The Meaning of Debate is Debatable

I had been debating whether or not to write an article on the word debate because the meaning of debate is  debatable.  I didn't want to get into a debate about it, but you can debate the issue on many levels so I think I will. Debate is quite a versatile word that can be used as a verb or a noun.  Merriam Webster defines debate as "the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure" and "a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides."  It further defines it: * to contend in words * to discuss a question by considering opposed arguments * to argue about <the subject was hotly debated> * to engage (an opponent) in debate * to turn over in one's mind <he's still debating what to do> * a contention by words or argument. So debate can mean anything from an orchestrated and heavily regulated event where two sides formally discuss a particular political issue to a slight disagreement.  The true meaning lies in the context of the communication. I'm working on a series of studies coming out in the next few weeks that discuss debate as it is used in various settings.  Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues is my latest release talking about how to discuss political issues in a more familiar and conversational environment.  I'm currently working on Say What You Mean: Avoiding, Reducing and Resolving Conflicts which is due to be in editing soon.  And before January, I have plans to finally release my formal debate study.  I'll be sharing more about them in the coming months. To give you a fun look at formal debate, I have included for your giggling pleasure a video clip from Welcome Back Kotter where the Sweathogs are entered in a formal debate.  My book will be a bit more traditional in its approach.


  • jojosblog

    Thanks Cindy, Darryl

  • Darryl

    It may be debatable but I think they proved that aggression is a natural instinct in man. (grin) Keep up the good work JoJo.

  • Darryl

    It may be debatable but I think they proved that agression is a natural instinct in man. (grin) Thanks JoJo. Good article.

  • cindy holman

    Great article! Loved welcome back Kotter! Brings back great memories!

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