On my inability to write

This is inspired by a post I wrote for hackaday. Go ahead, read it. then skip to the comments. One commentor took issue with a slightly with some arbitrarily inaccurate language. This was the straw to break the ass’ back, and told him as such:

Alright, through your rage of pedantry I think you’re going to have to focus on the key part of the build here.

The previous etchant sprayer used a pump. A pump you would use to push water through a garden water feature, for example. The Instructables I linked to explicitly mentions that putting acid through some of these pumps is a bad idea. Also, these pumps cost a great deal more than a piece of PVC pipe.

This build uses and electric drill motor to ‘spin up’ etchant through a tube. The only thing touching the etchant are pieces of plastic. It’s a much more reliable system, and cheaper to boot.

Good job on construing inexact language (as all natural languages are) into something that somehow caused a paradox in your mind. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make you clever. That just makes you the guy who purposely misinterprets things in a futile attempt to appear learned.

Keep in mind what you’re doing: you’re trying to impress people in the comments section of a small, fringe tech blog. You’re not the only one, either. Every post on hackaday – every post – is filled with commentors like you that try desperately to impress people through their lack of reading comprehension.

It’s fairly widely accepted that the comments section on Hackaday is a cesspool for the whole hacker/maker movement. Nearly every daily HaD reader I’ve talked to says something about the caliber of the comments, especially the issue of the amateur grammarians and 8th grade creative writing students. You’re part of the problem. Stop it.

After thinking about it a little bit, perhaps I was a bit harsh. This ‘rage of pedantry’ is something I’ve been noticing for a while.

I recognize it is impossible for me to completely communicate something via English that doesn’t leave open questions. The problem of natural languages, if you will. Other than restricting my vocabulary and basically turning my writing into a formal grammar, I can’t see any way people won’t inherently misinterpret anything I write.

To celebrate that, I’ve decided to turn my prose in for a more codified style:


What great rules the Internet doth make; of pen

And keyboard’s guile. For one so bold as to

Be critical of syntax must again

Be wary; for errors to be found accrued.

For one so brash as to correct true gram-

mar must inherently make but one err.

It has been true for many years, but damn

The editing process, leaving print for prayer?

Yet I have chosen quite a different path

One not too likely to produce such flaw.

Of iambs, rhymes: a fourteen line whole wrath.

Complete denigration – but form exalt.

For having no way, though, to demonstrate

My power to author, to articulate.


Yeah. If you write, people will misintrepret you. If anyone asks, this is why I also program.

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