5 Simple Questions That Make The Internet Destroy Itself
Nothing makes us angry like other people's opinions about literally anything. That's why we invented a little thing called "murder." But now we do the bulk of our rage-venting through the magic of the internet. Which means fewer stabbed faces, sure, but also untold human energy wasted on millions upon millions of words of wholly inane bullshit. And nothing gets people going like ...
"Does Pineapple Belong On Pizza?"
Since Sam Panopoulos invented Hawaiian pizza in the 1960s, the validity of pineapple as a pizza topping has been an oddly hotly contested topic. Some insist that the combination of sweet pineapple and savory cheese is enjoyable, while others are correct.
There's obviously no real answer for something as subjective as taste, but that certainly doesn't stop people from obsessing over the question. The debate might have peaked when the president of Iceland was asked his thoughts on pineapple pizza, and said that if he had his way, he would ban it. The world promptly flipped its shit. CNN and The New York Times reported on it. Time had to specifically clarify that the guy was joking, because some people worried that a president might actually outlaw a pizza topping. Even The Washington Post happily threw fuel on the fire:
"Also, there should always be two spaces between sentences."
If you thought it was weird that a world leader chimed in on this absurd debate, how about two? Here's Justin Trudeau:
Other celebrities have freely taken sides. Jimmy Kimmel and Gordon Ramsay are rabidly anti-pineapple, while Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton like it. Yeah, you see the kind of company you're keeping, Pineapple People.
Related: 5 Streams That Went Horribly Wrong
"Is It Pronounced 'GIF' or 'JIF'?"
Up until 2013, "GIF" was a nigh-exclusively online word which we all knew but rarely heard spoken aloud. We said it however the hell we wanted, more worried about the shame of admitting that we used the internet than about the proper pronunciation. But according to the term's inventor, there always was a correct way to pronounce "GIF." Steve Wilhite used his Webby lifetime achievement award speech to formally state that it's pronounced "JIF."
The few scraggly freaks who had always pronounced it that way probably shrugged and thought "Yeah, that's what I've always said." The rest of the world took the news like God himself had come down from Heaven and said, "It's pronounced 'Gesus Christ.'" Nobody was noncommittal on the issue. Even Barack Obama is on record that the official presidential stance is "Hard G all the way."
YouTube has thousands of videos which passionately scrutinize the subject. There are entire websites full of painstakingly elaborate arguments. You could easily lose an entire day trying to pull apart this Reddit thread alone. A common argument in favor of the hard G is that the first letter stands for graphics, not jraphics. Pretty solid reasoning. But here's one of the many, many, many comments out there defending the creator-approved "JIF" pronunciation:
SCUBA stands for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus." You do not pronounce the U in SCUBA the same as the U in Underwater. LASER stands for "Light Amplification By Stimulated Emission of Radiation." You don't pronounce the A in LASER like you pronounce the A in Amplification, nor the S as you do in Stimulated, nor do you pronounce the E the same as in Emission.
We cut that argument very short. Trust us, it goes on and on ... and on. Were you swayed by those points? Ah, well, that's provided you're treating the term GIF as an acronym. The problem is that many people (and the Oxford English Dictionary) recognize it as a word in its own right. What they don't recognize is Steve Wilhite's right to name his own invention:
The creator said it was pronounced like the peanut butter! The majority of people who read the acronym clearly thought it was pronounced as a hard G, or else they wouldn't have needed correcting. Based on what the creator has been quoted saying on the topic, it sounds like the only reason he wanted it pronounced like the peanut butter was so that they could make jokes about it being like the peanut butter. Hilarious stuff. He was (is?) a programmer, not a linguist.
The argument has become memetic enough to have its own Know Your Meme page. The comment section is naturally filled with people arguing about the pronunciation, using the exact same arguments listed on the page itself, because the internet is an ouroboros of pedantry that was designed to torment us all for eternity.
"Is Holding The Door Sexist?"
Holding a door open for the next person seems like common courtesy, but everyone seems to have an opinion on why and how exactly a door should be held open. The Huffington Post proclaims that 14 feet is the official distance that necessitates keeping a door open, while actual researchers at Penn State wasted sweet science-time determining that the likelihood of holding a door increases the closer the follower is to the door. And that's just distance. The real question: Is holding a door open for a woman sexist?
The Huffington Post (they are super concerned about this) ran a piece on gender inequality in the workplace. It's a very real issue that warrants concern, but the piece veered toward absurdity when it claimed that a man holding a door for a woman is a false symbol of gallantry that empowers inequality. Slate's spin on the subject couldn't resist throwing in a crack about women damaging their nail polish if they open their own doors, but women chimed in on the comment section to clarify things:
Men holding the door open for women has nothing to do with manners. It's a power thing. A true gentleman would respect my wish not to have the door opened if I can open the damn thing myself. How does that not make sense?
People should hold doors for other people, regardless of sex or gender. The main problem with the practice is the Nice Guys (TM) who think they deserve some sort of sexual favor for observing a simple courtesy. This is Not Nice.
Always keen to knock down even the lowest bar, Nice Guys jumped in with fedoras spinning:
The study I do every day is whether or not the persons the door is held open for or given way to in our local High Street say thank you or ignore the courtesy. The survey, like the courtesy costs nothing but I believe contributes a lot. But more often the costless thank you is not made. Mainly mothers with pushchairs. I fear for their next generation.
Absolutely agree about mothers and pushchairs. Helped one on the bus at the weekend, heaving up the chair etc. and she hardly acknowleged me. I got the feeling that she thought it her right that folk should help.
