Monday, March 31, 2008

Word of the Day: petty

petty adj ... 1 unimportant; trivial (petty complaints). 2 small-minded, mean, contemptible (petty revenges)

A handy little word petty - both of those two usages (from the Australian Pocket Oxford) are very apt when it comes to the blogosphere - it's full of people writing about unimportant trivial things (their dogs, their cats, their knitting, their artistic aspirations) and occasionally indulging in some petty revenges. Past experience shows that I'm not above it and recent experience here at this blog shows that even some of the petty* oracles of the newspaper op-ed pages aren't above it either.

Thanks to Sitemeter, I've noticed a couple of spikes in traffic recently - one last week, and one today. They've come from Andrew Bolt's blog, via this Google cache page. The original blog page is here. You'd be hard put to find any difference between the Google cache version and the original page, because the original hasn't been touched in four years. The page certainly hasn't been deleted, despite the fact that some of the contents - in particular a post on Bolt where I got it signally wrong - are a bit of an embarrassment.

The most embarrassing thing about that 2004 post is that, having wrongly accused Bolt of verballing a Federal Court judge, I found myself with a little "boy who cried wolf" problem in September 2005. See "The Extended O'Loughlin J" on this page. Or the Google cache version if you suspect that I've got at it in the past five minutes.

I'm not sure what Bolt is trying to achieve with all this linkage he's been providing me lately - perhaps he's decided to cash in a few get squares for all the bad things I've written about him in the past. Still, they're the sort of get-squares a less petty man might come to regret. Slipping a petty revenge on a minor blogger into a post paying out on Jenny Macklin doesn't really look a lot like cool, clear-headed analysis.

* - 3 minor, inferior, on a small scale (petty princes) [op cit]

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