We all say it. When someone says something we disagree with we respond with something like, “That’s crazy.” “That’s nuts.” “You’re insane.” “You’re out of your mind.”
We use are many, many other variations on this theme.
We don’t mean it. Not literally. Unlike Bernie Sanders supporters who diagnosed Donald Trump to me we do not actually mean that the person that we disagree with is diagnosable. We just mean that we disagree.
And also sometimes that they’re an idiot.
I say that we can do better. Not only can we avoid using stigmatizing language, but we can be more creative in our use of language.
So I challenge you, and if I’m honest me too, to find new and different phrases.
Here’s a short list to get you started: “What a load of crap.” “That’s asinine.” “That’s absurd.” “That’s ridiculous.”
You could get condescendingly academic if you want to with something like “What a novel idea.”
You could string some together like, “What a dim-witted, half-assed, moronic, idiotic, lazy, sophomoric idea.”
You could even go the full Leia Organa with, “Why you stuck up, dim-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder. “
That one may be offensive. I’m not sure what a nerf-herder is. So you may want to educate yourself before hurling that one around. You know, just to be safe.
The point is that you’ve got a lot of options. Try to avoid using the stigmatizing ones if at all possible. Language is more fun when you’re creative, anyway.
And it’s not every day you get to call someone an ignorant shit-monger.