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Is 'more inside' enough?
August 20, 2010 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Would you change 'more inside' to say 'special snowflake details inside' and be done with it? Would you add it to the FAQ?

In light of the continuing trend to write "snowflake details inside" (or some form of this) in AskMe posts I wonder what the community thinks. Isn't the 'special and unique details inside' already implied by the extant "more inside" along with the undeniable snowflake status of everyone's question/situation/etc? There's already a listing in the FAQ about not playing on the 'more inside' phrase because of the way that reads in an RSS feed. Does this use of more-snowflake-inside constitute a cute 'more inside' joke and therefore warrant editing? Does 'special snowflake details inside' make any more sense when read in RSS than a more inside play on words?

This user is asking what it means, and if you do a search in the FAQ, it's not there. And the wiki only says "Special Snowflake. It's even got a shirt." So I also wonder what the community thinks: Is there value in using jargon like this without posting an explanation somewhere? Or is it part of the MeFi rites of passage to uncover the meaning?
posted by jardinier to Etiquette/Policy at 12:14 PM (167 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

You think you're some kind of special snowflake or something? How is your question any different from this previous one?

It bugs me, too.
posted by phunniemee at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Please. It's ten times worse than "more inside" jokes. It makes me not want to answer the question- kill it with fire!
posted by notsnot at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


No one said you had to answer the question.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:20 PM on August 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wow, that is annoying. Anyone who does that should be kicked, hard, right in the shin.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:20 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think adding it to the FAQ is a fine idea. I think changing "more inside" to "special snowflake details inside" is a bad idea.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:20 PM on August 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


Does this use of more-snowflake-inside constitute a cute 'more inside' joke and therefore warrant editing? Does 'special snowflake details inside' make any more sense when read in RSS than a more inside play on words?

It's not the same problem at all. The problem is the 'more inside' jokes are made by leaving those words out of the post. So you get a post that says something like "Obviously, there's..." and the poster expects that [more inside] will be the next thing. But in the RSS feed, it doesn't say [more inside], thus leading to a chorus of "Obviously there's *what*?"
posted by FishBike at 12:21 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Is there value in using jargon like this without posting an explanation somewhere? Or is it part of the MeFi rites of passage to uncover the meaning?"

Jargon serves the function of bringing the community together by serving as a series of markers to signify your in-status. However it also excludes new members who don't grasp the meaning. I try not to use MetaFilter jargon very much except in the deepest, darkest MetaTalk threads, but it's widespread within the community so it's going to show up.
posted by Kattullus at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but I have Greasemonkey delete any reference to "special snowflakes"
posted by atrazine at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


The mods are not in the habit of encoding passive-aggressive sullenness into the site's mechanisms and templates.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2010 [23 favorites]


The RSS feed doesn't pick up "more inside" link text (I think - I don't use a feed reader), and people may be trying to quickly note that their generic-sounding question really is different from others, but they don't want to go into details above the break.

As for the terminology, I think it's a generally understood term (every snowflake is special and unique). But this is an international site, even if English is the primary language, so it may not hurt to spell it out.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2010


I know people use the term a lot, but I think you might have used a different search term to prove your point. Fourteen for all of 2010 doesn't really seem like a dangerous trend.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2010


I think changing it to "special snowflake details inside" is silly. And I think people getting bent out of shape about posters using "special snowflake details inside" as shorthand for "I know questions have been asked like this before and I have checked them out, but I would like some help with my specific situation" is also silly.
posted by edbles at 12:24 PM on August 20, 2010 [15 favorites]


Leave it.
posted by OmieWise at 12:27 PM on August 20, 2010


Does this use of more-snowflake-inside constitute a cute 'more inside' joke and therefore warrant editing?

No and no. The problem with people putting incomplete sentences at the end of their posts is fairly specific (and, these days, thankfully pretty much contained). People having annoying/cloying habits in how they phrase their questions is more of a generic style issue. We don't edit people's questions for style.

It's weird to me that there's been that little spate of it lately, I think it's kind of annoyingly unnecessary as well, but unless it becomes some sort of epidemic there's not a whole lot to do but shrug, be annoyed, talk about it over here a little bit if we need to, and then move on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:27 PM on August 20, 2010


The mods are not in the habit of encoding passive-aggressive sullenness into the site's mechanisms and templates.

Now is a fantastic time to start!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:27 PM on August 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


The mods are not in the habit of encoding passive-aggressive sullenness into the site's mechanisms and templates.

Yeah, might be worth mentioning that everyone is presumed to be a special snowflake, thus no extra snowflake assertion is required.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:27 PM on August 20, 2010 [20 favorites]


What would constitute an epidemic, approximately (knowing the general reluctance to make hard-and-fast numbers crunchery around these parts)?
posted by Gator at 12:30 PM on August 20, 2010


What would constitute an epidemic

It's not the numbers, it's the sheer heinousness of the crime.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:35 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


epidemic: as defined by metafilter I have totally seen at least two instances of this thing that angries up my blood.
posted by edbles at 12:35 PM on August 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


...thus no extra snowflake assertion is required.

Welll, so much for putting on pants.
posted by nomadicink at 12:36 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I take "special snowflake inside" as "okay, get ready for a large block of uninterrupted of text." So if I'm not in a mood to read a personal history, I'll save it for later. "More inside" means the problem may be a simple paragraph and they just didn't want to clog up the FP.
posted by griphus at 12:36 PM on August 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


epidemic: as defined by metafilter I have totally seen at least two instances of this thing that angries up my blood.

