Session 14: How to talk about Liars and Lying
1. Notorious liar
You don’t even fool even some of the people. Everybody knows your propensity for avoiding facts.
You have built so solid and unsavory a reputation that only a stranger is likely to be misled – and
then not for long.
2. Consummate Liar
To the highest summits of artistry. Your ability is top drawer – rarely does anyone lie as
convincingly or as artistically as you do. Your skills has, in short, reached the zenith of perfection.
Indeed your mastery of art is so great that your lying is almost always crowned with success.
3. Incorrigible Liar
Beyond Redemption or salvation. You are impervious to correction. Often as you may be caught in
your fabrications, there is no reforming you – you go right on lying despite the punishment,
embarrassment, or unhappiness that your distortions of truth may bring upon you.
4. Inveterate Liar
Too old to learn new tricks. You are the victim of firmly fixed and deep-rooted habits. Telling
untruths is as frequent and customary an activity as brushing your teeth in the morning, or having
toast and coffee for breakfast.
5. Congenital Liar
An early start. You have such a long history of persistent falsification that one can only suspect that
your vice started when you were reposing in your mother’s womb. In other words, and allowing for
a great deal of exaggeration for effect, you have been lying from a moment of your birth.
6. Chronic Liar
You never stop lying. While normal people lie on occasion, and often for special reasons, you lie
continually – not occasionally or even frequently, but over and over.
7. Pathological Liar
A strange disease. You are concerned with the difference between truth and falsehood; you do not
bother to distinguish a fact from fantasy. In fact, your lying is a disease that no antibiotic can cure.
8. Unconscionable Liar
No regrets. You are completely without a conscience. No matter what misery your fabrications may
cause your innocent victims, you never feel the slightest twinge of guilt. Totally unscrupulous, you
are a dangerous person to get mixed up with.
9. Glib Liar
Smooth! You can distort facts as smoothly and as effortlessly as you can say your name. But you
do not always get away with your lies. Ironically enough, it is your very smoothness that makes
you suspect. Even if we can’t immediately catch you in your lies, we have learned from unhappy
past experience not to suspend our critical faculties when you are talking. We admire your nimble
wit but we listen with a skeptical ear.
10. Egregious Liar
Outstanding! Your lies are so outstanding hurtful that people gasp in amazement and disgust at
Above ten expressive adjectives are not restricted to lying or liars. Note their general meanings:-
1. notorious – well known for some bad quality – a notorious philanderer.
2. consummate – perfect, highly skilled – consummate artistry at the keyboard.
3. incorrigible – beyond reform – an incorrigible optimist.
4. inveterate – long accustomed, deeply habituated – an inveterate smoker
5. congenital – happening at or during birth – a congenital deformity
6. chronic – going on for a long time, or occurring again and again. – chronic appendicitis
7. pathological – diseased – a pathological condtion
8. unconscionable – without pangs of conscience – unconscionable cruelty to children
9. glib – smooth, suspiciously fluent – a glib witness.
10. egregious – outstandingly bad or vicious – egregious error.
Session 15: Origins and related words
- ‘Widely but unfavorably known is the definition for notorious. Just as a notorious liar is well-known for unreliable statements, so a notorious gambler, a notorious thief, or a notorious killer has achieved a wide reputation for some form of antisocial behavior.
- The derivation is from Latin notus, known, from which we also get noted.
- It is an interesting characteristic of some words that a change of syllables can alter the emotional impact. Thus, an admirer of certain business will speak of them as ‘notedindustrialists’; these same people’s enemies will speak of them as ‘notoriousexploiters’. Similarly, if we admire a man’s or woman’s unworldliness, we refer to it by the complimentary term childlike; but if are annoyed by the trait, we describe it, derogatively, as childish. Change ‘-like’ to ‘-ish’ and our emotional tone undergoes a complete rehearsal.
2. Plenty of room at the top
- The top of a mountain is called, as you know, the summit, a word derived from Latin, summus, highest, which also gives us the mathematical term, sum, as in addition. A consummate artist has reached the very highest point of perfection; and to consummate a marriage, a business deal, or a contract is, etymologically, to bring it to the highest point; that is, to put the final touches to it, to bring it to completion.
