phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"poisoning my well"

Posted by R. Berg on July 31, 2001

In Reply to: "Now he's poisoning my well" posted by mortimer on July 31, 2001

: : "Poisoning the well" is used to describe the rhetorical device of an ad hominen attack, or discrediting the source of opinion or comment rather than discrediting the opinion or comment on their own merits.

: Yeh, but if "he is poisoning my well" then he is ruining the source of something I need, right?

: mortimer

I thought "poisoning the well" meant harming the community by damaging a resource needed by all. An example would be introducing dissension and mistrust into a religious or intellectual community. But I have no authoritative sources to back this up. --rb