December 19, 2006

The Word of the Year

The Word of the Year

Click to Listen to the Show (24 MB MP3)

The Oxford University Press made public its word of the year in November: it’s “carbon neutral.”

The rise of carbon neutral reflects the growing importance of the green movement in the United States. In a CBS News/New York Times Poll in May 2006, 66% of respondents agreed that global warming is a problem that’s causing a serious impact now. 2006 also saw the launch of a new (and naturally, carbon neutral) magazine about eco-living, Plenty; the actor Leonardo DiCaprio is planning a environmentally-themed reality TV series about an eco-village; and colleges from Maine to Wisconsin are pledging to be carbon neutral within five years. It’s more than a trend, it’s a movement.

Carbon Neutral: Oxford Word of the Year, Oxford University Press, November 13, 2006

Ok, so it’s a phrase, but Erin McKean of the Oxford University Press told me on the phone this afternoon that “carbon neutral” functions like a word. The ideal word of the year is something you recognize, she said, but don’t know (ergo, go out and buy a dictionary).

But the word of the year is actually about more than dictionary sales. It’s a recognition that language is a creation of colloquial usage, and this year colloquial usage unearthed “macaca” and “dwarf planet.” It created quailtard. And we saw a frenzied effort — less colloquial than institutional — to remove some words from circulation: “cut and run” and “civil war.”

What’s your word of the year? What did we learn from our new words? What have you picked up from your kids?

Erin McKean

Editor-in-chief, The New Oxford American Dictionary

Grant Barrett

Editor, The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English

Geoffrey Nunberg

Linguist

Professor, School of Information at UC Berkeley

Jim Fitzmorris

Author and playwright

Professor of Theatre History, Tulane University

Extra Credit Reading

Mark Frauenfelder, New word: quailtard, boingboing, February 17, 2006: “”The term described the farm-raised quail released for the hunters to fire at.”

Scott Morrison, Islamofascism, The New York Times, October 15, 2006: “William Safire favors ”Islamofascism” over the other epithets for terrorists acting in the name of Islam (On Language, Oct. 1). But fascism (Mussolini and Hitler) and totalitarianism (Stalin and Mao) are nothing without a state.”

William Safire, On Language Columns, The New York Times (Select).

Geoff Nunberg, 2006 Word of the Year Nominations, for The American Dialect Society.

American Dialect Society, Words of the Year, 1990-2005, American Dialect Society, December 13, 2005.

Urban Dictionary, Word of the Year, Urban Dictionary: “2004: knob. 2005:noob. 2006: emo.”

Related Content


  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    1. crockumentary

    The Michael Moore style of filmmaking (not to exclude Al Gore)

    It involves trying to pass off a complete crock of shit as the truth.

    Then brazenly calling it a “documentary” when you know goddamn good and well that it’s full of shit!!

    Michael Moore is a successful crossbreeding of Janet Reno and a Rhinocerus’s butt.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=crockumentary

  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    1. moonbat

    Someone on the extreme edge of the political left who has long abandoned fact & logic in the pursuit of spewing their scocialist crapaganda. (ie Al Franken, Michael Moore, and Janeane Garafalo, to name but a few.) Ann Coulter is the absolute antithesis of a moonbat.

    Al Gore is a raving moonbat in a suit.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=moonbat

  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    1. fauxtography

    Staged, doctored, or misleadingly cropped or labeled photographs intended as war propaganda, particularly to further the interests of terrorist groups such as Hizbollah and Hamas. Term popularized by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs.

    Various bloggers have uncovered several cases of fauxtography in Reuters’ photo coverage of the Israel-Hizbollah conflict.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fauxtography

  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    Warblogger

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warblogger

    “The value of a pro-war blogger’s reports from Iraq

    Bill Roggio’s accounts bring home a feel for what US troops are facing in Iraq.

    But for those who troll the blogosphere for news, there is a distinctly different view of the Iraq war available. In this version, the United States is “winning the war on the battlefield, albeit with difficulties in some areas,” but “losing the information war.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1212/p09s01-codc.html

    Chris once asked “What will we write about the war in 10 years?” What he forgets is that unlike the Vietnam war where “we” were people like “he” it has already been written by people like Roggio. Kerry participation in the farcical Winter Soldier event where many of the most out spoken “Vets” were found to have never been in US military let alone Vietnam, is typical of the capability of individuals who wish to place their own particular spin on war. Because of the warbloggers this is no more.

