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The Technical Debate Dictionary

The Technical Debate Dictionary

Abuse (Abusive Arguments): Arguments that make the debate round unfair. For example if the affirmative team made the argument that they should be able to run 3 plans the negative could argue that that is abusive because it inherently gives an unfair advantage to the affirmative.

Advantage (AD): A reason to prefer the affirmative’s plan or support the resolution.

Agency: The person or organization that will be enacting the plan.

Answer: An argument that directly refutes another. “My answer to their first contention is that their isn’t enough funding.”

A priori: A priori is a state in which an argument functions. It says that a particular argument should be evaluated before all others. For example if your opponents say that their theory (see below) argument is a priori they are saying that no matter how they did on the rest of the debate they should win if they can prove that one argument sways in their favor.

Bite (bit): Often used to declare that the opponent has admitted or fallen into the trap of your argument. “The negative team bites the disadvantage when they don’t attack the links.”

Brink: The final action or scenario that forces an impact to occur. “There is no brink to their argument that China will attack us.”

Burden: The obligation and responsibility to prove or refute an argument. “It’s the burden of the affirmative to show that they have the funding to enact the plan.”

Card: A piece of evidence organized in a specific manner. “We have several cards supporting our advantage.”

Claim: A statement with or without supporting evidence. “The dog was brown.”

Competition: The reason that the affirmative team cannot enact both the counter plan and the plan (Why they can’t use a permutation).

Conditional: The status of certain counter plans. If I designate my counter plan as “Conditional” I am declaring that at any point in the debate I have a right to accept that it has faults, drop it and defend the status quo instead. This is the direct opposite of Unconditional counter plans in which you decide to stay with it until the end of the debate.

Counter Plan: An alternative solution to the affirmative’s plan.

Cross Apply: To apply a previously made argument to another place on the flow. “Cross apply my framework to their first advantage.”

Disadvantage (DA): A reason the affirmative’s plan is bad. Disadvantages are generally organized in a manner similar to this: Uniqueness, Link, Internal Link, and Impact.

Double turn: Making a Link turn and an impact turn on the same argument.

Drop: 1. To lose a debate. “I dropped my first round today.” 2. An argument that was not refuted or not addressed in subsequent speeches. “Vote for the affirmative because they completely dropped our first advantage.”

Enforcement: The person or organization responsible for ensuring the mandates of the plan take place.

Ethics: The philosophical principles that govern right and wrong.

Evidence: Facts, studies, and opinions that prove something to be true.

Extend: To carry an argument across the flow. Any arguments not extended will be dropped and cannot be brought up as reasons to prefer your side in later speeches.

Flow: A specific organizational method of taking notes. When someone refers to, “the flow” they are talking about the sheet of paper you’re taking notes on.

Fiat: The affirmative’s power to assume that the plan will be implemented. “As the affirmative we can fiat that the plan will be passed through all branches of the government.”

Framer’s Intent: What the authors of the resolution intended the debate to look like.

Framework: The way each team will be weighed or measured in order to determine a winner. “Our framework states the whichever teams provides the most benefits and the least costs should win.”

Funding: Where the money to implement the plan will come from.

Ground: The amount of hypothetical space you have to make arguments. “When they force us to debate about the United States exclusively it eliminates the ground we had to talk about international issues.”

Group/Grouping: To combine a number of arguments and respond to them all at once. “Group their first three observations, our answer is that this creates an unfair debate.”

Harm: A problem that exists in the status quo.

Impact: What happens as a result of your argument. “The impact to our first contention is economic collapse.”

Impact turn: A refutation declaring that an impact’s positive or negativity is the opposite of what the opponent proposes. For example if your opponents make the argument that you cause a collapse of the US government you could impact turn it by saying that a collapse of the government is good because if forces a new more legitimate government to emerge.

Inherency: The reason a harm is not being solved in the status quo.

Internal Link: A specific and more advanced connection between two concepts. This is primarily seen in disadvantages to connect the link to the impact.

Kritik (K): An argument that questions the philosophical legitimacy of the opponent’s arguments, ideology, framework, or language. Kritiks are generally formatted with sub point “A” being the links, “B” being the impacts, and “C” being the voters.

Link: A connection between two concepts. This generally refers to a plan and it’s causality towards an advantage or disadvantage.

Link Turn: A refutation declaring that the opponent’s links work against them. For example, if my opponent made the argument that their plan decreased governmental spending which helps the economy grow. I could link turn their argument by saying that decreased spending means less money flow in the system hurting the economy instead of helping it.

Meet: To uphold a standard or interpretation.

Negative Block: The back to back negative speeches in Lincoln Douglas and Policy Debate. The speeches are individually known as the 2NC and the 1NR.

Non-Unique: Declaring that a positive or negative effect has multiple influencing factors.

Off Case Argument: Independent arguments that are not made as a refutation to the case presented in the first affirmative constructive. The most common examples of these are Disadvantages, Kritiks, and Theory arguments.

Objective: Making a decision free of personal bias, feelings, or emotions.

Out Weigh: One impact is larger or more important than another. “Our disadvantage outweighs their advantage.”

Paradigm: The way the judge observes, weighs, and measures the round.

Permutation (Perm): We can do both. This is generally used by the affirmative as a response to the counter plan. “Perm we can do both the plan and the counter plan at the same time.”

Picked Up: To win a debate round.

Plan: The proposed solution the affirmative makes in relation to the resolution.

Politics: A disadvantage that has a foundation in the political system. “We just won the round with our Obama politics disadvantage!”

Presume/Presumption: If the round or argument is a stalemate prefer one side over the other. “If the plan doesn’t solve anything presume negative.”

Refute: An argument that directly contends another. (See also answer).

Resolution: The topic the debate will focus itself around.

Reverse Voter Issue (RVI): Generally used as a response to theory arguments, RVIs say that if one team can lose due to something they’ve done in the round than the other team can lose on it as well. “They say to vote us down because we decrease education. This is an RVI because they destroyed education by running this theory argument in the first place.”

Road Map: The order of arguments that your speech will go in. “For my road map I will go over their 1st advantage, 2nd advantage, then onto our Kritik.”

Shell: The basic outline of an argument.

Signpost: Announcing the location of where you are on the flow. “Onto their first advantage”

Solvency: The way the plan, counter plan, or alternative solves the issue presented.

Spec: An argument implying that the opponents have a flaw with the specificity of their plan our counter plan.

Spread/Speed/Spew: Reading at a very quick pace. Speed Reading.

Squo (Status Quo): What is happening in the world right now. The present.

Standard: A reason to prefer your interpretation. Standards are mostly used in theory debates.

Status of the counter plan: The way in which the counter plan will be run throughout the round. The three most common status’ are unconditional, conditional, and dispositional.

Stock Issues: The traditional principles the affirmative should uphold with their plan text. The stock issues are significance, harms, inherency, topicality, and solvency.

Sub point: An additional argument that supports the main claim.

Subjective: Making a decision based on or influenced by personal feelings, thoughts, or emotions.

Tag: The 1-2 sentence overview that describes the contents of a card.

Theory: An argument that addresses how the debate should function. Most theory arguments try to clarify what their opponents should and should not be able to do in the round.

Topicality: A theory argument that addresses the failure of the affirmative’s plan to uphold the resolution.

Turn: A refutation declaring that the opponent’s arguments work against them.

Violation: The manner in which the opponents undermine an interpretation.

Voter/Voting Issue: The major arguments the judge should analyze before they decide on a winner.

Warranty: The evidence or analysis that supports an initial claim.

Wash: The declaration that arguments from both sides are equal. No one particular side is winning on this issue.

 

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