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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Negative Certainty

Is there a word for that condition where you don't know the right answer (or word, or phrase) but you know with absolute certainty that the answer (word or phrase) that comes to mind/is offered by another is wrong?

The best I came up with is "negative certainty," i.e., I am certain that that is not right, even if I don't know the right answer. But maybe there's already a word or term for this.


At 9:45 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

What, may I ask, inspired this little observational insight? Watching General Petraeus?

At 6:41 AM, Blogger Number Three said...

No, actually. This comes up a fair amount in my daily experience. People say, "I think that it's X," and I say, "No, it's not X, because [insert reason]. But I don't know what it is." Anyone who would spend any of their precious time on earth watching Petraeus testify deserves the frustration. There should be a term for that, too.


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