  • JJWFromME

    I like Bloviator:

    “Someone who pontificates about issues of which they are uninformed, yet pretend to be expert.”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bloviator

    We’ll leave it at that.

  • http://civilities.net/people/JonGarfunkel Jon Garfunkel

    What’s the word for someone who poisons the well of an online forum with repetitive posts in order to suffer the rest in his ideological regurgitations? Oh, never mind.

    2006 didn’t exactly strike me as the year of “carbon neutral.” And, being a word-phrase, it is preposterous to suggest that it is a “word.” Couldn’t they have waited until someone popularized a word family like carbonotic/carbonotist?(emphasis on the “not” part of the word). Claiming carbon neutrality sounds like you either have no stance on the use of carbon, or that one form of carbon is no more special than any other form (cf. “net neutrality”). If I may suck up to the Winston Dodsons among us, this does sound like the stiffs at Oxford are a bunch of weenie-greenies.

    And Brendan, just a trifle with you, colloquial usage explains neither “macaca” nor “dwarf planet”– in fact, the opposite. The former, while (regrettably) colloquial in Francophone communities, was “welcomed to America” in a singular moment; the latter was ushered into being by the International Astronomical Union by a vote.

    As for my words, I tried popularizing the sock-it veto (on these forums) and wikiseeding (you can look ‘em up), but to no avail.

    In thinking up a word, I thought I’d out-do the Oxford team and actually set a standard before nominating a word. I wanted a casual word that grew a much heavier meaning this year, and one that better captures the zeitgeist. I nominate pretext– as popularized during the Hewlett-Packard scandal. None of the online dictionaries, in the their definitions for pretext, nor my 1955 Oxford Universal, define it so baldly as merely lying. Pretexting is ordinarily what we do when we flirt, when we impress, when we pose; it is part of our culture. But here, in 2006, it gave a name to the misunderstood “identity theft” and it worked up people in a way that they hadn’t been so following the revelation of the NSA snooping. Google pretexting lying and you’ll see; many folks were downright perturbed that the word “pretext” could be spoken without pointing out that it was lying. But there remains a difference: when someone lies, they know the truth and are deliberately subverting it; someone who pretexts has no material interest in the truth, just in some transient facts to fit the current situation. And thus it is the metaphor for our present leadership– and not to mention the rogue nations of China, Iran, North Korea, et al, who continue on their own pretext courses.

    Out of respect for carbon neutrality I will leave my fifty-one year old Oxford dictionary as it is, and hold off for another year from turning it into compost.

  • hurley

    “Truthiness,” anybody?

  • JJWFromME

    Yes, truthiness!

    It’s the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year!

    In its 16th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted truthiness as the word of the year. First heard on The Colbert Report, a satirical mock news show on The Comedy Central Channel [sic], truthiness refers to the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthiness

  • http://www.citytowninfo.com avecfrites

    I’m afraid the word of the year might be “surge”. It’s a delightful little word that brings to mind the promises of the “weekender” pill, but will deliver instead a final demonstration of our national impotence.

  • chris carrier

    “Truthiness” is an excellent candidate. Can anyone come up with an antonym? If we are going for a concept, we need to recognize stuff outside the bubble.

  • JJWFromME

    More precisely, “truthiness” was named word of the year for 2005 by the American Dialect Society and for 2006 by Merriam-Webster.

  • hurley

    chris carrier says: Truthiness” is an excellent candidate. Can anyone come up with an antonym?

    Chris: If I may be so surreal, I think you answered your own question, brilliantly: “antonym.” Meaning, “truthiness,” in the crazed chop-logic universe it both describes and expresses, is its own antonym.

  • dissentientbean

    [This comment has been deleted. Please refer to The Rules. — Greta]

  • JJWFromME

    “Wikiality” isn’t exactly the antonym for “truthiness”, but both these words were invented by Colbert and were voted TV words of year by the Global Language Monitor (not sure who that is, though):

    Global Language Monitor defined “truthiness” as used by Colbert as meaning “truth unencumbered by the facts.” “Wikiality,” derived from the user-compiled Wikipeida information Web site, was defined as “reality as determined by majority vote,” as when astronomers voted Pluto off their list of planets last week.

    .

    Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, said, “Some of these buzzwords will quickly pass while others will be embedded in the language for years to come.

    http://www.folsomforum.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-3026.html

  • nother

    “The ideal word of the year is something you recognize, she said, but don’t know”

    If that’s the case “terrorism” would be my submission. Everyone in the world recognizes the word but everyone in the world has a different definition. Maybe the word has simply taken the place of “enemy.” I just looked it up in the dictionary and found: “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” That’s pretty open-ended; couldn’t it be used to describe our actions in Iraq?

    “Civility” might be a good choice as well.

  • chena

    The devil needs to get his due when even he outdoes himself.

    The word is: SPRAY

    Dick Cheney got the press to use the benign-sounding ‘spray’ rather than the most obvious ‘shot-at-close-range’. No one reported the NRA-for-Life Cheney as in fact carelessly discharging his shotgun at a helpless old man and Cheney’s choice of ‘Spray’ was dutifully repeated as ‘the official version’.

    There’s the ocean’s spray, as well as getting a little wet if you’re out on a sailboat ‘a spray of water, that’s all’. All innocence and kindness.

    These word games must have been playing in the scoundrel’s head when he sat down for dinner, drinking alcohol (after shooting someone in the face–wtf?) and helping himself to dessert, while his unlucky victim was fighting for his life in an emergency room far from where Cheney was socializing; as if nothing happened. Just like the press never got around his saccharine words about how he felt so relieved after publicly shouting to an elected member of congress to f*ck off–after all it’s all about how he feels, we wouldn’t want to upset him, and cause him to keel over from a heart attack–we all are supposed to feel secure after Cheney intones about how torture is a ‘no-brainer’.

    Cheney will go down as one of history’s most inept leaders, but one thing he will never lose is his rightful place in the pantheon of mendacious prevaricators.

  • Greta

    I spent the morning emailing around to get the word out about the show, recruiting bloggers who have been using the words and phrases that might come up on air tonight. “Anchor baby.” “God wink.”

    Jake Jacobsen over at Freedom Folks just wrote back:

    Hey Greta,

    We’ve been using the phrase ["anchor baby"] for some time now, though I think that it’s only recently broken through into the general vernacular. We don’t always use quotes with the term anchor baby, not sure why to be honest.

    As to what makes a meme catch on? I think it’s an alchemy of pithiness, aptness and being memorable, when a phrase can bring all those elements together I think it has a fighting chance to make it to the “big time!”

    Our entry into the “meme” sweepstakes is the term “Mexitude,” explained in this post. It’s had a mention in the Washington Times and made it into the Urban dictionary. We’ll see if it has the stuff for the long term.

    Thanks for your interest and Merry Christmas!

    Jake

  • joshua hendrickson

    [This post has been deleted. The Rules. Abide. — Greta]

  • rc21

    I like fauxtoraphy. It really exposed the media for the slime balls that they are. As if I already didn’t know. I wonder if there is such a thing as an unbiased journalist. Brian Lamb is about as close as it gets. What a shame.

  • http://www.radioopensource.org/user/sidewalker sidewalker

    “Disparity”

    2% of the the households in the world have 50% of the wealth and households in a few northern nations have 90%.

    In Japan this year, one of the words of the year translates as “stratified society”, and this is in a country with one of the stronger middle classes. But the growing income gap has raised concern.

    I wonder why material inequality is not one of the top issues in the US? Possible answer: Because that society is “credithetized” (credit + anesthetized)–a new word for 2007.

  • congressradio

    How about one of the many now-famous celebrity fusions: “Tomkat” or “Brangelina”?

  • http://civilities.net/people/JonGarfunkel Jon Garfunkel

    I caught the last twenty minutes of the show tonight.

    To the fans of “truthiness”– cute word, but use it in a sentence other than explaining its origin in the Colbert Report. It’s a joke word.

    Of the word “spray” which made the radio show– interesting, but that’s how one describes ballistics of birdshot. It suggests carelessness, not malevolence, which is why it’s not such a great metaphor for the Vice President after all.

    Interested to here the words from the Crescent City– but the Katrina disaster occured in 2005. I wish I knew the word to describe the fact that the cleanup is far from complete.

  • webgremlin

    Glocalization. People acting in their local politics well-knowing that is the only way bigger changes will be made. (my own interpretation)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glocalisation

  • kyoto_art_life

    “Carbon neutral” may be an infrequent occurance to Americans, but to Europeans and Japanese, it’s something we read in the newspaper or hear on the radio every week.

