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Disprove by English Error?

lelanatty
Posts: 2
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11/11/2009 12:25:30 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Has anyone ever tried to disprove an opponent's argument, on DDO or in an actual debate, simply based on a spelling/punctuation/grammatical error? Just wondering if it could or has been done. If so, please detail the situation.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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11/11/2009 12:43:36 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
You will see it occur in some 'semantic' arguments, normally about a word in the resolution. Ask, Logical-Master, he should be able to help you out with examples. :)
Clockwork
Posts: 349
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11/11/2009 5:03:26 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
In organized debates (NFL or otherwise), the people in charge usually craft the resolution to avoid irrelevant arguments. However, in Student Congress, where we assemble our own docket, it can get messy. Someone in our district created a totally incoherent resolution to stop cyberbullying ("Whereas this can lead be country be in a disarray") without a resolved statement, and if that ever gets successfully brought to the table then it'll get torn apart immediately.
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InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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11/11/2009 10:33:51 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Well I wouldn't certainly go to the lengths of correcting an opponent's grammatical and spelling errors in a debate as that would be completely off-topic, but I certainly feel it's hard to take people seriously when they can't even form a sentence properly.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/11/2009 12:41:57 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Sometimes semantics arguments can be interesting and clever, but most of the time they're pathetic excuses for lack of a real argument.
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brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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11/11/2009 2:50:31 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/11/2009 12:41:57 PM, theLwerd wrote:
Sometimes semantics arguments can be interesting and clever, but most of the time they're pathetic excuses for lack of a real argument.

Agreed. For example, when debating the plight of Palestinians, Jewish opponents will avoid the argument altogether and instead argue that there are no such people as "Palestinians", just "North Egyptian, West Jordanian and Southern Lebanese residents of Israel, Judea and Samaria".

I call it "pedantic Semitic semantics"!
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mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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11/11/2009 5:20:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Yeah, not many other ways to disprove that one, WJM.

This one was really fun, though, especially when I didn't actually redefine anything:
http://www.debate.org...
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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11/11/2009 6:11:43 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 11/11/2009 2:50:31 PM, brian_eggleston wrote:
Agreed. For example, when debating the plight of Palestinians, Jewish opponents will avoid the argument altogether and instead argue that there are no such people as "Palestinians", just "North Egyptian, West Jordanian and Southern Lebanese residents of Israel, Judea and Samaria".

I call it "pedantic Semitic semantics"!

That's why I generally tend to avoid debating that topic with Jewish opponents. Some of the ones I have argued with in the past have tried to dismiss my perfectly legitimate sources as propaganda. Mind you, the Palestinians will often say the same thing about the Israeli sources.