Metafilter needs to start writing editorials for the New York Times, then.
posted by griphus at 12:37 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


While we're making changes, can we change "Note: Everyone needs a hug" to "For Christ sake, people, stop letting all the silly little things people do here get to you so much. Go outside or something."
posted by bondcliff at 12:37 PM on August 20, 2010 [13 favorites]


"Special snowflake details inside" count: 18 times total since December 2009.

AskMe posts today so far: 51

A "continuing trend", really? Occuring twice a month within a corpus of perhaps over 1500 posts? Yeah, I'm not seeing it.
posted by splice at 12:38 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What would constitute an epidemic, approximately (knowing the general reluctance to make hard-and-fast numbers crunchery around these parts)?

Not to get all Potter Stewart, but it's sort of hard to nail it down as other than "we'll know it when we see it". A whole lot more than what's currently going on, at least, or manifesting itself in a much more problematic way than just people being a little jargony in their phrasing.

Making a note about the phrase in the FAQ is a decent idea for the cases where someone can't parse it from context and wants to go looking, though it's a balancing act to keep the FAQ useful without bloating it up with small references to bits of site jargon and such. Maybe this one is getting to the point where an addition is a good tradeoff. The wiki is a good place to cover this stuff in more detail for the sake of dedicated jargonauts, as well.

Actively intervening in some way in how people write their questions in order to eliminate the phrase is not a practical plan. There are a dozen different in-jokey things people say that other people find annoying that could fall into the same category, but that's an awfully tricky road to start down and I don't see a compelling reason to do it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:38 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


MCMikeNamara: Great point. Yes, the search for snowflake results in much more. I was more interested in phrases including the word snowflake that were used to be synonymous with 'more inside' so I linked to a search that provides some examples, but you're right that it's not a good data set for showing a trend in the use of the phrase.
posted by jardinier at 12:38 PM on August 20, 2010


Go outside or something."

We can't go outside, we are abusing our work-related internet access, which is much less noticeable than flipping everyone the bird and running out into the parking lot hooping and hollering.
posted by edbles at 12:40 PM on August 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


"Special snowflake details inside" count: 18 times total since December 2009.

It's not always phrased in exactly that way; search for just "snowflake" and, well...
posted by Gator at 12:42 PM on August 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Or it's a kind of self-deferential way of heading off perceived AskMe judginess before the answering even starts? I've noticed it turn up a lot more with human relations questions, where 'special snowflake' gets used as shorthand for 'I know you're going to say this isn't an extraordinary situation and there's nothing unique about my hellish breakup/psychopathic sister/issues with my cat therapist and you don't need to hear these lengthy details, so taking that as read, here are those details anyway.'
posted by Catseye at 12:43 PM on August 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes, but sometimes when a post mentions 'blizzard,' they mean the delicious frozen treat.
posted by box at 12:44 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seeing that not everyone would like to be a special snowflake, and that involuntary duplication of another snowflake to remove one's specialness in turn rather caddishly removes the specialness of the other snowflake, I hereby propose to form the Entirely Voluntary Union of Cloned, Ordinary, Non-Special Snowflakes.
posted by adipocere at 12:45 PM on August 20, 2010


Please hope me hive mind. Can we stab that phrase in the eye?
posted by fixedgear at 12:48 PM on August 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


Go outside or something.

*carries laptop outside, finds a nice comfy spot on the porch swing from which to continue reading MetaTalk*
posted by iconomy at 12:50 PM on August 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


How very twee.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:53 PM on August 20, 2010


Oh yeah. HIVEMIND. Hate it. I'm not part of a hivemind. I read the question and figure out how to answer it without (usually) relying on anyone else in the thread. It rankles most when I'm the only person who answers the question and the OP comes back and says "Thanks, hivemind!" What the hell. How am I a hivemind all by myself?? HUH? HOW AM I?
posted by iconomy at 12:54 PM on August 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


It rankles most when I'm the only person who answers the question and the OP comes back and says "Thanks, hivemind!"

Yeah, this. I've started giving malicious answers for vengeance.

'That black slime on the three-month-old bagel is a confectionery treat designed in the factory to reward dieters for putting off eating. You can go ahead and eat it!'

'Sexual and emotional compatibility are not actually important in a relationship-- this is a lie that's been told to you by imaginative novel writers. Do NOT ditch this motherfucker!'

'Most people don't know that broken bones mend on their own very quickly if you submerge them in boiling water. No need to see a doctor!'
posted by shakespeherian at 12:59 PM on August 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


Tomorrowful: “The mods are not in the habit of encoding passive-aggressive sullenness into the site's mechanisms and templates.”

Which just goes to show that they're better human beings than I am; because if I were in charge of writing the posting form, the helpful instructive text would start with "Now listen, you fuckheads – enough chatfilter already!" and end with "... and another thing: if you actually talk @at somebody else, I will not only ban you – I will come to your house and punch you in the butt."
posted by koeselitz at 1:02 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why is 'butt' the funniest word in the ever?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:04 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Go Outside.

I really enjoy this tune.
posted by everichon at 1:04 PM on August 20, 2010


I'm not part of a hivemind.

