History Main / DamnedByFaintPraise

9th Sep '17 10:36:11 AM FordPrefect
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To damn something with faint praise is to point out that something is mediocre or worse by praising it in ways that make its weaknesses clear. To say that a computer "looks sleek" as the primary point of praise would indicate that it is not that amazing as a computer, for example. To describe a person as punctual when asked about how they perform at work carries the heavy implication that this is their one valuable trait.

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To damn something with faint praise is to point out that something is mediocre or worse by praising it in ways that make its weaknesses clear. To say that a computer "looks sleek" as the primary point of praise would indicate that it is not that amazing when you actually use it as a computer, for example. To describe a person as punctual when asked about how they perform at work carries the heavy implication that this is their one only valuable trait.
26th Aug '17 1:37:15 AM MBG
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* In ''Literature/TheIliad'', and many other Greek poems, most of the characters are given "epithets", descriptors that refer to their titles, feats, or skills. For instance, Agamemnon is referred to as "brilliant Agamemnon", "wide-ruling Agamemnon", or "Agamemnon son of Atreus." In general, you can tell how important or skilled a character is supposed to be by the kind of epithets they receive - characters like Achilles or Hector get a new and impressive one pretty much every time they're mentioned, while lesser characters tend to have only a few epithets that border on TriviallyObvious. Paris, though, is probably the biggest example of this trope, as his two epithets are "son of Priam" and "godlike" (meaning he looks like a god) - even though they're compliments, they're basically saying that being Priam's son and looking pretty are the only things Paris has ever accomplished.
25th Aug '17 9:57:49 AM AndIntroducingALeg
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* The tie-in book for ''Series/FistOfFun'' includes a spoof academic article that accuses the hymn ''All Things Bright and Beautiful'' of doing this to God himself in its last lines:
-->He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell\\
How great is God almighty, who has made all things well.
**"Well", it insists, is an insulting understatement, and suggests this alternative:
-->He gave us eyes to see them, and then he made elastic\\
How great is God almighty, who has made all things fantastic.
23rd Aug '17 12:30:44 AM PaulA
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* In the beginning of ''[[Literature/ElementalMasters Reserved for the Cat]]'', Ninette Dupond is chosen to fill in for the star, La Augustine (who has sprained her ankle) for a matinee production of the ballet ''La Slyphide''. She has done a good job, but the following day, she and the other ''sujets'' (soloists) are reading the reviews and most of them are about the star's injury and her performance rated only, "''Sujet'' Ninette Dupond was called upon to replace the ''etoile'' and managed a creditable, if sometimes naïve, interpretation." One of the other ''sujets'' laughs and comments, "You are damned with faint praise, Ninette." (It's the one good review from ''La Figaro'', the newspaper thought to be for artists and thinkers, that causes trouble for Ninette.)

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* In the beginning of ''[[Literature/ElementalMasters Reserved for the Cat]]'', ''Literature/ReservedForTheCat'', Ninette Dupond is chosen to fill in for the star, La Augustine (who has sprained her ankle) for a matinee production of the ballet ''La Slyphide''.Sylphide''. She has done a good job, but the following day, she and the other ''sujets'' (soloists) are reading the reviews and most of them are about the star's injury and her performance rated only, "''Sujet'' Ninette Dupond was called upon to replace the ''etoile'' and managed a creditable, if sometimes naïve, interpretation." One of the other ''sujets'' laughs and comments, "You are damned with faint praise, Ninette." (It's the one good review from ''La Figaro'', the newspaper thought to be for artists and thinkers, that causes trouble for Ninette.)
5th Aug '17 7:56:48 AM ironballs16
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* In a ''ComicStrip/{{Calvin and Hobbes}}'' strip, Calvin reasons that Santa will deem him nice because he hasn't committed any heinous acts such as murder.

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* In a ''ComicStrip/{{Calvin and Hobbes}}'' strip, Calvin reasons that Santa will deem him nice [[WantsAPrizeForBasicDecency because he hasn't committed any heinous acts such as murder.murder]].
3rd Aug '17 12:16:19 AM MBG
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* ''Webcomic/OrderOfTheStick'' has Soon Kim's final appraisal of Miko's deeds as "You have done... adequately. By destroying my Gate, you have ensured it can no longer be used for evil purposes. You have fulfilled your oath to defend this one gate... technically." As Miko considered her deeds to be the carrying-out of a divine higher destiny to save the world, it's pretty obvious this wasn't what she expected... and as they were the result of paranoid delusions and directly led to the BigBad escaping, it's similarly obvious that Soon is trying to be as nice as possible about it.

