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July 20, 2007

Flamer Bingo
Posted by Teresa at 03:01 PM * 377 comments

I’m collecting those indomitably stupid lines and memes that recur whenever there’s interpersonal friction on the net. For instance:

All you people/folks/guys—

I love how everyone feels the need to put words into my mouth.

It’s like you all have something to prove.

I’ve been in contact with my lawyer.

Get a life.

Give me some more.
Comments on Flamer Bingo:
#1 ::: Jacob Davies ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:19 PM:

"Someone has too much time on their hands."

"I'm out of here."

"I got supportive email, but I won't violate their privacy by posting it."

#2 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:23 PM:

"Grow up."

"You [category, plural] will stop at nothing to attack [my beloved sacred cow]."

#3 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:24 PM:

"Grow up."

"I enjoy a lively discussion with people with different views."

#4 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:25 PM:

"I came here expecting a civil and thoughtful exchange . . ."

#5 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:26 PM:

Oh noes! Xposts!

#6 ::: Dorinda ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:28 PM:

What about the sentence-prefix "um"? It is often appended to indomitably stupid lines and memes, for emphasis and amplification.

"Um, I love how everyone feels the need to put words in my mouth."

"Um, looks like someone has too much time on their hands."

"Um, looks like I struck a nerve."

#7 ::: Tilly ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:30 PM:

It's all just sour grapes.


#8 ::: Tilly ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:30 PM:

"It's all just sour grapes."


#9 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:31 PM:

Dorinda 6: True, but also "Um, I didn't mean that the way it sounded. Sorry." I think 'um' is a yellow-flag marker, not a red one.

#10 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:31 PM:

Doroinda @ 6

Um, not always. (On the net, no one can hear you mumble. So you have to write it in.)

#11 ::: Mris ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:31 PM:

"This is just the sort of thing I've come to expect from [category of person]."

"If you [category of person] really cared about [issue]...."

#12 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:32 PM:

abi 5: Is that an xpostulation?

#13 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:35 PM:

"Just sayin'"

#14 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:35 PM:

ur jus jelus!!!11!one!

Specific to book reviews: "How dare you criticize that wonderful book! Have YOU ever written a book?"

(Daresay the second one is less likely to crop up around here, but you never know.)

#15 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:36 PM:

Xopher @12

"Xposed!" she xclaimed. "It's xactly as you say!"

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:36 PM:

I have real work to do.

#17 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:39 PM:

Why are you all so defensive?

Looks like you people are overly invested in [topic].

I'm just trying to understand what people here think.

Why do you censor comments?

Oh I see, dissent isn't welcome here.

I know I'm just going to get labeled a troll, but [insert trolling here].

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:40 PM:

How dare you trash something you know nothing about!

#19 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:40 PM:

"I don't understand what I've done to earn this hostility."

#20 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:45 PM:

I'm just saying what everyone really thinks. (Alternately, "There, I said it.")

Anything including the phrase "PC Police" or "I don't believe in being PC." (Also, "I'm not racist/sexist, but [insert racist/sexist statement here]")

Jeez, calm down.

#21 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:45 PM:

"It's free speech, and I can say anything I want."

(unspoken corollary 1: You are not free to critisize my ideas)
(unspoken corollary 2: This website is somehow run by the United States Congress)

#22 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:46 PM:

You [disgust|threaten|worry|annoy] me, I'm leaving.

#23 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:46 PM:

"If you get upset, that shows there's truth in the charge."

"It's just electrons. Don't take it seriously."

#24 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:48 PM:

"Clearly you aren't interested in facts around here."

#25 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:50 PM:

"This is the internet, not real life!" (Therefore I can be nasty in ways I allegegly wouldn't in person or on the phone, because in writing on the net is somehow exempt from normal rules of courtesy and politeness. Personally I want to kill fucktards who use this one.)

#26 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:55 PM:

"I challenge you to show me where I said [X]."
"You're quoting me out of context."
"That's an ad hominem attack."
"I don't understand what you all are so upset about."
"You seem to be taking this rather personally."

#27 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:56 PM:

"I've put on my flame proof underpants..."

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 03:58 PM:

I have been repeatedly attacked with senseless ad hominem arguments.

#29 ::: PixelFish ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:00 PM:

No offense meant.

(Specially when offense really was meant.)

...

Or as Terry Pratchett puts it, "...William wondered why he had always disliked people who said "no offense meant." Maybe it was because they found it easier to say "no offense meant" than actually to refrain from giving offense."

#30 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:02 PM:

I was only making a joke!

You're too sensitive.

You never miss an opportunity to...

Why don't you just shut up.

You can't take a joke.

Get a clue.

[Parthian commentators, who announce they're leaving or not going to read comments by specific people anymore, but nonetheless do a bashing session as their departure note/stop reading note.]

Don't bother replying to this [abusive commentary], I'm not going to read anything more you write.

We heard you the first time.

[sarcastic remark I can't think of the exact words of at the moment, it's a very common one, regarding the person's opinion wasn't coming across (when it was quite clear) something about]

Nobody wants to hear what you have to say

We've heard this before

Another obnoxious post from [person]

You don't know what you're talking about

I heard that twenty years ago from smarter people than you

So-an-so says [call to Authority]

We're supposed to be adults in here

That's off-topic

#31 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:05 PM:

"The lurkers support me in email" (very similar to the line in post #1)

"No hostility/offence/X intended but.. "

#32 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:06 PM:

Not necessarily used for flaming, often just grumbling, but it drives me nuts every single time I see it:
"Am I the only one who...[fairly common opinion]" (often followed by "doesn't like" or "can't stand")

The urge to yell back "Yes, you are the only person on the whole internet who doesn't like Harry Potter/never watched Buffy/thought the Star Wars prequels sucked/hates spam" gets stronger and stronger.

#33 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:11 PM:

[when in a discussion about something that makes their side look bad]

You're just a bunch of hypocrites for going on and on about that with no regard to [some topic dubiously related to the ongoing conversation that they'd rather change the subject to]

#34 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:11 PM:

Well, in my experience...

Where I come from...

Why don't you people...

All the lurkers agree with me.

#35 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:12 PM:

LOL Fckng sshls! LOL

#36 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:12 PM:

I call 'em as I see 'em, and I'm not going to apologize for that.

#37 ::: Mark Wise ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:15 PM:

"X doesn't mean what you think. We need to define our terms carefully."

#38 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:18 PM:

You're in denial about [my pet worry].

Here is the psychological explanation for why you fail to agree with me on [my pet issue].

Everyone knows [my pet idea] is true, but they don't dare say so.

You just don't understand the importance/urgency of [my pet issue]. (Often followed by howls of "WHY DON'T YOU GUYS SEE THAT THIS PET ISSUE OF MINE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE ON EARTH!!!!!")

[My pet issue] is important because of [this bizarre attrocity story]. (Implying that if you don't go along, you agree with the attrocity story.)

You're just arguing that way because [my pet issue] doesn't affect you.

You're just arguing that way because you hate [the group that I claim to benefit from my pet issue].

Opposing [my pet issue] is really supporting [some universally hated bugbear--Hitler, Osama, the Klan, etc.].

And many more. Note that some of these appear in real conversations, good arguments, etc., but they hardly ever stand alone in good comments, IMO.

#39 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:19 PM:

[Along the lines suggested by Matt @ 21]

Hlp, hlp, 'm bng rprssd!

#40 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:21 PM:

I haven't seen this one as much in the last five years, but for the record:

I'm going to post in every related group what a jerk/bitch/asshole/bastard you are, and everyone will know about the horrible things you have said to me.*


*yeah, because that always makes me look bad. ::snort::

#41 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:23 PM:

Dang, someone took the lurkers away!

Okay, how about
"I'll report you to your boss!"

#42 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:23 PM:

[In a discussion about a certain class of people being victimized] Yeah, well, [story about that class of people victimizing someone else, meaning "well, they deserve it"].

There was a huge and painful misunderstanding here based on a comment that structurally resembled the above pernicious meme.

#43 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:24 PM:

"I'll only agree that (your point) is (valid) when you agree that (this completely unrelated arguing point) is also (true, real, should be brought into the argument)"

and the ever popular, "Clinton (did it too)/(was worse)."

#44 ::: Norman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:24 PM:

"I am a Republican."

#45 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:25 PM:

#33 is very common.

"I'm getting my clock cleaned arguing for why invading Iraq was a good idea, but what I want to know is, why you guys don't have anything bad to say about the terrorists who killed all those women and children in the Baghdad market last week?"

#46 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:26 PM:

Anything offensive followed by a smiley. Especially on forums that allow emoticon pictures, in which case you may get entire sets of winking, grinning, smirking, tongues-sticking-out round faces trying to pretend that whatever was just said was all in good fun.

#47 ::: Dmitriy Kropivnitskiy ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:28 PM:

* [name] dons his/her flame retardant diapers
* I, for one, welcome our new X overlords
* In soviet russia [noun] [verb] [noun]
* I am not trying to start a flame war, but...
* How old are you? 14?

#48 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Teresa, have you mined the fossilized argument?

#49 ::: Manon ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:29 PM:

Flame away!

Your opinion doesn't matter to me at all.

Actually, I find this whole thing funny. By all means, continue to amuse me.

Wow, did I hit a nerve?

#50 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:30 PM:

A common astroturfish pattern is more like

"I am a lifelong Democrat, but I've had to start voting Republican over [[my pet issue]]."

(Though Democratic astroturf would reverse this. The point is just to make the fake testamonial more sympathetic or believeable.)

I've noticed this on CSPAN call-ins enough for them to feel like a pattern.

#51 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:32 PM:

I tell it like it is.

Hey, I have the right to say whatever I want!

I can't believe how mean you people are. I was just expressing an *opinion*. Doesn't everyone have opinions?

You people are so rude, just because I'm new here.

#52 ::: Zack Weinberg ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:33 PM:

(Just)? (face|admit|accept) it, .

I find this one irritating even in the rare event that I agree with the assertion. My inner five-year-old goes IS NOT.

#53 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:35 PM:

"I'll grant you that my premises X, Y, and Z are wrong in the particulars, but my larger point still stands."

"As a [member of political or ideological group], I believe [groundless supposition]."

"Blah blah blah blah 'political correctness'; blah, blah blah politically incorrect blah blah."

#54 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:36 PM:

"I was only poking fun."

"Don't worry, the grownups will take care of it."

#55 ::: Stef ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:36 PM:

"I expected a group of [insert type of group here] folks to be [enlightened|loving|accepting|welcoming|more evolved]. But you people are a bunch of [unenlightened|hateful|rejecting|cliquish|troglodyte] [insert plural noun for male or female animal or genitalia here]."

#56 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:38 PM:

"You're just like the girls in high school."

#57 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:38 PM:

The deprecating "just" in defense of the indefensible is a key marker:

"I was just suggesting that..."
"I just said..."
"It's just that..."

Synonyms include "all" and "only":

"All I said was..."
"I was only trying to..."

#58 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:40 PM:

Steve @ #26:

"I don't understand what you all are so upset about."
"You seem to be taking this rather personally."

Bonus points if the person making that statement has made deliberately upsetting or personal arguments.

#59 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:41 PM:

Oh, yeah? I challenge you to prove me wrong.

[Not that I've made any serious attempt to prove *me* right; I'm just going to assert myself right by default, and put the burden on you to argue otherwise.]

#60 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:45 PM:

You [freaks] explain to me why you're so [freakish]

I.e along the lines of: You sci-fi fans explain to me why you're so overinvested in worthless stuff and then the big defense is "I'm just trying to understand, jeez chill it's just the internet" when people get upset.

#61 ::: Bob Berlien ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:46 PM:

An old one, now disappearing, thank goodness: "I don't know why they let you amateurs have computers. If you can't (program in at least three languages/build your own microchips from sand) that's your own fault. You shouldn't bother the experts with stupid questions."

Conversely, here are two that haven't often been used, but have actually stopped traffic:

The late Ed Sunden's immortal "Oh yeah? Well, your ass and my face, man! Your ass and my face!"

And the classic, "Do you walk to school, or carry your lunch?"

#62 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:52 PM:

Feminazi

He doesn't have any balls

You always make this a gender issue

Shut up, bitch

You're acting like one of my children

I taught my kids to behave

You're off the topic / keep to the point

That's not relevant

#63 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:55 PM:

'9/11' plus anything

It brings out the conspiracy theorists every time.

#64 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:56 PM:

On any topic that involves data or statistics:

"How can you say the data supports you, when I have a personal anecdote of the exact opposite thing happening?!?"

i.e.
"Why do you say that a safety recommendation is safe, when I have a personal anecdote of someone dying, so how can it be safe?"
or
"I've done the unsafe thing all my life and I'm still alive, so there!"

#65 ::: Adam Rice ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:57 PM:

"So much for liberals being open-minded."

"Sorry I couldn't look up every little detail [regarding facts that would have undermined my last vituperation]. Some of us have this thing called a life."

#66 ::: Jen B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 04:59 PM:

My spouse/parent/co-worker/guy I met on the subway is an expert in [area being discussed] therefor my opinion should be given more weight.

