Monday, August 7
I've been thinking about what to write next, but before I could commit to something, I wanted to make sure that I was different here than on my regular blog. After all, why pick a new secret identity if it's not gonna be secret? Isn't that part of the fun of being a superhero? I mean a blogger.

Which brings me to Poppy Red's recent post, about writing style. Now let's not talk academic writing style, because surely we all write in some way or another that is different than how we speak or write in other venues. But what I am afraid of, after revealing my love of secrets (secrets sounds like such a better word than gossip doesn't it?) and revealing, though vaguely, some of my knowledge, that someone out there will figure out this writing style, compare it to the writing style of my personal blog, and hence, find me out. So just to clarify, department head is not always drunk -- he is quite a brilliant academic, who just so happens to be able to pound back 18-20 drinks at all social gatherings. And really, all those secrets I shared, it was opposite day. So don't believe them. Plus they were written in code. Sorry for turning freaked out, but I have seen one too many episodes of Alias and 24 to be careless.

In trying to figure out how to write here, and wanting to make sure that it is different, I have come to a road block. What is my writing style there? I don't really know. I am not a good judge of my own style, though I can comment on others'. I guess I am too close to it all. Any tips that other colors might have will be greatly appreciated. Since academics are way smarter than the reporters who couldn't figure out Clark Kent was Superman when he wore his glasses, I don't want to just add new frames to the same face, you know?

After all, this is my first secret society membership, and though it may not be considered as prestigious as whatever that one where all the president's at Yale come from, I think it's even better, and I am quite excited.

So until I figure out if you can figure out my voice, I will be working on figuring out my voice. And then using one of those voice changer things to make it sound different. Only not those robotic ones that kidnappers use to demand ransom, cause everyone knows those are just creepy. Plus with CSI, they always figure you out.


Clear said...

My spouse has warned me that when I try not to sound like myself, I end either up sounding more like myself or sounding like someone who is trying too hard to sound like someone else. In trying to cultivate a different voice here on AS, I would urge not using the trick that writers of poison-pen notes often use, which is to misspell a bunch of things they wouldn't misspell otherwise.

Chartreuse Circe said...

Part of the fun of a secret society is the trying to guess. But really, even assuming that you have a blog listed in the side bar (which are all anonymous), I'd guess that the chances of anyone figuring it out are very slim. I think the best part of this is the ability to not be guarded about what we say; I can say things flatly, without couching it in nicer language or doing anything other than making sure that I don't use any names or identifying markers.

Why do academics gossip so much? I mean, yes, I know it's lots and lots of fun, but is there another reason?

Plaid said...

Strawberries, I am one of the people who sent out invitations to a.secret and I can tell you that even I am completely clueless when it comes to most a.secret identities. For one thing, half the people were invited by Clear and we've been very secretive even with each other. Plus we really did send out a bunch of invites as we said in the initial statement so we have no idea which of those people took us up on the offer. Moreover, some of you joined later and hadn't even received those notes. It's all a big mystery from my end, so then I suspect it's an even bigger mystery for others.

The other thing is - and this may just be me - that I don't believe most people have such incredibly distinct blog writing styles that they can be guessed. It's different if they start revealing very personal things from the start. But no one has done that here. (I mean things much more personal than the tidbits people have posted here so far and elaborating on the details more and more as time goes on.)

Of all the blogs I read, I can think of one person's style that I *may* be able to recognize. But even that may be, because I always see that person's name on a blog post before reading the entry. (Plus, I think it's because I find it somewhat annoying and pretentious/ingenious and as though the person was trying too hard to sound "cool" so it got ineffective quickly. And no, of course I don't read that person's writing regularly given all that.)

So while of course everyone should be somewhat careful in what they may reveal here and certainly we can make no guarantees about things being completely anonymous (because they rarely ever are online if law enforcement ever gets involved), I wouldn't be too concerned about people just randomly guessing your identity because of how you write. And we certainly have no plans of law enforcement getting on our case, of course.

thistle said...

One of the nice things about anonymity is that you can lie with impunity (opposite day is my favorite day of the year) and you can "borrow" writing styles and mannerisms from other bloggers without feeling bad about it.

But the best thing? Your style doesn't have to be consistent- each post can have a completely different tone. That'll keep 'em guessing.

Mahogany said...

Strawberries, How could any other personality escape through a name like that? Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me. (I don't really know who you are. Were you ready to confess? Confess, my dear, you'll feel better.)

Plaid has a point that blogging has a loud style of its own that can be helpful to the secretive.

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