The Truth About Lying


How many times a day does someone lie? What reasons or situations warrant a lie to be told, if any? Judith Viorst expounds on what kind of lies are told in her article, “The Truth About Lying”. From social and peace-keeping lies to protective and trust-keeping lies, the reader can identify with one or more example at any time. The article is written in an informal style and a tone of indecisive opinion. The arguments presented display a hint of logos, a hint of ethos, and the claim that the practice of lying is used in everyday life is visible through examples and interviews.

This article has a laid-back feel, as if being sent among friends. My interpretation of this styling while reading is brought on by its rough draft feel. The grammatical errors that are present made me think that if I were to tell the author that this was an easy read grammatically, I would be guilty of telling a “protective” lie. The way Viorst cannot give a clear position on her thoughts of lying further shows the informal style of her writing. She states in the beginning that she “…can’t present any ultimate conclusions,” while in the end she agrees with a friend of hers who says, “though others may completely accept the lie I’m telling, I don’t.” The reader is likely to feel the same indecisiveness as they read the article through mutual moral connection.

When thinking of how and why people lie, a logical point of view should take place. Some people lie effortlessly all the time, while others are more methodic in their lie. Viorst gives clear examples that are used in every day scenarios to prove her claim. Interviews of friends also help her present her claim. When Viorst references the opinions of her friends, the informal styling gives a logos argument in that it makes one think if they have used that lie or if they have been in a similar situation that might warrant a lie.

The ethos argument is strengthened throughout this article when an interviewee is against lying for any reason. The moral compass is pointing North when the reasoning behind being against lying is comprehended. One reasoning that is presented is that “it destroys your credibility.” Most of the arguments that are presented for each type of lie look like that. Even when an example of agreeing with lying is presented, the ethos appeal is strong. This showcase of how easy it is to lie and why it’s done affects the moral and ethical side.

Many references of other participants in this questionnaire help the article. Getting the view from regular people that have no real ties or contributions to the topic can help the reader connect better. The interviewees used were very candid in their response. The overall feel of the paper was authentic. The article was eye-opening and truthful.



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