Language as Terrorism
All of the techniques listed in this document have actually been witnessed, told
to us by someone else, or dreamed up. They are described in first person for
clarity of motive.
The intent of detailing and naming these insidious tactics is so that the reader
may AVOID USING THEM, to quickly recognize if someone else is using
them, and for fun. There is much humor in the way people (consciously or
unconsciously) conversationally cheat.
It is hoped that exposing these tactics will help muzzle the growing abuse in our
conversational landscape. Give copies to both perpetrators and victims (only
NOT for profit use).
The examples are overblown in an attempt to be both Sleight of Mind Fallacies
clear and funny. Use your imagination to think of how you (perish the thought)
and others have used these techniques in the past.
They have been grouped by major category, with the best (worst!) saved for
First, we have the As Hominem Varioation where you attack the person as a
way to avoid truth, science, or logic which might otherwise prove you wrong.
Next are the , which act as "mental magic" to make sure the unwanted subject
disappears. Then, we move on to Delay Tactics, which are subtle means to buy
time when put on the spot. Then, the ever popular Questions as Opportunity
ploys, where any question can be deftly averted. Finally, we have the Cheap
Shot Tactics and Irritants which are basically "below the belt" punches.
Ad Hominem Variants
OVER YOUR HEAD:
"I'd like to respond to that, but taking into account your background, education,
and intelligence, I am quite sure that you would not be able to understand."
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"My next point will be so cogent that even you will be able to understand it."
"Even you should be able to grasp the next point."
YOU'LL GET OVER IT:
"I used to think that way when I was your age."
"As you mature emotionally (or mentally, or spiritually), you will grow out of