Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Why “agree to disagree” works

I’m amazed by the phrase “agree to disagree.”

It’s a lazy expression. It’s contradictory. Yet it works. But only because it’s a cliche.

If it weren’t a common expression, the receiver would dismiss it as being stupid and probably stay on the offensive. (See Mister English Teacher: Who said cliches don’t have a place in language. Writing never, but speech, yes.)

In my own life, I’ve agreed to disagree (or agreed to differ) on numerous occasions. It’s funny how it always seems to work in terminating thought. It’s like the white flag of verbal disagreement. “Oh, I give up.”

More impressive, however, is that “agreeing to disagree” instantly facilitates civility and tolerance. Who would of thought that a dumb cliche could be capable of such a thing?