Saturday, September 8, 2012

Terrific Debate Words

HEY YOU GUYS. Do you know what today is? Today, friends and acquaintances, officially marks the official day of the official 200th post of Stuff Christian Homeschooled Speech and Debate Kids Like!!1! And I haven't even run out of ideas yet! The 100th post doesn't even feel that long ago. Feels like, I don't know, October or something.

So I'm a little excited. And those of you who have been here before may be thinking "Psssh, non-unique." Well... yea. I'm customarily excited. Maybe you weren't thinking that. Well, guess what? I was. Why? Because "non-unique" is and has perpetually been my favorite debate word. Other dear units of language include "permutation," and the more recently-discovered "parametricize," which may/may not be spelled that way (feel free to correct me), and which never came up in TP. A shame. (I just remembered that LDers tend to not be fantastic at spelling anyway, so... whatever)

Now, there are a lot of words in debate. Especially if you're a fast talker. But, there are, in addition to normal-people-English, terms that don't come up an awful lot. Some of them are awesome. Some of them are not awesome. There is a key difference. Notice the word "not." There it is. There's the difference.

But you may be wondering, well hey. What is it that makes words terrific anyway?
Allow me to demonstrate. There are essentially three ways a debate word can be a great word:

1. Splendorous Sounds
If a word sounds about 6.022 × 1023 times more complex than it actually is (ie, parametrics), or perhaps if a jargonistic phrase is made to sound so important no one besides you could possibly comprehend it (ie, burden of proof, emphasis on the burden) or maybe if such a word/phrase is in Latin (ie, a priori), it probably fits this category. For those who may not be aware, parametrics refers to a narrowing down of the resolution. I only learned it like, a month ago, so I get excited (I know, non-unique) about explaining it. If you're in LD and you're in Stoa and you're on the aff, then you can parametricize the rez (Privacy is undervalued.) to say that privacy is undervalued in the US, Nebraska, Antarctica, your backyard, and/or wherever your philosophical heart desires rather than saying its undervalued all over the place. Because we're debaters, there's some dispute about whether this strategy is legit, but clearly it's fun to say and is therefore perfectly acceptable in this expert blogger's opinion. Policy-ers will tell you bloggers are not credible but psssh. What do they know? Moving on. Burden of proof means what you have to prove to be right. Over in TP land, the aff has the burden to prove that such and such policies actually should be reformed and the resolution is therefore true and they win. A priori means firstly and importantly. Easy, right? Other terrific words include specificity, vagueness, extra-Topicality, and mutual exclusivity.

2. Dashing Definitions
Some terrific terms are easy to understand, but not necessarily to pronounce. Or if they are, they should sound cool anyway. Contrariwise, a word could, potentially, sound only semi-cool but mean something interesting and therefore be considered terrific. This is where expressions like "non-unique" come in. See, it sounds cool, sure, but the reason non-unique is my personal favorite ever is that you can use it in regular conversation all the time! And yea, hard-core debaters find ways to use any debate term in real life all the time, but I've already used non-unique twice in this post not counting the times in this paragraph and that one other time. So ha.

3. Spiffy Spelling
Kritik. Why the heck is there a K? In fact, why are there two Ks? Who comes up with this stuff?

Actually, according to my good friend Wikipedia, it's derived from the German word Kritik, which means critique.

Ohh, I see how it is. English wasn't good enough for you, was it, founders of debate theory? Ridiculous.

But then again, the funky spelling is a little cool. In fact, I might even go so far as to say it's terrific. There. Category 3 has now been covered.

That's all I got for ya today. Thanks for coming by. Do you have a favorite debate word? Another justification for what makes a word amazing? Do tell.

You're homeschooled, and pretty terrific yourself.

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