Zen and the Art of Commenting on the Tab

The Tab meets: Tab commenters

Cambridge commenters posh privilege white

They’re actually quite normal.

I sat in Indigo Café, nervously sipping my eggplant and chai latte.

In collaboration with CamCreativeCrumpets, I was about to meet the Tab Cambridge’s foremost commenters to talk to them about the art of writing a Tab comment.

Like meeting BNOC thesps, you just know they’re the sort of Cantabs who will one day go on to make a name for themselves; probably in this case for inciting violence, hacking J Law’s emails, or a top comment on a Daily Mail article. 

Tab commenters – artist’s impression

They were running late, but I suppose when you’re trolling as hard as they are it must take time to crawl out of your ditch of hate. I almost missed them because they were so Anonymous. What surprised me most was how normal they looked: they were just your average privileged Joe Plumber-Worthington II. They even seemed a bit nervous, but that might be because they weren’t used to interacting face to face.

Greg Hill: “normal”

The first thing I wanted to know was how they made each comment so biting. What’s the secret to the sharpness?

Patrick awkwardly fidgeted with his bones before answering: “Well you have to pick what privilege you want to use.” I was curious and asked for more information. Turns out you can pick between being:




Patrick told me white could also mean bones, because he likes bones. Greg Hill asked why the gym wasn’t an option. The Sensitive Scholar commented that his favourite privilege was male privilege.

This was the perfect chance to ask them about the lack of representation of women in the comments section of the Tab.

The Sensitive Scholar mansplained it all for me: women don’t exist. They are a lie perpetuated by CUSU women’s movement. Then he sensitively told me to ‘fuck off.’

Where’s the irony here?

When critics analyse their comments, a common contention is that they are being ironic – I asked if this was the case.

Greg told me iron is an important mineral used to build Homerton gym. Patrick Bones swiftly elboned into the conversation, and asked if they could order drinks. 

Too meta, probably the work of a TCS editor. 2/10

That was all the questions we had time for. But I asked each to select their favourite comment for us to analyse today. There are a lot of poorly written comments out there on the Tab but those are by directors commenting on reviews of their own plays, or written by the ex editor of TCS. These boys really are going to make a name for themselves someday – and not just the fake ones to comment under.

What we love about this piece is the jarring rhyme of ‘bother’ and ‘UKIP’, so rumbustiously done. The capitalisation of the ‘V’ in ‘Vote’ demonstrates a rare ability to use punctuation, and a clear Oedipus complex. ‘Fuck’ is a clever literary allusion to the word ‘fuck’, famous from its use in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Our only criticism is that there is a tad too much sensitive liberal mush, but it is one of his earlier, more derivative pieces.

A worthy attempt but it needs more muscle. Luckily, we have Greg Hill:

Strong iambic pentameter with a moderate grasp of spelling. Greg noted he was inspired to compose this piece after spending his gap yah building gyms in Africa to combat obesity.

When writing a Tab comment, it’s always tempting to cover up your clichés with more clichés, but these chaps really are masters at work.

Catch them before their famous below at 11pm. Tickets cannot be purchased.