Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another thing...

I don't know what fancy rhetorical device this is, but I've heard a lot of it lately, and I'd like it to stop. Modified ad hominem?

1: The sky is plaid colored.
2: No, it's blue.
1: No intelligent person can say anything but that the sky is plaid.
2: Stymie!

(Not really stymied, but this sort of passive ad hominem forces the "defender" to raise the stakes. You either give up and let 1 win, or you argue with the proposition, forcing yourself to appear unintelligent in the eyes of 1. Or you attack the line of reasoning, and then you're the guy who "kicked it up a notch" but making it personal. 1 was just generalizing, and if you took offense, 1 is very sorry for your lack of comprehension.)

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