Ugly speaking

It can be miserable reading blog posts about software.

I just skip-read this post about Python 3 by Armin Ronacher. I skip-read it because I found it so ugly.

There was a BBC sitcom called One foot in the grave. It had a character called Victor Meldrew who was always angry. His catchphrase was an enraged I can't believe it.

For some reason, this genre seems to be a standard for blog posts. The author just can't believe that X (a language or operating system) could be so stupid as to do Y.

It is a little puzzling, because I guess most people reading someone saying how stupid they are, do not say "ah yes, thank you" but "f#@& you asshole". So, if we do write in that style, we make it less likely the problem will be fixed. I suppose that's obvious to the person writing, so there must be some other thing that is attractive about labeling the other person / system / idea as a loser.

We technical types don't like to think about soft issues like tone. Like the drunk under the lamp-post we prefer technical problems, and ignore other important problems such as the way we are making our readers feel.

When I am reading a blog post of the "I can't believe it" type, I feel like someone with bad breath is shouting in my face, and my first and strong reaction is to move away and avoid that person whenever I see them. For example, I suppose I won't click on a link to blog post by Armin Ronacher again, because I predict it will make me feel bad. I am sure that is a shame for me, because I have every reason to think Mr Ronacher is competent, intelligent and well-informed. It is just I don't want to feel that way. I find it harder to work when I feel that way. I am less gentle with my friends when I feel that way.