I’m Out to Lunch

Someone from Elgin, Illinois (which I figured out by looking up his IP address) just tried to leave this encouraging comment on my contact page:

I just saw your post about Gilbert Bilezikian may I say that you my friend are out to lunch and need to read you bible more careful and instead of speaking out against this wonderful man why not engage him in a  public debate you may learn something from him.

Here’s a corrected edition for easier reading:

I just saw your post about Gilbert Bilezikian. May I say that you, my friend, are out to lunch and need to read your Bible more carefully. Instead of speaking out against this wonderful man, why don’t you engage him in a public debate? You may learn something from him.

I’ve received a couple of comments like this recently, so I thought I’d share some thoughts and give some suggestions for commenting on my blog.

  1. Please don’t waste your time trying to leave a comment if you don’t have anything substantive to say. In case you’re wondering, “I think your wrong, you dummy,” is not a substantive comment.
  2. I’m not sure why he didn’t leave the comment on the post he had a problem with. At least there it would have been at least somewhat relevant to the page.
  3. While the individual did leave his first name, he didn’t leave his last name or a link to anything identifiable. This is hardly more helpful than anonymity. It’s nice to know a little bit about the person you’re having a conversation with (not that he was actually interested in a meaningful conversation).
  4. I don’t know the last time I’ve seen so many independent clauses strung together without even using a single comma. If I were a grammar teacher, I’d certainly tuck this one away for my students.
  5. I think he’s referring to my post “Hierarchy Does Not Necessitate Opposition.” Instead of engaging my critique of Bilezikian’s (and Giles’s) statement, he makes unfounded accusations. Telling someone he’s out to lunch and needs to read his Bible more carefully doesn’t accomplish much of anything–especially when you’re trying to make a new friend. It may be true, but please demonstrate it with cogent argumentation and careful exegesis.
  6. Though I’ve never met him, I don’t doubt that Bilezekian is a wonderful man. But I’m not quite sure what that has to do with the points I brought up in my post. Wonderful men can be horribly wrong.
  7. I’m quite certain that if I engaged Dr. Bilezikian in a public debate, I would learn something from him. I learn something from just about everyone whom I engage in a debate. But I’d question whether challenging someone to a public debate is the solution to every disagreement in life. I also doubt that Dr. Bilezikian has either the time or the interest to debate me publicly (or privately).

If you have something to contribute and are interested in edifying dialog, I invite your comments. Otherwise, please don’t waste your (and my) time.

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8 Responses to I’m Out to Lunch

  1. David Haan July 17, 2009 at 4:11 am #

    Given the nature of your note, I thought you might like to know that you left the phrase "need to read you Bible more…" in your corrected paragraph. It should be "read your Bible…" Easily overlooked considering all the other corrections that were required.

  2. Ryan Burns July 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Speaking of lunch… I’m pretty sure I still owe you one for saving me hours of WP work the other day.

  3. Phil Gons July 17, 2009 at 6:33 am #

    Nice catch. Thanks, David!

  4. Donovan July 18, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    This is the first ever post that I have seen about leaving reasonable and responsible comments. Well done! I totally agree.

  5. Kenneth Ross July 21, 2009 at 11:19 pm #

    Phil

    Totally with you on this (and the doctrinal issue concerned). However, if we’re talking grammar, can I run Point #1 past you?

    “Please don’t waste your time trying to leave a comment if you don’t have anything substantive to say. In case you’re wondering, “I think your wrong, you dummy,” is not a substantive comment.”

    Should the second “your” not be a “you’re”, or are you parodying the original commenter’s errors?

    Just kidding; keep going with what is a very stimulating blog!

    • Phil Gons July 22, 2009 at 6:30 am #

      Thanks, Kenneth.

      Um, er, yeah, that “your” was intentional. ;) Okay, so it wasn’t. But you’re right that it does kinda fit nicely and maybe even help make the point better. Too bad I didn’t do that on purpose. :)

  6. Richard Winston August 1, 2009 at 1:30 am #

    Phil,

    This was one of the funniest things I read all week. Thanks.

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