• The use of equivocal or ambiguous words.

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Example Sentences

“The furniture assembly was complicated by the confusing diagrams and parisology in the instructions.” 

“The lawyer folded so much parisology into her argument, we could barely understand what she had said.”

“My boss is often guilty of parisology — I try to follow his instructions, but sometimes they’re too ambiguous to decipher.” 

Word Origin

Greek, mid-19th century

Why this word?

“Parisology” has nothing to do with Paris, France. In fact, the City of Light was named after the Parisii, a Gallic people who inhabited it early in its history. Instead, “parisology” is based on the ancient Greek word “πάρισος” (“párisos”), meaning “almost equal.” In this definition, “almost” is important because it indicates the way a person speaks — they’re almost close to the truth, or making a clear statement. Parisology is the use of ambiguous or equivocal language. As a result, parisology is “almost equal” to a direct description, except it leaves out enough details to remain obscure.

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