I can't remember this word, it's been on the tip of my tongue for days. I am sure that this word exists but there's no synonym results I could find on Google. It means something like the inverse of correlation/evidence, "freak occurrence" possibly.

It's a word used to say something to the effect of, "you're referring to something as though it's connected". But that word describes the claim in a single word: "X information". A great example is something like;- person A sees person B in a car with a dog and then goes on to conclude that many people might drive with dogs in the car. The observation is "unrelated" to the reality or something similar, yet person A took it to have a connection and for there to be some underlying explanation. This event itself (not the observation) is an X. Talking about the event is using X information and is not very scientific.

edit: I found it. (anecdotal/anecdote, "anecdotal information")


anecdotal adjective

based on someone’s personal experience or information rather than on facts that can be checked

  • What is wrong with unrelated or uncorrelated?
    – mplungjan
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 6:40
  • Is your point correlation does not imply causation?
    – Third News
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 6:40
  • @mplungjan, it's a more precise word and sounds better, less scientific
    – user74202
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:03
  • @ThirdNews, yes
    – user74202
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:04
  • Then is it the type of fallacy, or just the a word? Disparate: "containing or made up of fundamentally different and often incongruous elements 2 : markedly distinct in quality or character"
    – Third News
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:07

4 Answers 4


The first word that comes to mind for me is "irrelevant." You might also be thinking of "superfluous" which conveys a bit more of the idea that the information is unnecessary noise. If you count "non-germane" as a single word it probably fits your description pretty well also. A thesaurus hit might give you other words like "extraneous" or "peripheral" that may also get at your desired meaning.

  • It's none of those but I think you are close. It's a more accessible word than that.
    – user74202
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:08

Mistaken / false inference is one possibility; or perhaps coincidence, unrelated event / phenomenon, presumption, generalization, extrapolation or jumping / leaping to conclusions.

  • "Jumping to conclusions" I think is close, like "unrelated". But nothing else seems to indicate/convey as much information. It's a very clean word..
    – user74202
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:11
  • How about unwarranted?
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 9:12

The example provided in the question is insufficient. One can draw such an incorrect inference for various reasons:

  • generalization
  • conjecture
  • drawing false inference from true premises (invalidity)
  • misinfer something in general.

Your disparate example sounds like a syllogism:

"conclusion," "inference") is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

In its earliest form, defined by Aristotle, from the combination of a general statement (the major premise) and a specific statement (the minor premise), a conclusion is deduced. For example, knowing that all men are mortal (major premise) and that Socrates is a man (minor premise), we may validly conclude that Socrates is mortal. Syllogistic arguments are usually represented in a three-line form (without sentence-terminating periods):

All men are mortal.

Socrates is a man.

Therefore, Socrates is mortal

The word "therefore" is usually either omitted or replaced by the symbol "∴"


  • The word I'm looking for is not technical or philosophical, it's more in the range of 'freak accident' than anything more intellectual
    – user74202
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:05
  • Hmm, adventitious is "added or appearing accidentally or unexpectedly"
    – Third News
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:12
  • it was "anecdotal"
    – user74202
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:19
  • -1 The problem is Socrates was, after all, moral, wasn't he? So there's nothing contradictory to reality or logic there.
    – Kris
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:43

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