#67 ::: Dan MacQueen ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:02 PM:

Condescending constructions of the form "Hint: Bacon is made from pigs" or "Clue: Hawaii and Norway are not near each other."

On a website I'm involved with, we ran into a user who, when caught in an apparent lie, replied that as a "strong believer in [religion]", he could not possibly be lying. That one may be unique.

#68 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:03 PM:

Someone not just threatening to complain to your boss, but actually doing so, a la scam literary agent Barbara Bauer.

#69 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:07 PM:

As far as I'm concerned, not a single one of your points has been proven. (Said after one's opponents have exhaustively documented and logically analyzed every argument to date.)

#70 ::: r@d@r ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:08 PM:

#42 ::: Xopher :::

which bears a striking resemblance to the ever-popular:

what [group of which i am not a part] need to do to [choose 1: improve their credibility... win an election... get my sympathy... deserve public services for which they already pay taxes... purge their ranks of extremists... behave/appear in a manner more resembling myself... i could go on] is...

my own favorite flamism for which i take full responsibility in using to lower the level of discourse: "...and that's why i'm not a liberal, i'm a RADICAL!"

#71 ::: K ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:12 PM:

"They laughed at [Galileo|Einstein], too."

#72 ::: John S. Quarterman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:12 PM:

"Remember too that" (followed by a bald assertion without any accompanying documentation or supporting information)

"I happened to spot a chance pattern" (the same pattern the poster always reads into everything)

"By an absolute measure" (i.e., a measure that supports the poster's case)

#73 ::: Tim Walker ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:13 PM:

"Disagree with me all you want. But I'm still right - and the facts prove it."

"I'm finding it hard to believe that the [seemingly generally decent people] here would descend so quickly to [namecalling, cannibalism, animal felch fetishes, etc.]"

"Am I still entitled to my own opinion? Is that still allowed around here?" or "You have your opinion, I have mine" or "Our opinions differ so much, we may just have to agree to disagree." [I.e. the retreat to "freedom of opinion" when matters of fact are under discussion.]

"I predict that after you've calmed down and had a chance to think this over rationally, you'll see that I'm right." Or the simpler version: "Your emotions are blinding you to the truth here."

[Opponent makes important, subtle distinction.] "Oh, sure, if you're willing to dream up some elaborate example, I'm sure you can prove any point you want. But the simple truth is . . ."

"We're never going to get anywhere if you won't discuss this fairly|civilly|calmly." [Best when opponents have been signally fair|civil|calm and complainant hasn't.]

"Well, guess what? I don't have to answer to you." [Especially after poster has been "demanding" answers.]

"Some of us here are trying to have a civil discussion . . ."

#74 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:16 PM:

Tim Walker (73): the really short version: "arguing from emotion."

#75 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:17 PM:

"Most of you are probably just sock puppets trying to make me feel paranoid."

#76 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:20 PM:

Kathryn 64:

The other side of this is attempts to discredit by handwave almost any statistical, scientific, or experimental evidence that's unpleasant or inconvenient.

Common phrases (all sometimes valid):

"Yeah, but correlation is not causation." (No, but that nice straight line on the scatterplot still wants an explanation.)

"They're partisan/biased/etc." (Maybe so, but you need to establish why that means that information from them is worthless in general, or that this information is worthless.)

"That doesn't prove X" (often iteratively applied, when someone *really* doesn't want to believe X, until they've backed into some kind of impossible demand for evidence--I won't believe in evolution till I see the damned bacteria evolve feet and walk out of my lab.).

"That study/survey/experiment/data is flawed/biased." (Maybe so, but that statement needs some justification, and just because the study sucked, doesn't mean there's no data to be had from it, or that it supports your POV.)

You'll sometimes see people toss whole fields off this way. By definition, nothing climate scientists have to say is valuable, because we all know they're all just trying to sell global warming. Similarly, psychometrics, economics, genetics, evolutionary biology, all can be written off because the fields (or prominent subfields) are producing theories and evidence that fits better with one political viewpoint than with another.

Again, it's 100% legit to call evidence or scientific arguments into question. But there's a way of doing it that amounts to "I don't want to believe this, fingers in ears, la la la," which features prominently in many deadlocked conversations.

#77 ::: Leva ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:20 PM:

"I already told the moderator about you. They're going to ban you now."

(Particularly amusing if it's on my own site and the troll doesn't realize they just told the site owner she's going to get banned.)

And any attack on that insults a person's username, ever.

#78 ::: wychwood ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:20 PM:

"Why are you wasting time talking about [X] when there are [children starving in Africa | women being sold into slavery | rising sea-levels in the Maldives | insert other genuine, tangetially connected, but largely irrelevant crisis here]?"

#79 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:21 PM:

"I suppose that would be true if it weren't for the fact that you are wrong."

#80 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:24 PM:

"You don't have to be so rude about this."

""I see the whiners are out in force"

#81 ::: Tim Walker ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:24 PM:

#67 ::: Dan MacQueen :::

That one seems to come from the same family of non-argument as: "I'm a church-going Christian, and therefore [I'm morally upright]" or even "I'm a law-abiding taxpayer, and therefore [my thoughts on policy carry as much weight as any expert's]."

~

More:

"Well, now that everybody's ganging up on me . . ." [Especially effective when the schmo is a minority of one for good reason.]

Level-headed opponent says something like "You haven't answered any of So-and-so's objections, and you seem to be ignorant of the basics of copyright law|freelancing|animal husbandry." Flamer says, "Well, if we're just going to get into name-calling . . ."

#82 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:24 PM:

Tim 73: "I'm finding it hard to believe that the [seemingly generally decent people] here would descend so quickly to [namecalling, cannibalism, animal felch fetishes, etc.]"

Animal felch fetishes? Animal felch fetishes? Animal...FELCH fetishes?

I'd have to say that I'm almost irresistably inclined to doubt that you've ever heard that specific argument used! OTOH, I LMAOed when I read that; best laugh all day.

#83 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:25 PM:

All of you are [group]. I'm a [some other group]...

...and I can see that you've never studied what [some other group] is.

...and that's why you don't even know you're insulting everyone in [some other group]

...and that's why you don't understand [orthogonal topic].

#84 ::: Zack Weinberg ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:27 PM:

#61: Are you sure that's not "My ass and your face"? Seems like it would be a more effective insult that way.

#85 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:27 PM:

"Well, I am a [insert profession], and I have a [insert degree, certificate or other credentials], so ..... My argument/actions or whatever are sancrsact and right and you are ahem -nobody-".

#86 ::: Tim Walker ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:27 PM:

"You picked the wrong person to start a fight with. You will regret this."

#87 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:28 PM:

"When did you stop beating your wife?" (implication: your question is unreasonable and I don't need to answer it)

#88 ::: nike ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:30 PM:

You really need to work on your reading comprehension.

Long screed ended by the sentence:
But I know you're just going to delete this comment/ban me because you can't tolerate dissent.

Re: #64 - It doesn't even have to be anything involving statistics.

Dogs have four legs.
But, I saw a three legged dog in the park yesterday.

Humans have one head.
What about siamese twins?

#89 ::: Tim Walker ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:31 PM:

Xopher (82): You're welcome. Sometime inspiration just strikes you, y'know? ;)

#90 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:32 PM:

All you've proven is that you're not [smart enough/rational enough/a good enough writer] for me to waste my time responding to.

This is what I get for challenging the groupthink around here.

That everyone here is talking about x just proves once again that none of you care about y, despite the fact that [latest blogscuffle about y]

Nargle nargle nargle nargle nargle A-list blogger nargle nargle.

#91 ::: Individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:33 PM:

This is not an example, it's a link to a related discussion. No, really. Please don't get meta-meta on me.

But Suzette Haden-Elgin hosted a really fascinating discussion on just this topic a while back. She's coming to the topic as a linguist, but also someone trying to apply her considerable expertise in conflict resolution to an online situation. It starts with attack patterns in written language, and you can follow most of the discussion by reading the next few consecutive posts.

#92 ::: Sternel ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:33 PM:

83 posts and not one reference to Godwin yet? Wow. Slacking. ;)

And for the true flavor, all of the above should be badly spelled/capitalized, of course.

#93 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Damn, I forgot the trifecta: Shave your palms, move out of your mother's basement and get a life.

#94 ::: Dante ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:35 PM:

"I bet you were [fat/ugly/unpopular] in high school!"

#95 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:37 PM:

God, you all are a bunch of sheep/lemmings/silent Germans in the 30's/brainless followers.

#96 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:38 PM:

I just chatted with [long-gone and fondly missed former member of the forum] and he/she agrees with me.

#97 ::: Tim Walker ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:42 PM:

By extension from #96: "You know, Gandhi said [quote that could be construed to support my point], but it was Joseph Goebbels who said [something I'm going to assert applies to your argument or style of argument]."

#98 ::: Stephen Granade ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:45 PM:

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but...

This is just my opinion/I'm sorry, but...

What you people don't understand is that your position is completely flawed.

You're just saying that because you're female, and everyone knows how well females handle logic.

There are far more important things to worry about than that! (The "Think of the starving children in Africa!" move.)

You don't really feel that way.

#99 ::: Michael Phillips ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 05:48 PM:

Well, I didn't expect to find [favorite opposition group/spreader of injustice] here.

Most recently Strikethrough 07 (which I suspect will become a new Godwin for certain communities over on livejournal.)

#100 ::: CosmicDog ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:01 PM:

"[X] is a straw man, the only important issue is [Y]"

#101 ::: michelel72 ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:05 PM:

In response to almost literally identical parallel scenario: "Red herring."

"But it's not my definition. It's the definition."

"The fact that it's right makes it right."

After an analogy with an offensive subtext: "No subtext was implied." Then: "I also don't pick analogies for subtext, by the way." Oh, that makes it all better!

"Now, tell me: what kind of person is so terrified of dissenting viewpoints that they will silence them at any opportunity? Answer: the fascist liberal."

After starting the name-calling with the previous statement: "This is how your type always work: you lack the ability to sustain any logical debate on the topic, so you attempt to quash any dissent through intimidation, name-calling ('bigot', 'Nazi', etc), and any other forceful means you deem necessary." NB: The closest anyone came to the term 'Nazi' was the troll himself in calling me a fascist liberal.

"Your type like to throw around these pejorative labels for anybody who doesn't agree with you."

"I can guarantee you if a [social cause political action] group [that I wrongly assume your position about] were to swing some similar backroom deal [when no such 'backroom deal' occurred] you'd be screaming from a mountain top."

After being thoroughly refuted: "Generally, one is required to refute a point before claiming it is incorrect. You have yet to do so - as you cannot - so it still stands."

After being warned and then banned/screened: "One wonders at the mentality of a person who takes every precaution possible to silence dissenting opinion - but that was the point of this whole discussion anyway, wasn't it?"

After dozens of statements illustrating the reverse: "I don't think I should have to point out that I'm not homophobic, nor am I a bigot."

"At the time I wrote the first (anonymous) reply I simply thought not telling you "hey it's [identity/relationship]" would stir a more lively debate."

Excuses for trolling: "Sometimes it's boring being smart and you have to find a way to exercise it."; "Nobody debates anything anymore. How does anybody know when they're right?"

Every single one of these was offered by a troll who found my personal journal and decided to pick a fight (claiming the eye-rollers in comments #3 and #4 here) -- first anonymously (in a response to a friend's comment), then through a faked account, then through a sockpuppet after the anonymous access and fake account were blocked, and finally through direct email.

#102 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:10 PM:

I'm not rude, just honest.

#103 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:10 PM:

Michelel72: So many of them claim they're into debate. Drives me crazy.

#104 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:14 PM:

I'm not a [person qualified to make assertions about X], but [grotesque assertion that no one with even a passing familiarity with X would make].

#105 ::: Dave Klecha ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:15 PM:

Fark has one that crops up in comment threads all the time (though, now, just in mocking reference) that starts:

"I'm a (member of group/employee of company/etc.) and I'm really getting a kick out of these replies."

#106 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:16 PM:

I think this one's been posted about here before:

The reality is [my opinion].

After I say that, you see, you're supposed to agree that any other opinion is just sentimental nonsense.

#107 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:16 PM:

I'm sorry you can't handle the truth.

Well, out here in the reality based world blah blah blah.

Why are you a public group if you won't welcome new ideas and new people? Are you scared of original thinking?

I'm sorry you find me intimidating.

#108 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:19 PM:

"You're holding me to a higher standard than anyone else around here is."

References to the clique (usually spelled click), cabal, in-group or, my favorite, "you fascists who run this place".

#109 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:21 PM:

Wow.

Just.

Wow.

I call this "Shatcasm" after the actor whose style it seems to approximate.

#110 ::: Naomi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:24 PM:

"You don't know me."

#111 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:24 PM:

My all-time favourite piece of invective, in the midst of a usenet flame war on alt.peeves in, IIRC, 1992, began with the following vivid image:

"Now let us peel back the foreskin of misconception and apply the wire brush of enlightenment ..."

