Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What's the Opposite of "to Fisk?"


I read -- or at least give a quick once-over to -- dozens of political commentaries every day. About twice a week, I come across one that really grinds my gears for a particular reason.

 fisk,  verb  1. slang to refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point 

The kind of piece I have in mind does the exact opposite of fisking. It does absolutely nothing except quote another piece, in chunks, prefacing each chunk with a summary of the claim the chunk makes and following the chunk with an announcement that the chunk did indeed well prove the claim.

Note well: I am not condemning pieces that make their own claims and cite various other bits of writing in support of those claims, or that here and there do the claim/chunk/acclaim of chunk thing. I'm condemning pieces that are nothing but claim/chunk/acclaim of chunk, with every chunk from the same piece.

It's sort of like posting "I agree" in the comment thread on some blog posts, and then presenting the blog posts and "I agree" comments in aggregate as a supposedly original creation. At least the final step of the fisking formula (claim, chunk, criticism of chunk) implies something beyond an ability to summarize, copy, paste, and type "I agree."

New coinage:

 fusk,  verb  1. slang to agree with (a journalistic article or blog) point by point in the most boring way conceivable 

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