Here's a piece from The Telegraph wherein the author feels the need to explain why he no longer goes out of his way to let women go first. He says he doesn't want to add to his daughter's sense of vanity and conceitedness, which society is apparently imposing on her through the whole "ladies first" thing. It's a pretty weird take already, but here comes the trusty comment section to make everything worse again:
I stopped offering my seat on the Tube when I was humiliated by the lady (?) who loudly informed me that pregnancy was not an illness and that I clearly needed the seat more than she did.......I'm sure I am not the only person who has had the offer refused and who has been left standing and feeling rather foolish
Oh please. It's time to confront feminist sexism for what it really is: a form of female chauvinism. Stop opening doors, giving up seats, or standing when a female enters the room. Enough is enough.
Clearly, we would be better off removing all doors entirely and converting to some sort of flap system. It has to be better than talking to any of these people, even for a second.
Related: Happy Birthday, Badass - August 3
"Should A Shirt Be Buttoned Top-To-Bottom Or Bottom-To-Top?"
How do you button your dress shirts: top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top? You probably had to think about that for a minute, since this is one of those things that nobody really cares about, unless they're the heir to a mining conglomerate or something. The rest of us working-class folks simply start jamming buttons into holes until our shameful torsos are hidden from polite society.
But then along came the internet, and now everybody has to choose a side in this war. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Nick Bonino was shocked when he found out that some of his teammates button their shirts differently than he does. So he did the natural thing and took to Twitter to try to get to the bottom of the issue:
Someone then told him about button fly pants and his head exploded, Scanners-style.
He even arranged a vote, only to be further mind-fucked when some maniacs said they start buttoning their shirts from the middle.
As Twitter reeled from the shocking revelation that people sometimes do basic things differently, internet idiots were already firing up the hot take machines. A writer for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette fanned the flames by not only arguing for top-to-bottom, but also stating that he'd never heard of anyone who did it Bonino's way. He even went the extra mile and grilled a random clothing store employee for his opinion. The guy was mainly baffled at the question. John Feitelberg of Barstool Sports saw Nick Bonino's tweet and was filled with ruthless anger at those "top-to-bottom assholes."
Nick never led me to believe he was an insane person... Today I learned he's a crazy man with even less knowledge than hair follicles. Because, you see, Nick buttons his shirts top to bottom and, frankly, that's certifiable. I can't even fathom how that's done. You know how women button shirts from the opposite side? I bet they go top to bottom too. Yeah, I just called Nick and all you other maniacs a girl, what are you gonna do about it?
It should be noted that Bonino is on the same side as Feitelberg. Feitelberg completely misread Bonino's Tweet, and the steaming, white-hot rage that consumed him prevented simple reading comprehension.
"Do You Call It 'Soda' Or 'Pop'?"
The "soda or pop" debate is pretty heated, and a lot of people are taking part. There's even a webpage where you can enter your zip code and the word you prefer, and it displays the results on a map:
The effects of the Civil War can be seen even today.
Ignoring the Southern maniacs who use "Coke" as their moniker of choice for all carbonated beverages -- perhaps all fluids in general -- "soda" and "pop" are mostly evenly matched. The former dominates the coasts, while the latter presides over the Midwest. Here's a pro-pop person mixing some historical explanation with good old-fashioned name-calling:
Historically, the correct term is "phosphate," which was defined by soda jerks as being a flavored syrup mixed with carbonated water. Sodas were what we today call floats. Therefore Soda is clearly WRONG and pop is more acceptable as a shortening of phosphate.c
Soda lovers are just as passionate, and even more insulting:
Pop. is this word used to describe soda because of the carbonation or the noise it makes when the can is opened? i asked someone in Indiana once why she called it "pop" and that was her answer. well thats just plain retarded. i dont call a cat "meow". i dont call a baby "waaa" please. as i look at my soda on my desk now.. it says plain as day on the can "A&W Cream Soda". if the company that is producing the product has labeled it as soda, then my friends ... it is (TM) and ready to go as soda. just accept it you northern hicks and toothless southern rednecks, pop is what you call "yer daddy". soda is what you call your beverage.
This comment thread illustrates how frequently the pro-soda side claims that "pop" is an onomatopoetic term that comes from the sound the bottle makes when it's opened. This makes it a stupid word, and you a stupid person for using it:
POP in an onomatopoeic a term used to describe the sound a soda makes when opened but who turns an onomatopoeic into a noun...dumb people!
The pop camp counters by pointing out that "soda" doesn't have anything to do with soft drinks, and means soda water. Their weapons of choice are historical terminology and, shockingly, calling the other side stupid:
People can name something whatever they want. SODA refers originally to SODA-WATER anyway chump. "Dumb-people" called soft drinks thereafter SODA which is inaccurate at best. SODA-POP or POP-SODA would be better and Soft Drink or Carbonated non-alcoholic beverage the most accurate.
So there you have it, we're all idiots who should be saying "carbonated non-alcoholic beverage" instead. Or "CNAB," for short. We like it. It's catchy.
Crack open a refreshing cnab, folks. We're done here.
David Klesh believes it should be called "soda." His writing has also appeared on the Faith Hope and Fiction blog. James has a Twitter, and infrequently blogs. Mike Bedard thinks you should put whatever you want on pizza. He also thinks you should follow him on Twitter. Adam Schwallie is on the same side as you on all of these debates, because you're incredibly smart. Don't look at his Twitter to try to find out otherwise.
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