Bob: "Hit him with a banjo."
I suppose a lot depends on how it was done but for the most part, as I understand it from what I've seen and read over the years, dueling was mostly just for ego. Nobody is actually supposed to get hurt. Done in a gentlemanly manner, special dueling pistols were always used which were extremely inaccurate and it was uncommon for anyone to get hit. The idea was that they'd go through the motions, both would miss and each would retain their honor..kinda' like the rock, paper, scissors of its time, I suppose.Having read about a few duels, it seems to me that the participants confused the two terms "honor" and "ego" frequently
In the current day, "respect" and "diss" have vague meanings, tending to hostilities in the younger set, so I hear.
Duels generally weren't brawls (except Bowie's 'Sandbar Fight') -- once a challenge had been made both primaries named a person as a 'second'; every contact between the two after that was through the seconds, and the first question asked when seconds met was, in most cases, was there any way to restore honor without going to a duel. The time between the affront and the resolution could be extensive, giving both parties time to practice. Reading the exchange of messages between Hamilton, Burr and their seconds, Hamilton seems to be trying to use word play to get out of apologizing, saying he couldn't be responsible for how Burr took the insult and how he couldn't positively attest Burr wasn't what he said he was.I immediately thought of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr upon reading the thread title.
It's funny to think of just how casual the prospect of a duel with deadly weapons was a mere 2 centuries ago, especially considering just how many duels were made between folks who were of questionable judgment at the time such challenges were made, often being emotionally compromised, inebriated, or both. You'd think that at the very least there would have been some sort of law in which challenges had to be made at least 24 hours in advance, thus leaving the duelists plenty of time to calm down, sober up, and/or reconsider before making such a life or death decision.