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How honest are you?
by Clint Wayne
2008-01-17 09:44:34
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According to a recent survey carried out by the popular drinks brand WKD, men admitted to telling an average of five fibs a day, whereas women only admitted to telling an impressive three fibs a day. But is that the truth?

Voted the number one favourite untruth was “No nothing’s wrong, I’m fine” which we will all admit to when it has been essential to keep the peace with your nearest and dearest. How many times have you bumped into that old friend out shopping or at the pub and smiled “It’s so nice to see you” when you can’t stand the sight of them?

When the noble charity worker approaches you outside the local supermarket in hope of a needy donation do you reply “I’m sorry I haven’t got any cash on me” as the coins jingle in your pocket as you make your swift getaway.

Let’s face it these little white lies are nothing too serious and are more often than not only told to spare people's feelings rather than cause an upset. Aren’t they? Why do we do it, as half of all those polled admitted that they had been embarrassingly caught out telling a fib?

Others in the top ten included “I’ll give you a ring”. Go on admit it, you said it yesterday. “Sorry I missed your call” when the caller was clearly displayed on your shiny new mobile, “We’ll have to meet up soon”. Yeah right… over my dead body. My own most frustrating “I’m on my way” as you wait another hour for their arrival was thankfully up there among the elite.

The classic “No, your bum doesn’t look big in that” disappointingly only reached number eight in the poll. The mobile of course has given rise to numerous ‘new-wave fibs that just flow off the tongue “What text?”, “Sorry I didn’t have a signal”, “Our server was down” and “My battery is low”. How guilty are you feeling now?

It was great to see that the all-time classics of “My alarm didn’t go off”, “The cheque is in the post”, “The train was late” and “I’m stuck in traffic” are still as popular as ever with the re-assuring “Of course I love you” spoken with loving feeling at that delicate moment when the football is about to start on the television.

When your other half has spent the entire day slaving in the kitchen preparing that new recipe they’ve seen on TV, the delight arrives on the table, on sight you fear for your health but as you swallow that first mouthful you utter with total conviction “This tastes absolutely delicious”. Good comes the reply “I’ve made loads!”

All us men crave is the easy life so when the lady in your life parades the new clothes outfit, purchased in town earlier in the day, it’s entirely sensible to declare “That looks great, it really suits you” however, how innocent are you ladies when questioned about the cost. Do you tell the truth? Or is it “I got it in the sales”.

Let’s face it, you ladies all tell those little white lies when asked about your weight so what do you expect when you confront your inebriated partner with “How much have you had to drink?” However, it is understandable that a few feathers are bound be ruffled when you ladies discover that the men’s porkies are generally based around football and going down the pub with their mates. Women were voted the best fibbers. Ain’t that the truth!

According to those polled, the worst fib told was deemed to be lying to a partner about flirting, kissing or worse spending the night with another person which for the majority of us is the absolute crisis point between the innocuous everyday fib and outright deceit.

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Asa2008-01-17 09:46:10
Really good article, Clint!

Damn, now I only have four left today ;)

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-17 11:47:55
"I am a Cretan and I am here to tell you that all Cretans are liars." Epemenides logical paradox makes one wonder: was Epemenides a Cretan and if he was then he was lying, but if he is lying then he is not a Cretan. Oh my, does it get complicated! Perhaps we should reprogram language in our computer of meat called brain. As it is, it is quite unprecise and misleading. Didn't Bertrand Russel and Whitehead try that already? They did not succeed, thank God, or we'd have to suspect that computers too lie.

Asa2008-01-17 11:55:35
I have always wondered why napping dogs are allowed to tell fibs:

Let sleeping dogs lie...

Sand2008-01-17 14:03:16
A more simple and direct example of the paradox is the sentence: “This sentence is a lie.”
But the negative impression people have of lying neglects that lies are a ubiquitous ploy in nature for reasons of survival, security, secrecy and sanity. The viceroy butterfly, rather a tasty snack, lies with its shape, pattern, and color to mimic the regent butterfly which tastes terrible. The octopus can quickly change its skin color to seem to be not there and the housecat puffs up its fur when it feels threatened to lie about its size. When people are in what seems a hopeless situation they frequently lie to themselves to permit them to continue living some sort of sensible lives and on occasion the ploy carries them into better times. And many businesses and politicians are master liars to their benefit and sometimes to the benefit of their clients and constituents. The placebo, a medical lie, is on occasion, quite effective.

Sand2008-01-17 14:08:19
Damn! Correction: The viceroy butterfly mimics the monarch butterfly, not the regent.

Emanuel Paparella2008-01-18 13:11:59
As Pirandello has taught us in his drama, the problem with lying to oneself too much is that eventually one becomes one's lie or mask. As Socrates puts it in The Apology: corruption gentlemen runs faster than death.

Sand2008-01-19 14:37:20
Now here's something interesting about lying.


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