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How To Win An Argument

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Vladimir, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter


    Timing: Typically, the first person to reply to the thread has a greater chance of swinging the original person's (OP) view than someone who joins the debate later on.

    Alternative terminology: Use words that are different to those used in the post.

    For example, if discussing climate change, describing it as global warming in a reply makes more of an impact than using the same terminology as the OP.

    Use calm language: The study suggests using 'calm' language to make a point is more effective than swearing or using aggressive terms.

    In the paper, examples of 'calm' words include those that are softer-sounding such as 'librarian' and 'dull' than harsh, 'sharp' words such as 'terrorism' and 'erection.'

    Length: Longer replies in general also tend to be seen as more persuasive.

    Evidence: Using numbers, statistics and examples to back up opinions make people sound more convincing.

    To push this point, commenters should specifically write 'e.g', 'for instance' or 'i.e' before presenting these arguments to strengthen their persuasiveness.

    Links: Quotes and quotation marks play little role in trying to convince someone, but linking to examples and outside sources does.

    Hedge your bets: Hedges indicate uncertainty, and an example is: 'It could be the case'.

    Although this sounds like it might signal a weaker argument, the researchers said it may make an argument easier to accept by softening its tone.

    Check the language in the original post: People can 'pick their battles' and decide whether or not it's worth engaging in an argument by studying the terms used by the OP.

    Personal pronouns, such as 'I' suggest a person is more open-minded to persuasion, but the use of the words 'we' and 'us' suggests they are more stubborn.

    Stubborn people use more emotive and decisive words including 'certain', 'nothing' and 'best.'

    Know when to give up: Finally, the researchers found that after four or five 'back and forth' posts have been made, the chances of swaying someone's view significantly drops.
  2. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    We can invoke this as Vladimir's Law.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I find that linking to reputable facts provided by people who have researched something professionally, and challenging made up nonsense, works pretty well...

    I'm surprised more people don't try it
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Only a certain kind of person feels it's important for them to win an argument with strangers on the internet.

  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    What's there to 'win'?
    monicabilongame likes this.
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    lanokia and sabrinakat like this.
  7. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  8. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    more catnip?
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Wish there were biscuits...

    Hang on! That proves sabrinakat isn't American! Gotcha! Cookies... cookies

    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  10. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It could be that @sabrinakat is referring to those strange lard-cakes that Americans cover with gravy.
    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Oh yeah forgot about those biscuits... odd things.
  12. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    ...and they have the cheek to think British food is rubbish, also, is there any more unappetizing sounding food than "grits"?
    racroesus and aspensquiver_2 like this.
  13. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I want a biscuit now and I don't think there's one in the house.
    racroesus likes this.
  14. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    The traditional choice:

  15. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I speak two languages: American English and British English.
    and have assimilated, too..............


    All your biscuits belong to me..........
  16. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    TBH, though I use both - I would say digestive biscuit or peanut butter cookie. Oreos are cookies, shortbread are biscuit. Chocolate chip is tricky - I would think more cookie, but I have eaten chocolate chip biscuits, too.....

    am now hungry and do have biscuits/cookies in my classroom, but I have lost 11 pounds since January by NOT eating too many biscuits/cookies....lunch soon. Salad - same in both languages, and not too exciting in either (might be cheese today, though, so that IS exciting!)

    EDIT : bits of grated cheese that make salad that little more exciting, but not too exciting....
    lanokia likes this.
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    The latter requires no national qualifier.
    racroesus likes this.
  18. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Well done, you. That's significant.
  19. anotherauntsally

    anotherauntsally Lead commenter

    I hope you're on holiday, Flere and not ill.

    Mmm, I used to love Penguins - they always seemed much bigger when I was young. I wonder if these 'original' ones are the same size are they were then? I must look out for them.
  20. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    These say they're cookies on the pack and they're sold in British money, so you should be alright calling them cookies.

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