Taking offense

How often have you witnessed people pull themselves up to their full height, and say, in the most haughty, tremulous tones they can summon, "I find that statement really offensive!" 

That pronouncement has two basic translations. The first is, "I am an extremely politically correct thinker, in fact I am SO correct that I can't even countenance this trespass on a cherished illusion."

The second is, "If I could slice and dice your statement to make you look foolish, believe me, I'd do it. But since I lack the intellectual firepower to do so, instead I'm going to resort to this tired old formulation in hopes that you're intimidated enough by the power of political correctness to back off and suspend all critical thought."

The appropriate response whenever someone tells you they're offended is, of course, "So what?"

But since they most likely won't get that, you probably want to explain this way:

"Okay, I'm very impressed by your refined sensibilities. But honestly, I'd be more interested in hearing an intelligent rebuttal. Or are you going to just continue to posture and act outraged?"

Then add, "Guess I've hit a nerve. If I'd said something ridiculous, for instance, that the earth is flat, you'd never have acted all offended. You'd have laughed and made fun of my faulty logic. I challenge you to do that now."