Comment of the Day

Monday, July 25th, 2011

In response to the post just below this one:

More than one “should” in an article. How droll.
You do realize that the verb “should” describes a state contrary to reality.
Not a subjunctive hypothetical but an antithesis.
Saying that A should or should not do B is wishing for reality to be other than it is. It is to put not to fine a point on it a republicrat bloviatory creptitation and is avoided in acceptable writing.

Kinda’ reminds me of those Mike Tyson sketches on In Living Color. Or, to borrow from “Little Carmine” Lupertazzi, this commenter sounds like “an old-fashioned kind of guy—very allegorical.”

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14 Responses to “Comment of the Day”

  1. #1 |  BenS | 

    Sounds a little Lougner-esque to me.

  2. #2 |  AlecN | 

    The funniest part of this comment is that this guy is obsessed with grammar and acceptable writing and yet misspells both the word “crepitation” and, more embarrassingly, the word “too.”

    Another thing that is generally avoided in “acceptable writing” is sentence fragments. This guy must have missed that day.

  3. #3 |  Greg C | 

    One who confuses “to” and “too” SHOULD not lecture others about acceptable writing.

  4. #4 |  Michael | 

    Don’t waste your time correcting someone who obviously is working on their philosophy degree:

  5. #5 |  C | 

    Come on now, Michael. Let’s not malign philosophers cause we met one one time who we kinda didn’t like a little. Here’s how an actual philosopher critiques this bullshit:

    ‘Should’ signals normativity, in contrast to descriptivity. If a person SHOULD do x, then it is the case that the person OUGHT TO do x. There’s no necessary counterfactual claim here, however, as some people actually do what they SHOULD do. Radley SHOULD employ his journalistic abilities to write compelling, elucidatory pieces. And (descriptively) Radley ACTUALLY DOES use employ his journalistic abilities to write compelling, elucidatory pieces.

  6. #6 |  notsure | 

    lol 47 people looked up “creptitation” (myself included) on, only to find out it is a completely made up word.

  7. #7 |  JOR | 


    I drafted up a reply similar to that on the very thread that comment appeared on, but decided it wasn’t worth the response. Exactly right. (Being me I also added some smartass snark about the apparent belief in such a thing as “good” writing conflicting with the objection to normative claims.)

  8. #8 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Thank god someone finally came out and said what we’ve all been thinking.

  9. #9 |  JOR | 

    Also to be fair, it’s not philosophers who are being derided so much as first-year philosophy students and dabblers who get caught up in the tides of all sorts of faddish pseudo-philosophical silliness (like the existentialist Objectivist socialist Libertarian in the skit. Though I’d quibble that that combination is not necessarily logically contradictory, as Objectivism is a species of socialism anyway, socialists (including Objectivists) can perceive smaller/localist government as being preferable, and socialism (though perhaps not Objectivism in particular) and libertarianism are both compatible with existentialism). Nevertheless most people who self-identify as any of those things, let alone all of them combined, are not quite thoughtful enough to pull anything coherent off.

  10. #10 |  k | 

    “SHOULD BE avoided in acceptable writing”

  11. #11 |  CK | 

    Thank you thank you.
    Miss Pellings happen.
    A t here an o there and suddenly an obession there is.

  12. #12 |  CK | 


  13. #13 |  FLA-MRK | 

    The commenter is no doubt “at this moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When [his] brain begins to reel from [his] literary labors, [he] make[s] an occasional cheese dip.”

  14. #14 |  CK | 

    Actuall FLA-MRK I have spent the last several days trying to figure out why 90+ educated, politically well connected, healthy young adults would allow themselves to be slaughtered by one guy in a Norwegian Cop’s uniform.