full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Elizabeth Cox: Can you outsmart the slippery slope fallacy?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Don’t worry, I may have that power, but I promise not to use it. Now, as I was saying, this kind of argument, where one step, let’s call it A, kicks off a string of events that inevitably culminates in an extreme scenario, let’s call it Z, is known as a slippery slpoe. Many such arguments focus on catastrophe, but the slope to an ertmxee pivtsoie outcome can be just as slippery. The trouble with this kind of argument is that, in presenting Z is the inevitable outcome of A, it almost always overstates the likelihood that Z will hppean if A happens. Why? Allow me to troblue you with some math.

Open Cloze

Don’t worry, I may have that power, but I promise not to use it. Now, as I was saying, this kind of argument, where one step, let’s call it A, kicks off a string of events that inevitably culminates in an extreme scenario, let’s call it Z, is known as a slippery _____. Many such arguments focus on catastrophe, but the slope to an _______ ________ outcome can be just as slippery. The trouble with this kind of argument is that, in presenting Z is the inevitable outcome of A, it almost always overstates the likelihood that Z will ______ if A happens. Why? Allow me to _______ you with some math.

Solution

  1. happen
  2. extreme
  3. trouble
  4. positive
  5. slope

Original Text

Don’t worry, I may have that power, but I promise not to use it. Now, as I was saying, this kind of argument, where one step, let’s call it A, kicks off a string of events that inevitably culminates in an extreme scenario, let’s call it Z, is known as a slippery slope. Many such arguments focus on catastrophe, but the slope to an extreme positive outcome can be just as slippery. The trouble with this kind of argument is that, in presenting Z is the inevitable outcome of A, it almost always overstates the likelihood that Z will happen if A happens. Why? Allow me to trouble you with some math.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
communist regimes 3
slippery slope 3
united states 2
communist control 2
authoritarian communist 2
slope arguments 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
authoritarian communist regimes 2
slippery slope arguments 2

Important Words

  1. argument
  2. arguments
  3. call
  4. catastrophe
  5. culminates
  6. events
  7. extreme
  8. focus
  9. happen
  10. inevitable
  11. inevitably
  12. kicks
  13. kind
  14. likelihood
  15. math
  16. outcome
  17. overstates
  18. positive
  19. power
  20. presenting
  21. promise
  22. scenario
  23. slippery
  24. slope
  25. step
  26. string
  27. trouble
  28. worry