Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Word the Internet Needs

It has come to my attention that many of us who are active on the Internet sometimes need a quick, one-word response to express the idea, "I see your point, and you are correct on some level, but you have expressed this in such a condescending/ smarmy/ mean way that, while I may accept your point once my shame response has faded, right now all I can do is marvel at what a creep you're being." *

The old saw "If you can't find anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" has morphed into "If you can't find anything nice to say, comment online." And it seems to be getting worse. Almost daily, I see situations where a person smugly/aggressively corrects someone's spelling or grammar just to show off; uses a condescending phrase like, "You're too smart to believe THAT" in an online argument; or otherwise throws knowledge around in such a way that the end result is not clarity/compassion/deeper understanding on the part of the person they're lecturing, but shame and resentment. It would be nice to see less of it, and so I think we should use this word to identify it. Perhaps the bullies can gradually be shamed into extinction? (Yeah, probably not).

It is possible this word will have extra-web uses as well, but given that the Internet often seems to turn even nice people into boorish, aggressive yellers, I think its primary use will be online. If you find yourself needing it often IRL, get some new friends to hang out with and stop letting your Grandma treat you that way. 

The word is "Douché." Yes, smartypantses, it is a portmanteau. Please only deploy it on the truly deserving.  (You may have to use it on me when appropriate. I fear I am not immune from The New Cruelty.)

* Note: This word is not for cases where someone uses a stupid, racist, sexist, illogical, non-factual argument. It should be used solely to respond to someone who is largely or at least partly correct, but is being a real snakewad about it. (No offense to snakes, or wads.)

Here are some usage examples.

Betty: [posts a picture of dinner she cooked] Look what I made! It's my first attempt at stroganoff. 
Rachel: It looks like a pile of dog vomit with mushrooms.
Betty: Oh ... Well ... Douché. 

Reporter: [posts story she had a 2-hour turnaround time on, already unhappy that it's not her best work]: Here is my story about kittens.
Billy Bob: You didn't even mention that they are fuzzy. HOW CAN A KITTEN STORY NOT MENTION FUZZINESS? YOU ARE SUCH AN IDIOT WITH YOUR LACK OF FUZZINESS REFERENCES. I AM NEVER COMING TO THIS SITE AGAIN.
Reporter: Douché. 

Steve: John, our friendship just means so much to me. I really think your a great person.
John: You mean "you're." 
Steve: Douché.

2 comments:

Karla said...

Brilliant, will employ!

Barbara Peterson said...

I love both the ideas and the writing in this! I, too, need to be called a Douche (don't know how to get the accented e here - sorry) sometimes in person. Online, oddly enough, I'm much nicer. I guess, despite being a pedantic ass sometimes, I believe in fair play. So, if I bite someone, I believe they have the right to bite back. Nevertheless, this does not excuse my arrogance - I'm working on it.
Thanks for insight :)