An article on the popular website Business Insider claims to set the record straight about rumors of cheating at The World Series. But manipulative language allows the writer to secretly reinforce a different message in our mind- and here’s how it’s done.
The article ends with this inconclusive paragraph:
We will probably never know if Lester was cheating during the World Series. At the very least there is reason to be suspicious. However, there is also reason to doubt he was up to no good.
It’s possible to manipulate a reader by taking advantage of how our brains work when reading. Scientists in the field of Psycholinguistics believe that we rely on the end of each sentence to grasp its outcome.
Here’s the same paragraph, with only the end of each sentence:
We will probably never know ifLester was cheating during the World Series. At the very leastthere is reason to be suspicious. However, there is also reason to doubthe was up to no good.
These three statements (perhaps unintentionally) are weaponized versions of Garden Path Sentences far more conclusive— and incriminating— than first appear.