I don’t know why I looked at the “Comments” after I read Joel Achenbach’s Washington Post story on the disastrous consequences of an earthquake striking one of the world’s great urban areas. It was just a feeling I had. I’ve read enough “Comments” in other places to know that people can take great offense when you least expect it.

There was a time in my newspaper career when I joked that all you had to write was “Good morning” and somebody would get mad. Toward the end of that 32-year career, I stopped joking about it.

So I wondered if someone would take great offense at an earthquake science story.

Well, you silly goose, of course someone took offense.

He called himself “biffgrifftheoneandonly” and he wrote: “No … really? Duh. This is news? Must be a slow day at WAPO … why do I even bother to read this tripe anymore.”

Tripe? I thought. Earthquake tripe?

Then, as luck would have it, a few days later I happened upon the New English Review. Theodore Dalrymple had written an essay: “Thank You For Not Expressing Yourself,” an examination of the “Comments” phenomenon.

He wrote: “No subject is too recondite to provoke the insensate rage of those who disagree with the view the author has taken of it. Indeed, it sometimes seems as if fury leading to ill-mannered personal abuse and foul language is the predominant mode of disagreement in our society, at least among those who append their comments to an article that appears on the Internet.”

When my computer guru set up this blog, he said: “Let’s not do Comments.”

I said, “OK.”

Oh, not long after Achenbach’s “tripe” appeared, that 8.8 earthquake hit Chile.

No comment.