Thursday Thought — Blog Housekeeping
We are going to deviate from the usual Thursday Thought and talk blog. As many of you know A Cry For Justice blog is in its fourth year and for most of that time we have had the policy that each comment is moderated before it is approved. WordPress keeps a count of how many approved comments we have and that total recently passed 38,000.
We started moderating comments so that we could create and maintain a safe place for domestic abuse victims to recover, heal, and grow. And while moderating comments is very important to us, it does take a lot of time and energy by each of our moderators.
We would like to share with you some suggestions — things to keep in mind when leaving a comment on the blog. It will help us when moderating comments and it will help keep you safe!
- Use plenty of paragraph breaks.
- When making a paragraph break, please make it a two-line break (i.e. hit the enter key on your keyboard twice).
- When using a dash, please put a space on either side of the dash. This makes it much easier to read your comment. Here is an example of a spaced dash in which the hyphen key was used for the dash:
Great point – I fully agree.
Here is the same text with an un-spaced dash: Great point-I fully agree.
- Check the screen name you’ve given before you submit the comment. Sometimes a device or a WordPress account defaults to a screen name that you may not want visible on our blog. If that happens to you, you’ll need to manually change the screen name your device has prompted you to use.
- Check whether your device has automatically imputed something into the URL field of the comment submission page. For many of our readers, it is not safe for them to let their URL (e.g. their blog address) be accessed via our blog. If you do not want your URL accessible through our blog, make sure the URL field is empty.
These last three suggestions are completely optional. We don’t mean to be school-marmish or make you feel that your writing has to be perfecto or we won’t publish it. We (actually Barb, I’ll admit it, these are my additions!) only offer these things in case you want to learn these writing skills:
- If you want to be really snazzy with your dashes, use an M-dash not a hyphen.
Here is an example of a spaced M-dash: Great point — I fully agree.
Here is one site that gives instructions for creating an M-dash [Internet Archive link], but you might find a better site.
- Posted in: blog news
Ha! The incorrect use of the apostrophe has to be one of my pet peeves. Odd but true.
I’m also a fan of the em dash.
Thank you for creating this site. It continues to provide me with much support. Happy Thursday!
LOL, Barb — blog commenting etiquette. Love it 🙂
Hey — I think I just discovered something by accident. The dash in this comment and the above one, the M-dash, I made by using two normal dashes (without a space). That’s really easy to remember.
Yes, that is one way that sometimes works to create an M-dash. It doesn’t always work, it depends on which program or platform you are using, and it might also (?) depend on whether you are using a MicroSoft or an Apple device.
And I don’t think two hyphens without a space between them will work on WordPress, unless you put a space before and after the double hyphen.
I will have to test that out. 😊
Yes, blog commenting etiquette makes life easier for blog moderators 🙂
I think blog commenting etiquette has at least two aspects. The most important aspect is ethical digital citizenship. It’s like the criminal and civil laws which prohibit terrorism, assault, libel, slander, harassment, unfair stereotyping and discrimination. People who lack ethical digital citizenship do things like putting people down because of their gender, trolling, displaying malignant narcissism, using straw-man arguments and red herrings to muddy and sidetrack the discussion, and ‘playing the man, not the ball’.
At ACFJ, because we moderate all comments, we can weed out those who show unethical digital citizenship before their comments see the light of day.
The less important aspect of blog etiquette is the etiquette of good composition. It’s rather like showing good manners at the dinner table. Making your writing easy to follow, for both the moderators and the eventual readers. 🙂
I mean this with great respect for all the work you do in moderating this website – please forgive me if I make grammatical errors. I am learning a lot and one never stops learning. 🙂 Thank you for all you do.
No need to ask forgiveness, dear readers! We don’t want to make anyone feel guilty or bad. 🙂
I am glad to have caught this Thursday blog. I learned new computer techniques which I know so little of. Thank you.
Just to let you know, your first example of the spaced vs. unspaced dash doesn’t actually use the (em) dash character. You used an en dash (which US English mainly uses for number ranges) and a hyphen (a different character mark altogether).
US English uses the em dash, usually unspaced except for in journalism and sometimes in e-books or websites (for reasons related to how varying viewing options can affect typography). World English can use the em dash but tends to prefer the spaced en dash.
The grammatical equivalent when you can’t make the em dash character on your keyboard is 2 hyphens in a row, no space between them. (En dash equivalent is usually a hyphen.)
Example — of spaced with em dash.
Example—of unspaced with em dash.
Example — of spaced with the two hyphens.
Example–of unspaced with the two hyphens.
Example – of spaced with en dash.
Example–of unspaced with en dash.
I realize this is kinda technical and being a bit of a stickler, but much of my day job involves thorough knowledge and instruction of grammar. 🙂
Thanks Misti, you obviously know more about this than I do. 🙂 And I’d thought I was creating em dashes when in fact I was creating en dashes!
It’s interesting to see what WordPress did to your examples.
What we often see submitted in comments on this blog looks like the fourth and sixth examples in your list. So whether people ar using unspaced double hyphens, or unspaced en dashes, (or even unspaced hyphens that they mean as dashes) WordPress makes all those things look the same. That’s frustrating!
If you have any more tips about this Misti, feel free to email me 🙂