I am and you're crushing my lifestyle choices by perpetuating this attitude.
posted by edbles at 1:06 PM on August 20, 2010


Yeah, this. I've started giving malicious answers for vengeance.

"The definite cure for depression is plenty of bedrest and as little natural light as possible."

"Your new coworkers will automatically respect you if you demonstrate yourself to be the alpha in the pack. Sucker-punch the CEO during the next meeting."

"The way to win a woman's heart is by treating her like a precious and easily breakable object. Any talk of 'outdated gender roles' is simply the wandering uterus talking. "
posted by griphus at 1:08 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fuck regulating the askers, let's regulate the answerers. The reason this behavior develops is because of pile-ons. Posters have to write long explanations explaining away every possible political attack or site codified behavior attack that can shit all over their threads. So instead of writing out those long diatribes they instead cram some sort of site in-joke in there in order to not have to do that. So the solution for the in-joke pandemic is to not hammer on people for not writing that list into their original question. Then they won't feel the need to surround their question fortress with in-joke defensive battlements.
posted by edbles at 1:10 PM on August 20, 2010 [41 favorites]


'It looks like the only way to improve the performance of your laptop is to keep it resting in a thick blanket-- make sure all the side vents are covered by lots of fabric, so that the motherboard doesn't freeze.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:11 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Special snowflake details inside" count: 18 times total since December 2009.

Come on... You can always make something seem uncommon by doing a search for a very precise phrase. It's the converse of people who say, "Gee if you Google these two words together, you get a lot of results; therefore, they must have a lot to do with each other."
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:12 PM on August 20, 2010


Yeah, lets change all the words on here to reflect memes taken from "fight club". That would make the site better, right?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:14 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


It rankles most when I'm the only person who answers the question and the OP comes back and says "Thanks, hivemind!"

In fairness, the only reason anyone would ask a question there in the first place is the collective wisdom of the hive. Just because you successfully pinch-hit for the hive on this occasion doesn't mean the questioner is not thanking the entity they asked.

If you insist on sole credit, it's the rest of the hive - not the questioner - that you'd have to demand it from.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:15 PM on August 20, 2010


So instead of users we would be space monkeys?

Actually that sounds kind of awesome.
posted by edbles at 1:15 PM on August 20, 2010


And instead of in-jokes, we'll have thousands of fans who think the point of the site is that we should not care about our jobs and beat each other up.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:16 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can I count this as a round-about calling out?

I can? Yes! Achievement unlocked!

I had no idea people though this was annoying. I understand the idea that it's exclusive to outsiders/new members, but I thought having some shared language and expected behaviors is kind of a good thing in regards to community building. In other words, if you came here to tango you'd be well served by picking up the beat first.

However, if adding "snowflake details inside" is generally seen as the equivalent of a "go away noobs" sign on a tree house, I'll stand corrected. Ultimately questions should be optimized for the (wonderful, generous) people answering them. I'm open to any consensus reached regarding insider language in these regards.

I used it because I really hate it when people read the first sentence, then jump into answering the question with out consideration for the other text inside. Theres several examples of "Whats your favorite pasta sauce recipe?" with the inside text being "I'm a vegan, allergic to tomatoes, hate basil". There will often be a quick chime in of "Oooh, Beef Bolognese! My grandma makes it with extra basil!"

I consider this to be a bit of a "hey, please read the question, not give the first answer that comes to mind". While I realize that should be the expected behavior anyhow, and I'm probably guilty myself, I didn't think I'd be doing any harm to add an extra reminder.
posted by fontophilic at 1:20 PM on August 20, 2010


I think when someone says this they are just using the current lingo known to the site (community) and are injecting a little personality to their question. You know, using the local language/having a little "fun".

When people are done with "special snowflake" it will quite naturally fall away from the lexicon. But mind you, it will be replaced with something else that you don't like just as much.
posted by marimeko at 1:21 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


hate "special snowflake details inside"

Totally cuts off the snark.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:21 PM on August 20, 2010


The mods are not in the habit of encoding passive-aggressive sullenness into the site's mechanisms and templates.

That's what users are for.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:23 PM on August 20, 2010


Jaltcoh: "Special snowflake details inside" count: 18 times total since December 2009.

Come on... You can always make something seem uncommon by doing a search for a very precise phrase. It's the converse of people who say, "Gee if you Google these two words together, you get a lot of results; therefore, they must have a lot to do with each other."


Still though -- the word "snowflake" appears in Ask Metafilter questions 52 times so far in 2010. And at least 2 of those are talking about precipitation or paper-cut out like. (I didn't really do much beyond that.) And honestly, many of these are just sort of used in the context of the question and part of the actual "more inside."

Then again, community standards can be set by the community so if everybody decides we should ban together to rid the world of it, that would be okay by @MCMikeNamara.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:28 PM on August 20, 2010


/hamburger
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:29 PM on August 20, 2010


Achievement unlocked!

That's like a Foursquare thing, right? Almost as bad as @ replies. #nothanks
posted by fixedgear at 1:30 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


fontophilic: No calling out intended at all. I was really just interested in what people thought of it and the potential relationship to 'more inside.' Your question provided: a reminder I'd been thinking about seeing it a lot, an example of it and a case where someone didn't know what it meant. And I'm pleased to see your interpretation of the phrase as a 'please pay attention to the details before answering' flag - it's an interesting one. I'm so fascinated to see that people are using the same phrase to communicate so many different things... 'don't pile on me,' 'this question isn't as generic as it sounds,' and 'please read the details before answering' among others.
posted by jardinier at 1:32 PM on August 20, 2010


Oh, the hamburger thing. I actually laughed out loud yesterday when I saw a new user earnestly and helpfully advising an old user to use the hamburger notation so as to avoid looking like a jerk. It was just so cute, like, "Sir, I don't know if you're aware of this, but we have these things called 'e-mo-ti-cons' nowadays."
posted by Gator at 1:34 PM on August 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


I consider this to be a bit of a "hey, please read the question, not give the first answer that comes to mind".

I don't deny that there is an issue with people not reading the full question (I've been guilty of it myself). But most of the time, I fault really sloppy questions, which are pandemic. Your example rings very true with me:

Theres several examples of "Whats your favorite pasta sauce recipe?" with the inside text being "I'm a vegan, allergic to tomatoes, hate basil". There will often be a quick chime in of "Oooh, Beef Bolognese! My grandma makes it with extra basil!"

The questions before the jump should read: "What's your favorite vegan pasta sauce without tomatoes and without basil?" Easy. Everyone knows what they're getting into right upfront.

"But but but I want to ramble before the jump and hide the salient details in the [more inside]!"

Tough. Please just give all the important details before the jump, and bury the nonsense inside. If it's not important enough to make it before the jump, assume people are not going to read it. Almost always, the more inside strikes me as extraneous; it's sort of like DVD commentary--it's there, sometimes it's interesting, most of the time it's not as interesting as the creators think, and it's usually superfluous and best ignored.

And you're not a special snowflake, you're sort of a vaguely interesting looking penny.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:35 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's like a Foursquare thing, right?

More of an XBOX/videogaming thing, from which Foursquare clever cadged some gamic mechanics to better get people to keep checking into shit over the longer term.

Oh, the hamburger thing.

HAMBURGER is easily at the top my current I Would Kill It With My Mind If I Had The Power list.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:38 PM on August 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


I actually laughed out loud yesterday when I saw a new user earnestly and helpfully advising an old user to use the hamburger notation so as to avoid looking like a jerk.

It's like you come back to your old dive bar after a few years and it's been taken over by kids and what is this garbage on the jukebox and I just want a god damn bourbon you tight-pantsed little mongrels.
posted by griphus at 1:39 PM on August 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Just code it so that anytime HAMBURGER appears it's replaced by I AM A GIANT COCKBUCKET and maybe people will stop using it.

Then again, perhaps not.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:43 PM on August 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I would enjoy reading 'vaguely interesting penny details inside.' At least that would stop the little voice that says 'spethel sthnowflake' in my mind every time I read it.
posted by jardinier at 1:49 PM on August 20, 2010


You have no idea the strength of the temptation welling within me to change your "HAMBURGER" to "I AM A GIANT COCKBUCKET" there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:50 PM on August 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


There are certain kinds of twee cutesiness/cluelessness that annoy me. They are excellent signals that I would be further annoyed by reading the rest of the question, or God forbid, by actually participating in a thread by answering the question. I oppose any move to eliminate these signals thereby robbing me of an excellent and simple filter for avoiding an irritating situation. If you use the phrase "special snowflake" or "n00b" or some other things I can't remember, you pretty much guarantee that I will not read your question. I feel like this is a win-win for everyone.
posted by grouse at 1:50 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are we talking a giant bucket with cocks in it, or a bucket for giant cocks?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:53 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you use the phrase "special snowflake" or "n00b" or some other things I can't remember, you pretty much guarantee that I will not read your question. I feel like this is a win-win for everyone.

But don't you realize that the only way for a lowly caterpillar to become a beautiful butterfly is for you to hate it very, very hard?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:54 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are we talking a giant bucket with cocks in it, or a bucket for giant cocks?

First one, then the other.
posted by griphus at 1:58 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: Are we talking a giant bucket with cocks in it, or a bucket for giant cocks?

Don't jump to conclusions, it could also be a bucket that is also a giant cock.
posted by Kattullus at 1:58 PM on August 20, 2010


If we're here to discuss things other people do that irk us, may I be the first to point out that many of you dress very poorly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:03 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


The first?
posted by grouse at 2:05 PM on August 20, 2010


Astro Zombie: If we're here to discuss things other people do that irk us, may I be the first to point out that many of you dress very poorly.

Blasphemer! I'm wearing a MetaFilter t-shirt!
posted by Kattullus at 2:06 PM on August 20, 2010


Please say it's the snowflake t...
posted by jardinier at 2:07 PM on August 20, 2010


Sadly, no.
posted by Kattullus at 2:10 PM on August 20, 2010


Yeah, I figured if it were you would have mentioned it. But I wanted to stop talking about cocks for a minute to see what would happen.
posted by jardinier at 2:11 PM on August 20, 2010


But I wanted to stop talking about cocks for a minute

THIS IS IMPORTANT PEOPLE
posted by shakespeherian at 2:18 PM on August 20, 2010


special I AM A GIANT COCKBUCKET details inside
posted by sanko at 2:35 PM on August 20, 2010


noob... you'll get used to it...
posted by HuronBob at 2:38 PM on August 20, 2010


Okay, since this conversation has come to the point where the original poster is talking about cocks, I figure it's a good place for me to put this. Sorry if this is totally inappropriate, or a derail, but I've listened to that song at least a dozen times today, and it is an instant classic. I particularly like the breakdown where he cries to his momma.
posted by koeselitz at 2:40 PM on August 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


I am a special hailstone.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:44 PM on August 20, 2010


Please hope me hive mind. Can we stab that phrase in the eye?

You know, here's the deal. It's us -- the real Metafilter addicts that come here to MetaTalk daily, argue site policy, call each other out over minutiae, bicker about fixed-width columns, and post recipes -- we're the ones that generate these site memes in the first place by picking up on them and turning them into inside jokes, a few of which were popular enough to make it onto the T-shirts, even. A year ago, these were celebrated as great shirt slogans by the cognoscenti.

People join the site all the time. They come in and see these things bandied about with great mirth, they try to join in because they want to belong is some small way, or at least demonstrate that they have a bit of site knowledge by using the jargon, then suddenly the old-skool Cabal members decide they're now tired of the memes they helped create, and they must die NOW.

It smacks of condescension.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:54 PM on August 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


> Okay, since this conversation has come to the point where the original poster is talking about cocks, I figure it's a good place for me to put this. Sorry if this is totally inappropriate, or a derail, but I've listened to that song at least a dozen times today, and it is an instant classic.

It is indeed, and I thank you for it.

Also, I enjoy the phrase "special snowflake" and always smile when I see it in AskMe. Suck it, haters!
posted by languagehat at 2:56 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any talk of 'outdated gender roles' is simply the wandering uterus talking.


woke up this morning with a bad hangover
And my uterus was missing again.
This happens all the time.
It's detachable.

This comes in handy a lot of the time.
I can leave it home, when I think it's gonna get me in trouble,
or I can rent it out, when I don't need it.
But now and then I go to a party, get drunk,
and the next morning I can't for the life of me
remember what I did with it.
First I looked around my apartment, and I couldn't find it.
So I called up the place where the party was,
they hadn't seen it either.
I asked them to check the medicine cabinet
'cause for some reason I leave it there sometimes
But not this time.
So I told them if it pops up to let me know.
I called a few people who were at the party,
but they were no help either.
I was starting to get desperate.
I really don't like being without my uterus for too long.
It makes me feel like less of a woman,
and I really hate having to sit down every time I take a leak.
After a few hours of searching the house,
and calling everyone I could think of,
I was starting to get very depressed,
so I went to the Kiev, and ate breakfast.
Then, as I walked down Second Avenue towards St. Mark's Place,
where all those people sell used books and other junk on the street,
I saw my uterus lying on a blanket
next to a broken toaster oven.
Some guy was selling it.
I had to buy it off him.
He wanted twenty-two bucks, but I talked him down to seventeen.
I took it home, washed it off,
and put it back in. I was happy again. Complete.
People sometimes tell me I should get it permanently attached,
but I don't know.
Even though sometimes it's a pain in the ass,
I like having a detachable uterus.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 3:08 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think expressions like "special snowflake" give an online community some character, which is a good thing. When I see that phrase here, I usually interpret it as a statement that the asker knows their question is similar to many others, and is going to explain how their situation is different enough to warrant a new question.

And sometimes it indicates awareness that the difference between their question and recent similar ones is extremely minor, but that since the discussion process itself will be helpful to them, they're going to ask it anyway. It's become a rather succinct way of saying those things.

Recent discussions have also highlighted the need for Kattullus to update the insult-generation algorithm in his profile. The "a" list should include a "cock-" prefix, while the "b" list must be amended to include both "-beard" and "-bucket" suffixes. This is because in a sort of MeFi parallel to the weak anthropic principle, the insults "cockbucket" and "shitbeard" must be a possible result of any correct theory of insult generation.
posted by FishBike at 3:09 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this. I've started giving malicious answers for vengeance.

I agree "hivemind" is annoying but it's certainly far less annoying than people using strange sentence fragments instead of their words.
posted by Justinian at 3:09 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree "hivemind" is annoying but it's certainly far less annoying than people using strange sentence fragments instead of their words.

That. A thousand times that.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:16 PM on August 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I recently bought a USB microscope and have been enjoying looking at things like leftover hamburger beetroot etc, but one thing I would like to be able to look at, and am unable to, is snowflakes. Can anyone advise me on how to preserve special snowflakes long enough to view them?
posted by unliteral at 3:18 PM on August 20, 2010


I'm kind of surprised, given the ambient pedantry level here, that nobody (except me) is annoyed by this mostly because every snowflake is, by the very definition of a snowflake, unique, and so "special snowflake" is totally redundant anyway.

Oh but wait, we were talking about cock. I have this great cock recipe if any of you guys would like to hear it.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 3:33 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's the operating temperature range of the USB microscope? Any chance you can take the microscope outside, rather than bringing the snowflakes inside?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:33 PM on August 20, 2010


Hive mind can mean many things, but generally not "a bunch of independently intelligent organisms working together and applying their collective knowledge." I do not view it as a compliment.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:36 PM on August 20, 2010


"... and another thing: if you actually talk @at somebody else, I will not only ban you – I will come to your house and punch you in the butt."

Or would you just punch @ the butt?

Yeah, might be worth mentioning that everyone is presumed to be a special snowflake, thus no extra snowflake assertion is required.

I am not a special snowflake. But I'm the only one who's not.
posted by The World Famous at 4:06 PM on August 20, 2010


I'd be willing to compromise on special cupcakes inside.
posted by special-k at 4:11 PM on August 20, 2010


I'm just a flake who likes cake.
posted by nomadicink at 4:30 PM on August 20, 2010


Really, anything that indicates that the post inside is going to be tediously and unnecessarily long drives me crazy. Really, you're acknowledging that you wrote too much, but you can't take a minute or two to pare it down?

It makes me feel like I'm in one of those really meetings where everyone takes way too long to say what they need to say and I want to scream, "I'D BE HAPPY TO REPHRASE WHAT YOU JUST TOOK 10 MINUTES TO SAY IN FIVE FUCKING WORDS!"
posted by emilyd22222 at 4:31 PM on August 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


> Hive mind can mean many things, but generally not "a bunch of independently intelligent organisms working together and applying their collective knowledge."

And yet people do use it that way, so it does mean that.
posted by languagehat at 4:47 PM on August 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can't get the image of a cock-hive out of my mind now.
posted by Kloryne at 4:52 PM on August 20, 2010


Place the seven cocks, fully thawed in a pail; fold in the snowflake juice/Baby Jesus tear mixture slowly. Serve chilled.

Bucket O' Cox!
posted by Mister_A at 5:07 PM on August 20, 2010


Spot the missing comma for a chance to help me post bail!
posted by Mister_A at 5:08 PM on August 20, 2010


And yet people do use it that way, so it does mean that.

I love Wittgenstein. And I think most snowflakes are basically the same. Small and white and ephemeral. All the rest is details.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:09 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd be willing to compromise on special cupcakes inside.
I need to stop scrolling through MeFi et al on my iPod 'cause I totally read that as...well, some really interesting cakes.
posted by romakimmy at 5:13 PM on August 20, 2010


Just because each snowflakes is different doesn't make them all "special."

I despise that phrase. Especially because when you actually follow up and read the "special snowflake details" they're always the same as every other relationship chatfilter question.

I find relationship-filter questions by their very nature break the purported AskMe guidelines. They have no definitive or right answers. All they engender is opinionated chat.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:15 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read that "special snowflake" phrase as a sort of false self-deprecation signifier for people who simply don't have the balls to ask a question directly and be done with it. It nearly always seems to indicate a highly self-involved post, which would be fine (problems are often quite personal!) except that it carries with it a sense of "I'm too lazy to actually think about this problem myself enough to frame it with some semblance of logic and objectivity". So for the most part, I stop reading those questions once I hit that phrase. "More inside" is blunt, accurate and does not carry with it the (overt) hideous promise of a lot of senseless blathering and drama.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:33 PM on August 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Please. It's ten times worse than "more inside" jokes. It makes me not want to answer the question- kill it with fire!

Snowflakes can, indeed, be killed with fire.
posted by qvantamon at 5:49 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of you people get worked up over the stupidest shit, I swear.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 5:52 PM on August 20, 2010 [12 favorites]


Some of you people get worked up over the stupidest shit, I swear.

Yeah, thanks, Hivemind.
posted by iconomy at 5:58 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


"[Whatever]filter." It drives me up a wall. Moreso when it's not even a commonly asked question, so it hasn't earned the right to categorize itself.

Bashed-my-toe-on-a-bedpost-and-now-it's-purple-filter: I bashed my toe on a bedpost and now it's purple. What do I do?

It's like you're writing off the importance of your question to you before you even ask it. "Bla bla bla. You've all heard this before. But I'm gonna ask it anyway. Like you really care." STOP IT.
posted by katillathehun at 6:11 PM on August 20, 2010


I look forward to the In-the-name-of-the-most-holy-and-individual-Trinity:-Be-it-known-to-all,-and-every-one-whom-it-may-concern,-or-to-whom-in-any-manner-it-may-belong,-That-for-many-Years-past,-Discords-and-Civil-Divisions--being-stir’d-up-in-the-Roman-Empire,-which-increas’d-to-such-a-degree,-that-not-only-all-Germany,-but-also-the-neighbouring-Kingdoms,-and-France--particularly,-have-been-involv’d-in-the-Disorders-of-a-long-and-cruel-War:-And-in-the-first-place,-between-the-most-Serene-and-most-Puissant-Prince--and-Lord,-Ferdinand-the-Second(...)-Filter questions.
posted by qvantamon at 6:20 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Moreso when it's not even a commonly asked question, so it hasn't earned the right to categorize itself.

I am using a classroom pointer to indicate the word IRONY written on the chalkboard.
posted by griphus at 6:28 PM on August 20, 2010


...Filter.
posted by katillathehun at 6:35 PM on August 20, 2010


I'm just popping in to get on the "F*cking [insert issue here], how do they work?" hate bandwagon early.

Seriously, I hate it the snowflake thing too, but never considered it worth getting my blood pressure up over. Either ignore it and move on, or learn to live with it when it happens.
posted by synecdoche at 6:58 PM on August 20, 2010


Yeah, lets change all the words on here to reflect memes taken from "fight club". That would make the site better, right?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:14 PM on August 20 [2 favorites +] [!]


