The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Semantics Debate: Sports cars are better than Smart Cars

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,332 times Debate No: 23883
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)




I have an interesting idea. Instead of the usual "no semantics" rule, let's make it so that you HAVE to use semantics. This debate is mostly for entertainment; vote for whoever used semantics the most awesomely. My stance is that sports cars are better than smart cars, while Con's stance will be that smart cars are better than sports cars. The burden of proof is split between us.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Both of us open with seemingly normal arguments
Round 3: Semantics begins. Use semantics in any way necessary to rebut other arguments and prove your point.
Round 4: Final rebuttal and conclusions

Good luck.


Sounds interesting. I accept.

Sports Car- A low-built car designed for performance at high speeds. [1]
Smart Car- An automobile with advanced electronics such as microprocessors. [2]

Debate Round No. 1


A sports car is a car designed for high performance that usually seats two people. A street-legal race car, basically.

"Smart car" refers to the Smart Fortwo, the compact car made by the Smart automobile brand. Whenever the phrase "Smart car" is used, it will refer to the Smart Fortwo unless stated otherwise.

Remember, rebuttal and semantics do not start until Round 3. Now, here are my arguments.

1. Sports Cars are faster than Smart cars
An average sports car can go well over 100 mph, while the Smart Fortwo's maximum possible speed is only 70 mph according to the above source. Thus, the Smart Car is clearly not a good choice for racing, high speed pursuits, or bragging. A sports car would be.

2. Sports cars are more luxurious and comfortable than Smart cars
Smart cars are extremely compact. They just barely have enough room for the driver and a single passenger. As a result, they can be very cramped and uncomfortable. And to reduce weight as much as possible, they do not have very many features. This makes Smart cars inferior to sports cars when it comes to luxury and comfort.

3. Sports cars are safer than Smart cars
As long as you obey the speed limit, driving a sports car would be much safer than driving a Smart car. To help the car run on its small motor, a Smart car is small, and is made of lightweight material. It could easily be flattened by a Hummer. On the other hand, a sports car, although also designed to be lightweight, is bigger and is made of stronger material. Because of its bigger size, a sports car can also contain more safety features. It's also designed to have good control. All of this makes you far less likely to crash, and even if you do, you're more likely to survive an accident in a sports car than a Smart car.

These are my three main points, which Con can rebut in Round 3. Right now, Con will make his opening arguments. Go ahead.


First of all I'd just like to point out how side Pro appears to have completely disregarded the definitions I posted earlier and simply proceeded with his own. Because of this, I ask conduct points go to Con.

On top of that, I'd like to contest Pro's definition of the term "Smart Car"-

1) Pro has neither defined the resolution nor specified when the resolution would be defined during round 1. He also never specified who would be defining the resolution.

2) He sources his definition of "Smart Car" from a Wikipedia entry on the "Smart Fortwo". Questionability of Wikipedia aside, these two words are clearly NOT the same term. Unless my opponent can find an alternative definition from a dictionary/encyclopedia website headed under "Smart Car" my previous definition should take precedence in this debate.

However, as my opponent requested me to reserve rebuttals and semantic arguments for the third round, I will oblige and refer to the "Smart ForTwo" during my opening arguments, for the sake of debating the same resolution. However, this clearly puts side Con at a disadvantage in a debate based on Semantics. Because of this, again, I ask conduct points to be awarded to side Con.

That said, before I begin my constructive arguments, I would like to define the term "better" as "more advantageous/effective" [1]. Advantages would include aspects such as performance, safety, environmental friendliness, affordability, etc.

1. The Smart ForTwo has better gas mileage than sports cars.
The new 2012 Audi TTS model is, according to, the most fuel efficient consumer sports car of all time, with an average rate of 27 Miles Per Gallon (henceforth referred to as MPG) [2]. Conversely, the Smart ForTwo runs at an average of 36 MPG [3]. The nearly 10 mile difference between the two could potentially amount to hundreds of dollars in savings every year, especially with rising gas prices. I conclude that in terms of gas mileage, the Smart ForTwo is much better that any sports car.

2. The Smart ForTwo is more affordable than sports cars.
The starting price for the 2012 Smart ForTwo is quoted as $12490 [4]. For the 2012 fuel efficient sport car model mentioned earlier, the starting price is $56850, which is nearly five times the price [5]! Even used sport cars are usually twice as expensive as new Smart ForTwos, so in terms of affordability, the Smart ForTwo is much better than any sports car.

3. The Smart ForTwo is more environmentally friendly than sports cars.
The body of the Smart ForTwo is recyclable. The small chassis means that less smog is created during the process of manufacturing the Smart ForTwo. On top of that, the increased MPG means that less fuel is wasted, one of the main reasons why the EPA (Enviromental Protection Agency) rates the ForTwo as an ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) as well as the "most economical car without hybrid drive" [6]. It is clear that in terms of environmental friendliness, the Smart ForTwo is better than any sports car.

From arguments 1 and 2, it is clear that the Smart ForTwo is much more cost effective than a sports car. For the majority of Americans (earning an average of around $26 000 per year), it is much better choice to go with the fuel efficient, economical Smart ForTwo than an overpriced, overly luxurious sports car.

Thank you.

Debate Round No. 2


Con has failed to follow the rules. Round 1 clearly stated that semantics wouldn't start until Round 3. Con even recognized this in Round 2, and yet he still proceeded to use semantics in the first section of his post. Since he has not followed the rules, this should result in an automatic Pro win.

Anyway, I did not post the definitions in Round 1 because I saved such things for Round 2. As I stated in the first post, Round 1 is solely for acceptance, and I never said you could place definitions there. You even broke your own rule by defining the term "better" in Round 2. Also, the Smart Fortwo is the very first definition on Google's web dictionary system.

Now that it is Round 3, I will proceed to rebut Con's arguments.

First, I would like to refute Con's definition of "better." Better does not mean "more advantageous/effective." According to, the first definition of "better" is "of superior quality or excellence". (1) Even your own source puts "more attractive, favorable, or commendable" before the definition you chose. (2) Therefore, the term "better" will mean "of superior quality or excellence and/or more attractive, favorable, or commendable"

1. The Smart Fortwo has better gas mileage than sports cars
Gas mileage is meaningless. It has nothing do do with being more attractive, favorable, etc. Besides that, you are incorrect in saying that the Audi TTS is the most fuel efficient sports car of all time. The correct answer is the Honda Civic CRX HF, which gets a maximum of 57 MPG. (3) That is far more than the Smart Fortwo, and therefore sports cars are more fuel efficient than Smart cars.

2. The Smart Fortwo is more affordable than sports cars.
This is also meaningless for the same reason as above, and not only that, it isn't true. According to eBay Motors, you can get the above Honda Civic CRX for as little as $345, or as much as $5,000. (4) Now, take a look at the results for "smart fortwo" on eBay Motors. Even the used ones cost several thousand dollars. (5) Thus, sports cars can easily be more affordable than Smart cars.

Once again, being environmentally friendly does not make something "better" according to the definition. Even if it did, ALL cars can be recycled. On top of that, sports cars are bigger than Smart cars. Therefore, there is more material to recycle on sports cars than Smart cars, making them more environmentally friendly during the recycling process. The Smart Fortwo's smaller size does not necessarily mean less smog is produced; it just means you can produce more Smart cars while having just as much smog.

I have now proven without a doubt that sports cars are better than Smart cars, in addition to the fact that Con broke the rules (even his own rules). Vote Pro for both of these reasons.



Pro's accusation is unfounded. I have adhered to Pro's rules.

1) Pro claims to have stated in his first post that round 1 was "solely for acceptance". I ask the readers to scroll up and read Pro's original post.

"Acceptance", according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, simply means to "agree to the offer of another" [1]. It does not mean you cannot do anything afterwards. During round 1, nowhere have you specified "acceptance ONLY". I have every right and reason to believe I can post my definitions.

2) Pro seems a little confused as to what a "Semantic Argument" is. A "Semantic Argument" is a "dispute over whether a claim is true or not based on the words essential in formulating that claim."[2]. I have not argued against your definition based on the WORDS you used to formulate the definition, I have argued against your definition based on the SOURCE you've used. Therefore, I have not made a semantic argument. Defining "Better" is not a semantic argument either.

