Consider the terms vague, ambiguity and generality as they relate to our textbook reading for this week.

  • How are vagueness, ambiguity and generality used in politics or in law in order to achieve a desired outcome?
  • What are some examples of how this might be applied in your future career?
  • Include an example or two from current events that demonstrates the use of vagueness, ambiguity and generality.
  • Feel free to share an article, a screenshot of a social media post, a video, etc.

In addition to your initial post, respond to at least two of your peersposts. These responses should be substantive and build upon their thoughts, provide additional examples, ask questions, and extend dialogue.

(My post: Vagueness, ambiguity, and generalization are used in politics and legislation to deceive and attract the attention of the audience. As an example, the generality of the law makes the law more coherent as compared to the vague one, which is less based on facts and more inconsistent. Our book implies that statements are better to be vague than specific since vagueness tends to hide key information.Vagueness is often intentionally used to avoid giving a clear, precise answer.”  (Moore, B & Parker, R., 2021.) Most often, ambiguity has a very bad effect on the text. The reader does not understand what the author wanted to say or misunderstands, and leaves. It is unlikely that this is the effect that the author intended to achieve. 

Acceptance of vagueness makes us more resilient and frees us from unnecessary stress and anxiety, but at the same time does not deprive us of the opportunity to rejoice and be surprised at the change. When we know who we are, what is good for us, and what our true desires are, it is easier for us to make a decision, develop the right behavior pattern and take action.  The task of the nurse is to help the patient cope with difficulties and to provide psychological support to both patients and relatives. As our book states, “Vagueness plays an important role in much that we do.” (Moore, B & Parker, R., 2021.) When speaking with a patient, the nurse should minimize the use of medical terms and avoid vague, because most patients won’t understand most of them and it will only give them further anxiety and complicate the situation.

An example of a situation where vague ambiguity and generality are used is that governments around the world have used the Covid-19 pandemic to justify violating freedom of speech. Authorities have attacked, detained, harassed and in some cases killed critics, broken up peaceful protests, shut down media outlets, and passed vague laws criminalizing speech they claim is a threat to public health. Another example is that for the first time in history, the worlds population has been used experimentally for mass clinical testing of a vaccine. Dr. Robert Malone, who is the inventor of the mRNA gene therapy technology vaccines, warned that the vaccine is more harmful and dangerous than the disease itself.  Are people getting full facts on COVID vaccine risks?

 (Links to an external site.)


Vagueness, ambiguity, and generality are commonly used in both politics and law to achieve a desired outcome. The term vagueness can be defined as a lack of clarity according to the week 2 presentation. People frequently use these types of statements to avoid backlash from people who have opposing views to them. For example, if a celebrity makes a political statement for ‘free Palestine,’ there will be praise from Palestinians but backlash from Israelis, and vice versa. For this reason, individuals might use more neutral language such as “we do not condone violence of any kind,” rather than openly agreeing with either side. Ambiguity, according to Moore and Parker, (2020), is when a word phrase or sentence has more than one meaning (pg. 76). An example of a current event would be the China and Taiwan conflict. According to the Wall Street Journal, President Biden made an ambiguous statement that “the U.S. would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan” (Restuccia et. al., 2022). Most people assumed that Biden was referring to sending in military forces which caused an outrage. However, according to the Washington Post, it was later clarified that “When the president said the U.S. would intervene ‘militarily,’ he meant providing weapons, not deploying U.S. forces- consistent with the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act” (Drezner, 2022). Generality is the lack of specificity (Moore and Parker, 2020, pg. 79). Generality can be used in law when referring to getting charged with assault and battery. These words lack specificity since there are many forms of assault and battery. According to the Simmrin law group website, (2021), pushing someone, hitting or kicking someone, attacking someone with a weapon, throwing something at someone, and spitting on someone, all qualify as assault and battery. Therefore, if an attorney can prove that their client was a victim to any of these no matter how minor, then they will be able to charge the assailant with assault and battery. This can become an obstacle to the assailant as job recruiters only have to see the words ‘assault and battery’ without any details and can decide not to hire them.

