parse. dissect. fsk

parse (v): to examine in a minute way: analyze critically

dissect (v): to separate into pieces; to analyze and interpret minutely

fisk (v., named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent target of such treatment): a point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual.

My bad habits include parsing the words of others and dissecting their arguments. In the blogosphere, however, such habits are recognized as virtues, under the rubric of fisking.

Postscript (2/24/06): The subtitle for an essay from a 2004 issue of the New Republic, titled “The Blatherer” by Andrew Sullivan, is “Fisking Kerry.”

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