Thursday, February 28, 2008

Niceology? Evil Niceology

Tam's finding name-calling adds nothing to debate. It's been a dinner-table topic here at Roseholme, my contribution being listening and nodding agreement whilst shovelin' down salad.

William F. Buckley's recent death has reminded us of those few -- those happy few, who are, unhappily, far too few -- capable of verbally flaying an opponent with nary a foul word or childish neologism, quite often using the other side's own words in a neat a bit of verbal judo. It's not a skill limited to any political leaning; Buckley and his occasional sparring partner Gore Vidal each had the touch, though not as easily against one another. (Oh heavens not!)

It's good exercise for one's mind, one's vocabulary and perhaps even one's inner self. Sure, it takes more work to take ijits down without mud-hurling, but it'll build up that pinkish-grey muscle in between the ears. And it leaves the Opposition with a full head of steam built up and not much to complain about if'n you used their right name and title and smiled all the while as you took their fool notions apart.


Carteach said...

Profanity and name calling are functions of a mind lacking in the ability to find and use the proper words for the discussion. In other words.... such activity is a sign of a weak mind.

At least.... that is what I tell my students.

Yesterday I told the class: "Due to improper aiming technique, our ladies room will now be limited to ladies only. Any improperly equiped student found using the facility will shortly be properly equiped to use said facility, at our young ladies discretion."

I don't think they got it, which is possible a good thing.

Roberta X said...

Y'know, that's what I dislike about the Skunk Works' North Campus: shared facilities. There's a whole bunch of guys I work with who, if ever I see them on the shootin' range, I'm gonna just turn and go back home, 'cos I know their aim is lousy. Ew.

Turk Turon said...

The NYT has a story on Buckley's erudition this AM. And don't forget J.K. Galbraith and Muhammad Ali:


Tango Juliet said...

Hmmm.... I've made the same suggestion to the "gentlemen" I've debated about concealed carry here in Nebraska. In light of the facts though, name calling is all they have.

Roberta X said...

Ah, there's the rub: whenever one calls names, it gives the impression you've no other resort. Might as well fly a white flag!