the inimitable wisdom of ogden nash

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This morning on the treadmill in the gym, where I was trying to burn off some negative energy in a positive way, I was reading a recent issue of Time magazine on love and marriage.

The article included the following short poem from one of my all-time favorite poets, Ogden Nash:

To keep a marriage brimming, with love in your loving cup.
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

There's something to be said for that approach in a lot of settings. It's excellent advice, which I'll endeavour to take more to heart--here and elsewhere.

Let me start with an apology to Shelley I didn't mean to imply that she was cause of my frustration with things over at It wasn't her comments, or even that one thread, that resulted in my frustrated post here. It's the overall tone that seems to have taken over on that site.

One of the things I learned the hard way as a teacher is that when I'm grading an assignment, it always helps for me to find something in the work that I can praise. Even if overall I think there are serious flaws, nothing kills enthusiasm and interest quite like an overdose of criticism. So I try to provide balance, I try to offer encouragement, I try to offer suggestions on how to correct problems.

It has felt to me (and this is my perception, which is all I'm qualified to offer) as though the comments offered on misbehaving have been primarily criticism, and that there's been precious little encouragement to balance that. And without that balance, there's little incentive to stick with it.

I wonder if the fact that misbehaving is a group weblog isn't a part of it...on a personal site, maybe there's a clearer sense that when you criticize, there's a real person that you're dealing with.

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To keep a marriage brimming, with love in your loving cup. Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up. [from mamamusings]... Read More


I think you nailed it. On a personal site if someone is way off then we just leave and don't say anything.

At Misbehaving there seemed to be an implied "we want comments" and so we comment thinking we are adding to a discussion that was solicited. Now that we know what is expected we can read without commenting and remember that the author is an individual and is posting as an individual at a group blog.

Any comments that I left were to a group, not an individual.

i am scared of the dark and the boogie man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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