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16
Mar
2012
2:40 mins
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<p><strong><font color="#000066">Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 17, 2012 is:</font></strong></p>
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<strong>fallacious</strong> &#149; \fuh-LAY-shus\&nbsp; &#149; <em>adjective</em><br />
1 : embodying a fallacy 2 : tending to deceive or mislead <strong>:</strong> delusive <br />
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<strong>Examples:</strong><br />
The notion that disease is caused by malign spirits was known to be <em>fallacious</em> long before germ theory gave us real understanding of disease.<br /><br />&quot;The whole idea that Romney was responsible for good or bad things in Massachusetts is <em>fallacious</em> &#151; just as it is <em>fallacious</em> that any executive is responsible for the ups and downs of the economy.&quot; &#151; University of Michigan political scientist Michael Heaney as quoted by Seth McLaughlin in an article in <em>The Washington Times</em>, February 27, 2012<br />
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<strong>Did you know?</strong><br />
&quot;Oh what a tangled web we weave / When first we practise to deceive!&quot; So wrote Sir Walter Scott in his 1808 poem <em>Marmion</em>. Scott&#146;s line wasn't written with etymology in mind, but it might be applied to the history of &quot;fallacious.&quot; That word traces back to the Latin verb &quot;fallere&quot; (&quot;to deceive&quot;), but it passed through a tangle of Latin and French forms before it eventually made its way into English in the early 1500s. Other descendants of &quot;fallere&quot; in English include &quot;fail,&quot; &quot;false,&quot; and &quot;fault.&quot;<br /><br />
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