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I'm new to this but I have a question, when someone only tells you part of the truth for example a conversation:

Me: hey I bought a new car

Saying I bought a new car, but hiding the fact that its second hand. I remember someone telling me this and that the media does it. Is this shadowing or something?

marked as duplicate by Drew, Scott, choster, Helmar, Chenmunka Sep 27 '16 at 11:35

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  • Welcome to ELU. Please take a site tour to know how to ask good questions here. Also, please check if your question is more suitable for the English Language Learners SE site. – alwayslearning Sep 26 '16 at 17:24
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    If you are looking for a word, it may be half-truth – alwayslearning Sep 26 '16 at 17:32
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    It's violating the Gricean maxim of quantity. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 26 '16 at 17:59
  • Could you mean Fibbing? – kc m Sep 26 '16 at 18:00
  • Not an exact match but also consider white lie: a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone's feelings. – Mr_Thyroid Sep 26 '16 at 20:11

You can describe this as telling half-truths:

A deceptive statement, especially one that is only partly true, is incomplete, misrepresents reality by telling part of the truth, or alters the time sequence of truths.

Or, if you want to be more general, you can call these statements deception.


I think your example is flawed: if you say "I bought a new car", then it's a lie, plain and simple. However, if you point to it and say "That's my new car", it's not a lie at all.

This is because 'new' can mean 'newly built' or 'newly acquired'. So if you say "I bought a new car", then 'new' has to mean 'newly built', because 'newly acquired' is redundant -- you just bought it, after all. But "That's my new car" can legitimately mean "That's the car that I just bought." In this case, you might be asked, "What, new new?"

  • We get the question. I don't think this helps the asker in any way – Andrey Sep 26 '16 at 19:28

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