Wednesday, January 23, 2008

On Snark

I was talking to a friend recently, and she mentioned reading the blog, We had a good chatter about blogging in general and this blog in particular, and at one point she said, "It's not very snarky, is it?"

This was said very hesitantly, as if it were criticism she was afraid to make. It's been rolling around between my ears ever since. I don't understand the underlying message. Is it about credibility, popularity, entertainment? Since when is snark a goal to be achieved?

Don't get me wrong. I read some of the snark sites and find them amusing and informative. I've been known to email snark links to friends, and I've pushed our advertising planners to look into ad space on some of those sites.


Alicia and I are both sort of practical, even-tempered people. Our temperaments are very similar, though there are minor differences -- I'm probably a bit more patient, and she's certainly more charming. We both like teaching and believe in the importance of service to others. We can and do get wickedly sarcastic about this crazy business -- innocent bystanders have been known to develop shell-shocked expressions when exposed to the two of us on a roll -- but that's not really what we wanted for this blog. We see this as a vehicle for technical information. An opportunity to teach. A place to indulge the illusion that all writers could be brilliant if they would just listen to us. (You're all going to advance that illusion by being brilliant writers, yes?)

So no, we're not very snarky, but that's okay. There's room for all of us, snarkers and teachers alike.

Love Is Murder

As long as we're on miscellaneous matters unrelated to the nuts and bolts of writing, I thought I'd mention that I'll be at the Love Is Murder conference in Chicago next weekend. If any of you are going to be there, be sure to say hello.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why someone would think that making this blog snarkier would improve it. Am I just old-fashioned?

Edittorrent said...

I'm sort of mystified myself, Dave. That's why I posted about it. Figured I'd throw it out to the readers and see what you make of it.

who'd like to think she's not quite old enough to be old-fashioned

Carol Burge said...

I don't get it. Why would someone want to have a "snarky" blog (if not for entertainment)? I do read a couple of them, but mostly for entertainment or information. But for a blog in general?

I, for one, am glad this blog isn't "snarky". :)

Carol (who's still learning)

Ian said...

I've found your blog to be far more useful than the snarky ones. I learn loads every time I click open a page. If I want snarky, I'll go read certain agents' blogs. :P


Edittorrent said...

I kind of think snark is a talent... just not ours. :)

And poorly done snark can be really embarrassing.


PatriciaW said...

This blog is definitely about you editor gals teaching we writing students. And snarkiness only makes students shut their ears and close their eyes, hoping to avoid any incoming missiles.

So I'm glad you're not snarky. Thanks.

Selah March said...

Snark is apparently the new black, but more and more I find myself yearning for jewel-tones...the occasional pastel...a nice, sophisticated dove gray, even.

This blog fits the bill nicely. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for NO SNARK! I don't read snark, I don't like the word snark, I think snark is rude, not humorous, fun or entertaining. Thank you for no snark.