Word of the Day : January 23, 2021
ad hominem \ad-HAH-muh-nem\ adjective
1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made
Did You Know?
Ad hominem literally means "to the person" in New Latin (Latin as first used in post-medieval texts). In centuries past, this adjective typically modified argument. An "argument ad hominem" (or argumentum ad hominem, to use the full New Latin phrase) was a valid method of persuasion by which one took advantage of an opponent's interests or feelings in a debate, instead of just sticking to general principles. Ad hominem later came to be used to describe an attack aimed at an opponent's character, and this is the sense more often heard today. The hostile nature of such attacks has led to an understanding of the term as meaning "against the person," rather than its original Latin meaning of "to the person."
Aired January 23, 2021
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