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.
- Your logic leaves something to be desired. Just not by anyone I know.
- No, Teddy Roosevelt did not say, "Type loudly and act like a big prick."
- Politics makes strange bedfellows. Which explains why you're so crabby.
- Discretion is the better part of ... a concept you're obviously not familiar with.
- He who fights and runs away online is more commonly known as a troll.
- I'm sorry, but faith can't move mountains if you put yours in a broken bulldozer.
- Take your ball and go home. It's overinflated anyway. Oh, wait, that's your ego.
- Cat got your tongue? My mistake. He's in the litter box, which must mean you're full of ...
- I'll give you the benefit of my doubt. Here's my doubt. Now go benefit from it.
- I'd be happy to make a gentleman's agreement, but you'd have to be a gentleman.
- I won't just agree to disagree with you. I'll celebrate it with a trip to Disneyland.
- I'm afraid that, in order to be a man of your word, you'd have to be literate.
- If you've learned from your mistakes, you must be a full-blown genius.
- A penny saved isn't worth spending on your thoughts.
- If at first you don't succeed at arguing online ... do us all a favor and give it a rest.
- 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.