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Outragists are the New Awful - Dilbert Blog

Outragists are the New Awful

Over on Twitter (@ScottAdamsSays) I coined the word outragism and defined it as the act of generating public outrage by quoting famous people out of context.

Creating the word is only the first part of my strategy.

My plan is to arm victims of false accusations with a word that has equal weight to the accusation. For example, if you are falsely accused of being a Nazi sympathizer because you watch the History Channel, the accuser is using full verbal firepower and all you have is a weak denial about your interest in history. It isn’t a fair fight.

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I coined the word outragism so victims of it will have a powerful word of self-defense. But defining the word isn’t enough. I also have to add a few levels of stink to it so no one wants it hung around their neck.

The word outragism and its cousin outragist are designed to sound bad right out of the gate. If you add ism or ist to any word it makes every man, woman, and beast in the general vicinity look like a potential asshole. Even pianist sounds vaguely dickish. So outragist has that going for it.

I will now use a mental trick to apply a second coating of awfulness to the new word. All I need to do is type a true statement that has the word outragist in it along with some already-terrible words. I could say, for example, that I am aware of no outragists that have yet confessed to being pedophiles. Or I could say that I can’t rule out the possibility that outragists love Obamacare, ISIS, and high taxes all at the same time.

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That should do it. We’re locked and loaded now. Next time you see an an act of outragism, start labeling. 

How often does outragism happen? Checking the headlines today… okay…found one. Here’s a story about a rich guy who pledged to give away 80% of his wealth. He is concerned about job loss and he is spending lots of time and money hosting a conference to discuss ways to improve the economic situation for people who are not him. 

Is that how the story got spun? Nope. The outragists waded in, modified the context by reengineering the order in which the information is presented, and turned a wealthy philanthropist into a rich asshole who is boarding his private jet while complaining that poor people buy too many things. I didn’t have to be in the room during the interview to know he didn’t say anything like that. The alleged quote is ridiculous-sounding, and the billionaire says it was a misquote. But the damage is done. The outragists won this round.

Scott Adams

Personal Twitter: @scottadamssays​

Dilbert Twitter: @Dilbert_Daily