Is 'falsehood' generally used to mean more 'lie' than 'mistake' or 'incorrect'?
I think the word itself just says 'incorrect', but I'm not very sure..
Is it like 'wrong cover'? and tends to imply 'on purpose'?
Let's say I honestly think Shanghai is the capital of China and go around telling everybody that it is. I'm not lying, I'm spreading false information that I believe to be true. My "falsehood" is accidental.
Let's say I know Beijing is the capital, but I'm mad at my little brother who's preparing for a test, and I maliciously tell him that it's Shanghai just so he will fail the exam. My falsehood is deliberate and mean, and hurts someone else for my own benefit.
It's not really equivalent to a simple lie, because the evil power and dark circumstances surrounding my plotting put it into another category.
At least In American English a lie is much stronger than falsehood and stresses that the person who is "lying" is intentionally trying to deceive. It will make the other person angry. Falsehood is much softer. You are "mistaken"or that is "erroneous" information you are giving, are examples of even softer ways of saying that what somebody says is not factually correct. If you watch or read the US news these days, you will get a very good understanding of the subtleties of these words. They are constantly being used. We've even created a new one: "alternative facts."
It seems liars who are defending themselves wrongly are responsible for the need for that new word.
I've found that, according to the most popular answer at the Urban Dictionary, it's the worst of four kinds of lies.
I didn't know this word "Lies, damned lies, and statistics", but the poster added the 4th to it.
So, Mark Twain and others had been warning about statistics, and I say that is great.
The fact that the majority's opinion is often not right is very much related to this issue. I would like to get into this topic.