Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Compos Mentis (Of Sound Mind)

LKY "I am still compos mentis" ST 7/28/2004.  Compos mentis is latin for sound mind. Punctuating your sentences with latin phrases is voque, sensu lato (broadly speaking).

I love to argue. I always assume what I 'claim to be proving' and assume that the other person is begging the question.

Here is a simple trick to have the last say in a fallacious argument.

For e.g (exempli gratia - by grace of example):

Me: "There is no such chew-zhau (teochew, chao zhou) cuisine known as "打冷“ , pronounced by HK people as "da larn". It is made up by HK locals as they 打个round to look for food (supper) after a midnight movie. And in those days, the teochew eateries are always open late into the night. So teochew food becomes "打冷“ as it sounds like 打个round"

Opponent: "But the chewzhau chef who has been in HK for past 4 decades told me that teochew cuisine is normally known as "da larn" because..."

Me: "You are begging the question."

Opponent silenced. Reason: He was indeed begging the question or he did not know the meaning of Begging the Question. Or he pretended to know the meaning and play safe to avoid detection by keeping his mouth shut.

For the record (another good phrase to use). Begging the question means

"In the fallacy of circular reasoning, you assume to be true what you are supposed to be proving."

If this fails, end your sentence with a "QED" (quod erat demonstrandum) meaning which was to be demonstrated or proven. During my undergrad days as a Statistics Major, I used "QED" to its death. I have never failed any of my statistics papers, ipso facto. (by that very fact).

[post 24/1997]



Blogger Ivan Chew said...

Or one could stick with the multi-use-multi-context "@#$%!"

July 29, 2004 at 1:44 AM  

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