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Pithy Comebacks to Buffoonery on Social Media

On Life

Ruminations and provocations.

Pithy Comebacks to Buffoonery on Social Media

Stephen H. Provost

I recently attended a book signing by bestselling author John Scalzi, where he read a selection from his blog titled "Standard Responses to Online Stupidity." There, he presented some witty rejoinders to online buffoonery. (My favorite: "My attention is a privilege, not a right. This is all you get.")

Since he's graciously featuring my guest contribution on his website today, I thought it might be fun to come up with a few comebacks of my own for use in similar situations. I've tied them to a few well-known axioms. Some of the results are particularly cutting, and I doubt I'd use them on anyone short of a mortal enemy (of whom I don't have any). But please don't tell anyone, as acerbity can be an effective deterrent.

  1. Your logic leaves something to be desired. Just not by anyone I know.
  2. No, Teddy Roosevelt did not say, "Type loudly and act like a big prick."
  3. Politics makes strange bedfellows. Which explains why you're so crabby.
  4. Discretion is the better part of ... a concept you're obviously not familiar with.
  5. He who fights and runs away online is more commonly known as a troll.
  6. I'm sorry, but faith can't move mountains if you put yours in a broken bulldozer.
  7. Take your ball and go home. It's overinflated anyway. Oh, wait, that's your ego.
  8. Cat got your tongue? My mistake. He's in the litter box, which must mean you're full of ...
  9. I'll give you the benefit of my doubt. Here's my doubt. Now go benefit from it.
  10. I'd be happy to make a gentleman's agreement, but you'd have to be a gentleman.
  11. I won't just agree to disagree with you. I'll celebrate it with a trip to Disneyland.
  12. I'm afraid that, in order to be a man of your word, you'd have to be literate.
  13. If you've learned from your mistakes, you must be a full-blown genius.
  14. A penny saved isn't worth spending on your thoughts.
  15. If at first you don't succeed at arguing online ... do us all a favor and give it a rest.
  16. I'll give you special dispensation to judge a book by it's cover, since it's clear you've never looked inside one.

Note: These work for Facebook, but since they're all fewer than 140 characters, they're nicely suited to Twitter, as well.