AP Students – The Ways We Lie by Stephanie Ericsson 9/12/11

Who is Ericsson’s audience for this essay? Is her purpose to accuse them, make them think, dare them to stop lying – or something else? Discuss

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34 Responses to AP Students – The Ways We Lie by Stephanie Ericsson 9/12/11

  1. Teresa Vazquez says:

    Ericsson’s audience is basically anyone who lies. However there are differnt types of lying that i did not even know about. Her purpose was just to inform liars about what kind of lies they are doing and making them think so that they can feel guilty. Also, it probably is to make them look dumb because they may have not even known about the different types of lying.

  2. ahnye irby says:

    I think that Erisson’s audience is for everyone, if you told a lie or not. The purpose of this essay is not to make people feel bad about themselves or to accuse anybody. I feel like Erisson actually just wanted to get people to think before they lie. In the essay Erisson talks about so many different types of lies that i had no idea about but i found myself subject to each one of them. She also questions the idea of always telling the truth, so I really think she was just speaking her mind and showing how complex lying really is and the causes and effects of it in her essay.

  3. Mickey Liang says:

    I think the audiences that Erisson intended this essay for was everyone because eventually everyone will have at least told one lie in their life. The purpose of her essay was to get people to stop and think before they lie and see which will be better for the victim, either lie or to tell them the truth.

  4. Laura Olin says:

    I think the audience that Ericsson is writing for includes everyone, because we have all lied at one point. She isn’t trying to make any one feel bad but she wants people to think twice about telling a lie. She also points out that some things that we may not classify as lying directly are actually lies and how they are lies. She doesn’t say that we should stop lying but she encourages people to be more truthful.

  5. Brittany Trinh says:

    I think Ericsson is writing towards all her readers, whether they lie often or not. She wrote this article not to make them feel guilty, but to teach them the types of lies and how to use them responsibly. She points out everyone lies and sometimes for good intentions, but going too far could have consequences such as hurting a friend or over stressing yourself.

  6. Rachel Loo says:

    I believe Ericsson has turned what started off as a rant into an organized accusation directed at the human mind. I don’t believe she had a specific audience in mind, it was just a way to get all her ideas in one place. i think Ericsson’s essay first and foremost her herself, then she decided to have it published so other people could read and think about what she had to offer. What her reader did after that was up to them.

  7. Kathy Lien says:

    For this essay, Ericsson’s audience is everyone, who has undoubtedly kept lies as a part of their lifestyle. Her purpose was to dare us to change our way of thinking. She believes it’s a backwards movement to avoid reality just for the comfort of not having to worry about troubles and that lies are gradually thinning our society’s morality. Right now, it’s the status quo of our society and I ultimately agree with her argument, but changing the lifestyle that we’re so used to isn’t going to work with just one individual. If we wanted to become more righteous people and actually go through with not lying, we would have to change the perception of millions of people who have already become accustomed to lying, including ourselves.

  8. Eric Van Le says:

    Ericsson is addressing her writing towards everyone. This was written to give many the morality of lying and the types of lying there are. She wants to direct to the reader to be more honest than lying without thinking about the consequences. Although the the consequences can be good or bad.

  9. Ingrid Del Angel Velarde says:

    Erricsson audience is to everybody that lies about what so ever. Ericsson written this to let us know what type of lies there are and how liars could feel about what ever they lying. Erricsson letting us know that lying could end up in a bad or also good.but lying is always the bad way of doing or resolving something.

  10. Cathy Ly says:

    I believe that Ericsson’s intended audience is for everyone in general because everyone has lied before at some point in their life. Her purpose is to make them think before they lie and to see how different it would be for us if we always told the truth. She wants to show her readers that lying all the time isn’t a crime, but you just have to know when’s the appropriate time or situation to.

