Posts Tagged ‘argumentative structures’

Argumentation on Twitter

November 19th, 2011

Here’s an argument made on Twitter:

Difference between cakes and biscuits? When stale, cakes go hard, biscuits go soft. Hence Jaffa Cakes are cakes. (Was official EU ruling).

I just love this example:

  1. First, you can find it with “hence” (see cue phrases from an appendix to Marcu‘s thesis).
  2. Second, the notion of this EU (tax) ruling amuses me.
  3. Third, it shows that 140 characters is enough for a complex argumentative structure. This has three main claims: When stale, cakes go hard, biscuits go soft; Jaffa Cakes are cakes; and [Jaffa Cakes are cakes due to] official EU ruling.
  4. Enthymemes anyone?

It’s hard, though, to draw the line between an argument and an explanation in this context.
Jaffa Cakes, for you North American readers, are a common dessert-y snack in Ireland and the UK. Vaguely like Kandy Kakes found in the Philadelphia area/East Coast, but usually have an orange filling.

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Posted in argumentative discussions, PhD diary, random thoughts, social web | Comments (4)