Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Quickie Post: Playing with Meaning

Changing Minds has a slew of interesting pages on the use of language to persuade, but I wanted to share one in particular. The page about redefining terms struck me as a common technique that I hadn't considered.

It's a good debate technique - throw your oponents into confusion while you carry your point. They'll be so busy trying to come up with a reason your definition is invalid that they won't be able to rebut the argument effectively. This will also work in an article, if you slide the re-definition in early and continue on with your arguemnt without drawing the readers attention to it. This trick can also be known as "dazzle them with bull..." Well, you get the idea.