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Red herrings

A rhetorical device which distracts from discussing the topic at hand and tries to lead the discussion to a different topic.


Other names

  • Distraction techniques
  • Change of topic

Origins of the name

The term “red herring” refers to a kind of marinated fish that was used in training scent hounds. Their trainer would taint a scent trail with the pungent smelling food in order to teach them not to be distracted.


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