Arguments are not strange

I often see people using adjectives such as ‘odd’, ‘bizarre’ or ‘strange’ to refer to each other’s arguments when what they meant to say is they disagree. Or that they “don’t understand” or “don’t follow”. Perhaps this is seen as less offensive or a circuitous or roundabout way to express disagreement.

Arguments can be fallacious or poorly-worded but what is a strange or bizarre argument? Or an odd argument? Is it when someone is talking about cars and then mid-sentence changes the topic to gardening? That would be odd or bizarre. Or replies with a basketball team when asked his favorite baseball team. That would be strange. Or a misunderstanding.

What you meant to say is you disagree. This is evident by the tone and substance of the post, in which the interlocuter who purports to not understand or does not follow otherwise intimates the person who he is replying to is wrong, typically in a condescending or strongly-worded tone.

If you don’t understand something, how are you simultaneously able to disagree with it? Unless you are arguing against something which you don’t understand, which means your opinion can be disregarded anyway. It’s one thing to say you never seen a specific argument before, but this does not make the argument strange or odd; rather it reflects gaps of your understanding of the subject or opposing view.

It’s not about misunderstandings or weird arguments. Pretending to not understand or using nonspecific language is a begging the question. It’s when a boss, knowing full well his employee pretended to call in sick, leads with “I don’t understand…you said you were at at home on Monday, so why were you…blah blah.” The boss knows his employee lied and is trying to give his subject more rope to hang himself from, or just being a dick. If there is a disagreement, just state it.