Quote: “That is one of the mistakes a lot of people make — believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech.” Blogospherian Tim O’Reilly, quoted in the New York Times.
Figure of Speech: antanaclasis (AN-tan-a-CLA0sis), the repetition that changes. From the Greek, meaning “breaking up against.”
A few prominent bloggers are trying to come up with a code of conduct for the Web. The rules include banning anonymous comments and reserving the right to delete nasty ones. Those who consider the Internet the last bastion of freedom find the proposed rules repugnant.
One of the code authors, Tim O’Reilly, counters with an antanaclasis, a figure that repeats a word and attaches a different meaning the second time around. It’s a great way to redefine an issue. Uncensored means free, right? Not if you define freedom as a form of “civil dialogue.”
But the issue here isn’t freedom; it’s whether we can argue properly. Until we learn how, self-respecting bloggers will have to use the delete button.
Snappy Answer: “So less freedom means more freedom. Thanks for clearing that up.”
For more on civility, see page 273 of Figaro’s book.