Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Off-topic: tl;dr

(Note:  for those of you who are reading my blog just to keep up with our moving status:  this post has nothing to do with our move to Korea, so feel free to skip it.  Either that, or you can scroll to the bottom and read the tl;dr.  However, if you want to know what tl;dr means, you'll have to read the post. Love, Ms.Caroline)

While I'm not a professional writer, I've done my share of writing for a wider audience than just my English Composition teachers.  I worked as a freelance copy editor for a few years while the boys were small;  I've written a few articles for newsletters and the like, and of course, there was all that writing in  grad school.  So you'd think that, after all this time, I'd be able to accept criticism graciously.  And I do, for the most part.  However, since starting to blog, I've encountered an unexpected source of criticism - my offspring.

Now, I'm not complaining - much.  Frankly, I hadn't expected two teenage boys to take much interest at all in their mother's blogging.  So I suppose I should be grateful.  It's just a tiny bit jarring to have your writing criticized by individuals who still mix up 'your' and 'you're' and who believe that 'kthxbye' is an appropriate way to end a letter to their grandmother.  So when two of these conversations ensued within 24 hours of each other, yes, I'll admit it:  I was a bit miffed.  But I assure you I'm not holding any grudges, and will do my best to take the criticisms in the spirit in which they were given.  What follows is an actual transcript of one of these exchanges.

Son #1 is working on his laptop as I enter the room.

 
Me:  Did you see that I used some of your photos of the dog in my last blog post?
Son #1:  (absently, not looking up) Oh, yeah....I guess so.
Me: (persistently) So...what did you think? Of the post, I mean.
Son #1:  (tearing himself away from a page full of code and looking blankly at me):  Um... yeah.  It was ok. (pause)  Mom, do you know what tl;dr means?
Me: (interestedly) No.  What is it? A texting thing?
Son #1:  No, it's something you put at the end of a blog post.  It's for people who don't want to read your whole blog post.
Me:  (guardedly):  People who don't want to read my whole blog post?
Son #1: ( Warming to the topic ):  Well, when someone writes a blog post that's really long, they put a tl;dr at the end, because they know people don't want to read the whole thing.
Me:  (blankly)  TLDR?
Son #1: (as if to an imbecile)   Too Long, Didn't Read.  T-L-D-R.  It's  kind of like, a really short version of  the blog post, all in one or two sentences.
Me:  (with dignity and possibly a hint of sarcasm):  Oh.  I see.  Something like, what you might call a summary, perhaps?
Son # 1:  (relieved that I'm finally getting it):  Yeah.  A summary.  That's it.
Me:  (stiffly):  So, how would you suggest I 'summarize' the post about Shiner for people who don't want to read my entire, long, blog post?
Son #1   Umm..."tl;dr:  Moving to Korea.  Getting rid of dog."


Well.  Just think of all that time I could have saved.


tl;dr:  Everyone's a critic.

7 comments:

Wilma said...

Well, his TLDR is inaccurate since he didn't read the post. You're not "Getting rid of dog," you're "Sending dog on extended holiday to Canada." *grin*

I'm extremely lucky in that nobody in my family reads mine at all--and not too many outside of it, to my knowledge. I just like to babble. LOL

Good luck with the teenagers. My mother always said, "If babies were called teenagers nobody would want one and our species would be extinct."

MsCaroline said...

Well, of course. If I had written the TLDR, that's what it would have said. Of course, the purpose of the blog was really to keep everyone up on our moving adventure...maybe I need to start another secret blog where I can do some stream-of-consciousness-type writing...it's a thought...and, speaking as a person who spends all day, every day with teens: your mother was a very wise, wise woman...

Wilma said...

My mother was a 7th grade language arts teacher. *grin*

Kelly said...

tl;dr: kids these days.

Karen said...

OK, just getting around to reading this....not sure I get it. YOU put it on the end of the post and it means "too long didn't read?" Maybe it's too late or I'm just too dumb but it doesn't make sense. If YOU put it it should say, "too long don't read." Or am I just really missing something? Enlighten me....please!!! I'm so confused!!

Karen said...

Ok, suddenly, I'm a bit wiser. You put it and then you summarize for those who didn't read it. Have I got it now? No teenagers were involved in my figuring this out, I did it all my own self!! So proud! If I got it right, that is.

MsCaroline said...

Exactly, Karen. What it really means is: "If this was too long and you didn't read it, here's the summary" - but God forbid they should read such a long sentence, right? Kudos to you for figuring it out all by yourself without a (condescending) teenager to help you!