Red Pen Reviews (szaleniec1000) wrote in wrongworddammit,
Red Pen Reviews

Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur.

Or not. You see, though bringing the Latin can give people the impression that you're Smart™ or at the very least Educated™ and know what you're talking about, bringing the wrong Latin doesn't.

Argumentum ad hominem is a type of logical fallacy in which one attempts to disprove an argument by attacking its source. It isn't just a posh way of saying "personal attack", and for that matter isn't necessarily a personal attack at all. TVTropes puts it best:

"You're stupid, therefore your argument is invalid" is an ad hominem; "your argument is invalid, therefore you're stupid" (or "Your argument is invalid and you're stupid") is not.

And an insult in isolation certainly isn't. It doesn't take a Latin scholar to figure out that it's not an argumentum ad anything if there's no actual argument being presented. And in any case, there isn't even such a thing as an ad hominum.
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