From “comment tennis” to “pinball wizardry” – or something else

Haven’t fully worked this one up, so bear with me – and pitch in if you think I am going up the garden path.

“Comment tennis” is the name for a bunch of people sat listening to two or three people having a conversation over their heads. It’s a common occurrence at panel discussions when the floor is “opened up” (cough cough) by the chair for discussion without quieter people, people who need a moment to think and refine their thoughts – especially in collaboration – having had a chance to get their question sorted. These people aren’t willing to take up space unnecessarily and waffle, like many men and all Trotskyists are.

But what is the “flip-side” phrase for comment tennis? What is it that we are aspiring to achieve rather than avoid (‘you hit what you aim for’)? “Pinball wizardry”, with the “ball” bouncing around widely and wildly making contact with loads of people? It has energy, but is still chaotic (and not in a particularly productive way). Is there another label/analogy/whatever that I am missing to describe a fairer, more reasoned format of – say – small group discussions, occasional referring back to panel etc etc? “Tapestry-weaving”? Too 70s? Help!!

[Update - I spelt wizardry as wizadry.  Thanks to the reader who pointed this out - I have now amended.]

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2 Responses to From “comment tennis” to “pinball wizardry” – or something else

  1. AHobbes says:

    Dear Mr Dwight Towers,
    Not to be a nitpicker, but you’ve spelt the word “wizardry” wrong.
    And as an alternative to Pinball Wizardry, why not . . . ?
    I am working on that one.

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