I have received a challenge from Ploop.
I do not refer to the Pilfered Livery Of Outrageous Proportions, that would be PLOOP, which is far too silly to be mentioned in a post of this magnitude of seriousness. I am speaking of Ploop, the enigmatic author of Plooptionary, who has recognized the scarcely tapped wealth of wisdom and ego residing at the Ominous Comma and has challenged me to meme.
Some of you may be wondering what exactly a meme is. I am too. I thought of looking it up on Wikipedia, but in keeping with my unwavering commitment to research avoidance, I decided to simply fabricate something.
When it comes to arguing with actual human beings, factual accuracy is strictly optional…
So let me start by say that I love meme. I also love writing about meme. After all, if there is anything I enjoy writing about more than me, it would definitely meme, or me² as sophisticated fiction manufacturers like myself prefer to call it.
The challenge, that I have almost completely drifted away from, was to write a post about winning an argument. My experiences sharing a website with two raving egomaniacs, have given me plenty of argument hours to draw from, although few of them could technically be considered victorious. But since both Herman Fording and Dr. Toboggans are both gloriously absent right now, allow me to take this opportunity to put forth a few opinions of my own.
Many people think that the best way to win an argument is to be right. These people clearly spend too much time with computers and other logical entities, because when it comes to arguing with actual human beings, factual accuracy is strictly optional. If you doubt this, simply tune into the world of politics for a day or two and you will discover how truly right I am. Although, as I pointed out two sentences ago, my supreme rightness may not prevent you from arguing with me anyway. You’re just stubborn that way.
So with no further delay, here is how dedicated Comma reader like yourself can win some arguments:
One brilliant strategy is to redefine your terms. Find something that your opponent will agree with and subtly change it to mean something you are trying to prove. This is fairly simple to do with broad, abstract terms like “faith,” and “spirituality,” but can be challenging with more specific concepts like “you are a brainless stench bag.”
I frequently demonstrate my dominance and verbal sparing skill with cryptically redefined phrases like “yes, dear,” and “you are absolutely right…”
Once you master this technique you can often end an argument without your opponent ever realizing that you have won. For example, when arguing with my wife, I will frequently demonstrate my dominance and verbal sparing skill with cryptically redefined phrases like “yes, dear,” and “you are absolutely right.”
If the previous approach is too subtle for you, you can always go to the other extreme and engineer a cataclysmic emotional escalation in the hope that your opponent will have a heart attack or perhaps apoplexy, leaving you with the upper hand in the debate. It might take a couple of days of argument to sufficiently elevate his blood pressure, but if you are persistent, you can have the satisfaction of sending smug get-well card to your opponent’s hospital room, while you bask in the glow of your superior cardiovascular endurance.
Finally, no argument meme would be complete without some mention of bringing in reinforcements. For example, a crowd of yes-men can make the even most insipid ideas seem…actually, it just makes it worse.
Scrap that idea altogether.
What I meant to say was leverage. The final key to winning argument is to use the leverage of a higher authority. Reference the Surgeon General, the Village People, or even the H. Ross Perot.
A perfect use of this technique would be a note that simply reads:
So, with the help of the Ominous Comma, debate dominance is within your grasp. Memorize and implement these inspired strategies and soon, you too, will begin to recognize the long forgotten thrill of victory.
But don’t let me be a windbag, tell me your best ways to win an argument.