Rebutting minus the full frontal assault?
October 16, 2012 10:40 AM Subscribe
Tips and tricks for writing non-rebuttal "rebuttals" on the web?
posted by Michele in California to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The specific thing I am thinking of is a situation where someone says something where they and I fundamentally disagree but they supported their point with links to good information and said something that I found informative, food for thought, etc. I still think something is wrong with their conclusion and I feel inspired to respond but I am not interested in fighting with them.
In some cases, I would like to use it as inspiration for a blog post, so I am not just looking for good debating techniques. More like how do you get mentally and practically (i.e. writing techniques) from "B is wrong and here's why! (zing! -- cue the shitshow)" to "I like this point this person made and I like their data/viewpoint/style but I have a completely different conclusion that I want to enthusiastically and nonconfrontationally talk about!"
I routinely see even very big names on the internet simply quote another blog or article and proceed to rebut it directly and shitshow ensues, so I can't be the only person who struggles with this. But surely I am not the only person who wants to talk about stuff minus the full frontal assault and inevitable shitshow. What are things you do to mentally disengage from that kind of reactive writing and turn it into something more elegant and engaging?
Bonus points for how to reference the source material without making new enemies. (I am thinking of using, say, their supporting links and not referencing them directly at all but that strikes me as kind of disrespectful and I feel like people sometimes can tell if you did that and wind up feeling used and offended anyway. So I am hoping someone has better options than that.)
(Yes, I can sometimes pull this off currently -- on a good day, by the light of a full moon, after throwing salt over my shoulder and dancing a jig. But I would like to be able to do it more frequently and consistently.)