Friday, July 02, 2010

New Picks of the Month

A couple of new recommendations for the sidebar, from the summer of '07 (when the blog was young):

On Froogville, I commend this piece, Judgement, on why we expats in China bitch about things here so much (excessively?). It's also worth checking out this related (short) piece defiantly celebrating my own opinionatedness, IMLTHO.

And from Barstool Blues, I give you my observations on Service In China (don't omit to read the comments as well: they include an anecdote about an extremely amusing put-down from one of my almost-girlfriends).

Do check these out - and let me know what you think.


JES said...

The humble-opinion bit only bugs me when wielded by someone who wants you to THINK s/he is acknowledging a deficiency in the opinion-wielding department. As in: "Well, of course I have no business commenting on such matters because I am really not very well-versed. Nonetheless..." If you really believed the first proposition then there can't be a "nevertheless," can there?

I'm excruciatingly self-conscious, though, about constructions in my own writing (even in blog comments) like "as I understand it," and even "I think" -- they do water things down.

Froog said...

The blatantly disingenuous use of IMHO is particularly irritating, isn't it?

But probably no worse than the IM-freak's knee-jerk use of it in every third sentence, where it is devoid of any meaning whatsoever.

I spend a lot of time trying to educate the Chinese in the usefulness of using 'I think' and 'I believe' and 'I suppose' in spoken English (and in business e-mails, in many situations) to increase the impression of politeness and reduce stridency or assertiveness (the Chinese tend to come across as very strident). However, I fret that I myself overuse these hedging devices. It's one of the curses of being an Englishman - being too bloody polite!