How Anti-Science Activists Abuse Dictionaries

The dictionary definition of dictionary

“Dictionaries can be vital to getting a basic understanding of what words mean. However, anti-science activists have developed several different methods to exploit dictionaries for their own ideological goals. They attempt to use generalized dictionaries to sow confusion about highly specialized terms in science or business. They insist that dictionary definitions determines what is correct or incorrect use of language when in reality, dictionaries are passive recorders of the way language is used and changes over time.

They let semantic issues play the role of arguments in a way that sidesteps issues of facts to prop up their ideology. They attempt to distract with dictionary arguments when discussing current events or new findings where dictionary definitions are not at all relevant. They neglect the fact that dictionaries are brief summaries and never encompass the full diversity of the meaning of words in an effort to deploy a No True Scotsman fallacy or greedy reductionism. Finally, they also ignore the fact that dictionaries can sometimes be wrong or heavily biased in a way that negatively impact their credibility in a substantial way.”

How Anti-Science Activists Abuse Dictionaries

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