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What is personal attack ??

R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
I have heard this word lot of time.
Dont use name, but you can quote the person you are replying.
Dont use word YOU, but you can use it and say it was in general sense or say to replace it with one.
But I am confuse, when does name taking become personal attack ?? As I am talking to you only then how can you expect me to not to take name.
Is just not agreeing with your idea makes me personal attacker ?
I think personal attack will be if I say "you are fool" or "it is self-explanatory and its only you who cant see this" or soemthing like "any wise man will agree with it and its you only who is not able to understand".
But if you are not insulting or you do not intend to insult other then still how could it be personal attack ??
And then, having an image in mind helps you a lot to accuse someone for personal attack. The one which comes to my mind right now, is that I was accused to say someone "ass".
And I was wondering, really did I say this ??
And this, I am posting again as someone said that he is being attacked personally.
So I said let me find out the limits of discussion, so that it should not fall in the category of "personal attack".


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paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

Do you have a link?
I would think that saying "you are an ass" or "anybody that thinks that is an ass" would be a personal attack and, thus, a good candidate for deletion on JavaRanch.


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Sameer Jamal
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Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
I think personal attack is if you say anything against America, Jason or Thomas.
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
Do you have a link?
I would think that saying "you are an ass" or "anybody that thinks that is an ass" would be a personal attack and, thus, a good candidate for deletion on JavaRanch.

I said, Assume = Ass of U and Me.
AW, it was old thread. No need to dig old grave. I suspect still it exists.
[ December 01, 2003: Message edited by: R K Singh ]
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
I think personal attack is if you say anything against America, Jason or Thomas.

Er.. could you please elaborate? IMHO, speaking against Jason or Thomas or person XYZ for that matter would definetly qualify as a personal attack simply because you are speaking against a person and not the idea they stand behind or the topic they are discussing.


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paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

In that case, you are calling "U" an ass.
I know that this is an old cliche, so you would think it would be safe, but I would think there would be plenty of people that would have never heard it.
I think the key is that if you wish to make a point about something and you are conversing with somebody that might be losing the "debate" because of your fantastic communication ability, you do not want to offer up any fodder for the person to change the subject. In this case, you are giving the other person a chance to become terribly offended and re-direct the thread onto your "personal attack" instead of the topic at hand. That way, this person can appear to win the "debate". (Back to the key) Don't offer anything that could permit the other person to start this tangent.
I think the "assume" cliche is fun the first three times or so you hear it. But I think assumptions do have their place, and bringing up the cliche rarely helps anything, so I've avoided it.
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
In that case, you are calling "U" an ass.

And what about "Me" ?
When I was told this phrase first time in management class, I found it very true. Both are asses if we are assuming any thing and both of us should clear any doubt by asking rather than assuming anything.
I think the key is that if you wish to make a point about something and you are conversing with somebody that might be losing the "debate" because of your fantastic communication ability, you do not want to offer up any fodder for the person to change the subject. In this case, you are giving the other person a chance to become terribly offended and re-direct the thread onto your "personal attack" instead of the topic at hand. That way, this person can appear to win the "debate". (Back to the key) Don't offer anything that could permit the other person to start this tangent.
I like this way of .. and will keep in mind
I think the "assume" cliche is fun the first three times or so you hear it. But I think assumptions do have their place, and bringing up the cliche rarely helps anything, so I've avoided it.
I was giving an example for having a pre-defined image.
We assume that if this is XYZ then he must be doing/saying/thinking so and so. And then we hear him with closed mind.
We dont open our mind to accept things which does not fit in our pre-defined image of that person.
We always try to relate him with our image and try to see through that image only.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

I think you can call yourself an ass all you want and it would not be considered a personal attack. But the moment you include somebody else, they can exercise their option to be offended.
You may be thinking that if you call yourself an ass, then you can call another person an ass too and it will be fair. Not so. If I say "you and I are ugly", is it now a fact that you are ugly? Would it be reasonable for you to protest "I am not ugly and I am offended that you would suggest it!" ??
I think the point of saying "assume" is that acknowledge that the sub-point is debatable, but you would like to skip over that debate for now. Granted, it leaves a hole in your logic, but maybe you intend to come and fill that hole in later.
So, yes, assumptions can lead to trouble. I think it is valid to take the approach to never assume anything. But I think anyone taking this approach would have to forfeit discussing many complicated issues. The purpose of "assume" is so that you can discuss pieces of a very complex thing while making assumptions about other pieces of the same complex thing.
Some people abuse the "assume" tool: state some assumptions and then come to a convenient conclusion - they then attempt to move forward and try to ignore the holes in their logic (the assumptions). Spooky.
Alan Labout
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Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 100
I think any attack on someone's opinion could be perceived as being personal, because a person's opinion, if it is sincere, is a part of that person. If this opinion-giver tends to be oversensitive he may see this as a personal attack. More often, though, it just means that he wants to avoid discussion of the actual issue. A true personal attack is one that makes no mention of the issue at hand, and focuses instead on the person--or lack of a person--making it. I for one wouldn't interpret your "Assume" statement as a personal attack...but then I wasn't the one you were calling an "ass"!
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
I think personal attack is if you say anything against America, Jason or Thomas.

Another example of the tolerance of others opinions and ideas.
stara szkapa
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Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
You should criticize or prize actions or things, not people themselves. If you say �you are very bad programmer� it becomes personal attack. It is much better to say �quality of this code is bad�.
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
But the moment you include somebody else, they can exercise their option to be offended.

Seriously, I never thought in that way.
If I say "you and I are ugly", is it now a fact that you are ugly? Would it be reasonable for you to protest "I am not ugly and I am offended that you would suggest it!" ??
I think catch is here.
If Aishwarya Rai says to you "you and I are ugly".
Paul, would you feel offended ??
If this guy says to you "you and I are ugly".
Paul, would you feel offended ??
Paul, if you felt offeneded in first case then my appologies to whom-so-ever I used that phrase.
But if you felt offended only in later case, then I dont think I did any thing wrong.
And if you did not feel offended at all, you are really sport person.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

The important thing is avoiding a personal attack.
In the case of "you and I are ugly", it does not matter what either party actually looks like. What matters is that the statement contains the statement "you ... are ugly" and is, therefore, a personal attack. Inclucing yourself in there with "and I" might make you think that it makes it not a personal attack. Not so. It is still a personal attack.
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Paul, I find it as the easiest and funniest way of telling that dont assume any thing.
I could not replace 'U' of assUme with anything else.
I think, some people 'here' are too intelligent, everytime they think that everyone is talking about only them.
 
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