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Here's the context:

Dude's an awful troll. If he wants to express his views, he should present them in a more [adjective] manner.

What we're getting at here is that the guy sounds obnoxious, but the controversial opinion he holds could still be expressed in civil discourse if presented properly.

What word works best for that?

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'Less disagreeable' is what I'd choose, but [more] 'agreeable' comes second. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 24 '13 at 21:40
@EdwinAshworth - No way. The issue isn't getting people to agree with you, it's about presenting your (disagreeable) argument in a way that people are happy to reason with you. – dwjohnston Nov 24 '13 at 21:43
Perhaps you ought to look up 'agreeable' and 'disagreeable'. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 24 '13 at 22:54
Ok sure, I take your point. Why not post it as an answer? – dwjohnston Nov 26 '13 at 4:05
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Rather than saying the argumentative person needs to be "more" of something, I would say he would need to be "less".

Dude's an awful troll. If he wants to express his views, he should present them in a less provocative/inflammatory manner.

(less) provocative Causing annoyance, anger, or another strong reaction, especially deliberately "a provocative article", "his provocative remarks on race"

(less) inflammatory (esp. of speech or writing) arousing or intended to arouse angry or violent feelings

A word that describes an academic and rational style of argument could be any of the following:

  • objective (as suggested by Jon Hanna)
  • level-headed
  • balanced
  • sound

A Rogerian argument typifies the type of argument which we all should, ideally, aim towards.

A negotiating strategy in which common goals are identified and opposing views are described as objectively as possible in an effort to establish common ground and reach agreement.

Whereas traditional argument focuses on winning, the Rogerian model seeks a mutually satisfactory solution. ... Effective Rogerian argument forces the people involved to listen to each other and explore carefully all the options. It also downplays emotional appeals and concentrates instead on objective representations of the various points of view."


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So are you saying that 'Rogerian' and 'political' are antonyms? – Edwin Ashworth Nov 25 '13 at 11:10
If by 'political' you mean, biased and one sided, then 'Rogerian' is neither. I wouldn't go as far as saying it is strictly antonym though. – Mari-Lou A Nov 25 '13 at 11:45
Excellent answer. I was about to accept for 'inflammatory' - but the problem I have is that a well presented argument can still inflame emotions, while still being perfectly well presented. eg. "Objectively speaking, men do have bigger brains than women'. This is a controversial (and true) statement, but any way we put it, it's going anger people. The fact that it angers people, doesn't discount how the arguement was presented. – dwjohnston Nov 26 '13 at 3:55
I am accepting for inflammatory none the less - because in this specific context it appears that the subject was trying to provoke emotions. – dwjohnston Nov 26 '13 at 4:00



well thought-out

All would have their place. One might also choose to refer to what their arguments would be better off having less of, of which ad hominem arguments are a particular problem with trolls.

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The language we use in our company discourse is constructive. It implies that views might be controversial, but they are attempting to express them in a way that builds understanding or rapport, rather than taking an adversarial stance.

Dude's an awful troll. If he wants to express his views, he should present them in a more constructive manner.

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Dude's an awful troll. If he wants to express his views, he should present them in a more [tactful] manner.

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