Now that it's obvious that I have broken no rules and that conduct points should still go to con, I would like to point out that Google's dictionary definition is invalid. Google's entry is thus-

"The Smart Fortwo is a rear-engined two-seater microcar manufactured by Smart GmbH, introduced at the 1998 Paris Motor Show as the Smart City Coupe, and currently in its second generation."

Since the term "Smart ForTwo" was used rather than "Smart Car", Pro's definition is invalid and my definition still stands. I win if my definition still stands.

Why do I win if my definition is considered valid?

My definition of Smart Car is "A car with advanced electronics". This definition is broad enough so that it encompasses sports cars, a Smart Car, by my definition, can be a sports car as well. However, since a sports car is always "built for speed and performance", it cannot be everything a Smart Car can be. In that sense, a Smart Car will always be "of superior quality or excellence" than a sports car, and is therefore better.


Technically, I don't need to do these until Pro knocks down my definition. However, for a safety measure-

1. Gas mileage
"Attractive", according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means "arousing interest or pleasure" [3]. Surely such the high fuel efficiency rate of Smart Cars would attract interest and the money saved would arouse pleasure. Also, my opponent is incorrect in saying that the Honda Civic CRX is a sports car, it's actually a "sports compact" [4]. Therefore, the Smart ForTwo is still better than a sports car in terms of gas efficiency.

2. Affordability
Affordability is also attractive. And the CRX is not a sports car, so it is not a valid example. The Smart ForTwo is more affordable than a sports car.

3. Environmental impact
I will concede this point because I have not phrased it well. However, I don't think I'll need it as my above two points and the validity of my definition is already enough to prove that Smart Cars are better than sports cars for the majority of people.

The resolution is negated, I have not broken Pro's rules. Vote Con for arguments and conduct.

Debate Round No. 3


Round 1 stated that Round 1 is for acceptance; it did not say it was for definitions, which fit under opening arguments. Therefore, Con's definition was illegitimate.

Notice that on the Google dictionary source, "smart car" is typed in, and the first definition defines "smart car" as the Smart Fortwo. The words "Smart ForTwo" were not used, but the resulting definition is still of the Smart ForTwo. Therefore, this definition is completely legitimate.

Also, Con has failed to rebut any of my opening arguments. All he's done is rebut my rebuttals. My original arguments have remained unrefuted throughout the entire debate. This should of course result in the arguments point to Pro.

All I can do now is rebut Con's arguments for the last time.

1. Gas Mileage
Most people are not attracted to the looks of the Smart car, and would say that sports cars are more attractive. The word you are looking for is "efficient," which does not mean the same thing as attractive, and therefore does not fit the definition of "better"

Honda Civic CRX:
You used Wikipedia as your source for Sports Compact, and you yourself said in Round 2 that Wikipedia is questionable. You are contradicting yourself, making this argument illegitimate. Also, it's "Sport compact", not "sports compact", making this entire rebuttal irrelevant. And if what you meant is that the Civic CRX is a Sport compact, so what? Sport compact is a type of sports car. Your own source says that it's high performance car, which fits the definition of sports car that we agreed on. The Honda Civic CRX qualifies as both a sports car and a sport compact. Thus, the Honda Civic CRX is a legitimate sports car, giving sports cars greater mileage than the Smart ForTwo.

2. Affordability
We are not discussing the 2012 Audi TTS; it is nowhere near the most fuel efficient sports car of all time. The Honda Civic CRX has now been proven to be a type of sports car, and as shown before, the maximum price found was $5,000. This makes the exact same sports car less expensive than Smart cars. Besides that, "affordable" does not necessarily mean "attractive."

In conclusion, sports cars are without a doubt better than Smart cars. They are faster, safer, and more comfortable than Smart cars, and Con failed to rebut those points. They're also more attractive, and I have managed to turn Con's arguments around, proving that smart cars have better mileage, more affordability, and are more environmentally friendly, even though this has nothing to do with them being more attractive.

I ask for the conduct point for Con's contradicting of himself (using Wikipedia) and for his unlawful use of semantics in the first Round.

I believe are spelling/grammar is equal.

I ask for the convincing arguments point because I have proven that sports cars are better than Smart cars in every way. Con also failed to rebut any of my arguments.

