Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

15 Jun 2009, 12:26 p.m.

In Which I Request Things Of You

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2009 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

So, two things I'd like to ask of my readers:

  1. Call me out on it if I'm saying something that's racist, or sexist, or transphobic, or dismissive of entire religious communities of practice, or ableist, or otherwise bad ally behavior. Nora Jemisin rightly (and nicely) called me out on using the derogatory term "lame" when I was in a panel she was moderating at WisCon. Until WisCon, I never quite took seriously the idea that people with disabilities might mind that slur. Now I do and I'm trying to replace it with "bogus," so in print or in person, if I slip up, let me know. Email rather than public comments would be nice. I don't currently intend to rewrite history but from now on I want to be more sensitive.
  2. From now on, tell me when, in public writing, I'm wearing my subtext on my sleeve and don't know it. Tee hee I'm being so lyrical and cryptic about my work or personal issues! NO YOU'RE NOT, YOU'RE JUST PLAYING COY & WE CAN ALL TELL ANYWAY. Email strongly preferred. Again, I'm not going to turn into a revisionist, even though some of my columns and blog entries make me wince like anything.

To those of you who have been doing the needful already: Thanks! To others: feel free to start!

Fun fact: according to my NewsBruiser stats, the most common words (and their number of uses) since I started blogging in 2000 are:

  1. about:1779
  2. people:889
  3. which:802
  4. would:777
  5. don't:745
  6. other:725
  7. Leonard:672
  8. think:621
  9. because:601
  10. really:592


15 Jun 2009, 12:51 p.m.

Don't other Leonard!

15 Jun 2009, 13:52 p.m.

My NewsBruiser stats always claimed I used "about" twice as many times as the next-most-popular word too! I smell an easter egg. Or possibly a shared habit of introspective writing.

I won't say that anyone who posts a "please call me out" entry is definitely the kind of person who doesn't need to be called out, but there's a big overlap, and you're in it.

16 Jun 2009, 18:54 p.m.

"Feckless" pretty well captures most of the connotations of the slang sense of "lame." Plus, instead of sounding insensitive, you can sound antiquated and pompous, so that's a bonus, too.