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I'm having a TERRIBLE geriatric moment in my mid-forties. I know this phrase, I've used it before, and it has suddenly left the building. For about the last hour. It's driving me insane, please help.

What is the word/phrase used to describe a situation in which someone makes a statement as factual, conclusive, or absolutely evidence based, simply because it worked for them? Or because it may have worked for a handful of people they know?

Examples:

This mascara is the very best you can buy because it's the only one that lifts my eyelashes and makes them thicker without clumps.

or

This is the only diet supplement that works because I lost 60 pounds using it.

I don't even know how to google this without only getting key words as hits.

Thanks!

  • 4
    Anecdotal evidence perhaps? – KarlG Apr 3 at 20:25
  • THIS! My goodness, thank you so much. I have no idea why i couldn't think of this. <3 – JTanner Apr 3 at 20:33
  • @JTanner are you sure that's it? It may work for you but not everyone... – BruceWayne Apr 4 at 0:21
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I can think of a couple words and phrases that may capture the situation you described. Someone making broad statements like the ones in your question may be universalizing, or making a false, faulty, or sweeping generalization. I hope one of these options is what you were looking for!

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From the examples that you have provided, I'd suggest the word truthiness. It is a superficial or asserted truthfulness, without recorse to evidence.

From wiki article,

Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

Oxford dictionary also backs this definition,

[informal] The quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true.

  1. "For talk show hosts it's "truthiness" rather than truth that counts."

  2. "To use the memorable phrase coined by comedian Stephen Colbert, Web 2.0 sites can all too easily supply "truthiness" rather than truth."

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