Posted by James Briggs on March 18, 2003
In Reply to: Straw Argument posted by S. on March 18, 2003
: Is the term "straw argument" just short-hand for the "straw man" logical fallacy, described on the Web page linked to below?
: Thanks for any assistance.
It might help to remember what a 'Straw man' was originally.
In my 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, a man of straw was a
hired hand, so called from having straw stuck in his shoes to distinguish him.
Presumably he had no chance of offering any sort of opinion to his employers.
Another possible origin comes from the "Straw Men" who loitered near English courts with a straw in one of their shoes - thus indicating that they were prepared to give false evidence in return for a fee; they also didn't have opinions of their own.