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This article ends with "Judicial races in Washtenaw County are nonpartisan ...". This is technically accurate, but is also misleading (or is it?) as it implies races elsewhere (such as Wayne County) are partisan. (They are not, all judicial races in Michigan are nonpartisan). Writing the sentence as "Judicial races in Washtenaw County are nonpartisan ..." is also correct, and with fewer words; and presumably (?) less misleading.

  1. Is the original sentence misleading?
  2. If so, is there a name for the unintuitive phenomenon where adding words makes a sentence less it accurate?
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Are races in all other places nonpartisan? What I got from that sentence was that even if the top two candidates from the primary were from the same party, they would still run against each other in the final vote. Many races take the top candidate from each party and run them against each other instead. –  Geobits Jul 8 at 15:47
    
The writer may not be sure that all judicial races are non-partisan. I'm certainly not. To avoid hours or days of research, she simply writes a sentence she is sure is true - that these particular races are non-partisan. –  DJClayworth Jul 8 at 15:51
    
@Geobits I've edited the question to clearly state that all judicial races in Michigan are indeed nonpartisan. –  Blake Whitmore Jul 8 at 16:37
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It depends if it's intentional. To 'obfuscate' is to intentionally complicate something. –  Thomas Jul 8 at 16:55
    
Washtenaw is a very partisan county (90% for a single party in some places), so there certainly could be some (unintentional) obfuscation; or, a desire to be extraordinarily clear. –  Blake Whitmore Jul 8 at 18:48

3 Answers 3

to garble may convey the meaning;

To mix up or distort to such an extent as to make misleading or incomprehensible: She garbled all the historical facts.

Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

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That's sounding better...don't have enough rep to up-vote... –  Blake Whitmore Jul 8 at 19:00

You may be looking for "gobbledegook". Surprisingly, it's a real word.

gob·ble·dy·gook noun \ˈgä-bəl-dē-ˌgu̇k, -ˌgük\ : speech or writing that is complicated and difficult to understand

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Obfuscation. This word doesn't specifically mean that there are more words, just that there is increased complexity with the goal of reducing comprehensibility.

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I'm specifically looking for a term, if any, which says (roughly) "I added more words to make this clearer, but ended up making it LESS clear." It seems that obfuscation might imply (intentionally) confounding the reader. –  Blake Whitmore Jul 8 at 18:50

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