Equivocation is a handy tool to have in your arsenal, especially when you’re writing persuasive essays. But what exactly is equivocation?
Equivocation occurs when you intentionally use ambiguous language to mislead or confuse your reader. The equivocation fallacy can be tricky to understand, but with the help of examples, you will be able to clear things up.
This blog will go through some examples of equivocation fallacies that are interesting and creative. So let’s get started.
Equivocation Examples In Politics
- “I’m not saying that he’s guilty, but he certainly looks suspicious.”
- “I’m not saying that she’s lying, but her story doesn’t add up.”
- “I’m not saying that they’re criminals, but they’re definitely up to something.”
- “I’m not saying that he’s a bad person, but he’s made some questionable choices.”
- “I’m not saying that she’s a bad mother, but she does have a problem with alcohol.”
- “I’m not saying that he’s a racist, but his comments were definitely racially insensitive.”
- “I’m not saying that she’s stupid, but she does tend to make a lot of mistakes.”
- “I’m not saying that he’s untrustworthy, but he has lied to me in the past.”
- “I’m not saying that she’s a terrible cook, but her food is definitely an acquired taste.”
- “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
Equivocation Examples In Real Life
- “I’m not saying that I did it, but I’m not saying that I didn’t do it.”
- “I’m not sure if it’s a good idea or a bad idea.”
- “It’s not cheating if everyone is doing it.”
- “I’m not lying. I’m just omitting the truth.”
- “I’m not being racist; I’m just telling it like it is.”
- “I’m not being sexist; I’m just being honest.”
- “I’m not being homophobic; I’m just telling it like it is.”
- “You’re not fat, you’re just big-boned.”
- “You’re not stupid, you’re just ignorant.”
- “These aren’t lies, they’re alternative facts.”
Equivocation Examples In Media
- “I’m not saying that I did it, but I’m not saying that I didn’t do it.”
- “I’m not saying that the Earth is flat, but there’s definitely something fishy going on.”
- “I’m not an expert, but I think that global warming is a hoax.”
- “I’m not saying that vaccines cause autism, but we should definitely take a closer look at the science.”
- “I’m not suggesting that aliens have visited our planet, but there are definitely some strange things going on.”
- “I’m not claiming to know everything about history, but I’m pretty sure that the Holocaust never happened.”
- “I’m no doctor, but I think that sugar is the root of all health problems.”
- “I don’t want to start any rumors, but I heard that the government is hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life.”
- “I can’t prove it, but I have a feeling that my neighbor is a spy.”
- “I know it sounds crazy, but I think my cat is trying to kill me.”
Equivocation Examples In Advertising
- “This car will make you feel like a million bucks!”
- “Our new product is twice as good as the competition!”
- “You’ll be the envy of all your friends with our new gadget!”
- “Our software is the most user-friendly on the market!”
- “Our team is the best in the business!”
- “We’re the fastest-growing company in the industry!”
- “We’re the market leader in quality and innovation!”
- “Our products are top-of-the-line and sure to please!”
- “We offer the best selection, service, and value around!”
- “You won’t find a better deal anywhere else!”
Equivocation Examples In Literature
- “All that glitters is not gold.”
- “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
- “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
- “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”
- “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
- “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
- “The grass is always greener on the other side.”
- “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
- “Easy come, easy go.”
- “To be, or not to be: that is the question.”
- “The world is your oyster.”
Funny Equivocation Examples
Here are some funny fallacy of ambiguity equivocation examples.
- I’m not sure if I’m hungry or not.
- I’m not sure if I want to go to the party or not.
- I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit to marriage just yet.
- I’m not sure if I’m in the mood for pizza or not.
- I’m not sure if I want to see a movie or not.
- I’m not sure if I want to go shopping or not.
- I’m not sure if I want to go hiking or not.
- I’m not sure if I want to go fishing or not.
- I’m not sure if I’m ready to buy a house just yet.
- I’m not sure if I’m ready to get a job just yet.
What Is Equivocation Fallacy How to Avoid It?
Fallacies, we all have committed them at one point or another in our lives. Whether we realize it or not, fallacies are very prominent in the things we say and do on a daily basis.
One fallacy, in particular, is quite rampant among students, and that is the fallacy of equivocation. So how can we avoid it? Read on to find out!
What is Equivocation Fallacy?
In simple terms, the equivocation fallacy is when a person uses a word or phrase in more than one sense throughout an argument, thereby confusing the issue at hand.
For example, consider the following argument:
“I can’t go out tonight because I have to study for my calculus exam. However, I don’t mind going out tomorrow night since I don’t have anything planned.”
Did you catch the fallacy here? The word “calculus” is used in two different senses. It confuses the issue of whether or not the person has plans for tomorrow night.
In this instance, “calculus” refers to the branch of mathematics, but it also means a stone used to sharpen knives. As you can see, this kind of reasoning can be rather misleading.
How to Avoid It?
Now that we know what the equivocation fallacy is and how it works let’s talk about how we can attempt to avoid it.
- The best way to avoid the equivocation fallacy is to use clear and precise language in your arguments.
- Make sure that the words you use have only one meaning. You should be able to use them consistently throughout your argument.
- You should also avoid using double standards in your reasoning. If you do use terms with multiple meanings, be sure to specify which meaning you are using at each instance.
By following these tips, you can avoid this sneaky little fallacy!
Let’s Wrap Up!
This blog equivocation examples and how to avoid equivocation. As we’ve seen, the fallacy of equivocation can be tricky to avoid. But with a little bit of effort, you can make sure that your argument is watertight.
The next time you’re making an argument, take a step back and consider whether you might be guilty of any type of ambiguous language. If you can spot any potential instances of equivocation, rework your argument so that it doesn’t fall prey to this logical pitfall.
By exercising vigilance, you can make sure that your own dialogue is crystal clear and trustworthy!
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Please stay tuned for more posts in the future!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Equivocation Logical Fallacy?
The equivocation logical fallacy is a fallacy in which a word or phrase is used in two different senses within the same argument, and the argument is not clarified in which sense the word or phrase is being used. This can be very confusing for the audience and can lead to an invalid conclusion.
How Can You Identify The Equivocation Fallacy?
Yes, this type of fallacy can be easily spotted by identifying any logical inconsistencies in the argument. For example, if someone argues that “everyone who smokes dies from cancer” and then later argues that “smoking is not bad for you”, this would be an example of the equivocation fallacy.
An experienced author and writing instructor. Has been teaching composition and creative writing at the college level since 2015.