Heather Dyke gave a very interesting talk, suggesting that the 'representational fallacy' is the near-ubiquitous mistake of drawing metaphysical conclusions from (merely) semantic facts.
Realists about some entity point to features of our language that seem to commit us to the existence of such entities, whereas nominalists try to rebut this through the method of paraphrase. For example, early B-theorists about time tried to defend themselves against presentism by arguing that tensed sentences are reducible in meaning to tenseless sentences. As Heather put it, "Metaphysical debates are transformed into debates about the meanings of sentences." This seems wrongheaded. To learn about the world we should look to the world, not to our language.
The appropriate response to presentist arguments from tensed language is not to paraphrase our way out, but rather, deny their premise that irreducibly tensed sentences entail that there are tensed facts. Indeed, this is just what the New B-theory of time does, asserting that "The truthmaker for any true tensed sentence is a tenseless fact." It doesn't matter that tense is ineliminable from natural language. (E.g. the sentences U: "The enemy is now approaching." and V: "The enemy [is] approaching simultaneously with U." are presumably made true by one and the same fact -- the tenseless fact of the enemy's approaching at some time t which is also U's time of utterance -- despite their lack of synonymity.)
I think Heather's position basically amounts to a rejection of Quine's (existential quantification) criterion for ontological commitment. She told me that she rejects the indispensability argument for numbers, for example. Though I would like this approach to work, one concern is that it seems somehow dishonest for us to embrace theories which quantify over some entities, and then to go on to deny that any such entities exist. "Reading off" the ontological commitments of our semantics seems fair game -- quantification doesn't come for free. But perhaps I misunderstand? Comments welcome...