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  • False Conversion
  • False Dilemma
  • False Effect
  • Far-Fetched Hypothesis
  • Faulty Comparison
  • Gambler’s Fallacy
  • Genetic Fallacy
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Having Your Cake
  • Hedging
  • Historian’s Fallacy
  • Homunculus Fallacy
  • Hypnotic Bait and Switch
  • Hypothesis Contrary to Fact
  • The Fallacies: If–Mu
  • If-By-Whiskey
  • Illicit Contraposition
  • Illicit Major
  • Illicit Minor
  • Illicit Substitution of Identicals
  • Inconsistency
  • Inflation of Conflict
  • Jumping to Conclusions
  • Just Because Fallacy*
  • Just In Case Fallacy
  • Least Plausible Hypothesis
  • Limited Depth
  • Limited Scope
  • Logic Chopping
  • Ludic Fallacy
  • Lying with Statistics
  • Magical Thinking
  • Meaningless Question
  • Misleading Vividness
  • Missing Data Fallacy*
  • Modal (Scope) Fallacy
  • Moralistic Fallacy
  • Moving the Goalposts
  • Multiple Comparisons Fallacy
  • The Fallacies: Na–Ri
  • Naturalistic Fallacy
  • Negating Antecedent and Consequent
  • Negative Conclusion from Affirmative Premises
  • Nirvana Fallacy
  • No True Scotsman
  • Non Sequitur
  • Notable Effort
  • Overwhelming Exception
  • Package-Deal Fallacy
  • Poisoning the Well
  • Political Correctness Fallacy
  • Post-Designation
  • Prejudicial Language
  • Proof by Intimidation
  • Proving Non-Existence
  • Quantifier-Shift Fallacy
  • Quantum Physics Fallacy*
  • Questionable Cause
  • Rationalization
  • Red Herring
  • Reductio ad Absurdum
  • Reductio ad Hitlerum
  • Regression Fallacy
  • Reification
  • Relative Privation
  • Retrogressive Causation
  • Rights To Ought Fallacy*
  • The Fallacies: Sc–Wi
  • Scapegoating
  • Selective Attention
  • Self-Sealing Argument
  • Shoehorning
  • Slippery Slope
  • Special Pleading
  • Spiritual Fallacy*
  • Spotlight Fallacy
  • Statement of Conversion
  • Stereotyping
  • Stolen Concept Fallacy
  • Strawman Fallacy
  • Style Over Substance
  • Subjectivist Fallacy
  • Subverted Support
  • Sunk-Cost Fallacy
  • Suppressed Correlative
  • Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
  • Tokenism
  • Two Wrongs Make a Right
  • Unfalsifiability
  • Unwarranted Contrast
  • Use-Mention Error
  • Weak Analogy
  • Willed Ignorance
  • Wishful Thinking
  • Etymological Fallacy

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    Get It!

    (also known as: appeal to definition [form of])

    Description: The assumption that the present day meaning of a word should be/is similar to the historical meaning.  This fallacy ignores the evolution of language and heart of linguistics.  This fallacy is usually committed when one finds the historical meaning of a word more palatable or conducive to his or her argument.

    Logical Form:

    X is defined as Y.

    X used to be defined as Z.

    Therefore, X means Z.

    Example #1:

    Elba: I can’t believe the art critic said my artwork is awful!

    Rowena: He must have meant it in the old sense of the word -- that your artwork inspired awe!

    Elba: Yes!  That makes sense now!

    Explanation: “Awful” did once mean “to inspire awe”, but there are very few, if any, people who continue to use the term in this way.  Just because it makes her feel better, it cannot be assumed.

    Example #2:

    Steve: I think it is fantastic that you and Sylvia are getting married!

    Chuck: I cannot believe you think my getting married only exists in my imagination!  That is what fantastic means, after all.

    Explanation: Yes, it is true "fantastic" was once most commonly used as existing only in the imagination, but common use of this word has a very different definition.

    Exception: If a bogus, “modern”, definition is made up by a questionable source, that won’t make all other sources “historical”.

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