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* ''Webcomic/OrderOfTheStick'' ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has Soon Kim's final appraisal of Miko's deeds as "You have done... adequately. By destroying my Gate, you have ensured it can no longer be used for evil purposes. You have fulfilled your oath to defend this one gate... technically." As Miko considered her deeds to be the carrying-out of a divine higher destiny to save the world, it's pretty obvious this wasn't what she expected... and as they were the result of paranoid delusions and directly led to the BigBad escaping, it's similarly obvious that Soon is trying to be as nice as possible about it.
3rd Aug '17 12:15:50 AM MBG
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* ''Webcomic/OrderOfTheStick'' has Soon Kim's final appraisal of Miko's deeds as "You have done... adequately. By destroying my Gate, you have ensured it can no longer be used for evil purposes. You have fulfilled your oath to defend this one gate... technically." As Miko considered her deeds to be the carrying-out of a divine higher destiny to save the world, it's pretty obvious this wasn't what she expected... and as they were the result of paranoid delusions and directly led to the BigBad escaping, it's similarly obvious that Soon is trying to be as nice as possible about it.
2nd Aug '17 2:16:11 PM Chabal2
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* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose'': During a conference when they're surrounded by monks and church dignitaries, William credits the Inquisitor Bernard Gui with the biggest decision of his (William's) life. This is a compliment to everyone but Bernard and William's student Adso, who both know William's biggest decision was ''leaving'' the Inquisition...
2nd Aug '17 2:08:12 PM Chabal2
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* ''The Useless Senpai and the Talented Kouhai'' has the titular kouhai (who's TheAce at basketball) tell the senpai (who likes playing, but is terrible):
--> When I asked the teacher what your strong point is, senpai, she went silent for five minutes. Then she said that your strong point is that [[HighHopesZeroTalent you]] [[{{Determinator}} never skip practice.]]
18th Jul '17 6:59:58 PM Premonition45
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** In the very first ChristmasEpisode, Marge is penning a letter to be included in the family's Christmas cards. Talking about the kids, she writes, "Maggie is walking by herself, Lisa got straight [=As=], and Bart... we love Bart."
** A similar thing happens in the episode "One fish, two fish, blowfish, blue fish". When Homer goes see his children sleeping for (what he thinks is) the last time, he tells Maggie to "stay as sweet as you are", tells Lisa "I know you'll make me proud" and after hesitating a moment he tells Bart "I like your sheets".
** [[RuleOfThree With Bart again]], after realizing how much she's changed by trying to impress the women at a posh club, she decides she doesn't like how she's turning out and that she likes Homer's in-your-face humanity, she likes the way Lisa always speaks her mind and she likes Bart's... {{Beat}} "...I like Bart!"
** In "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show", after showing his friends and family the "Poochie" which he's voice acting for, Homer's guests all leave muttering incoherently and Carl says "You should be very proud, Homer... you have a wonderful home."

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** In the very first pilot ChristmasEpisode, "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire", Marge is penning a letter to be included in the family's Christmas cards. Talking about the kids, she writes, "Maggie is walking by herself, Lisa got straight [=As=], and Bart... we love Bart."
** A similar thing happens in the episode "One fish, two fish, blowfish, blue fish".Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish". When Homer goes see his children sleeping for (what he thinks is) the last time, he tells Maggie to "stay as sweet as you are", tells Lisa "I know you'll make me proud" and after hesitating a moment he tells Bart "I like your sheets".
** [[RuleOfThree With Bart again]], in "Scenes From The Class Struggle In Springfield", after realizing how much she's changed by trying to impress the women at a posh club, she decides she doesn't like how she's turning out and that she likes Homer's in-your-face humanity, she likes the way Lisa always speaks her mind and she likes Bart's... {{Beat}} "...I like Bart!"
** In "The Itchy and & Scratchy and & Poochie Show", after showing his friends and family the "Poochie" which he's voice acting for, Homer's guests all leave muttering incoherently and Carl says "You should be very proud, Homer... you have a wonderful home."



** In "Scenes From The Class Struggle In Springfield", Marge mentions qualities she likes in Homer and Lisa then says, ''I like Bart's... I like Bart!''
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