The ability to explain complicated ideas in a short number of words is difficult. Communication is important but language is merely an abstraction without intelligent design on top of logic and reality. As a result, ideas that make sense in English are not necessarily sensible. Trying to explain in language why a use of language was subtely but crucially wrong can be very difficult.

I am maintaining a list of concepts that I have found ways to express in a small number of words.

Words and Phrases

Feigning Benevolent Motive

Feigning Lack of Sinister Motive

An action or statement that the subject implies to be harmless or helpful in nature, whilst the true motive is harmful or unwanted.


  1. The implication is typically not very subtle.
  2. The unwanted result may be something neither harmful or helpful to the object e.g. selfishness of the subject.

Schrödinger's Sincerity

A statement that can be interpreted as either sincere or as a joke. However the speaker claims to have been joking or sincere on the basis of how their statement was received.

A person has Schrödinger's Sincerity regardless of whether their statement is challenged or whether the reaction is known.

The statement may or may not actually work well as a joke. However, often this phenomenon is interpreted such that the claim the statement was a joke is a post-hoc defence and that the statement must have been sincere.

Pas Entendre

A statement that literally means one thing, but the perceived or intended meaning is something connoted with the statement.

e.g. The description of something as "edgy", where

e.g. The description of a politician as a "populist", where it is meant to suggest that the politician's words have no substance beyond telling people what they want to hear.


Indexed Pronouns

When using a sentence that contains multiple nouns of the same grammatical gender, the identity of each noun in the sentence can become ambiguous because the speaker is naturally inclined to replace longer identifiers with pronouns even where the pronouns for the objects are identical. A system of combining the pronoun with a number to create a new pronoun can be used to rectify this. It's also possible to index the noun itself to add to the clarity. Unfortunately in English the number 2 has homonyms in most accents, but the idea is good on paper (figuratively and literally) and in practice most of the time.

e.g. We put the phone in the microwave, and it-2 exploded.