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Is there a noun for a statement that is false, but only because of a single, or a few, counter-examples?

An example of such a statement would be "All primes are odd." as 2 is prime and even, but it is clearly the only one.

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  • 3
    I think the term is "false".
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 30 '15 at 22:33
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    You could say "All but true".
    – Dan Bron
    Jan 30 '15 at 22:37
  • (Or, if you must, "true most of the time", though that's a pretty wimpy statement.)
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 30 '15 at 22:37
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    Mathematicians have a strange notion "almost all". So... "almost all primes are odd"!
    – GEdgar
    Jan 30 '15 at 22:41
  • @GEdgar on that note, having studied mathematics myself, "Almost surely" did cross my mind, but I'm finding it hard to use repeatedly in an article explaining how "almost truths" are false.
    – kinbiko
    Jan 30 '15 at 22:45
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Is there a noun for a statement that is false?

Misstatement seems good.

Noun form of misstate:

VERB

[WITH OBJECT]

Make wrong or inaccurate statements about:

"All primes are odd," is a misstatement.

Misstatement implies less intense condemnation of the error than lie, falsehood or fallacy.


Fallacy implies the error of the statement is not in the statement per se, but in the logical underpinnings of the statement. That does not apply to your example, but could apply to the question.


An Inexactitude might work.

Noun form of inexact

ADJECTIVE

Not quite accurate or correct:


An Imprecision might be a good word for a sentence that almost gets it right.

Noun form of imprecise:

ADJECTIVE

Lacking exactness and accuracy of expression or detail:

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    Not to say that these aren't just fine suggestions, but it's a good idea to wait a while (some say a day) before accepting an answer. Jan 31 '15 at 11:24
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Wouldn't you settle for an adverb? Just throw in "essentially". All primes are odd, essentially.

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  • How does throwing in 'essentially' make a false statement acceptable? Jan 31 '15 at 0:52
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    It allows for inessential exceptions.
    – Greg Lee
    Jan 31 '15 at 0:56
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    2 is not an inessential exception to the set of primes. Jan 31 '15 at 11:30
  • Yes, it is inessential. "Prime" could have been defined as meaning "an integer not divisible by a different integer other than 1", with no harm done (except that 2 would no longer count as prime).
    – Greg Lee
    Jan 31 '15 at 13:07
  • I should have said "(except that 1 and 2 would no longer count as primes)".
    – Greg Lee
    Jan 31 '15 at 13:18
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"is nearly univerally true" or

"is true in almost all cases" or

"is, with few exceptions, true"

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