Here’s a possibly naïve bloggy etiquette question: should I ask, or, at the very least, inform, those bloggers whose blogs I add to my Blogroll? WordPress bloggers are notified when they are blogrolled, but it’s not clear to me if other blog writers I link to are notified. [Note to self: read up on Pings and Trackbacks-they may be my solution.] Of course, why wouldn’t a blogger want the exposure (however limited) of a link? I suppose, however, that I would like to be informed if someone linked to me (or even actually READ my blog, but that’s another issue), so my pre-New Year’s resolution is to contact the bloggers I’ve linked to and actually request permission. Until then, I will suspend adding to my blogroll (though, to the many who are not yet included, please be patient).
I do find it intriguing that WordPress asks me whether the blog is written by a friend or a lover or a colleague, or if I just have a crush on the writer! [To read more about what WordPress calls “Defining Relationships”, go here.] What exactly is the point of that? Is that information then made public? Of course I have crushes on some of the bloggers I read: intellectual crushes, rather than physical, since I haven’t actually met most of them. I fall for a finely wrought sentence, a sharp wit: a lively, engaging writing style simply makes me melt. And while I will praise their writing in public, I think identifying my interest as a CRUSH is problematic, to say the least.
There are so many reasons why such a tag could get me, and possibly the targeted blogger, in trouble (note even the word “targeted” is so aggressive and hostile). The Oxford dictionary definition and illustration is very interesting:
1884 I. M. RITTENHOUSE Maud (1939) 338 Wintie is weeping because her crush is gone. 1895 J. S. WOOD Yale Yarns 153 Miss Palfrey..consented to wear his bunch of blue violets. It was a ‘crush’, you see, on both sides. 1913 Dialect Notes IV. 10 (Have a) crush (on), to be conspicuously attached to some one. 1914 G. ATHERTON Perch of Devil I. 31 Some of the younger married women..get a crush on some other woman’s husband. Ibid. 186 To be jealous you’ve got to have a fearful crush. 1928 Punch 2 May 484/1 Gervase and Pontefract had had a quiet sort of masculine crush on Joyce for some time. 1929 JELLIFFE & WHITE Dis. Nervous Syst. (ed. 5) iii. 335 They tend to be aggressive, domineering and often play the man role with their schoolmates, or ‘crushes’. 1952 V. GOLLANCZ My dear Timothy 212 It is common to make fun of schoolboy and schoolgirl ‘pashes’ and ‘crushes’.
I like “Gervase and Pontefract had had a quiet sort of masculine crush on Joyce for some time”: I assume that is the equivalent of my feeble “intellectual crush”, but perhaps not? We need a better term, like “crushiness” (aka Colbert’s “truthiness”).
This from the Online Etymology Dictionary clarifies the connection between gnashing teeth and infatuation (really, they are not dissimilar at all):
1398, from O.Fr. croisir “to gnash (teeth), crash, break,” perhaps from Frank. *krostjan “to gnash.” Sense of “person one is infatuated with” is first recorded 1884; to have a crush on is from 1913.
For now, I will not identify any of the bloggers I link to as either an intellectual and/or physical “crush”-it may be best to remain mysterious about that and let them figure it out in other ways.
On a very related note, I also recently discovered (the ongoing revelations after deciding to begin a blog are relentless) the sitemeter or blog stats revealing who is visiting your blog. Call me naïve (will do, Dr. Naïve) but I had no idea that they reveal how often you visit a particular blog, how long you lurk, and, and this hurts, the location of your Internet service provider (and thus, potentially, YOU).
In my defense…..
To those of you who may have noticed me lurking on your blog a bit too often, please let me argue that in my defense I am at the computer for at least 8 hours a day, leaving it on, with all its various “windows” open, even when in class or at meetings. I am really, truly not actually lurking for hours at a time in your blog! It definitely does NOT mean I have a crush on you (or that I even like your blog: it may mean it’s taking me way too long to get through the less than stellar sentences or the tedious analysis of a ho-hum, at least to me, subject). Or, it may mean I actually love reading your blog and I’m trying to catch up by reading older posts.
I need distractions at work, especially when students don’t seem to be distracting me: I’m a multi-tasker at heart (see Nov. 23 posting).
End of protesting too much….
In fact, I’ll just end it with that.
Addendum: It looks like Crooked Timber has already covered the “blogcrush” territory. Check it out here.