  11. Kelly Eav says:

    I think Ericsson is trying to reach out to everyone because there hasn’t been one person who hasn’t lied in their life. Although, she’s not trying to make people feel bad, I think she just wants to inform us that we lie and even things we don’t believe is a lie is actually a lie.I also think she’s trying to show us the consequence of any lie we make even if we think it’s better for whoever we are lying to but i don’t think she’s accusing us or telling us to stop completely because it’s difficult.

  12. Ericsson’s intended audience seems to be anyone who lied. I think she’s just trying to say that lying has become a way of life in society and that people will use different forms of a lie to get out of situations or to avoid a confrontation. I think one of the biggest form of a lie we use is the Delusion because we see excuses as facts.

  13. Angela Yuen says:

    The audience Ericsson is reaching for is everyone. If we all think about it, we all lied at some point, and majority, everyday. I won’t say she’s trying to change our views and make us stop lying but she makes us think. Our everyday conversations may consist of a lie or two, unintentionally at that. It may or may not affect people, but it does create an impact. She examines the complexity of lies and the different variations to show us how much it has already been a part of us, and will continue to.

  14. Jason To says:

    The audience for Ericsson’s article is probably to reach out to everyone. I think that the purpose of this article is to make the reader think more whenever they lie. The article raises the questions; are lies really protecting people from the truth? Who are the lies really helping? Though these questions are raised it can be argued that Ericsson is trying to make the reader lie less. The repetition of different kinds of lies let’s the reader reflect on how many lies that have said that week or even month, and to challenge themselves the reader might try to stop lying for a duration of time. Even though Ericsson doesn’t bluntly ask the reader to try and not lie multiple times, it might be a a hidden message within his article.

  15. Gwen Hornig says:

    Ericsson could be writing to the entire world, because every single human being (who is not a baby and unable to communicate without crying) has lied at one point or another. For some, its compulsive, for most, lying is just a convenient way to escape sticky situations. Ericsson’s purpose for writing this essay, is to dare people to try not lying for a change. This sounds nearly impossible if you think about how many times people lie to others and even yourself on a day to day basis. This essay makes the reader realize how much we as a planet use lying as defense mechanism, when really it would be better to just tell the truth. Lying is not only harmful to others, but its harmful to yourself. If you can’t be honest with yourself, you can’t be honest in life.

  16. Denise Burgara says:

    Ericsson’s audience for this essay is for everyone because we all have lied at some point it could of been a small lie or big, or even if planning to lie and think twice before you do it. She is trying to make people feel guilty about lying and reflacting on it. She might have even wrote it because of personal experience and felt all of this. She shows and describes a message about lying.

  17. Theresa Bagby Underwood says:

    Ericsson’s essay is intended to be read by everyone because at some point, everyone has lied whether they are aware of it or not. I think the main point she wants to get across is to educate us about the true definition of lying so that we are aware of it when we tell lies inadvertently or when other people lie to us. Ericsson does not outright oppose the idea of lying. In some instances, it is the right thing to do since it spares people’s feelings. I believe that she challenges the reader to do the right thing and lie when its the appropriate situation, and to tell the truth in all other instances.

  18. I believe the audience is the general public. Anyone who lies should read this article and especially those who lie too much because it kind of explains the boundaries of lying. I think her purpose is to both dare people to stop lying and to excuse lying in certain situations.

  19. Trevor Wilson says:

    Ericsson’s audience is everyone. Her purpose is not exactly to accuse anyone, its to make them realize that they’re doing it and anyone who says lying is bad or that they don’t do it, would be lying or wrong. I believe that she wants the reader to reflect and see that everyone lies and there isn’t really any reason to it

  20. Maggie Vo says:

    Stephanie Ericsson’s intended audience is everyone because like others have mentioned, we all lie in life. I highly doubt that her purpose was to get readers to stop lying for a period of time. I think she was looking mainly to introduce the few ways we lie and are lied to and to show people the difference between telling a functional lie and living one. Harmless white lies are apart of human nature because we tell them as a means to protect ourselves, look good, gain financially or socially and avoid punishment. However, when it gets to the point where our acceptance of lies alters morality and reality, we really need to own up to our responsibilities.and stand up for what’s true. And I believe that’s really what she challenges us to think about and act on.

