word sought

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 10 19:20:52 UTC 2009

Question from a friend:

> Date: Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 11:54 AM
> Subject: A gaping hole in the language
> Is there any word for "long painful discussion which
> takes a long time to even identify the crucial issues,
> but which may turn out to be productive"?

The asker has confirmed that the question is
meant seriously. The specific context is


the big discussion/flamewar/unnameable
about race.*

Maybe a special word is needed for such things
when they happen online, but I want a word
which would also apply to the long argument
between Scar and Star in _Glory Road_** in
which they figure out that they need to separate.


* a specific one that has been running for over a
  year now
** a novel by Robert A. Heinlein

m a m

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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