Few things inflame the passions more than challenges to identity. These days, such challenges are everywhere. Individuals and organisations—even nations face the fallout of a shifting worldview that has pit an old guard against a new establishment. Central to these challenges is language, the very foundation of our understanding. This point becomes apparent in the debate as to whether or not Ireland could be considered a vassal state. Here, the For side lays out a largely semantic argument, while Against extols the virtues of Ireland’s quiet diplomacy as evidence of the country’s prowess, if not independence. As ever, the validity of each argument is up to the reader to decide.