Glittering generality

Glittering generality

Glittering generalities (also called "glowing generalities") are emotionally appealing words so closely associated with highly-valued concepts and beliefs that they carry conviction without supporting information or reason. Such highly-valued concepts attract general approval and acclaim. Their appeal is to emotions such as love of country and home, and desire for peace, freedom, glory, and honor. They ask for approval without examination of the reason. They are typically used by politicians and propagandists. The term may have originated with the Institute for Propaganda Analysis.

A glittering generality has two qualities:
# It is vague
# It has positive connotations

Words and phrases such as "strength", "democracy", "patriotism", "support our troops", "common good", and "freedom" are terms that people all over the world have powerful associations with, and they may have trouble disagreeing with them. However, these words are highly and ambiguous, and meaningful differences exist regarding what they actually mean or should mean in the real world.

The most prominent usage of glittering generalities is in the fields of political campaigning and advertising.

See also

*Code word
*Golden hammer
*Hardworking families
*Language and thought
*Loaded language
*Logical fallacy
*Rhetorical device
*Silver bullet
*Virtue word

External links

* [http://www.propagandacritic.com/articles/ct.wg.gg.html Propaganda critic: Glittering generalities]


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