If you've been reading this blog for awhile (or even if you haven't), you probably are aware that I receive mail from the readers of the column.
I never expect people to agree with what I have to say each week -- in fact, I'm surprised that some of them do -- but often I will write something that will get under a reader's skin. So much so, that they feel the need to take some time out of their Sunday (or Monday...or Tuesday) to fire me off an email.
I make a legitimate effort to answer every piece of mail I receive. Sometimes it turns into quite the task. I do this for several reasons: 1) They took the time to write and I feel I at least owe them some type of a response; 2) They're usually surprised to death to discover that I actually respond (their surprise is directly proportionate to the amount of insults they hurl) and 3) I'm a woman. I like to get the last word in.
Anyway, I thought I would offer up some tips to those who get pissed, fire off an email looking to feel better about themselves, only to find themselves in a battle of wits without a weapon. Here you go.
1) Use quotes. I hate to cut and paste, and I can't stand to see it done, but it's the only way to be sure of what the other person is saying. So often I receive emails, and they've paraphrased what they think I've said. Quote, and then make your point.
2) Be succinct. For God's sakes, this is so important. I don't have time to sort through blithering missives that begin with an argument about the Argos that somehow morphs into insulting the Senators. (Not kidding -- I received one like this yesterday.) Which leads us to No. 3...
3) Stay on topic. Guess what? This isn't about you. It's about me, and what I wrote. If your beef with John Muckler is really eating at you, or if you hate this city in general, save it until I write about it. If I write about the Lynx, may I suggest that you bite your tongue for the meantime.
4) Don't read between the lines. I've proven that I possess enough bravery to say what I feel. I won't hide it. Don't go looking for it, because it isn't there.
5) Check for grammatical and spelling errors before you send. My opinion of a reader that doesn't do this drops about ten stories as soon as I see a blatant error. Seriously, it's just asking to be mocked.
6) Don't insult or threaten a writer. Firstly, they'll likely make a fool out of you and you may not even realize it. In short, you'll end up looking like a dumbass. And threatening will set into motion a rather ugly course of action involving the employer. Don't do it. Trust me.
7) Finally, do feel the need to relax. What writers produce is extremely insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It really doesn't need to be taken so seriously.
Hopefully this helps. And for the record, and although they don't realize it, I'm always complimented when readers assume I'm a guy. (Although hopefully, not due to the column photo. Ack. I hate that bloody thing.)
- ► 2010 (69)
- ► 2009 (95)
- ► 2008 (187)
- ► 2007 (181)
- Ricky likes kings, counselors and the No. 27
- How to pick a fight with your local sportwriter
- Friday evening deglaze
- Damn you, Adam
- Addendum to today's column
- Hasek: It's Ottawa or nothing
- If they had won
- More love from the readers
- Take the money and run
- New request
- Let that be the last time
- Sometimes it pays to just shut up
- Odd? Not really.
- All quiet on the Cynic front
- One more night
- Chara pseudo-update
- Monday morning deglaze
- Notice anything?
- More reader email
- Matt Leinart/Paris Hilton piss me off
- Don't blame me
- The waiting game
- Stars on ice
- ▼ May (24)
Satellite Dish TV sports action in your own home.