Definition: Emphasis is used to suggest a meaning different from the actual content of the proposition. Accent is a form of fallacy through shifting meaning. In this case, the meaning is changed by altering which parts of a statement are emphasized. For example:
Be particularly wary of this fallacy when reading email or other correspondence, especially when in a "thread" of discussion. It's all too easy to misread the emphasis of what is written.
- It would be illegal to give away
- The first mate, seeking revenge on the captain, wrote in his journal, "The Captain was sober today."
(He suggests, by his emphasis, that the Captain is usually drunk. From Copi,
- You said you are to love your neighbor as yourself.
(Insert your own misunderstanding here.)
- "Joan said that she never wants to see another Demi Moore movie, so we won't show her another one; we'll just play this same one over and over again".
(Copi and Cohen: 115);