"Asinine"

#1DaikinbakujuPosted 3/18/2014 5:55:42 AM
According to Google, "Asinine" means "extremely stupid or foolish" and synonymous with "stupid", "brainless", "idiotic", "imbecilic", etc.

It should mean that it's considered "flaming" if someone were to call another "asinine", right?

I needed to ask because last time I marked someone calling another "asinine", it was not seen as flaming.
#2Error1355(Moderator)Posted 3/18/2014 8:39:10 AM
That is not an comment I would view strong enough to moderate. It is generally used as calling something ridiculous and not as a blunt insult.
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#3Daikinbakuju(Topic Creator)Posted 3/18/2014 9:18:19 AM
Even though established dictionaries clearly says that it's another way of saying "stupid"?
Maybe it's just me but I feel like certain people are purposely scouring dictionaries for insulting words that would be enough to piss people off but not enough to trigger a moderation.

Not everyone on this forum are native English speakers, so we may be unfamiliar with words like "asinine".
So if someone calls me that, I'd be searching online for definitions, where the result says "stupid".
While it may feel insulting to non-native English speakers, it's seen as "harmless" to mods who are most likely living in English-speaking countries.

I remember another example where a non-Native speaker was called "witless", so he checked the dictionary to see that it's another way of saying "stupid".
Offended, he marked the message but it was another case of "mod didn't find the word harmful".


Based on my experience here I know I will just be told to ignore the person calling names but I think you should consider how it would all look like from a non-native English speaker's perspective.
#4Error1355(Moderator)Posted 3/18/2014 10:06:21 AM
Sorry, but we are going to view things like this as a native English speaker. We are not going to moderate someone based on a misunderstanding that someone else has on the overall use of the word.
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They let us play with markers...
...But I keep trying to draw infinity.
#5ScarlettEve(Moderator)Posted 3/18/2014 8:00:25 PM
"Asinine" isn't usually used to describe a person, but rather a behaviour or remark, etc. Such as "Your argument is asinine". You can call a user's behaviour or remark outright stupid or idiotic as long as you don't call the person themselves stupid or idiotic, so using "asinine" isn't any different. If anything, it's a little less blunt. Even if it were used to describe a person, it isn't entirely synonymous with calling someone "stupid" or "an idiot". That's precisely why words like "asinine" exist, because they provide a subtle nuance that other words just don't have.

"Witless" is another word where the nuance really matters. It's not an exact synonym of "stupid", it literally describes the absence of wit. I could describe someone as witless and mean that they haven't made a quick-thinking retort, for example. It isn't a direct insult in the way that outright calling someone an idiot is.

I appreciate that English might not be your first language, and that's true of many of our users, but these aren't archaic terms that people are only likely to know because they scoured a dictionary looking for vaguely insulting words. It makes sense that if you're a native English speaker, you might have a more extensive vocabulary in your own language than non-native speakers, and it doesn't make sense to tell people they have to curb their vocabulary when they're using words that are perfectly fine and inoffensive because some people might not understand the nuances of the language. What makes sense is that you trust that we do understand those nuances and can make decisions based on whether the word is being used offensively or not. I appreciate it's occasionally going to be difficult to comprehend when something is a direct insult and when it's not from your perspective, but you really just need to trust that we know what we're doing.
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