Conversational shortcuts

Betteridge’s Law states that if a headline ends with a question mark, you can usually answer ‘No’. You can then typically ignore the article.

In the spirit of that, here are a couple of other shortcuts:

If you begin a question with “Am I the only one who…” the answer is no. There are 7 billion people on the planet. I’m sure you’re nice and all, but nobody is particularly unique. Especially when you’re asking stupid things like “Am I the only one who doesn’t like Justin Bieber?” Internet superhero, you.

If you ask “Am I an old fart, or has there been nothing of value created since I was a young person” the answer is that you’re an old fart. Even if you’re not an old fart, you’re being an old fart. So the books and films and music being produced these days don’t interest you. They seem to interest a lot of other people. Get over it, enjoy the old stuff that is so good to you, and quit shitting on other peoples enjoyment.

Am I overreacting to what are basically rhetorical questions? Sure. But they’re stupid, self-serving rhetorical questions, and people shouldn’t use them. There are better ways to start equivalent discussion without painting yourself as some lone cultural hero.