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Schizophrenic Cat

Senior Member
If I wrote a sentence like "There is a widespread misconception that men drive better than do women", could I replace "misconception" with "fallacy"? I read on a few websites that misconception meant a wrong idea, while fallacy meant a misleading idea. It really makes no difference to me. But I unintentionally tend to think of wrong ideas which people get through religious or traditional beliefs when fallacy is said, while I think of wrong ideas related to social reasons when misconception is said. Can we think this way? Thanks.
  • ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    "There is a widespread fallacy ('phallusy'? :)) that men drive better than women (do)." (I prefer this form to "than do women", but that's neither here nor there) because it's not true. A "misconception" is a misunderstanding of a statement by the listener/reader who thinks it means something other than what the speaker/writer meant.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    A fallacy is a falsehood. It can refer directly to the idea, and there need be no 'thinker' involved at all:
    That men drive better than women is a fallacy.​
    This is not to say there cannot be a thinker:
    It is a fallacy to think that men drive better than women.
    Fallacy is often used in the context of logical reasoning.

    A misconception requires someone to do the misconceiving, even if it is an indefinite person:
    It would be a misconception to think that men drive better than women.
    We don't know who is doing the thinking, but thoughts cannot exist without a person thinking them.

    Neither obviously apply to religious or traditional beliefs. Merely disagreeing with someone's beliefs doesn't make their beliefs fallacies nor their believing a misconception.
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