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dclayh comments on Things You Can't Countersignal - Less Wrong

51 Post author: Alicorn 19 February 2010 12:18AM

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Comment author: dclayh 19 February 2010 01:47:13AM 15 points [-]

Your countersignals are more opaque than you think they are.

Personal example: I like to insult my friends (facetiously, of course), and they're aware of that. But when I'm with people who know my proclivities less well (or not at all), my instinctive reaction is to make the insults more severe, so it's more clear than usual that I'm kidding (i.e., lowering the politeness bar so the audience's prior is more likely to fall in the medium-to-high category). It almost goes without saying that this has backfired more than once.

Comment author: Bindbreaker 19 February 2010 03:27:18AM 5 points [-]

I've found this to be true as well. Calling someone a fool in casual conversation is bizarrely more insulting than calling them a damn fool, as everyone will understand that the latter is a joke but the former might be taken seriously.