Cheap Samurai Tactics #3- Using Words as Weapons

Your Rent a Friend wishes he was listening to No Line on the Horizon by U2.

His mood is: groggy and Meh.

Welcome back to Cheap Samurai Tactics, where you learn how to shake, rattle, roll, and do the grammatical twist it takes to never lose an argument, even if you’re wrong, or simply have no idea what you’re talking about. Nobody likes to be wrong, but let’s face it, all of us will be wrong every now and then. This doesn’t mean you have to admit to it! If you play your cards right you can still come out with the façade of victory. Even better than being right is winning an argument, or maybe just getting in the last word. Frankly, sometimes you have to just take what you can get.

First we leaned how to cover your tracks with a thick layer of attitude. Next, I showed you how to divert attention away from your shortcomings in fact, details, information, or brain power. Today, you’ll learn how to use the spoken and written word to make the truth fairly unimportant to the outcome of a discussion. I present to you the third category of Cheap Samurai Tactics:

3. Semantics. This is the art of wielding words as weapons. Not to be confused with Semitics, which are people of the Middle East, especially the Jews, semantics is playing with language. Used for good it leads to jokes and puns and songs. Used for evil it’s the following Cheap Samurai Tactics.

  1. Be the Human Thesaurus: If you can rename the terms of the discussion, you’re halfway to winning the argument. Of course, a rose by any other name will still have thorns and will need to be handled carefully if you want to avoid puncture wounds. Calling something by a new name doesn’t do anything but slap a new “Hello, my name is” sticker on the same old thing. This is the way a realtor can use the phrase “Nestled in the Swiss Alps in the crisp mountain air, under showers of sparkling snow” when he could have said, “Wedged between some rocks in a frigid environment with a ton of sleet.” Which appeals to you more, nestled or wedged? (This is not a trick question).
  2. The Devil’s Inquisition: Phrase an insult, insinuation, or misleading information as a question. In much the same way middle school kids try to pull off insults and slanderous lies as “I was just kidding,” adults take the grammatically diplomatic route and say “I was only asking.” If used properly, you can accuse someone of horrible crimes and “prove” that there is reason to believe your allegations. It goes like this: “Is it true that you’ve never denied killing orphan kittens for Satanic cult rituals?” And most likely they’ve never been accused of such a thing, which means you’ll be able to demonstrate how they NEVER have denied these allegations. Whatever newspaper you work for won’t need that much detail in the pieces you write and you’ll have your headline.
  3. Sorta use Vagueness: If you don’t want to get bogged down by facts and truth and all that nonsense, you can avoid being argued against by using only words and phrases with unclear meanings. It’s hard to prove someone wrong when you can’t prove that they’ve said anything in the first place. This is the key to advertising and political campaign speeches. Use words like “Improved,” “Popular,” or “Change,” and phrases like “Scientifically proven,” or “Space Age.” As an example: For most of us, “Space Age” conjures up all kinds of images of silver rockets and men in white lab coats conducting experiments with the kind of machinery that Adam West used to play with in the Bat-Cave. The fact is, the Space Age is anything after 1945. Just to name a few “space Age” inventions:
    8-Track: Space Age.
    The microwave oven: Space Age.
    The A-Team starring George Peppard and Mr. T: Space Age.
    “Scientifically proven” isn’t saddled with nearly as much exact definitive baggage as “Space age.” You can pretty much use that any time you want.

To conclude this educational supplement of useful, Space Age intellectual resources, let me ask you, “Did you know that it is scientifically proven that all readers of this blog become amazingly wealthy in a short matter of time?” I’m just asking…


About rentafriend2000
Rocking my 40's with a heart full of love and muffins, science and technology. Jesus loves me and wants me to totally rock! And I am here to help.

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