#112 ::: Cryptic Ned ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:24 PM:

I like the "leading questions" style of argument, especially when it's written in such a patronizing way that the respondent will never respond to the first question that's supposed to be leading up to the Gotcha questions.

"I'm honestly puzzled about why you feel this way, Bob, because I've frankly never heard that opinion here. Would you support, for example, [ludicrously uncontroversial proposition]? How about [statement of Bob's position in such a way that the speaker clearly does not understand why Bob holds this position]? Finally, now that you've seen those two, would you agree with [insane ramblings]? I'd be curious to know why you think Proposition C doesn't follow from Propositions A and B. Feel free to email me privately if you're embarrassed."

#113 ::: Cryptic Ned ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:33 PM:

Here is a brilliant example of the form "Person who has never seen the group before swoops in, makes a false assumption based on one data point which she should easily have seen was contradicted by hundreds of other data points, criticizes the post line-by-line using absolutely no arguments that do not depend on her initial false assumption, and then swoops out again, leaving the regulars nonplussed". The surprising part is that so much effort was put into it.

#114 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:34 PM:

"Wikipedia says..."

"Well, that's exactly what I would expect to hear from [vilified group]."

#115 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:34 PM:

"My emotional investment in this issue is extremely large; therefore my arguments are irrefutable."

#116 ::: Individ-ewe-al ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:35 PM:

I'm sure I'm going to get lynched for saying this, but...

If it's so important for [minority group] to have the freedom to live their weird and perverted lifestyle, why don't I have the freedom to live my normal, regular life and think badly of the weirdoes if I want to?

You call everyone who disagrees with you a bigot! That's how you silence anybody you don't like!

How come prejudice against normal heterosexual white men is still acceptable, when you can't say a word about any minorities without the PC brigade jumping on you?

What do you hope to gain by acting like the thought police?

#117 ::: Cryptic Ned ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:35 PM:

"I can see I'm not welcome here. This place is just an echo chamber."

#118 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:40 PM:

Well, that's how your side argues!

What? I thought all you _________ believed _______.

Let me put this into nice, short words for you.

Butbutbut... think of the CHEEELdren!

The first little pig called. He wants his straw back. (Sorry, just made that one up.)

#119 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:42 PM:

I solemnly certify that #114 wasn't showing when I wrote #118.

#120 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:47 PM:

"I don't know how you (people) do things around here, but where I'm from..."

"Seems to me all you care about is winning. All right, you win, I leave. All that I wanted was some kink of constructive discussion."

"Hey, it's only the internet"

This thread is fastly turning into a new circle of hell. I really feel sheltered from (by ? -_^)life that I hardly ever saw many of the lines cited here.

#121 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:47 PM:

My favourites from one particular flame war (paraphrased for generality)

"Just because [insulting description of opponent] doesn't understand [previously advanced argument] doesn't mean it isn't valid."

(From somebody who isn't a forum administrator:) "Say that again and you will be banned."

"Your logic is hopelessly flawed" (with no explanation of why)

"You're a one-note samba propagandist" (yes, that's actually a phrase that has been used to describe me...)

#122 ::: DBratman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:48 PM:

"It's only a movie."

"Prove it from an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal."

#123 ::: Cryptic Ned ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:50 PM:

"I was trying to take the high road, but now that YOU'VE made this personal, I'm allowed to argue using nothing but ad hominem attacks."

#124 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:51 PM:

"If I had known you were so oversensitive about that . . ."

"Well, if somehow, somebody found that offensive, I'm sorry."

#125 ::: Cryptic Ned ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 06:52 PM:

All that I wanted was some kink of constructive discussion.

If your kink is constructive discussion, a lot of sites will be pretty erotically frustrating.

#126 ::: Dave Klecha ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:01 PM:

Cryptic Ned @ #125

Starting with Fark

#127 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:02 PM:

"Cite, please."

(Not as a genuine request for background reason, but repeated two or three times interleaved in quoted text, as an attempt to put the other guy in a tail-chasing spin of citation-searching. If citations are actually produced to back up the argument, the demander-of-citations will then change the topic or focus on some other less-examined aspect. In other words, it's a diversionary strategy rather than a serious request.)

#128 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:03 PM:

@Cryptic Ned (#125): I proofread, spot the typo, and leave it. Pure logic at work.

It was worth it, though.

(Again, pure, uncut, logic at work.)

Also: I feel so impotent right now.

#129 ::: Zander ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:07 PM:

So (just to pick an example at random) what is one supposed to say when one is subjected to senseless ad hominem attacks (which is an invalid debating technique even when the attacker is right and the attackee is wrong)?

Seriously. If all these lines (predominantly responses to conflicting argument of one sort or another) are decreed to be stupid and pernicious memes regardless of the validity of the conflicting argument, no-one is going to be able to say anything to anybody. The stupidity and perniciosity of them is dependent on the context, as indicated here by the frequent addenda in brackets, all of which boil down to (when the other person is right).

I would contend that it's at least theoretically possible that some if not most of these lines could be validly employed by someone who was in fact in the right, or at least not provably in the wrong. In any case, I get a little antsy about the exclusion from discourse (even by implication) of any linguistic construct in the abstract.

#130 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:17 PM:

[the editorial we ]

We should...

We all know...

[etc].

[One person acting as though that person's opinion is the majority, and authoritative, view]

#131 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:22 PM:

Zander......that was pretty meta, right there.

(The answer is that yes, of course some of these could be employed in good faith, and have actually been employed in arguments on this very board, even ones in which no one got banned or disemvowelled. It's all about context.)

#132 ::: Tim Walker ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:27 PM:

Zander (#129): The point here is that these are things that flamers write, not to exclude all of the statements from discourse per se. Some of these objections are reasonable to make when they're actually true; e.g. "You're answering my evidence and arguments with nothing but ad hominem attacks." (I've certainly said that myself, when I thought it was true.) But plenty of the statements cited here *should* be excluded from civil discourse.

~

Pursuant to #115: "This is a very emotional issue for me, therefore I get to rant, while everyone else has to tiptoe around my grief."

#133 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:39 PM:

Let's see if I can remember the one I found the most stinging... hmmm...

"Does it bother you that you have no idea what you're blathering about?"

Or something close to that.

#134 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:46 PM:

I hang out on a couple of evolution/creation mailing lists and those _all_ get some serious workouts. My favorite, though, would have to be the dogpiled disappearance:

[Posts rambling screed full of half-truths, non-sequiturs and pure mis-information]

[Gets a dozen responses picking apart the misinformation point-by-point]

"Those were some very interesting replies, but unfortunately, I have a life/job/hobby/ingrown toenail, so it'll be a while before I can respond to all of you."

[vanishes without responding to _anything_ and/or posts another rambling mis-informed screed as if nothing had happened]

#135 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 07:54 PM:

Since both sides are attacking me, I must be doing something right.

#136 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:10 PM:

After acrimonious exchange, instigator says, "You believed me? I just wanted to see what would happen if I said/advocated horrible thing/deliberate lie".

Alternately, anybody who "plays devil's advocate."

#137 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:14 PM:

"If you look at the strict dictionary definition of the words I used, ignoring the common connotations that are familiar to any native speaker, I didn't say anything insulting."

See, for example, Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss in Scientific American recently.

#138 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:20 PM:

One I am seeing muchly this past week:

"You people are all vicious sharks! There's no point talking to you."

#139 ::: PZ Myers ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:22 PM:

Just within the last two days, I've received:

"You have transcended the barrier separating protected commentary from libel. I urge you to retract. "

And my favorite, an email with no words, just a picture of myself, and my address posted in the subject line.

#140 ::: Joe McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:23 PM:

"I'll sue."
"I know a hacker, you'll be sorry." (Usually followed up by attempts to subscribe a mailing list to several other mailing lists.)

Both less common anymore.

#141 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:34 PM:

Fck them if they can't take a joke.

You just can't think straight.

The president is doing god's work, and you secular humanists can't understand that.

You want the terrorists to win.


#142 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:35 PM:

Eric@134: Ah, the anti-scientific flamer! I notice a key part of their toolkit is something like this:

"Some expert once said something that was wrong, so therefore we cam safely dismiss all subsequent inconvenient expert claims!"

So they carry around in their knapsack things like "Piltdown man, 1912!", "Newsweek 'global cooling' hype, 1970!",and the like. Doesn't matter how long ago it was, or how many experts actually endorsed it, it's there ready to pull out when you need to dismiss a dangerously high concentration of expert arguments from people who know what they're talking about.

#143 ::: JonathanMoeller ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:41 PM:

n00bs

real haxx0rs use gentoo linux

u suxx0rs r all m$crosheep

i will pwn ur windoze box, steal all ur pr0n

#144 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:47 PM:

I believe in speaking honestly, no holds barred.

I don't believe in giving in to the political correctness nazis.

I have no opinion about this issue. I just think [opinion].

I am the kind of person who...

#145 ::: JonathanMoeller ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:54 PM:

Ooh! Ooh! I got another:

You just don't understand my uniquely special experience of total specialness, so STFU.

#146 ::: JamesK ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 08:57 PM:

"Say what you will, but the lurkers can read the archives and draw their own conclusions." They can and they do, but not the conclusions you think they do.

"I think the record of this discussion speaks for itself." It does, but not in the way you think it does.

"Well, if you were a -real- (publisher/writer/coder/whatnot) you'd know that..." Bonus points if the target is a real (publisher/writer/coder/whatnot)

"You all have serious psychological issues to get this obsessed with me."

"You have your job mentioned in your sig! Does your boss/company know you're espousing your personal views as company policy?"

#147 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:03 PM:

"You accuse my group of intolerance towards group X in the United States. But what about intolerance of my group by China/Iran/Saudi Arabia?"

#148 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:10 PM:

God has a plan, even if you're not able to see it.

Why don't you just adopt?

Oh, you have cancer? You know, that's caused by [X]


#149 ::: Stef ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:21 PM:

[meta] All I can say is that this is going to make for one VERY LARGE BINGO BOARD when we're all through.

#150 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:36 PM:

Sternel @92: 83 posts and not one reference to Godwin yet? Wow. Slacking. ;)

[meta]By the way, I offer pro bono Godwin's Law adjudication services for flamewars where I am a spectator instead of a participant.

#151 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:38 PM:

Unless you have been (raped, molested by a priest, saved by the Blood of the Lamb, abducted by aliens) you cannot possibly comprehend what I am talking about.

#152 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:43 PM:

Can you substantiate that?

(My arguments must be taken for granted. Yours must be proven to my satisfaction. Good luck.)

#153 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:51 PM:

Far be it from me to interrupt your little games.

#154 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:54 PM:

I'm not going to stoop to your level.

#155 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 09:54 PM:

There's been a long succession of posts over at soc.genealogy.medieval on hether or not a particular woman was married and had a child at the age of 12 - this is in late 17th-century Virginia. The person who started it off and was insisting (loudly and at great length) that the woman was in fact a 12-year-old mother never produced any evidence that she was in fact married at that age or the mother of the child allegedly born when she was 12. There was a lot of handwaving and 'you aren't paying attention to my evidence' and 'this document' [quoted] 'proves my point' (it didn't even have any evidence to the point). Forty-some messages later, the person dropped out of the discussion, because, they said, they'd spent enough time on it.

#156 ::: Deire ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:00 PM:

"You have issues." (Unspoken, "Were you psychologically healthy, you would of course agree with me.")

Originally and unthinkingly posted to the LJ feed. :blush:

#157 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:08 PM:

"You really should go take the good pills now."

also expressed as

"Perhaps it's time to go back to the nice doctor and see if you're taking the right medication."

#158 ::: CosmicDog ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:12 PM:

"I got halfway through your [comment/post] and decided to do something more worthwhile instead."

"The truth hurts, doesn't it"

#159 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:13 PM:

'You are not talking to a child. I am probably older than you.' (going on to explain that daughter is an attorney, which has zero to do with the thread it's in)

'you need to admit that you made a mistake and apologize to me for all of the comments that you have made about [subject]'

'You are just a sore loser.'

#160 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:26 PM:

Care and Feeding of your pet issue

Is your pet issue being well fed? Is it housebroken? Does it shed? Do you take your pet issue out to be aired regularly? Have you had your pet issue fixed? Does your pet issue vote (only valid in Boston, New York, Chicago, Ohio, or Miami)? Is your pet issue dead? Does it stil vote (see above eligibility requirements for voting) Can your pet issue handle the truth? Is your pet issue allowed to edit wikipedia articles? Have you taken your pet issue to obiedience training? Did you adopt your pet issue or was it natural birth? Was anesthesia involved? Is your pet issue declawed? Does your pet issue chew on or scratch the furniture? Has your pet issue ever run away?

If you are in need of assistance with your pet issue, please contact us at neonazicommunisticfascistrepublicans@universityoftrollishstudies.edu

#161 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:26 PM:

Wait until the results are in before you argue about how to do it!

History will judge me.

So-called.

Fact: Our legal team are looking at the libellous quotes coming from this site.

I'm an insider there, and I can categorically tell you that almost everything you've said about the place is untrue.

Please get your facts straight before you make libellous remarks.

