Monday, January 21, 2013

No Name-Calling Week

In case you didn't know, today is the first day of No Name-Calling Week. Inspired by The MisfitsJames Howe's novel for young adults, the week-long event involves educational activities meant to help end name-calling and eliminate bullying. 

Name-calling isn't really a problem on this blog, but from time to time, a comment is punctuated by a disparaging word, and although the substance may be cogent and relevant, Gossips has been criticized for publishing and implicitly tolerating what is perceived as name-calling or finger-pointing. So, at the start of No Name-Calling Week, Gossips urges commenters to make their very pertinent and valid points without using contemptuous epithets like toady, clownhead, or trolleven when such words are used, as is often the case, in apophasis.


  1. I had to look up 'apophasis' to make sure I abide by the new Gossip's rules.
    •"Apophasis, or denial, is a Figure by which an Orator pretends to conceal or omit what he really and in fact declares." Thomas Gibbons 1767
    or more simply put by
    " politician San Fernando Red"
    ( portrayed by comedian Red Skelton)
    •"I'm not going to throw mud at my opponent, because he's a fine man.
    And his wife is a mighty fine woman.
    Mighty fine.
    What he sees in that dame
    he's running around with . . .."

    So I think I'm in the clear, as long as I don't swear. I name names and dates and thier derilection of duties, by Law ~straight up..

  2. Someone once defined "ad hominem" in these threads with an example: it would be ad hominem, they explained, if they were to call me an idiot.

    That was rather an example apophasis.

    An ad hominem comment is directed at a person's character rather than the merits of their argument.

    While the potential for changing the subject by undermining someone's reputation encompasses a lot more than apophasis and epithets, the thing readers should be on the alert for (especially from politicians) is the substituting of any subject matter for another.

    Therein lies the real intellectual dishonesty, after which "ad hominem" insinuations often follow as the substitutes of choice.

    In its consequences, the abuse of reason can be a worse crime than the abuse of persons; in a politician it is akin to an abuse of power.

    So why doesn't reason deserve our solicitude too?