The Jargon Dictionary says:
spelling flame: n.
[Usenet] A posting ostentatiously correcting a previous article’s spelling as a way of casting scorn on the point the article was trying to make, instead of actually responding to that point (compare dictionary flame). Of course, people who are more than usually slovenly spellers are prone to think any correction is a spelling flame. It’s an amusing comment on human nature that spelling flames themselves often contain spelling errors.
I wonder if people realize just how lame they look when they try to score points off a spelling mistake? Which brings us to Tim Blair, who isn’t just lame, but lame squared, because he has not one, but two posts about a spelling mistake that Chris Sheil made, not in a post, but in a comment. He even has an update where he wets his pants with excitement because OMG! Mark Steyn linked to his spelling flame.
And as usually happens with these things one of Blair’s spelling flames contains a mistake itself. Blair’s error is not something superficial like a spelling mistake, but something substantive. Blair claims:
Bush’s polling has spiked impressively following his Fort Bragg speech.
Using an extremely advanced research technique that I call “following the links” it is possible to find out what actually happened to Bush’s polling after the speech:
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of Americans who watched President Bush’s Iraq speech Tuesday night showed that 46 percent had a “very positive” reaction to what they heard.
The poll was taken immediately after the speech, and the 323 adults interviewed were 50 percent Republican, 23 percent Democratic and 27 percent independent. The margin of error was plus or minus 6 percentage points. …
“It’s difficult to tell from these poll results how the speech will affect general U.S. public,” said CNN polling director Keating Holland.
“Many Americans did not watch the speech. Those who did were 2-to-1 Republican, so most were arguably already in the president’s camp.”…
Respondents in Tuesday night’s poll also were asked three follow-up questions to ones put to them June 24-27. …
The president likewise picked up some support on the question of whether he has a clear plan in Iraq — going from a 56 percent positive response before the speech to 63 percent afterward.
The “impressive spike” is just amongst the mostly Bush supporters who watched the speech. How did he go with the general U.S. public? Not so good. Before the speech 37% felt that he had a clear plan on Iraq. After the speech the number was basically unchanged at just 38%. Media matters has another example of erroneous reporting of the poll.
Update: Blair has added a third post on the spelling mistake. Lame cubed.
More Update: Now up to 4,5,6,7,8 posts on the spelling mistake.