Argument Clinic: Just Joking

Saying something nasty and following it with “I’m just joking” is a form of verbal abuse that’s passive-aggressive. I.e: it’s semi-concealed aggression, intended to give the target pause as to whether or not they can successfully counter-attack.

Is this the right room for an argument?

Is this the right room for an argument?

It’s a technique that can be employed in a strategy of verbal abuse but succeeds if it’s fairly consistent, and only then against unsophisticated targets.

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Inherently Immoral Jobs

Richard Feynman famously said that marketing was an inherently immoral job, because it consisted of  selling something as being better than the marketer knows it to be. I tried that argument on our VP of Marketing, back in the day, and she said that “MarCom” – Marketing Communications – was OK. Well, that still leaves the rest of marketing on the hook.

As we discussed in my piece on butter packaging, marketing claims often do amount to lies – excuse me – “deliberate excursions from the truth.”

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