Mind the packaging!

Marketing people generally know what they are doing.  Companies spend millions of dollars finding out what sort of packaging sells products.  They know what shape, size, color and smell to package their products in and they know, generally speaking, what attracts customers and what repels them.
Bloggers have the roles of both manufacturer and marketer.  Even when we are merely parroting what others have already said, we are still trying to “sell” the ideas.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t be publishing them.  When our ideas are packaged wrong – when they are presented in bad English – it is annoying.  It is annoying that some of my fellow pro-white bloggers are presenting ideas to the public (ideas that I generally agree with) and making them look cheap through sloppy writing.
While I do not claim perfection in this regard, at least I make a serious effort.  For the benefit of my fellow bloggers, here are some tools y’all should avail yourselves of:
1) Spell check.  Even if your blogging program lacks this tool, you can still copy your post into a word-processing program and have it do the spell-check.  Do not rely solely on the spell-check program; a word may be spelled correctly but, at the same time, it may be the wrong word.
2) Dictionary.com.  If you’re not sure which word to use, or if you’re not sure if the word you want to use is appropriate, look it up on dictionary.com.  It is free, it is quick and it also includes a handy thesaurus.
3) Theoatmeal.com.  This is just one of many sources that can help you harness the power of the semicolon without abusing it.
4) Google.com.  If you’re not sure how to use a particular expression, look it up on google to see how others are using it.  This will give you a pretty good idea if your use is commonly acceptable.
5) Youngwritersonline.net.  Here you can gain further knowledge – such as distinguishing between two similar, but different, words (which is what I linked to here).
Some of my pet peeves (and yes, sometimes I do them myself) are as follows:
1) Improper use of “there”, “their” and “they’re” and improper use of “your” and “you’re”.  It doesn’t matter much if you’re texting a friend on your phone, but there are many people who want their sources to be written well when they’re reading serious subjects.
2) Missing and extra words.  This has become more and more common, even within MSM publications.  The fact that you know what you are trying to say does not absolve you of including all necessary words or eliminating extra words.  How do you avoid this pitfall?  Proofread!  Proofread your post two or three times before publishing it.  Proofread it slowly, word by word.  How do extra words end up in a text?  My experience is that it happens when I edit a sentence but fail to go back and make sure all associated words and sentences still make sense after the correction.  It’s the same for missing words.
3) Extra apostrophes.  Somebody once called me an “apostrophe nazi”.  So be it, but an apostrophe is there for a reason.  It either indicates a missing letter, tells us that a word is possessive or is used in certain plural forms (such as 1990’s).  If you’re not certain whether you should use “its” or “it’s”, then ask yourself whether the sentence still makes sense if you substituted the apostrophe for the word “is” or “has”.  For example, “it’s a fine day today” would still make sense if I wrote “it is a fine day today” because the apostrophe is in place of the letter i in the word “is”.  What about “it’s head is covered with hair”.  This is incorrect because it would not make sense to say “it is head is covered with hair”.
There are some things I struggle with.  If “a people” (as in “a nation, ethnicity or population”) is singular, then isn’t it correct to say “the people is a traditional one”?  Is “ethics” singular or plural?  According to dictionary.com, it can take either a singular or a plural verb.  It’s hard to know which is more appropriate in some cases.  Under what circumstances should we capitalize the word “God”?  This has been a great source of confusion for me as I translate “The Ashkenazi Revolution”.

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12 Responses to Mind the packaging!

  1. sherwood Smith says:

    Nice post! I like Strunk’s “The Elements of Style.”. Short, clear and useful.

  2. J.A.Y., the web’s premier Apostrophe Ashkenazi.
    I’m not sure when to capitalize God. I guess you should when it is the deity’s name OR epithet. So it doesn’t matter if it’s monotheism or not, since a religion can have only one god, with a name other than God.
    Also, “Gods” has to be pluralized I think when it refers to a subset of all the deities. I.e. “Gods versus Titans” in ancient Greek and “Gods versus Giants” in old Norse myths. Surely Titans and possibly Giants, being long-lived and very potent, if not immortal, qualify as demigods at least.

