When you google "Santorum"

I think conservatives try to ignore it, to their detriment

Wait a tic. If people make stupid remarks about a shit-for-brains reactionary knucklehead, then he becomes less of a shit-for-brains reactionary knucklehead?

Has anyone messed with his Wiki entry?
ETA: Whew, lot of activity in just the past 12 hours.

I don’t know that they’re ignorant of the story. If they are, it’s probably because it happened seven years ago. It was a fairly big deal at the time, but he’s been out of office for a while and that’s a lot of time for people to forget. For whatever it’s worth I think Santorum got what he deserved, and it was funny.

Don’t forget frothy. The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.

I honestly didn’t know the source of the “other meaning” and that’s why I asked about it in GQ. I had seen the posts snickering about it, and just assumed that it had some sort of double entendre in the Greek language, or was mistranslated, or something (similar to an English surname like Glasscock). I had no idea that it was a political enemy just making something up and that’s why I agree with the OP in that it has no legitimacy at all.

Let’s take Biden. Imagine Rush Limbaugh decides on his radio show that a “biden” is something obscene, has it google bombed, and every time someone here posts about the VP, conservatives follow up with snicker posts about it.

My point is that the insult, taunt, or whatever, is illegitimate. You can’t make up the insult and then use it. I hereby declare that the name Der Tris means “Christian Missionary” and in every thread that he rails against religion, I am going to follow each of his posts with, “That’s pretty ridiculous coming from a der tris! Yuk, yuk!”

What do you mean by “legitimacy?” Santorum said something disgusting and horrible, and people who were offended by his statement made a joke out of it.

I mean the word “santorum” does NOT mean a frothy mixture of feces and lube. I don’t care if Dan Savage, Rush Limbaugh, or Alan Colmes all say it does. It’s not a proper way to insult someone.

I think that’s a matter for lexicographers, but it looks like it does now.

Again, you’re not explaining yourself. What’s improper about it?

Well, obviously Dan Savage can.

But the point of the exercise was to draw attention to what Santorum said, and to demonstrate the fact that enough people were upset about it to put a decent amount of work into insulting Santroum back in a creative and (IMHO anyways) pretty amusing way. This seems to have been successful.

So it succeded in what it was supposed to do. I’m not sure “legitimacy” really enters into the equation anywhere.

Of course you can. Who says you can’t?

Its not exactly without precedent either. Allied newspapers during WWII started using “Quisling” as a word for a traitor or collaborator while Vidkun Quisling was still alive and active. I’d imagine Dopers can think of other examples.

Obviously they had to make do without Google-bombs in those days, but the word is still in active use as an insult. I don’t think anyone questions its “legitimacy”

It does now. Chauvinist came from a person’s names as well, is that not a valid term? How about curie, angstrom, ampere, volt, algorithm?

If someone said that being intimate with your loved one was the same as having sex with a dog would you be OK with it?

Yeah, good luck with that. I suggest you spell his username correctly if you want success on Google, though.

Another example: “Sadist” comes from the Marquis de Sade, does it not?

When Biden starts comparing homosexuality to beastiality and pedophilia, then I would gladly support Limbaugh in doing this. But he hasn’t, so what’s your point? Savage didn’t start the “Santorum” thing just for the hell of it.

I’d say Santorum is different from Quisling or sadist or chauvinist or Benedict Arnold in that it was created deliberately to insult someone rather than evolving as a comment on a person’s actions. But that doesn’t make it somehow “illegitimate.” I think we’ve all seen people insulted that way on the playground, and if you wanted to argue that Savage’s choice of tactics is immature, you’d be on pretty safe ground. To which I’d respond that what Santorum did was much worse.

Well, after Santorum (capital letter) drops out of the primaries and loses national prominence, we’ll have to see if “santorum” (lower-case letter) has any staying power.

Or if it just, y’know, gets swept away.

Blotted away by the gym-sock of history.

I think its use as an insult post-dates the death of the Marque.

My understanding is that Quisling was used by the British press in a conscious effort to insult the person with that surname. Agree regarding sadist, don’t know about the other two.

The phrase “proper way to insult someone” makes no sense. Is Rick Santorum insulted by it? Then it’s a proper insult. What other criteria are there for determining the propriety of an insult?

Okay, I’m imagining it.

Now what?