Dagens ord

Ansvar väger tyngre än frihet - Responsibility trumps liberty

13 juni 2015

Dagens ord: refute


Preferred Usage

prove to be false (She refuted the theory that the earth was flat.)

Problematic Usage

allege to be false, try to refute (*She refuted the theory that the earth was round.)


Refute is a factive or success verb, like know and remember, which presupposes the objective truth or falsity of the proposition. Many writers, including a slim majority of the Usage Panel, accept the non-factive "try to refute" sense, but the distinction is worth respecting.

Steven Pinker​, The Sense of Style, s. 279

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