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The Fruit of Dionysuis Thrax
October 25, 2011 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Best Grammar Blog of 2011 has been announced - A Clil To Climb. The competition was intense.
posted by unliteral (23 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Including that last teaser sentence but without any elaboration about which two blogs were disqualified and why, this FPP feels incomplete.
posted by red clover at 6:07 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, grammar.net... I wouldn't trust them to check ten-year-old's grammar. That said, A CLIL to Climb seems pretty decent, at least I didn't see any ridiculous bugaboogery masquerading as grammar advice, which seems to be the norm on self-described grammar blogs. I liked its explanation of how to mark possessive in nouns that end with the letter s in the singular, for instance.
posted by Kattullus at 6:16 PM on October 25, 2011


Yeah, I am so confused. Ballot stuffing?

That Clil to Climb is one ugly site.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:18 PM on October 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


From the first grammar post on the winner, I don't see why you'd hyphenate deeply-boring and I don't think I've ever seen it. RECOUNT!
posted by cmoj at 6:22 PM on October 25, 2011


"Deeply-boring lesson" is surely wrong -- the adverb "deeply" modifies the adjective "boring" (which then modifies the noun, "lesson"), so it's not a phrasal adjective at all.

Also, "21st-century technology" should be "twenty-first–century technology", surely, with a lesson on en dashes.
posted by Casuistry at 6:32 PM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


The competition was intense, voters were doing their best to support their favorite blogs.

Something looks very wrong with that.

It needs a semicolon or a conjunction to fix its jarring ugliness. It may even need to be two sentences.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:32 PM on October 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


He must have meant The Moleman's deeply-boring under-earth Tunnel-o-tron. Worst Batman episode I ever saw.
posted by Abiezer at 6:35 PM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I read the name as "A clit to climb" and thought it was a queer take on grammar. Wish it was.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:40 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find translating between two distant language pairs plays merry hell with my grammar. Just because it is something of an achievement to wrestle that outrageously long sentence in the source language into something that's feasibly English, doesn't mean anyone in their right mind would care to read it. And since your reader only sees the strangled outcome, you're not even winning points for trying. But those clauses were all right there depending, guv, honest!
posted by Abiezer at 6:50 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate to be pedantic but this award should obviously be called "Grammar blog, which is the goodest," not "Best grammar blog." Any usage book or style guide would have told them so. It's very disappointing to see even well-meaning people contributing to the English language's descent into unintelligible hoots and moans.
posted by No-sword at 6:56 PM on October 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Grammar evolves. Being grammatically correct is only important insofar as is necessary to have others understand what you are trying to communicate.

Anything more stringent is fighting a losing battle against language evolving.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:12 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I read the name as "A clit to climb" and thought it was a queer take on grammar. Wish it was.

That is one HUGE clit.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:13 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read the name as "A clit to climb" and thought it was a queer take on grammar. Wish it was.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:40 PM on October 25 [+] [!]


Jeff: So... is that CligORis... or CLIGoris?

Professor Cligoris: ... Either is fine.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:15 PM on October 25, 2011


Also, I hate to be the 'Christ who cares' guy, but... (hm should that be Christ-who-cares-guy)

No, wait.

Here's Mr Fry to say it better than I can.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:18 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


An anonymous comment at Mr. Verb, one of the 75 or so (!) finalists, offers some accusations that may or may not clarify the murkiness:
My blog was one of those nominated for this "honor." I carefully read all the rules -- or rather I should say I looked for the rules. There are no rules. None. Nothing that says who can vote and how often one can vote. There is no scandal in the voting; although the email from GrammarNet implies there was cheating, I don't see how anyone can cheat when there are no rules or restrictions.

It was only when I received this email that I learned that GrammarNet had decided (retroactively) that a person could vote only once. Yet, there is no way for them to know who has voted more than once; and there is no way for a blogger to control the number of times a fan votes for their blog.

The only way GrammarNet could be sure that no blog received more than one vote from an individual would be to disqualify every blog that got more than 1 vote.

This has just been a mess for all contestants, who promoted GrammarNet, giving this website (of questionable credibility) free PR and marketing. I'm embarrassed that I asked my friends, family, colleagues, and readers around the world to vote in this competition.

This may have started out as a real competition, but the folks at GrammarNet did not know anything about conducting an Internet contest and owe an apology to all those who were duped into participating in a free viral marketing campaign for their site.
With all those "finalists," the contest does kinda look like a viral marketing scheme to me, and the complete lack of transparency about what actually happened reinforces that notion nicely. For what it's worth, The Diacritics was nominated but no longer appears on the list of nominees; seems like a decent guess it was one of the disqualified blogs.

