Friday, July 21, 2006

Winning an argument without arguing

I learned a new word today. It's dysphemism. You see, we all know what a euphemism is. It's a word meant to make something sound better than it really is. For example, when people think it's okay to kill the unborn, they're called "pro-choice."

Well a dysphemism is just the opposite. It's a word meant to make something sound worse than it really is. For example when somebody thinks it's wrong to kill the unborn, they're called "anti-choice."

You use euphemisms when referring to your own views, but you use dysphemisms when referring to views you disagree with. That way, you don't have to argue. The connotation of the words does all the work for you. And your opponent can't very well object to your use of a ephemism or a dysphemism without sounding petty--like he's quibbling over words rather than facing the issue. If they don't like your terminology, you can always just say "semantics." You'd be amazed at how powerful that word is. Just say "semantics" and you win. No arguing involved!

4 Comments:

At 7/24/2006 3:20 PM , Blogger Paul said...

Good observation!

And if you want to impose your ideas upon the culture without making the rational case for them, simply redefine the language used by the culture (e.g., tolerance, faith, truth, science, the First Amendment).

 
At 7/25/2006 10:37 AM , Blogger daleliop said...

This is equivalent to using loaded language.

 
At 7/25/2006 12:53 PM , Blogger -Joseph said...

haha... yep.

 
At 11/17/2006 4:27 PM , Blogger W. E. Messamore said...

Yeah, turn whatever someone objects to into a phobia and you've got another way to win without arguing. Just say: "You're homophobic... xenophobic... Islamophobic." Bigot is also a really good one. I like that one. It makes me laugh. I think I saw a bumper sticker somewhere once that said "Bigot, a conservative winning an argument with a liberal."

 

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