Wednesday, July 3, 2019

No argument

I turned on MSNBC for just a few minutes to hear Kelly O'Donnell say, twice, that Donald Trump “argued forcefully” for the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census. That’s an odd claim, partly because it uses a near-Trumpian adverb (Trump might have said “very strongly”), partly because Trump's insistence has nothing to do with making an argument. To argue is “to give reasons for or against something.” To demand or insist is not to argue.

comments: 3

The Crow said...

On the same page as the definition of argue was a new word to me: sedulous. I like the way it rolls off my tongue, the sound of it to my ears; plus, its meaning.

Sedulous. Sed-u-lus. Cool.

Stefan said...

He NEVER argues, even when there are good reasons on his side. It’s always right to invective and/or deceit. Thank you for pointing out this example. I wish the media would mention it daily, for it is a main reason he should not be president.

Michael Leddy said...

@Martha: “Sedulous” always makes me think of “sedition,” but no relation — I just checked.

@Stefan: I wonder if “say” is being turned into “argue” here, the way “rebut” gets turned into “refute.” I didn’t think of that until I read your comment.