I ask for the reliable sources point for Con's contradicting of himself (using Wikipedia). Other than that, I believe our sourcing was fairly equal.


Before I begin my argument, I would like to remind spectators of Pro’s rule made during round 1. “vote for whoever used semantics the most awesomely”. I will prove, in this final round, why this irrefutably means that Con has won this debate.

Ladies and gents, this debate really boils down to two main issues, and I will explain why these issues fall in side Con’s favor.

1. Is side Pro’s definition of “Smart Car” a legitimate one?

This is an important issue because this debate is based on semantics, and if I can successfully prove that Pro’s definition is not a valid one, I can rely on my irrefutable argument made during round 3.

So why does Con’s definition fall? Because, again, if you look at the definition Con has provided, it states-

The Smart Fortwo is a rear-engined two-seater microcar manufactured by Smart GmbH, introduced at the 1998 Paris Motor Show as the Smart City Coupe, and currently in its second generation.

The problem is apparent; Pro is trying to define the term “Smart Car” with the term “Smart ForTwo”. Pro recognizes this and tries to defend his definition by pointing out that the definition is headed under the term “Smart Car”, however, his argument is not valid; it only makes his source a definition of “Smart ForTwo” headed under “Smart Car”.

Therefore, Pro’s definition is invalid, making all of his arguments invalid. Since this effectively means that only side Con has made a valid argument, the resolution falls.

2. Is the Honda CRX a sports car?

This question is important because it forms the basis of side proposition’s rebuttals. Pro believes the Honda CRX to be a valid example of a sports car though he concedes that it is technically a sport compact, saying that a sport compact is a “type of sports car”. This argument falls because a sport compact is actually not a type of sports car, according to car classification, compact cars and sports cars fall under separate categories [1]. Therefore, a sport compact is actually not a type of sports car; it’s a crossover between sports cars and compact cars.

Because of this, my opponent’s rebuttals have no basis and therefore fall. I have already shown why affordability and gas mileage could be considered “attractive” during the third round, therefore, my arguments stand.


Finally, I would like to explain how I see the votes should be allocated.

I believe ‘conduct’ falls Con. Pro accuses me of using semantics in the first round, when I clearly explained why defining terms is not a semantic argument. Not only has Pro ignored my arguments several times throughout the debate, he has also set up the debate so that he would be able to define all the key terms, which is an obvious advantage in a semantic debate. For dealing with Pro’s abuse of debate structure and dismissive attitude, Con should get conduct.

I believe ‘convincing arguments’ falls Con. During round 1, Pro clearly states “vote for whoever used semantics the most awesomely”. However, throughout the debate, Pro has only ever made one semantic argument based on the definition of better, whereas Con has used semantic arguments several times. Therefore, the convincing arguments point falls to con by Pro’s own definition.

Also, I’d like to point out that though it is true that I have not refuted Pro’s arguments, I do not need to as explained earlier, my own arguments are enough to negate the resolution.

I believe spelling and grammar and sourcing are equal.

I thank MartianShark for the interesting debate.


Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by martianshark 6 years ago
Yeah, this did not go how I hoped it would.
Posted by OneElephant 6 years ago
Well, hopefully next time we'll do a better job.
Posted by Zaradi 6 years ago
Yeah, this is horrible semantics....
Go read some of imabench's or cheesedingo's stuff.
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
...have either of you even read any semantic debates?

(Hint: you are supposed to have fun while writing it, and the voters should have fun reading it. In other words, not this.)
Posted by martianshark 6 years ago
It hasn't started yet...
Posted by Zaradi 6 years ago
Wow. For a semantics debate, you two are horrible at semantics xD
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I gave Pro the conduct point for the breaking of the rules by Con in arguing semantics first round. Although I enjoyed the fact that argued semantics to disprove semantics, the fact of the matter is a semantical argument is one that argues over or by using definitions. That being said, Con did the better job of both using definitions to argue and making the better argument in general.
Vote Placed by Hyperion1 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: My brain has melted.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Using semantics on the term "semantics" was sufficiently awesome to convince me to hand over arguments. The debate was really close until then. Both sides broke various rules but since rule-breaking is the whole point of this debate I'll let it slide. One thing that could be improved was structuring rebuttal into constructive material - the two appeared really isolated. Once again, awesome debate though!