3. No Help
- Call people incorrigible if they do anything to excess, and if all efforts to correct or reform them are to no avail. Thus, one can be an incorrigible idealist, an incorrigiblecriminal, an incorrigible optimist, or an incorrigible philanderer.
- The word derives from Latin corrigo, to correct or set straight, plus the negative prefix -in.
- Inveterate, from Latin vetus, old, generally indicates disapproval.
- Inveterate gamblers have grown old in the habit, etymologically speaking; inveteratedrinkers have been imbibing for so long that they, too, have formed old, well-established habits; and inveterate liars have been lying for so long, and their habits by now are so deep-rooted, that one can scarcely remember when they ever told the truth.
- A veteran, as of the Armed Forces, grew older serving the country; otherwise a veteran is an old hand at the game (and therefore skillful). A veteran at (or in) swimming, tennis, police work, business, negotiations, diplomacy – or a veteran actor, teacher, diplomat, political reformer.
- Greek genesis, birth or origin, a root we discussed in psychogenic, is the source of a great many English words.
- Genetics is the science dealing with the transmission of hereditary characteristics from parents to offspring. The scientist specializing in this field is a geneticist. The particle carried on the chromosome of the germ cell containing a hereditary characteristic is a gene.
- Genealogy is the study of family trees or ancestral origins (logos, study). The practitioner is a genealogist.
- The genital, or sexual organs are involved in the process of conception and birth. The genesis of anything – a plan, idea, thought, career, etc. – is its beginning, birth, or origin, and Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, describes the creation, or birth, of the universe.
- Congenital is constructed by combining the prefix con-, with or together, and the root genesis, birth.
- So, a congenital defect, deformity, etc. occurs during the nine month birth process.
- Hereditary characteristics, on the other hand, are acquired at the time of conception. Thus, eye color, nose shape, hair texture, and other such qualities are hereditary; they are determined by the genes in the germ cells of the mother and father.
- Congenital is used both literally and figuratively. Literally, the word generally refers to some medical deformity or abnormality occurring during birth process. Figuratively, it wildly exaggerates, for effect, the very early existence of some quality : congenital liar, congenital fear of the dark, etc.
Session 16: Origins and related words
1. Of time and place
- A chronic liar lies constantly, again and again; a chronic invalid is ill time, frequently, repeatedly. The derivation of the word is Greek, chronos, time.
- An anachronism is someone or something out of time, out of date, belonging to a different era, either earlier or later.
- Read a novel in which a scene is supposedly taking place in the 19th century and imagine one of the characters turning on a TV set. An anachronism.
- Your friend talks, thinks, dresses, and acts as if he were living in the time of Shakespeare. Another anachronism!
- Science fiction is deliberately anachronous – it deals with phenomena, gadgetry, accomplishment far off in the future.
- An anachronism is out of time; something out of place is incongruous, a word combining the negative prefix in-, the prefix con-, with or together, and a Latin verb meaning to agree or correspond.
- Thus, it is incongruous to wear a sweater and slacks to a formal wedding; it is anachronous to wear the wasp waist, conspicuous bustle, or powdered wig of the eighteenth century.
- Chronological, in correct time order, comes from chronos. To tell a story chronologically is to relate the events in the time order of their occurence. Chronologyis the science of time order and the accurate dating of events – the expert in this field is a chronologist.
- A chronometer combining chronos with metron, measurement, is a highly accurate timespace, especially one used on ships. Chronometry is the measurement of time.
- Add the prefix syn-, together, plus the verb suffix –ize, to chronos, and you have constructed synchronize, etymologically to time together, or to move, happen, or cause to happen, at the same time or rate. If you and your friend synchronize your watches, you set them at the same time. If you synchronize the activity of your arms and legs, as in swimming, you move them at the same time or rate.
2. Disease, suffering, feeling
- Pathological is diseased – this meaning of the word ignores the root logos, science or study.
