Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why Do Rabid Haters Always End With Warm Sign-offs?

Jeffrey Goldberg asks the question. PZ Myers has also commented on this same phenomenon. A vicious personal attack, followed by "cordially yours" or something. It's kind of funny, but I'm genuinely curious: why?

My uncharitable guess is this: people who have trouble with abstract thinking and waste their time on this kind of an unproductive attack probably don't really think about the function of the salutation, or it doesn't occur to them they can include something different that's more in keeping with what they wrote.

A funnier but less likely explanation is reverse-Tourettes.

3 comments:

vjack said...

From a psychodynamic perspective, it could also be interpreted as a form of "undoing." The author may be conflicted enough over what he or she wrote that they do this as sort of a symbolic way to make it right. One can sometimes observe the same phenomenon at homicide crime scenes.

TGP said...

Dear Lucky Atheist,

I prefer to end my very polite comments with a scathing salutation.

May you be repeatedly beaten with flaming horse cocks,
TGP

Michael Caton said...

Tsk tsk.