One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Reductio ad absurdum.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Wilson (d. 1581), humanist and administrator. From post-classical Latin reductio ad impossibile from classical Latin reductiō + ad to + impossibile the impossible, use as noun of neuter of impossibilis, after ancient Greek ἡ εἰς τὸ ἀδύνατον ἀπαγωγή (Aristotle Analytica Priora 29b5).
reductio ad impossibile/rɪˌdʌktɪəʊ ad ɪmpɒˈsiːbɪleɪ/
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