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The magic of false logic

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False logic, a term coined by my friend, master copywriter Michael Masterson, is copy that manipulates (but does not lie about or misrepresent), through skillful writing, existing facts. The objective: to help readers come to conclusions that those facts, presented without the twists of the copywriter’s pen, might not otherwise support.             

A catalog for Harry & David says of its pears, “Not one person in 1,000 has ever tasted them.” The statistic, as presented by the catalog writer, makes the product sound rare and exclusive — and that’s how the average reader interprets it, just as the copywriter intended.             

But a logician analyzing that statement might say that it simply indicates that the pears are not very popular — almost no one buys them.             

It’s possible to argue that some false logic borders on deception, but the marketer has to make that call for himself.             

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