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

What's the verb that means: to make an anecdotal statement (based on casual observations) as if it were a fact?

I don't think it's "to lie" because this person believes it's the truth. He is unknowingly stating a fallacy.

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Will Hunting, FumbleFingers, Daniel, kiamlaluno, Mitch Jan 26 '12 at 14:35

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Knowingly? Or unknowingly? Or regardless? – MετάEd Jan 25 '12 at 23:58
That would be lie. Or if you want longer words more applicable to anecdote-telling, fabricate or fantasise. – FumbleFingers Jan 26 '12 at 0:03
Updated question...hopefully with enough context. Thanks. – tony19 Jan 26 '12 at 0:11
Gossip? (Not a verb, but "pants on fire" fits.) – Gnawme Jan 26 '12 at 0:11
I vote for ‘fabulate’. – tchrist Jan 26 '12 at 2:54
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unknowingly stating a fallacy might be to err, to make a mistake, to be mistaken, or to be wrong. None of those necessarily tie to the "mak[ing] an anecdotal statement...as if it were fact" part of your question, but they're good, general words which don't impute intent the way to lie does.

Treating an anecdote as fact might be overgeneralizing.

share|improve this answer

You could, perhaps, misspeak, but that has more an idea of "accidentally stating incorrectly or inappropriately", like if you use the name of the person you are addressing in place of the person you're supposed to be speaking about.

Either misstate or misreport, on the other hand, appears to be more appropriate.

share|improve this answer

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