The Delavigne Corporation

What to believe

In a lesson, I read about "argumentative" :

An 'argumentative' person is someone who looks for an argument or a dispute, or has a tendency to argue.... Note that this adjective is totally unrelated to the idea of debate or 'argument' in the sense of stating an opinion for or against a given topic.

and few lines below :

(an) argumentative (person): (une personne) qui aime les débats

I find this contradictory, don't you ?


  • Wow - what a subtle question. The bottom line seems to be: Can you apply arguments in the first place (in the sense of having a point for or against a given topic) without there being an argument, in the sense of a controversy, a debate, a quarrel?

    The adjective 'argumentative' is rather denoting a person who likes to argue just for the sake of argument; a person who likes to quarrel - hence a rather unpleasant person, with whom it's hard to have a harmonic relationship: Someone who seeks quarrel, for whatever psychological reasons.

    But is that adjective really totally unrelated to the noun "argument" in the sense of a point in a discussion? I don*t think so. They is still a loose connection. It's true that it would be a mistake to misconstrue "argumentative" as "to be apt in disputes" or "to have "good arguments" or "to be a good adversary in a controversy", but a relation is still there, albeit remote.

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