"Scientific" signs of lying are blinking, nose scratching, dry mouth, high-pitched voice, dilated pupils, hesitation and fidgety feet. Folkloric give-aways are biting on your tongue while eating, a blistered or spotty tongue and knocking over a chair when getting up. The polygraph, or lie detector, has been discredited by the [Lancet] and shown to be more likely to implicate the innocent than catch the guilty. But in the USA it is used by the CIA, Army Intelligence, and the FBI, amongst others. The condition of pathological lying is called [pseudologia phantastica]. Sufferers often pose as authority figures.
2. Telling a lie is not the same as not telling the truth. Establishing the truth does not settle the moral question of whether a lie is being told or not. In order to settle this question, it is necessary to know whether the statement was intended to mislead. Any number of appearances and words can be misleading; but only a fraction of them are intended to do so. A lie is an intentionally deceptive message in the form of a statement.
3. If, like truth, the lie had but one face, we would be on better terms. For we would accept as certain the opposite of what the liar would say. But the reverse of truth has a hundred thousand faces and an infinite field (Montaigne).
4. Lying undermines the liar's assessment of his own integrity. Its damages the speaker in that he looks at those he has lied to with a new caution; and if the lie is known he may lose the confidence of his peers. Lying thus creates emotional and physical tension that is detrimental to liars' health. Paradoxically, also, once his word is no longer trusted, he will be left with greatly decreased power -- even though a lie often does bring at least a short-term gain in power over those deceived.
5. A lie may never be told for the preservation of the temporal life of another. Death kills but the body, but a lie loses eternal life for the soul.
2. Lying is as much a part of normal growth as telling the truth. The ability to lie is a human achievement that tends to set them apart from all other species.
3. Everyone lies; but it doesn't matter, since nobody listens.
4. Gypsies traditionally enjoyed telling elaborated stories and they not hesitate to invent many of them in order to reach effects they desired. Even direct cheating the "impure" gadjo people (the surrounding majority) was more of a challenge than an offence. Lying was part of their defence and survival strategy. Therefore, still today the popular image of Gypsies is the one of liars and unreliable people. Not surprisingly, if the word "Gypsy" is used as a verb, it is synonymous with "lying" in Slovak as well as in Czech language. Understanding these background cultural reasons is vital for removing old stereotypes.