Linguistic

Linguistic fallacies center around the improper use of language, especially semantic concepts.

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Proof by verbosity:

Definition Example
When an argument is presented that is too complex, obtuse or verbose to reasonably deal with. Insomuch as it remains within our agency, it behooves us to eschew obfuscation, and espouse elucidation.
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Contextomy:

Definition Example
When there is a selective snipping of words from their original linguistic context in a way that distorts the intended meaning. I know he actually said “You are pretty cruel”. But I’m content just to know he said “You are pretty”.
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Overwhelming exception:

Definition Example
When a generalization is coupled with qualifications so restrictive that the generalization is essentially impotent. I’m the type of man who always pays for my date’s dinner…except in the case where she want to go somewhere other than KFC.
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Genetic fallacy:

Definition Example
where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context. Australia will never become a great nation considering it arose from penal colonies of mere criminals.
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Fallacy of necessity:

Definition Example
a degree of unwarranted necessity is placed in the conclusion based on the necessity of one or more of its premises. I’m a bachelor, and being a bachelor is necessarily being unmarried, therefore I can never marry since I need to be single.
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Etymological fallacy:

Linguistic Fallacy
Definition Example
When it is argued that the original or historical meaning of a word or phrase is necessarily similar to its actual present-day meaning. Because “gay” meant “happy” in the past, you can’t call homosexuals “gay” unless they are happy.
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Semantic pixelization:

Linguistic Fallacy
Definition Example
When a term or concept with low semantic precision is chosen over an available more precise term or concept in a way that distorts the opponent’s stance. You say you believe you’ll likely not die before you’re 50. If you don’t believe you’ll die before you’re 50, why did you buy a life insurance policy when you were 30?
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Equivocation:

Linguistic Fallacy
Definition Example
When the two different meanings of a term are confused in an argument. The strange man told Mary he wanted to take her out. She had him arrested for making a death threat.
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Suppressed correlative:

Definition Example
When there is an attempt to redefine one option so that it encompasses another option. You can’t claim to be intelligent since there is someone always more intelligent than you are.
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Reification:

Definition Example
When an abstraction is treated as if it were a more concrete than is warranted. True love will find you if you only allow yourself to believe in true love.
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No true Scotsman:

Definition Example
When a justified categorization is rejected based on unconventional or arbitrary criteria. How can you call yourself a patriot when you are against this war? No true patriot would disagree that this is a just war.
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Continuum fallacy:

Definition Example
When an argument is rejected on the grounds that one of it’s concepts cannot be rigorously defined discretely and placed into a precise category. You can’t claim that your backpack is heavy until you tell me at what weight something becomes “heavy.”
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