Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fallacy of Presumption?

I try not to comment on the logical howlers I find every day while surfing the Internet especially in sites that give advice to "writers." But I cannot help myself today. Consider this: "If you’ve got a copy of Scrivener, then you know just how useful it is. I’ve had my copy for nearly a year and absolutely loved it." Well, it may well be that you "loved" or "love" a program, but it follows in no way at all that "If you’ve got a copy of any piece of software, then you know just how useful it is" just because you "absolutely loved it." And I don't have to say that "I've got" a copy of Scrivener but do not find it very useful—primarily because it does not do styles. There is no need to point this out because the presumption that others must share your preferences is just that: a presumption. Perhaps a well-placed "probably" would have helped.

Here another application of the fallacious schema: "If you have looked at sites that give writing advice, then you know just how useful they are." I try to remember this ... (argh), I usuually ignore this. Hope springs eternal, as they say.


Anonymous said...

It's true what you say. A lot of people own Tinderbox, but most of them don't seem to know how useful it is (or can be). To paraphrase Forrest Gump: "Useful is as useful does."

MK said...