I don't have time for this tedious exchange.


#162 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:27 PM:

Care and Feeding of your pet issue

Is your pet issue being well fed? Is it housebroken? Does it shed? Do you take your pet issue out to be aired regularly? Have you had your pet issue fixed? Does your pet issue vote (only valid in Boston, New York, Chicago, Ohio, or Miami)? Is your pet issue dead? Does it stil vote (see above eligibility requirements for voting) Can your pet issue handle the truth? Is your pet issue allowed to edit Wikipedia articles? Have you taken your pet issue to obedience training? Did you adopt your pet issue or was it natural birth? Was anesthesia involved? Is your pet issue declawed? Does your pet issue chew on or scratch the furniture? Has your pet issue ever run away?

If you are in need of assistance with your pet issue, please contact us at neonazicommunisticfascistrepublicans@universityoftrollishstudies.edu

#163 ::: Matthew ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:28 PM:

I think its really funny when posters offer to fight someone over a flame war. Clearly, if you beat some one up in real life, they were wrong about [abortion/tax cuts/evolution/hot button topic].

Ok, so not really a meme, but I have seen it twice (ignoring all of Bullshido)...

#164 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:32 PM:

sorry about the double post

Did you microchip your pet issue?

Does your suit jacket have sleeves that go all the way around?

#165 ::: CosmicDog ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:37 PM:

"This thread has jumped the shark"
OR
"This [site/blog/forum] has jumped the shark with this [topic/article/story]"

#166 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 10:50 PM:

"It's not that I don't have an intelligent response to your arguments. I'm simply too bored with you to bother with posting them."

#167 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 11:06 PM:

Chad @137:

A related one I've seen is

"Oh, when I say [common term, used in dozens of messages in the thread] I don't mean [the common contextual meaning], I mean [something entirely idiosyncratic]."

To which I think the only reasonable response is to quote Humpty Dumpty.

#168 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 11:10 PM:

Following a long rant:
"But this debate has gone on long enough, so that's my last word on the subject."

"I'm outta here" followed by d10 variants of "One more thing before I go."

"IANAL, but [insert complete erroneous and usually self-serving legal interpretation here]."

"I'm not refusing to answer your question. You're just mad because I won't follow your script."

#169 ::: CosmicDog ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 11:28 PM:

"It's anonymous assholes like you that are ruining the internet"

#170 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 11:31 PM:

Here's a classic from Electrolite:

"For example, Tolkien fans will deny that THE LORD OF THE RINGS is built around Tolkien's fear of women and foreigners. But it is, it really is."

#171 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2007, 11:31 PM:

"I guess only your friends are allowed to talk around here", generalizing to any attempt to imply that the moderators censor some posters but not others.

#172 ::: BKA ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 12:15 AM:

"I truly hope you get the help you need."

#173 ::: PZ Myers ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 12:18 AM:

"Gee... I'm gone for a bit and you guys jump all over me. Do you have no other life but posting comments?"

"I have a BS in Physics and PZ has a degree in Biology. Let's debate as professionals"

"Ok.Imusually don't do yjid, buy you need a dressing down"
(That's from a fellow with an admitted drinking problem, whose comments noticeably decline in coherence the later in the evening he makes them.)

#174 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 01:00 AM:

"BZZZT! Wrong!"

#175 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 01:00 AM:

"This is a real hot-button issue for me."

Therefore, I am allowed to spew personal insults to my heart's content.

#176 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 01:21 AM:

Teresa #161: Fact: Our legal team are looking at the libelous quotes coming from this site.

[meta]I got a little sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read that (shudder). Back to the examples, though:

tl;dr -- that one really horks me off, as it's so dismissive and disrespectful.

#177 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 01:30 AM:

Seconding #98StephenGranade’s “This is just my opinion

Which translates as “Even I deny responsibility for my opinion(s)

Also the ever-popular “Who are you people to judge me?!!

#178 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 01:37 AM:

To counter the protest of tl;dr, may I put forth the example (after a several-thousand word rant, with no paragraph breaks) "I don't see you refuting any of my main points, so I must then be correct."

#179 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 02:54 AM:

I see - moral equivalence, again.

The difference is that our side tries to avoid killing civilians.

You do see, don't you, that by [challenging my claims about enemy atrocity] you're acting just like an [Ultimate Atrocity]-denier?

#180 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 03:15 AM:

Good morning, Ken.

#181 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 04:34 AM:

You're wrong, but the reason is too complicated to explain here.


(But not if the poster then gives a usable pointer to an explanation.)


Any assertion about "socialist medicine".

#182 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 04:39 AM:

By the way, Teresa, are you planning to train a neural net with this?

#183 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 04:52 AM:

Your book | blog | writing is too sympathetic to [cause or concept I don't like], therefore you are [other].

Only [people of my country] can understand freedom and democracy. Oh, and no one can argue about what [my country] does, because [it did something big] back in [war over 50 years ago]. You owe us.

No one can complain about what [my country] did to interfere with other governments, because if it did, it was to prevent a larger problem, and anyways, that was over 50 years ago. We have no need to apologize.

#184 ::: Doctor Slack ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 05:08 AM:

"People, I'm pretty sure [Poster X] is really [Unsavory Personage Y]."

"Since you apparently think [X] is acceptable, try arguing that [rape / child molestation / the Holocaust / Stalin's slaughter of the kulaks] is acceptable." (Extra points where X is something innocuous, like speed limits.)

"Sorry you're not intelligent enough to understand this simple concept." (Best when it follows a long, twisty free-association rant.)

Pious quotation of the variety: "Hate is not healthy" / "Be the change you wish to see in the world" / "First, free your mind of cant" ... following a long rant about how one's political opponents are all brain-damaged or evil, and how Islamofascism is poised to turn France into Eurabia.

#185 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 06:30 AM:

Bill Humphries @ 182: You remember ToddRom, right? heh.

(One of the denizens of the 1980's Austin, Texas BBS scene loaded up a bunch of messages posted by a particular person into, hmmm, it was either Racter or a similar custom program, not sure about that part, and posted a bunch of messages as a computer generated parody of the posting style of the target person. It either worked pretty well, or we were just easily amused back then.)

#186 ::: little light ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 06:55 AM:

Look, nobody's going to be interested in your [movement|cause|party|fandom] if you don't abandon [controversial issue integral to group's platform] and compromise with [idea I'm more comfortable with|ideal of your group's opposite number].

You people are just an echo chamber anyway, only interested in bler de bler de bler, blah blah censorship blah oppressing my blah de bloo freedom of ner n'ner n'ner, just like the [distasteful fascists du jour].

I bet you're not who you say. You're really a [man|Vogon|troll even though you're the regular and they're new|double agent|secret shill for the Man|transsexual] anyway.

OH GOD YOUR WHOLE SITE IS ABOUT MOCKING AND DESTROYING [ME|MY MOVEMENT]. ALL OF IT. ALL YOU'VE BEEN DOING IS ATTACKING ME. INNOCENT ME. UNDER ATTACK. ALWAYS. EVERYTHING YOU WRITE IS SECRETLY OUT TO GET ME. EVEN YOUR SCREEN NAME IS A HIDDEN ATTACK ON ME. WHY? WHY DO YOU KEEP HURTING MY FIST WITH YOUR FACE? THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

#187 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 07:01 AM:

[Meta] Earl @185, that happened circa 1993 or 1994 on alt.peeves, with a variation: Geoff Miller was noted for his particularly florid and amusing rants, so one of the denizens saved up a corpus and fed it to a dissociated press type gizmo he'd written. (The tool had some interesting extras, like the ability to incorporate quoted chunks of text, S*rdar Arg*c fashion.) The Automatic Geoff Miller became something of a regular, and on at least one occasion a troll got into a lengthy (and particularly pointless) argument with it and didn't seem to realize that he was arguing with a bot.

#188 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 07:14 AM:

"Not to put too fine a point on it, fuck you."

#189 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 07:26 AM:

Seen on slashdot recently:

"You seem to think that breaking the law is OK. This is what sociopaths think."

#190 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 07:33 AM:

"You don't understand -- I'm one of the nice guys!" (Frequently seen on feminist blogs.)

"Why don't you feminazis care about the male point of view?" (ditto.)

"If you still don't agree with me, it must be because you don't understand what I'm saying. Let me explain it again, with smaller words." (Iterate to infinity, or until target gives up and leaves the discussion. Success!)

Also: Some similar pattern identification has been going on at Jurisimprudence, and they now have a wiki.

#191 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:13 AM:

What color is the sky on your world?

BWAHAHAHA!
(or ROTFLMAO)
(Because no argument ever constructed can stand up to the devastating force of Phony Laughter!)

#192 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:18 AM:

Accepting your view of X would inevitably produce Horror Y.

#193 ::: sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:20 AM:

Sentence starters:

Everyone knows ...
How about you just ...
Since when ...

#194 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:38 AM:

little light @#186:

I think this is my favorite bit in this whole thread so far:

bler de bler de bler, blah blah censorship blah oppressing my blah de bloo freedom of ner n'ner n'ner,

#195 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:50 AM:

I'm sorry you feel threatened by [me/my ideas/my artistic gifts].

Try reading some real literature for a change.
Try looking at some real art for a change.
Try listening to some real music for a change.

Read a book sometime.

[directive], people!

[X] isn't art. [Y] is art. [posted on a board of X practitioners, where poster is a practitioner of Y.]

#196 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 09:52 AM:

Teresa (161):
Please get your facts straight before you make libelous remarks.
[meta] But if I get my facts straight, it is no longer libelous.
[/meta]

#197 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 10:14 AM:

"You have no real-world experience."

#198 ::: acb ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 10:28 AM:

"sky pixie"

#199 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 10:41 AM:

I'm disturbed by all the hate I see here.

#200 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 10:58 AM:

"Do you know anything about at all about [subject]? Because if you did..." (directed to someone whose posts have indicated that they have considerable expertise in [subject])

PZ Myers @139 - I always enjoy the ones getting libel and slander confused, while claiming to be a legal expert...

#201 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:02 AM:

That [previous cogent post] has nothing to do with the real issue [so let me go off on this pointless rant].

(The creeply thing is how often some of the trollisms seen here show up on the national news, as Congresspersons or White House reps dismiss whatever their adversaries have been saying.)

#202 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:12 AM:

"The soft bigotry of lowered expectations"

#203 ::: larkspur ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:40 AM:

Ilk. If someone refers to you and your ilk, get ready for an attempted cyber-spanking. But they and their ilk would have to catch me first.

#204 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:40 AM:

Only failures ride the bus.

All X are really YZA but a few of them pretend not to be.

#205 ::: Criada ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:55 AM:

In either an argument over exact definition of a label (e.g. "Pagan") or where things have degraded into semantics:

"Dictionary.com says [copy and paste defintion]"

And then the argument goes on exactly as before because nobody actually cares.

#206 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 12:04 PM:

Re 205 [meta] Except for the times a side argument involving the reliablilityof Dictionary.com develops. [/meta]

#207 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 12:04 PM:

Re 205 [meta] Except for the times a side argument involving the reliablilityof Dictionary.com develops. [/meta]

#208 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 12:09 PM:

Way to move the goal posts!

I notice you haven't answered my last post. Nice of you to concede the point to me.

By refuting my point, you have called me a liar. (treat as ad hominem and proceed)

That must be some mighty tasty Kool-ade.

#209 ::: CosmicDog ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 12:16 PM:

"You don't have any personal knowledge of this topic, you get all your information from the [left-wing/right-wing] controlled [media/internet]"

#210 ::: Annalee Flower Horne ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 12:25 PM:

in response to anything along the lines of 'please use punctuation in your posts because I honestly cannot understand what you're trying to say:'

"its not my fault i cant spell and dont no gramer im dyslexic do u make fun of blind people who cant see or def people who cant here its genetic and theres nothing i can do about it if u cant read it thats ur problem"

Bonus points if they invoke the Americans with Disabilities Act in any way, shape, or form, or if they cite the "90% of dyslexics are gifted and talented" statistic.

Double bonus points if they invoke the names of famous dyslexics to prove that dyslexics are smart while ignoring the fact that the examples they're trotting out are all capable of constructing coherent sentences.

#211 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 01:21 PM:

JamesK @ 146: Channeling the Geneoid?

"I don't believe you really [feel that way | experienced that]; you're just saying that for rhetorical purposes."

"You say that you're a member of [group X], but I know that can't be true because no real [X] would ever support your position."

#212 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 01:25 PM:

Earl @ 185: Oh ghu yes. I remember that now.

Also, a popular troll this week:

"X dies on page Y."

#213 ::: yabonn ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 02:06 PM:

"Stop whining". This one is annoying above all because it has spread out of the usual suspect circle. In two words it's "what you think a protest is in fact a weakness, and you should be ahsamed".

It's not so much an admonition than a message : "real men tough it out, stop protesting". A motto for sheeps. Icky.

Apart of that a few other ones. The facts will be "cold and hard", the dollars "hard earned", and after being shown silly, someone, surely, "was just trolling".

There are lots of other, they think in snippets. Had thought at one point of starting an Online Conservative's Dictionary, Bierce forgive.

