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red herring

Definitions

red herring rate
(Noun) A literacy device used mostly in stories. It, unlike clues, guides the reader against the ending and throws him/her off track.
Usage: There is a red herring in the short story "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl.

Red Herring rate
(Expression) 'Red herring' is an expression that applies to something that has been used as a decoy to trick someone.

For example, if you sent someone on a long treasure hunt using a fake map while you went and fetched the real treasure yourself, the fake map or the non-existent treasure could be called a 'Red Herring.'
Usage: The hapless explorers were hopelessly misled by the red herring.


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