Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A New Series--Classic Debates

You may or may not know that I went through undergrad on a full-ride debate scholarship. So I like to argue. And I have found that some of the greatest arguments of all time occurred within the walls of the University of Cincinnati. Todays topic was the neverending debate of whether or not you can have more than one nemesis.

Clark always argued that a person can only have one nemesis. This had come up near the year 2000 when he replaced Budelski as his millenial nemesis. I was the replacement. He defined nemesis as being your chief enemy, and as such you could only have one of them. Bjorn was on this side of the debate.

I argued that you can have as many nemesi(s?) as you want. Your arch nemesis is your primary enemy.


At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 12:11:00 PM, Blogger michael budelsky said...

There is really no debate to be had here. There is a right answer and a wrong answer. The right answer is that someone can have more than 1 nemesis (nemeses is the plural, Todd, think thesis/theses). An arch nemesis is your primary nemesis. It pains me that Calaway is correct (although the alternative, Clark, was equally unpalatable -- it was a lose/lose situation, really).

Please let me know if you have any other third grade level disputes for me to arbitrate, Clark and Cal.

Now, let's try to keep things at a certain intellectual level. There are plenty of legitimate debate topics out there which would really spur a lively discussion. For example, who would win in a war between the rocks and the trees?

At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 4:08:00 PM, Blogger Hammond Law Group LLC said...

I think it might be a closer call then Bud paints it.

MW.com defines nemesis as:

1 capitalized : the Greek goddess of retributive justice
2 plural nem·e·ses /-"sEz/ a : one that inflicts retribution or vengeance b : a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent

The use of the term "one" in the definition implies, well, one. I realize that you could have many people (or things) that are inflicting vengence or retribution, but the implication is that this is a pretty bad actor and is somewhat singular.

I also note that the Greek Goddess was "one". It wasn't something like the League of Nemeses.

I think you only have one true nemesis at any one time, although some nemesis drift in and out of one's life.

If that definition holds, the arch nemesis would be the biggest nemesis that one had in their entire life (think Prof. Morriarty to Sherlock Holmes).

As an aside I didn't realize that the nemesis was usually victorious. That kind of sucks for Bob Cook.


At Wednesday, October 11, 2006 4:53:00 PM, Blogger michael budelsky said...

I was actually just being contemptuous for Todd's benefit. Although I can't believe that of all of the interesting topics out there, this is the one we debate (how did you manage to do this, Todd?)...

The word "one" in the definition is not being used to signify an amount but rather to stand for "an entity" (a nemesis can be a person or a thing). The definition is in the singular because the word being defined is in the singular. I haven't seen any definitions that specify that there can be only 1 nemesis -- one way to have done that is if the defintion had said "the one that inflicts retribution or vengence" or even more specifically said "each person can have only one nemesis." I suppose if it were that clear, though, then we wouldn't have a debate.

Certainly, if someone has two distinct areas of skill, he can have a nemesis for each.

The point about the Greek goddess is interesting, because there are groups of gods like the Muses and the Fates, but I'm still not sure that because the word is derived from a singular god, there is any reason to assume that a person can have only one nemesis.

I'm fairly certain that if Max entered this discussion he would have some completely off-the-wall approach that we haven't thought of yet.

At Thursday, October 12, 2006 2:43:00 PM, Blogger Ewald said...

How do I post a new topic?


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