(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.