English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Some time ago I read about a word that was coined to describe when someone uses a "common sense" style rhetoric to attempt to stifle or shut down further discussion on a topic, but I cannot recall what that word was.

share|improve this question

It is a thought-terminating cliché [1].

I was incorrect about it being a single word.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought-terminating_clich%C3%A9

share|improve this answer
I'd say most cliches are thought-terminating, though. That's why they're cliche. – Jack Ryan Aug 23 '13 at 11:19

this particular tactical fallacy comes under the broad category of sophism or sophistry if a single word is required to describe it.


share|improve this answer

"Moot"? As in, "this is a moot point; there's no point of continuing the discussion".

share|improve this answer
I remember that it's a coined term, not one I would expect to be found in an any conventional English dictionary. The phenomenon describes a person's attempts to make the discussion moot, however it is done by repeating a rhetorical and often emotionally-charged phrase that's easily defensible and difficult to attack without taking on the baggage of a stance against the emotional charge. – Zikes Aug 19 '13 at 17:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.