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I'm looking for a word that describes an idea that is often held out as true or used as a rationale though in fact the opposite is true. Something like "common misconception" or "antipattern" come close, but I feel as though there's a better word I'm missing.

Examples:

"Refusing to use popular security algorithms because everyone knows how they work is a [word], since it is because everyone knows how they work that they are so safe."

Not necessarily saying I 100% agree with the following, but someone who advocates for Keto might say this:

"Trying to lose weight by cutting out fat is a [word], because replacing carbohydrates and proteins with fat allows the body to enter ketosis, which is one of the best states for losing weight."

Thanks in advance.

marked as duplicate by Jason Bassford, Mitch, Hellion single-word-requests Mar 1 at 17:36

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  • A "[common] mistake", perhaps? – We oath to creation Feb 12 at 16:53
  • @Keepthesemind Interesting, that does seem to fit well into those examples. I think I'm looking more for something that describes an idea than an action. Fallacy comes to mind as another word that might work. – Jon McClung Feb 12 at 17:08
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    Myth? OED definition: A widespread but untrue or erroneous story or belief; a widely held misconception; a misrepresentation of the truth. – ermanen Feb 12 at 17:17
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It is a "myth" or it is "mythical".

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/myth

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The second meaning of 'Canard' as per Merriam-Webster may be a good fit.

Canard

1a : a false or unfounded report or story. especially : a fabricated report

'The report about a conspiracy proved to be a canard'.

b : a groundless rumor or belief

'the widespread canard that every lawyer is dishonest'

Though you might want to rejig your examples slightly for the best flow:

"The idea of refusing to use popular security algorithms because everyone knows how they work is a canard, since it is precisely because everyone knows how they work that they are so safe."

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