Math in the News: Fallacies

Let me introduce the newest section of the andYOU blog, Math in the NewsMath in the News was created to answer the ever present question of “when will I ever use math in real life?”  Each week we are going to relate a story in the popular media to a page in our new textbook, Math & YOU.  There are plenty of great real life applications available, all at no cost, over at


In light of the Super Bowl taking place last weekend I thought it would be fitting to start with a post about fallacies in advertising.  Some of you may have heard of fallacies before, and if you’re not sure of what a fallacy is head over to Math & YOU to find out.

Fallacies are an interesting subject because at first inspection you might not even know they are used in mathematics.  When most people think about math they think about numbers and equations, and fallacies do not have to involve either.

Fallacies are commonly used in advertising to sway consumer opinions, but there can be a fine line between a fallacy and false advertising.  An article, “Lawsuit Claims HOFer Brett Falsely Advertises Necklaces,” from mentions a lawsuit that has been brought against a company called Brett Bros., claiming they falsely advertised their necklaces and bracelets.  Do you think this is a case of false advertising, or just a fallacy in logic?

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