In my previous entry I facetiously (okay, I can’t hide this – I originally mistyped that as “fecetiously” which SHOULD be a goddamned word) put in parentheses “look it up” after saying something absurdly simplistic if not conclusively inaccurate. That may be my new thing, in writing. I would keep it alongside the also parenthetical Latin alternatives of pluralization. And I would keep both of those alongside using unnecessary polysyllabic semantics in spite of my sincere advice against it.
Most things I say or do are, on some level, either for me to make money OR tongue-in-cheek commentary on the ills of society. (This includes saying “the ills of society” in such a vague and judgmental way so as to put the blame on everybody else with no concrete suggestions of better alternatives.) Putting “(look it up)” after stating things that are ambiguously wedged between completely biased opinion and information from recent studies has become a common tactic in the fine art of Petty Internet Arguing for a couple of reasons:
- “It’s SO EASY to look this shit up on Google, you know, so if you don’t believe me you can check for yourself.”
- “I’m an asshole and I’m lazy and I pretend I’m always right so I don’t need to be civil or put in the least bit of effort to back myself up.”
I admit I state things amidst online discourse (or even the new technology of face-to-face) that may not be common knowledge, without citing my sources. If I were challenged on it I would put in the work required to back myself up, or else retract my statement. The obnoxious and entitled behaviour that needs to be shunned as an online faux pas is always putting “look it up” in some form when seemingly one-sided statements are claimed as fact.
So if you catch me saying that? Chances are I’m joking. If I say it in face-to-face conversation it’s only because I don’t have a smart phone and presumably you do. (If you don’t, upon request I will provide a reliable source to support my statement when I do reach An Internet.) I won’t guarantee my source will be a scholarly peer-reviewed article published in an academic journal (a fancy way of saying “probably Wikipedia”), but at least I admit that knowledge can only be genuinely developed through interpersonal engagement rather than stating something and ignoring any response. It’s dialogue, an ongoing conversation. And “look it up” is a conversation killer – an asshole’s conversation killer.