A common example of a red herring fallacy is an appeal to pity. For instance, when a student cheats on a test, he may plead with the teacher to consider the punishment he will receive at home from his parents. The parental punishment is irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is cheating. Another example is when politicians avoid difficult subjects by mentioning other hot-button, yet irrelevant, political issues.Know More
The name of the red herring fallacy comes from fox-hunting technique in which a dried herring, which is naturally red and has a pungent smell, is dragged across the fox trail to distract the hound dogs from the fox's scent. Thus, the red herring argument happens when one arguer attempts to distract the other arguer by presenting an irrelevant topic or argument, causing the other arguer to lose sight of the real point of the discussion.
The red herring fallacy is sometimes referred to by its Latin name, ignoratio elenchi, which means "ignorance of refutation." This ignorance could be the arguer's own ignorance to the argument's intended point or the arguer's deliberate decision to ignore it. In either situation, the arguer misses the point and complicates the discussion unnecessarily in an attempt to win the argument.
The red herring fallacy is often used in mystery novels to throw the reader off the scent of the story's true villain. The author creates suspicion around several characters to keep the reader guessing right up until the end of the story.Learn more about Literary Writing
An example of a main idea would be: summer is the best time of year. The main idea is the subject or topic of a piece of writing or a story.Full Answer >
One example of a figurative analogy is comparing the sound of a car's engine running with the sound of rain falling. Another example is comparing a human with a motorized toy because both can move. In both cases, a figurative analogy, which can be a simile or metaphor, is not literal but instead compares a shared characteristic (sound or movement) of two items that are otherwise very different from each other.Full Answer >
A funny example of irony is a woman who falls asleep reading a book about overcoming sleep problems. Other examples include a spelling exam that misspells its instructions, or a sign advertising a construction service that falls apart.Full Answer >
An example of a short anecdote would be the story about a young girl whose mother cut off both ends of a ham at dinner because her mother had always done it that way. When the young girl called her grandmother to ask the reason, the grandmother replied, "because the pan was too small." This anecdote is comical and provides a moral as well, since the mother was blindly following a procedure (cutting off the ends of the ham) that she did not need to do.Full Answer >