Maybe a greasemonkey script that changes "best of the web" to "a god damned space monkey!" SLYT posts of Keyboard Cat playing someone off 800% slower will be met with more enthusiastic derision.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:05 PM on August 20, 2010


The phrase "Kill it with fire!" I would like to stab it in the face.

No, wait...

The phrase "Stab it in the face," I would like to kill it with fire.

Dammit - I'm in a memeloop!
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:10 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Devils Rancher - nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
posted by cj_ at 7:13 PM on August 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


(I'll just go stand at the top of the stairs now.)
posted by cj_ at 7:13 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


'special snowflake details inside'

"No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked, sayin' somethin' like that, man."
posted by Eideteker at 7:19 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we have a moratorium on memes and a meme about moratoriums?
posted by iconomy at 7:25 PM on August 20, 2010


After a full and considered reading of this thread, I can safely say, lots of stuck-up sticky beaks here.
posted by Splunge at 7:27 PM on August 20, 2010


We hating things in here? Good, I'll add my loathing of eponysterical to the pile. Infantile hur-hur look-the-name-like-the-post-hur-hur-is-same drivel. And breaks the guidelines, talking about the member not the content.
posted by bonaldi at 7:41 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's the operating temperature range of the USB microscope? Any chance you can take the microscope outside, rather than bringing the snowflakes inside?

Yeah I'm wondering how you are catching the snowflake and where it is located for viewing. How about a frozen surface? I realize you may not have a glass slide since you don't need them but something small and perhaps dark (for the contrast background) that can go in the freezer to chill and stay cold for awhile such as a ceramic plate might work.

As to ___________(insert jokey insider phrase) I can't think of anything I'm really passionate about. What I really, really hate is long quotes from songs and TV shows but they are not in-jokes and they don't usually show up in AskMes. Is it just me or does the excessive use of Simpson quotes seem to be a thing of the past?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:48 PM on August 20, 2010


good lord almighty... things really get up people's butts don't they?
posted by edgeways at 7:53 PM on August 20, 2010


I will come to your house and punch you in the butt."

Why is 'butt' the funniest word in the ever?


I think weasel is pretty funny, maybe even funnier than butt:

"I will come to your house and punch you in the weasel."

"Good lord almighty... things really get up people's weasels don't they?"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:02 PM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think I will start announcing that I am a Special Weasel.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:02 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


'special snowflake weasel details inside'
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:04 PM on August 20, 2010


Yes. It's like those people who apologize for something and try to get you to say you don't mind because they want to go on doing it. I usually think, "look, if you think you're being overly special, then just edit the question down to whatever your actual question is. Have some self respect. Either stand behind your question or fix it."
posted by salvia at 8:05 PM on August 20, 2010



special I AM A GIANT COCKBUCKET details inside

The first person to use this on Ask will get a pan of brownies from me.
posted by micawber at 8:09 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stab it in the fire. Kill it with face.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:10 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first person to use this on Ask will get a pan of brownies from me.

I literally tried to quickly come up with a question to ask, but the only thing that came to mind was "what is the best recipe for brownies you know?" but really, I don't need any cockbucket brownie recipes.
posted by salvia at 8:34 PM on August 20, 2010


I knew I shouldn't have used my question yesterday.
posted by desjardins at 8:55 PM on August 20, 2010


"Stab in the face" is a meme? Since when? All your meme are belong to our collective consciousness, man.
posted by Mister_A at 8:59 PM on August 20, 2010


I believe that the proper usage is "stab you in the face with a fork"
posted by desjardins at 9:04 PM on August 20, 2010


I am teh lose at memes.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:06 PM on August 20, 2010


Now we see the violence inherent in the system.
posted by jfuller at 9:46 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just write like a normal, literate person.

That said, @replies are fine. You're only allowed to be annoyed at things larger than a single typographical character.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:54 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to use this space to mention how butt-droppingly hilarious last night's episode of Futurama was.

Very. It was very butt-droppingly hilarious.
posted by item at 10:01 PM on August 20, 2010


I am selling a brew pot used to make 50 gallon batches of this 16th century cock ale. The brew pot is based on a 70 gallon dairy industry bucket and a series of electrical heating elements. I am having with my ad being rejected by the local papers. Special I AM A GIANT COCKBUCKET details inside.
posted by dirty lies at 10:27 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glad to see no one has mentioned their hate for the "Metafilter: Tag line" bit 'cause I love that stuff.
posted by Mitheral at 11:08 PM on August 20, 2010


Metafilter: No one has mentioned their hate for the Metafilter
posted by hydrophonic at 11:16 PM on August 20, 2010


Needs more recursion.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 PM on August 20, 2010


Needs more recursion.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 PM on August 20 [+] [!]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 PM on August 20 [+] [!]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 PM on August 20 [+] [!]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 PM on August 20 [+] [!]
posted by Burhanistan at 11:21 PM on August 20 [+] [!]
posted by grouse at 12:27 AM on August 21, 2010


Snowflake disclaimer usually signals to me that any advice given will be met with "that's not going to work", cos they're just that special. Only possible solution is the one they already want to implement.
posted by Iteki at 4:21 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I try not to use MetaFilter jargon very much except in the deepest, darkest MetaTalk threads, but it's widespread within the community so it's going to show up.