  • baileyman

    “as well”. It’s taking over my kids and my relatives, seemingly first in the UK, but now here as well.

  • plnelson

    “Carbon neutral” may be an infrequent occurance to Americans, but to Europeans and Japanese, it’s something we read in the newspaper or hear on the radio every week.

    They may HEAR it but it was recently announced that almsot all the European signatories to Kyoto failed to meet even the very MODEST (and too small to be environmentally useful) targets they set for themselves several years ago.

    Which brings me to my proposal for 2006 word of the year: GREENWASHING.

    This is when a government or corporation tries to promote or market itself as environmentally friendly without actually making a substantial reduction in their environmental footprint.

  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    Jon Garfunkle wrote “What’s the word for someone who poisons the well of an online forum with repetitive posts in order to suffer the rest in his ideological regurgitations? Oh, never mind.”

    Maybe we should now explore the use of the word “_ussy”? Or maybe a phrase like “Would you enjoy some cheese to go with that w(h)ine?”

    But please don’t take me seriously as I wouldn’t want to make anyone cry.

    “Cry!?, Cry!?, there’s no crying in on-line discourse!”

  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    Not a new word but might apply to some

    obsequious \ob-SEE-kwee-us\, adjective:

    Servilely attentive; compliant to excess; fawning.

  • plnelson

    avecfrites Says

    I’m afraid the word of the year might be “surge”. It’s a delightful little word that brings to mind the promises of the “weekender” pill, but will deliver instead a final demonstration of our national impotence.

    ‘On The Media’ just did a great story on the “surge”.

    They interviewed Frederick Kagan, of the American Enterprise Institute, the proponent of the “surge”. He complained that the media are distorting his proposal because what he has in mind is a significant increase that will last a long time, not a brief increase. The problem with Kagan’s complaint is that a surge IS brief! He’s being disingenuous -

    if he meant a long sustained increase then he should have picked a different word, e.g., “escalation” – he can’t have his cake and eat it too.

    So I agree – “surge” is a good candidate for word of the year.

  • Potter

    The word/s of the year: “oy gevalt!”

  • zeke

    I was kind of surprised that in a discussion which featured a fair amount of discussion about politcs there was no mention (that I caught) of Geroge Orwell. His Politics and the English Language should be required reading each New Year.

  • nother

    Winston Dodson, a real man does not call people names like that without saying where one can talk in person. You wanna call Jon Garfunkle “_ussy”, I’ve heard you call Chris a coward, Nick all kinds of names. You and I should have a conversation in person, don’t you think?

  • Potter

    Here is a link to George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language as recommended by Zeke.

    http://westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/politics_and_the_english_languag.htm

  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    Nother – from your last comments above where you are obviously displaying such physical bravery I wouldn’t have suspected another remark above about the application of the word terrorism to our efforts in Iraq.

    But just like your implied threat is probably a reflex your terrorism comments are as well. I think that it is interesting that they are both coming from someone like you who doesn’t really know what causing physical harm is and no inkling what a war is about. Maybe “Bravado” and “Naiveté”.

    But making both of those comments make you feel good don’t they? It seems that those might be easily uttered by someone who has never participated in anything of much import?

    And by the way, talk is cheap.

  • nother

    Actually, I was not challenging you to a dual Winston Dodson; I’m not looking to fight someone over some comment on this thread. The physical bravery I’m displaying is simply to have the courage to speak in person. I would like to meet you for a beer sometime and talk politics. There is nothing I disdain more then someone you throws insults from a distance. At times, your participation on this thread has been tantamount to the yahoos who give the finger out their car windows at 60 miles an hour when they feel they’ve been cut off. If that same person cut you off on the sidewalk – not a peep to be heard. You called Chris a coward on an earlier thread are you going to tell me that you would have the courage to call him that to his face. I have a feeling you spend a lot of time in cyberspace, maybe so much time that you’ve lost site of a certain sense of humanity, much less civility. These are real people you are calling such vial names. You asked me if it felt good to make those comments, well let me ask you the same, did it feel good to call Jon a _ussy? I recall Brendan writing that he’s had beers with you, so you must have some redeeming qualities. Brendan’s respect gives you credibility and that’s why I get so disturbed by you bullying on the thread. I live in Cambridge MA, the next time your in Boston lets have a beer and some civil talk, that’s my only challenge. I know Jon Garfunkel lives in the Boston area as well so maybe he could join us. My email address is garrettz72@hotmail.com

  • http://n/a winston_dodson

    Nother – I am grateful that you would want to try and harm this old man since I am, as you so pathetically tried to argue, a trained and unrepentant terrorist (military) and as such, my have some of those past tendencies still within me. And I’d love to talk sometime but it seems, from your remarks above, that I need to spend sometime in deep introspection before. I will do so but first let me provide an few arguments in favor of your doing so as well.

