A few people have responded to my recent controversial post either on their blogs or via comments. Some have expressed their opinion that it’s never good to name names. And others have spoken out against name calling.
But I think the two issues are getting a little bit confused. There is a big difference between “calling somebody out” and being a “name caller.”
If you name names and draw attention to a particular person and his or her bad business behavior, that is a public service. This is why there are complaint boards, business rating services, etc. They exist to help document unethical business practices and protect consumers.
Should we have not called out Bernie Madoff — and let him continue his Ponzi scheme indefinitely? Should we have been silent as Robert Tilton exploited thousands of TV viewers every week?
To be silent on such issues is to encourage criminal behavior.
In my opinion, naming names is not optional. It must be done to preserve law and order in a society. Criminal behavior (like fraud) can’t be ignored.
Here’s a mental exercise that helps prove the point:
Imagine a known sexual predator living in your area. Would you merely warn your neighbors about the different kinds of sexual crimes being committed in neighborhoods across the nation?
Or would you tell your neighbors the full name of the sexual predator, exactly what he had done in the past, and exactly where he lived so you would know how to avoid him?
I think you know the answer to that. You’d warn your neighbors — and you’d give plenty of specifics.
Name-calling is a different issue entirely. It rarely serves any positive purpose and only redirects attention away from the real issues that need to be talked about.
Unfortunately, this is what often happens in political discussions. The ad hominem attacks start flying. The real issues get swept under the rug.
In fact, this is what happens in many, many arguments, not just political ones. Whether it’s between two friends, two spouses, or whomever, it’s far too easy to let our emotions get the best of us — and resort to name calling. (“Jerk!” “Pervert!” “Idiot!” Etc.)
So, in sum:
Naming names – Necessary, especially when criminal behavior is involved.
Calling names – Unproductive at best, damaging at worst.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :-)
-Ryan M. Healy
Even the best copywriters sometimes get stuck for words and struggle to write winning ads. But what if there was a surefire way to smash through writer's block and write winning copy almost every single time? Good news -- there is. Click Here to Read the Complete Article »