A frankenquote is a chimeric monster: you take two separate quotes from someone, and then you stitch them together with an ellipsis, and presto, you can make someone say all kinds of strange things. My favorite example of all time was found by John Lynch, in a fulsome review of some creationist tripe from the Discovery Institute by a theologian named Edward Oakes. It holds some kind of record.
In making his case, Oakes also states that
Darwin actually, if unwittingly, promulgated the charter for all later social Darwinists: “Let the strongest live and the weakest die… . Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”
Astute readers may recognize the latter part of the quote comes from the final paragraph of Origin (Chapter XIV). The earlier part comes from chapter VII (‘Instinct’). Yes, folks. Oakes has constructed a quote from two statements seven chapters apart, possibly the longest ellipsis known to scholarship.
Creationists are very fond of frankenquotes. I’ve spotted a few, including one from Luskin where the ellipsis spanned -36 pages. Sometimes they put the words together so seamlessly that they don’t even bother to include the ellipsis.
And now I learn that the MRAs have adopted the habit.
You know, you’re really in trouble when you’re cribbing your rhetorical style from dishonest creationists.