New For 2018: The Only Blog Diet You’ll Ever Need

It’s January. And if you’ve been on the internet for more than 5 minutes so far in 2018, you probably hate yourself right now. ‘Tis the season, after all.

The only people pretending to love themselves in January are lifestyle bloggers telling you how to be a better You than you could ever be. So I thought it was time for me to offer up some advice of my own, and talk about diet.

The Blog Diet, to be precise.

I’ve been lurking around this corner of the internet for a while, now, so it’s no surprise that this blog has been getting a little, well, fat. I don’t usually believe in crash diets, but I finally found one which appealed, and let me tell you, it’s a real doozy. Like all the best diets it’s a 5-step plan. I will be explaining each step in excruciating detail, so that you can feel miserable long before we even start – just to make the whole diet experience authentic.

Here is a list of everything I am cutting out from this day forward.

New For 2018: The Only Blog Diet You’ll Ever Need

  1. Satire

There’s been far too much satire in the world lately. Dubious actions by powerful people in politics and business have made easy pickings for every Tom, Dick or Harry who considers himself a wit to go on Twitter, and try out a new one-liner every week. It’s devaluing comedy, and how it hasn’t yet resulted in strike action by full-time comedians is beyond me.

In any event, I’ve decided that serious is the new humour. Henceforth I will not be making any further jokes on this blog. Every single solitary word I write is to be taken in utmost faith and at its most literal. This is will be at its most obvious when I write about books, giant shrubs, or small-nosed animals which live underground.

  1. Discussion

Often it seems like some commenters on this blog are funnier than I am. Others dare to have different opinions from time to time. This is intolerable. I have been threatening to shut this down for ages, but January is a time for action. I will therefore be closing comments permanently, as soon as I can find the elusive little box on the blog dashboard that allows me to do so.

In consequence I would advise anyone who feels they must have their say to do so while they still have the chance, and not just on this blog. I am, as usual, simply ahead of the curve, as both America and the Untied Kingdom* are rumoured to be closing down everything below the line in May 2018, from which point the only two comments permitted online will be “LOL so cute!” (for cat videos) and “U OK hun?” (for selfies).

New For 2018: The Only Blog Diet You’ll Ever Need

  1. Banter

This might be seen as a natural consequence of eliminating discussion; but the real terror lies beyond mere comment.

The democratisation of global communication has resulted in unhealthy association between people of vastly different backgrounds, races, religions, and tastes in beer.

Whole swathes of people have been indulging in small-talk and light-hearted conversation with people they have never, and will never meet.

We all know that any connection forming between disparate people can only lead to terrible things. This is intolerable, and forbidden in all the best dictatorships.

I will therefore also be banning banter anywhere near this blog. Anyone caught engaging in friendly chit-chat or communication on any other platforms will have terrible poetry written about them, set to 1990s techno backing tracks.

  1. Puns, and Other Smart Alec Stuff

Social media has done more for puns than 100 years of Dad jokes and Christmas crackers combined. Throw in alliteration, up-to-the-minute slang and pop culture references, and you’ve got all the stuff that school examinations were supposed to have eradicated long ago.

There will be no more of that sort of grandstanding allowed. It’s not funny if there’s a drumroll behind every line.

  1. Adjectives

Nothing makes a piece of prose fatter than a big pile of adjectives, unless you’re talking adverbs, which people have tried to kill off for years without any success.

The only thing worse than the overuse of adjectives is when they’re preceded by a hashtag, which is the equivalent of eating three Christmas dinners and then going out in a crop-top.

Therefore, adjectives will also be banned on this blog. After all, we all know that description of any kind only results in fake news. Furthermore, that kind of flowery prose will not fit in at all with the tone of this blog which will no longer be the sort of blog which causes anyone to smile or giggle which is in no way an example of how a describing something without adjectives has resulted in a phrase using eleven words where one would do.

New For 2018: The Only Blog Diet You’ll Ever Need

And there you have it. In no time at all** this blog will be a lean and trim machine without fat, froth, or any discernible purpose. You’re welcome. See you next week!

*Case in point: coined by Babbitman, in this sickeningly funny comment (cheek of him)

**Well, eventually…first I just have to get through a few posts about trains, Russia, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, 2018, social media, and books. Then I’ll start getting thinner. I swear.

  63 comments for “New For 2018: The Only Blog Diet You’ll Ever Need

  1. January 7, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I thought you’d been humour-free for some time now anyway…

    U ok hun?

    Liked by 8 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 10:52 am

      BOOM! Now you’re on my list, Al. Not a wise move so early in the year, but you shouldn’t worry unduly. Just worry duly and it’ll be fine.

      Liked by 4 people

      • January 7, 2018 at 11:22 am

        The dreaded Tara list… Long fabled… This new year has started very badly! Oh well. Guess it’s back to blogging about fad diets and getting beach body ready now…

        Liked by 2 people

        • January 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm

          I’m so glad you see the error of your ways. It’s a start.

