This Island’s Godwin: Teorann’s Law

Godwin’s Law: The longer and more heated a debate or discussion becomes, the more likely it is that Hitler or Nazism will be used as a comparison.

Teorann’s Law: No matter the original subject area, it is possible to make any argument become about the partition/division of Ireland.

I’ve noticed over the years that there is no predicting a discussion about anything in Slugger’s below-the-line comments. The most tenuous links can bring a discussion right around to who took what from whom and when. This obviously isn’t an issue exclusive to Slugger O’Toole, you see it in the street, pubs, parks and anywhere else you care to look for it.

And now it has a name. Teorann’s Law. Godwin’s Law has been useful in curtailing such activity in discussions, nobody wants to be that person that goes to Hitler first. Equally, we should aspire in discussions to better than, “My great granda had his stuff stolen from your great granda.

The comments in this recent article are a prime example of how, seemingly out of nowhere, those grandas are being furiously debated one more.  It’s frankly a little impressive – hugely tedious – but impressive mental gymnastics and it happens time and time again.

People should also come with their own Teorann Score, sort of like a Golf handicap. It would make conversations more productive when meeting new people.

1=Expert at swinging conversations in line with Teorann’s Law

10=Hardly ever mention anything from the past that’s older than Oliver Bierhoff’s winning golden goal from the Euro ’96 final.


Me: “Hi, I’m Kris, nice to meet you. I have a Teorann’s score of 9.”

Dave: “Indeed nice to meet you too Kris, I am Dave, and I have  Teorann’s Score of 2, however I am accustomed to speaking with people who are comfortable spending every waking minute debating the events of long ago, perhaps we should not continue this introduction any further.”

Me: “A good assertion Dave, I have no wish to have my conversation curtailed by long dead arguments about long dead events featuring long dead people, I bid you adieu.”


Now wouldn’t that make things a bit easier?

Oh, and Teorann means ‘Border’.

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