The "Land of Is" occupies the space between truth and deception.

Let Their Words Do the Talking - Verbal Cues to Detect Deception


The Land of Is

Yes or No questions deserve "Yes" or "No" answers. When people choose not to answer "Yes" or "No," they go to the Land of Is. The Land of Is occupies the space between truth and deception. This murky area contains a labyrinth of half-truths, excuses, and suppositions. President Clinton's grand jury testimony in the Monica Lewinski investi¬gation inspired the concept of the Land of Is. The following is an excerpt from Clinton's grand jury testimony:

PROSECUTOR: Your statement is a completely false statement. Whether or not Mr. Bennett knew of your relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, the statement that there was no sex of any kind in any man¬ner, shape or form with President Clinton was an utterly false statement. Is that correct?

CLINTON: It depends upon what the meaning of the word is means. If is means is, and never has been, that's one thing, if it means, there is none, that was a completely true statement.

Clinton took the prosecutor to the Land of Is. The prosecutor asked Clinton a Yes or No question. Clinton for obvious reasons chose not to answer "Yes" or "No." Notwithstanding, an analysis of Clinton's statement suggests that he was truthful. If "is" means never has been, then "is" equals nothing or "is" = 0. If "is" means there is none then 0 = "is." The proposition "is" = 0 and 0 = "is" is, indeed, a truthful statement. Clinton told the truth, but the truth about what?

Comment: We all remember this famous exchange.

1 comment:

  1. Part one of the article is here

    The Well... Technique:

    When you ask someone a direct Yes or No question and they begin their answer with the word "Well," there is a high probability of deception. Beginning an answer to a direct Yes or No question with the word "Well" indicates that the person answering the question is about to give you an answer that they know you are not expecting. The following exchanges will clarify the Well... technique:

    Dad: Did you finish your homework?
    Daughter: Well...
    Dad: Go to your room and finish your homework.
    Daughter: How did you know I didn't do my homework?
    Dad: I'm a dad. I know these things.

    Dad need not wait for his daughter to finish her answer because he knew by her use of the word "Well" that she was about to give him an answer she knew he was not expecting. The daughter knew her dad was expecting a "Yes" answer to the question, "Did you do your homework?" She began her response with the word "Well," which meant she was about to give an answer other than "Yes."


Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic