Part of speech: Adjective. (Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late." They can be used in two ways: 1. Right before a noun, as in “a fallacious conclusion.” 2. After a linking verb, as in "The conclusion was fallacious.”)
Something fallacious is wrong and illogical, and it tricks people into thinking the wrong thing.
fallacy (FAL uh see), fallaciously, fallaciousness
How to use it:
Something fallacious is not just wrong, but is also tricky and misleading, AND wrong in an illogical way. You might say something fallacious to manipulate people on purpose, but it's just as likely that fallacious information is spread by people with good intentions (and bad or limited sources.)
So, talk about a fallacious argument or fallacious reasoning, fallacious thinking or fallacious logic, a fallacious claim, fallacious information or a fallacious report, a fallacious prediction or hypothesis, a fallacious conclusion, etc.
Back when I was a silly teenager who couldn't tell a fallacious argument from a sound one, I was totally taken in by a television special on why the moon landing was a hoax.
Among students, there's a widespread but fallacious belief that just rereading their textbooks or notes will help them do well on tests.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "fallacious" means when you can explain it without saying “misleading" or “false."
Think of something you once learned that turned out to be incorrect, and fill in the blanks: "The idea that _____ is actually fallacious: what's true is _____."
Example: "The idea that we only use a small portion of our brainpower is actually fallacious: we use, in fact, most of our brains, most of the time."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the thoughtful and thorough reference book that I got them from: Last Words of Notable People!
A Point Well Made:
Edward R. Murrow: “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must ... remember that we are not descended from fearful men – not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.”
1. The opposite of FALLACIOUS is
2. The fallacious anecdote of Einstein being a poor math student _____.
A. may be inspirational but fails to hold up under evidence of his complex mathematical thinking
B. remains a popular choice for sharing in the context of well-researched graduation ceremony speeches
C. fuels disbelief at first but can be proven with extant copies of his school papers from childhood
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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