On being ripped off

I claim to have originated the label “septic” for the malodourous end of the skeptic range, and I have the evidence (in fact I can go back further) for the context-less jonny-come-latelies.

I also claim “going emeritus” [1], but admit I got that from Jack Vance (the Languages of Pao, possibly the only (sci-fi?) book about societal control by choice of language, err, except for 1984 of course).


  1. #1 greenfyre

    No questioning the 2004-12-07 usage, but it is not clear that the Oct 22 2004 is intentional ;-)

    Very well then … I shall play Leibnitz to your Newton, Wallace to your Darwin; the text is amended as follows:

    “Stoat has taken umbrage (a fine purgative, good for gout, shingles, and high in vitamin D) at perceived plagarism of his coining of “septic” to refer to Deniers.

    He offers the indisputable evidence of “The septics are cr*p (part XVII…)” and “Septics and skeptics; denialists and contrarians”, although his “REALITIES OF GLOBAL WARMING” reference is a bit dubious, it may be a typo ;-)”

    [That will do nicely. Though I can assure you it was never a typo! -W]

  2. #2 Nicolas Nierenberg

    I generally don’t like the way people like to label others in debates. I think people should get to label themselves.

    This echoes abortion where each side wants to frame the language. Ideas should be debated on their merits, not on coming up with clever names for people we don’t agree with.

  3. #3 greenfyre

    @ Nicolas Nierenberg

    As I say in my post, and Mark Hoofnagle points out Climate change deniers: failsafe tips on how to spot them: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/mar/10/climate-change-denier

    They DO label themselves, by their actions, which folk wisdom suggests is a greater authority than their words.

  4. #4 who cares

    What about the book Babel-17 for use of language to shape people?

    [Could be, but I have a vague memory of finding that book too irritating to finish -W]

  5. #5 Eli Rabett

    George Orwell was wrote earlier about how the use of language shaped people, but that goes back at least as far as Machiavelli

  6. #6 Lobster

    #2, that’s a nice thought but you sometimes end up with both sides giving themselves very generous labels.

    For instance, I could say that everyone on my side of any debate is on the “Correct” side. :)

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