    First you suggest that I “spend a lot of time in Cyberspace”. I do so “in spurts and fits” but that is mostly in contributing content to other peoples blogs. But I suggest that it is you who seem to spend too much time “bottom feeding” in Cyberspace. I mean really, please asking yourself, what useless excuse of a person that considers themselves someone who “thinks” could make the statement that the US involvement is equivalent to terrorism? Since I cannot believe that you actually had a single thought in your head that argument can rationally be made I assume you simply reflexively “spit it out” after continually reading after hanging out on and reading the tripe on “idiotarian” / moonbat websites. And I wish to submit that statement as an example of the PATHETIC tone of the VAST MAJORITY on comments on this site.

    Next, I think that you might spend some time understanding how your emotions / pre-depositions bias your judgment / understanding.

    I didn’t call anyone a “_ussy”. I alluded to that fact that anyone who reacted like he did should consider understanding such a word. And I will standby that statement as well as using the description again of PATHETIC. And I am going to use that phrase to develop my thesis.

    Next. I didn’t call Chris a “coward” I called him a “moral coward” and I’d dearly love to discuss my use of that term with him or anyone else. Chris long ago passed from the space that could be described as “rational skepticism” into “reflexive cynicism” re: many subjects that frankly, despite his towering intellect and experience, frankly he knows nothing about. He seems to do this out of a deeply held belief that he is right but that is under the surface and he trys to maintain the facade of the “noble questioner searching for truth”. This is moral cowardess” – if you can’t say it don’t hide behind some blind claiming some other motive.

    But this really gets to what I find most disturbing about the comments contributed to this site and some significant portions of the on air content.

    The word I will use once again is PATHETIC. Why? Because it is simply unchallenged drivel that would / does fall apart the first time in was / is challenged. I will give 2 examples: The first an “on-air” then the one that I cited here.

    In a show with Nial Ferguson Chris tried to get away with beginning the argument that the USSR had no real aspirations for expended any real efforts to expand their influence into the Middle East Africa. As we were listening to this show, my wife and I were driving and when she heard Chris start making this statement she said (something like – to paraphrase) “Winston, don’t you have a piece of a Russian Aircraft in your study that you got from an old aircraft setting abandoned next to a runway in Somalia?”. To which I replied “Yes I do and this host’s attempts and overlooking / denying the fact of the extensive Russian presence there is like my uncle, who is a conservative Christian, denying the fact of evolution as I talk with him with a 300 million year old fossil in my hand”. Well, I didn’t have to wait long as on this show, Nail quickly “slapped Chris silly” on this point and moved on. This is an example of a “feed back loop” where, if the guest is chosen correctly, Chris excesses can be checked.

    The next example is online comment re: trying to equat the US’s actions in Iraq with terrorism. Whether it is the fact that millions of people there have stood in line more than 3 times to participate in voting at risk to their own safety or the fact that we convict and jail our own people when it is found that they “acted like terrorists” it is obvious that the claim of US’s participation in terrorism there is only credible at “un-credible” sites like Kos et al.

    The fact that the comments like this can be made on this site yet not challenged nor even that there are no comments from ” the other side of the “political spectrum” makes this entire endeavor seem PATHETIC.

    Yes, I know Brendan and it is hard to say because it is obvious he tries to foster a more robust discussion on this site but I can’t say that it has succeeded. Iintially, in my other blogging “adventures” I tries to steer others of a different philosophy towards the site by links emails etc and the general comment I got was “pathetic, why bother, it seems like the “community there is very comfortable not being ‘disturbed’” etc etc.

    Well, when I am here and contributing I don’t mind ‘disturbing’ and I might point out that even though you seem to imply that all I do is “call names” most of my post supply links materials where many other are “poems” etc or links to inane (although interesting to the poster and some other readers) that will NEVER be even considered be presented to the guests on air.

