My emphases and comments

I see more and more people are using the [Z-Method] in fisking texts!

My emphases and comments, of course.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. joe says:

    You should get royalties!

  2. ‘Fraid I developed that method independently (though it’s been quite a while now since I’ve fisked anything). Great minds think alike!

  3. I’ve switched from blue to red because of you

  4. JC says:

    Well, one could argue that English and philosophy teachers were doing it first, but yes, I for one have found a particular advantage in that style: slightly more interactive, and saves going back and forth between the tricky “quote” codes and formatting.

  5. Andrew, medievalist says:

    It’s great that “to fisk” has become a verb. Mr Robert Fisk, although he writes brilliantly, strikes me as fairly anti-Catholic, and the use of his method here is deliciously ironic.

  6. Ohio Annie says:

    I use bright pink! 8-)

  7. Mike says:

    I have seen it referred to as the “Zuhlsdorf Convention.”

  8. Tony says:

    The method is useful. And time saving!

  9. bryan says:

    Actually…way back in the mists of Internet time…when there was a widely-
    used system called Usenet (or, Netnews) which took the place of forums, web-
    based discussion groups, or even blog commenting capabilities, inline commenting
    was a common way of responding to, or interjecting comments in, a
    previously-submitted posting.

    Sorry, Father. :) Even now, inline commenting is fairly common…:)

  10. Kardinal says:

    Frankly, I’ve always hated this method of commenting on a piece of news or an article. [Tough luck! o{]:¬) ] While it works well for forum and Usenet posts, and I’ve been using it myself for over 20 years, I don’t think it works well for blogs and articles. Actually, bolding “important” parts is almost deceptive, because the author should be able to emphasize the points they want, rather than the commentator changing the emphasis to suit their agenda.

    I appreciate Fr Z’s comments, but I would rather those comments were left outside the article on which he’s commenting so that I can read the piece as it was intended by the author.

  11. Patrick says:

    I will say that while there are other types of this commentary out there, you’ve used the method far more often and far more effectively than I’ve seen elsewhere. It encourages quick thinking, and I find that my speed of critical reading has increased as a result of the method (as has my consumption of red ink).

    One question I was curious about that might be a subject for a later thread: any chance of getting a slavishly accurate translation of the Nova Vulgata? It seems it would eliminate much confusion.

  12. You know what they say: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

  13. John says:

    I’ve yet to figure out how to “Do the Red, say the Black” with this method…

  14. Jeff Pinyan says:

    You should write a book — a compilation of your fisks. The title should be:

    “My emphases and comments

    (with “comments” in red, of course)

  15. Hey! I didn’t claim to invent it. I just just it a lot and have made it better know in the Catholic blogosphere. I find it useful.

  16. Subvet says:

    Fr. Z, I proudly admit to stealing it from your site. Works pretty good too!

  17. TNCath says:

    Honestly, it’s a great way to make commentary as it is more difficult to refute something immediately following the comment. It’s a form of close reading and analysis that has become a lost art in our sound byte, ADHD culture. It is a particularly effective tool when arguing a point against the dissenters and progressivists. There is little room for argument.

  18. Matthew W. I. Dunn says:

    Adding comments in red to existing text has been an option in Microsoft Office Word for years.

    Next, you’ll be telling us (a la Al Gore) that you were instrumental in inventing the Internet.

  19. bryan says:

    Oh, I know Father…you’re just the one that’s made it even more
    popular…and raised it to an art form (Usenet, for what it was worth,
    was a noisy, draining place to be…but, sadly, it was taken over by
    the software pirates and porn merchants a long time ago…thus its demise.).

  20. Father, maybe you can also usurp editing corrections such as ‘stet’, that squiggle that meant ‘delete’, and strikethroughs.

    I like the way you make running comments. If you waited til the end of an article, I’d forget what these infernal windbags had said by the time I got to the end.

  21. John 6:54 says:

    Fisking? Its not Fisking… It’s “Fr. Z Style” and after trying it out for myself on the Notre Dame speeches, I’m a big fan. It’s like watching TV with Tivo. You get to pause the text and add your own comments.

    Someone needs to create a widget to makes it easier to do, or has that already been done? They could call it the Fr.Z Widget.

  22. Matt K says:

    what is it they say about imitation?

  23. Guilty as charged. Been using the Z-method emphases and comments in my blog. Influenced by the soon to be patron saint of bloggers!

Comments are closed.