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ARGUMENT
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[ Also see Agitation Complacency Contention Contradiction Controversy Debate Difference Discord Discussion Dissension Eloquence Justification Logic Opposition Oratory Persuasion Philosophy Quarreling Quarrels Reason Rhetoric Satire Speech Talk Talking Wit Words ]

A knock-down argument; 'tis but a word and a blow.
      - John Dryden, Amphitryon (act I, sc. 1)

The daughter of debate
  That still discord doth sow.
      - Elizabeth I, about Mary Queen of Scots

Some men at the approach of a dispute neigh like horses. Unless there be an argument, they think nothing is doing. Some talkers excel in the precision with which they formulate their thoughts, so that you get from them somewhat to remember; others lay criticism asleep by a charm. Especially women use words that are not words,--as steps in a dance are not steps,--but reproduce the genius of that they speak of; as the sound of some bells makes us think of the bell merely, whilst the church chimes in the distance bring the church and its serious memories before us.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.
      - Sam Ewing

In a debate, rather pull to pieces the argument of thy antagonists than offer him any of thy own; for thus thou wilt fight him in his own country.
      - Henry Fielding

Reproachful speech from either side
  The want of argument supplied;
    They rail, reviled; as often ends
      The contests of disputing friends.
      - John Gay,
        Fables--Ravens--Sexton and Earth Worm
         (pt. II, l. 117)

I always admired Mrs. Grote's saying that politics and theology were the only two really great subjects.
      - Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone,
        in a letter to Lord Roseberry

I always get the better when I argue alone.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

There is no arguing with Johnson; for if his pistol misses fire, he you down with the butt end of it.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

His conduct still right with his argument wrong.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Retaliation (l. 46)

In arguing, too, the parson own'd his skill,
  For even though vanquished he could argue still.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
         (l. 211)

I find you want me to furnish you with argument and intellects too. No, sir, these, I protest you, are too hard for me.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Vicar of Wakefield
         (ch. VII)

In arguing one should meet serious pleading with humor, and humor with serious pleading.
      - Leontinus Gorgias bk. III, ch. XVIII,
        endorsed by Aristotle in his Rhetoric

Convincing yourself doesn't win an argument.
      - Robert Half

I never love those salamanders that are never well but when they are in the fire of contentions. I will rather suffer a thousand wrongs than offer one. I have always found that to strive with a superior is injurious; with an equal, doubtful; with an inferior, sordid and base; with any, full of unquietness.
      - Joseph Hall

We are pleased with one who instantly assents to our opinions, but we love a proselyte.
      - Sir Arthur Helps

Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes
  Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
      - George Herbert, Temple--Church Porch
         (st. 52)

They that are more frequent to dispute be not always the best able to determine.
      - Richard Hooker

The sounder your argument, the more satisfaction you get out of it.
      - Edgar Watson Howe

Strong and bitter words indicate a weak, cause.
      - Victor Hugo

No mistake is so commonly made by clever people as that of assuming a cause to be bad because the arguments of its supporters are, to a great extent, nonsensical.
      - Thomas Henry Huxley

There are some people as obtuse in recognizing an argument as they are in appreciating wit. You couldn't drive it into their heads with a hammer.
      - Douglas William Jerrold

Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Boswell's Life of Johnson

Let argument bear no unmusical sound.
      - Ben Jonson


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