Friday, December 15, 2006

How to win arguments with Hell's Kitchen

I received an email earlier in the week from Dirk, recommending the following:

… essay on how to win arguments, and while it may not be as watertight as those on your blog, it certainly seems to get the job done…

Here's one of my favourite techniques from the site Dirk recommends, Hell's Kitchen:

Use meaningless but weightly [sic] -sounding words and phrases.

Memorize this list:
Let me put it this way
In terms of
Per se
As it were
So to speak

You should also memorize some Latin abbreviations such as "Q.E.D.," "e.g.," and "i.e." These are all short for "I speak Latin, and you do not."

Here's how to use these words and phrases. Suppose you want to say: "Peruvians would like to order appetizers more often, but they don't have enough money."

You never win arguments talking like that. But you WILL win if you say: "Let me put it this way. In terms of appetizers vis-a-vis Peruvians qua Peruvians, they would like to order them more often, so to speak, but they do not have enough money per se, as it were. Q.E.D."

Only a fool would challenge that statement.


Jef is the king of arguing in Bad Faith, but I'll soon catch him with these techniques. Hit the link above and learn.

Update: Thanks to Gary Curtis for sourcing the original, by Dave Barry.