief like that, and I hand you reprisals.
See you in court, pal, because you didn’t realise you made defamatory statements about me. I have the full-page screencaps as evidence.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.
Images: Former Hong Kong colonial flag (public domain) via Wikipedia ♦ World map graphic and Chinese characters chart powered by Zemanta/WordPress ♦ Other images as indicated.
Wednesday 7 March 2012, 1.00am HKT
THIS IS A SIDEBAR to Part 5 of “What’s it been?” feature.
You’d be glad to know I hate and detest writing angry stuff like this.
Forgive and burn.
* * *
Some have a talent for snot
I’m not naming names (for now), but one Sino-bloggeur draws my particular ire for his highly unpleasant snooty demeanour that’s hard to miss throughout his writings.
It’s not that I’m writing this because he treated me that way. He treated everyone that way.
The apparent worldwide popularity of his linguistics-related blogsite in many ways also highlight the questionable reading abilities of his blog’s readers because his demeanour has manifestly been one long piss-stream of veiled putdowns at the Chinese, the people he professes to live and like in that land ‘over thar.’
Talk about deteriorating reading fluency in our day and age.
Nonetheless, I’m sure his blog will improve over time and his readers will then be able to get the message that blogger is trying to put across.
‘A great many languages’
Urovan urine bag, extra super quality penhole type,
with 17.5mm Bhor extra soft cloth and
standard 1-metre heavy tube length, from Interlabs
To cut a long story short, that foreign-shat brat living in The Long Graveyard (i.e. China) had been making derogatory insinuations that I was being racist in one particular thread.
Coming from someone who chose to live in a urine bag of a xenophobic country like China — ranking 77th place in the world economy* vs. 5th-ranking Hong Kong where I live — I don’t know whether to call you congenitally stupid or just congenitally thick-skinned.
* Jumped from 175th to 77th overnight on absorbing Hong Kong on 1st July 1997.
With regard to the bloggeur’s knowledge and abilities in his ‘discipline’ (i.e. field of study), I pass no judgment. I am sure enough to say that the bloggeur certainly knows his linguistics.
Then again, he specialises in a field that few of us would (or could) understand, so naturally I would defer to anyone who has ‘experience in a great many languages.’
Myself, I’ve merely had two mere years of merely formal instruction merely in linguistics (and not even out of mere choice).
And I can count to 100 if I’m not rattled.
But, of course, I did take a course in good manners.
“Stay not too long in my country.”
— Octavian to Germanicus in the run-up to the (Second) Battle of Actium
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Image via Interlabs.
Tuesday 6 March 2012, 12.15am HKT
(Updated 07 March 2012 to fix broken links)
TL;DR, but should be worth your read.
This part is a ‘rando’ (newspaperspeak for ‘review and outlook’) about my online reading and writing activities. It’s really about the human chemistry behind the written word that makes the whole sordid exercise of reading and writing worthwhile, considering the finite time we all have on Earth.
* * *
THE ENGINE ROOM
On the blogging front
That’s Internetspeak for the yearlong raid by readers who email me comments but, altogether bizarrely, won’t comment on the blogposts themselves.
Those shatloads of long comments complained all possible manner of complaints, prattling on that my posts weren’t in English at all, not up to academic standard, ‘poor’ idioms, not writing in Chinese, and so on and so forth.
Hilarity did NOT ensue.
The comments weren’t even spam — they’re from real people. Just un-bloody-real.
On following blogs
As a testament to my own brain-damagedness, I follow roughly 300 blogs (via email) of all kinds of subjects imaginable. Ninety-nine percent of them have been fun-filled, entertaining, enlightening, thought-arousing, learn-something-new-every-day reads. A handful of them are even ever so slightly sexually arousing, especially if I really concentrate.
However, just like the “We are the 99%” vs. 1% making the rounds all over the USA, it is the 1% (in my case, 1.67%) that have caused 99% of the consternation for me.
Half the time the stuff from the 1.67% is a rehash of stuff already fleshed out in books or someplace else that, quite frankly between you and me, has been done better elsewhere.
That 1.67% are those sites related (‘devoted’) to China and linguistics. If you can figure out between the two, the worst must have been Chinese-related linguistics blogs from inside China. Of that, the pits are those written by non-Chinese who imagine they are Chinese.
If such a small number is causing such a great upset, why continue reading them?
Jeez, I went to law school, you know — just because I don’t like something, doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t read it. (Are YOU able to do that?) I assure you, it isn’t sado-masochism on my part.
“Don’t hold back,” my friends and my lawyers (yes, lawyers!) tell me, whilst I mulled over the advice for quite some time. But I demur. So indulge me, and let me state certain thoughts in conclusive manner in Part 4 coming up.
* * *
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.
Image of Chinese stanza in blue calligraphy by Samantha C.-S.