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Upon the web, we as communicators lack all of the vast scope, the innumerable nuances of intonation, the slightest raise of an eyebrow, the soft or hard Paddington Bear stare available to those of us who have more than a thumb for a head when face to face; even by voice on the telephone so much more can be conveyed. It is exceedingly easy to take someone the wrong way across the aether, (as the photographer said to the bishop).

Humour (points above), is relative, (Bob’s your uncle and Fanny is indeed his wife), and can be specific to single countries, different regions of said countries, nay even different streets at times. One should bear all this in mind when judging, or finding ourselves judged be the stem comedic in nature or not.

Emoticons, whilst indicative of intent, do not necessarily make a huge difference, in fact they may well make an unfortunate situation all the worse from my observations. One should not take everything at face value. That book cover you espy, yet have never examined beyond a cursory flicker through a few random pages may well hold a completely different story to the one assumed upon first glance. In the same vein, an apparently well worn tome can still surprise, and this is no bad thing, some people are so multi-faceted they resemble disco balls. Not everyone reveals their balls though. Thankfully.

This is not to say we cannot end up so offended or affronted by humour or flippancy that the line in the sand ends up with footprints set in concrete for all eternity upon it. It happens – however, if one is deeply hurt by such a transgression, I would put forth the proposition that there are deep rivers of care and respect for said transgressor, and perhaps rather than tearing off coats and having it out in a public forum at high noon, having sent out invites to the whole web to come and watch the fall-out, one might be better off putting cards on the table in private messages.

Just a thought.

(I appreciate mind you that should you have been accused of some heinous activity or crime, labelled as something that you know to be more than hurtful, say completely untrue, then clearing one’s name publicly is sometimes absolutely necessary.)

Esme has not had any issues in this area, (or at least none she has been made aware of), and is referring to no specific murky waters she personally has been unfortunate enough to find herself wading through, and this may well have something to do with her (potentially extremely irritating) insistence on explaining her actions by means of asterisks all the bloody time, just as she is about to now  –raises both a glass of JD and an eyebrow, smiling whilst eyeing a pea shooter on the Cloud next to her should she get any trouble from the marauding masses.

She has however, in the past few months, observed some damning fall out from such miscommunications – friendships damaged, or destroyed – in some cases lost down vast chasms – and yet doggedly, I see sometimes, one or the other of the two concerned in the altercation is seen to begin the long haul back up to the surface. Which speaks of something deeper than mere blogging acquaintanceship methinks. I do hope they all make it to level ground. No one travels in straight lines.

The above mentioned explanatory trait of esme’s happens to come naturally to the kind of creature she is, but has proven useful she believes in communicating mood and…intent.

This is not to say everyone else should start cartwheeling, chucking sticky buns and mooning at folks. By the Gods, where would it all end?!!

In beers most likely. As usual.


  • The Cloud.