Words are powerful. It is with words that we build and with those words that we also destroy. It is with words that we inspire but also demoralize. It is with words that we tell the truth just as easily as we weave a web of lies. This is the truthful deception of words.
The Truthful Deception of Words
Our words are powerful and we must, at times, swear to the truthfulness of those words. We must tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We must be trusted. But, why is this?
What is a word? According to Wikipedia, a word is described as follows:
The term word may refer to a spoken word or to a written word, or sometimes to the abstract concept behind either.
What is the truth? According to Wikipedia, truth is described as follows:
Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars, philosophers, and theologians. Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another and the method used to determine what is a “truth” is termed a criterion of truth. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth: what things are truthbearer capable of being true or false; how to define and identify truth; the roles that faith-based and empirically based knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute.
What is deception? According to Wikipedia, deception is described as follows:
Deception includes several types of communications or omissions that serve to distort or omit the complete truth. Deception itself is intentionally managing verbal and/or nonverbal messages so that the message receiver will believe in a way that the message sender knows is false. Intent is critical with regard to deception. Intent differentiates between deception and an honest mistake. The Interpersonal Deception Theory explores the interrelation between communicative context and sender and receiver cognitions and behaviors in deceptive exchanges.
The five primary forms of deception are:
- Lies: making up information or giving information that is the opposite or very different from the truth.
- Equivocations: making an indirect, ambiguous, or contradictory statement.
- Concealments: omitting information that is important or relevant to the given context, or engaging in behavior that helps hide relevant information.
- Exaggerations: overstatement or stretching the truth to a degree.
- Understatements: minimization or downplaying aspects of the truth.
Use of words….actually, the power of words can be found in the following scene from the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas special, The Snowmen.The scene takes place in Victorian London and is between “Clara”, Jenny and Madame Vastra. Clara has come seeking Madame Vastra for assistance in finding The Doctor. It was just today, over a year after watching the episode for the first time, that I realized the power of the scene. Read and see if you do, too.
JENNY: Madame Vastra will ask you questions. You will confine yourself to single word responses. One word only, do you understand?
VASTRA: Truth is singular. Lies are words, words, words. You met the Doctor, didn’t you?
VASTRA: And now you’ve come looking for him again. Why?
JENNY: Take your time. One word only.
VASTRA: And about him?
VASTRA: What do you want from him?
VASTRA: Why would he help you?
VASTRA: The Doctor is not kind.
VASTRA: No. The Doctor doesn’t help people. Not anyone, not ever. He stands above this world and doesn’t interfere in the affairs of its inhabitants. He is not your salvation, nor your protector. Do you understand what I am saying to you?
Did you get it? If so, please comment and tell me what you think.
About Post Author:
I am the Human Resources Manager at MegaGate Broadband, Inc. serving in various capacities within the company since 1996. I am currently the Co-Social Media Director of Mississippi SHRM and the 2014-2015 Social Media Director for South Mississippi SHRM. I am a longtime fan of Doctor Who and joined the HR Blogging community with the HR to Who blog in late 2012.