    I might suggest a thought experiment. Which type of discussion would more like foster learning, support the on-air show and be more “fun”. One where an bunch of “_ussies” all comment on “how great the world would be if . . . .. ” and / or left comments / content / poems that obliquely related to the discussion at hand or a discussion where people challenged each other (as Chris challenged Nail and Nail responded) and where “name calling” happens on occasion.

    Competition / challenge / struggle is the only way any ideas flourish as only those that survive will have a chance. Without this the only way that they can be discribed are pathetic.

    I live and work in Boston and am in Cambridge on occasion so I hope the chance to share a conversation over a beer is good. I’ll try / suggest that Brendan facilitate that.

  • rc21

    To Winston Dodson : From a fellow terrorist (X Military) Nice post. Sometimes I feel like the only person on this sight that is to the right of Castro. I’m sure others must exist.

  • nother

    Ha ha, your cracking me up Winston, you really are. Listening to you mince words from your earlier comments is amusing. “I didn’t call Chris a “coward” I called him a “moral coward” and in a post directed specifically to Jon Garfunkel you write Maybe we should now explore the use of the word “_ussy”? So your argument is since you didn’t write the actual sentence, Jon you are a _ussy, you did not call anyone names. This all makes me laugh because I’m sure you were one of the repudiating President Clinton for mincing his words during the impeachment. Your sophistry of conservatism is fun to read Winston, when it rises above base name-calling.

    I’ll try to respond point by point:

    To respond to your thesis that ROS is “pathetic” because it lacks an environment of challenging, your anecdotal evidence confounds me. You have the gall; the audacity to cite an example of Chris spouting “unchallenged” facts on a show where the guest challenges him. Winston, you think it was an accident that Nail was on the show? Chris read his whole book before the show and fully expected to challenge and be challenged during the whole show – that was the point. I’m amazed that you would use this as an example. Is it because Chris was wrong about a fact? Is all his credibility nullified because a guest HE invited on corrected him (or in your eloquently manly words “slapped Chris silly.”

    Your second example of pathetic statements going unchallenged is my “terrorism” comment. I was hoping to provoke a discussion about the word terrorism. You seem to have it down pat, so I ask you, would you please tell me your official definition of the word? When I looked it up it said the use of violence for political aims. With that definition, if you took a poll of everyone person in the Middle East and asked them if the actions of the US amounted to terrorism, what would be the results. Tell me your definition Winston and I’ll respond in kind.

    I take your thesis to be that ROS and everything associated with is “pathetic.” By “pathetic” I’m assuming you are referring to the age-old definition – things I disagree with. That is fine, you can disagree with everything here, but there is one thing to keep in mind when you come our house for dinner, we have guidelines around here. You ask a direct question in your above post, you ask would I prefer a place where “One where an bunch of “_ussies” all comment on “how great the world would be if . . . ” and / or left comments / content / poems that obliquely related to the discussion at hand or a discussion where people challenged each other (as Chris challenged Nail and Nail responded) and where “name calling” happens on occasion.”

    I have a direct answer for you Winston. The place where “name calling” happens is not only not “preferred” it’s not tolerated here. That’s not just my opinion, it’s the community’s opinion, something we’ve worked hard to cultivate. Jon Garfunkle, the man you insulted, Chris, Nick, myself, along with others have worked hard to manicure the lawn to this house, you come along once in a while, decide you don’t like the look and piss on the grass. Considering you only gave me two options, I guess I prefer the first one where I’m part of a bunch of _ussies commenting on how great the world would be if…

    I’ll end by responding to your statement, “most of my post supply links materials where many other are “poems” etc Yes, to this reader anyway, many of your posts have been a refreshing voice of difference. But one mean, nasty, post can negate all of the positive. For some reason you seem to sense that it’s you up against all of us at ROS. I realize you want to correct the error of our ways, but try writing for yourself – not us, a little more often and you might feel more enriched by the process. You write Competition / challenge / struggle is the only way any ideas flourish.” I agree but that means challenging yourself to be civil and struggling to look inward at your own ignorance. Just one time I would like to read a post by you where you question yourself, where you are secure enough to show a little vulnerability, I promise I won’t call you a _ussy.

    P.S. Please take a look at the guidelines

  • nother
  • Potter

    Nother writes to Winston Dodson: “You write Competition / challenge / struggle is the only way any ideas flourish.” I agree but that means challenging yourself to be civil and struggling to look inward at your own ignorance.”

