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Any stick to beat a dog?

Valley Girl's picture

I have had some enjoyable email exchanges with the author of Fallacy Files

Me: btw, one of Lambert's oft used phrases is "any stick to beat a dog", referring to various online arguments. Does this phrase fit somewhere within your taxonomy? I'm not entirely sure what it means.

GC: (quoted with permission): I guess that refers to using whatever argument you can think of, but that's not a logical fallacy itself, though some of the arguments used
might well be fallacious. It's more of a rhetorical tactic of dubious honesty.

So, Lambert, what say you? Or anyone else, for that matter. Does above reflect your usage? I've often wondered about the source of this phrase, btw. Is it one of those phrases that people "just know"? (I didn't before encountering Lambert).