I’m not sure where I first heard this word. I don’t do crossword puzzles often, so it wasn’t there.
Paltering is defined as a true statement meant to mislead the listener.
The first known use of palter to describe acting insincerely or deceitfully was in the 1580s. It is often used in negotiations.
A person selling a car might say, ‘I drove it yesterday in 10-below temperatures, and it drove well,’ even if he needed to jump the battery before driving it.
‘He doesn’t use drugs just before going to work’ is an example. It is true, but it implies he uses drugs other times.
Here’s another, just because I can. ‘A beauty company advertises a skin care cream, claiming it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles by up to 50%’. Well, this statement may be based on a study. The advertisement doesn’t mention that the study had a small sample size or that the effect was observed in only a minority of participants making the claim somewhat misleading.
Paltering can be entertaining, hurtful or even dangerous.
‘I’ve never heard of anyone dying from eating that.” But failing to mention, I know many people hospitalized from consuming the item in question. Think of the recent cinnamon-eating craze.
It works similarly when turned into a question. I remember hearing, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife,’ when I was much younger and revelling in the trap left for the responder – yes or no will sink his ship.
I can’t recall consciously paltering with anyone, but I crossed paths with a few people I wanted to palter -but I digress.
Having this word at the ready helps me understand a conversation, advertisement, or political audio clip. It helps me process when looking for the truth.
Please give this a bit of a think. Do you have any words or phrases that you keep at the ready to help you make sense of the world around you? When I hear someone say, ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ I convert that to ‘We give a reason to everything that happens.’ Usually, I keep that thought to myself, but I have been known to speak it out loud.
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.
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