For example, when people say "Napoleon was short", it's almost immediately followed up with "actually he was average height for the time".

Is there any concept or word that describes this phenomenon?

  • 4
    More popular than the misconception? Er... shouldn't it?
    – Centaurus
    Nov 26, 2023 at 20:14
  • Well axshully, there is no word for this term. /mansplaining
    – stevesliva
    Nov 27, 2023 at 3:46
  • It's not a misconception that Napoleon was short. He was. And so was everyone else.
    – Andrew Leach
    Dec 2, 2023 at 9:47
  • Would you include the belief that the earth is round, the earth orbits the sun, ghosts don't exist, homeopathy doesn't work, the universe isn't eternal, and other scientific knowledge? You're also supposed to provide an example sentence and other information on how/where you want to use the word.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 2, 2023 at 11:56
  • Saying 'Napoleon was short' is using 'short' with a particular deictic centre. 'A large bee' uses a different standard of reference than 'a small hippopotamus'. Napoleon was short or average, depending on the reference system. // Are you asking for a term to describe 'the corrective statement is more popular than the fallacious statement' (though 'Napoleon was short' can be true, depending on the frame of reference)? How can a corrective occur more often than the statement needing correction ? Dec 2, 2023 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


I don't think there's a single word. However, there are common phrases "popular misconception" and "common misconception".

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