Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Every two weeks, the blogosphere comes alive with something called a Blog Off. A Blog Off is an event where bloggers of every stripe weigh in on the same topic on the same day. The topic for this round of the Blog Off is "What is a Blog Off?" or, more specifically, the good folk who run this event would like to know why we all feel inspired to participate and what kind of topics we prefer.

St Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Writers
Image: Wikimedia Commons

This is only my fourth Blog Off post and I began participating because I was invited to.  Sure, there are other "blogging events" that I could join, but "alphabetical blogging" is not for me, a weekly event might become onerous and I do believe that if you are running a blogging event, the least you can do is participate properly yourself and make sure that you visit as many of the participants' blogs as you can.  This the Blog Off people do and, when I took a look at previous topics they had set, they seemed interesting and open to wide interpretation so I thought I would give it a go.

myspace comments

The other reason for participating in a blogging event is, of course, that you are likely to "meet" new people and - let's be honest - maybe increase traffic to your own blog.  Most of the readers of this blog are not, as you might imagine, from the UK, but from across the pond  so, quite apart from the fact that I like encountering people from all cultures, I welcome the opportunity to be able to communicate with more Americans.

My next biggest block of readers is from Italy and sometimes people suggest that I put a translation facility on this blog.  NO!  Although I am an Italian graduate who has worked as a translator and interpreter and am therefore  perfectly capable of translating the content myself,  professional translators only translate into, and not from, their mother tongue.  This is because however fluent and proficient you are, there are nuances and turns of phrase that only a native speaker can render successfully.  Here is an example of an idiotic internet translation:  In this post, I wrote about the death of the British jazz musician and comedy show presenter Humphrey Lyttleton.  The title is "Oh, Humph" which, as any mother tongue English speaker would realise, is meant as an expression of regret at his passing, using the diminutive of his name.  I once saw this post as it appeared on the computer of a friend who had used an internet translator and the title read "O, Bah" which is roughly the equivalent of "Bah, humbug".  Internet translators are rubbish, I refuse to look at the work of students who use them and I will never allow a translation button on this blog!

There, isn't Blog Off a wonderful idea?  Its flexibility has just allowed me to sound off on one of my favourite themes!

Topics?  Bring them on! I like the challenge of unusual or esoteric themes but I find it stimulating to work out how I can relate any topic set to life here in Sicily.  Sometimes that might prove impossible but it has not happened yet.

To blog is to interact and to interact is to learn.

Below is a full list of participating blogs for this theme:


Rufus Dogg said...

Well, the first thing I did was translate your blog post into Italian and I couldn't understand a word!! So true of those translators (not being able to actually read Italian probably factored in there somewhere :-) ) Ok, I didn't really do that, but I thought about it...

The best LBO is one where you nod to the topic and then talk about what you really wanted to talk about to begin with. And then bring it around at the end. Kinda like a drive in the country where you know you want to go north, but have no idea which road you are likely to take. As long as you get back home again....

Unknown said...

Totally agree Pat. Blogging is interacting and learning about others.That really rings true for us "newbies".

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with participating to grow relationships and gain a little traffic.

I cannot think of a better way to build a blog.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Rufus Dogg. I agree about the LBO writing process and that's what happened to me this time! Hi, Todd. Definitely. Hi, James. I agree.

James Higham said...

Oh dear, the UK reader is not loved any more?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Of course he / she is, James!

Anonymous said...

Great to meet you. Looking forward to sharing ideas and reading your take on future LBO topics. Whatever they may be!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Scott. Nice to meet you too and I look forward to many more "Blog Offs".


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