#214 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 02:27 PM:

It bothers me that I'm going to be flamed for saying this, but [gratuitiously nasty comment]

#215 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 02:28 PM:

It bothers me that I'm going to be flamed for saying this, but [gratuitously nasty comment]

#216 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 02:28 PM:

Any pop comment by a non-expert in psychology.

"If you don't like it, get out!"

"Yeah, yeah. YOU'RE right. I'M wrong. Satisfied, yet?"

"Your (spelling, grammar, paragraphing, etc.) sucks, so I'm going to ignore the truly good points you have raised." (Especially effective when the problem is minor, such as a missed apostrophe.)

"You started this. I'm finishing it."

#217 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 02:36 PM:

ack, sorry. Thought I caught that in time.

#218 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 02:42 PM:

(Convoluted logic train by which I 'prove' your point supports mine.)

#219 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 03:11 PM:

"You asked for it/had it coming/deserved it." Or, more colorfully, "I have the right to slap your face after someone else has broken your arm."

"Is English your first language?"

"But if you only look at it like this..." (Followed by detailed explaination of blatantly slanted world view in favor of the speaker. Extra points if physical laws and/or rules of the RPG must be broken to accept said world view as true.)

#220 ::: little light ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 03:34 PM:

Oooh! Ooooh!
Any meshugga evolutionary-psychology babble at all!

[Ridiculous unfair situation] is simply the way it is because when We were [some stage of human history really so long ago there's no record and it's all guesswork|chimpanzees|bonobos|some other thing you can only think we ever were if you have no understanding of how evolution works] we did this in order to continue the species, so it's natural and intrinsic and we can't stop. And you can't argue with me, because I'm telling it how it is, with illustrative cavemen.

#221 ::: Doctor Slack ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 04:07 PM:

"Look, you're obviously not interested in making an argument. You're just trying to expiate your guilt over your [crypto-communism / Patriarchal complicity / anti-Semitism / support for terrorists]."

#222 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 05:43 PM:

"I'm just making an honest enquiry."

I see this one from creationist crypto-trolls a lot, as they move from a straight-forward question about evolution to a refusal to read or understand any replies or references given in answer.

#223 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:28 PM:

#162 Sisule:

Most importantly, is there any chance you can get your pet issue to stop taking a leak on my leg?

#224 ::: BunRab ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:29 PM:

#30 ::: Paula Lieberman
[sarcastic remark I can't think of the exact words of at the moment, it's a very common one, regarding the person's opinion wasn't coming across (when it was quite clear) something about]

"Why don't you tell us how you really feel?"

#225 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:45 PM:

"This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president." (Hilary Clinton, if anyone doesn't know.)

And she was right, of course. It might have been foolish to say, but it wasn't foolish to think. Aren't a lot of these just things people say or think when they feel unfairly attacked?

#226 ::: BunRab ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 08:54 PM:

Any sentence whatsoever that includes the phrase "you people."

"You must get all your news from sensationalistic media."

Closely related to that one:
"If you could give me one good example of a [member of group he is arguing against] who does [some vague good/charitable work] then I might change my mind" replied to by [good examples with numerous citations] to which he/she then replies "Oh, all those sources you cite are just sensationalistic crap." (This one pops up on my moto list a lot. And of course, any news source he disagrees with is automatically sensationalistic crap...)

#227 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 09:31 PM:

"[Outrageous or provocative comment], did I say that out loud?"

#228 ::: Carol Maltby ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 10:07 PM:

" I think that anyone who takes themselves that seriously has it coming"

"No sense of humor"

"Get the stick out of your bum"

"Don't get your knickers in a twist" (panties in a wad/bunch)

"Some folks need to relax"

#229 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 10:24 PM:

"You're typing with one hand, aren't you?"

(I hope when the thread gets to where there are one or two seconds between pops, so to speak, that we can codify these and number them. It will be a real time saver to just be able to just say "208a" instead of having to type a whole bunch of stuff every time.)

#230 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:15 PM:

What part of "_______" didn't you understand?

#231 ::: Stephen Granade ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:18 PM:

I know I'll (be modded down/be disemvowelled/have my message deleted) for this, but...

My troll detector is often tripped by sentences of the form "X, but..."

#232 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2007, 11:52 PM:

Randolph #225:

I think almost all these appear sometimes in good posts. Some of them also appear a lot in either intentional trolling/drive bys or in the first step to a bitter recurring flamewar.

#233 ::: Azalais ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 01:03 AM:

Just because X said all Ys are Z, and you're a Y, doesn't mean X was talking about you! X only meant the (really stupid/12-year-old/uneducated) Ys!

(First encountered in a discussion with someone who couldn't understand why I was upset over something JKR had said about Draco fans.)

You fail to understand that X intended you to read this a certain way, so it's completely immaterial that the actual text doesn't say that!

Deleting comments is a violation of free speech!

(I once had someone tell me that I couldn't tolerate dissent and refuse to acknowledge the fact that there was a difference between disagreeing with me in my journal politely and calling me a c**t while disagreeing with me...)

#234 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 01:06 AM:

Albatross, #232 (also Zander, #129, I like your songs, btw). They seem to be net equivalent of the "you always...", "you never...", and so that occur in domestic arguments; the sorts of things that are usually better left unsaid, even if true. If you're being personally attacked the appropriate response is hardly ever to complain of an ad hominem argument, even though that's what's going on. Brain fried from heat; hope this makes sense tomorrow.

#235 ::: Hob ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 02:07 AM:

LOL and variants thereof were mentioned earlier, but to be more specific:


LOL [followed by sarcastic remarks so bitterly contemptuous that one suspects the author has never actually laughed out loud, or that if any laughter is occurring, it is a very creepy sound indeed]

#236 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 04:51 AM:

"This thread is full of [win|fail|lose]."

[meta]All three choices disparage the usefulness of the thread in which they appear.

#237 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 07:07 AM:

[meta] I have nothing to contribute except my slack-jawed admiration for the list that is emerging. So much of this stuff passes for debate in Australian parliamentary politics, and I assume elsewhere.

#238 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 07:27 AM:

"I am a lifelong Democrat, but I've had to start voting Republican over [[my pet issue]]."

"9/11 plus anything"

These, of course, go together like milk and cookies: one sees arguments of the variety "I was a liberal until 9/11 changed everything, and now I believe that progressive income taxation is theft." Mocked by Tom Tomorrow here.

Many people who say such things may simply be posing as lifelong liberals, but, I think, not all of them. John Judis and Ruy Texeira argue here (scroll down partway) that there's some sort of cognitive phenomenon going on that they call "de-arrangement". The September 2001 attacks actually did seem to push American opinion rightward on all manner of issues having nothing to do with terrorism or foreign policy--temporarily, for a few years, and the effect is now wearing off.

#239 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 09:47 AM:

My irony meter just went to 11.

Last I heard ...

I suppose it's just coincidental that ...

Stalin was an atheist.

Hitler was a socialist.

[Meta: oddly enough, I've never seen anyone use in this way 'Stalin was a socialist', even though it's true and might even be to the point.]

#240 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 09:54 AM:

Oh... wait... I missed your obvious sarcasm at first.

[Caught today in the wild.]

#241 ::: Nick Fagerlund ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 10:05 AM:

The weirdest part of this thread is that I seem to've developed some kind of brain-stem response to a lot of these, and I have to keep reminding myself that they're non-sequiturs here -- it doesn't stick, and little pieces of the thread keep getting past my context-check filter and making my teeth grit together.

#242 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 10:09 AM:

Ken: you missed "Hitler was a vegetarian".

In general, "X was a Y" (for values of X like Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin and values of Y like "something poster does not approve of) is a common structure to smear all Y by association with X.

#243 ::: Lyle Hopwood ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 11:16 AM:

Two that occur every single time transatlantic posters are involved:

"We kicked your asses twice – in 1781 AND 1812."
"We saved your sorry asses in WWII."

'We'? If there's a poster on the internet who *did* fight at Cowpens, I'd love to meet him. I really would.

A great resource for real-life flames is Fandom_Wank. You don’t need to read all the wanks because they tend to highlight the best lines in the flamewar and also supply historical context of when that piece of rhetoric was last used. http://www.journalfen.net/community/fandom_wank/

#244 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 01:07 PM:

At some point, in my role as a moderator on this little writers site I frequent, after seeing a few of these comments, I would post a picture of a kitten in a Pop Tart box. Things usually devolve into silliness and multiple kitten pictures at that point. In fact, I often get messages from members saying "we need the Pop Tart kitten in X thread!"

#245 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 01:59 PM:

Dawno (#244): Teresa did something similar with garden herbs in a long and increasingly acrimonious thread here not long ago. Yay!

#246 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 02:03 PM:

Since Lyle Hopwood has brought up Fandom_Wank, let me add the constant refrain of F-W and even more often, O(ther)T(han)F(andom) wank:

"Get off of my side; you're making my side look stupid!"

#247 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 02:16 PM:

"You're an atheist. So you can't call anything 'right' or 'wrong' anyway."

Sometimes accompanied by:

"According to you, we're all just random collections of molecules without any meaning."

Usually following a discussion of the immorality of something like torture, which my opponent is defending from his imagined moral high ground.

#248 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 02:38 PM:

*bites his tongue*

[meta] Because if you don't actually express your objection, but only make reference to your noble self-control in not expressing it, no one can actually refute whatever it is you're feeling smug about. [/meta]

#249 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 03:11 PM:

Some of the examples posted here are embarassingly familiar to me....

#250 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 03:41 PM:

Charlie Stross #242:

I'm waiting for 'Hitler wore a uniform', 'Stalin was a grandfather', 'Mao was a swimmer', 'Pol Pot spoke French' and 'Ho Chi Minh was a pastrycook'.

#251 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 03:45 PM:

Dawno @244 - there's a discussion forum I read regularly where trolls and flames are headed off by people posting pictures of cakes and pastries.

#252 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 03:59 PM:

"Let me get this straight."

That usually means that I perfectly understood the situation a long time ago, but you obviously have not figured it out yet.

#253 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 04:08 PM:

"It's just semantics." Particularly when the discussion/debate/conversation specifically addresses or hinges on the meaning(s) of a word, or words, or pharses

"It's a moot [or mute] point." Intended to stop discussion or debate, particularly when a point is debatable and is in fact being debated.

#254 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 04:15 PM:

"I was staying out of this, but..."

"Stop twisting my words!"

#255 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 04:32 PM:

Re Nick Fagerlund @ 241: I've had that reaction myself.

The thread is really funny -- I've almost ruined either my monitor or keyboard a few times (especially at "animal FELCH fetish").

#256 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 05:48 PM:

R. Fritz@234:
"If you're being personally attacked the appropriate response is hardly ever to complain of an ad hominem argument, even though that's what's going on."

Ok. What *is* the appropriate response, then? Pointing it out is not ok. Responding is feeding a troll. Is an ad hominem attack sort of like an online trump card?

And what about debates where one actually does bring in real expertise? Saying "I'm a [whatever]" or "I have deep, personal familiarity with [whatever field]" is right up there at the top of the flamer bingo card.

It leads to a paradox: if you have special expertise and mention it - you're courting ad hominem atacks. If you have no special expertise or knowledge, "you have no special expertise or knowledge so your opinion doesn't or shouldn't count".

Wouldn't that end up with a rather narrow corridor of opinion that tolerates just about no diversity?

#257 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 06:24 PM:

#256 Dena - the point of a bingo card is not that any one word/phrase/behaviour is an indicator, because we all do (some of) them. It's that when you get a "line", or in real life, a whole bunch in one go it sets off alarm bells. We're all* guilty of seeing one thing that pushes our particular button and assuming troll / flame/ driveby etc. Perhaps what we should take away is that we should stop and look for groups of these phrases before we assume bad intentions.

Also - Stalin was a socialist**? OMG!

* As this thread has probably pointed out, by this I mean "I myself and maybe a few other people I've seen"
** One day I hope to find myself in a conversation where it is relevant to point out that Idi Amin was both boxing champion and swimming champion of Ugagnda before he was President, somewhere other than in a footnote.

#258 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 07:10 PM:

Ken @239 - Hitler was a socialist. Whenever I hear someone say this (and "well, they're called National Socialists!"), I wonder if they also believe that the DDR was really a democratic republic as well -- after all, it's in the name!

#259 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 07:15 PM:

(ps: more meta -- I'm Typing LOL (But I'm Not Laughing)" on YouTube. I'm proud to say I've had vaguely similar thoughts in the past, though not expressed like this.

#260 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 07:49 PM:

[meta]Not an example of subject under discussion[/meta]

So let me ask: does this thread relate to Teresa's Big Secret Project? Because I've had a theory * about what that might be since it was first alluded to, and this would fit it nicely.

[*] Anzryl gung Grerfn vf jevgvat n obbx ba ubj gb qb zbqrengvba naq ubj gb perngr urnygul bayvar pbzzhavgvrf.

#261 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 08:43 PM:

Clifton 260: I can't think of any reason she'd have to keep that under wraps, can you?

