Sunday, 6 December 2009

Terminological Inexactitudes

When do you tell lies? It is the sort of question that you find in some newspapers and magazines that use questions and answers to interview people. A common answer is that the interviewee lies in order to protect their friends.

When I was a student in the eighties I was taught some psychology and I distinctly remember that we should not be confirming illusions. If someone is confused then they become more confused if you lie to them. The Bible tells us that we must not bear false witness but are there really times when the truth hurts and lying does no harm? I'll let you decide that one, but I wonder if that is what Tiger Woods used as his defence to his wife.

Winston Churchill gave us the expression 'terminological inexactitude'. It is unparliamentary to call an MP a liar so at least you now have a polite expression for the next time you meet an MP.

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