Absolute Beginner's Frequently Asked Questions

7. What is a Fuckwit?

Let's get one thing clear right away - 'Fuckwit' is no more swearing than 'Scunthorpe' or 'Penistone'.

Regardless of its origins, the term 'fuckwit' has now become a newsgroup term for someone who repeatedly and consistantly proves themselves totally impervious to clue, 'clue' being defined as knowledge, enlightenment, advice.

The Fuckwit website (now defunct, unfortunately) described them as "those sad, strange or egocentric people; who after having had some education on technical, custom or procedural points simply fail to absorb the advice. They fail to understand or accept the clues offered."

Isn't 'fuckwit' just a ruder way of calling someone stupid?

Not necessarily. While stupidity is certainly a component of fuckwittery, someone can be stupid but still accept clue when it is offered.

Here's an example of the sort of behaviour which will qualify the perpetrator for the title of fuckwit.

Someone posts to uk.music.folk announcing that they have a CD for sale. They repeat this post on a daily basis, in spite of it being pointed out that they are in breach of that group's Charter and that they are in danger of having their posts classed as Spam and falling foul of the cancelbots. They respond by flaming the complainants and insisting that they have the right to post what they want where they want. They are now exhibiting serious signs of fuckwittedness but cannot yet be deemed a fuckwit as there is still a small possibility that they will realise the error of their ways.

People explain to them why what they are doing is anti-social and against the whole spirit of acceptable newsgroup practise. Someone might even try to persuade them that rights also carry responsibilities. They respond by loudly complaining that they are being censored by a clique of netcops and fascists who are inhibiting their right to freedom of speech.

They may make these responses with what they imagine to be witty put-downs of the complainants. The alarm bells should ring at this point. To quote from the original Fuckwit FAQ - "Because of this inability to receive clue, most fuckwits actually believe that they are being stylish and amusing when they aren't. Which is one of the major factors that predisposes a person to fuckwittedness."

Anyway, you now know that what you are dealing with is no longer mere stupidity but is either a deliberate troll or a full-blown fuckwit.

What is the correct method of dealing with a proven fuckwit?

Once it has become clear that this is someone utterly impervious to clue, they should be ignored from then on. If necessary, put them in a killfile. But arguing with them will be completely pointless. There is an old saying - "Never try to teach a pig to sing, it just wastes your time and annoys the pig."

And another - "If you wrestle with a pig in mud you both get dirty - and the pig likes it."


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