Clarissa’s Dictionary of Internet-Speak

After almost two and a half years of blogging, I have seen certain comments crop up with scary regularity and had to learn to decipher them. Here is a list of such popular comments and my translations of what they really mean. Feel free to add your own:

This is a straw-man argument – How dare you denounce sexists, racists, and homophobes to whom I proudly belong?

Where is your respect for freedom of speech? – I will spout any kind of rubbish I want and you will listen and never object.

You would gain more allies if you were less aggressive – Shut up and go into your corner, you woman.

Everything you write is ridiculous – I’m vaguely bothered by something you said but I’m too stupid to verbalize what it is that bothers me.

You don’t even know me, so how dare you say these things about me – I’m such a center of the universe that everything published online has to be about me.

This is a horrible blog! I will never come back! – I will read all of the posts you ever wrote, commit many of them to memory, and keep leaving endless comments about how this is a horrible blog and how I will never come back to it.

You just say this because you are autistic – I am bothered by clear, logical arguments.

You are elitist – I don’t understand all these long three-syllable words.

You are lying, this never really happened to you – I don’t know how to reconcile your experience with my very limited world view.

All of you Lefties / feminists / autistics / women are the same – The world makes no sense to me unless I have subdivided people into groups and assigned labels to them.

It is a waste of time to argue with you – I have no idea how to respond to your arguments.

22 thoughts on “Clarissa’s Dictionary of Internet-Speak

  1. Gaining more allies if less aggressive, I get this IRL all the time and I am actually quite mild mannered. I also get, it’s not what you said, it’s the way that you said it. I am convinced that it actually *is* the*content* of my speech to which people object.


    1. I’d really like to know if male bloggers ever get the “be less aggressive” comments. Maybe I should conduct a poll.

      I agree completely that picking on the form betrays a disquiet about the content.


      1. Hmmm. I was just getting ready to comment about the same thing on the other post (New Poll) about whether male bloggers get the same sort of BS…be less aggressive or the flies, honey, vinegar platitudes. My guess is that they don’t, although I could be wrong. I’m not a blogger, but I’ve heard similar kinds of comments when I speak my mind on a subject.

        It’s just another way that people try to silence you with their disapproval and as you state disquiet about the content….very true.


        1. The funny thing is that such people always start really meal-mouthed and eventually descend into great aggression. 🙂

          Going to other people’s blogs and trying to censor people’s writing styles cannot be healthy. Because if one doesn’t like a blog, one can always very easily go read something else.


          1. Well in conversation it generally stops the conversation, or it usually did me. Blogging is different than in-person communication and I agree that it is not healthy, just as it really isn’t healthy to stop a conversation either.

            I tend to then avoid people who demonstrate by their behaviors that they cannot tolerate my opinions. What kind of relationship is that anyway. It is always about them. Some people are all about control and manipulation, but I tend to find that behavior is more universal–meaning that I tend to encounter it frequently


  2. I love this blog ! I am only 12 years old but, I already understand feminism and this entry is just amazing ! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with us ! 🙂


    1. On the other hand, Hindu revivalists are called revisionist historians because the quite literally rewrite textbook history from a “India is a Hindu nation” pov. So the accusation might be perfectly accurate, it depends entirely on who’s doing the name-calling, and what one’s ideologies in relation to the history being revised are.


      1. Sure enough! The original tweet, however, runs as follows: “Revisionist historians and general idiots: —> @wininmad @peced @thinkprogress #SleptThroughJrHighAmericanGovernmentClass #USAIsARepublic”

        So the message seems to be “how dare you depart from what you were taught in the American junior high classroom”?


        1. ‘America is (supposed to be) a republic, not a democracy,’ has been a slogan parroted by the anti-UN, anti Federal Reserve type paleoconservatives for generations. The so-called TEA party is merely its current incarnation. It resurfaces every 20 years or so in some form or another.


  3. you write what you choose to write. don’t let anyone censor you, or sway you from your beliefs. Don’t bother with bulls_it comments they are just that, bulls_it good for fertilizing plants and nothing more.


    1. Oh my God. That is so offensive. What a jerk is that person who responded to you. Autism has nothing to do with Libertarianism. And Libertarianism has nothing to do with autism. How can anybody be so stupid as to imply they are linked???


  4. I’ve gotten ‘This is the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard’ meaning: I will never adhere to this particular idea, so shut the fuck up.

    Oh, this is fun 😉


  5. I LOVE THIS POST. I’ve gotten the “strawman” thing a lot (incidentally, what a weird expression, I hadn’t even heard of it until people started saying it to me).


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