  21. i feel Ericsson’s intended audience is mainly everyone because at a certain piont we somehow lied,i think her purpose was for readers to be able criticaly think about it,i feel she was introducing how we lie and sometimes if we live in a lie,white lies are harful on scale through 1 to 10 they get like 3 unless the lie grows.the time will come when we have to stand up what for whats true and i strongly believe thats what she wanted us to think about.

  22. Rosa Amaya says:

    Ericsson’s essay rhetorical purpose is to inform people that lie how we can lie in different ways how it might effect another person.Ericsson’s audience is everybody because everybody lies in the different ways she pointed out, sometimes we dont realize the effect a lie can cost. I don’t think shes acussing anybody I feel like she wanted to explain so we could know the difference of telling a lie or living a lie.

  23. Simon Harris says:

    I feel that Ericsson’s essay was not to tell people that they absolutely shouldn’t lie, but that they should think through the full potential effects of the lie before they use it. Sometimes a lie is the only way to make things work out, to unify a group of people, or to keep a friend. The intended audience of this essay is everyone and anyone, because let’s face it; everyone lies once and a while. She proves that by challenging the reader to go for a week without lying, and that it is the hardest thing ever. However, she doesn’t press it in the Professor Umbridge style, by engraving the words “I will not tell lies” on the back of the accused’s hand.

  24. Ellen Han says:

    Ericsson’s audience is everyone. Everyone has lied at least once throughout their life. She is not accusing them, but rather questioning then about their actions when lying. Her essay is explaining the different types of lies, or descriptions, that fit the definition of a lie. She already tried to not lie, but she found out that everyone needs to lie in order to keep things the way that they are supposed to be and to spare other people’s feelings.

  25. Ericssons audience is everyone, i assume she is sending a message to those who lie that lying is common therefore no one should juge others when everyone lies at some point. lying is as common as people having secrets.

  26. Michael Le says:

    Ericsson’s essay about people’s inevitable lies is intended for everyone. Her main purpose is to make people realize how many lies we use a day and that it is normal to lie in today’s world. Ericsson is trying to have audience understand the connection between lies and the world by using examples where she creates scenarios where lying would be the easy way out, thus justifying lying.

  27. Gabriella Greene-Dittz says:

    Ericsson is talking to the whole of the human population, because we all have lied of been lied to. Whether it was the Santa Claus is real or that your best-friend lied about sleeping with your partner or what ever it is that one has encountered. Ericsson’s point is to make her audience think of the repercussions of a lie before telling it so that they are aware of the consequences on themselves, others, or something(s).I don’t believe she is accusing anyone or saying lying is ok because she clearly writes that she herself lies and that since everyone lies and calls them selves honest people, its just a world of lies. In a way its like our version of reality, which makes us all a bit crazy since we all interpret stuff different ways and tell it again differently.
    She is making a point that the world is our own web of lies, just enough to cushion ourselves from the hard parts of life.

  28. Dear Mr. Rapson and students:

    It’s been fun reading your reactions to my essay about all the ways that we lie. I’m glad that it has made many of you stop and think because that was exactly my intention. I wanted to ‘define’ lies in a broader context than what we generally think of as lying.

    Until we actually NAME something, it doesn’t really exist. For example, how many of you have told your parents that you’re going to a party but did not mention that there was going to be alcohol there? We KNOW that mentioning this will upset them (yes, I did this too at your age!) and that they’ll most likely tell you that you can’t go, so, deep down, we know that we’re lying. But we rationalize it by thinking that we haven’t actually TOLD a lie… By naming Omission as type of lie, it brings our awareness to the surface.

