Russell conjugations humorously illustrate how the same concept can be expressed with different phrasings that carry positive, neutral, or negative valence. Examples below.

I wish they were taught in schools. I think it's a high bang-for-buck rationality technique, to 'conjugate' and translate back and forth between the positive and negative valences. If you can do this effortlessly and automatically, you are more likely to do so in situations where you are in danger of making epistemic or moral errors if you don't.

Below in the comments I'm making a list of Russell conjugations I've heard and generated. Please add more of your own. Agreement-upvote them if you think they are a solid contribution to the list, agreement-downvote them if you think the overall list would be better off without them.

If we get enough, maybe it'll be a useful fine-tuning or few-shot prompt for LLMs. (The votes will be helpful for quality control.) Maybe. I can dream.

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I update, you change your mind, he backpedals.

We fight disinformation, you moderate content, they censor dissent.

I'm the red team, you're a devil's advocate, he's a troll.

I govern, you rule, he oppresses.

I am passionate, you're emotional, she's hysterical.

I punish, you retaliate, he perpetuates the cycle of violence.

I am dependable, you are consistent, he is predictable.

I asked ChatGPT

How can the concept of an emotive conjugation be extended into an orthogonal dimension?

And got the quite good answer:

Emotive conjugation can be extended into an orthogonal dimension by considering the emotional valence of the conjugated words, as well as their emotional intensity or magnitude. This creates a two-dimensional emotional space that captures the range of emotions that can be expressed by a given word or phrase.

For example, we can use the emotional valence of words along the vertical axis of the emotional space, where positive emotions are at the top, neutral emotions are in the middle, and negative emotions are at the bottom. The emotional intensity of words can be placed along the horizontal axis, where low emotional intensity is on the left and high emotional intensity is on the right.

By placing different words in this emotional space, we can visualize the range of emotions they convey, and how intense or mild those emotions are. This can help us better understand the emotional impact of different words and phrases, and how they might be received by different audiences.

By using this two-dimensional emotional space, we can explore how words and phrases can be modified to convey different emotional nuances, and how these modifications might impact the emotional responses of the listener or reader. This can be especially useful in fields such as marketing, advertising, and politics, where the emotional impact of language can be a critical factor in shaping public opinion and behavior.

Later I asked for examples:

Give more examples in this format: 

  • low intensity positive: serene 
  • low intensity neutral: calm 
  • low intensity negative: bored 
  • high intensity positive: excited 
  • high intensity neutral: engaged 
  • high intensity negative: obsessed

And got these nice results:

Sure, here are some more examples in the same format:

  • Low intensity positive: content 
  • Low intensity neutral: satisfied 
  • Low intensity negative: indifferent 
  • High intensity positive: ecstatic 
  • High intensity neutral: focused 
  • High intensity negative: fixated


  • Low intensity positive: comfortable 
  • Low intensity neutral: adequate 
  • Low intensity negative: mediocre 
  • High intensity positive: luxurious 
  • High intensity neutral: lavish 
  • High intensity negative: extravagant


  • Low intensity positive: friendly 
  • Low intensity neutral: polite 
  • Low intensity negative: distant 
  • High intensity positive: affectionate 
  • High intensity neutral: attentive 
  • High intensity negative: possessive


  • Low intensity positive: grateful 
  • Low intensity neutral: appreciative 
  • Low intensity negative: indifferent 
  • High intensity positive: indebted 
  • High intensity neutral: obligated 
  • High intensity negative: guilty


  • Low intensity positive: relaxed 
  • Low intensity neutral: composed 
  • Low intensity negative: detached 
  • High intensity positive: exhilarated 
  • High intensity neutral: stimulated 
  • High intensity negative: frenzied

I hint, you imply, he insinuates.

I am brave, you are risk-taking, he is reckless.

I am confident, you are cocky, he is arrogant.

We're careful (positive), you're cautious (neutral), they're paranoid (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

Also called Emotive conjugation (Wikipedia link) which lists the following examples (those with (*) already posted).

  • I am firm, you are obstinate, he/she is a pig-headed fool. (*)
  • I am sparking; you are unusually talkative; he is drunk.
  • I know my own mind; you like things to be just so; they have to have everything their way.
  • I am a freedom fighter, you are a rebel, and he is a terrorist. (*)
  • I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over nothing. (*)
  • I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has gone back on his word. (*)

The Wikipedia article has a typo in one of these: it should say "I am sparkling; you are unusually talkative; he is drunk." (as in the source)

My program is elegant, yours is short, his is simplistic.

I pick my battles, you retreat, he runs away.

*he is a coward ?

I invest, you spend, he squanders.

We are looking into it, you are doing nothing, they are stonewalling.

I discover, you hypothesize, they speculate.

I am firm, you are obstinate, he is pig-headed.

I am realistic, you are pessimistic, he has lost hope.

“All the world's mad except thee and me, and I'm not sure about thee.” (traditional saying)

I pay homage, you reference, he rips off.

We are freedom fighters, you are insurgents, they are terrorists.

We don't mind if you do it when you need to, you are relaxed about that sort of thing, they flagrantly violate company policy.

I'm calm, you're detached, they lack empathy.

We fight disinformation, you moderate content, they censor dissent.

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I'm clear, you're blunt, he's rude.

I am sharp, you are detail-oriented, he is a nitpicker.

We are a community, you are a clique, they are a farcical hangout club.

I asked ChatGPT for examples and posted sensible ones as individual comments (marked with "via ChatGPT"). This was the prompt:

Here are examples of Russell Conjugations (also called Emotive Conjugation): 

* We fight disinformation (positive); you moderate content (neutral); they censor dissent (negative). 

* I am passionate (positive), you're emotional (neutral), she's hysterical (negative). 

* I govern (positive), you rule (neutral), he oppresses (negative).

I'm curious (positive), you're inquisitive (neutral), she's nosy (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

I am right. You are wrong. They are not even wrong.

I exercise a constitutional right, you refuse a search, he obstructs justice.

I am innocent, you are accused, he is guilty.

My proof eschews unnecessary detail, yours leaves exercises to the reader, his is incomplete.

I'm white hat, you're grey hat, he's black hat.

I whistleblow, you leak, he violates NDA.

I conduct experiments, you try things, he screws around.

I execute, you kill, he murders.

I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist. (from Yes Minister)

I give confidential press briefings, you leak, he's spying.

The original from Yes Minister: "I give a confidential press briefing, you leak, he's being charged under Section 2(a) of the Official Secrets Act".

We advocate, you lobby, they schmooze.

I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over nothing.

They're persuasive (positive), you're convincing (neutral), he's manipulative (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

I think convincing is more positive than persuasive.

She's confident (positive), you're hesitant (neutral), he's doubtful (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

They're enthusiastic (positive), you're interested (neutral), he's obsessed (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

I'm ambitious (positive), you're driven (neutral), she's ruthless (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

He's knowledgeable (positive), you're informed (neutral), she's a know-it-all (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

They're assertive (positive), you're bossy (neutral), she's aggressive (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

I'm frugal (positive), you're thrifty (neutral), she's cheap (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

We're innovative (positive), you're unconventional (neutral), they're eccentric (negative).

(via ChatGPT)

I'm dedicated (positive), you're stubborn (neutral), he's pigheaded (negative).

(via ChatGPT)



Which being expanded from the Daleks' abbreviated form of expression, means:

"I exterminate. You are being exterminated. They will be exterminated."

I exist. You're an NPC I made up. They're scenery.