ADDENDUM: I hasten to add that I've seen no truly offensive and certainly no illegal behavior from visitors to this site. The comments I'm talking about are very similar to posted ones, but include some form of inconsiderateness, many of which can be quite mild. I just don't think that comments like "her picture sucks" or "that comment is absurd" do anything to further a discussion. True, this is censorship, but, as I've said before, this is not a forum.
I think it goes without saying that almost all of the comments posted here are friendly, intelligent, and polite. Every day I'm impressed by the number and the quality of people who read T.O.P., and that extends to those of you who leave comments. The genesis of this post is simply that Blogger doesn't provide the email addresses of people who leave comments, so, when I reject one, I'm unable to contact the writer privately to explain to them why I've done so—something I would otherwise try to do.
The most frustrating kind of comment is one that is polite and mature all the way through until the very end, when the writer just cannot help adding what you might call a "kick." The effect is somewhat like this:
Reader X commented that combat boots are suitable footwear for photography. While I wouldn't presume to dictate to anyone what kind of shoes they should wear, combat boots are heavy and don't dry quickly, so, with all due respect, I would suggest that Reader X hasn't tried Adidaboks—if he had, he would know how superior they are.
His mother is obviously a skinhead.
The problem for me is that Blogger doesn't allow me to edit comments. If it did, I would just chop off that last line and publish the comment; but I can't. So, in many cases, that last kick means I have to reject the whole comment. You can see my dilemma.
Oh, and "WTTW" stands for "word to the wise."