Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Posts Tagged ‘21st century’

Sealioning

Posted by Elyse Bruce on January 30, 2018

If someone feigns civility and incessantly demands evidence from others to support their arguments in a discussion while at the same time refusing to produce evidence to support their own arguments in the same discussion, that person is sealioning.

Those who engage in sealioning aren’t interested in serious debate. They are interested in wasting other people’s time while appearing innocent and somewhat naive with regards to the topic at hand. Their questions are phrased in neutral terms with the intent of demonizing the other person.

You can identify sealioning relatively quickly as those who engage in this behavior would rather ask question after question without providing any answers themselves or offering an opinion. A cybermob following the person engaged in sealioning then jumps in to support the abusive behavior, throwing other questions at you, and bullying you into silence.

Why? Because when it comes to sealioning, mob rule is one of the key aspects of the activity. The purpose of sealioning is to harass the other person for reasons that are only known to the sealion and whoever is privy to the sealion‘s reasons for harassing the other person.

If you choose not to respond or you chose to stop responding to the person engaged in sealioning, you are then accused of realizing you are wrong but refusing to admit you are wrong.

One trait that stands out for those who engage in sealioning is the need for self-promotion and self-proclaimed expertise that may or may not have anything to do with the discussion at hand.

So what do you look out for if you suspect sealioning?

1. Incorrect statements are made without proof to substantiate the statements.
2. Cybermobbing tactics with two or more of the predators following suit.
3. Cruel and untrue ad hominem attacks on those who do not agree with them.
4. The need to be right at all costs even when they are provided with proof to the contrary.
5. Feigned offense for the sole purpose of discrediting and demonizing the other person.
6. Feigned politeness and courtesy in behavior and/or speech.

The first use of the word was on 19 September 2014 by cartoonist David Malki on Wondermark when he uploaded his cartoon, “The Terrible Sea Lion.”

Yes, sealioning is a very new expression so don’t tire it out.

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Posted in Idioms from the 21st Century | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dutch Reach

Posted by Elyse Bruce on January 10, 2017

Idiomation came across the expression Dutch reach in an article published by CBC Manitoba on January 10, 2017. The article reported that St. Boniface (MB) councilor was promoting the Dutch reach as a way to fight collisions between bicyclists and parked motorists. The article read in part:

Allard has authored a motion asking the city to work with Manitoba Public Insurance to popularize the “Dutch reach,” a manoeuvre intended to ensure people in cars don’t fling open their doors and into the path of oncoming cyclists without warning.

It was a topic of discussion on the Road Bike Review website in September 2016 with some cyclists supporting the concept while others felt it wouldn’t reduce the number of door prizes cyclists get while cycling city streets.

IMPORTANT NOTE 1: A door prize is the colloquial expression for a traffic collision in which a cyclist is struck by a car door.

The practice was mentioned in Martine Power’s article for the Boston Globe on September 22, 2013. The practice was also mentioned in a New York Times article dated July 30, 2011 and written by contributing writer Russell Shorto.

The practice however was not called the Dutch reach in either of those article even though the practice has been the law in the Netherlands for decades.

In 2016, retired American physician Michael Charney named the practice the Dutch reach. After the death of a cyclist in Somerville (MA) in the summer of 2016, Michael Charney, in partnership with the Somerville Police Department, promoted the “Dutch Reach’’ on an electronic sign board that was positioned outside the city’s Veterans Memorial Rink

IMPORTANT NOTE 2: Dr. Michael Charney swapping driving a car for driving a bike in 1992, and has been an ardent cycling advocate in Cambridge (MA) over the years.

This means that the term Dutch reach is about six months old even, and mainstream media and politicians are already making use of the expression in articles about car doors and cyclists. Idiomation therefore pegs Dutch reach to 2016 as attributed to retired American physician Michael Charney.

UPDATE (2 November 2017):  Please read the additional information on this entry provided by Dr. Michael Charney or click HERE to be taken directly to this latest comment.

Posted in Idioms from the 21st Century | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »