Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Spade

It’s about lies, but put that on hold.

Call a spade a spade.  That came to mind, so I decided to research the origin of the phrase.  Not often do I want to mire myself in lengthy articles, so I didn’t read the Wikipedia entry word-for-word, but I found some interesting bits.
“To 'call a spade a spade' is a figure of speech which explicitly calls out something as it is, by its right name.  The implication is not to lie about what something is and instead to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity, unpleasant, or embarrassing nature.”  [Emphasis added on account of that lie-thing, but we‘re still holding that at bay.  At bay - what‘s that mean?  I‘ll think about that tomorrow.  Or not.] Source 
In case you’re not interested in visiting Wikipedia, I have to include this slam by author Joseph Devlin, as he criticized writers wishing to portray linguistic superiority:
"For instance, you may not want to call a spade a spade.  You may prefer to call it a spatulous device for abrading the surface of the soil.  Better, however, to stick to the old familiar, simple name that your grandfather called it."
In a sense,  Devlin’s observation is useful in addressing that lie-thing.
Now we’ll do the lie.

“…[A]nd some reporters have told outright untruths.”

I’ve heard the word “unthruths” on television news.  I’ve heard it in a courtroom.  I’ve read it in print, even from Christian ministries.

Hold on while I check the dictionary . . .
It’s there.
Well, the archaic meaning is “unfaithfulness or disloyalty.”  That’s interesting.  In the current definition, though, we find the word LIE.  Surprise!

Is there anything wrong with an untruth?

The word “lie” is in the Bible, sometimes referencing a reclining position, but when referencing an untruth, the Bible says “lie.”  It also says liars will suffer a horrible fate.  Since God hates lying and addresses it most seriously, perhaps we do ill to mask the sin with prettier terms or ones not found in God‘s word.  God calls untruths “lies.”

A spatulous device for abrading the surface of the soil is a spade.
An untruth is a lie.

These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. 

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