X-Message-Number: 3768
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 21:04:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Methuselah <>
Subject: Flaming Primer (fwd)

It occurred to me that the below material might be of use to certain 
CryoNet posters in honing their debating skills.  Having seen many of the 
mentioned techniques used, I nonetheless believe many useful points could 
be picked up by some participants.  Longer life through humor!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 27 Jan 95 12:27:22 EST
From: Richard Coppen <>
Subject: Flaming Primer

>This wandered into my email inbox and, given the usual state of 
discussion around here, I though some of you migh find it amusing.  
Happy Friday to y'all!

                    The Golden Rule of Flaming

       Flames should be witty, insulting, interesting, funny,
       caustic, or sarcastic, but NEVER, EVER, should they be


                The Twelve Commandments of Flaming

>1.  Make things up about your opponent:  It's important to make
    your lies sound true.  Preface your argument with the word
    "clearly." "Clearly, Fred Flooney is a liar, and a dirtball to

>2.  Be an armchair psychologist:  You're a smart person. You've
    heard of Freud.  You took a psychology course in college.
    Clearly, you're qualified to psychoanalyze your opponent.
    "Polly Purebread, by using the word 'zucchini' in her posting,
    shows she has a bad case of penis envy."

>3.  Cross-post your flames:  Everyone on the net is just waiting
    for the next literary masterpiece to leave your terminal!
    From the Apple II RoundTable to X-10 Powerhouse RoundTable,
    they're all holding their breath until your next flame.
    Therefore, post everywhere.

>4.  Conspiracies abound:  If everyone's against you, the reason
    can't *possibly* be that you're a sh??head. There's obviously
    a conspiracy against you, and you will be doing the entire net
    a favor by exposing it.

>5.  Lawsuit threats:  This is the reverse of Rule #4 (sort of like
    the Yin & Yang of Flaming).  Threatening a lawsuit is always
    considered to be in good form.  "By saying that I've posted to
    the wrong group, Bertha has libeled me, slandered me, and
    sodomized me.  See you in court, Bertha."

>6.  Force them to document their claims:  Even if Harry Hoinkus
    states outright that he likes tomato sauce on his pasta, you
    should demand documentation.  If Newsweek hasn't written an
    article on Harry's pasta preferences, then Harry's obviously

>7.  Use foreign phrases:  French is good, but Latin is the lingua
    franca of flaming.  You should use the words "ad hominem" at
    least three times per article.  Other favorite Latin phrases
    are "ad nauseum," "veni, vidi, vici," and "fetuccini alfredo."

>8.  Tell 'em how smart you are:  Why use intelligent arguments to
    convince them you're smart when all you have to do is tell
    them?  State that you're a member of Mensa, or Mega, or Dorks
    of America.  Tell them the scores you received on every exam
    since high school.  "I got an 800 on my SATs, LSATs, GREs,
    MCATs, and I can also spell the word 'premeiotic' ."

>9.  Accuse your opponent of censorship.  It is your right as an
    American citizen to post whatever the hell you want to the net
    (as guaranteed by the 37th Amendment, I think).  Anyone who
    tries to limit your cross-posting or move a flame war to email
    is either a communist, a fascist, or both.

>10. Doubt their existence:  You've never actually seen your
    opponent, have you?  And since you're the center of the
    universe, you should have seen them by now, shouldn't you?
    Therefore, THEY DON'T EXIST!  This is the beauty of flamers'

>11. Lie, cheat, steal, leave the toilet seat up.

>12. When in doubt, insult:  If you forget the other 11 rules,
    remember this one.  At some point during your wonderful career
    as a Flamer you will undoubtedly end up in a flame war with
    someone who is better than you. This person will expose your
    lies, tear apart your arguments, make you look generally like
    a bozo.  At this point, there's only one thing to do:  INSULT
    THE DIRTBAG!!!  "Oh yeah?  Well, your mother does strange
    things with vegetables."

                  EXAMPLE...for the Rookie Flamer

   > Dear Joe,

I object to your use of the word "dear."  It shows you are a
 condescending, sexist pig.  Also, the submissive tone you use
 shows that you like to be tied down and flagellated with licorice

   > While I found your article "The Effect of Belly-Button Lint
   > on Western Thought" to be extremely thought-provoking,

"Thought-provoking?"  I had no idea you could think, you rotting
 piece of swamp slime.

   > it really shouldn't have been posted in rec.scuba.

What?  Are you questioning my judgement?  I'll have you know that
 I'm a member of the super-high-IQ society Menstruate.  I got an
 800 on my PMS exam.

Your attempts constitute nothing less than censorship. There is a
 conspiracy against me.  You, Riff Raff, and Simon Sinister have
 been constantly harassing me by email.  This was an ad hominem
 attack!  I have therefore cross-posted this to alt.flame,
 rec.nude, comp.graphics, and rec.arts.wobegon.

   > Perhaps you should have posted it in misc.misc.

It is my right, as granted in the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta,
 the Bible and the Koran, to post where ever I want to.  Or don't
 you believe in those documents, you damn fascist?  Perhaps if you
 didn't spend so much time sacrificing virgins and infants to
 Satan, you would have realized this.

   > Your article would be much more appropriate there.

Can you document this?  I will only accept documents notarized by
 my attorney, and signed by you in blood. Besides, you don't really
 exist anyway, you AI project, you."

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