Like most people who like to write, I can be overly verbose. I enjoy a good debate. Unfortunately, most people do not know the difference between debate and a knock down, crag out, free for all. I can argue a point I don’t even believe in, intelligently and in a well informed manner for entertainment. I guess I get it from my grandfather. He said his brothers and sisters (there were 12 of them) used to sit around in the evening and see who could tell the biggest lie. That was his way of saying they made up stories to tell.
Other aspects of my contrariness, cause me to think it is amusing to say things above someone’s head if they are being insulting to me. I figure it hurts nothing for them to think they got one over on me for now and then years later, realize I had insulted them and/or put them in their place and they had been too stupid to know it. My husbands sister is a favorite victim. She is one of those people who will bait you in public to try and get you to lose your temper and make you look foolish. As one of these quotes says keeping a cool head wins more arguments than anger. A cool head can win an argument even when you are wrong.
This one is my favorite.
The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one’s opinion, but rather to know it.
– Andre Maurois, pseudonym of Émile Herzog, 1885 – 1967
The reason I never lose an argument, is because I won’t open my mouth unless I know what I am talking about.
This one basically says you also have to have some talent for persuasion, even if you are right.
He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.
– Joseph Conrad, 1857 – 1924
It does not matter how many points you make unless they are valid.
The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct.
– Ralph Hartley
Here’s the one about keeping a level head and even temper. I always say, if you lose your temper, you have lost the argument.
Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers.
– William Penn, 1621 – 1670
This one is amusing to me. I have always believed the reason some people take offense at you having a different opinion than they do, is because they are afraid you will change their mind and maybe shake their foundations a little.
I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing.
– Oscar Wilde, 1854 – 1900
I was told a story once about a Minister who was trying to teach a woman something that was in the Bible. She kept telling him that it wasn’t in her Bible. He finally asked her to bring her Bible to him so he could show her. When she brought it to him, he turned to where the chapter should be and the page had been torn out. When he looked up, she said,”See, I told you it wasn’t in my Bible”.
I am not easily influenced but when someone has a valid argument, I do not keep arguing for the sake of argument. I like to learn more than I like argument.