In no particular order:
1) Why do people have comment moderation for blogs about cookery, books, photography and other presumably inoffensive subjects?
I can’t work out whether it is paranoia, over-inflated sense of self-importance or some strange form of blog management whereby having to approve a comment means they will never miss one. Most bizarre indeed. And also frustrating for readers.
2) Why do people oppose gender neutral language? This is the 21st century. We have had women in police forces for some considerable time. For goodness sake, we even have them in the armed forces now, so why are total morons referring to police officers as policemen and then justifying such use of sexist language?
The reason we have gender neutral language such as police officers (do watch Hot Fuzz if you haven’t seen it) instead of policeman, and firefighters instead of fireman, is that society is actually beginning to recognise that women can and do perform these functions too.
Just as when I chair a meeting, I do not accept being called a chairman. Even wiki mentions a reference to a chair as a person in a position of authority back in the seventeenth century. The origins are primarily religious/academic, so it follows there would have been no need to specify the holder was a man …
As someone who has worked professionally as a writer (and public relations manager) since leaving university, I do get mildly miffed by people telling me that words are not important. Words and our use of language are extremely important, that’s one reason why people get paid money for getting them right. Or as right as we can.
The reason why using the term policeman, fireman, postman etc as a generic term is offensive is because it assumes the person carrying out the work is a man. It excludes the concept that women might or are also doing that work. By continuing to perpetuate the idea that the default is male and a woman in the job is the exception—or not even there—we continue to reinforce the inequity (or iniquity?) within our society.
In reverse, how often do you read about ‘a male nurse’? Because the expectation, even though nurse is gender neutral, is that a nurse is a woman. Gender shouldn’t come into it. A nurse is a nurse. When I was in hospital last year, there was an interesting mix. Not quite 50:50, but probably 40:60 men to women. A far cry from 40 or 50 years ago when I was a kid in hospital and a male nurse was unheard of.
Times change and so does language, we may not agree with some changes but we should accept they are here to stay.
If it’s generally recognised that nigger, slopey and slanty-eyed chink are offensive, why is there such a resistance to gender neutral language?
3) Why do (some) bloggers have such transparent double standards? I’m probably guilty of this too, but some of it is so blatant.
The religious ones are the obvious ones here.
Commenter A goes off-topic. S/he is not of the same viewpoint as the religious blogowner so gets remonstrated with for going off-topic.
Commenter B is religious and goes off-topic, so clearly that is acceptable.
Commenter C (not religious) replies to something by B and is also told off for going off topic, despite replying to a question originally asked by the ‘approved’ Commenter B.
Commenter D insults someone. D is told off and threatened with moderation/banning because natch, D is not religious.
Commenter E (religious) insults someone (not religious). Blogowners response? Oh it’s good to see you again, Brother (or such similar twaddle).
And finally, got to love our religious brothers and sisters for giving us material to write about, blogowner F accuses me of lying without any proof at all. Merely an (incorrect) assumption. There’s no need for that on a public forum.
4) Today I got a request to fill in an opinion poll. There is an election this year. Will I vote for the GSD (right of centre) or the GSLP/Liberal Alliance (left of centre)?
Two options. No more.
Where was the don’t know/haven’t decided box?
How can I decide before I have read the manifestos? Yes, I do read them.
Why assume I am going to vote for one or the other? We have ten votes, and ten candidates for each party, so I could split my vote if I chose. Does that mean I should tick both boxes?
What about, I’m not going to vote, they are all a bunch of shysters, same tricks just different faces? Where was that box?
I’m not sure a badly thought out ‘poll’ like that deserves my time.
5) Heard this morning. Two Rumanians painting a flat for six pounds an hour between them. ie three pounds an hour each.
Minimum wage in Gib is five pounds something. Craft rate is £7.69. Firms normally charge out at £27/35 an hour (and pay craft rate or less). Flat rental starts at approx £700 a month. You’d only have to work 233 hours a month to pay rent. That’s nearly sixty hours a week. Then there are bills and food on top of that.
Charging, what in Gib, is not enough to live on unless you are hot bedding or squatting and starving yourself to death, is ridiculous. All it does is drag down the rate for everyone else. I’m not sure who is the worst, the person gleefully paying such a cheap rate, or the ones charging it. Next, people will be paying for the privilege of working. Sort of like buying an apprenticeship I suppose.
But at the other extreme, an acquaintance was looking up painting prices and found a template. To paint a door with one coat only was £35 a side. The last doors Partner painted, got two coats of paint and he charged £20 for one side. Seventy would have been very nice.
And finally, on maths. Another painter had priced some doors. They were new doors, so he was looking at three coats of paint, both sides. He priced them at £100. He didn’t get the job. But the killer here is, there were ten doors. The client asked the painter how much the total would be because he couldn’t work out 10 x 100 …
People puzzle me.