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I'm discussing with a friend a particular personality flaw. I want to posit that members of my generation may be more inclined to suffer from that flaw.

Certainly it's the arrogance of youth to think that my generation uniquely suffers from it - and I want to qualify my hypothesis by saying such.

Certainly it's the arrogance of youth to <verb> that we uniquely suffer from that flaw.

Now, I could just use "claim" in place of <verb>. "Claim" works: it carries a stronger implication that the notion could be wrong than either "think" or "believe" do.

But what's a word (or perhaps short phrase) that I could use to convey even more strongly that I have no illusions that my generation invented the flaw?

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  • Certainly it's the arrogance of youth that deludes us into thinking...
    – Jim
    Dec 5, 2015 at 18:29

6 Answers 6

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I'd suggest, charge.

: to assert as an accusation : charges that he distorted the data. M-W

: to make an accusation or assertion that OED

Certainly it's the arrogance of youth to charge that we uniquely suffer from that flaw.

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Well, the term insist is not in itself derogatory, but it can have a petulant quality

to say (something) in a way that is very forceful and does not allow disagreement

Merriam-Webster

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Although not derogatory, in my opinion the following 4 suggestions go a bit beyond "claim" to imply that the notion could be wrong:

"Certainly it's the arrogance of youth to maintain/postulate/posit/assume that we uniquely suffer from that flaw."

MAINTAIN: transitive verb

5: to affirm in or as if in argument : assert (Merriam-Webster)

POSTULATE: verb (used with object): (Dictionary Reference[dot]com)

  1. to ask, demand, or claim.
  2. to claim or assume the existence or truth of, especially as a basis for reasoning or arguing.
  3. to assume without proof, or as self-evident; take for granted.

POSIT: transitive verb: (Merriam-Webster)

2: to assume or affirm the existence of : postulate 3: to propose as an explanation : suggest

ASSUME: transitive verb (Merriam-Webster)

5: to take as granted or true : suppose

To go full-derogatory, you could borrow from the notion that certain groups hijack the flag/bible/etc for their own purposes and say (with some rewording):

“Certainly the arrogance of youth explains/helps explain why we have/(my generation has) hijacked that flaw [and its consequences].”

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How about allege? It is defined as

To assert without proof

which does imply a certain arrogance on the part of the one making the claim.

Certainly it's the arrogance of youth to allege that my generation uniquely suffers from it.

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Conjecture is the formation or expression of an opinion or theory without sufficient evidence for proof.

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Are you looking for contend?

vi. 1. to strive or vie in contest or rivalry or against difficulties: struggle. 2. to strive in debate: argue.

vt. 1. maintain, assert. 2. to struggle for, contest.

MW Collegiate 11ed

A person contending something implies that they're struggling to get others to believe it.

Certainly it's the arrogance of youth to contend that we uniquely suffer from that flaw.

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