[Ads-l] Quote: liars might be divided into three classes - liars, great liars, and scientific witnesses

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 14 13:40:30 UTC 2022

While researching "lies, damned lies, and statistics" I came across
other examples in which three classes of lies were specified. But
these citations appeared (to me) to be only weak precursors or
unrelated. Here is an example in 1874.

[ref] 1874, Notes: Exegetical, Practical and Devotional, on the Book
of Exodus by Alfred Nevin,  Third Edition, Chapter 19, Quote Page 241
and 242, Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Google Books Full View) link [/ref]


[Begin excerpt]
Lies are commonly distinguished into three kinds: First, there are
malicious or pernicious lies, or lies the design of which is to do
mischief. These are universally condemned. Secondly, there are jocose
lies, or lies told for the purpose of amusement and merriment. However
common these are, and however lightly they are thought of, a strict
moralist will condemn them also, because truth is too sacred to be
trifled with. Thirdly, there are officious lies, which are so called
because they are intended to promote the benefit of others.
[End excerpt]

Francis Bacon discussed three forms of deception: Secrecy,
Dissimulation, and Simulation in his 17th century essay titled "Of
Simulation and Dissimulation". Here is a 1701 citation for a reprint
of the essay.

[ref] 1701, The Essays, Or Councils, Civil and Moral of Sir. Francis
Bacon, Essay VI: Of Simulation and Dissimulation, Start Page 12, Quote
Page 13, Printed by E. Holt for Henry Herringman, London. (Google
Books Full View) link [/ref]


[Begin excerpt]
There are three degrees of this hiding and veiling of Mans self. The
first, Closeness, Reservation, and Secrecy; when a Man leaveth himself
without observation, or without hold to be taken what he is. the
Second Dissimulation in the negative, when a Man lets fall Signs and
Arguments, that he is not that he is. and the third  Simulation in the
Affirmative, when a man industriously and expressly feigns and
pretends to be that he is not.
[End excerpt]


On Sun, Mar 13, 2022 at 5:16 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> The saying  "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" evolved over time.
> Here is a member of the family of expressions from "The Times" of
> London in 1882.
> [ref] 1882 April 4, The Times, Parliamentary Summary, Quote Page 9,
> Column 3, London, England. (Newspapers_com) [/ref]
> [Begin excerpt]
> The evidence of experts is apt to be listened to with incredulity, and
> the saying of a well-known Judge that liars might be divided into
> three classes—liars, great liars, and scientific witnesses—recommends
> itself to many.  But tribunals of experts or tribunals assisted by
> assessors are in favour; the advantage of the presence of knowledge as
> well as good intentions on the judgment seat is admitted ...
> [End excerpt]
> The saying evolved over time which makes it difficult to trace.
> Changes were incremental, and there was no single originator who
> deserved credit. Here is an overview showing key phrases, dates, and
> attributions.
> Many thanks to previous researchers Stephen Goranson, Peter M. Lee, and others
> 1882 Apr 04: three classes—liars, great liars, and scientific witnesses
> 1885 Jun 27: three sorts of liars, the common or garden liar … the
> damnable liar … and lastly the expert (Attributed to "counsel")
> 1885 Nov 26: grouped witnesses into three classes: simple liars,
> damned liars, and experts (Attributed to "well-known lawyer")
> 1886 Apr 10: three kinds of liars who testify in courts: "Lawyers,
> liars and experts" (Attributed to "distinguished judge")
> 1889 Aug 12: There are liars, and d----d liars and experts (Attributed
> to "eminent judge")
> 1891 Jun 13: three kinds of falsehood: the first is a ‘fib,’ the
> second is a downright lie, and the third and most aggravated is
> statistics (Anonymous)
> 1891 Oct 10: There are three degrees of falsehood: the first is a fib,
> the second is a lie, and then come statistics (Anonymous)
> 1891 Oct 19: false statements might be arranged according to their
> degree under three heads, fibs, lies, and statistics. (Attributed to
> Charles Dilke)
> 1891 Oct 28: Mr. Parnell's dictum respecting fibs, lies, and
> statistics (Attributed to Mr. Parnell)
> 1892: three degrees of unveracity—"Lies, d——d lies, and statistics."
> (Attributed to "some wit")
> 1892 Jan: There are lies, there are outrageous lies, and there are
> statistics (Anonymous)
> 1892 Feb: three degrees in liars: the liar simple, the d — d liar, and
> the expert witness (Anonymous)
> 1892 Jun 29: three kinds of unveracity—namely, lies, damned lies, and
> statistics (Arthur Balfour)
> 1895 July 27: three degrees of veracity—viz., lies d—d lies, and
> statistics (Attributed to Lord Beaconsfield, i.e., Benjamin Disraeli)
> 1907 Jul 5: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and
> statistics (Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli by Mark Twain)
> Garson

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