}

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Ask Arthur 2018, Part 6: About blogging stuff

This year’s “Ask Arthur” series is nearly over, with a post each on the next two days scheduled, with the possibility of one more post if I get any last-minute questions. Today’s questions are from Roger Green, and they're the simplest yet, though, naturally, there’s a bit more needed to answer fully. Roger first asked:

Are there any posts, besides Arthur's Law, that you tend to cite in your subsequent posts? For me, at least this year, it's the Green Book post, in large part because of the movie.

The “Arthur’s Law” post Roger referred to is my 2013 post about pithy a rule I came up with about pop culture. I called it “Arthur’s Law” because “it’s frankly catchier than what I used to call it: ‘My Pop Culture Mantra’.” It’s very simple:
Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.
I’ve frequently linked to that post over the years, rather than quoting the Law itself, because those who already now it don’t need to read it over and over, and because the original post explains why I came up with it in the first place, and context is often crucial for understanding something.

As it happens, it’s probably the post I share the most often in comments on Facebook posts (mine or others’), too. It’s been helpful.

However, I can’t point to any other particular posts that I frequently cite, and for several reasons. The first is that my memory isn’t good enough, of course, but also because Blogger doesn’t have a way to track links to other blog posts, let alone show me the cumulative numbers of links to posts.

But the bigger reason is because I link to previous posts all the time—probably a majority of posts in any given month have at least one link to a previous post. There are some bloggers who would do that just to get more page views because they potentially get more money from that, but since I get no money from blogging or page views, I don’t have that incentive. Instead, I just do it because it’s easier for me and helps me not repeat myself as much.

Each time I first blog about a topic, I include links to outside sources, so when I talk about the topic again (or a related one), linking to my earlier post provides an easy way to link to all the sources for the information I’m talking about or referring to, meaning I don’t have to do that again.

So, while there are a lot of older posts that I link to, there aren’t necessarily any that are the most frequent (as far as I remember…). However, there are certain topics that I’ll refer to again, like about US or NZ politics or history, for example.

There are also posts I link to a lot simply because they’re part of an annual series (like my birthday, or some anniversary or other), and I include the links every year. Over time, the oldest post gets a lot of links. But those aren’t ones I refer to for any other reason.

Having said all that, two posts that I know I’ve referred to a lot are both about religion: “The road from Damascus” and “Religion isn’t the enemy”, both of which I linked to in Part 3 of this series.

Roger next asked:

What words do you have the most difficulty spelling?

Okay, technically this isn’t about blogging as such, however, most people see the words I misspell on this blog, so it’s related. To me, anyway.

The word I misspell the most often is “from”; I type “form” instead nearly every time. Yes, that’s a typo, but it happens so often that it’s a bit more than a garden-variety typo.

The words I have difficulty with are the ones that I rarely use, which is why I can’t remember them. It’s not common for me to forget how to spell words I know and use fairly often, but it does sometimes happen.

Spellcheck catches most misspelled words, either as I type or when I paste the text into Blogger—or both, because each catches words the other one misses. In most cases, they’re just typos, but sometimes it catches words I’ve messed up—words with unusual consonant or vowel combinations, for example. Proper names often stop me, too, like Shakespeare, for example. Fortunately, I can easily look up anything I’m not sure of, and I do.

In my years in New Zealand, I’ve found (and still find) that Kiwis often misspell words because they spell it sort of phonetically. I talked a bit about that in a post last year.

I have had the outstanding luck to have been born with the Spelling Gene: I learn the correct spelling of words and then don’t forget them. And this is, apparently, the main reason I don’t have many words I have trouble spelling—yet!

Thanks to Roger for these questions!

Time’s running out to ask a question—this is your last chance! Simply leave a comment on this post (anonymous comments are allowed). Or, you can also email me your question (and you can even tell me to keep your name secret, although, why not pick a nom du question?). You can also ask questions on the AmeriNZ Facebook page, though some people may want to keep in mind that all Facebook Pages are public, just like this blog. If you’re on Facebook, you can send me a private message through the AmeriNZ Page.

All posts in this series are tagged “AAA-18”. All previous posts from every “Ask Arthur” series are tagged, appropriately enough, "Ask Arthur”.

Previously:

Let the 2018 asking begin – The first post in this year’s series.
Ask Arthur 2018, Part 1: Perfect place
Ask Arthur 2018, Part 2: Living where?
Ask Arthur 2018, Part 3: About religious stuff
Ask Arthur 2018, Part 4: About what I like
Ask Arthur 2018, Part 5: About conversion therapy

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