Explanation

Accent fallacies are fallacies that depend on where the stress is placed in a word or sentence. The meaning of a set of words may be dramatically changed by the way they are spoken, without changing any of the words themselves. Accent fallacies are a type of equivocation.

Example

Suppose that two people are debating whether a rumour about the actions of a third person is true. The first says, “I can imagine him doing that; it’s possible.”

The second replies, “Yes, it’s possible to imagine him doing that.” This looks like agreement.

If however, the second person stresses the word imagine, then this appearance vanishes; “Yes, it’s possible to imagine him doing that.” This now sounds like a pointed comment meaning that though it may just about be possible to imagine him doing that, there’s no way that he would actually do it.