          Liked by 3 people

          • January 7, 2018 at 3:19 pm

            We are all works in progress. Hell, I even tried writing some “funny” tips for new bloggers the other day. I think maybe I should reread your post and follow its wisdom!

            Liked by 3 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 11:56 am

      I thought about saying it but didn’t have the courage. Or the lack of manners. Tara’s a lovely, sweet person and I won’t have a word said against her. The fact that she has name-checked me has absolutely nothing to do with my stance on this.

      Liked by 5 people

      • January 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        (I think I’m lack of sleep-drunk… Now the manners-guilt is setting in!)

        Liked by 4 people

        • January 7, 2018 at 12:22 pm

          Too late now. And in the quest to be Tara’s Favourite Blogger Who Lives Near Nottingham with a Job in Analysis, I think you’re definitely in second place. :-p

          Liked by 4 people

          • January 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm

            Dammit! That was the only blog award I was even in the running for!

            Liked by 3 people

            • January 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm

              Thank you for your unconditional and unsolicited support, Babbitman. Now excuse me while I ponder the effectiveness of threat and terror in governance, rather than bribery and sycophancy. Imagine if people in western politics ever began to grasp this concept… oh, wait. Right.

              Liked by 3 people

  2. January 7, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Wise words. I don’t think the ban on banter can come soon enough. I carry a frying pan at all times to discourage any form of banter in real life but it’s so hard to shut down in the blogosphere. But cat pictures do make me LOL and are definitely sooooo cuuuute. Where do you stand on emojis? I think cat emojis are probably fine but I’m highly sceptical about allowing the others to continue unchecked.

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 10:56 am

      I don’t stand on cat emojis at all, James. Cats are disproportionately represented in the interweb and I am considering the organisation of a protest. I can see your allegiances lie in a different direction, so I will therefore be forced to protest against you also. If only you hadn’t been so free with your opinions. IF ONLY.

      Liked by 3 people

      • January 7, 2018 at 11:52 am

        It’s absolutely fine. My opinions are entirely flexible in most matters and if your protest gathers any momentum at all then you will find me happily amongst the rank and file of the anti-cat emoji movement.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. January 7, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I can only say my hope for these resolutions is that they last as long as all the others. Which is to say, gone by this afternoon. All the best in this new year Ms. Sparling, by which I mean absolutely none of the things you advocate here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      I’ll take your good wishes as tacit approval for my reign of terror, Will. You’ve done the right thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. January 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I’m gonna use that quote on my blog: “sickeningly funny” with a side order of “cheek”.
    Of course, the idea of Tara not succumbing to the temptation of a satirical side-swipe comment in a post is as far-fetched as Tara not succumbing to the temptation of breathing for a couple of days.
    And I thought the whole point of this blog was for Discussion, Banter, Puns and Other Smart Alec Stuff (and in my mind, they’re all the same thing, which is probably why Tara described me as “sickeningly funny” and with some “cheek”. I may have mentioned that before).
    Anyway, I think that I probably write more here than on my own blog and if Tara’s trying to be serious and dull (really, really unlikely) I think we’ll just have to keep the bants going amongst ourselves, provided she fails to find the button that stops comments.
    Looking forward to the next Sparling post and the continuation of a wry outlook on 2018. It’s what makes this decade bearable.

    Liked by 4 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Stop being witty, Babbitman. I mean it. The penalties will be yuge. The fact that nobody is taking me seriously yet is just increasing my ire. And considering where I come from, that’s an explosive business.
      Compliments are fine, on the other hand, so, well done, etc.

      Liked by 3 people

    • January 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      You do write here more than on your own blog, Nick… oh, sorry, Tara. I forget the “no discussion” rule. 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      • January 8, 2018 at 9:41 pm

        You know what? I don’t think you’re sorry at all, Diana. I think you just deliberately solicited chat with – no, not even just chat! Banter! With somebody from a different country! I am appalled! (And also a little bit impressed with your rebellious streak, if I’m being honest.)

        Liked by 2 people

      • January 9, 2018 at 4:47 pm

        I know, I know! I really ought to get back to my own place (I’ve left two guys in a cave for weeks and they’re probably a bit fed up by now) but Tara’s pad is just so nice and friendly. And I can’t help poking things and being a general nuisance.
        But now Christmas is over I WILL get back to my own blog! Honest! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        • January 9, 2018 at 5:28 pm

          She is fun to annoy, isn’t she? Oh, gosh, here we are bantering again. 😀

          Liked by 2 people

          • January 11, 2018 at 10:48 pm

            Diana, this comment went into spam for some reason. I’m torn between being impressed that my blog seems to be auto-censoring anti-Tara comments, and being very, very scared that my blog seems to be auto-censoring anti-Tara comments. I’ll get back to you once I’ve got in touch with my feelings…

            Liked by 2 people

        • January 9, 2018 at 11:42 pm

          You think it’s NICE AND FRIENDLY around here?? Oh, my stars. I feel such a failure. Excuse me while I painfully rethink my entire strategy.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. January 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I’m in for the fight to kill adverbs. As for cat emojis I’d like to see them replaced with sloths – the unsung hero of the animal emoji world. Banning satire will only work for those without a sense of humor so I see how this could succeed. Definitely.

    Liked by 3 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      I approve. Sloth emojis fit in excellently with my worldview, and as I am no longer permitting any information in my life which does not support my rigid worldview, I appreciate your comment and invite you to comment here indefinitely.

      Not only that, but I also wish you a happy new year.

      Liked by 2 people

      • January 7, 2018 at 11:02 pm

        I love it! I have subscribed to your blog for a while, now but in my busy life have not been giving it the attention it deserves! Looking forward to some laughs in 2018.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. January 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Definitely on the right track here, Tara. My only worry is your mention of “fake news,” what with fake being an adjective and all. With no way to distinguish between fake and real news, won’t this put a certain American out of business? Impeachment sounds like a real possibility all of a sudden; and it will all have started here. Talk about butterfly effect…

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      This, sadly, is just one of the many cases where you’re wrong, Nick. Fake news is a noun. While I concede that fake on its own might be an adjective, the fact is that when combined with news it becomes a compound unjointed noun, otherwise known as a noun-noun, which is grammatically correct on all fronts and in all languages.

      I’ll let you away with that one seeing as you’re Greek and appear to be in a state of genuine worry about world events, but please don’t do it again.

      Liked by 4 people

      • January 8, 2018 at 10:56 am

        Having once again seen the error of my ways thanks to your kind comment, I can only hang my head in shame as I eagerly await the next orange-hued tweet.

        Liked by 2 people

        • January 8, 2018 at 2:43 pm

          You’ll be even eagerer to hear I’ve ordered industrial quantities of iron oxide, then. You won’t believe how much orange is coming your way…

          Liked by 1 person

          • January 9, 2018 at 9:13 am

            The joke’s on you. My iron oxide is bigger and betterer than yours. Very hard-working, too.

            Liked by 2 people

            • January 9, 2018 at 11:41 am

              No it isn’t, and so’s your face. So there.

              Liked by 1 person

              • January 9, 2018 at 11:55 am

                Despite my best efforts, this dialogue is still more polite than modern political discourse. Sigh… we really need to try harder, my dear.

                Liked by 1 person

                • January 9, 2018 at 12:11 pm

                  I know. It’s a failing, what can I say?

                  Dammit! Now I just admitted a failing, which is worse. There’s no hope for us, Nick. See you in the abyss.

                  Liked by 1 person

  7. January 7, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Luckily this ties in neatly with my total loss of a sense of humour around all dietary issues (due to finally being diagnosed with IBD last week). I commend you, Ms Sparling – I look forward to plain talk and a general lack of pith or vinegar ’round these here parts for the duration… ❤ (oh, bugger!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Congratulations on the diagnosis, Jan (that is in no way meant to be taken as flippancy, given that I am now an entirely serious person). Although it’s probably unwise to be talking about either pith or vinegar given your circumstances. Oh, and Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. January 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Oh noooooooooo😱

    Liked by 2 people

  9. January 8, 2018 at 8:38 am

    According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you keeping to your diet…..

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 8, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      I’m pretty much always at odds with something, so you’re probably right. Whether it proves beneficial to humanity or not remains to be seen 😆


  10. January 8, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I cannot speak for laughing…. but keep it up, pleeeaase!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. January 8, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    But I like your dry humour…

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 8, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you Lucy, but I’m beginning to regret that bulk order of wet wipes now.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. January 9, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    By the time I get to write my comments, not only is my finger sore from witty banter scrolling, but everybody else has been far funnier or wittier than I could be. I do hope to remain the grinning idiot in the circle so I trust your post is another joke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 9, 2018 at 11:40 pm

      You should know by now that you can’t trust me at all for anything, Liberty. But hey, at least trust is overrated nowadays, right?!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. January 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Can’t come up with a suitably witty response but delighted I found your blog. This thread had me like this 😬 and this 😂 and a little bit of this 🤔 but mostly this 🐙 (that’s an octopus going “wahoo!”)

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 14, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      Well, that’s my favourite comment of 2018 so far! You win a lifetime’s subscription to this blog. Congratulations! I hope that unlike many others you will not come to regret it. I’ll do my best to prove otherwise 😛

      Delighted to see you here though!


  14. January 17, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    No, not the humour…anything, just not that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 17, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      You should know better than to give me carte blanche for anything, Robert. I’m a danger to myself 😉


  15. January 22, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Is the comment comment my fault? I’ve shared posts sometimes commenting to make sure to read the comments, but I honestly wasn’t implying said commenters were funnier than you;) And if you’re cutting comedy, satire and comments, maybe cull books, book related content, graphs and statistics …

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 22, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      I would never be so straightforward as to lay blame at any one person’s door, Bernadette. I’m too busy spouting generalisations which make as many people as possible wonder if I’m speaking directly to them. It’s why I internet. Even if some commenters are funnier than me. 😛


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