Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dennett Among the Loonies

I only just came across this by Daniel Dennett. The argument itself is trivial and uninteresting but the note at the end is a delight.
'This article was amended on Thursday 16 July 2009. Moon-landing sceptics were referred to as 'loonies', contrary to the Guardian style guide. This has been corrected.'
Does this mean the Guardian style guide bans 'loonies' completely or only when applied to moon-landing deniers? I think we should be told.

11 comments:

  1. Can't we just stick with "loonies"?

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  2. lunatic (adj.) c.1290, "affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the moon," from O.Fr. lunatique "insane," from L. lunaticus "moon-struck," from luna "moon."

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  3. Since loonie derives from lunatic and given the definition of lunatic def. above, clearly these people can not be referred to a loonies as their insanity is not affected by the phase of the moon.

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  4. The Guardian will do what the Guardian thinks is best for us, the legions of children requiring direction from their betters. So, moonies maybe or moon sheep, calling a raving nutter a loonie will be politically incorrect, casting as it does aspersions in the direction of the lunatic asylum, oh dear me no, not good for us, calling a spade a spade when an implement for the redistribution of soil or other materials is the correct term.
    Just love the Guardian, don't you, mind you I never ever read the sodding thing. Ate chips out of it once though.

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  5. "The argument itself is trivial and uninteresting..."

    Yeah, and the assessment is predictable.

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  6. In case anyone cares about the answer, the Guardian stylebook notes that its sloppy, inaccurate and rude to refer to people as mentally ill when they're not, or to use insulting slang terms for people with mental illnesses, and so firmly forbids the use of epithets like "loonies", "nutters" etc. Back to your harrumphing.

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  7. So earnest Bruschettaboy, but you miss the point, the joke was on Dennett

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