Learning From My Mistakes - A Tool for Sorting Out Trolls

My recent post was intended to be somewhat provocative as one might have guessed from the title.  However, I unwittingly inserted a device into the title that proved to be an excellent tool in sorting and categorizing my readers.  I foolishly used the word "tenant" in place of the word "tenet".  Contrary to the assumptions of a few, I do know the difference.  I fully admit the mistake and attribute it to the careless proofreading of my own writing, but I don't regret it.  It has led me to the following conclusion which I want to share with writers of all kinds:

Making a mistake in the title of your article is excellent troll bait. 

Allow me to demonstrate by describing the following types of reddit and blog commenters:
  • Those who provide anonymous and useful help of the form, "Hey, did you mean 'tenet' not 'tenant'?"
    • These are my absolute favorite and the highest form of human being.  
  • Those who either don't notice the mistake or look past it for the merits of the actual article.
    • These folks are right up there on my list next to the helpful proofreaders.  They are either understanding enough or ignorant enough to read my work, which is cool with me.  
  • Those who provide somewhat constructive criticism based solely on the mistake.
    • These people are alright.  I can take some criticism, especially when I screw up on a relatively large scale, provided that they are not too scathing or demeaning.  
  • Those who make personal attacks without reading the article.
    • As far as I am concerned these people can pound salt, good riddance.  These are the trolls.  It is much easier to point out the mistakes of others than it is to create original content, alone, in your spare time without making an error.  A mistake in the title is the epitome of low hanging fruit for the troll; they get to make snide comments without all the pesky legwork of reading.  Besides being a sensitive test for the trolls, it is specific.  No honestly interested reader is going to behave this way.  Only a douche hellbent on destruction would do such a thing.  
Happy fishing.  


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