the sword of pedantry swings again

We sometimes display discrete AdSense ads on your blog to help pay the bills. This keeps free features free!

We sometimes run discrete text ads on your blog to users who aren’t logged in and aren’t regular visitors

I still think you mean ‘discreet‘. Sorry.

I’m not even going to whine about the facts that a) the ads, when they do appear, are far from discreet (not much point in having them, if they were) and b) they’re not always text ads. If it bothered me that much, I’d be bribing Automattic to make them disappear, wouldn’t I? No point fretting about those inaccuracies. They’re there for a reason.

8 Comments »

  1. No, no, he means ‘discrete’. They are that, but they’re not discreet.😉

  2. @Robert Synnott:
    Taking out a trusty sword of my own, I’d say he means discreet, period.

    They’re trying to say that the ads they place on wp.com blogs aren’t in-your-face pop-ups you have to click away a dozen times to get rid of.

    http://www.gcse.com/english/discreet.htm

    To be discreet, someone or something is being careful or using caution, so as not to be too obvious…

    To be described as discrete, something is seen to be a separate thing…

    True, they’re a separate thing, but that’s not what the point they’re trying to make.

    Pedantry over and out.

  3. Heather said

    Hi there. I’m afraid I propagated that error. Thank you for pointing it out. I’ve now got “discreet” and “discrete” flashcards in my back pocket. Never again.

    I’ve also clarified the upgrades FAQ to say “Adsense ads.”

    Thanks,
    Heather

  4. It’s a pity that more Automattic employees can’t own up to their mistakes like Heather does. I would think it wouldn’t be an issue for such an “Ethical company” such as Automattic. Maybe Matt needs to take some lessons from Heather. May do him some good.

    I’d ask her for follow up on the 5 outstanding support tickets that I have, three of them over a year old now, but I’m sure that would just cause trouble for Heather.

  5. Cenazoic said

    Economist style guide:
    ‘Discreet means circumspect or prudent; discrete means separate or distinct.’

    Now if only bloggers the world over would read the entry on ‘begs the question’:

    ‘…means neither raise the question, invite the question nor evade the answer. To beg the question is to adopt an argument whose conclusion depends upon assuming the truth of the very conclusion the argument is designed to produce. [E.g.]: All governments should promote free trade because otherwise protectionism will increase. This begs the question.’

  6. Ben M said

    In all of my interactions with Heather outside of WP, I’ve found her to be very friendly and honest. I’m glad to see that she hasn’t let Auttomatic change her.

  7. Kissing Bandit said

    @ian in hamburg: sarcasm is lost on you, is it not?

  8. Just for reference, Heather contacted me via email a few days ago asking about the outstanding issues. I sent her the list of the questions that I’ve raised previously but Matt and crew have yet to answer or resolve. She hasn’t gotten back to me.

    Looks like she’s already changed into an Automattic employee.

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