I’ve noticed recently that annotations seem to be drifting “off-topic” quite frequently. This can be interesting and enlightening but please do be aware that annotations should enhance the particular diary entry, not just now but also in many years time. The annotations about pasties and MAs have tended to stray rather off the beaten track, as have some of the parallels between diary events and today’s politics.

I realise opinions vary on this, and it’s far from the end of the world. Just consider this a gentle reminder to keep things relevant and not to forget the annotation guidelines. Most people don’t need reminding so thanks, as ever, for all the worthy contributions!


First Reading

chip  •  Link

I am afraid I am guilty of this on occasion. But I have tried several times to e mail another annotator, and the message bounces back. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that it is important that the addresses given are accurate and encourage people to respond to one another with more personal observations that do not pertain to the daily entry. This is an extraordinary social experiment, one I think Pepys would highly admire. Many of us are communicating that would never have done so, all beacause of his diary.

chip  •  Link

It might also be helpful to have a spell-check option, BEcause.....

Laura Brown  •  Link

I believe e-mail addresses have been discussed before. As I recall, Phil allows people to falsify their addresses to deter spammers.

I have to say that I wouldn't be too happy to get loads of personal e-mail as a result of posting on this site. That's not really what I come here for.

vincent  •  Link

May be in the future, one may register ones Email address with the Blog ( then use a another moniker) so that the master of ceremonies can contact said moniker if needed, to send the necessary corrections to acceptable blogging for a given site. Lets face it "SPAM" (Stupid Professional Advertisements for the Majority) is a pain in the r**** D*******.

Grahamt  •  Link

Spam is a problem:
This is the only forum I use my main home email address, and I have only started receiving spam on this address since I started posting here. It is probably too late to falsify now.

Laura Brown  •  Link

Have just checked, and Phil (um, I'm not sure why I'm talking about him like he's not here -- sorry, Phil) actually recommended that we disguise our addresses rather than falsify them outright.

We seem to have drifted off the topic again! :-) To get back to the point, I would like to say a word about annotators using events in the diary purely as an excuse to broadcast their own views. Language Hat said that he/she would prefer it if people didn't get into present-day politics, and I agree. Another thing that bothers me is annotators sneering at particular -- or all -- religious beliefs or practices (or the lack thereof).

It's not that these aren't important subjects or that you're not entitled to your opinion -- it's just that IT'S NOT WHAT THIS SITE IS FOR. It's a surefire way to drag the discussion off-topic, and it strikes me as a bit rude too. I come here to read about Pepys and his world, not to be told what I should think of the monarchy or be jeered at for resting on Sunday!

chip  •  Link

Yes, you are some of the people I have tried to e-mail, to you Vincent when I made the url of the earl pun a few days ago; I knew you would appreciate that. What I do not understand is why don't you invent some unfictitious yahoo or hotmail address that you might check from time to time. They are absolutely free, thank you Mister Gates, and now they give you 4 to 6 megs. You can store crap there that you may one day need. But not a diary!

chip  •  Link

And thank god it is Spam, and not Sam that is the problem!

chip  •  Link

Not to belabour the point, but you can set your filters to high and that way most spam ends up in a junk mail folder that is easy to delete, en masse (therapeutic really). Everyone should put something like Pepys Diary in the subject line and those people can be added to the 'Safe List' which is delivered to the inbox. Quickly you will manage Spam from Sam. (Vincent, you could be henribeyle@hotmail.com, and Laura Brown, montaigne@yahoo.com, just a thougt!).

Laura Brown  •  Link

Chip, I would imagine that when the discussion forum is started it should meet at least some of your needs. With luck it will keep irrelevant stuff out of the annotations too.

henri beyle stendhal  •  Link

To (mis)quote a famous US Senator "I be no riter' but thanks for the thort.

Henry  •  Link

While I have been hessitant to do annotations, I must say that this has been a great learning experience. You have all contributed to my understanding of this time period. EVEN when you "drift " off subject. And , Laura, I hope that a discussin forum starts soon. I do have things I'd like to bring up. Thanks all.

chip  •  Link

Merci a Monsieur Beyle. And Laura Brown, although you are not one I tried to e mail, thank you for mentioning the forum as I, too, knew nothing of it. What I think our dear overseer, Phil, is trying to point out is that we can e mail one another with more personal observations (or barbs). I begin to feel like the audience in Philip Glass' piece, where the pianist comes out and just sits in silence at the keyboard, allowing the audience to become the event. If only Pepys could witness these guffaws!

Laura K  •  Link

Thanks, Phil. I do think it's worth putting a potential annotation to the test before posting - asking oneself if it's relevant, and simply not posting if it is not. I'm sure I've made some irrelevant posts, and I will certainly hold myself to the same standard.

I also agree with Language Hat and Laura Brown, re current world events and our personal worldviews and politics. Visitors to this site probably span the gamut of political and religious beliefs, but that's not why we're here. What one annotator thinks is an innocuous statement may well offend another. Why not omit them all?

As a general rule, it's good to remember that we don't have to give voice to our every thought.

Nigel Pond  •  Link


As a participant in both of the "pasties" and "MA" off-topic annotations, I apologize!!

language hat  •  Link

Language Hat agrees with himself
and with Lauras B and K! I do think most people are good at keeping off-topic annotations to a reasonable level; they haven't actually taken over any threads that I recall.

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