One thing I remembered from my years of undergrad was a professor citing Wittgenstein on a first day of German class. "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent" was the quote I've memorized to this day, and I think it comes in super handy whenever you have the undying itch to speak about something you have zero knowledge about.
And not to be all "now more than ever," but yea. Now, more than ever, it's kind of crucial to keep those German words in mind, so you don't end up making a complete fool out of yourself online or IRL for saying something patently and blatantly wrong. If you want to see what happens when people do the absolute opposite of following that wisdom, the subreddit r/dontyouknowwhoiam is a treasure trove.
Below, some of the best, most savage and hilarious burns for people who didn't figure out who they were talking to until it was much too late.
1. You're pretty good at swimming...
At least this stranger was offering a compliment 😂And it's worth even more because I hear swimmers in England aren't into cross-lane small talk.
2. Chairman Maf was just trying to help a fan out.
Also what is up with shutting people down with "Nobody cares." Am I getting old or are all online trolls the same 12-year-old antisocial boy?
3. The Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave member showed this guy what was what.
First of all, Rage Against the Machine was always about politics, so anyone saying Tom "instantly" woke up one day and cared is grossly misinformed.
4. Do my eyes deceive me?
I never got into the franchise, but most of me thinks the author knows best. The other part of me agrees with u/svaroz1c who writes "I've lost all respect for J.K. Rowling as an author (and public figure). Ever since she got a Twitter, she can't seem to stop filling in details and making interpretations to books she released years ago, which many of her followers will unquestioningly accept as canon due to her authority as the original creator of the Harry Potter universe" on reddit. They continue, "A book should speak for itself and be 100% open to the interpretations and imaginations of its readers. Rowling is the equivalent of an overprotective helicopter parent to her books." Ok, true, true.
5. This guy deserves a second PhD in Mansplaining.
This arrogant guy must have gotten confused because Emily doesn't boast about her degree TWO times in her Twitter name, like he does.
P.S. If you're using "comma-PhD" after your name, we get it, you're a doctor.
6. Should we try this again?
Take it from the CEO, Softspace has a space. A soft space. But from the perspective of a copywriter, I think without a space is kind of, sort of better...
7. For as long as there are influencers, there probably will be mooches.
Lately, self-described influencers have been driving the hospitality industry crazy. I get wanting a free vacation in exchange for posting photos of your glamorous life, but that's a whole different story. The bone I have to pick with this girl is that 3,000 isn't that many followers, and the "good deal" she's offering this club seems like a pretty objectively bad one, no matter where you're standing.
8. Unbreak my heart, GRRM!!! </3
If it's any comfort to the author of Game of Thrones (it won't be), this happens to writers all the time!
9. Delete your account, sir.
Martin Luther King's daughter is verified and everything. Maybe next time you tell someone not to turn an honest man into "something he's not," just hover over the handle and take a peek at who you're addressing.
10. Wait UP — Women, like, know how... to teach?
Can I possibly roll my eyes further?
11. The fact that he started with "As a Vietnam veteran," though.
I don't understand what kind of urge would drive a person to have such a pressing need and desire to tell someone else off for expressing whatever menial thing they feel like sharing on the internet.
12. u/kn0thing is Alexis Ohanian, founder of reddit, and Serena's husband
Turns out Alexis wasn't always too crazy about tennis, though.
13. Is this just a Jamas Acaster joke setup?
Even if it is, I'm enjoying it.
14. TBH this kind of perfectly encapsulates what it feels like to work at a big corporation.
That, and thousands of meetings that could have just been one-line emails.
15. #TBT Reading
16. This guy mansplained 'Indiana Jones' costumes to the woman who *designed* them.
"Stanley, you have got to be kidding" is going to be my new catchphrase. I'll use it every time I get mansplained to, which believe it or not, is every day. Not to say that crazy things don't happen when questions actually are wrong on Jeopardy!
17. Some people don't need to cite sources.
For example, when they are the source.
18. They're in front of Mt. Rushmore...
What can I say? If you clap, I'll clap back.
And let's not forget the girl who lost her NASA internship by telling off her would-be future employer to, essentially, stfu. Only, more colorfully than that.