Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Doggerel #36: "What Did [Woo] Ever Do to You?"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

This particular doggerel is infuriating for me, since there are some rather nasty aspects to it.

First, like many Doggerel entries, it's a subject change. Whether or not the woo in question did anything to me is irrelevant to the matter. Claims are either true or they aren't. The fact that I've never fallen for a Nigerian chain-email doesn't change the fact that they're scams.

Second, I often sense a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" formulation behind the question. If I did see, for example, a psychic, and failed to be convinced, they'd continue the subject change by calling me bitter, and/or engage in the "No True Scotsman" fallacy in regards to the psychic. If I didn't, they'd shift to another worthy Doggerel entry: "Don't knock it until you've tried it" (Warning: Ryan's not as polite as I am). I'm not about to evaluate something based on one subjective, unblinded, uncontrolled trial involving my senses and memory.

Third, and worst of all, it implies lax morals on the part of the person bringing it up (moreso than usual for doggerel-users). To use an extreme example, the Geiers have never done anything to me, my family, or my friends. That doesn't matter. What the woos are doing is wrong, and I'm not about to switch to an ethical system based on personal consequences. Falsehood often hurts people. Because of that, claims should be evaluated and debated, regardless of whether or not they affect me, personally.


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Anonymous said...

What did [woo] do to me? You mean lying to me is not enough?

Bronze Dog said...