#262 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 08:55 PM:

260: That's what I figured.

Be znlor abg n obbx ohg n GI fubj be pbasrerapr be fbzr bgure cebqhpgvba gung erdhverf haqre-jenccvat?

#263 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2007, 11:13 PM:

I got a little sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read that (shudder).

Earl, your stomach can rest easy: nobody who posts this is really going to do anything legally about this.

1) Nobody needs a "legal team" to file a lawsuit for defamation. A person who uses this phrase has seen one too many episodes of the law show of your choice.

2) An actual lawsuit for defamation will be announced by an actual letter by an actual lawyer. "My lawyer will...." is idiot-ese for "I don't have a lawyer", or, in rare cases, "I have a friend who just graduated from law school". Real lawyers do not want their clients running around dick-swinging about what their big, bad-ass attorney is going to do. That's the POINT of hiring a lawyer: so that you don't have to deal with the problem directly.

3) A good response to such morons is to politely ask them for the contact information for their attorney, because it would be an ethical breach for your attorney to contact them directly, so you will obviously need to have the lawyers able to talk to one another. If you are in fact directed to an attorney, I will bake you a pie.

I suppose there's a tiny chance that you may get some crazed person with a bar card to file a pro se lawsuit, or have their cousin who normally does oil and gas litigation whip out a form cease-and-desist letter. But I wouldn't lose sleep or lunch over the possibility.

#264 ::: Hob ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 12:55 AM:

Dena #256: "Is an ad hominem attack sort of like an online trump card?"

This may be pedantic but if I don't say it, someone else will: an ad hominem argument isn't the same as just being personally nasty. The former is where I claim that some arguably true thing about you discredits your opinion, regardless of whether your opinion might be right. "Yeah sure, global warming will kill us all - that's just what I'd expect a vegan to say." A dirty trick, but not nearly as common as things like "You stupid dumbass, that's the stupidest thing I ever read," which are not ad hominem but just plain rude. But if you call them "ad hominem", you get to be rude back on a loftier rhetorical level.

#265 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 01:33 AM:

Clifton @260
[meta]Something in your comment made me want to say, I've got a theory*

Sorry.[/meta]

{unstated "some"} people who share your view on [subject under discussion] believe [unspeakably horrendous thing]. Therfore, if I argue against [unspeakably horrendous thing, which no one in the conversation can agree with], then I can argue against you.

-----
* Gung vg'f n qrzba - n qnapvat qrzba. Ab unat ba, fbzrguvat vfa'g evtug gurer

#266 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 01:38 AM:

Hey! Almost forgot one!

[person speaker admires] never liked standing on ceremony and didn't work too hard to conform to polite society. I think there's a lesson there for all of us.*

IOW, folksy charm exempts one from consideration for others.

#267 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 02:21 AM:

#224 ::: BunRab :

"Why don't you tell us how you really feel?"

But this can also mean "Congratulations on a Really Fine Rant" (usually, but not necessarily, one with which the writer agrees heartily). (Note that, in context, "Rant" can be a non-insulting term for an extended emotional presentation.)

#268 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 03:19 AM:

Nick Fagerlund @ 241: me too. Especially when they're posted without quotes.

--

"If you believe X, then you support child porn."

(Often followed by tagging all later replies with "You paedophile!")

--

Person A wanders into a forum full of people and delivers a complaining anecdote to the tune of "Your lifestyle ruined my family member N! Can we talk about this?"

Some forum members wander over and make polite apologies or defenses of their own lifestyles, and suggest that perhaps Person A had better talk to their family member about it.

Person A says, "I see you're all lying hypocrites just like N!"

--

Person A, again, I guess for Aggressively Antagonistic or I'm sure any number of more traditional terms: "We can all agree that (totally unsupported, inflammatory statement.)"

Person B: "Actually, I disagree, and I think that's a totally unsupported, inflammatory statement."

Person A: "You are trying to take away my FREE SPEEEEEECH!"

It's most especially amusing when Person A's statement is something to the effect of 'we should keep all that dirty dirty porn off the internet.'

--

Battle Of The Remote Appeals To Authority: here you get things like two people, neither of whom is a member of Oppressed Group X, saying "I have an Oppressed Group X friend, and they say..." "Well, that can't be true, because my friend says..."

Puts one in mind of eight-year-olds arguing about sex.

#269 ::: Jeffrey Kramer ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 06:32 AM:

"That's why your side lost the last election" (or, "will lose the next election").

#270 ::: gdr ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 06:37 AM:

Notes On Rhetoric skewers many of these rhetorical tropes.

#271 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 08:55 AM:

Fragano #250:

Yeah, these are lovely. Hitler supported government-built roads, so clearly, anyone who supports government-built roads is a Nazi. Stalin opposed free market economics, so anyone who favors minimum wage laws is a Communist, willing to liquidate political opponents by the thousands, engineer famines, etc.

Sometimes you get this with the geneology of some idea, too. Some of the major figures in the modern version of evolution (especially Fisher) were also big eugenics guys. The progressive movement in the US in the early 20th century was not at all friendly to the rights of blacks. And so on. Throwing these irrelevancies out is often effective at derailing an argument. And while the extreme versions of these (Hitler and freeways) are easy to see and sidestep, you definitely see variants of this trick in net.arguments all the time.

#272 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 09:37 AM:

Any posted dictionary definition of a word.

Accusation that someone who disagrees with you is being paid by [Bush|Soros|Big Pharma|Hamas].

Accusation that poster is a bot.

"How can you think [behavior] is wrong when you don't believe in absolute morality?"

Misspelling the name of the figure you are attacking in a "clever" way. This goes back to "Amerika"/"Amerikkka" at least.

"Hitler tried to ban smoking."

Any post containing verbatim cut/paste of long, copyrighted, and only tangentially on-topic article.

Same as above, but the article is completely unrelated and prefaced by "How can you be taking about [on-topic topic] when [off-topic topic] is happening?"

Any Fark comment.

Especially any Fark comment consisting of an imbedded lolcats or other Fark cliche photo.

Any mention of Monica Lewinsky.

"Margaret Sanger was a racist."

#273 ::: shannon ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 12:58 PM:

Restricted to etsy.com:

"I wouldn't buy from someone who [X]" where X is something someone doesn't like.

The buyers won't buy from someone who [X}- something that the person doesn't like. Note: buyers can comment in the forum for themselves.
General internet:

Also, One of [group person is not a part of] said [something bad] therefore all [group person is not a part of] believe [X].

Reasonable people can disagree on [issues that affect an oppressed group the speaker is not a part of]

#274 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 01:38 PM:

shannon 273: Reasonable people can disagree on [issues that affect an oppressed group the speaker is not a part of]

I love that one. Especially when they're talking about gay marriage. I'm not friends with anyone who opposes it, because anyone who opposes it is not my friend, and I tell them so when I find out. But I'm "taking it personally," and "it's just politics." Well, it's damn well personal to ME!

#275 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 02:15 PM:

Albatross #271: Those are all some pretty smelly red herrings, and they're all too common.

#276 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 02:15 PM:

[Government intervention enforcing that subset of levitical prohibitions dealing with sex] is a religious freedom issue. [Government intervention promoting the sermon on the mount] is communism.

#277 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Xopher #274: Well, of course, the personal is the political in a host of ways. That's central to any desire to make the world a more human place.

#278 ::: jennie1ofmany ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 03:11 PM:

I had my first-ever LJ flametroll last week. It was, for my teensy wee mostly genial LJ, a momentous event.

I got the following (I was so pleased, but then I got bored and banned the troll, because I hate freedom, puppies, and the American Way):

"Go ahead and ban me. It's been fun." (this to one of my commenters)

Gratuitous and wanton use of "scare quotes" (does this count?)

Y'all/you people/you progressives think/believe/do ...

Plus some rather lousy rhetoric, and blatant disregard for repeated requests to the troll to maintain a higher standard of decorum.

Not quite bingo, but I thought I scored rather well for my first troll flaming.

#279 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 03:28 PM:

Thank you, up there way above, for linking to that treatise on how the introductory "Um" can be a marker of verbal attack rhetoric. For a long time now, seeing a post start with "Um" or "Uh" (but not, interestingly enough, "Er") has triggered immediate subrational response hostility in me, such that I either can't bear to keep reading or, in order to keep reading, have to pretend I didn't see the introductory syllable. And I was having trouble explaining that one to myself in real words.

And I've always been reluctant to mention it online for fear that everyone would think it would be funny to respond with introductory "um"s. Common form of sort of practical joke humor, that: Person A says, "X bugs me" and person B responds by doing X. I don't really get that sort of humor - it tends to hit me like a slap in the face, not a poke in the funny bone.

But anyway. The "um" thing. Glad to have it put into words.

#280 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 04:14 PM:

Nicole #279:

[meta]

I read the link, and I'm not entirely convinced; I've always (and sparingly) used it (and read it) as the equivalent of "Piglet mode on"; IOW, "I *think* I have some evidence which which to disagree with you, but I'm not going to hit you over the head with it; instead I'll present it in a low tone of voice."

All three of them, um, and uh, and er.

I suspect the appropriate long form may be "hang on, I think I see a catch/problem here".

#281 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 04:39 PM:

Oh dear. I "um" too.

I more or less intend it as wow, I really don't see it that way at all (to be followed by how I do see it instead). I suppose it could just as easily come over as wow, you really don't get it (followed by what I think you're supposed to get).

#282 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 05:09 PM:

#273 Shannon:

[meta comment]

I'd remove the group membership of the speaker from both of those, since I don't think it matters. (Among other things, it doesn't matter because you can't distinguish it very well online.) And moral arguments just can't differ in validity based on who the arguer is. Fredrick Douglass could make a personal case against slavery, but could he really a different moral case than might have been made by any other antislavery campaigner? The moral issues were independent of the speaker.

#283 ::: CommunityRadioVet ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Matt @ #238

I don't think the idea that 9/11 was a watershed for many people is so far-fetched. Certainly not in my case. Prior to 9/11 I never would have joined the military. After 9/11, I found myself down at Seattle MEPS in 2002, taking the oath of enlistment and doing something not just a few of my friends thought was plum crazy.

#284 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 06:57 PM:

Maybe the "um" thing depends on how each of us saw it the first few times, predisposing us to see it that way the next few times, slowly reinforcing an automatic interpretation. I was almost always seeing it in the context of "Um... NO." or "Um... because of [obvious thing you're stupid to have overlooked], maybe?"...which isn't piglety at all, I think.

The thread was interesting, because of the different examples people gave of what they thought was an attack and what wasn't. Some examples everyone agreed on; some were less clear-cut. For me, besides the "A-ha! Yes! That is why it bugs me!" epiphany, there was also the sheer language analysis geekery of posts such as this one.

(I especially like the derived rule of "Hello?".)

But yes, I totally respect that the verbal constructions that make me see red may seem perfectly harmless to others, and my guess it's a first-impressions-predisposal-feedback-loop thingie. Maybe.

#285 ::: CommunityRadioVet ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 07:02 PM:

Re-posted from a different thread.

I love this one so much...

The Kitten Maneuver
Put simply: if you make this choice (A) which I do not like, or engage in this action (B) or activity (C) which I disapprove of, then you are automatically to blame for the horrible things (D) that will happen because of the actions or decisions of an entirely unrelated, different person (E) over whose agency you have zero control.

The Kittens Maneuver is used quite a on both Left and Right.

Examples: if you were a Nader voter in 2000 you are therefore guilty of electing George W. Bush, and if you vote for Democrats you're therefore guilty of killing unborn children, etc, etc, etc.

It's basically a device for black/white paradigm people on the extremes of the conversational spectrum who hate middle-grounders or people who deny the black/white paradigm.

(e.g: you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists....)

#286 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 07:05 PM:

One I see a lot in the IRL version of flamers - the particular instance was back when it was very popular to hate France, I suppose that would have been the Freedom Fries era.

Irritating Guy: Name one good thing the French ever did!

Me: The French Resistance. Louis Pasteur. Brie-

IG: Besides that!

#287 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 07:13 PM:

Sarah 286: A good example of why Teresa said we should all learn to sing the Marsel-thing in French. Whenever IG comes near you.

Though I guess the Freedom Fries era really is over. Too bad; it sure was enjoyable making fun of those losers. Remember "freedom kissing"? That was my favorite, I think.

#288 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 07:23 PM:

CRV: if you were a Nader voter in 2000 you are therefore guilty of electing George W. Bush

If you vote for anyone other than the two most likely to win candidates, you are effectively surrendering any influence in the results of the immediate election, accepting whoever wins as your politician, and voting based on the idea that your vote will somehow shift the party lines in the future. (whether that notion is true or not, depends on whether you're the sort of person who votes for third party candidates who probably won't win.) But that statement has some basis for truth.

if you vote for Democrats you're therefore guilty of killing unborn children

That's not really a "kittens" example. that's an emotionally charged version of reframing abortion into negative terms.

The gist of "kittens" is comparing whatever you are arguing against to something horrible, but not actually related in any way. Which is why the abortion example above isn't really a "kitten" example, since it is talking directly about abortion, just in negative terms.

