Hess Sakal, 2008, some edits in 2011, 2013 and 2017
‘Sniglet’ is a slang term in the plural community to refer to nonplurals who Just Don’t Get It, and refuse to. A singlet who is merely ignorant about plurality due to lack of personal experience doesn’t qualify as a ‘sniglet’ — that wouldn’t be fair on them, would it? I am only talking about the people who are dicks about it, and CONTINUE to be dicks about it.
I’ve run into lots of different sorts of sniglets, and I’ll create a taxonomy of sniglets, BECAUSE I CAN. (Warning: mixture of decent and cod Latin approaching!) You cannot resist the awesomeness of cheesy devices! Perhaps it’s not a full taxonomy, because they all belong to the same genus Snigletus, but there are lots of SPECIES, right?
1. Sniglet variant 1: Snigletus veteris amici or the ‘Old Friend’ Sniglet
Ah, we’ve had quite a few experiences with this sniglet variant — a lot of people, after they came out, assumed that they knew the person whose name we were going by the best — or ONLY knew the ‘singlet role person’ — after we came out as plural, despite the original post saying that everybody had spoken to the people listed, as well as some people who were not listed.
Everybody else seemed to be ignored, with the sole exception of Richard, because he made himself pretty clear from the get-go. It was as though people just didn’t want to bother to get to know any of the other people behind the role, and it made us want to bash our heads in, because it felt as though we were being rejected by our old friends. I think they were under the impression that they’d only met the person who was associated with our nonplural role, but it really came off as kind of offensive, especially since we’d said otherwise. But sometimes people need to be reminded, so it was probably that.
There are also the sorts who just play favourites amongst the system members — a lot of them made someone here their ‘favourite’ because he had the name of the singlet role, which made him the automatic ‘designated good one’. Richard got that too, because he strikes people as being so rational and calm. Fuck the rest of us, though — I was pegged as someone who was just not a nice guy by a few people for no good reason, and everybody else? They may as well not exist.
Not to mention, people who play favourites tend to appeal to the ‘favourite’ when somebody else is saying something they don’t particularly want to hear. Sorry; this isn’t the Good Cop Bad Cop system. Sometimes we may actually agree.
2. Sniglet variant 2: Snigletus subterfugiens, or Evasive Sniglet
These people have a tendency of, um, evading all topics related to multiplicity. They may ostensibly accept a group’s plurality, but their actions belie their words. For example, when the ‘designated old friend’ (or a group of system members still writing under the ‘singlet name’ to be able to talk to an old friend) speaks to someone who is polyphobic about a system-member by name, they may clam up or wave away the subject, as though it is utterly taboo to mention plurality, even though they themselves said that it was all right initially.
To be fair, some people may take a while to get used to the idea, but after a point, the evasion looks suspicious. Sometimes it’s not avoiding the entire topic of multiplicity; sometimes it’s evading certain members of a system.
For example, a lot of people did not seem to be as interested in people who weren’t mentioned in the original coming-out post (eg, Jack, Lilly, et al.) for some bizarre reason, even though they introduced themselves within a month of the original coming-out post. That didn’t even change after other people started becoming vocal in places where our old friends could see — they kept clinging to the old ‘singlet friend’, who was really a composite.
3. Sniglet variant 3: Singletus negans, Sniglet in Denial
This sort of sniglet is a bit like Snigletus subterfugiens, but worse. Instead of just evading topics, people who fit this category of sniglet flat out deny them. They’re the sorts of people who…say that plurality IS NOT POSSIBLE because their own minds can’t fathom it, or that we absolutely cannot be plural because we aren’t a DID stereotype. (They’re also the sorts of people who persist in using singular pronouns for plural groups.)
For those who seem to superficially recognise plurality, there is still a tacit form of denial — we had to deal with someone who insisted on calling us the nonplural name we were going by for a while, compared it to their roleplaying buddies, and took offence when we and our friends told them to stop it, rather politely.
3a. Sniglet variant 3a: Snigletus negans interretialis, Sniglet in Denial – Internets Version
I suppose this is a bit of a misleading subspecies name, but Snigletus negans stupidfreeicus just doesn’t work in Latin. This refers specifically to the sorts of ‘polyphobes’ that one sees hanging about snark communities and websites like Tumblr, 4Chan, Something Awful, Portal of Evil and Livejournal communities like stupid_free.
These people have a tendency of snarking anyone who doesn’t conform to their norm, and natural plurals definitely fit that category. ‘You can’t be multiple; DID is a very rare disease!’ ‘You’re crazy!’ ‘It’s not healthy; multiplicity is a
roadology pathology and needs to be CURRRRRREEED’ ‘LOLOL, I took a first-year psychology course and it says that multiples are all like Sybil!’ ‘If you’re not DID, you’re faking!’ ‘My friend’s cousin’s neighbour’s half-brother’s girlfriend’s aunt knows someone who’s multiple, and you’re not like them, so you’re faking!’
Honestly, these people are like the Daleks for social differences: one sight of them and their instinct is EXTERMINATE.
4. Snigletus variant 4: Snigletus fugitivus, or Runaway Sniglet
Unfortunately, we’ve had a few experiences with Polyphobia fugitiva as well — there are too many people who seem to have dropped us, either immediately or gradually, after we came out as plural. It seems that so many of our singlet friends (mostly from a particular social group) were concerned about us during some traumatic experiences that we had before we came out to them.
A lot of them don’t seem to care about us any more now that we’ve come out — it seems that any regard they had for our situation, or for us as people, vanished into THIN AIR. People seemed less interested, even when we wrote about the same things that we used to, or mentioned potential crises that were similar to the old ones. It feels like a slap in the face, because we thought that we could trust these people, especially since they stood by us during other traumatic periods. I suppose that caring is conditional — we have to be a singlet to be bothered with.
5. Polyphobia variant 5: Snigletus interrogans, or Sniglet with Really Awful Questions
I don’t mean normal singlet questions; I mean really intrusive and ridiculous questions. Stuff like people asking us about stuff like sex as soon as we come out. We don’t exist for people’s prurient interests.
Would you immediately ask sex-related questions of nonplurals? Of course you fucking wouldn’t, dude.
6. Sniglet variant 6: Snigletus psychologus, or Psychological Sniglet
How could I have a rant about sniglets without THESE people? These are the professional polyphobes; the rest of them are just amateurs. They’re the ones that either see plurality as ALWAYS BEING TRAUMA-SPLITS of superintelligent, super-creative survivor sorts, or a ‘clever delusion’ by superintelligent survivor sorts. (Notice a trend here?)
They also have lots of criteria that not all real plurals fit — there must be a ‘host’, people must ‘lose time’, there must be actual ‘dissociation’ and everyone must be ‘splits’. Never do these people take the obvious route of…MORE THAN ONE CONSCIOUS ENTITY SHARING A BRAIN. (I’m using a ‘hard scientific definition here, because I’m talking about psychologists and psychiatrists…)
No, it has to be lots of complicated explanations that assume that there is a **superintelligent host with toaster powers** either inducing splitting or making the whole thing up.