When does a “discussion” turn into an “argument”? Of course, the difference and distinction is sometimes a matter of perspective. Tone, tenor and even facial expressions can certainly influence whether an exchange is a discussion or an argument. The raising of voices, the mannerism of the participants — listening to two people on radio speaking about a subject can also alter the listener’s perspective concerning the distinction.
The word itself — “argument” — of course, can have different meanings. Some people prefer the usage of a euphemism — that “so-and-so had a heated discussion”, as opposed to describing it as an argument. Friends often employ such terminology after the fact in order to blunt the effect of any discord which may have arisen.
One can “advance an argument” without raising one’s voice, but a spousal argument normally involves a heated exchange. A meandering discussion can be interrupted in order to re-focus the exchange, with the admonition of, “What is the argument you are making?” Or, in a debate, the moderator will often intercede and pointedly ask, “So, would you please clarify your argument?”
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are attempting to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is the “main” argument of the case — that you are medically unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of your job — but then, there are multiple and complex other “sub-arguments” which must be made (e.g., issues concerning performance, accommodations, sufficiency of medical evidence, etc.).
You need to sharpen your arguments, streamline them and make sure that, first and foremost, you know what all of the issues are to begin with.
Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who knows not only the legal arguments to advance, but the “discussions” which must be addressed — even if it gets somewhat “heated”.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire