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Argumentum ad nauseam

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An argumentum ad nauseam (also known as an argument by repetition) is the logical fallacy that something becomes true if it is repeated often enough. It is a subset of argument by assertion and is an informal fallacy. An ad nauseam argument that can be easily shown to be false leads to the "point refuted a thousand times".

Due to the modern 24 hour cable news cycle and the fact that every idiot now has a blog, argumentum ad nauseam has become particularly prevalent. In politics it is usually used in the form of a talking point, which is then reduced to a three second sound bite and is repeated at every available opportunity. On the blogosphere it takes the form of a meme, where every like-minded blogger repeats a statement used by a fellow blogger. Twitter, where every message has to be less than 280 (and until recently just 140) characters, has only made this latter form of viral propaganda worse.

Repeating an opinion again and again seems to convince people that it is true — maybe because it simulates the effect of many people having that opinion.



"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:

What I tell you three times is true."
Lewis Carroll, The Hunting Of The Snark

See also[edit]

Want to read this in another language?[edit]

Si vous voulez cet article en français, il peut être trouvé à Argumentum ad nauseam (français).

Русскоязычным вариантом данной статьи является статья Аргумент к тошноте

External links[edit]