Readers can get through the Letters to the Editor section by skipping letters that illustrate four basic fallacies of logical argument:
Ad Hominem: At the first sign of name calling, skip it (this will get you through most of the recent letters in no time). Absolute: At the first use of an absolute term (“all liberals/conservatives,” “if only everyone would,” etc.) skip it. Hasty Generalization: “If we can put a man on the moon, then ...” nonsense. And finally, Ad Hoc: making things up, an argument based on personal opinion by not providing factual evidence.
There are more but this basic list can help avoid the feeling of “well, there’s five minutes of life I’ll never get back.” And writers should keep in mind that sarcasm, trying to get laughs at someone else’s expense, is about the lowest form of humor.
Bob Johnson, Collinsville