De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum

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Artist Marcel Duchamp's rendition of the phrase "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum". It is widely regarded as a fine example by many, while many others do not much like it[1]

De gustibus non est disputandum is a maxim that some people love and some people can't stand. There is heated debate over whether the phrase is useful at all, and proponents from each side of the debate claim to have indisputably resolved the matter.


People who support the phrase often indicate that the pleasant sound of its phonemes are literally soothing to their souls. There are also those who maintain that the phrase brings them joyful fits of laughter and mirth.

These people will use the phrase at any opportunity, often to the dismay of the phrase's many detractors.

Supporters of the phrase tend to be very accommodating of the detractors, understanding that the delight that they take in it may not be shared by everyone. They tend to be overly hopeful that the opponents can be encouraged to use softer language in their criticism of it.


People who advocate against the use of this phrase are often disturbed by its very sound. For instance, there are some who claim that the "gu" sound followed so quickly by the "bu" sound is a travesty of phonetic dissonance.

Others have simply heard it so much that they tire of it.

Detractors of the phrase have a tendency to be self-absorbed, unaware that their own opinions regarding it may not be shared. On some occasions, these individuals have been known to be incredulous at the delight that proponents take in it.

Importance of the dispute[edit]

Some people even question the need to report on the arguments over this phrase in a scholarly article. Others very much enjoy the debate, and welcome such an effort.

Still others, this author included, think it is very amusing to presume that there is such a debate, because it highlights the meaning of the phrase in a delightful way. Such people tend to enjoy subtle self-awareness as a point of humor. People who disagree with this notion will wish to delete any articles about it, because they will feel that it adds no value to the effort at hand.

But it should be noted that if they were to do so, they would be committing the very irrational act that the phrase itself implicitly decries. This will not bother them in the least, however, because they are probably also detractors of the phrase in the first place.


It is very important that you understand which side of this debate you support. There is no middle ground here - there is clearly a right opinion and a wrong opinion. It is your job to decide which is which for yourself.


  1. Certain editors may argue that the presentation of this example is far too large and will request that it be reduced in size. Others will note that there needs to be more of them here.