The Twelve Commandments of Flaming
The Golden Rule of Flaming
Flames should be witty, insulting, interesting, funny, caustic,
or sarcastic, but NEVER, EVER, should they be boring.
1. Make things up about your opponent: It's important to make your lies
sound true. Preface your argument with the word "clearly."
"Clearly, Fred Flooney is a liar, and a dirtball to boot."
2. Be an armchair psychologist: You're a smart person. You've heard of Freud.
You took a psychology course in college. Clearly, you're qualified to
psychoanalyze your opponent. Example: "Polly Purebread, by using the
word 'zucchini' in her posting, shows she has a bad case of penis envy."
3. Cross-post your flames: Everybody on the 'Net is just waiting for the next
literary masterpiece to leave your terminal! From the Apple II RoundTable
to X-10 Powerhouse RoundTable, they're all holding their breath until your
next flame. Therefore, post everywhere.
4. Conspiracies abound: If everybody's against you, the reason can't possibly
be that you're a sh**head. There's obviously a conspiracy against you, and
you will be doing the entire 'Net a favor by exposing it.
5. Lawsuit threats: This is the reverse of Rule #4 (sort of like the Yin &
Yang of Flaming). Threatening a lawsuit is always considered to be in good
"By saying that I've posted to the wrong group, Bertha has
libeled me, slandered me, and sodomized me. See you in court,
6. Force them to document their claims: Even if Harry Hoinkus states outright
that he likes tomato sauce on his pasta, you should demand documentation.
If Newsweek hasn't written an article on Harry's pasta preferences, then
Harry's obviously lying.
7. Use foreign phrases: French is good, but Latin is the lingua franca of
Flaming. You should use the words "ad hominem" at least three times per
article. Other favorite Latin phrases are "ad nauseum," "veni, vidi,
vinci," and "fetuccini alfredo."
8. Tell 'em how smart you are: Why use intelligent arguments to convince
them you're smart when all you have to do is tell them? State that you're
a member of Mensa, or Mega, or Dorks of America. Tell them the scores you
received on every exam since high school. Example: "I got an 800 on my
SATs, LSATs, GREs, MCATs, and I can also spell the word 'premeiotic'."
9. Accuse your opponent of censorship: It is your right as an American
citizen to post whatever the hell you want to the 'Net (as guaranteed by
the 37th Amendment, I think). Anybody who tries to limit your
cross-posting or move a Flame War to email is either a communist, a
fascist, or both.
10.Doubt their existence: You've never actually seen your opponent, have
you? And since you're the center of the universe, you should have seen
them by now, shouldn't you? Therefore, THEY DON'T EXIST! This is the
beauty of Flamers' logic.
11.Lie, cheat, steal, leave the toilet seat up.
12.When in doubt, insult: If you forget the other 11 rules, remember this
one. At some point during your wonderful career as a Flamer you will
undoubtedly end up in a Flame War with somebody who is better than you.
This person will expose your lies, tear apart your arguments, and make
you look generally like a bozo. At this point, there's only one thing to
do . . . INSULT THE DIRTBAG!
"Oh yeah? Well, your mother does strange things with
EXAMPLE REPLY POST . . . for the Rookie Flamer
I object to your use of the word "dear." It shows you are a
condescending, sexist pig. Also, the submissive tone you use shows
that you like to be tied down and flagellated with licorice whips.
>While I found your article "The Effect of Belly-Button Lint
>on Western Thought" to be extremely thought-provoking,
"Thought-provoking?" I had no idea you could think, you rotting
piece of swamp slime.
>it really shouldn't have been posted in rec.scuba.
What? Are you questioning my judgement? I'll have you know that
I'm a member of the super-high-IQ Society Menstruate. I got an 800 on
my PMS exam. Your attempts constitute nothing less than censorship.
There is a conspiracy against me. You, Riff Raff, and Simon Sinister
have been constantly harassing me by email.
This was an ad hominem attack! I have therefore cross-posted this
to alt.flame, rec.nude, comp.graphics, and rec.arts.wobegon.
>Perhaps you should have posted it in misc.misc.
It is my right, as granted in the Bill of Rights, the Magna
Carta, the Bible, and the Koran, to post where ever I want to. Or
don't you believe in those documents, you damned fascist? Perhaps if
you didn't spend so much time sacrificing virgins and infants to
Satan, you would have realized this.
>Your article would be much more appropriate there.
Can you document this? I will only accept documents notarized by
my attorney, and signed by you in blood. Besides, you don't really
exist anyway, you AI project, you.
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