Shortly after the close of World War I, I learned an invaluable lesson one night in London. I was manager at the time for Sir Ross Smith. During the war, Sir Ross had been the number one Australian pilot out in Palestine; and shortly after the peace was declared, he surprised the world by flying halfway around it in thirty days. No such feat had ever been attempted before. It created a great sensation.
The Australian government awarded him fifty thousand dollars; the King of England knighted him; and for a while, he was the most talked-about man under the Union Jack. I was attending a banquet one night given in Sir Ross's honor; and during the dinner, the man sitting next to me told a humorous story which hinged on the quotation "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hews them how we will."
The raconteur mentioned that the quotation was from the Bible. He was wrong. I knew that, I knew it certainly. There couldn't be the slightest doubt about it. And so, to get a feeling of importance and display my advantage, I appointed myself as an unwelcome committee of one to correct him. He stuck to his guns. What? From Shakespeare? Impossible! Absurd! That quotation was from the Bible. And he knew it.
The storyteller was sitting on my right; and Frank Gammond, an old friend of mine, was seated at my left. Mr. Gammond had devoted years to the study of Shakespeare, so the storyteller and I agreed to ask the question to Mr. Gammond. Mr. Gammond listened, kicked me under the table, and then said: "Dale, you are wrong. The gentleman is right. It is from the Bible."
On our way home that night, I said to Mr. Gammond: "Frank, you knew that quotation was from Shakespeare,""Yes, of course," he replied, "Hamlet, Act Five, Scene Two. But we were guests at a happy time, my dear Dale. Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He didn't ask for your advice. He didn't want it. Why argue with him? Always avoid your sharp angle." The man who said that taught me a lesson I'll never forget. I not only had made the storyteller uncomfortable, but had put my friend in an embarrassing situation. How much better it would have been had I not become argumentative.
It was a sorely needed lesson because I had been a horde arguer. During my youth, I had argued with my brother about everything under the Milky Way. When I went to college, I studied logic and argumentation and went in for arguing contests. Talk about being from Missouri, I was born there. I had to be shown. Later, I taught debating in the argumentation in New York; and once, I am ashamed to admit, I planned to write a book on the subject. Since then, I have listened to, engaged in, and watched the effect of thousands of arguments. As a result of all this, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument - and that is to avoid it .
Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.
Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.
You can't win an argument. You can't because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is noncompomenty. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.
参考例句： A computer would have been invaluable for this job.一台计算机对这个工作的作用会是无法估计的。 This information was invaluable to him.这个消息对他来说是非常宝贵的。
A computer would have been invaluable for this job.一台计算机对这个工作的作用会是无法估计的。
This information was invaluable to him.这个消息对他来说是非常宝贵的。
参考例句： We had got only halfway when it began to get dark.走到半路，天就黑了。 In study the worst danger is give up halfway.在学习上，最忌讳的是有始无终。
We had got only halfway when it began to get dark.走到半路，天就黑了。
In study the worst danger is give up halfway.在学习上，最忌讳的是有始无终。