As my future career is in the healthcare industry as a nurse, ambiguous pronoun references (Moore and Parker, 2020, pg. 78), will be of great importance. There will certainly be instances where nurses will need to use, they/them pronouns, such as treating non-binary identifying people. If a nurse does not respect the patients’ pronouns, they are subject to getting reported and reprimanded. Generality can be used with nurses who are in research departments. For example, when referring to the Covid-19 vaccine, there is an abundance of research to its side effect and the number of people who have experienced them. When considering all the research, the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the negative side effects. Therefore, people can make the conclusion that the vaccine is generally safe in accordance with the research. I believe that in nursing, vagueness can be used if you want to avoid giving away personal opinions that may offend others. Suppose a patient or a colleague wants to discuss political beliefs, it is best to stay vague because your beliefs can change the way people see you and your competence or intelligence.

continue discussion………..

2) Vagueness, ambiguity, and generality is used in politics or in law in order to achieve a desired outcome by saying whatever they want for the people who are listening to them, to hear what they want and manipulate them.

  • Some examples of how vagueness, ambiguity, and generality might apply in my future career is one for example an patient comes in to visit and explains how they have been experiencing symptoms of body aches, fever, and diarrhea but may only describe themselves as sick. Having body aches, fever, diarrhea can potentially be more than being sick which goes under generality because according to Moore & Parker (2020, pg. 79), “Generality is lacks of specificity”. The patient can say that they are sick because of those three things that they are experiencing but it can be more than just having those symptoms and it’s easy for them to label themselves as sick but as a nurse you have to make sure that all steps are followed thoroughly and properly to determine if the patient only has fever or if have more than a fever to be accurate to help out the needs of that patient to get better. Second example is working with traumatic patients as a nurse. If I was a nurse working with traumatic patients, it is good to know the word vague and ambiguity which according to Moore and Parker (2020, pg. 74)), “A word or phrase is vague if we cannot say with certainty what it includes and excludes.” For ambiguous, according to Moore and Parker (2020 pg. 76), “A word, phrase, or sentence is said to be ambiguous when it has more than one meaning.”  Now knowing the difference between the two, I believe it is good to know those two when working with traumatic patient because if you were with one of the patients who has experience a serious injury due to a car crash or whatever the situation may be then you want to talk to that patient and give them a vague statement so that they are not put under so much stress of what happened. 
  • There is one example of an article that I saw about how during a televised briefing, the language used while talking about the COVID-19 appeared to be vague and ambiguous so that it can lessen its accountability for its own policies which I found to be very interesting which I’ll put the link down below.

continue discussion ……

3)Answer the QUESTION: 

I’m going to mix this up a little.  In addition to our discussion of vague language, we want to think about argument structure.  That will be key for next week’s assignment and a foundation for future chapters.  

So, look at this argument: 

The last thing we need around here is a dog.   They’re so much work!  You’ve got to walk them, train them, take them to the vet.  I mean, maybe if we had a big house with a yard, but we’ve got a tiny apartment.   

For a critical thinker, it helps to clarify the argument by listing out the premises and conclusion.  Like so:

P1:  We have a tiny apartment and dogs do better with big yards

P2:  You have to walk, train, and provide vet care for dogs.

P3:  Dogs are too much work.

C:  We don’t need/want a dog.  

You can see how the three premises suppot the speaker’s conclusion, right?  You can also see that P2 is support for P3.  So, we might write it like this:

P1:  We have a tiny apartment and dogs do better with big yards


P2:  You have to walk, train, and provide vet care for dogs.


P3:  Dogs are too much work.


C:  We don’t need/want a dog. 

We could even label each premise as objective or subjective, right?  So, lets’ give it a try.  Look at the following argument and try to write it out the way I have above.  It’s harder than it might seem, but we should be able to get it as a group. 

You’ve probably got a case of philosophy fever.  Philosophy fever causes mild fever, headache and mental frustration, and you’ve got all of those.  Also, you’ve been exposed to philosophy at school.  But you can treat the condition with rest and relaxation, so you need to take a day off and go to the beach. 

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