lokifan (lokifan) wrote,

I need one of those German words

Does anyone know if there's a specific term for the moment when someone who would otherwise be a trusted source on something they know much more about than you do, confidently says something that you know for a fact isn't true? And the way it makes everything else they say, about things where you wouldn't know if it's true or not, less credible?

It's such a specific thing, I feel like “loss of credibility” is too general. And sort of implies something more negative than I really mean here, where it's usually more about over-generalising or missing something than anything too dishonest or flagrantly wrong.

There are a bunch of examples from when I've been reading non-fiction and I've seen an argument wobble, but the moment I always think of is when an ungrad professor teaching a module on “The Literature of Desire” – basically Freudian analysis – said something about how people kiss in every culture. I knew for a fact that wasn't true; my mum had mentioned it, and her Master's degree in anthropology from SOAS gave her more credibility with me than this guy, I guess!

But I was twenty, and I couldn't remember which culture (cultures, probably?) specifically didn't kiss, and had found it weird when introduced to the concept – just that it was West African – so I wimped out of saying anything. Still, I heard everything he said more sceptically after that.

IDK. I need one of those German words. This was originally posted at https://lokifan.dreamwidth.org/383315.html. Comment wherever you like :)
Tags: random
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.