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26 April 2012

Ipsedixitism

Because I said so.


Every so often, I hear a word that is so delicious, so sublime in its syllables, that I want to say it over and over again, to roll it around the inside of my mouth like a lolly until it dissolves into my vernacular. Such a word was recently introduced to me by my friend Chrys Stevenson, here.

And every so often, a friend, colleague or follower will throw down a poetry challenge, suggesting a word or topic and challenging, nay daring me to pen a verse about it. The person who does this most often is my friend Chrys Stevenson. You may have heard me mention her before.

This one's for you, Chrys.




“Why? Because I said so!” - we’ve all heard this one before,
When spoken to defiant kids aged three, or maybe four.
But once you’re all grown up, you shouldn’t hear it any more;
Especially not in academic texts or courts of law.

This bare assertion fallacy, as rhetoric depicts it,
Throws status at a problem, in a vain attempt to fix it,
And can’t disprove, with logic, any stance that contradicts it.
It’s known in legal circles by the Latin “ipse dixit”.

If you’re involved in some debate or argument or schism,
And adversaries resort to simple say-so when you quiz ‘em,
Don’t fall for their non-sequiturs and base antagonism,
Just raise an eyebrow, smile and say “That’s ipsedixitism”.