Am i the only one sick of all the fucking "whooshing"? (mild)

This little rant was inspired by a minor exchange between SLASH and me in this thread. The thread, for those who haven’t viewed it, is in the Pit, and is about a few vandals in California who wrecked a small memorial to the victim of the 9/11 attacks. There was general condemnation of the asshats, and the only real area of disagreement was over what measures the police should have taken. Anyway, near the end of the first page, i saw this little gem, posted by SLASH:

To which i replied, using the tone i often take with such drivel:

I expected the next step in this exchange to be some diatribe about how people who wantonly destroy things that others hold dear deserve a beating, but instead i got what has become, for me, one of the more irritating monosyllabic responses common to these message boards:

Now, i don’t consider myself a newbie-basher; i like to think i evaluate someone over a period of time, and that i’m quite understanding of the faux pas sometimes committed by those who haven’t been around very long. But i’m getting really irritated by people who joined these Message Boards the proverbial five minutes ago, yet who still expect that everyone will magically know, in a text-based medium, when they are being ironic.

[Note: This thread is NOT a pitting of SLASH; his/her post was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back on this particular issue.]

I’ve noticed an increasing amount of ill-advised whooshing recently, and upon examining the post that inspired the whoosh, i often think to myself, “Well, it wasn’t that obvious to me either!” While i may not be Einstein, i consider myself a pretty smart guy, and i also believe that i’m quite well conditioned to detect the presence of irony. Nor am i particularly susceptible to whooshing; the exchange quoted above is the first time i can remember being whooshed in months.

But, ferchrissakes people, if you’re going to be ironic, at least make sure that your irony has a chance of being detected by the person or persons at whom you are aiming your comments. Here, for those who need help, are some possible ways you might do this:

  1. Bolding, italicising, or underlining particular word/s that you want to emphasise often serves to demonstrate an ironic tone of voice.

  2. Using quotation marks (" "; ’ '), or inverted commas as we call them where i come from, can serve a similar purpose.

  3. Adopting, via the use of square brackets, the voice of another person, e.g. [Marge Simpson] I say shoot 'em all and let God sort 'em out [/Marge Simpson] This is especially important if, as i have done here, you are actually quoting that person or character; we can’t all be expected to have every cultural reference inside our heads.

  4. While smilies, especially that old standby the rolleyes ( :rolleyes: ), are sometimes overused, they can serve to alert the reader that your words are not to be taken literally.

  5. Provide some context. In SLASH’s post, the words that i quoted constituted the whole post. If they had been placed within a somewhat longer paragraph that adopted a self-consciously ironic tone, then the purpose of the post might have been more clear.

In complaining about this issue, i’m not trying to turn the Boards into a refuge for dull and literal prose. I’m just asking that people remember that a text-based medium is far less nuanced, in many ways, than speech or face-to-face communication. Sometimes things need to be spelled out, literally or figuratively.

And i’m not saying that ironic posts always need markers like those i have suggested, nor that “newbies” are the only cause of the problem. In fact, old-timers often “whoosh” newbies by inflicting long-standing “in jokes” on them and expecting them to get the irony or message.

There are many people on these Boards that i come across quite frequently, and i know them well enough, and they probably know me well enough to know when we are each being ironic about something. In such cases, especially when a post is directed at a particular individual, irony will probably be picked up quite easily. But, even though i’ve been around a while now, i still come across people who i’ve never seen before, yet who have two or three times as many posts as i do. While i obviously don’t assume these people are newbies, i do take a little more care when addressing ironic comments to them, simply because we haven’t “met” before, and i’m not sure whether they’ll get where i’m coming from.

What SLASH, and some others on this Board may not realise is that, if my first contact with you occurs through reading a post that says “I would like to beat some sense into them…preferrably by bashing their skulls in with a lead pipe,” then i am likely to take you at your word and think you’re a fucking idiot. A sentence like that, all by itself, provides me with nothing but the text itself to analyze, and in the absence of other markers or other knowledge, i will take it at face value.

Some might ask how anyone would take such a patently ridiculous statement literally, but if you’re asking that, it truly shows that you haven’t been around these Boards very long.

Thanks for listening.

What a stupid fucking thread…

Wait for it…

Nah, that would be too predictable.

I fully agree with you on this one.

mhendo, your .sig is a horrible biography of your life. I cannot believe you’d succumb to killing a deity for nourishment. And what the hell were you doing flying over the Andes in the first place?

That’s one of the best rants I’ve seen. Thanks mhendo! Good points.

Wow, no-one has chimed in yet to tell me that i need to “lighten up” or “get over it.” It’s good to know that at least a few others feels the way i do.

And to Enderw24:

Fuck you, “animal fucker.” :rolleyes: :slight_smile: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

Perfectly legitimate gripe.

I would add though that some of the wooshes no doubt arise from someone going too far and then trying to backtrack, in essence saying “Dude, I was only kidding”.

In regards to #4, a :wink: might be more appropriate. Good old Mr. Blinkie- sarcasm’s best friend.

additionally:

Or I was drunk/drugged/both. Or it was my brother/roommate. Or everybody knows that I was saying that racist remark to show what I think of your remark.

We have currently have one case of furious backpeddling mixed in with continued insults right now- I am waiting to see how this one ends. I am predicting a 70% chance of implosion, with a 30% chance of persecution complex.

Wow! I was just considering starting a thread on the overuse of “whoosh”, when I saw yours. I completely agree. We’re not mindreaders here. A minor quibble, though. I agree with elf6c - the winking smilie;) is the accepted convention for sarcasm.

Yes, it appears that i got my smiley priorities wrong. I agree that a winkie is proably more appropriate, although i have seen the rolleyes used as well.

I also agree that many people seem to use “whoosh” to save face when they realize that they went a bit overboard.

elf, were you referring to a particular thread in your second para? If so, which one was it?

Crap. Backtrack = backpedal = I’m functionally illegitimate.

By the way, is it true God tastes like chicken?

(sorry if I’m like the 1,000th person to make that joke.)

heh heh heh!

mhendo it has been a set of patterns I have seen over and over. Although a certain poster who started a Pit (which backfired), and had one regarding him seems to be living up to the pattern currently. If you check those Pittings you will see it.

I personally thought this was a good answer to an attempted(?) whoosh. Your mistake was to have admitted that you were in fact whooshed.

I have been known to make posts that were potential whooshes and sometimes I use ;):rolleyes::p:D:cool::eek: as alerts and sometimes not. In my opinion there is nothing more embarrassing than to lay claim to a whoosh that is so obvious that nobody would buy it. What IMHO is really bad form is the person laying claim to having whooshed you. First of all it is just plain bad manners to tell someone to their face that you whooshed them. More important though is the fact that the perfect whoosh is one that goes completely over the other person’s head. Then late at night it hits them, I’ve been whooshed!

But, despite what i said in my OP, i don’t really think that i was. I mean, as i said, how can it be a whooshing if there are absolutely no indicators that the post is ironic in any way. While some short sentences can quite easily appear to be ironic or humorous, i’m still, days later, having trouble detecting any such irony or humour in the sentence: “I would like to beat some sense into them…preferrably by bashing their skulls in with a lead pipe.”

In my year and a half on these Boards, i’ve come across quite a few people who would say something like this in all seriousness. The fact that i had never seen SLASH post before meant that i had no frame of reference from which to evaluate his/her post.

As a rule of thumb - it takes a third person to say ‘whoosh.’ It should be obvious in retrospect. The OP can only say ‘sorry, i was joking - wasn’t it clear?’

I never really considered that, but i think it’s an excellent rule of thumb.