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I'm thinking of a specific author who propagates misinformation as fact. There's a word for this, I think it starts with an 'e', but I can't quite remember it and it is on the tip of my tongue. Any information will help. Thanks!

Also, the answer is not "a lie" or a "deception" or anything along those lines, because the person spreading the (mis)information believes it to be true. It's describing the act of promoting this information.

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  • 1
    Are you thinking of "propoganda"?
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 19 '14 at 17:51
  • 3
    I believe the term is politician.
    – Minnow
    Nov 19 '14 at 17:54
  • 2
    The technical philosophical term is Bullshit. Nov 19 '14 at 17:54
  • 1
    @John, I read that book and I love it.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 19 '14 at 17:55
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    I'm having trouble seeing this as not a lie. Repeating an untruth or telling it the first time, it's still a lie.
    – Mitch
    Nov 19 '14 at 18:43
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Isaac Asimov once said to someone about this distinction: "I will allow you to question the accuracy of my statement but never its veracity"

If a statement lacks veracity the speaker is lying. It it is just wrong, then he is inaccurate.

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Equivocate

(verb) Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.

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  • Not quite, but closer than anyone else. The act I'm thinking of requires the speaker to have no idea that what they are stating is incorrect, so in this case, they wouldn't have anything to conceal, as they believe what they are stating to be fact.
    – Meaghan
    Nov 19 '14 at 19:35
  • @Meaghan In that case I believe the word you are looking for might be Erroneous
    – Joe Dark
    Nov 19 '14 at 19:39
  • @Meaghan I'd say that the person was ignorant, in the sense that he ignores the truth.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 19 '14 at 22:36
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I can't make all of these start with an 'e' without misspelling them, but perhaps they'll jog your memory.

Propagandist (with credit to @Dan Bron)

Misinformer

A synonym of propagandist is evangelist. Depending on the context, demagogue might apply.

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  • 1
    Is there an extra 'n' in propagandist?
    – Enigmadan
    Nov 19 '14 at 18:21
  • Thanks @Enigmadan, I should have said I couldn't respond without misspelling :)
    – Minnow
    Nov 19 '14 at 18:56
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nescience

(n) Absence of knowledge or awareness; ignorance.

Nescient (adj) is synonymous with misinformed and ignorant, inasmuch as the person either deliberately or unwittingly expounds beliefs that are clearly false

self-deceiving

allowing oneself to believe that a false or unvalidated feeling, idea, or situation is true.

Wikipedia says on self-deception

Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth (or lack of truth) so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception

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  • @WS2 Fine, I wasn't aware I was in trouble. I'd already gone to bed.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 14 '14 at 6:08
  • @WS2 you might want to delete your comment now, it's pretty much obsolete. :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 14 '14 at 9:21
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What about "fudge"... (verb)

  • present or deal with (something) in a vague or inadequate way, especially so as to conceal the truth or mislead.
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Are you perhaps thinking of an exaggerator, embellisher or embroiderer?

Generally speaking, the first-named overstates the facts, the second makes them seem better than they are, and the third entirely invents certain aspects of the information they are propagating.

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Mistaken

: to understand (something or someone) incorrectly
: to make a wrong judgment about (something)
: to identify (someone or something) incorrectly

Full Definition of MISTAKE

transitive verb
1: to blunder in the choice of
2a: to misunderstand the meaning or intention of :misinterpret
2b: to make a wrong judgment of the character or ability of
3: to identify wrongly :confuse with another

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistaken

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  • Or “misinformed”,  or perhaps “misguided”.
    – Scott
    Sep 27 '18 at 5:39
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Since the question seems to regard when somebody does something, I would suppose that you want a verb, so my guess is that your forgotten word is Err, under this definition of the word from the American Dictionary of the English Language (A.D.E.L.) by Noah Webster:

  1. To mistake; to commit error; to do wrong from ignorance or inattention. Men err in judgment from ignorance, from want of attention to facts, or from previous bias of mind.

Committing error should be cross referenced with the error entry, which starts with the following passage and more directly asserts the criterion of belief in the claim being made:

A wandering or deviation from the truth; a mistake in judgment, by which men assent to or believe what is not true. error may be voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary, when men neglect or pervert the proper means to inform the mind; involuntary, when the means of judging correctly are not in their power.

And similarly A.D.E.L. shows an false statement can be described with the adjective erroneous:

  1. Wrong; false; mistaken; not conformable to truth; erring from truth or justice; as an erroneous opinion or judgment.

It also shows that all three of these words are cognate, as they derive from the latin Erro.

The word is particularly common in a few phrases, such as "To err is human" or "err on the side of caution", howevter in these cases it more broadly means to make any sort of mistake, rather than making false claims specifically.

Nevertheless, it can be specifically applied to false claims as well and such usage is extensively demonstrated in* A Relation of the Conference Between William Laud, Late Lord Arc-Bishop of Canturbury and Mr. Fisher the Jesuit By the Command of King James of Ever Blessed Memory with An Answer to Such Exceptions as A.C. Takes Against it* (fourth edition revised 1685)* which includes many uses of the word. This source is especially useful since I presume, at least for the mostpart, the correspondents hold the holiest of men in the Church of Christ as honest people, working hard to determine the most accurate interpretation of holy scripture, and the nature of the question considers the possibility that their consensus is beyond fault.

I have some difficulty selecting a specific passage for the sake of inclusion, but I think this one from what seems to be page 146 is useful.

B. Whether a General Council may err or not is a question of great consequence in the Church of Christ. To say it cannot err, leaves the church not only without remedy against an error once determined, but also without sense that it may need a remedy, and so without care to seek it; which is the misery of the Church of Rome at this day. To say it can err, seems to expose the Members of the Church to an uncertainty, and wavering in the faith; to make unquiet spirits, not only to disrespect former Councils of the Church, but also to slight and contemn whatever it may now determine: Into which error some Opposers of the Church of Rome have fallen. And upon your question, wherein are we nearer to unity, if a Council may err? As if Grounds of Faith may vary at the Racket, and be caft of each fide, as a cunning Hand might lay them.

To briefly address the concerns of people who may have doubt that this usage remains contemporary, I shall also provide a definition written in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary 5th Edition (©2002)

  1. Make a wrong judgement; form a wrong opinion; make a mistake, blunder; (of a statement) be incorrect. M.E.

Unlike the first and fifth definitions, this meaning was not marked with the dagger of obsolescence.

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naieve

adjective
(of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.
"the rather naive young man had been totally misled"
(of a person) natural and unaffected; innocent.
"Andy had a sweet, naive look when he smiled"

synonyms:   innocent, unsophisticated, artless, ingenuous, inexperienced, guileless, unworldly, trusting; More

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