Rant versus polemic

Sometimes I am accused of ranting. But I don’t rant.

The Cambridge Online Dictionary defines rant:

To speak or shout in a loud, uncontrolled or angry way, often saying confused or silly things.

Not one part of that definition has ever applied here with the possible exception of silly, which is often a matter of opinion. One man’s silly can be another man’s sage, and that’s particularly true where politics is concerned.

But speaking or shouting in a loud, uncontrolled, angry way? Of course, this is written, but one can shout in print. Look at the comments on Yahoo or HuffPost stories.

There is no shouting on The Unseen Moon. There is no anger, and it’s certainly not uncontrolled. What I do here at times is political polemics.

The Cambridge Online Dictionary defines polemic:

A piece of writing or a speech in which a person strongly attacks or defends a particular opinion, person, idea or set of beliefs.

Sounds about right. So when you see something here that you strongly disagree with, curse (to yourself) the polemic, but don’t call it a rant.

For most, the definition of rant is simply an opinion one does not agree with.

Sadly and destructively, there is ranting all over the internet.

But not here, brother. Never here.

16 thoughts on “Rant versus polemic”

      1. I guess we have to agree that we have a bit of a difference of opinion on this one. If I have been rude, then I’m sorry, did not mean to be rude but I try to call it like I see it. Take care.

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  1. I appreciate your ability to express opinions so eloquently. Whether the subject is women, men, your country, my country, politics or the weather, you always get your point across without straddling the fence or fearing that you will offend someone with your opinion.

    I know what ranting is. You are not a ranter. A few adjectives to describe you DO come to mind, but we will just leave it at that.

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  2. Rant? Not so much. Rave? Quite a bit of late — particularly when it is about your political choices. And silly? I certainly hope so. Life wouldn’t be much fun if you couldn’t be silly now and then.

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    1. Larry: The Cambridge Online Dictionary’s definition of rave:

      To speak in an uncontrolled way, usually because you are upset or angry, or because you are ill.

      Well, to say I rave is about 2 percent closer to the truth than rant, but that’s not saying much. Upset about the direction America is going? Without a doubt. Uncontrolled way of speaking? Nah. Angry? Supremely disappointed is more accurate. Ill? A couple of folks seem to think so, but I’m not one of them.

      So, polemic remains the accurate word.

      Can’t help pointing out that you’re a lefty!

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      1. Félipe,
        This is more the definition I had in mind: “speak or write about someone or something with great enthusiasm or admiration.” I think that about covers most of your mid to righty entries. However, you have been a little more aggressive lately — polemic may be the better word.

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        1. Larry: Now you’re talking. However, most of what I have incorrectly been accused of “ranting” about has nothing to do with admiration. Great enthusiasm, yes.

          Mid to righty entries. I like that, and it’s accurate. I’m glad that at least one person pays attention when I repeatedly point out “progressive” issues with which I am in lockstep.

          Yes, I have been a good bit more aggressive lately as this supremely important presidential election nears. It is crystal clear to me the seriousness of the fiscal and social problems the nation faces, and the equal clarity to me that your president is doing nothing to improve matters. Quite the contrary. And such a large percentage of citizens seem not to notice or, if they do, not to care.

          So, yes, verbal aggression on my part. I will not affect the election in the slightest, of course, but it helps me sleep nights at least.

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  3. Did you know your little phrase, Seek peace and pursue is in the Bible? One more example of our great Christian heritage. It’s one of my favorite phrases.

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