"Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive,
others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated
discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you
exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun
long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified
to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for
a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the
argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer
him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against
you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent,
depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the
discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart.
And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress."
Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form (1941)