I just finished reading David Denby's book Snark: It's Mean, It's Personal, and It's Ruining Our Conversation. Denby lays out the history of snark and how it has (d)evolved over time. He suggests that a lot of our current rhetoric falls into this category.
What is "snark" you may ask? "Snark" is a type of snide, or rude, remark. (Denby never really defines the term, but gives many illustrations of "snark" in his book.)
The problem with "snarky" rhetoric is that it does nothing to further conversation or discussion over an issue, situation, or person. Rather it casts judgment in such a way that there really can be no conversation, or if there is it sounds like petulant children arguing on the playground.
I heard (and continue to hear) a lot of this language with the presidential campaign, as both sides attempted to tear down the other side's candidate. Not helpful, and ultimately very frustrating.
Now the questions I have: where do we see "snark" in the church? How have you responded to "snarky" rhetoric? What was the result?