Against Windbags & “Debate Me” Guys

Giovanni Pontano, de Sermone 1.19:

Beyond these people of each type, whom we consider to go wrong and slip into excess either in praise or in contentious wrangling, there are those who are called verbose, and the fault itself is called verbosity. As these people are eager to please and be gratifying, they are indeed not pleasing at all, and offer no pleasure. Indeed, they offer instead annoyance and give birth to a tedium full of exhaustion and satiety, so deceived by their judgment of things and their mountains of words that you don’t even know, from the fact that they either offend or satisfy your ears, whether they should be placed among the contentious or the stupid. But the contentious conduct themselves in such a way as to spare no one, and they don’t care at all whether they offend others. But the verbose have set their aim and intention upon delighting the audience, but while they maintain no measure and offer no delight, they cross over into the camp of the enemy and appear similar to traitors. And so, the verbose are able to please at the beginning and in the middle of the speech occasionally, but they are not held in hatred, and their speeches are refused rather than fled. But the contentious offend everywhere, and all good people direct their hatred at them as they shrink from listening to them, and even hound them with curses.

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