In poker, a tell is a detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's assessment of their hand. Behaviors that may exhibit tells include leaning forward or back, placing chips with more or less force, fidgeting, changes in breathing or tone of voice, facial expressions, direction of gaze or actions with the cards, chips and any cigarettes or drinks. A player gains an advantage if he observes another player's tell, particularly if the tell is unconscious and reliable. Some players may fake tells, hoping to induce their opponents into making mistakes based on the false tell.(WIKIPEDIA)
The blogging world is a weird one: aliases and screen names, fighting for justice from behind a monitor, and telling your deepest secrets to total strangers are all commonplace activities.
Sometimes I think we're all a little messed up. Lately there has been a new phenomenon which I'll call double-blind blogging, even thought thats not really the right words for it. I'm talking about new anonymous mini-blogs like the Hot Channie blog (spawned by snappy catch phrase on my blog) and the Dov Weasel blog (designed to bring down the bear by exposing instances of sentence lifting and plagiarism.)
Most bloggers I've spoken to assume that these new adept bloggers, who seem both technically Savvy and very aware of who's who in the J-blogging world must really be other bloggers in disguise. Based on that assumption they try to figure out who it might be (even if their detective work will only take them as far as their usual blog alias. )
Who is on their email list? Who's blogs do the quote? What is their level of technical skill on the web? What is their writing style, temperament, target audience...
Who would have the time to maintain two blogs?
Basically people are looking for tells.
While I'm not the author of the Hot Channie or Dov Weasel blog (and I don't know who they are so stop asking me already people) I was thinking a lot about my own personal writing "tells" and whether or not I could hide them. I'll confess to commenting just a few times under another fake name when telling something too personal or saying something just so snarky I didn't want it traced back to me. I'd guess most of us have done it at some time or another.
So what would be my giveaways....
Well, I tend to use dashes when commas would do (that's an easy fix.)
I also use ellipsis (ellipses?) you know those marks for parenthetical statements?... like they are going out of style. That would be a much harder habit to break.
I use the words "although" and "however" constantly but I suppose if I was adopting another persona I might try to write in a less subtle way and just foist my untempered opinion on the world. I'm also not much of a speller or an editor when I'm blogging or commenting in a hurry (like today) but I'd be more meticulous if I was trying to hide my identity.
What do you think your "tells" are?
What do you think about these mysteries wrapped in enigmas?
Tell all in the comments!