Arguments by nature take on a life of their own and mushroom into big feuds in which the combatants can't even remember the trivial matter that started it. Worse yet the argument can carry on for generations while the original issue was long ago laid to rest.
The Shela HaKadosh says that the difference between words "Riv" and "Meriva" which both mean argument is that Riv is the initial small fight while Meriva is the sad aftermath when things grow ugly. Meriva is Lashon Nikeiva for Riv, as a female bears many offspring from the original seed planted by the man.
We see this by the fight between Avrohom and Lot where the Torah tells us there was a Riv, an argument between the shepherds of Lot and those of Avrohom. When word got back to Avrohom about hte Riv, he tells Lot (Lech Licha 13:8), "Al Na Tehi Meriva Beini UBeinecha", let's not let this small argument grow into a big feud between us.
Rav Benayahu Shmueli finds a Remez for this from the famous words of the gemara (Nedarim 41a) "Da Kani Mah Chaser Da Lo Kani Mah Kani". Literally it means if you have Daas what are you missing. If you don't have Daas, then what do you have? He explains thsi Chazal with the yesod of Shela. "Da Kani" if you have a little brains and are smart enough to be quiet when someone verbally attacks you, your Riv will remain small and soon pass. Why? Because "Ma Chaser" you are preventing the fireworks of the "Mem" and "Hey" by not answering back. However if "Da Lo Kani" you don't have the wisdom to keep quiet, and you open your mouth to fire back at your attacker, "Ma Kani" you have acquired for yourself a brand new fight complete with the "Mem" and "Hey" that will linger on and continue to grow, causing far more damage than it was worth.