Q: Today is Saturday, aka College Football Day. I am pretty sure I have heard the word “arguably” said at least 15 times on the studio show I am watching. By them saying “Florida is ARGUABLY the best team in college football,” are they actually making an argument?
— Josh, Wilmington, Del.
SG: This is the cousin of the “having said that” argument Seinfeld and Larry David had on the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” season finale. Either you think Florida is the best team in college football or you don’t. By declaring the Gators are “arguably” the best, all you’re really saying is that someone could argue they are the best — which makes no sense, because anyone could argue anything and that doesn’t have to mean it’s true. If I said Dirk Nowitzki was “arguably” washed up, you would argue, “Wait a second — he’s been great this year; that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said.” And we would be arguing. In other words, you just proved my point. So “arguably” is a word that means nothing other than, “I don’t really believe this, but I’m throwing it out anyway.”