Dichotomize! That seems to be an even more common cry than Plagiarize–but Tom Lehrer never wrote nearly as amusing a song on dichotomies. (Or if he did, I missed it.)
Silly me. I thought the black-and-white crowd was declining a little, but maybe I’m wrong.
Latest instance? The specifics aren’t terribly important, but had to do with Twitter. The person writing said that people writing about Twitter fall neatly into two groups:
- Those who haven’t used it and fear it.
- Those have tried it and use it regularly.
Woopsy. Here comes one of quite a few members of the excluded middle to say, It just ain’t so.
I’m not the only liblogger who’s tried Twitter and found–not that “it’s awful” or that “it’s useless” but that it doesn’t work well for me for now.
But, you know, it makes a much stronger case for Twitter as a universally wonderful thing if you simply assert that the only people who don’t like Twitter are people who have never tried Twitter.
I’m trying to think of anything for which that statement would be true: That is,
The only people who don’t like X are those who have never tried X.
Oxygen in breathable concentrations, I suppose. Food as a general thing. Beyond that…not so much.
I’m similarly amused by things for which it is proclaimed that you’ll either love it or hate it. Particularly since, for most of those things, my reaction is somewhere between Meh and It’s OK.
(And a quick shoutout to Randy Travis–and Wayland Holyfield and Verlon Thompson, who wrote the song, albeit “in” not “of”)
Quick update: Since I didn’t link to the particular instance, this isn’t really necessary–but the dichotomizer in question admitted it was an overstated dichotomy. The point this person was really trying to make: Those who actively dislike and fear Twitter haven’t tried it. I’m not sure that’s true either, but it’s at least a narrower dichotomy.