Often when they sense prevarication, journalists begin walking a line in their reports just short of calling someone a liar. In the case of one vice presidential nominee’s speech some of the euphemisms offered up were noteworthy.
There were ‘issues with some of the facts’ and ‘fact checkers will have some opportunities to dispute’. Another cited ‘pretty heavy inaccuracies’, which oddly tries to make statements sound suspect, while succeeding in making them sound weighty.
The team over at The Week has assembled a convenient list of 15 euphemisms for ‘lying’. It centers around the case of a politico who wants to be vice president being caught – surprise! – playing fast and loose with the truth.
Tasked with covering the candidate Paul Ryan’s speech, reporters couldn’t swallow it without commenting on the treatment of fact in it. A CEO I once worked for also had a habit of bending the truth, stretching credibility, twisting facts and otherwise playing loose with reality. His specialty was the half-truth.
Once, coming out of a meeting room, the CEO was questioned by one of our programmers as several of us shuffled out. Shaking his head, the coder asked, “Do you actually believe what you just said?” To this he replied, blinking bright-eyed, “What? There’s SOME truth in it.” Some being a large enough serving for him.
My personal favorites in The Week’s list are ‘factual shortcuts’ and ‘factually shaky’. The first conjures the image of rambunctious boys cutting across a back yard. the second suggests an ancient grandmother trying out her cane on a freshly-waxed floor. Find the whole set at The Week.