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Today's words of the day* are FLAME and BAIT. Let us begin with the formal definitions provided by (For this post I've omitted any irrelevant definitions)

flame [fleym]

7. intense ardor, zeal, or passion.

12. to burn or burst forth with strong emotion; break into open anger, indignation, etc.

13. Computer Slang. to send an angry, critical, or disparaging electronic message.
–verb (used with object)

Computer Slang. to insult or criticize angrily in an electronic message.
flamer, noun

bait [beyt]

to worry, torment, or persecute, esp. with malicious remarks: a nasty habit of baiting defenseless subordinates.

to tease: They love to bait him about his gaudy ties.

badger, heckle, pester.

Combining the words is where we really see the relevance to our culture. Flamebait. Reading the message boards of a few sites recently, I found the following examples. This first one is from N4G. This poster is obviously anti-PS3. A search of some of his other posts show a pro-Xbox mentality. This next one is from the 1Up boards. Unfortunately, this type of topic generally leads to trash talking about the systems and other negative comments. Now, liking one console over another is not necessarily a bad thing. It becomes unbearable when people attack other people strictly on their console choice.

I know you've seen it elsewhere before. You have a guy (or girl, no need to be sexist) that writes just the right thing to piss you off. Pick any gaming message board and you will see it. There's that one person that is always looking for an argument. The one that gets enjoyment out of criticizing your console of choice or that favorite game of yours. Why do they do it? Short answer. They like to see you get angry. Long answer. They like to see you get angry because they feel inadequate with the choices they've made. It's possibly because they feel that the console they've chosen to support is, they feel, not as good as a competitors or has an exclusive game that is not coming to their system. That could be why they feel the need to lash out at others. Their reasoning behind this lashing out is to make their victim feel as if they, in fact, have made the wrong choice, and not the aggressor.

So, how do we avoid flamebait and the resulting flamewars? You can't. You will always see that offensive person and his or her opinion about your favorite console. Should you let it get to you? No. You can post a response to a person like this, but just don't sink to their level. Be logical, concise, and know what you are talking about. It is doubtful you will get a logical response back, but on the good side, you may just convince the offending poster to not add to the conversation. These people do not like being proven wrong, and if you do so, they just might go away. It won't work all the time, but it has worked for me. You might also try ignoring them. That will also prevent them from getting what they want. Angry responses.

Let me add just one more definition to this post:

gamer [gey-mer]

a person who plays games

This what I am and what I believe in. I play for the games, not the consoles. I'm not an Xbot. I'm not part of the Sony Defense Force (SDF). I'm not a beWiiver**. I'm a gamer. Pure and simple.

*Disclaimer: In using the phrase "word of the day" I am not stating that I will, in fact, write about a word every day. It just sounded better than "word of the week" or "word of the whenever the hell I feel like writing about a word".

** I'd love to take credit for this word, but that belongs to Penny Arcade.
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1 Response to "Word Of The Day, Volume 3"

  1. Somebodyunfamous On February 11, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    I consider myself pretty well versed in the English language but I don't believe I've ever before known that definition for the word "bait." Great post!