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Hebrew for Christians
Fallacy of Accent

Definition: Emphasis is used to suggest a meaning different from the actual content of the proposition. Accent is a form of fallacy through shifting meaning. In this case, the meaning is changed by altering which parts of a statement are emphasized. For example:

    "We should not speak ill of our friends"


    "We should not speak ill of our friends"

Be particularly wary of this fallacy when reading email or other correspondence, especially when in a "thread" of discussion. It's all too easy to misread the emphasis of what is written.


  1. It would be illegal to give away

    Free Beer!

  2. The first mate, seeking revenge on the captain, wrote in his journal, "The Captain was sober today."

    (He suggests, by his emphasis, that the Captain is usually drunk. From Copi,
    p. 117)
  3. You said you are to love your neighbor as yourself.

    (Insert your own misunderstanding here.)
  4. "Joan said that she never wants to see another Demi Moore movie, so we won't show her another one; we'll just play this same one over and over again".

(Copi and Cohen: 115);

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