The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Devotees of "The O'Reilly Factor" probably are aware of Bill O'Reilly's low tolerance for dissent. He'll generally let you know when he's reached his tolerance level by telling you to shut up. Jack Shafer at Slate offers up a list of some of O'Reilly's more memorable "shut up" moments over the years.

I think it's safe to say that O'Reilly's using the phrase in the traditional meaning, rather than in the new-style positive sense.

Like I've said before, I used the phrase myself quite a bit while growing up. My parents really hated hearing it, and managed to curtail my use; while it's in my lexicon today, I can't say I resort to it very often. In light of O'Reilly's example, I guess I ought to thank Mom and Dad.

(An aside: When I visited "The O'Reilly Factor" site on Fox News just now, I was greeted by a large, prominent banner ad for--of all things--the New York Times! Talk about sleeping with the enemy, for both sides...)