acm - an acm publication

2024 - May

  • Common Fallacies in Speaking and Writing … and What to Do about Them

    Each "Communication Corner" essay is self-contained; however, they build on each other. For best results, before reading this essay and doing the exercise, go to the first essay "How an Ugly Duckling Became a Swan," then read each succeeding essay.

    Expository (non-fiction) speaking and writing are almost always about trying to affect the audience's opinion or perception of something. The best communicators do so by presenting logical explanations supported by verifiable facts. Less diligent communicators do so by presenting logically fallible explanations supported by questionable facts. Sadly, they often do so not because they are dishonest, but rather it is because they themselves are unaware that this is what they are doing.