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I've been doing a lot of research lately. A few weeks ago I stumbled across logical fallacies and it opened my eyes to the things I've always known were BS, but I couldn't quite put my finger on. I can now. The problem is that there are soooo many different types of fallacies, that I find myself spending too much time trying to find the specific logical fallacy to define my particular question. For instance: What is it called when a description of something is changed to something else to cover up a "big lie." The thing is, nobody seems to have realized that the nomenclature was changed. This might be due to the fact that that it in most cases, it has been described by the acronym (CCD) so when the deception occurred, nobody was the wiser. Here is an example:

"Consumer Complaint Database" ("CCD") was changed to "Credit Complaint Database" ("CCD")

This was not a mistake, it was done on purpose, but I don't know what it's called and it's driving me crazy! It's some type of "shift" I think, but I can't find the exact term.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jul 22 '17 at 1:20

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  • That doesn't look like a logical fallacy to me. It's more like a deliberate misrepresentation. – EditingFrank Jun 25 '17 at 4:33
  • Thank you, Sir. Could it be considered a bait-and-switch? – flemingssr1 Jun 25 '17 at 4:42
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    This database is a set of complaints made to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Consumers may have gotten the idea that the agency deals with all types of consumer complaints, whereas it only deals with financial matters. Thus, the name change reflects more accurately the kinds of complaints with which the agency deals. – Xanne Jun 25 '17 at 4:49
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    I can't see how changing a description to cover up a "big lie" is a logical fallacy. Fallacies can generally be interpreted as unintentional (even if it isn't; the point is any logical fallacy could be a simple mistake in logic). There's no way a deliberate deception could be (a) be a mistake in logic (b) accidental. If you really mean a logical fallacy then your description will need to be better, I'm afraid. – Andrew Leach Jun 25 '17 at 8:14
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    There is a fair amount of discussion about whether obfuscation is a fallacy. I tend to think not, but it's certainly a relevant concept here. – Steve Lovell Jun 25 '17 at 12:47
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Others have already answered your question: This is not a logical fallacy. But what is it?

In fact, I think you answered your question yourself with the word deception.

Someone suggested obfuscation, but I think a better term in this case might be manipulation, though I might be splitting hairs. I usually associate obfuscation with words: the propagandist buries you in an avalanche of ideas, or plays some clever trick that lures you into the shadows.

When someone asks "Why bother altering (or obfuscating) all our data when we can just rename the database?" we're talking about deception, in my opinion. However, the word manipulation sounds a little more descriptive to me, for some reason.

Of course, obfuscation, deception and manipulation can operate simultaneously, and it isn't always easy to know where one ends and the others begin.

I guess I've taken you full circle back to english.stackexchange, though my answer might also be suitable for politics.stackexchange.

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