  3. portland1realist says:

    wat are’ you taking about”?””,.

  4. Kiwiguy says:

    Good points, a lot can be learned from marketing & books like Robert Cialdini’s ‘Influence’. Rational arguments are necessary, but other factors make such a difference in terms of persuading people.
    One of the good things about the Alternative Right site is that it uses a more modern looking website. It would be great if Vdare updated their site at some stage.
    Also, Chris Brand’s ‘IQ & PC’ blog is entertaining but I think it would be more effective if he adopted a more formal approach. He’s a former Professor so has authority (one of the main factors of persuasion Cialdini identifies), but he undermines himself by talking about Mueslies and other slang terms.

  5. Larry says:

    It’s great that you’re looking at this from a marketing perspective. You might find this blog useful http://www.craphammer.ca/2011/03/lever-for-success-social-forces.html

  6. Septen says:

    In my opinion, too many in this movement are focused on facts.
    Facts are not a problem in of itself, but it should usually come after the initial pull-in, or at least used very selectively, but powerfully, not bombarding people with numbers. (Jared Taylor does that too much, among other things).
    Instead, people have to be nudged to think in these areas on themselves. And let’s face it: if you happen to come to this blog you are either already part of the thought system or vehemently opposed to it.
    There’s just not going to be many moderate fencesitters visiting blogs like these from an early stage.
    Instead, it’s more important to seek people out in mainstream settings and be subversive. Grammar should be functional and lean, but nothing as fancy as this post suggests, instead one should throw out a question which will force people to think.
    Let’s say, there’s a story of how, to take a trivial example, of yet another black individual trying to steal other people’s money through race activism and acusing other people of racism for nothing at all, and saying they must give him money, essentially, or he won’t shut up.
    He will put it in much more nuanced terms(but not without the rage) but the gist will be the same.
    If you go into a comment’s field of a blog, mainstream paper or just talk to people in a coffee room, ask a question which subtly points out that
    A) This happens way too much to be an accident, this is organised theft.
    B) Gently link back to genuine anti-white racism from blacks in their recent collective memories and compare to this, but play to be PC yourself but raise the concern in such a way, that you look like you support the hypocrisy: thereby exposing it.
    And so on. The point is to start the mental process with people. These things take years to complete and mature. People don’t become genuine converts overnight, they require nudging and nudging until they get to a critical mass and then the genuine change begins.
    Throwing them a bunch of facts into their face will not help, even if they tend to be logical human beings, because they are not mentally in that space yet(or fencesitters).
    And even for the fencesitters, the facts have to be sparse, and selective to make maximum impact. The point must be to entice and draw them further in, and then steadily increase the rate of information which will make it less sensationalist, but by that time they won’t need be drawn in anymore: it’s a self-going train.
    Just a few thoughts.

  7. Kiwiguy says:

    ***The point is to start the mental process with people.***
    I find asking liberals if they’re creationists can be useful in terms of HBD topics. Obviously no liberal wants to be seen as a creationist, and once they start thinking in terms of groups adapting to different environments they can see the logic of HBD.

  8. Charles says:

    I know that I am guilty of some of the aforementioned grammatical errors. Thank you for the suggestions and links. I agree packaging is important.

  9. Uh, think I stay anonymous on this one says:

    No blog is so error ridden than cofcc.org.
    Very annoying.
    Then, again, even the most astute blogger will make an occasional glitch. I also appreciate comments from readers who are considerate enough to note errors.

  10. Tom Gaspick says:

    Further to its/it’s:
    The best advice I’ve ever seen on this one (and I can’t recall where I first saw it) was this:
    The possessive forms of ‘he’ and ‘she’ (‘his’ and ‘hers’) have no apostrophe. So, neither does the possessive form of ‘it’ have an apostrophe. (It’s ‘its’.)

  11. Fre says:

    (ideas that I generally agree with) You’re criticizing the writing of others? That sentence should be “Ideas with which I generally agree”.

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