When the VCR first came out, the MPAA, in testimony to Congress, compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler. Now THAT is a Kitten argument, murder has nothing to do with the VCR, but the argument attempts to link VCRs to murder, so arguing for VCR's becomes arguing for murder.

#289 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 07:23 PM:

Xopher,

Those were the days, weren't they? My grandmother took us all out to a Freedom restaurant every month as her own form of protest.

#290 ::: shannon ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 07:41 PM:

[meta]. I put the group membership in because it's usually men saying that reasonable people can disagree about women's bodily integrity, white people saying that reasonable people can disagree on whether real racism exists, straight people saying that reasonable people can disagree on whether gay people need marriage rights.

#291 ::: DoonboggleFrog ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 08:03 PM:

...tosses red meta-herring into the thread.

#292 ::: DoonboggleFrog ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 08:06 PM:

...accuses anyone catching said artificially-colored self-referential seafood of being off topic.

#293 ::: DoonboggleFrog ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 08:15 PM:

...posts irrelevant (to the thread) and wildly inaccurate (to reality) explanation of a nearly irrelevant aspect of a vaguely-related field of study, to explain why everyone else is wrong!

#294 ::: Doctor Slack ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 08:58 PM:

Oh, here's one I forgot: If [X] is not an example of [Y], then there's no such thing as [Y]! (Best when used very, very breezily. So, for instance, "if Democrats trying to appeal to the Black vote is not an example of racism, then there's no such thing as racism!")

#295 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 09:35 PM:

shannon 290: I think you're right. I think it's a whole different trope if you're a member of the group in question.

#296 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 09:45 PM:

Xopher #287: I increased my consumption of Freedom wine.

#297 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2007, 10:36 PM:

*plonk*

Charlie (#111) I remember that line, but there's something wrong with the phrase "flame war on alt.peeves". "Flame melee" might be a better description.

#298 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 02:44 AM:

"All you do is criticise, when people are trying to solve the problem"

Never mind that the criticisms are pointing out the unworkability of the solutions.

"It's so sad to see people scoff at great ideas/the truth"

#299 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 03:59 AM:

The Aristocrats[!|?]

#300 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 04:08 AM:

I'm definitely with joann and julia on seeing "um" as expressing diffidence, not hostility. Given the vehemence of the reactions I've seen expressed over on that LJ, though, I think I'm going to have to just strike it (and its cousins "er" and "uh") from my online language. Not safe.

#301 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 06:53 AM:

[meta]"um" expresses diffidence, "uh" expresses disingenuous confusion, and "er" is the most overtly hostile of the three choices, because it is most like a growl. IMHO.

Well, there's another one: IMHO is almost never a genuinely "humble" opinion. heh.

#302 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 07:13 AM:

Earl, I almost always read IMHO as "In My Heated Opinion". Seems to make more sense to me.

#303 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 09:17 AM:

Fragano #296:

I was just enjoying a warm glow every time I ordered french fries instead of freedom fries.

Xopher #287:

I'm visualizing the lines that arise from this. "No, darling, that was pretty good French kissing, but it's not quite Freedom kissing. We'll just have to keep trying till we get it right."


#304 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 09:33 AM:

Xopher #295:

I can see how it changes the evidence value of statements ("gee, I hardly ever notice homophobia in my life, there must not be any"), and how it can change some of the emotional impact of a comment. But it can't change the strength of a logical argument, because that's independent of the arguer.

#305 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 10:51 AM:

"I'm sorry you're offended..."

A posts a pro [feminist] comment
B responds with aggressive insults implying the A's view is typical of [stupid females].
A points out that he's not [female]
B impugns A's [gender and sexuality], because obviously if A were [a real man], he would agree with B.

"X [hasn't been proved/has been repeatedly disproved/could never be proved] because of the negative effects of [non-believers/laboratory conditions/sane observers/the physics of our universe]"

Any poorly understood use of statistics, particularly where pointing out that the poster [has violated the assumptions of the test/is out by a massive factor/is comparing apples to oranges/is using a spurious measure] is met by a comment similar to "whatever, you get the point..."


#306 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 11:48 AM:

Real quotes from a favorite thread...

My reality is nicer than yours:

"Ha, ha! I laff at the sceptics and feel sorry for them, for there's is an unfeeling, unconnected life governed by so-called 'scientific' thoughts and practices."

My lot do less harm:

"so what if homeopathy is a load of yarbles, even if I also have anecdotal evidence to the contrary, it has done far less harm than the allopathic lot, and cost a minute fraction of the price."

The argument from ignorance:

"I needn't read back on the posts, it will be the usual."

#307 ::: Barry Freed ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 11:54 AM:

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

#308 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 12:35 PM:

Structure of the beginning of a common flame war:

[Statement derived from most recent best practice position of medical association]

[Angry retort of single person's experience at odds with that statement, possibly irrelevant to initial statement]

#309 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 01:01 PM:

"if you were a Nader voter in 2000 you are therefore guilty of electing George W. Bush" - maybe not, but you are guilty of voting for someone who said, repeatedly and publicly, that he would rather Bush won than Al Gore.

#310 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 02:00 PM:

Pretty much anything containing the word "agenda".

#311 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 02:37 PM:

Earl 301: 'Er' is how you spell 'uh' in Brooklyn. All those comic-book writers? Now, of course, those of us who grew up where 'r' is pronounced after a vowel really do pronounce it like a growl, but I never thought of it as hostile.

albatross 304: True, but we were talking about 'reasonable people can disagree on X', where "X" is an issue that most affects a particular group. 'Reasonable people' is a value judgement, not a logical argument. 'Reasonable people can disagree on the best color to paint a living room' is not an example of the meme; neither is 'reasonable people can disagree on Creationism vs. Evolution' (I think this second one is incorrect, but that's because of MY definition of 'reasonable people'—it's still not part of this meme).

It may even be true, for example, that "reasonable people can disagree on same-sex marriage," but it's more offensive if the person is heterosexual. This is partly because it's all very well to be "reasonable" about something that affects you not at all, and quite different if it does affect you. But it's also offensive because of the nature of the implied disagreement.

If I said that, I'd mean that some people think Civil Unions are a good first step, and others that they're a sop and a false victory, and that while I may agree with one or the other, I don't think either is unreasonable.

If a straight person said that, I'd think s/he most likely meant that it's reasonable to oppose same-sex marriage, which it is not.

Remember that this whole thread is about the sort of things people say when tensions are already high; I wouldn't interpret the statement as nearly that hostile outside such a context.

#312 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 04:29 PM:

Albatross #303: But did you order French dressing too?

#313 ::: Megan ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 04:32 PM:

How do you live with all that anger?

#314 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 04:34 PM:

albatross @ 271

you definitely see variants of this trick in net.arguments all the time.

Unfortunately, you also see them in a lot of academic discussions, where people should know better. The denigration of the notion of "progressivism" in both biological and cultural evolution has caused many discussions of the potential for increased complexity over time to be shouted down. "Progressivism" is associated with ethnocentrism and colonial apologism, and therefore anyone who suggests anything like it must be guilty of the same bigotries.

#315 ::: Ken C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 05:31 PM:

We all know that holding stance X means that you're in favor of obvious, unarguable, trivial objective Y. Of course, many people who hold stance X also believe questionable thing Z, but that's not what X *means*.

We all know that allowing X must mean allowing monstrous, horrific instance Y of X. It cannot mean just allowing common, ordinary instance Z of X.

How can you say that X is false, when you haven't considered all the elaborate theories of what X might imply?

In that little anecdote about persons A and B, based on my vast prior experience I know that person A was thinking horrible thing Y, thus giving me one more example of people like A thinking horrible thing Y.

When I say that [your group] are miserable stupid fucktards, why do you think I was talking about you?

When you say X disagreeing with me, it can only be because you believe awful thing Y. Here's my powerful righteous argument against Y, and vicious condemnation of miserable stupid fucktards like you who believe Y.

How can you say only a small proportion of group X do horrible thing Y, since horrible thing Y happens all the time?

As a member of group X, of which some small number do horrible thing Y, you can and should do something about Y.

To members of group X, of which I happen to be a member, but the only enlightened one: Shut the Fuck Up! Let non-members of X (and me) speak.

#316 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 07:37 PM:

I wonder if anyone has been hassled by construction workers for asking for the installation of french doors.

#317 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2007, 11:56 PM:

Stef, #149: Not a large board, just a whole lot of cards!

Dan Blum, #167: [meta] Oh yeah, one of the primary reasons I no longer trust Libertarians. They've got private definitions of so many common words that it's like picking your way across a junkyard full of barbed wire. When the arguments of a group of people can make you actually flinch at the word "freedom", something is VERY WRONG. [/meta]

dcb, #200:
"No, it's not!" *beat* "Slander is spoken. This is libel." - J. Jonah Jamison

Russ, #305: Even worse: "I'm sorry if you're offended." The implication is that no reasonable person could possibly have been offended by the statement in question. In fact, the whole "I'm sorry if..." construction is, pardon the pun, rather iffy, though it's less likely to be trollish when the second clause refers to the speaker rather than the audience. (i.e. "I'm sorry if that came across badly -- what I meant was X," is much more likely to be a genuine apology.)

And a few of my favorites (FSVO) which don't seem to have been mentioned yet:

"sheeple"

Dramatic announcement of flouncing out in high dudgeon, after which the person does not in fact leave the discussion.

"It's the Internet. If you can't take it, you shouldn't be [reading/posting] here."

Use of multiple LOLs in every response.

#318 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 06:21 AM:

@ 317

flouncing out in high dudgeon

This should really be a moving violation in any jurisdiction. Low dudgeon might warrant a warning.

#319 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 07:37 AM:

CRV@283: Yes, but your actions bore some relation to 9/11. I'm talking about the people who, as Michael Berube joked, found that because of 9/11 they had now become outraged over Chappaquiddick.

#320 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 09:38 AM:

Too bad all the "Freedom stuff" episode was then used to promote rampant anti-americanism this side of the pond.

How do you live with all that anger?

:?

One day at a time ? ^_^"

#321 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 10:07 AM:

"I've got you on my /ignore list now." when it's just a pretext to cherry pick what posts to acknowledge.

#322 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 10:46 AM:

When you say that some Xs do Y, I, an X, am offended. Not all of us Xs are evil, you know!

[In a discussion about an issue that almost entirely affects Ys, attempts to redirect the conversation to Xs, accusing anyone who steers back to Ys of being myopic and anti-X.]

I don't know anything about this issue, so it's your job to explain Issue 101 to me.

I'd agree with you if you weren't so angry about it, but you're so unreasonable that I'm no longer sympathetic to [position the poster never held in the first place].

Comment #276 = win.

#323 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 10:53 AM:

I suppose it was predictable that all your minions would show up in support.

Let's check the dictionary definition, shall we?

#324 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 12:34 PM:

I don't have a dog in this [hunt|fight], but [inflammatory comment].

#325 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 01:18 PM:

Any ridiculously inflammatory message, closed with something warm-'n'-fuzzy like "Peace" or "Smiles" or a smiley.

#326 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 03:15 PM:

Discussions of other posters' grammar when not germane to the subject*.

Bad grammar and spelling† defended by the claim that only English teachers care about it (implication: the poster is too absorbed in the brilliance of the content to bother with posting in comprehensible form).

-----
* Note that if the poster is, for instance, claiming to be a writer, or a teacher, and using that as a basis for a factual argument, then criticism of grammar as an evaluation of the evidence is legitimate.

† Bad grammar and spelling are not indications of a flamer. My grammar in my non-native languages is atrocious, for instance, no matter how nice I'm being.

#327 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 03:32 PM:

Clearly, TNH is fiendishly designing a bot to read her comment section for problem comments now that she's going to be raking in the big bucks!

#328 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 05:24 PM:

"My last post on the topic", after the flamer has been thoroughly and unrefutably pwned.

#329 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 05:27 PM:

And, then of course, the flamer immediately posts again.

#330 ::: Ken C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 06:28 PM:

Oh yeah, and:

Your disagreement on issue X shows that you lack an understanding of X 101. I don't have the patience to explain X 101 to you. (Or: look how patient I am, explaining X 101 to you.) Here "X 101" is my group's views about X.

#331 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 08:24 PM:

[meta]As an online discussion grows longer, the probability that a spelling or grammar flame itself contains errors approaches one.

#332 ::: Dell Adams ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2007, 09:42 PM:

X much?

#333 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 12:11 AM:

Close analysis of word choice derided as nitpicking about grammar (or "grammer").

#334 ::: Pete Darby ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 09:23 AM:

#220 I know I'm late, but isn't that the whole of "Men are from Mars..."?

#335 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 11:21 AM:

In trope, Sinister Sitting. When someone can "just sit there and [do|say][that]," you know they're up to no damn good. Presumably, those who aren't evil are standing at the keyboard, or kneeling, or tapdancing. But not sitting there!

