Truth, Lies and Self-Deception

Is self-deception real? If so, who is deceiving?

It pleases the editors of the OED to release, at increasingly frequent intervals, lists of words newly added to the dictionary. They mostly divide between those you would expect to find there already, such as ‘Armagnac’, ‘anxiolytic’, ‘char sui’, and those no-one would care to look up anyway, such as ‘vlogger’, ‘VJing’, and ‘side dressing’, for they rain upon us daily from the all-enveloping digital sky. In any event, if language were a tree then this would be minor trimming and grafting around the terminal shoots, noticeable only by the obsessive, the tree-for-the-wooded. The main branches never change; they merely lignify into greater inflexibility.

Perhaps, as with trees, this is necessary to keep the structure erect. But there are cardinal aspects of language that I cannot be alone in wishing we could change, and of those perhaps the most important is the language of assertion and denial. The two principal words we have here – true and false – l

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