I Falsed When I Should Have Trued

Joy! My Chocolate Bossa CD came yesterday. I’ve had a listen and I really like it. I shall listen again this morning.

I’ve been thinking about truth and lies. I guess, as both Liar Liar and The Invention of Lying illustrate, that most of us usually try to tell the truth most of the time. There has to be a good reason, something that trumps the truth, for us to tell a lie: fear of being sacked, perhaps, or reluctance to hurt someone. In any case as Pilate said, ‘What is truth?’ He was perhaps being disingenuous but it’s a good question and as I’ve recently found the Greek word for it, aletheia, it seems a good time to ponder it (actually to tell the whole truth, lol, I did know the Greek word already as it comes into Phillip Pullman’s alethiometer.)

But my concern this morning is with the difficulty we often have in telling lies effectively. In certain situations it can be hard to lie convincingly, and this is nowhere more apparent than in the panel game The Unbelievable Truth. It’s also on TV, called Would I Lie to You? but I haven’t watched it as I don’t like TV panel games. The idea in The Unbelievable Truth is that each member of the panel gives a short talk on a subject, all of which is false apart from five truths which they try to smuggle past. There’s obviously a great deal of skill to this, in trying seamlessly to work in five truths to a series of falsehoods; and the best players usually mislead the rest into identifying falsehoods as truths and vice versa. But what I’ve observed is that it’s often the rhythm that gives you away. Somehow those inexperienced in this game, no matter how clever their ruses, always give it away by telling a truth on the fourth ‘fact’ or by changing the tone of their voice or giving other cues. On the venerable TV series Call My Bluff where contestants had to give three definitions of a word only one of which was true, control of facial expression was key and those with the deadest pan, so to speak, killed it. So what I’m saying I guess is that the truth always wants to come through and most of us find it hard to suppress that.

All of which reminds me of this Peanuts cartoon about True or False tests where instead of studying Linus adopts a strategic approach:


https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lilmarbar/comics/ Image removed on request

Kirk out