- Pathology is the science or study of disease – its nature, cause, cure, etc. However, another meaning of the noun ignores logos, and pathology may be any morbid, diseased, or abnormal physical condition or conditions; in short, simply disease, as in ‘This case involves so many kinds of pathology that several different specialists are working on it.’
- A pathologist is an expert who examines tissue, often by autopsy or biopsy, to diagnose disease and interpret the abnormalities in such tissue that may be caused by specific diseases.
- Pathos occurs in some English words with the additional meaning of feeling. If you feel or suffer with someone, you are sympathetic. Husbands, for example, so the story goes, may have sympathetic labour pains when their wives are about to deliver.
- The prefix anti– means against. If you experience antipathy to people or things, you feel against them – you feel strong dislike or hostility. The adjective is antipathetic, as in ‘an antipathetic reaction to an authority figure.’
- But you may have no feeling at all – just indifference, lack of any interest, emotion, or response, complete listlessness, especially when some reaction is normal or expected. Then you are apathetic; a-, as you know, is a negative prefix. The noun is apathy, as in voter apathy, student apathy, etc.
- On the other hand, you may be so sensitive or perceptive that you do not only share the feelings of another, but you also identify with those feelings, in fact experience them as if momentarily you were the other person. What you have then is empathy; you empathize; you are empathetic.
- Someone is pathetic who is obviously suffering – such a person may arouse sympathy or pity in you. A pathetic story is about suffering and again, is likely to arouse sadness, sorrow, or pity.
- What makes it possible for 2 people separated by miles of space to communicate with each other without recourse to messenger, telephone, telegraph, or postal service? It can be done, say the believers in telepathy, also called mental telepathy, they do not admit to knowing how.
Session 17 : Origins and related words
- Psychopaths commit antisocial and unconscionable acts – they are not troubled by conscience, guilt, remorse, etc. over what they have done.
- Unconscionable and conscience are related in derivation – the first word from Latin scio, to know, the second from Latin sciens, knowing, and both using the prefix con-, with, together.
- Etymologically, then, your conscience is your knowledge with a moral sense of right and wrong; if you are unconscionable, your conscience is not working, or you have no conscience.
- conscious, also from con- plus scio, is knowledge or awareness of one’s emotions or sensations, or of what’s happening around one.
- Science, from sciens, is systematized knowledge as opposed, eg. , to belief, faith, intuition or guesswork.
- Add Latin omnis, all, to sciens, to construct omniscient, all-knowing, possessed of infinite knowledge. The noun is omniscience.
- Add the prefix pre-, before, to sciens, to construct prescient – knowing about events before they occur, i.e., psychic, or possessed of unusual powers of prediction. The noun is prescience.
- Add finally, add the negative prefix ne- to sciens to produce nescient, not knowing, or ignorant. The noun is nescience.
2. Fool some of the people
- Glib is from an old English root that means slippery. Glib liars or glib talkers are smooth and slippery; they have ready answers, fluent tongues, a persuasive air – but, such is the implication of the word, they fool only the most nescient, for their smoothness lacks sincerity and conviction.
- The noun is glibness.
3. Herds and flocks
- Egregious is from Latin grex, gregis, herd or flock. An egregious lie, act, crime, mistake, etc. is so exceptionally vicious that it conspicuously stands out from the herd or flock of other bad things. The noun is egregiousness.
- A person enjoys companionship, who, etymologically, likes to be with the herd, who reaches out to for friends and is happiest when surrounded by people – such a person is gregarious.
- Extrovert are of course gregarious – they prefer human contact, conversation, laughter, interrelationships, to solitude.
- Add the prefix con-, with, together, to grex, gregis, to get the verb congregate; add the prefix se-, apart, to get the verb segregate; add the prefix ad-, to, towards, to construct the verb aggregate.
- Lets see what we have. When the people gather together in a herd or flock, they congregate. The noun is congregation.
- Put people or things apart from the herd, and you segregate them. The noun is segregation.
- Bring individual items to or towards the herd or flock, and you aggregate them. The noun form is aggregation