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- Dec 2022
The Gish gallop /ˈɡɪʃ ˈɡæləp/ is a rhetorical technique in which a person in a debate attempts to overwhelm their opponent by providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for the accuracy or strength of those arguments. In essence, it is prioritizing quantity of one's arguments at the expense of quality of said arguments. The term was coined in 1994 by anthropologist Eugenie Scott, who named it after American creationist Duane Gish and argued that Gish used the technique frequently when challenging the scientific fact of evolution. It is similar to another debating method called spreading, in which one person speaks extremely fast in an attempt to cause their opponent to fail to respond to all the arguments that have been raised.
I'd always known this was a thing, but didn't have a word for it.