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Old 10-18-2014, 11:54 PM   #1
Canuck_in_Japan
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What's the right word?

I'm a native English speaker but I've been living in a foreign country for about 10 years and distressingly, I've noticed that my native language abilities just aren't as good as they used to be. I can still speak English well of course but there comes times when I just can't pull out a certain word that I feel I should know. I thought that with all the readers and intelligent people on this forum that this would be a good place to get the right. I'll probably need to continue using it and if anyone else feels the need, go ahead and ask your own question.

Ok, what is the word to describe the situation where someone is unaware that the argument that they are making actually goes against the point that they are trying to get across? I'm thinking along the lines of unintended irony but that's not the right word. There's a specific term for it. You often see it in political discussions, especially among those who are not very well informed.
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:54 PM   #2
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[Some of that "can't find the right phrase" also seems to happen with age. I haven't spoken any but the one language, and I'm *still* experiencing that phenomena!]

I don't know the word you mean, but I'll put in my two cents and thereby bump the thread so somebody else might notice and have the right answer!
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:15 PM   #3
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Self-defeating?
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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Are you thinking of a formal logic term, such as " reductio ad absurdum " (which is the wrong one in this case, but all I can think of).
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgoodDeb View Post
Are you thinking of a formal logic term, such as " reductio ad absurdum " (which is the wrong one in this case, but all I can think of).
Yes I am. I can't remember whether it was Latin or not. If I saw it I would recognize it immediately.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:55 PM   #6
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Maybe try going through Wikipedia's list of logical fallacies and see if anything seems familiar?

(Myself, I'd have guessed "counterfactual", but the term you're looking for seems to require more ignorance and irony than that.)
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:28 PM   #7
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Self-Contradictory?
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:49 PM   #8
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Ah I think it was cognitive dissonance! My description was not very accurate unfortunately.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Maybe try going through Wikipedia's list of logical fallacies and see if anything seems familiar?

(Myself, I'd have guessed "counterfactual", but the term you're looking for seems to require more ignorance and irony than that.)
ATDrake, that's a very interesting link. Thank you.
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