The etymological fallacy poses that a certain term's original meaning applies to its colloquial and modern understanding in current circumstances.
Example of Etymological Fallacy
This is a common fallacy.
- "Lucy, why do you call your children 'kids?' Don't you see how offensive it is to liken your children to immature little goats?" The word for baby goats is 'kid'. The speaker is arguing that 'kid' can only refer to baby goats.
- Calling someone (a straight person) who is happy and jolly 'gay' and insisting that only the old meaning of 'gay' is valid. 'Gay' used to mean 'happy'.