Semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign. A sign is everything which can be taken as significantly substituting for something else.... Thus semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie, If something cannot be used to tell a lie, converseley it cannot be used to tell the truth: it cannot in fact be used "to tell" at all.
--Umberto Eco, The Theory of Semiotics
I've been classifying lies as of late. Most communication revolves around lying.
- Lie of Substitution
- Lie of Consent
- Lie of Obfuscation
These are the three I have so far. A lie of substitution is metaphor and symbolism. Pretty obvious. "He was a giant among men." In any case where you replace an actual thing with a representation of that thing, you have a lie of substitution.
Lie of consent includes pretty much all fiction. Here we have the liar and the audience temporarially agreeing to perpetuate a lie; this form of lie is unique because of its collaborative efforts, termed "suspension of disbelief". The better the fiction is, the more the audience is going to participate in the lie. Take for example, the effects of The Matrix and its properties on popular culture. This fiction has become so convincing that even the lowest commond social denominator waxes philosophical on the nature of reality.
The lie of obfuscation is the more traditional lie, a lie that is meant to mislead the audience. If the LoC involves audience participation, a LoO works only through a lack of audience participation.
Though, lets consider this scenario. A con man lies to what he considers a mark (LoO). The mark however knows this is a lie, but plays along. Now, the con man's lie has become a LoC. There is audience participation. However, the audience is misleading the con man, using a LoO to maintain their consent in the original lie. Without the second lie, the con man would know he had been made, and revoke his consent from the original lie.
Okay, that amuses me. I don't know what anyone else thinks, but it amuses me.