I've been writing this entry in my head for some time now. Recent events have made apparent to me that it is probably wise to put this up *before* the Earth A) is overrun by American Idol, B) is made the battleground for the biggest fucking holy war humanity has ever seen or C) ends up the breeding ground of, at the most advanced organismal stage, cockroaches. And Cher. (Maybe Michael Jackson, but definitely Cher.)
So. A bit about me. I work as the Head Copy Editor (those are capital letters, so you know I'm important) for two student media publications. Yes, student media. I'm still in college. I'm on the seven-year plan, except I'm not going for my doctorate. The story of why I am where I am is a long and painful story with so many twists and turns that I dare not visit a therapist for fear of generating spontaneous pockets of irreparably herniated flesh.
When I am not busily freeing student media from horrific writing, I can be found in one or more of various places. I captain my university's college bowl team. I take 18 credit hours. I sleep. I walk to and fro various places. I watch TV. I write articles on things I think are worth the space. I peruse GP.
I came to this community back in the fall (or late summer) of 2004. My first entry was in August of 2004, which technically makes it summer, but anyone who has spent time in Virginia knows that summer usually ends in July, and the official date for the start of Autumn is useful only for those looking to study the history of the calendar. I don't remember how I happened upon this community, but I do know there are a few here who probably wish I hadn't and a few who probably am glad I stumbled in such a manner.
Since then, I have been busy at work keeping the world safe for grammarians and apostrophes (not necessarily in that order of import). Some months ago, I was made co-maintainer (which is LJ's fancy way of saying moderator) by our beloved creator tonybologna. Since then, y'all have basically had to put up with me.
With two reservations, I have the following policy regarding material posted in GP: it's open to correction. By writing in this community, you open yourself up to the linguistic understanding of any old sot what stumbled here, drunk or high or whatever else, and decided e knew enough about grammar to tell you you didn’t know your predicate from your preterite. Sometimes the correction is legit. Sometimes I want to take it out and shoot it until it's more bullet than brain (or lack thereof). Regardless, everything is fair game, with the following exceptions:
1) If you’ve shown yourself capable of following the rules, I have no problem with you falling back on your personal style. the most extreme example of this is beloved, precious, heart-warming misslynn, whose shift keys generate only when she is using parentheses or other such punctuation. she does not use capital letters, and i am not about to make her do so. Then you have the people such as our only second penguin, who uses what and feck and thingummy and summat and other things I find entirely endearing. (That I use what in similar ways is, of course, entirely unrelated.) Then you have the people who haven't demonstrated the depth and breadth of their acumen. They ain't so lucky as she.
2) If you piss me off sufficiently, I will ignore you except to admonish you when you fuck up. (That ignoring ends when I think you have changed.) Really, it's not very easy to get me to ignore you. I can count on one hand the number of people who've done that since fall 2004, and one of those people was generally being a waste of time anyway. The bad thing about earning my mental ignore button is that you don't get to find out, from me, what mistakes you're making. This has the potential to hurt your academic/professional career and generally make you look like a fool here. While Internet punishment is not quite the social (or other) devastation it might be, I like to think people are sufficiently interested in not fucking themselves over otherwise that they'll take the time to not try to piss me off. Given that I issue fair warning when folks are raising my blood pressure, it's really, really pretty fucking tough to get me to just ignore a body.
A few things to bear in mind:
1) When you join, please introduce yourself. I don't care how long the intro is or isn't. Some have been 10 words. Some have approached 10 paragraphs. Post what you want people to know about you.
2) If I correct you on something, it is not meant as a personal attack. Interpreting it as such helps you none and only tells me you're insecure and unprepared for a dispassionate discussion about the subject. I get corrected on stuff. The second penguin gets corrected. misslynn gets corrected. See 'ow it is?
3) This is not a political community. While the occasional Bush joke gets through, and while hijacked discussions are par for the course, this is not the place to, off the bat, discuss gay marriage, the legalization of marijuana, the relative merits of various military episodes or to what extent Ronald Reagan was responsible for the fall of Communism in the Eastern portion of Europe. I have, so far, not had to do a hell of a lot in the way of policing that sort of stuff. I have absolutely no qualms summarily deleting in toto the entries of people who forget that this is not a political community.
4) Related to #3, hatespeech is expressly forbidden. I, personally, am not entirely fond of extremist conservative religious people. I am simultaneously extremely unsympathetic toward broad-sweeping attacks against religious people beyond the most generic ("Catholics are nuts"). I recommend against trying to push me on that. I similarly allow zero in the way of gender/sexuality/appearance/etc.-based attacks. If you are fond of saying that something is gay (as in lame, not as in homosexual), that someone looks like a trannie, that some fat bitch blocked your way on the grocery store, I recommend saying so elsewhere. What is not germane to the topic should be carefully considered in terms of the legitimacy of its inclusion. I will warn the first time. I will possibly delete the material anyway. I will LOUDLY warn the second time. Anything subsequent which you are unable to defend to a degree I find sufficient … bannination. It's just that simple. Yours truly is a bisexual atheistic socialist with gay roommates, left-leaning friends, right-leanings friends, a father who is a former oxycontin addict and a monk, a mother who has been the primary financial provider since the Reagan administration and an ex-fiancée whom most might kindly describe as Botticellian. I am a veteran of being very poor. I am a long-haired hippy and general misfit. While I have to suffer fools in The Real World, I have no such requirement here on the innerweb.
5) If you're going to post an image, seriously consider putting it behind a cut tag. If you are using language John Ashcroft would want to cover up à la a nude bust, consider using a cut tag. I generally have little sympathy for people who get in trouble for perusing LJ at work, but I do have sympathy for those with little ones running around; one doesn't want them saying "Mrs. Johnson, what does it mean to be a cunt rag?" in school.
6) There is no number 6.
7) Please either keep current Internet contact info in your profile or email me with such.
8) Be mindful of the fact that pieces of paper do not dictate actual level of education. As some of us recently found out, some others of us have GEDs. This does not ipso facto determine academic competence. Similarly, having a doctorate in one area need mean fuckall toward competence in English. I have all of a two-year degree and most of the work done toward a four-year. I regularly find pockets of Shitglish in the writing of people one would address as doctor.
9) Your First Amendment rights evaporate when you are here. This is private property. You do *not* technically have the right to be here. You do *not* necessarily technically have the right to redress. You do *not* technically have the right to practice your religion as you see fit. I generally have little desire in the way of restricting people, but I have little patience for fuckwits who demand the right to use this our sandbox as their personal lavatory.
10) If you are going to pull examples of bad English from elsewhere, be aware of how the writer might feel about you pulling it.
11) If you decide to go on a personal grammar crusade, the extent to which I will protect your ass diminishes significantly once you step out the door. You, individual user, might not be 18 yet, but you're acting as your own person, not an emissary of GP, when you go trying to save the apostrophes.
12) Posting to correct someone's grammar generally results in the post itself containing a grammar error.
13) If you're posting something more than two screens long, please consider using a cut tag.
14) I use fake tags when I am speaking in my capacity as a moderator. They're [Mod pen: in-hand] and [Mod pen: on desk]. Any time I am not using that set of tags, I'm acting in my capacity as a member. Any time I am using that set of tags, I am acting in my capacity as banninator.
15) Be mindful of the difference between criticizing an argument ("That argument is based on a fallacy.") and criticizing a member ("You are a fucking moron. Please stop using your diaphragm; it clearly isn't working as well as the doctors thought it would.").
16) This thing has gotten kcuffing long enough.