There are two ways to tell if a man isn’t telling the truth, goes the old joke. His eyes are open and his lips are moving.
Allow us to introduce you to the work of Noah Zandan, TED-talker and a guru in the emerging science of linguistic text analysis (LTA). LTA’s basic premise is that we unconsciously alter the words we use when lying to make whatever bullshit we’re spewing seem both more believable and less, well, personally accountable.
Here are some of the prime examples:
From a distance: If the person explaining their actions can’t use words like “I” and “me,” your suspicions should be aroused. Compare “I didn’t kiss anyone during Anthony’s bachelor party” to “Absolutely no cheating took place during Anthony’s bachelor party.” See how the vagaries are being employed? Warning!
Drama, drama, drama: Liars tend to be more negative because on a subconscious level they feel guilty about lying. This takes the form of added clauses and unnecessary sentences. Say, for example, he’s gone AWOL for a weekend. The truthful man will go with “I’m really sorry – my phone died.” The liar will amp things up like “I’m really sorry – my phone died. I can’t believe that in 2018 they can’t make a battery that lasts more than 24 hours.”