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confuse the issue

To obfuscate or distract from the topic at hand by introducing irrelevant and/or misleading information. Politicians are always confusing the issue during debates by pointing out their opponents' history in other issues. Don't confuse the issue with talk about your past achievements, please stick to the question I'm asking you. His muddled explanation only served to confuse the issue further for his students.
See also: confuse, issue

confuse about (something)

To puzzle or make uncertain about something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "confuse" and "about." I wasn't trying to confuse my students about sine and cosine, but it seems that I have. I'm sorry I'm so early—I must have been confused about the party's start time.
See also: confuse

confuse (someone or something) with (someone or something)

1. To puzzle or perplex a person or animal by doing something in particular. I wasn't trying to confuse my students with my lesson on sine and cosine, but it seems that I have. If you're not consistent, you'll just end up confusing your dog with your commands.
2. To mistake someone or something for someone or something else. People are always confusing me with my sister because we look so much alike. Oh, I'm not a biology major—you must be confusing me with my roommate. Please don't confuse the pile of clothes I'm donating with the pile of ones I'm keeping.
See also: confuse

confuse someone about something

to cause someone to be puzzled or bewildered about something. She confused me about the time of the concert. I wish you wouldn't confuse me about those things.
See also: confuse

confuse someone or an animal with something

to use something to bewilder or confuse someone or an animal. You have confused me with your clever talk. You confused the dog with your orders.
See also: animal, confuse

confuse (someone) with (someone else)

 and confuse (something) with (something else)
to mix someone up with someone else; to mistake someone or something with something else. I'm afraid you have confused me with my brother. Don't confuse the old ones with the new ones.
See also: confuse

mistake (someone) for (someone else)

 and mix (someone) up with (someone else)
to confuse someone with someone else; to think that one person is another person. I'm sorry. I mistook you for John. Tom is always mistaking Bill for me. We don't look a thing alike, though. Try not to mix Bill up with Bob, his twin.
See also: mistake

mistake (something) for (something else)

 and mix (something) up with (something else)
to confuse two things with each other. Please don't mix this idea up with that one. I mistook my book for yours.
See also: mistake

mistake for

Take someone or something for someone or something else, as in I'm sorry, I mistook you for her sister, or Don't mistake that friendly smile for good intentions; he's a tough competitor. [c. 1600]
See also: mistake

mistake for

To wrongly perceive that someone or something is someone or something else: I'm sorry to have bothered you—I mistook you for a friend of mine. Don't mistake the poison ivy for a box elder vine!
See also: mistake
References in periodicals archive ?
I just didn't get it and a good story was ruined for me with an ending more confusing than finding an egg in your ear.
It seems these bilingual signs are doing the opposite of what signage should do - confusing, rather than informing, motorists.
The 2001 film, starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruise, topped a list of movies most likely to baffle viewers with confusing plot twists.
Student's Question: As a new trader trying to identify a candlestick pattern I think is confusing because the page in lesson #2 shows them with or with out wicks and certain colors, then when you view a video you talk about the certain pattern but it might have wicks or be a different color.
The reorganisation of local councils here in Northumberland is made even more confusing by the "warring combatants" as they make claim and counter claim.
Ultimately she'll have to choose between romance and life itself in this absorbing story that holds none of the confusing language of Shakespeare's original.
Then add in some confusing bureaucratese that obscures and confuses the point.
The snail-pace, confusing, piecemeal accumulation of concurrent receipt legislation has resulted in fewer veterans applying for CRSC," said Violante.
It is confusing because you normally expect to find here the meat of the current issue.
Visual processing problems, for example, could lead to children losing their places when using the textbook, confusing numbers like 15 for 51, and using a number line in reverse.
While all of these different messages may be confusing, what now seems to be clear is that each person should probably work out his or her own daily water requirements, preferably with the help of a medical professional.
And it was rather confusing to people--more confusing than constituting a real alternative to the idea of wild painting.
That's why, in the state-of-the-art grammar being jammed down your throat today, state-of-the-art is hypenated, thereby avoiding the confusing look of 'the art grammar.
What organic certification means and what it involves can be confusing.