Whoa, whoa Rosie.

The wife was upset about Rosie DiManno’s column the other morning. It is not that she has ever bothered to post a comment in the Toronto Star’s website about one of Rosie’s columns or anything else. She knows that her husband’s web site has refused unidentified comment in the years that Babel-on-the-Bay has existed. The wife simply could not understand why Rosie would spew so much bile on the subject.

In an era when we have much better filters to catch sexist and vulgar language, the Toronto Star seems to have given up and now refuses unidentified comment. That makes good sense to us. Why have people comment on your material if you cannot have an honest dialogue with them on the subject. Babel-on-the-Bay cannot respond to every comment but we do try to respond to positive, helpful readers,

One of the things we have noticed in the comments sections of various sites is that there seem to be a lot of conversations between regular contributors. They seem to almost be private clubs. And we do not care to join.

But we got in trouble for laughing at the wife’s comments on Rosie. Just because we zone Rosie out after her first two paragraphs, does not mean we are laughing at the wife for her ability to read all. (Mind you any Starch editorial study would show the wife to be in a small minority of Rosie’s readers.)

The few times we have mentioned Rosie DiManno in this web site, we have usually included a comment about her verbosity. She seems to think the Star should be paying her by the word. That system of paying writers disappeared a long time ago.

The trend today is for much shorter items. We never recommend twitting but if the story only needs 140 characters, do it! When we started this commentary ten years ago, we mixed thousand-word articles with very brief comments and gradually drifted to today’s approach of keeping the commentaries under 500 words. Not only is this a good size for readers to pick up on the fly but leaves it open to return to the subject when convenient.

When we started this site, it was designed to showcase our writing and editing skills. As it is we really enjoy discussing the political subjects we address and admit the writing skills have deteriorated a bit. If the economy keeps heading for the toilet, we will have to pull up our socks, write for today’s audience and sell our skills to the highest bidder. Dare we say: Move over Rosie.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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