One of my friends gets annoyed that I don’t respond to comments more often.
We shall refer to this friend as “Frappe” because that’s what I’m drinking right now and it is so freaking yummy, you just don’t even know. So Frappe gets all peeve-ish and is like, “You have to do it, Andi-Roo.” Then Frappe backs up slowly because Frappe knows I don’t like being told I “have” to do anything, and Frappe doesn’t want a broken nose.
After we establish that I don’t “have” to respond to comments, Frappe tries a different route.
“When you don’t respond, you are telling readers they aren’t worth your time.”
That makes sense. Except it’s a mistranslation.
What we have here is a misunderstanding of terms. I’ve been through this before. As a teenager, I was extremely conscious of how much I did *NOT* fit in. I was quite the outcast. For Realz. And it bothered me. I wanted to be part of the (~in~) crowd. I wanted people to like me and be interested in my opinions.
When I complained to my mom, she couldn’t comfort me.
That’s because we had a misunderstanding of terms. I would say, “Mom, I wish I was cool.”
And my mom would reply on cue, “You’re cool to me!”
Hello, Mistranslation. Nice to meet you.
That’s great, Mom. Thanks. But it’s totally NOT what I meant. ((( And I have to wonder if she was intentionally dense, or if she truly was just that thick. ))) By “cool” I meant “accepted by my peers”, whereas my mom meant “neat-o!” Let’s fill in the correct definition, just to further prove she had shit all wrong:
“You’re ‘accepted by your peers’ to me!” Clearly a mistranslation. No doubt about it.
Yeah. Being accepted by my peers isn’t a fucking opinion, Mom. It’s a quantifiable state. Totally measurable. You could actually walk around with a clipboard and take a poll. As opposed to the ridiculous notion that I might, or might not, be neat-o. I already know I’m neat-o. I’m pretty sure I knew it then, too. That was never the question. I wanted OTHERS to notice my neat-o-ness.
See? Misunderstanding of terms. Mistranslation.
I was saying one thing, but she was hearing something else entirely. And I get that I’m kind of responsible for making my messages clear. But how does one simply GUESS what someone ELSE might translate incorrectly? And then, on top of that, guess also at the actual translation itself?
When I don’t respond to comments, I know what I’m doing.
But no one else knows. So they fill in the blanks. Like my friend Frappe, they create their own mistranslation. They make assumptions. And really, there isn’t much I can do about that without crawling into people’s brains. Alas, I don’t do that sort of thing. I will leave that to the zombies.
What I’m saying:
“Here are my words. If you like them, YAY! If you don’t like them, don’t read my blog. I will keep writing, regardless. I do this for me, not you. The end. Have a nice day.”
What people hear due to mistranslation:
“You wrote words in public, so your ass belongs to me. If you expect me to read your words, then you better be prepared to give me something in return. Like, come read my words, too. And if I take time to comment on your words, YOU OWE ME SOMETHING FOR IT. I’m neither reading nor commenting for free, bitch. You must think you’re high and might, too important, better than the rest of us. Poop on you for not responding, Andi-Roo.”
You are fucking nuts. That shit you hear? That’s not what I’m saying, any more than I was saying to my mom that I wished I was neat-o. Y’all be making up some cray-cray BS. Your mistranslation is so far off base, even GPS couldn’t help you find your way back.
I probably need to leave a comment policy posted.
Because if that’s the crap you’re hearing, you need some help from me. Here’s my response to your sad, sad mistranslation:
- Just because I publish words doesn’t mean my ass belongs to you. My blog is my corner of the universe where I can say whatever I want. I don’t owe you anything. Unless you decide to pay my Internet and hosting fees. That’s an entirely different story, and in that instance alone I would be willing to negotiate.
- I don’t expect you to read my words. I actually expect you to NOT read my words, because they are profane and typically nonsensical. I expect you to do whatever it is that rocks your world, because I’m over here rocking my own world, too.
- I am not prepared to give you anything, because I didn’t ask you for anything. We never made a deal. There is no exchange going on here. What I write comes from my brain, and thus is about ME, not YOU. This is my planet.
- If I want to read your blog, I will. But if you be all pushy-pushy salesman at me, you can guarantee I will avoid you like the motherfucking plague.
- If you comment… thanks. But don’t do it on my account. Do it because you felt led to add your two cents, regardless of what I may or may not say back. Be like me — comment because you actually want to say something to someone, not because you expect a conversation. If you come at me with expectations of any degree, you better add a heaping dose of disappointment to your basket. I will fail you. And, how!
- I don’t think I’m high and mighty. I don’t think my time is more important than yours. I don’t think I’m better than you. Truth be told, I’m not thinking of you in any way whatsoever. I’m just over here living my life. Now you go on and live yours. It shouldn’t revolve around someone’s response or lack thereof.
I can tell you’re still lost.
So, here’s another example of mistranslation. The hilarious and helpful writer Chuck Wendig wrote up a piece on book piracy which he says, “stings because silly as it may seem it hurts our feelings that you don’t feel our work is worth the same amount of money as an inhaled cloud of dog flatulence.”
Now see, he is thinking that pirates are of THIS mindset:
“Your work isn’t worth the paper upon which it gets illegally printed.”
But I’m fairly certain that’s not what pirates are thinking.
I’m fairly certain pirates are thinking,
“This guy is fucking awesome, and I want to read all the pieces I can get into my grubby paws, by whatever means necessary, because I freaking love this bastard!”
Now we delve into the delicate topic of property rights, and what actually constitutes property. I do not personally believe there is such a thing as intellectual property. But that’s just my opinion, which isn’t worth the same amount of money as an inhaled cloud of dog flatulence. Or something like that.
Here’s some truth: If someone stole my shit, I’d be ecstatic.
I would jump over the moon at the idea that people liked my material enough to download it illegally. It would seriously stroke my ego. Money be damned. Money, to my mind, is not what creativity is about. Just ask Amanda Fucking Palmer. She gives her stuff away. Doesn’t seem to be hurting her music career in the slightest. In fact, allowing for piracy has made her a super star, and now she is hot shit. To reiterate, I believe ol’ Chuck is looking at piracy all wrong, because he is misinterpreting what the pirates are thinking.
I wonder if Google Translate can help with all these faulty interpretations, assumptions, and just plain stupidity. Misinterpretation changes the entire context of our attitudes toward one another. Someone needs to get a reign on that.