"We aren't" != "You are"

This warning is ridiculously unfair. Seriously? Saying “At least we aren’t being jerks. . .” is not at all the same as saying “You are a jerk.”

I did not insult anybody. I did invite him to try the shoe on and see if it fit. He felt it didn’t, and I let it go.

A WARNING for that?

Please reconsider.


Sorry, I read that as indicating that the other person is being a jerk and trying to stifle the conversation. In my opinion as a moderator, the warning was clearly warranted.

So if I replied “Maybe you’re a jerk?” to someone that should be fine? I’m only inviting them to try the shoe on, aren’t I?

I agree with Colibri. Seems like a pretty transparent attempt to skirt the edge of the no-name-calling rule. Sometimes people fly too close to the sun and get their wings singed.

Oh, come now, of course it is! The unspoken but clearly implied words that weren’t added on the end are, “like you”.

You: “That dress doesn’t look good on you.”

Me: “Maybe so, but at least I’m not ugly.”

What did I REALLY just say?

I saw it the same way as the mod. It was clearly a backhanded swipe at the poster you quoted. In particular, since the second line of your post is clearly speaking directly to the poster in a critical way. There is no ambiguity as to who your comment was calling out.

Here is the full comment:

I could see a case for That was really mild as far as insults go, and I didn’t mean it like that. But It wasn’t an insult at all just doesn’t have legs.

It was really mild, and maybe you didn’t mean it to be insulting, so I don’t know if it merited (on its own) a full-on warning.

Unless you have a history, you’d be better off pleading for leniency just this once.

I’ll back up my fellow moderators. That’s an insult, my friend.

Seriously, a shot like that in Cafe Society?

I really WAS blessing his heart!

Add me to the chorus: if you genuinely didn’t mean that as an implied insult, you need to double-check nearly everything you write, because the message that comes through screamingly clear is that you mean to say that Bryan is being a jerk and trying to stifle conversation.

If that’s not what you meant, what on earth is the point of bringing up “trying to stifle conversation” in that context?

Maybe she meant “at least we Dopers aren’t being jerks or trying to stifle conversation like those sad losers on that other website that I now mention spontaneously and who have nothing whatsoever to do with Bryan’s comment that I just quoted.”

I’ll agree, too. And I tend to think the mods will read insults into things that are just attacking the post.

What is the alternate interpretation? Who are you saying is being a jerk? “We” aren’t, so someone else must be, or “at least” makes no sense.


As I was reading the thread and came across it I thought it was entirely out of place in CS because it was an insult. Also curious who “we” were.

OK, I’m really ready to let this go. But I’ll clarify these two points because people have asked:

“We” as I referenced it was “those of us you are attempting to shame/hush, the people who are making long posts because we are interested in this show/discussion.”

The continuum as I see it:

“You are a jerk!” = insult

“You are being a jerk” = not insult

“You are acting like a jerk” = not insult

But whatever. This is not the hill I wish to die on.

This sounds a lot like “How can I call him a jerk and get away with it” to me.

Maybe I’m just being thicker than usual, but how does a verb magically make that sentence not an insult? That “logic” makes absolutely no sense to me.

Each of those sentences starts with “you”. The word jerk is being attached to the person (I’m oversimplfying a bit, I know).

In comparison:
That post came off jerkish
That was a jerky thing to say

Applies “jerk” to the action, not the person.

If I may, the distinction the OP is proposing, if accepted as noninsulting by definition, just invites the use of:

“Well, at least I’m not being a [XXX] about it.”

There’s no reason “we are” can’t be replaced with “I am” and no reason XXX can’t be any of {bitch, motherfucker, asshole…}. If that’s all it takes to bypass the “no insult” rule, the rule is mooted.

It’s not even too far removed from saying “I have absolutely no desire to murder the following people,” then naming everybody except one person. The intent in either case is fairly obvious, and if one wants to claim that this is not literally a threat and the OP’s example is not literally an insult, I’m not buying it.

I don’t think you’re an asshole, no matter what everyone else says!