Debate

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Debate

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:06 pm

Is "Debate me" legitimate? It sounds very wrong to me.
I can't find anything to help me.
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Bob in Wales

Re: Debate

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:29 am

.. Bob although I may be proved wrong by some remote example out of 38476572829108465 ghits on google, the expression debate me sounds typically Amlish to me .. I would always say, and hear,

>> shall we debate ......
>> would you care to debate ........
>> I would be happy to debate ........

.. and similar constructions ..

.. but just to confirm my observation from above the first google topic is from UK >> "If you believe this election is about leadership then debate me one-on-one.". (Milliband to Cameron) .. I would say >> "If you believe this election is about leadership then let us debate the topic one-on-one.".

.. but as Erik will remind us language changes daily so what the f^#*

WoZ not caring
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Re: Debate

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:39 am

Language changes daily.
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Re: Debate

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:48 am

.. thank you Erik .. that is the only thing that has turned out as it should today ..

WoZ struggling
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: Debate

Post by Phil White » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:34 am

Yes, Woz, you seem to be right. A cursory look at the online dictionaries seems to suggest that the American dictionaries give a transitive meaning with a personal object, e.g. Merriam Webster online:

1 b : to engage (an opponent) in debate

The British dictionaries tend not to give this meaning.

It is, of course, entirely moot whether the notion of constructing a spurious representation of someone else's opinion and then proceeding to demolish it actually constitutes debate in any meaningful sense of the word.

The abject poverty of political debate in the UK has been the greatest disappointment to me since I returned a few years ago. Grown-up politics needs grown-up debate, not petty sandpit squabbles, and I exclude no party, not even the one for whom I am campaigning.
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Re: Debate

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:24 am

.. Phil feel not alone in your disappointment at the morbid lack of scholarly debate, particularly in politics .. our colonial chappies would consider that just as our sporting teams excel at international level so they, in parliament, must also be world class playground squabblers .. the wit and thrust of off-the-cuff debating has all but vanished to be replaced by a sanitised American style, scripted, buzz word blah blah blah ..

WoZ voting for nobody
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Re: Debate

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:33 pm

There is a lot of difference in saying, "That is one expression that I will not use" and "That is one expression that I will not use, because not only does sound and look ridiculous, but it is wrong".
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Re: Debate

Post by Phil White » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:55 pm

Bobinwales wrote:... because not only does sound and look ridiculous, but it is wrong.
Ahem.

Quite so.
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End of topic.
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