thank you for your feedback

Those who blog with WordPress will be used to the fact that each time you add a new post you get a post-published feedback page telling you how many posts you’ve made, how many words the latest one has, as well as suggesting tags, offering possible topics for the next post etc.

My previous post was greeted with this:

Wordpress post published feedback: "This is your 494th post. Bomb!"

I know it wasn’t the most inspired of the posts I’ve ever made, but I didn’t think it was so dreadful it deserved to be greeted with a bomb.

Incidentally, I’ve tagged this post ‘translation’, as I suspect it’s a British/American English thing – those ‘two nations divided by a common language.’ I’ve lived for far too long straddled between the two cultures to really know which is which with some colloquialisms (or indeed to be sure whether the punctuation goes inside or outside the quotation mark – though I do know it’s a full stop not a period!)

The Urban Dictionary definition suggests usage of ‘bomb’ changed back in 1997, so perhaps it’s a question of needing to translate between the styles of English used by different generations. Certainly, the more people who speak and write (some variant of) English, the more likely it seems that they won’t use the language I was brought up with.


Added after posting:

Sadly, it seems those pages aren’t entirely accurate, as the one that appeared when I posted this said –

 WordPress post publication feedback page: "This is your 494th post. Dope!"
– which actually seems even worse.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

9 thoughts on “thank you for your feedback”

  1. Why are the ‘bomb’ and ‘dope’ retorts appearing at all? I find this very insulting. I hope you’re stamping your foot.

    As for American/English differences: some years ago we had a gallery in which, among other things, I hung some of my paintings. This was in a Suffolk village surrounded by American air bases, where most of our customers were US service personnel (and very glad we were of them; hardly saw an English person). One day a black American airforceman came in and stood for a long time before one of my more turbulent paintings, and finally said, ‘Man, that is so bad!’ Fortunately, he went on to explain that ‘bad’ meant ‘good’ – something most of us have by now come to recognise, I think.

    (The colour aspect mentioned above might not be relevant. Not sure if ‘bad’ is/was a generic expression or not, that’s all.)


    1. I often stamp my foot, but it doesn’t usually make much difference!

      There are other words – “glorious”, I think, and “great”, “superb” etc. – that make it clear someone’s been at the thesaurus believing it’s a dictionary of synonyms. Perhaps for the landmarks – like post 500 – some kind of congratulations might be appreciated, but as it is, I think it’s more patronising than anything else.

      Years ago, when I taught EFL, a colleague who had been absent because of the death of her father told the story of a student greeting her in the corridor with the simple sympathetic exclamation “congratulations!”. His intonation and body language was all so perfect that it wasn’t until she reached the staff room that she realised how inappropriate the word was.

      I suspect ‘bomb’ and ‘dope’ would come across as a lot more positive if spoken, though, even then, cross-cultural communication clearly doesn’t always work.


  2. Given the many uses of the word “Dope” and “Bomb”, perhaps they were being used as commands, rather than exclamations?

    That would certainly put a whole “They Live!” conspiracy to it.

    What next? “Assassinate”?


    1. By reloading the page you get a new adjective (or whatever it is):
      “Fabulous!” – “Tight!” – “Rock!” – “Marvelous!”…

      I haven’t yet found “Assassinate!” but it wouldn’t surprise me if “Killer!” or “Killing!” were in there – it’d make more sense then “Rock!”.


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