I have no idea why I cared enough to nose around for that. I think unnecessary mysteries give me hives.
posted by mediareport at 7:57 PM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oop, sorry, Diacritics said they withdrew themselves from the competition on October 16:

[Competition Update: We decided to withdraw ourselves from Grammar.net's Best Grammar Blog of 2011 competition because we felt that voting was proceeding in an unfair manner. We are no longer participating.]
posted by mediareport at 8:03 PM on October 25, 2011


Ah, it appears that Terribly Write was one of the disqualified blogs, and posted the following on October 22:

[short version: It might interest you to know that Grammar.Net is owned by DomainOptions.Net, whose purpose as stated on its Web site is to “create link-baiting content and promote it in social media through viral seeding.” We’ve been had.]

An apology to all who participated in Grammar.Net ‘contest’
October 22, 2011 — Laura

Dear Readers,

I need to offer an apology to all my readers, friends, family, and colleagues who participated in what I thought was a legitimate competition for Best Grammar Blog of 2011 conducted by Grammar.Net.

As some of you may have noticed, at the official end of the “contest,” Terribly Write was in first place, thanks to all of you who voted for this blog. For a reason known only to the those who conducted the “contest,” the top two blogs were disqualified. Despite my numerous emails to Grammar.net, the “contest” organizers, I have not received any explanation for the disqualification.

Rumors are now circulating on the Interwebs that Terribly Write was disqualified for cheating. That is simply not true. No rules or restrictions were ever posted by Grammar.Net. Only after the voting deadline was extended did the nominees receive an email notifying them that an individual could vote only once. By that time, Terribly Write had already been disqualified.

Despite overwhelming evidence that several top bloggers had urged voters to vote multiple times, that the bloggers were aware that some of their fans had voted multiple times, and that two of the three “winners” published instructions on how to delete cookies so that fans could vote multiple times, Grammar.Net continued with this farce.

I can only conclude that I was duped into participating in a viral marketing scheme whose outcome had been decided by the organizers in advance. I apologize for my naiveté and for involving you all in this apparent scam.

It might interest you to know that Grammar.Net is owned by DomainOptions.Net, whose purpose as stated on its Web site is to “create link-baiting content and promote it in social media through viral seeding.” We’ve been had.

Thanks again to all who supported Terribly Write with your votes, your Facebook walls, your tweets, your emails, and your encouragement. I hope you’ll accept my sincere apology and continue to visit Terribly Write.

posted by mediareport at 8:22 PM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also for what it's worth, here's the 3rd place winner, Jonathon of Arrant Pedantry, encouraging folks to vote multiple times on one of his other sites:

If anyone could help out, I'd sure appreciate it. The best way I've found to vote multiple times is to switch in and out of Firefox's private-browsing mode.

Hard to see what could possibly have caused other blogs to be disqualified if that didn't. Except, of course, that Grammar.net has its head up its ass and doesn't really give a shit about anything but getting hits for itself. Then, it all makes sense.

I'm going to read some China Miéville for a while and then go to bed. I leave this urgently important story to someone else for further investigation.
posted by mediareport at 8:24 PM on October 25, 2011


"...to create link-baiting content and promote it in social media through viral seeding."

That's amazing to me, that they put that right out there as their stated purpose. Is there anyone here who doesn't find "link-baiting" and "viral seeding" tactics offensive?
posted by misha at 8:54 PM on October 25, 2011


Thanks for digging that info up mediareport. I feel a bit dirty now.
Here's a post from another entrant, Throw Grammar from the Train. They feed the 'contest update' email into grammar.net's own grammar checker and get Overall score: 50 percent. “Weak; needs revision.”
posted by unliteral at 10:17 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks to MediaReport for the details. And I have to agree with Unilateral. No offense intended, Unilateral, but based on the story as it appears—and all of that probably should have been looked at before posting the FPP, since the FPP obliquely references the scandal—this is just a linkbait FPP. Flagged.
posted by red clover at 10:38 PM on October 25, 2011


No, don't flag it. Don't remove it. uniliteral, this was a good idea for a post and you're a good person for making it. The fact that the little mystery has unraveled a bigger, probably sleazier story is a *good* thing, and this post should remain so more folks can learn about it.

PLEASE DON"T FLAG THIS for removal, people.
posted by mediareport at 5:38 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I for one sure hope this whole scandal clears up and clears up quick. I have been waiting on pins and needles all year and I simply can't sleep at night until I learn whose grammar blog has been rightfully crowned the Best Grammar Blog of 2011. By, uh, grammar.net.
posted by Spatch at 1:54 PM on October 26, 2011


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