Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Reverse the truth

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Native language
    Farsi
    Posts
    829

    Reverse the truth

    Hello
    How you guys doing?
    Is "reverse the truth" a common phrase in American English ?
    Can you please offer some examples for me to understand it better?
    Let's save the Tigers...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Native language
    British English
    Posts
    34,373

    Re: Reverse the truth

    It's your job to provide the examples, farhad_persona, though one would do. It's called context and background, and it's a forum requirement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Native language
    Farsi
    Posts
    829

    Re: Reverse the truth

    I googled it and I found only one example: Palestinians reverse the truth by accusing UN of Israel bias

    That's why I got suspicious it may not be an expression.
    Let's save the Tigers...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Native language
    British English
    Posts
    34,373

    Re: Reverse the truth

    I've looked high and low for it and found nothing, whch leads me to doubt that it's an expression. In the context you give, I would gloss 'reverse the truth' as 'lie'.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UK
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,395

    Re: Reverse the truth

    If, by 'phrase' you mean a 'fixed phrase' it is not; it is simply words strung together.

    As Beryl says, they mean "lie" but 'reverse the truth' is more diplomatic -

    cf. "does not accord with reality"; "is at variance with known facts"; etc, which are other sets of words meaning the same thing.
    "There are no rules in English, only guidance. Some guidance looks like a rule; it probably isn't."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greece
    Native language
    British English (Sussex)
    Posts
    11,061

    Re: Reverse the truth

    I have to disagree with the views above; it doesn't just mean 'lie'. From the context it means the same as the set phrase "to turn truth on its head": for example in the link in post #3, A accuses X of bias towards B, whereas B's position is that X is biased towards A.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UK
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,395

    Re: Reverse the truth

    Hmmm... although I see what you mean, the bottom line is an accusation of lying.

    John: "David hits me all the time." (this is true)
    David: "John hits me all the time" (this is false.)
    "There are no rules in English, only guidance. Some guidance looks like a rule; it probably isn't."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southwest France
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,643

    Re: Reverse the truth

    Quote Originally Posted by farhad_persona View Post
    Hello
    How you guys doing?
    Is "reverse the truth" a common phrase in American English ?
    Can you please offer some examples for me to understand it better?
    Why are you asking, FP? Have you come across the expression anywhere?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New York City
    Native language
    English - US
    Posts
    25,414

    Re: Reverse the truth

    Is "reverse the truth" a common phrase in American English?
    Until now, no Americans have responded.
    The answer is no.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Native language
    Farsi
    Posts
    829

    Re: Reverse the truth

    I found another example :

    Why is Ex-Wife reversing the truth?
    In a recent conversation with my ex-wife, I discovered that she has taken a
    situation and completely reversed it, making up her own truth about it.
    Let's save the Tigers...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Native language
    British English
    Posts
    34,373

    Re: Reverse the truth

    You'd best tell us you found that, farhad.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Native language
    Farsi
    Posts
    829

    Re: Reverse the truth

    Last edited by farhad_persona; 31st December 2012 at 7:24 PM.
    Let's save the Tigers...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Devon
    Native language
    British English
    Age
    66
    Posts
    16,533

    Re: Reverse the truth

    farhad_persona. Please comply with the forum guidelines and do not post a bare link. Please read name your source.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southwest France
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,643

    Re: Reverse the truth

    I expect it's an expression coined by a newspaperman looking to catch the eye.

    The only thing which catches my eye here is imprecision of language.

    Truth is not a process, so it can't be put into reverse.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greece
    Native language
    British English (Sussex)
    Posts
    11,061

    Re: Reverse the truth

    "Truth is not a process, so it can't be put into reverse."

    So the truth cannot be, figuratively, turned inside out or upside down? To reverse doesn't necessarily involve motion. I quite like the expression "reversing the truth", because it's concise and easily understood.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southwest France
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,643

    Re: Reverse the truth

    You must help me understand it then, Velisarius.

    I can't see that it has a precise meaning.

    There's an important difference between inversion and reversing. I don't think the truth can be inverted either.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    London
    Native language
    English - British
    Posts
    9,464

    Re: Reverse the truth

    The truth about something may be expressed as a relation.
    If Jim is taller than Mary, then it follows that the statement (a) 'Jim is taller than Mary' is the truth.
    It also follows that the statement (b) 'Mary is taller than Jim' is the reverse of the truth.

    It is less good style to say that statement (b) 'reverses the truth', but it does not seem false or ungrammatical to say so.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southwest France
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,643

    Re: Reverse the truth

    There's a difference, of course, between saying something which is the reverse of the truth and reversing the truth.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    London
    Native language
    English - British
    Posts
    9,464

    Re: Reverse the truth

    The cases where we can properly say that a statement is the reverse of the truth seem to me to be limited to those where it expresses a relation which itself could be understood as reversed.

    Provided a statement falls within that category, then if we can say that the statement is the reverse of the truth, there seems no reason (other than style) why we should not say that that statement reverses the truth.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UK
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,395

    Re: Reverse the truth

    Just so. I give an example at #7
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulQ View Post
    Hmmm... although I see what you mean, the bottom line is an accusation of lying.

    John: "David hits me all the time." (this is true)
    David: "John hits me all the time" (this is false.)
    There might also be the case:

    If "Over the years, George has consistently been generous in his giving to charity." it true, the reversal of this truth is
    "George only started donating to charity last week."
    "George has never given money to charity." or
    "George's historical means of support has been the money he receives from charity."

    The reverse of a truth is a lie.
    "There are no rules in English, only guidance. Some guidance looks like a rule; it probably isn't."

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •