A lot of lawyers have gone to great lengths crafting their weblog disclaimers -- usually to make sure the great masses won't mistake info and opinion for legal advice or empathy for a client relationship; some want you to know they don't endorse the products that appear in those annoying ads that grow like mushrooms in the shade of their sidebars. Over at f/k/a. I've even tried to clarify that my cranky punditry should not be attributed to the many excellent and innocent haiku poets who have agreed to grace the site.
It has come to my attention, however, that those of us who offer commentary and criticism on our weblogs are often misunderstood by readers who needlessly take offense -- personal, ideological, professional, etc.. This problem is especially true for some of us older webloggers who have steadfastly refused to utilize emoticons.
Therefore, I'm using the webbully pulpit provided me by the Fedster as a guest at C&F, to set forth my Notice of Implied Disclaimers. Henceforth, please consider the following disclaimers -- unless specifically disclaimed -- to be applicable to anything I write on the Web or in any other sectors of cyberspace:
Notice of Implied Disclaimers.
YIKES - "Yes, I Know there are Exceptions and unfair Stereotypes". This disclaimer comes in handy when a poor, well-meaning soul -- like, say, Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers -- is addressing a topic with politically-correct connotations. A little YIKES! in advance might spare you unseemly public groveling (or a night or two sleeping on the proverbial academic sofa). However, even a good YIKES! (combined with the TIMID and PMS disclaimers explained below) won't save you from folks with no sense of perspective or humor*.
TIMID - "This is [just] My Interpretation, Dear" . If you've ever been accused of sounding like a condescending know-it-all, a prophylactic TIMID disclaimer may save you yet again from a lonely night on the cyber-sofa. I've always thought everyone knew that everything they said was only their own view of the facts or the truth, but that appears not to be the case, thus causing much difficulty. Please don't confuse TIMID with the phony humility of IMHO (or "with all due respect").
PMS - "Pardon My Satire," "Post May include Satire," or "Pretty Much Satire" -- a recent run-in, while discussing the Anonymous Lawyer, with young lawyers and law students who appeared to be unfamiliar with the genre of satire, has convinced me that prudence requires the PMS Warning. Even Prof. Bainbridge could recently have used this Implied Disclaimer, and avoided a postscript describing the location of his tongue.
s/david a. giacalone,
a/k/a haikuEsq and Prof. Yabut,
Feel free to adopt the nomenclature of Implied Disclaimers yourself, since I don't expect you to waste a perfectly good Saturday night, like I just did. Having made this announcement, I'm fairly certain that I'll no longer have to worry about insulting, miffing, irking or otherwise raising the ire of (thoughtful, secure, mature) readers who may encounter my words here in cyberspace.
*Linked image from Best of Callahan.