red herring




Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - red herring

"red herring"

something used to divert someone's attention from the real or important issue;

something used to send a searcher in the wrong direction

 

Related words and phrases:



Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - red herring

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: What the heck is Ken talking about? Why is he going on about the faults in the software?

Colleague 2: It's a red herring. He wants to distract everyone's attention away from the fact that he made a monumental error. He is using the software issue as a distraction.



Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - red herring

Two police detectives are talking in a suspect's apartment ...

Detective 1: Looks like our suspect has fled. All his stuff is gone.

Detective 2: How are we going to find him?

Detective 1: Look. There is a travel brochure for Canada on the coffee table. Maybe our suspect has fled to Canada?

Detective 2: I think that is a red herring. Why would a fleeing suspect leave such an obvious clue. It is meant to trick us. I think it is more likely that our suspect has gone the other direction; to Mexico.

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red herring - Usage:

formal<---------------|----X----------->informal



Usage Frequency Index:   2,404   click for frequency by country





red herring - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for red herring.




red herring - Examples:

1)  These people always resort to the red herring of confusing legalized drugs with driving while intoxicated (or other activities that are dangerous ...

2)  This might have been a red herring, to prevent leaks by the crew.

3)  ... and as we have said before, the pursuit of corporate person-hood is a red herring. I would go further and state that it is counterproductive to pursue ...

4)  That's one perspective. Although Avatar is always a red herring since a lot of its budget went into creating new technology and rendering techniques, ...

5)  Of course Nolan could have been making a red herring scene to throw us off.

6)  My comment was not at all a red herring. The issue being discussed was medical information privacy, not gay rights.

7)  It was an intentional ploy to bee seen as a red herring, keep the ball up in the air. It is easier to create dissonance ...

8)  But calling the Web dead along the way has the effect of a red herring, diverting attention away from real risks both to the Net and to the Web ...

9)  I trust Buffett. His wealth is a red herring here. What matters are his insight, intelligence, and ability to perform for ...

10)  All of your rants on "anonymity" are just a red herring. Would you please stop the charade? Just admit that the only reason the ...

11)  ... sounds related but has nothing to do with the main subject is called the red herring fallacy. 

12)  A "red herring" is a distraction used to mislead and confuse. I can't imagine why ...

13)  The false threat to export the oil-sands elsewhere is a red herring, because actually the pipeline to Canada's west coast was planned to be built ...

14)  This is a fairly disappointing article, piracy is basically a red herring because there will always be some piracy on all platforms and it is total ...

15)  What are you hiding? And B-K, it isn't a red herring when someone posts factual information relevant to the topic, even if it clearly disproves ...

16)  No one said epidemic, nice red herring

17)  By providing exaggerated scenarios, continually presenting the most extreme skepticism as a red herring to attack by threatening free speech instead of countering with your own "convincing" ...

18)  However; it turns out that the inheritance was after all a red herring and the real motive was a psychological disorder on Lillian's behalf.

19)  ... or improvement of the breed, and saving species from extinction is a red herring, the motive is greed and profit pure and simple.

20)  ... certain they've got the right guy, but turns out he's the red herring. By the time they realize it, they've let their guards down and ...