    One question that I have FOR YOU is this:

    After reading The Ways We Lie, did you see that we are actually LIED TO by things like our government, businesses, even our society? Do you think of those lies differently than the lies between people? Are you more likely to accept that, for instance, your government may have lied to YOU, in a way that you would not accept from a friend?

    The Ways We Lie now has a Facebook page because it’s been so popular among students, (mostly college level because it’s reprinted annually in college text books). I JUST put this page up on Facebook, so it is still in its infancy, but I’d love to see your comments and opinions on the page’s Wall. If you liked the essay, go to its Facebook page and click on LIKE. It’s at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ways-We-Lie/223999297651147?sk=wall.

    Thanks for reading the essay. I had a lot of fun writing it 20 years ago!

    Stephanie Ericsson

    • Victor Ho says:

      i see already that our society have been lying to each other because mostly we are just to lazy or scared to tell the truth. I accept lies differently of course because it depends on how seriously the lie is between a white lie. If a government had lied to me, i really cannot do anything about it but try arguing because i feel like i do not want to go to all that trouble. Now if a friend had lied to me, it can easily be accepted and dealt with because we can communicate and talk visually than the government.

    • Simon Harris says:

      This would most probably be the place to say that I find your essay “The Ways We Lie” a wonderful piece of writing. It is very easy to relate to, as it charts the very same feelings that we all experience daily. I am often torn by the same thoughts on the morality of white lies, for example. Thank you for sharing your insight on this ever-controversial topic. (Same as I put on your Facebook)

  29. Victor Ho says:

    The essay that Ericsson had wrote is for the people who are affected by lies or lying to others, which is everyone basically. The reason why she has wrote this essay is because in our society, we have been lying to each other ever since god created Adam and Eve, they have lied about the fruit. Now, lying is a habit to us all because it is a natural thing for a human to do and later learn to accept consequences from it. If however we constantly lie, that is not natural or a accident, it is on purpose because we would be scared to face the consequences and revealing the truth. No matter how much we lie or tell the truth, we are humans who behave and communicate with it. No one is forcing you to tell the truth, but you are the one to decide what is right and wrong.

  30. Gwen Hornig says:

    I believe that we are definitely lied to by society. The media shows men and women who are “perfect”, an appearance that is impossible to reach without massive amounts of photo-shopping on the computer. Yet this image that is portrayed to us is what we are supposed to strive to be like. It is unethical of the media to condemn those in society who do not have the “perfect” look, because any false hope of ever looking “perfect” is lost when one realizes that they are real human beings.

    We also lie to each other within our society without talking. Being in New York City is a great way to see this. Everyone walking down the street has their own persona that they would like everyone to buy into and believe. Just seeing a person on the street, one gets an immediate read of that person’s outward image, whether it is true or not. We all do this, just when we get dressed in the morning. We choose our clothes, make-up, hair-do, etc…for a reason: to make a statement on who we are, or what we would like people to believe that we are.

    • Gwen, right you are. I lived in NYC for 5 years and the first thing my NYer husband taught me was ‘how to walk on NYC streets’. Being from San Francisco, I didn’t have a clue and he knew I was a walking target. So I learned how to put on my street-face and that kept me safe from the crazies and muggers. Ramping up your game for the street is an absolute necessity in many places and situations. It’s a way that we protect ourselves. Is it a lie? Well, personally, I’d say, no, not in this context, where survival is the point. If you keep your game face on when you’re with the people who care about you, or to keep people from knowing who you are because you’re afraid they won’t accept you if they knew the real YOU, then I’d classify that as a lie.

  31. Mable Bao says:

    Ericsson wrote this for everyone who have lied before. She isn’t trying to accuse anyone or putting anyone down, but pointing out the different ways people have lied. Everyone has lied one way or another, but it does’nt mean all lies are bad. Some lies are just to keep someone from being hurt, or some can just be for getting something or somewhere.

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