AskMe: Apologies before a question August 13, 2013 3:15 AM   Subscribe

When do you apologize before posting an AskMe? Most recently in this post about a Latin phrase, which the OP thought might be "obnoxious", I felt it was fine. This isn't about posting guidelines (which I think I understand by now...) but about the community's perception of what kinds of questions are, well, obnoxious.

I've also noticed some others apologizing for length or ramblyness, which I can rather understand since it takes considerably more effort to make sense of long, badly structured prose.

Especially, I would like to know which kinds or aspects of questions raise an eyebrow in the community, without necessarily being grounds for deletion, and which would normally warrant extra care or an apology.
posted by ipsative to Etiquette/Policy at 3:15 AM (84 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I imagine the OP said "obnoxious" in reference to the content of the phrase, but who knows. Either way I think it was a fine question, too, and the apology wasn't really necessary.

Personally speaking I feel that having a clear, concrete question front and center is the most important thing in AskMe to avoid annoyance and get the best possible answers. But there are a lot of gray areas, and I appreciate that not every question can be reduced to a one-liner.

Aside from that, it's hard to tell without a specific example. Is it that you're worried about the topic of a possible question?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 3:26 AM on August 13, 2013


Sorry about this question, but when people "raise an eyebrow", which eyebrow (the left or right) do they usually raise? If people could just take the time to raise an eyebrow at this question, and then tell me which eyebrow they raised at this question, that would be great - sorry for asking this question and please pass on my apologies to your eyebrows as well.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:04 AM on August 13, 2013 [18 favorites]


My reading: because the question didn't provide a context, it may appear show-offy (giving off the impression that the OP sits in her/his big armchair in a drawing room thinking about Latin phrases in her/his free time).

On this instance, I was wondering how much context you need for very specific questions like these, as mostly they do give you some: "I want to know what's on my t-shirt", "help me get the right Lao word for 'love' on my tattoo".

I hope that no one here thinks one needs to apologize for a question about a religious topic.

And then I started wondering in general, what kinds of questions are OK to post according to site policy, but still would be so delicate as to need mitigation through an apology. Whether regarding their content or structure or lack of either.
posted by ipsative at 4:08 AM on August 13, 2013


quidnunc kid, I raised my right.
posted by ipsative at 4:09 AM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's a touchy bunch!
posted by thinkpiece at 4:17 AM on August 13, 2013


Yes, confusingly so...
posted by ipsative at 4:21 AM on August 13, 2013


As someone who (I think) over-apologizes, I'd hazard to guess that these sorts of apologies have a much greater self-soothing effect than they do a social effect. Over-apologizing is largely another form of self-deprecation, with all the knottiness that entails.

Which is to say: I don't think AskMe community norms ever really require an apology in advance. And in most cases the apology itself is probably more likely to raise eyebrows than the question it was apologizing for.
posted by nobody at 4:28 AM on August 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


which eyebrow (the left or right) do they usually raise?

I'm ambi-eyebrowed, so my default look is quizzical.
posted by arcticseal at 4:51 AM on August 13, 2013


I raised left, but I am a lefty.
posted by smoke at 4:58 AM on August 13, 2013


We need an answer from Eyebrows McGee.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:59 AM on August 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


I only know how to raise my right eyebrow. No idea why that should be. And I'm left-handed.
posted by gauche at 5:08 AM on August 13, 2013


I can't raise a single eyebrow at a time (they both always go up, no matter how hard I try). But I always imagine myself raising my left eyebrow.
posted by Grither at 5:24 AM on August 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


I can't see myself ever apologizing for a question I wanted to ask, but different strokes.
posted by kavasa at 5:27 AM on August 13, 2013


I wonder if there is a distinct divide between the people who pre-apologize to and the people who pre-thank the answerers. I am a pre-thanker. I would never pre-apologize for a question I'd think would be good for AskMe. But I tend not to apologize for anything ever.

Eyebrow-raising, on the other hand, is something I do often at questions. But I think the ones that make me go "hmph, really??" are different than what others might consider offputting or particularly annoying - the thing about the Metafilter "community" is that it is extraordinarily diverse, particularly AskMe. AskMe's answer-the-question-only policy really cuts out a lot of the divisive and ultimately homogenizing discourse that, say, the main page has. So you get more sorts of people willing to answer questions than dive into the fray of say, a politics thread or a modern art thread on the Blue. Thus, different eyebrows for different people. Unless your question is super duper ultra obscure, chances are high that somebody is going to treat it respectfully - and also that somebody is quietly eyebrow-raising behind their monitor.
posted by Mizu at 5:34 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can only raise both eyebrows at the same time, and I prefer to waggle them.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 6:10 AM on August 13, 2013


i apologize for absolutely everything in all areas of my life. as nobody says - it's part of a bigger issue. i could write a book about it, but it's basically not feeling worthy to take up the space i'm taking or i didn't try hard enough at whatever the topic is or feeling like it's my responsibility to smooth whatever over.
posted by nadawi at 6:11 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


(i erased an apology for not including this in my last topic - it's sorrys all the way down)

i can't raise my eyebrows independently, so for "eyebrow raising ______" i usually just furrow my brow.
posted by nadawi at 6:13 AM on August 13, 2013


Asker is Canadian, probably.
posted by sweet mister at 6:16 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can raise either eyebrow, but I favor the left. I'm right handed.

BTW: I am a cat.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:19 AM on August 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Apparently I raise my right eyebrow when I'm feeling skeptical or amused, and it's usually accompanied by a bit of a side-eye. My left eyebrow gets raised when I'm mildly vexed or surprised that someone would say something to me - I guess that's my angry brow.

I don't think I would apologize for asking a question. Sorry if that's rude.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:19 AM on August 13, 2013


I should've clarified before - my raised right is also imaginary, my left eyebrow raises itself on its own.
posted by ipsative at 6:19 AM on August 13, 2013


Yeah, I think in this case the apology was for using what might be considered an offensive word. I typically wouldn't call that "obnoxious", but rather "offensive" but I understand the need to apologize pre-emptively there.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:29 AM on August 13, 2013


We need more #sorrynotsorry questions.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:41 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can raise, lower and do various dramatic and hilarious things with my left eyebrow. My right, though? Can't move it a whit on its own. I have no idea why, either.
posted by Etrigan at 6:42 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well- I think everyone likely in the green agrees that your number of responses, type and quality of response are strongly correlated to the way you ask a question. Particularly if you're asking certain categories of topics - I'd count translation among them.

The other factor I'm guessing may play a part is culture. Culturally some folks are trained to say thank you, others are trained to apologize for the inconvenience. I've spent a couple of years living in the Southern U.S., and I'm still surprised by the number of times people apologie to me for asking for assistance that is part of my job.
posted by arnicae at 6:42 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think in this case the apology was for using what might be considered an offensive word.

There are definitely people who come in asking a question about a subject that they know is touchy but that they also honestly do not understand. So in that case an apology along the lines if "I'm not sure what I am talking about, that is why I am asking this question, but could someone explain _______________ to me?" is often a useful way to avoid people saying "Aww man you said that in an offensive way!" and the fact that the OP is aware that they're on shaky ground I think makes it easier for peopel to forcus on the question and not etiquette lessons.

I've also seen people apologize for asking a question that seems to have been done before many time, that seems easily Googleable, that seems like it should be easily answered but isn't, that uses words that might be offensive in the wrong context, that are too long, that are asking about other cultures in a way that might seem ignorant or privileged, and that are asking photos about cats without the requisite photos.

I mostly raise my right eyebrow but I am ambisupercilious.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:43 AM on August 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


Doing a search for "sorry" on Askme, the first page or so brings up one or more apologies for all of the following:

Length/rambliness/confusing question
Asking a similar question to one the OP had previously asked
Asking about something that comes up frequently
Poor or non-native English
Asking something that may have an obvious or easily-findable answer, or a silly question
Poor or no pictures
Not asking "correctly" as a new AskMe user

Personally, I think that of these the one that most benefits from an apology is when an OP asks something that looks to be more or less the same question they'd previously asked; if they acknowledge this and can point out how this new iteration is different, I'd feel a little more inclined to continue reading or possibly answer than I would if it seemed like they're just going to keep asking the same darned thing over and over.

(although of course, lack of pictures in a dog question is pretty much an unforgivable offense)
posted by DingoMutt at 6:53 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, today is apparently International Left Handers Day so I think we should all make an effort to raise only our left eyebrow today.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:56 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my experience, questions posted to AskMe involving urination, defecation or menstruation, and/or the rooms, products or processes which facilitate these human biological functions, are often introduced by a generic apology, or disguised with some clever [more inside] gimmick.
posted by paulsc at 7:01 AM on August 13, 2013


I raise my left eyebrow when three answers into a question the OP steps in to write something like, "Great answers so far. Keep them coming."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:02 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can only raise my right eyebrow. I also can only wink my left eye.

Sorry :(
posted by dismas at 7:07 AM on August 13, 2013




Great answers so far about your eyebrows - keep them coming.

I also just want to assure everyone that I am NOT keeping a so-called "hit list" of people who raise the wrong eyebrow, in accordance with some kind of bizarre and highly-offensive theory of facial purity.

So, just go about your eyebrow-raising and eyebrow-raising-reporting activities without worrying exactly "who" will round up "who" into special "detainment camps" when we all vote #1 quidnunc kid. There is NOTHING to worry about. Unless you are a right-eyebrow-raising freak.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:20 AM on August 13, 2013 [20 favorites]


I asked an anonymous question and apologised in advance for the length, as a kind of pre-emptive way of letting people know there was a lot of stuff below the fold in case they didn't want to bother. And someone still wrote, TL;DR (which was annoying to say the least - don't read it then! I warned you! And also don't bother answering, then.) I also pre-emptively thank people. I agree it's all about being self-deprecating and polite in a likemelikeme way, but it's fairly ingrained (thanks, Catholic upbringing.)

I can only raise my left eyebrow, and only when I'm doing a wry stupid face.
posted by billiebee at 7:21 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


how would mr spock deal with this issue?

(enquiring minds and all that)
posted by lampshade at 7:32 AM on August 13, 2013


We should all find apology in our hearts when speaking of the Latin language.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:41 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry about this question, but when people "raise an eyebrow", which eyebrow (the left or right) do they usually raise?

I raised and lowered both of my eyebrows while rolling my eyes back and forth, grinning, and tapping my cigar. Then Margaret Dumont slapped me and stormed out of the room.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:49 AM on August 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


I can raise both simultaneously or the left one alone. I have a minor neurological thingy that makes the right side of my face move a little bit oddly, though.
posted by elizardbits at 8:04 AM on August 13, 2013


Although I can raise either eyebrow, I mostly raise the left one, and when I do, the implied scorn is absolutely withering.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:06 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


My right eyebrow is for gentle skepticism, my left eyebrow is raised for contempt. I raise them both when expressing startlement.

I'd like to thank my mother for forcing me to attend dull lengthy religious ceremonies as a child for giving me the uninterrupted time to acquire the ability. It also granted me time to perfect wiggling my ears and nose, which suddenly makes me fear that when the world finally all votes #1 quidnunc kid I'll be burnt as a witch.
posted by winna at 8:30 AM on August 13, 2013


Left eyebrow; I'm right-handed. Sometimes my right eyebrow goes up, but I can't raise it on purpose - it has a mind of its own.
posted by rtha at 8:33 AM on August 13, 2013


I can only raise my left eyebrow - I'm right handed.

(I painstakingly taught myself to do this in front of a mirror as a child, after watching a truly remarkable amount of Star Trek: TOS reruns. It seemed a necessary skill at the time.)
posted by darchildre at 8:39 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I cannot raise my eyebrows independently of each other, but I can wiggle my ears. So I do that instead.
posted by kyrademon at 9:14 AM on August 13, 2013


Left eyebrow. The right eyebrow can do it too with some effort, but it's a little dumber than the left one.

Oddly, I learned by practicing for ages in the mirror with the right eyebrow, but apparently the left had a hidden natural talent.
posted by randomnity at 9:35 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, today is apparently International Left Handers Day so I think we should all make an effort to raise only our left eyebrow today.

I'm a lefty but I seem to be incapable of lifting my left eyebrow (right works just fine though).

*sobs*
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:49 AM on August 13, 2013


I can raise either eyebrow with such force that I can escape headlocks and choke holds.
posted by planetesimal at 9:49 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can move my right eyebrow with much more facility than my left. If I try to move my left independently, I end up making the Dreamworks face, so I basically never do it.
posted by Jpfed at 9:54 AM on August 13, 2013


I'm sorry, but my eyebrows are hardwired together. I can't raise or wrinkle one without the other following suit. My son can make his eyebrows dance individually. It is hilarious and disturbing.
posted by Mister_A at 9:58 AM on August 13, 2013


I taught myself to raise my eyebrows independently after reading this book and its sequels. The protagonist's magic powers kicked in when she raised her right eyebrow, and I figured it was worth a shot.
posted by asperity at 10:00 AM on August 13, 2013


With the back of your palm resting on a flat surface, which fingers can you bend independently?
posted by Nomyte at 10:26 AM on August 13, 2013


I'm strongly right-hand dominant, to my frustration (I keep making efforts to become more ambidextrous) but can only raise my left eyebrow.

My mother told me she taught herself to raise each eyebrow individually while bored out of her mind in high school. She sat near a window or something reflective, so she could see herself, and it was far more interesting than whatever the teacher was droning on about.
posted by Lexica at 10:28 AM on August 13, 2013


I can only raise my left eyebrow - I'm right handed.

(I painstakingly taught myself to do this in front of a mirror as a child, after watching a truly remarkable amount of Star Trek: TOS reruns. It seemed a necessary skill at the time.)


darchildre and I are apparently the same person.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:39 AM on August 13, 2013


With the back of your palm resting on a flat surface, which fingers can you bend independently?

All of them! With my hand in the air, I can easily bend my pinkies down while keeping the rest of my fingers straight, but it is harder to do with my right pinky when resting my hand on a surface.
posted by soelo at 10:53 AM on August 13, 2013


Now, how about that navel?
posted by planetesimal at 10:56 AM on August 13, 2013


I am vat-grown: no navel.
posted by Mister_A at 11:01 AM on August 13, 2013


Well, as long as you can gaze at some orifice or other below the neck, it's all good.
posted by planetesimal at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2013


the quidnunc kid: "Sorry about this question, but when people "raise an eyebrow", which eyebrow (the left or right) do they usually raise? If people could just take the time to raise an eyebrow at this question, and then tell me which eyebrow they raised at this question, that would be great - sorry for asking this question and please pass on my apologies to your eyebrows as well."

I can raise my left eyebrow by itself. I cannot, however, raise my right eyebrow unless my left eyebrow is also raised.

So I have a range of choices: left-eyebrow-raised skepticism, or both-eyebrows-raised startlement.
posted by scrump at 11:52 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if I am more lowering my right eyebrow than raising my left, but it's left brow higher than right. I can bend all my fingers independently if I really focus on it, but it's challenging to keep the left ring finger and left pinky finger from moving together. I am right-handed. And my navel is a thing of beauty worthy of endless contemplation.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:27 PM on August 13, 2013


I can raise both eyebrows independently with reasonable facility, but for some reason it feels much more natural with my left than with my right; with left it's an effortless thing, just, you know, of course my eyebrow is raising, that's what it's for. With my right I always feel as if it's a deliberate, straining thing, effortful in a way that's still viscerally clear to me to this day.

The difference of feeling is significant enough that as a kid I remember telling someone that I was better with my left than my right, based wholly on my internalized sense of the muscle effort rather than from looking in the mirror. I was surprised to be told that my right was doing just fine as well.

If I don't have a reason to do otherwise, it's always my left that goes up.

I can lift either or both with an otherwise dead-eyed straightpan expression and the other eyebrow placid; sometimes I'll do a minimalist lefty-up to indicate e.g. curiosity or mild surprise, but my standard move is lefty-up-and-righty-furrowed to express some degree of active skepticism about the conversation or situation.

I can also do the something approximating The Wave, which was pretty exciting for me as a kid when I figured it out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:22 PM on August 13, 2013


I think they do it that way to give themselves permission to ask, really.

As to the vital eyebrow question at hand, my right raises effortlessly, and can regularly be found in the placidly observant expression used often by Mister Spock. At times, the tension around it will be intensified to show wild disbelief or extreme puzzlement. The left is for severe disapproval, disdain, or doubt ... or melodramatic insinuation thereof, as it requires the right to be somewhat scrunched and the eye narrowed.
posted by batmonkey at 2:00 PM on August 13, 2013


Your eyebrows are moved by Cranial Nerve VII, the Facial Nerve. The same nerve carries taste information from the anterior 2/3rds of your tongue to the insula.

If you can only raise the left eyebrow, your probably also don't taste well on the right side of the anterior 2/3 portion of the tongue, which happens to be the place that is coded especially for cilantro. Therefore, people who can only raise the left eyebrow tend not to like cilantro.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:06 PM on August 13, 2013


I made up that whole bit about cilantro.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:07 PM on August 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


I would like to know which kinds or aspects of questions raise an eyebrow in the community, without necessarily being grounds for deletion, and which would normally warrant extra care or an apology.

Big community. A lot of weird answers sometimes, you can never tell what sort of baggage an answerer is bringing into the thread with them. People are going to sometimes get their backs up over things you never would have thought and aside from general norms you might notice about the site, you're probably not going to find an easy answer as to how everybody likes things worded or what they consider appropriate. I've got my pet peeves about Ask, you've probably got yours, and they're probably not the same.
posted by Hoopo at 2:31 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can raise my left eyebrow alone, or both together. Not the right alone. I am right-handed. I don't like cilantro.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:33 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mostly raise my right eyebrow but I am ambisupercilious.

Holy cow I never realized that the etymology of supercilious is such that it literally refers to raised eyebrows.

I am right handed. I can supercelare with my right eyebrow just fine. I raise with my left eyebrow about as well as I write with my left hand, which is to say that the results are barely, but incontrovertibly, intelligible.
posted by solotoro at 2:37 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


And cilantro is one of the best things about any meal that has cilantro in it.
posted by solotoro at 2:38 PM on August 13, 2013


Like others, I thought they were apologising in adance for using a word that some people find offensive.

I can only raise both eyebrows at once. As a left-hander (may be confirmation bias, but there seems to be a disproportionate number here), I'm mildly interested that there is an actual day to celebrate the trials and tribulations we face, but a little twitchy about saying that it's today because, where I am, it was yesterday.
posted by dg at 3:02 PM on August 13, 2013


I raise the left, but I also kinda lower the right eyebrow. I would say actually that I instruct my left to come to attention and tell me right "at ease". Actually I can say confidently that I kinda tuck my right eyebrow in towards the bridge of my nose and raise my left up but keep it parallel to the floor. Jesus my eyebrow game is a mess.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:39 PM on August 13, 2013


Sorry, but I like Cadbury Dairy Milk.
posted by unliteral at 7:59 PM on August 13, 2013


I rely on my bangs to hide one eyebrow.

Well, actually, I rely on text for my snarkiness and try to be pleasant in person because that is, at the most, 25% of my interactions with people.
posted by RainyJay at 10:07 PM on August 13, 2013


I can only raise my left eyebrow or both at once. I am right handed. I FREQUENTLY try to be master of my own body and practice raising just my right eyebrow but it makes me look like I'm having a seizure and people have asked me to stop. I encounter the same difficulty with trying to wiggle the toes on my left foot individually -- I can't, and when I try, I risk inducing a really painful charlyhorse. :(

I apologize before asking certain questions because I was trained by my classmates to believe that asking questions in general is bad and rude, and my parents accidentally trained me to believe that I should know the answers already so it's embarrassing to ask a question and reveal that I don't actually know the answers other people think I should.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:17 PM on August 13, 2013


I only apologize when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright
posted by lordaych at 11:32 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


the quidnunc kid: There is NOTHING to worry about. Unless you are a right-eyebrow-raising freak.

I am now worried...also sorry.
WAVES EYESTALKS NERVOUSLY
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:45 AM on August 14, 2013


I can also do the something approximating The Wave, which was pretty exciting for me as a kid when I figured it out.

cortex and I are eyebrow twins!
posted by arcticseal at 7:42 AM on August 14, 2013


I have zero control over my eyebrows. If I squint, they furrow. If I open my eyes wide, they raise and I look shocked. That's it.

However, I have incredible nostril control and can independently dilate or constrict either nostril at any time, which I use as a surprisingly effective substitute. I do have an upturned nose and fantastically large nostrils (I can put a quarter in one), though, so others might not be so...gifted.

Lefty, in case that matters in nostril twitching.

Oh, and this might have turned into my favorite Talk ever.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:06 AM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


large nostrils (I can put a quarter in one)

Every great once in a while, I feel betrayed by the part of my brain that insists on saying "oh yeah, well, I can too" to things.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:09 AM on August 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


With the back of your palm resting on a flat surface, which fingers can you bend independently?

All of them, except my left ring finger.

I cannot raise one eyebrow, or move them independently at all. My nostrils are too small to put a quarter in. I can't wiggle my ears. I think cilantro tastes like soap.

I'm jealous of all your abilities to express things via a single eyebrow raise. Mostly, I just have resting bitch face.
posted by inertia at 10:47 AM on August 14, 2013


I raised my left. But I can do either or both with alacrity. Sometimes it's my right. Sometimes it's the wave. I'm ambidextrous. I used to be able to wiggle both ears, but now I can only wiggle my right. Probably atrophy because I only did it because 9-year-old me wanted to be like Alf.

With the back of your palm resting on a flat surface, which fingers can you bend independently?

All of 'em.

large nostrils (I can put a quarter in one)

Every great once in a while, I feel betrayed by the part of my brain that insists on saying "oh yeah, well, I can too" to things.


Same here, with the added caveat of there was just a quarter in my nose.
posted by General Malaise at 1:37 PM on August 14, 2013


I only know how to raise my right eyebrow. No idea why that should be. And I'm left-handed.
posted by gauche


Éponystérique!
posted by John Cohen at 6:25 PM on August 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's been scientifically studied: "The abilities to move ears and eyebrows were examined in 442 subjects (204 men, 238 women) categorized as right-handed (n = 382) and left-handed (n = 60, including mixed and ambidextrous-handed subjects). ... Significantly more men than women were able to move both the left and right eyebrow and the left ear. No differences were observed between right- and left-handers."
posted by John Cohen at 6:31 PM on August 14, 2013


So just now I was experimenting with which eyebrow goes up and FOR ONCE had the foresight to realize precisely how ridiculous I would look when my boyfriend walked into the room with MetaTalk open and my left eyebrow dancing all over the place.

Reader, I quit with the eyebrow tricks just in time.

So, thanks, I think?
posted by Space Kitty at 8:05 PM on August 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Right eyebrow only; right-handed.
posted by stoneegg21 at 10:25 PM on August 14, 2013


Questions that raise both eyebrows are better than questions that raise either eyebrow, but not as good as questions that make your eyebrows slam together over your nose.

Sometimes reading this stuff makes my nose bleed.

Self-deprecation is a rare talent, a sign of subtle insight, and should be nourished, encouraged. Apologies along that line are always nice. Apologies that annoy me are the ones where I can sense the writer smiling as he lays on the bad news. The more obvious ones begin with the likes of "I am sorry to be the on to tell you this...."
posted by mule98J at 12:59 AM on August 15, 2013


  1. I can raise my left eyebrow, both, but not my right. This is very irksome.
  2. Yes, supercilious literally is "raised eyebrow". How did I not know this?
  3. I can wiggle my ears independently of each other and the rest of my face.
  4. On the nostril front, I can flare them together at will (and independent of the rest of my face), but not separately.
  5. Hey, did y'all know that supercilious means "raised eyebrows"?
  6. No problem with all the fingers thing. Surprised that everyone can't do that. But I can do things even a skilled pianist can't do with my fingers — I wrote a long comment for that finger tapping thread but ended up not posting it. Let's just say that as a trained percussionist who began tapping and drumming as a toddler and then faced annoyed teachers, I can — and almost constantly do — make rhythms with a large number of diverse bits of my anatomy, from teeth to fingers to thigh muscles and calf muscles to feet and toes.
  7. Speaking of toes, I can move each big toe and each little toe independently. But my second toes are only partly independent of the third and fourth toes, while those pairs are entirely each a unit. I also find this very irksome.
  8. I'm pretty sure that, like some other deeply geeky folk in this thread, my eyebrow raising was carefully and frequently practiced in front of a mirror and in emulation of Spock.
  9. I have no opinion on pre-apologies. Sorry.
  10. My ability to roll my tongue upside-down, independently move my ears, and independently wiggle my toes taken together imply something extremely impressive about my sexual prowess, which I will refrain from detailing here, though I'll repeat that it's very impressive.
  11. My superciliousness is sinister, heh heh heh. Also, supercilious means raised eyebrows.

posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:29 AM on August 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


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