Semantics whoring

Get advice, tips, or help with science or religion debates that you are currently participating in.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas

Post Reply
User avatar
Lusankya
ChiCom
Posts: 4163
Joined: 2002-07-13 03:04am
Location: 人间天堂
Contact:

Semantics whoring

Post by Lusankya » 2009-02-24 09:03am

How to deal with it? My current tactic is to tell them to stop being whiny little bitches, but it doesn't seem to faze them.

Instead, when you tell them to go look it up in the dictionary, they bring out gems like this:
I haven't even said that the dictionaries were inadmissible, only that it is ridiculous to believe that they settle anything by virtue of being The Almighty Dictionary. They don't. Jesus.
I really don't want to bog the debate down into "No. Really, the dictionary definition of gullible is right," but that's what they seem to want to turn it into.

This is the second time in the last month that someone's tried to turn a debate into semantics whoring, and it's not as though they're even doing it about particularly controversial or charged words. The first time it was with "bisexual" (Apparently for that guy, "The dictionary doesn't define my life") and this time it's with "gullible and easily persuaded". I can only assume they're doing it because they know their argument doesn't have two feet to stand on, because if it did, then you'd think they'd just accept the definition that I pulled out of the dictionary for the sake making the argument move along.
"I would say that the above post is off-topic, except that I'm not sure what the topic of this thread is, and I don't think anybody else is sure either."
- Darth Wong
Free Durian - Last updated 27 Dec
"Why does it look like you are in China or something?" - havokeff

Samuel
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4750
Joined: 2008-10-23 11:36am

Re: Semantics whoring

Post by Samuel » 2009-02-24 12:07pm

Beat them to death with the dictionary. :P

Technically the dictionary can be wrong, however, they have to give a reason why it is wrong and give the alternate words they want to use. If the word is too over broad, split it into two different words.

User avatar
Count Chocula
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1821
Joined: 2008-08-19 01:34pm
Location: You've asked me for my sacrifice, and I am winter born

Re: Semantics whoring

Post by Count Chocula » 2009-02-24 01:30pm

This looks like a variation of the classic Wall of Ignorance. Your debating opponents don't seem to understand, or don't want to understand, that a clear knowledge of what words mean is critical to effective communication. Dictionaries are useful because they provide context and meanings of words - duh! They should know that.

Tell 'em straight up: "If you can't even understand the meanings of the words I'm using, you have no business trying to debate ideas with me. You losers."

Alternatively, you could ask them what the meaning of "is" is. 8)
Image
The only people who were safe were the legion; after one of their AT-ATs got painted dayglo pink with scarlet go faster stripes, they identified the perpetrators and exacted revenge. - Eleventh Century Remnant

Lord Monckton is my heeerrooo

"Yeah, well, fuck them. I never said I liked the Moros." - Shroom Man 777

Post Reply