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Friday, October 05, 2007


A new term for the lexicon

Your Opinion Kills Puppies

The tendency of authors to dismiss a philosophy, political point or other abstract opinion by attributing it to a nasty character. Nobody actually disproves this nasty character's abstract principles - but he goes around killing puppies! You don't want to be like him, do you?

This is often used in dispute scenes between Our Hero and Mr Killspuppies. In such scenes, the message is not 'These people are wrong for a reason', but 'These people are bad so you don't have to listen to their arguments'. The conversation goes like this:

Hero: The sky is green!
Mr K: No it's not, it's blue.
Hero: I don't have to listen to this crap, you kill puppies!
Mr K: Darn right I do! Blue skies rule. Hey look, a little Pekinese! Where's my hammer?


At the risk of addicting you, there's a great site called tvtropes.org, which is a wiki of all kinds of tropes in storytelling. (Not just television, despite the name.) Some of your lexicon items are already lurking there under different names, just as the Cliff of Death (which the folks at TVTropes call "Karmic Death".)
Oh no! Beware sheila's siren call! I have spent HOURS on that site. Hours. Up to six of them. In a row.
You see this all the time online. "Oh yeah? That's what HITLER believed, too!"
I do wish people wouldn't do that. It completely queers the pitch for the few occasions when comparisons with Nazism actually are appropriate.
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