In action, Attempted Disarming. Knowing he|she must deliver the unpleasant truth to their dear friend, the disarmer prefaces their remark with a half pint of oil. "I could be wrong, and I probably am, and far be it from silly insignificant little moi to even presume to find a fault, however trivial, with such a warm, brave, and -- dare I say it? -- brilliant person such as yourself... [deep breath] ...but, as anybody with two functioning brain cells and .154 seconds to spend on Google would be able to tell you, you're so far off the mark here that it isn't even wrong..."

#336 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 11:22 AM:

X has been thoroughly refuted elsewhere. If you go to www.anti-x-rantings.com and www.pulledoutofmy.ass.com, which are both really brilliant sites, you'd know that.

[Bonus points if any of the sites indicted by the troll are actually run by the troll.]

#337 ::: Pete Darby ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 11:50 AM:

We've just had a corker on an RPG list, concerning overhauling an RPG for a second edition, including designer's notes:

"I'm not interested in playing (designer's)(game), I'm interested in playing (game)."

(Designer) being the lead designer of the game who has pointed out that the poster's favourite rule actually works against the spirit of the rest of the rules.

I'd liken this to saying "I'm not interested in reading JK Rowling's Harry Potter, but I'm interested in reading Harry Potter".

But it gets better:

"Frankly, with what I've read so far, I am much less than enthused about the
project, and predict that, if it comes out as I've seen so far, will be the
end (game) as a semi-demi-quasi-popular system. (game) will fall into
the great Discout Bin in the Sky, with a half-dozen people that play it
religiously, and the rest either moving on to something else, or playing (game)
1st ed."

Identifying personal preferences with some nebulous "majority" preferences, check. Decrying those that deisagree with him as a vanishing minority, check. Predicting doom, check.

But, as a closer..."

"My own personal opinion, I don't really give a damn if you agree or don't"

DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

#338 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 12:56 PM:

[meta] Pete Darby says "I'd liken this to saying "I'm not interested in reading JK Rowling's Harry Potter, but I'm interested in reading Harry Potter"."

There are, in fact, numerous live journal communities and several posting boards elsewhere which are dedicated to the assumption that J. K. Rowling has an insufficient understanding of Harry Potter canon.[/meta]

#339 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 01:18 PM:

I want some of what you're smoking!

#340 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 03:13 PM:

[meta comment]

I'm noticing a couple very broad patterns, one which came from a posting by DaveL in the Gaming Wikipedia thread:

Flames often hop between a question of fact or morality about which there's disagreement, to a discussion of how the disagreement relates to the people disagreeing. In this pattern, you get stuff like:

a. Speculation about why you hold your views. This usually amounts to either some armchair psychological analysis ("You want to see pornography banned because you're sexually repressed."), or attributing your views to some ill will or evil underlying set of beliefs. ("You're opposed to affirmative action programs because you want to see blacks kept down.")

b. Questioning whether you really hold the views you claim to hold. This often amounts to either claiming that you don't know what you're saying or are emptily mouthing others' slogans ("If you really believe in helping the poor, why haven't you sold your house and computer to buy food for starving kids in Africa?"), or that you're saying stuff you know isn't true for personal gain or to avoid some kind of nasty consequences. (Holocaust deniers seem to love this one--"You're obviously only claiming to believe in the Holocaust so the Big Bad Jewish Conspiracy doesn't get you.")

c. Claims that you have no right to hold the views you hold, either because you aren't a member of the group allowed to have an opinion, or because you haven't done whatever you'd need to do to make your opinion legitimate ("If you didn't vote/campaign/give money/protest/throw bombs, you have no right to complain about the outcome.")

The thing is, any of these might be legitimate in some discussions. But when you start with a discussion of fact or morality, hopping off onto a discussion of the people making the arguments and their reasons for making them seems to me a pretty good way to end up in a flaming train wreck.

By contrast, the times I've seen really touchy issues discussed in the most reasonable ways (for example, see some of Steve Barnes' weblog discussions on race and IQ) seem to avoid this, at least directed at the people making the immediate arguments.

The other pattern I've seen is some polarizing reference or idea or statement, which forces people away from listening to each other, and toward choosing sides. Those seem very specific to the community, but the underlying process seems similar--once we get everyone nice and polarized, it becomes hard to even acknowledge that an obviously reasonable statement made on the other side has anything right.

I suspect the way to really analyze this would be to find some set of controversial online discussions about which you have no opinion or sympathy for either side. Otherwise, it's hard not to see your side as being more reasonable than they are, and the other side as being more obstinate than they are.

#341 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2007, 10:11 PM:

I typed this today to the nurse of one of my doctors. She kept assuming I'd emailed the wrong doctor: "I may be 52 and really sick, but I'm not stupid."

#342 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2007, 03:35 AM:

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.
The door is that way.
If you don't like it, leave.

(sometimes followed by comments about "running away" and cowardice)

#343 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2007, 09:09 AM:

Clifton (260), V'z fgvyy jbexvat ba gung obbx, bayl fybjre. V fgnegrq guvf guernq orpnhfr V'ir orra qbvat n ybg bs guvaxvat nobhg Fghcvq Synzre Gevpxf.

#344 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2007, 11:24 AM:

mythago@263:

oooh, what kind of pie?

#345 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 12:22 PM:

I don't actually think it's inherently absurd to think you have insight into a work of art that the work's creator lacks. It seems to me that this happens all the time. Art is complicated and slippery, and the things artists believe about their creations are as subject to human fallibility as any other human beliefs.

Yes, obviously, they have a lot of authority on the subject, but it's not infallible or infinite authority.

#346 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2007, 10:16 PM:

That article about our startup was a knee-jerk reaction, and you will find that it made no substantive case against our success.

#347 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2007, 12:33 AM:

Re #345:
[meta]
Consider for example the reaction of many Star Wars fans (including myself) to Episodes I-III.

I think the flaminess of the flamer in Pete Darby's example isn't because it's inherently crazy to like your own vision of what a creation could have been better than the actual one, but because he is using the full repertoire of wacky flamy arguments in an attempt to bolster his personal taste.
[/meta]

#348 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 02:16 PM:

A specimen caught in the wild, from a discussion of whether a pharmaceutical or a holistic approach is better for treating a particular medical condition:

"It all depends on whether you really *want* to get better. If you're willing to rely on a crutch all your life, I can respect that, I guess, I just don't understand it. I don't mean to be insulting...."

#349 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2007, 03:59 PM:

Greg (#344): Gator Pie?

#350 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 12:39 PM:

As Lexica said, this was seen in the wild.

"When you talk about 'x', I feel bad. That makes you a bad person."

#351 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2007, 07:24 PM:

Another one, which just came up on my blog:

"Thank you, I needed an example of how all 'x' think 'y' about all 'z'."

#352 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2007, 04:36 PM:

Over and over again, in the past 48 hours:

"I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree."

(Translation: because I have no logical ground to stand on but if I admit you're right I have to own my personal racism).

#353 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2007, 01:45 PM:

One more:

Calling the owner or original poster by the wrong name or repeatedly misspelling their name.

On Pandagon, anyone who refers to "Marcotte" instead of "Amanda" (or calls her co-bloggers by her name) is almost certain to be insulting.

On Eschaton, anyone who refers to "Duncan" instead of "Atrios" is also nearly certain to be insulting.

Here, while the occasional slip of the finger is usually an honest mistake, repeated references to "Theresa," or using only "Hayden" rather than "Nielsen Hayden," is often a marker that someone means to insult. It's not proof, but I bet there's a strong correlation. (If they keep doing it after someone corrects them, that's just about proof.)

#354 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2007, 12:26 AM:

Caroline, or they're just not very bright. We just had a guy in rasfc who took 20 messages to get the idea and form of the .sig delimiter.

#355 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 08:52 PM:

We haven't yet mentioned "hiding behind screen names."


Usage: "I challenge my detractors to stop hiding behind screen names ...."

#356 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2007, 11:10 PM:

Which is especially funny when one compares, say, "Yeago" with "James D. Macdonald, here are the books I've written, and here's a bunch of posts about my job in the place where I live."

#357 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 01:50 PM:

Or, the combined form: "I'm going to sue everyone who's hiding behind a screen name!"

I think you get two squares on the Bingo card for that.

(What we need now is for some clever PERL hacker to come up with an interactive random Bingo-card generator.)

#358 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2007, 08:16 PM:

James @#357: (What we need now is for some clever PERL hacker to come up with an interactive random Bingo-card generator.)

Somebody did that over at Skeptico... (rummage clickity) Ah, Bingo Night. (Picking on a cold-reading show.)

#359 ::: dfkjdklfjdklfjkldjfk ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2008, 07:36 PM:

Y ppl r vry rd nd rvltng!!!!! m stckng m tng t t y rd ppl!

[the tongue is being stuck out from 71.104.62.102]

#360 ::: Fragano Ledgister observeth very dumb spam ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2008, 07:54 PM:

It is rarely cool
To play the fool.

#361 ::: Xopher sees pointless, childish trollery at #359 ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2008, 07:56 PM:

Nonsensical posting name, stupid commmentary, nonsense website, only post. Also, begins with "You people," which is a notorious sign.

No, I don't think there's much doubt on this one.

#362 ::: Xopher has been beaten to the punch by Fragano ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2008, 07:57 PM:

Drat.

#363 ::: xeger thinks Xopher is too terse to be spam ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2008, 08:14 PM:

At least 'drat' seems awfully succinct, all things considered! Where's the vehement protests that you'd meant to say that first, and Fragano's gone and stolen your work? ;)

#364 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2008, 05:57 PM:

[meta]
I'm amazed at my own reaction, actually getting worked up reading these. The template(?) is sufficient.
[/meta]

#365 ::: Steve Simmons ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2008, 05:21 PM:

All you people from [[city name here]] are the same. It must be something in the water.

I hate to confuse you with the facts, but [[anecdote here]].

After reading your so-called argument, all I can do is stand back in amazement.

[[Referring to detailed, fact-laced argument]] Well, that was interesting. Not particularly relevant to my point, though.

"It's obvious you haven't been around here very long."
[[Reply with link to post by adversary from 1988 on topic]]
"Well it's obvious you haven't learned much in that time."

I know that's what I said, but it's not what I meant. You should really be more charitable in your interpretation of other peoples' words.

When [thing I support] recovers from [catastrophic destruction] you and the other opponents will be relegated to the dustbin of history. [[Me: Excuse me, but would you go outside and brush yourself off before entering this argument? If there's anything left when you're done, you're welcome to return.]]

If you would just [effectively let me control the discourse] you wouldn't be able to refute me.

#366 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2008, 11:44 AM:

Courtesy of DAC posting to Pharyngula: "I'm starting to feel embarrassed for you."

#367 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2008, 12:11 PM:

Recently collected in the wild:

I, like others here, debated with themselves on whether to address things said on the post. However, my Kantian induced ethics says that if my sense of rightness requires it, I must.

...

I don't care that you're at work.
You're misunderstood because you're an unclear communicator.
I rule.

...

As with my other comments, I expect no reply from you or the other editors here.

#368 ::: rachael ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2008, 09:14 AM:

Wow I was looking for an article on bingo and found a heated debate I must say some good debates have taken place here... I got very lost in the comments though.

#369 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2008, 05:50 AM:

Any attempt to explain the "rules" of or give a "101 course" on what their opponent is doing, usually with nonseniscal constructed guidelines. It's your basic specious appeal to a non-existent authority.

Exempt from this bingo square are:
- References to the First Rule of Holes, since there the contested idea is what is being done, not how
- Real games like chess
- A link to pre-existing rules posted elsewhere on the web by someone else

#370 ::: Kate Orman ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2009, 12:46 PM:

#56 "You're just like the girls in high school."

Heh. The girls in high school have codified that one into Snacky's Law: "Whenever two (or more) groups of people are arguing, anywhere on the web, inevitably, someone on one side of the argument will compare the group on the other side to "those bitchy girls who made everyone's life hell in high school." Sometimes this is spot on, as when fangirl cliques engage in internecine warfare - each claiming that the other side is the one acting badly. But sometimes it's just used as a Get Out Of Jail Free card by bitchy girls!

#371 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 02:17 PM:

(when discussing e.g. a news story about some public figure's outright bigotry):

"It's just their opinion. Why are you so afraid of other people having opinions?"

#372 ::: Bernard Yeh calls Bingo! on spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2011, 02:35 AM:

Maybe it's time to create a comment spam bingo card? (spam link is to gambling bingo site)

#373 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: January 25, 2011, 04:35 AM:

I particularly liked Kip W's made up example @118, and am excitedly trolling trawling the innerwebs for an opportunity to use it!

#374 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2012, 11:40 AM:

Variant of #365, delivered to someone who just said something you agree with:

"Oh, come now _____! Don't confuse them with logic/facts!"

Seen all too often in 2012.

#375 ::: Viagra ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 11:00 PM:

I've taken meridia before and have lost weight. It really just makes you not want to eat. So, if I combine that and exercise, while not eating, I figured it should work well..

#376 ::: P J Evans sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 11:07 PM:

Obvious spam. Strobe lights and neon paint job obvious.

#377 ::: Lin Daniel laughs at spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 11:17 PM:

... on this thread. *snort*

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