Another Fallacy of Equivocation?

Why did Chanel prick her finger with the pin?

Because she wasn’t very sharp

(external groan! Wordplay!)

😀 😦

Fallacy of Equivocation

😀   😀 We were asked to pick a fallacy and explore a real life example. I chose the fallacy of Equivocation because I simply found it amusing. The fallacy of equivocation is the term given for the mistake made when you use a word in two different senses of an argument. I also acknowledge that the use of fallacy of equivocation is common in really bad joke books or the comical jokes of christmas crackers (fitting as it is coming to christmas soon) such as the joke:

‘why did the skeleton miss the prom?

Because he had nobody to go with. ‘ 🙂

Note the double meaning of nobody. I found myself thinking of it while watching a ‘friends’ episode in which Joey (the less bright of the group) asks the stupid question-‘is that why their extinct?’ when told certain exhibits are ‘homosapiens’ The use of such fallacies are very frequent in newspaper headings (see example below) and the framework behind puns.

The creator often attempts to use words of same sounding but different meaning(its and it’s. there and their) or same spelling and if we ourselves use too many homophones, homographs or homonyms we find ourself sounding silly.

‘you have no right to restrict my rights.’

In our mind we can have so many different meanings mixed up in our head that it may lead us to spell words incorrectly or write the wrong word for the wrong context: (aloud-allowed, effect-affect) silly mistakes but meaningful nonetheless.

A life example would be the improper use of the word Evolution in scientific explanations. The dictionary defenitions show that evolution can describe both ,

a developmental process by which different organisms develop as a result of changes in genetic material.


the idea that over time certain organisms develop similar characteristics due to a shared ancestor.

so to some up evolution in the sense of change and evolution in referral to descent from a common ancestor.

An example in the media was when scientists were discussing bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics or plants adjusting to their surroundings. They exclaim that  these are examples of ‘evolution in action’ and this proves that god did not create the world but the truth is  this is true for evolution in the sense of change but does not prove anything about their ancestors or the beginning of life on earth.

A few weird conclusions are drawn from the use of fallacy of equivocation below. :p

”The sign said ‘fine for parking here’, and since it was fine, I parked there.”

”All trees have bark. All dogs bark. Therefore, all dogs are trees.”

“Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three lefts do.”

God is love, Love is blind, Therefore, God is visually impaired.

To finish off fallacies of Equivocation are used widely in the world and I chose this one as it is the easiest to identify with and are extremely broad.

till nextime 😉

something either is or isn’t…

‘The law of the excluded middle – something either is or isn’t’

This particular law got me thinking (again while I was watching a Big Bang theory episode) Sheldon was trying to explain the theory of Shrodinger’s cat. For those you who don’t know to put it simply a man put a cat in a box and left it proceeding to never open the box. He asked is the cat alive or dead- depending on how long the cat was actually inside the box our own logic and common sense could deduce whether the cat was dead or alive. If it was in the box for a day it is probably alive , if it is in the box for two months it is probably dead. This seems the simple answer to the question however Shrodinger said that as we never opened the box and saw it for ourself we do not know whether it is dead or alive. Here he is adressing the sense of sight as an area to which a concrete answer can be drawn from but the truth is do we have to see something to prove whether it is true and even our sight can be decieving. If you look at a table you will say it is solid with conviction but with a knowledge of Physics and Chemistry the truth is the table is over 90 percent empty space. I myself find that difficult to get my head around. Another case is if you look at 2 pens you my say they are identical but if you look at a deeper level the 2 pens probably couldn’t be more different. In a maths test when the question says I have 2 red pens and one blue pen what is the probability of me picking a red pen- the two pens may be different shades of red as 2 things can never be completely identical shouldn’t we say what is the probability of getting one shade of red pen.  As mindboggling as that is another fact to come to terms with is we actually see an inverted image but our brain flips it the right way round so are we only seeing a flipped version of the world?


Now going back to the shroedinger example Sheldon then explains that Shrodinger stated that the cat maintains a quantum state of being both dead and alive. that completely contradicts the rule of excluded middle and many of us would ask how does that even work? and in the show Penny is completely baffled by this and furthermore I myself have been in the middle of a heated discussion last year in the Physics classroom in which many began to shout out ‘you just know ! it cannot be both!’ When it comes down to life and death most of our completely certain that you cannot be both unless you delve into a fictional world. How do we just know things? Is this idea stupid as some will say ? Is it possible to contradict the law of excluded middle?

check out the link below for the clip from big bang theory

Sense Perception

Hey readers ,
In TOK we were discussing how our senses factor into our lives. The truth is where would we be without our senses : without music, sight , the taste of chocolate and the comforting smell of a homecooked meal?

It got me thinking about how music is used in films to almost tell you how to feel. Without background music moments like Jacks dying scene in Titanic or the kiss in the rain of notebook would be less intense -don’t you think. When I watch additional scenes on my dvd often these scenes are without music and I notice it straight away. I also found that with the wrong music moments that should be more serious can end up comical. If you the sound completely off on your tv and watched it with the subtitles , with that one sense cut off it is a completely different experience and I myself find it much more difficult to ”get into the film” and find I have to concentrate harder on whats going on. Moreover if you were to just listen to the soundtrack without the accompanying film you wouldnt really connect with a storyline and you may only logistically judge what emotion the particular piece was supposed to invoke.

Another thing is many of us can work while listening to music while many of us need complete silence and I noticed that while I strangely cannot simply fall sleep with my curtains open , I can if a dim light is on. My friend however likes to sleep with the curtains. Lastly sometimes while I am trying to work out a simple maths I find whispering to myself seems to help me while my previous roomate found it annoyingly distracting. What makes us so different and why do those simple things seem to affect us incredibly?

Many of us have different learning styles and different ways of using our senses while learning. I found visual aids help me incredibly.

See ya 🙂

Lost in Translation

100% of us have used google translate or some form of translator device at least once while doing our language homework. If you say you haven’t you are simply lying to yourself. The trouble is translators such as these although useful in a way can lead things to go terribly wrong. Check out the link below…
and because of this before every translator website fully loads it should say this:
DISCLAIMER: the translating software is to be used with caution (and should be thoroughly checked) and any resulting offence that occurs due to this translation is at the fault of the user and not the site.

see below…


Do animals talk?

Hello again
Mr Saha asked us whether animals have their own language or dialect and in my oppinion they do as is a language not simply a means of communication? It could be said that this is simply body language. Are animals thinking about what they are saying? It is proved that whales can communicate from huge distances and a werewolf will make a different noise when it is calling its pack to when it is ”speaking” to its cubs. I can only answer the above question with another question in itself-just because we cannot understand something to be a language does that mean it isn’t one?

One funny scenario I found was a pair of twins on youtube who to us seem to be speaking complete gibberish but between themselves they are laughing, joking and reacting as if they are in their own conversation. To add to the humor many have created their subtitles to interpret the twins and the truth is we can only wonder what they are on about….:) 🙂

See the video below if you haven’t already…


Can you have a language without expression?

Consider that to one person a language can sound completely monotonous and unexpressed while to those speaking their language the person may be expressing any emotion. Because it doesnt fit with the stereotype we recognise does that mean it is wrong? no. We may think that to ask a question our voice will simpler become higher at the end but for some languages this simply isn’t the case.

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