in the telling


Senior Member
I'm confused about this sentence :"You can be assured that on his lips the story did not lose in the telling."

I checked the meaning "in the telling" (to be less good than the original form).

Does it mean " You can be assured that he was always telling the truth" ?

Thanks in advance!
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    That is the source (as far as you're concerned), so that's adequate. Thank you.

    I interpret it that his story-telling did not diminish the impact of the story. It was a good story and his telling of the story was also good.

    Different people can tell the same story and each storyteller will have a different impact on the audience -- some storytellers will put the audience to sleep, others will keep the audience engaged.


    Senior Member
    American English
    There is nothing about the truth (or lies) here. It is the quality of the storytelling. It was a good story to begin with (perhaps a story everyone knows) and he told the story well.

    Think of an actor on a stage reciting his lines -- he is telling us a story with his movements and his speech. Is he doing a good job or not? Is he making an interesting story interesting or boring?


    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Is it just a variation of "tale never loses in the telling", which is defined as "When people tell stories, they tend to exaggerate." ( I find this definition much more restrictive and narrow than Copyright's


    Moderate Mod
    I agree with Redgiant. The implication is that the man exaggerates somewhat in order to make for a good story. The phrase is also sometimes used to indicate that each time the story is told, he improves it a little more, and he probably doesn't do so by sticking strictly to the truth.
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