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Argument by Gibberish

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(also known as: bafflement, argument by [prestigious] jargon)

Description: When incomprehensible jargon or plain incoherent gibberish is used to give the appearance of a strong argument, in place of evidence or valid reasons to accept the argument.

The more common form of this argument is when the person making the argument defaults to highly technical jargon or details not directly related to the argument, then restates the conclusion.

Logical Form:

Person 1 claims that X is true.

Person 1 backs up this claim by gibberish.

Therefore, X is true.

Example #1:

Fortifying the dextrose coherence leads to applicable inherent of explicable tolerance; therefore, we should not accept this proposal.

Explanation: I have no idea what I just wrote, and the audience will have no idea either -- but the audience (depending on who the audience is) will most likely make the assumption that I do know what I am talking about, believe that they are incapable of understanding the argument and, therefore, agree with my conclusion since they think I do understand it.  This is fallacious reasoning.

Example #2:

(The following can be considered an argument as to why one-fifth of Americans cannot locate the United States on a world map.)

“I personally believe, that U.S. Americans, are unable to do so, because uh, some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps.  And uh… I believe that our education like such as in South Africa, and the Iraq, everywhere like such as… and, I believe they should uh, our education over here, in the U.S., should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

Explanation: This might be funny if it weren't actually said.  This is a case where it is more likely that the gibberish was a result of nervousness and confusion rather than an attempt to deceive, so I would not argue that a fallacy was committed by the speaker.  I would argue that it would be fallacious for listeners to accept this gibberish as an acceptable answer to the question asked.  Although, perhaps the only ones who would accept this gibberish as an acceptable answer are the one-fifth of the Americans who reportedly could not locate the United States on a world map.

Exception: Some arguments require some jargon or technical explanations.

Tip: Remember that good communication is not about confusing people; it’s about mutual understanding.  Don’t try to impress people with fancy words and jargon, when simpler words will do just fine.

This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.

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