So.. uh.. who replaced the hug with the cock in the bucket?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 4:41 AM on August 21, 2010


I am selling a brew pot used to make 50 gallon batches of this 16th century cock ale.

Was that a recipe? It was wasn't it? A recipe in the gray. Hiding it in a link won't help you. I saw what you did there. You are in a lot of trouble now. Just wait until the "recipes are the work of the devil" crowd shows up. They are so going to give you what for.

I can say that right? Give you what for? It isn't (GASP) frowned upon, is it?
posted by Splunge at 4:42 AM on August 21, 2010


Saying "give you what for" isn't (GASP) frowned upon at all. However, overuse of italics is my major pet peeve in life, you bastard. Stop pushing my buttons!
posted by iconomy at 4:52 AM on August 21, 2010


And yet people do use it that way, so it does mean that.

Yes, I know, descriptivism, language evolves, yada yada yada. Doesn't mean I have to like the way language evolves.

And get off my lawn.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:48 AM on August 21, 2010


Mefites gonna fite.
posted by drlith at 6:19 AM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I agree with edbles, it's a symptom of a problem on AskMe, not a problem itself. Reaching into the patented Ampersand Prediction sack, I anticipate huge problems with AskMe's culture arising in the next two years, necessitating sweeping and savage changes to the way it is administered. Also, Doukhoborism will be making a comeback, while, ironically, Pakul hats take the fashion world by storm.

I actually laughed out loud yesterday when I saw a new user earnestly and helpfully advising an old user to use the hamburger notation so as to avoid looking like a jerk.

Holy crap, that wasn't in jest? People are going to have to start appending 'Beef bourguignon' to the comments they want me to take seriously.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:21 AM on August 21, 2010


More predictions: I will have another bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats after this one. I will not win tonight's game of Settlers of Catan. No good will come of that Julian Assange FPP.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:28 AM on August 21, 2010


Every time I see a portapotty, I think about an imagined breakfast cereal named Honey Buckets of Oats.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:42 AM on August 21, 2010


Honey Buckets of Weasel Butts.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:55 AM on August 21, 2010


Does your purple toe lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?
posted by Gorgik at 8:26 AM on August 21, 2010


special I AM A GIANT COCKBUCKET details inside

The first person to use this on Ask will get a pan of brownies from me.

We have a winner
posted by sanko at 8:46 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm gonna agree to chuckle and move on with my day re: that if everybody else will agree to not do it ever again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:56 AM on August 21, 2010


Even just seeing the "special snowflake" on Meta bugs the crap out of me.
posted by nevercalm at 9:03 AM on August 21, 2010


special I AM A GIANT COCKBUCKET details inside

The first person to use this on Ask will get a pan of brownies from me.
We have a winner


I have stepped up and asked nomadicink for a mailing address.
posted by micawber at 9:09 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna agree to chuckle and move on with my day re: that if everybody else will agree to not do it ever again.

I, on the other hand, am not. You can open another AskMe to decide what happens re: brownies.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:53 AM on August 21, 2010


Matt should just change MetaTalk to MetaKvetch and be done with it.
posted by Quietgal at 9:54 AM on August 21, 2010


Butt weasels.
posted by languagehat at 10:11 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I meant: weasel butts.
posted by languagehat at 10:12 AM on August 21, 2010


Butt weasels also work.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:34 AM on August 21, 2010


"Stab in the face" is a meme? Since when?

Probably since that smash hit by Wolf Eyes which took the pop charts by storm.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 5:17 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yknow, you don't really have to raise your blood pressure to casually hate it when you see yet another instance of "special snowflake details inside."

The reason I don't like this particular phrase is that it gets used in a rather common situation. It's not clever, it just means "you probably don't need the full history of phone calls/text messages between me and this dude I met last week, but I'm going to give them to you anyway," or "you probably don't need to know that I have a history of eating disorders to recommend me a brownie recipe, but I'm still going to tell you about it in detail," or just in general, "I'm going to give you a variety of details that perhaps you don't need, but you never know," and the problem is you don't need a disclaimer that excuses you from using your editing skills.

I mean, I don't hate memes in general. Eponysterical can be funny, because it's a different situation every time, and points out a bit of serendipity that is much more interesting than the twee bullshit that is special snowflake. Every time I see that phrase I imagine the asker covering their mouths with a dainty little hand and giggling a lilting "hehehe."

If you need to provide details, provide them. If you feel they're maybe extraneous, then don't include them and leave the fucking weather out of it.
posted by malapropist at 5:22 PM on August 21, 2010


I fucking hate memes.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:47 PM on August 21, 2010


I hate vehemence.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:01 PM on August 21, 2010


I like some memes and hate others.
posted by josher71 at 7:11 PM on August 21, 2010


As annoying as memes are, they're still less annoying than their brethren - mimes.
posted by qvantamon at 5:01 AM on August 22, 2010


So you're racist against Mime-Americans! I knew it!
posted by Mister_A at 8:34 AM on August 22, 2010


So you're racist against Mime-Americans! I knew it!

We all are. We've silenced them all this time.
posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first person to post a link to a video of themselves miming a snowflake will get a pan of brownies from David Bowie.
posted by jardinier at 7:31 AM on August 23, 2010


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