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context +‎ -tomy


contextomy (plural contextomies)

  1. The practice (or act) of quoting a person (or people) out of context, often with the aim of winning an argument, often intending obfuscation of the quote's actual meaning.
    • 1964, Milton Mayer, What can a man do?: A selection of his most challenging writings, page 33:
      …saying that the Literary Gazette had committed the Chicago Tribune's habitual crime of contextomy against me.
    • 1967, Paul F. Boller, Quotemanship: the use and abuse of quotations for polemical and other purposes, page 286:
      The competent quoteman, no matter how eager he is to outwit his opponent, will have neither the need nor the inclination to stoop to contextomy of the flagrantly mendacious sort.
    • 2008 May 29, Amol Rajan, “Excellent! Theatres forced to withdraw misleading reviews”, in The Independent[1]:
      The prosecution would have to prove that audiences were misled by the practice, known as contextomy. Those who break the laws could face fines…

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