    In case WD was not reading at the time we just had some sessions here with someone who had a difference of opinion strongly held as well as some obsession on certain matters. What became intolerable was not the point of view, or even the obsession in the end, but the total lack of respect for those with whom he differed. He too argued strenuously that “competition/challenge/struggle as the only way ideas flourish”. But after so much abuse and poisoning of threads it became apparent that this reasoning was an excuse for being “ utterly incapable of amendment by precept or example” (Jonathan Swift on YAHOOS) What was intolerable was the underlying intolerance, the lack of respect for the other person, and lack of respect for the opinion as well.

    We all have some trouble occasionally (especially with the latter) but when it seems that this is the modus operandi of a person ( nastiness for it’s own sake, to test, to “dis” the whole site and effort here) it becomes a real nuisance to put it mildly and nicely, something those of us who came to dinner would rather leave over in fact than endure.

    If, Winston Dodson, you have a real point to make here, I mean if you bother to come and post for any other reason than to trash and for reasons beyond insulting, then why sabotage yourself, why sabotage that communication? If you perceive yourself to be one of the few here (or the only one) of an opinion that is missing on this site, if you feel yourself in a strange land, why would you want to represent your people in such a way, appearing to us as a visitor from the land of YAHOOs , those untamable brutes described in “Gulliver’s Travels”?

    Note: I did not call him a YAHOO. I alluded to that fact that anyone who reacted like he did should consider understanding such a word. (I don’t intend to develop my thesis any further however.)

  • rc21

    I don’t quite understand the attacks on W.D. I went back to the begining of the thread. WD proposed several words that I would say for lack of a better term were anti-liberal. Crockumentery,moonbat ,fauxtography, He made no personal attacks on this sights posters.

    I then saw several posts that talked about words that I would call anti conservitive or were used in that context. I see no problem in any of this.

    It wasn’t until JonGarfunkel posted was there a personal attack(which I really don’t have a problem with),as we see in his first paragraph which was undeniably intended to ridicule WD. WD then responded. He may have used more direct language than I or others would use, but it’s a free country.

    Truth be told it was JG who started the personal attack. Nother then made some vauge threats that he then backed away from,this I find a bit more serious and disconcerting. Potter then continued the pileing on with her post.

    It seems as if some readers would like to have WD disappear from this sight . Nother says personal attacks are not tolerated on this sight. He then goes on to personally attack WD at length. Comparing him to a yahoo,calling him a bully and telling him to look inward at his own ignorance. Potter seems to be echoing the same sentiments only in a much more subtle way. Yet we hear nothing about the instigator of this whole fiasco,JG what do nother and potter have to say about him should he also go away?( I hope not)

    JG and WD have a right to post there own opinions on different topics. Nothing they posted was out of line. Sometimes stronger then necesary language is used. I would rather look at the meat of what they are saying. As I said I would be much more concerned with the threat made by nother in one of his earlier posts. I don’t know what he really meant.so I guess I’ll take him at his word.when he said he only wanted to sit down over a beer and talk.

  • nother

    Thank you Potter for your voice of reason. You write a great description of what happened with jdyer.

    rc21, after reading your post, I do believe I have some level or responsibility in this, albeit not the same level. I laugh when I hear you call his 12/21 post “direct language,” but whatever.

    It’s like Allison always says, attack the idea not the person, if we all follow that rule we will all live in harmony – or something in the that neighborhood.

    Btw, rc21 you should look inward at your ignorance as well, as should I and all the rest of us. Ignorance means not to know, and Socrates told us a long time ago that the greatest man knows how little he knows. I listen to this show to eradicate my ignorance and I blog with the idea of mining my own ignorance.

    I’m moving on now.

  • Potter

    I happen to agree with Jon Garfunkel’s remark. If WD had offered “wingnut” in self deprecation it would have softened the blow of his several offerings that seemed to be designed to take advantage of this occasion to namecall – yes obliquely and subtly, but also crudely such that if one happens to admire, say Al Gore, as I do, one would have to be taken aback by the foulness of the comment, while at the same time trying to swallow defense of the trashy foulmouthed Ann Coulter.

    This is not an attack on WD. It’s a direct criticism.

    I’ll move on too.

  • http://www.hiddenboston.com hiddenboston

    I agree about the word “truthiness.” Or perhaps “nukeular.” :-D