Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

National Honesty Day: This Story Is an Attempt to Get Web Traffic

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

National Honesty Day: This Story Is an Attempt to Get Web Traffic

Article excerpt

National Honesty Day: April 30 marks National Honesty Day. We hope that you'll visit this page so that we can get a tiny bit of advertising money.

April 30 marks National Honesty Day. We spotted the phrase "National Honesty Day" as a trending term on Yahoo! and thought that we might share some of its history in the hopes that Yahoo! visitors would click on the phrase, and then click on the link to our story.

If you're reading this, our ploy apparently worked, and you've just helped us get a little bit of advertising revenue.

National Honesty Day - we're gong to repeat this phrase as often as we can in an attempt to increase this story's ranking on search engines - is the brainchild of M. Hirsh Goldberg, former press secretary to a governor of Maryland and author of the 1990 book, "The Book of Lies: Schemes, Scams, Fakes, and Frauds That Have Changed the Course of History and Affect Our Daily Lives," which, in all honesty, we haven't actually read.

Goldberg chose the last day of April for National Honesty Day because the first day of April - April Fools' Day - celebrates falsehoods. Researching his book, he estimated that the average person lies some 200 times a day, including white lies and lies of omission. We got this information from a story in the Richmond Times Dispatch, because doing so was easier and less time consuming than trying to track down Goldberg for an interview.

Other estimates about the pervasiveness of lying offer a much lower figure. A poll of 3,000 Britons conducted last year by London's Science Museum found that the average British man tells three lies each day, and the average woman lies about twice a day. The most common lie for men is "I didn't have that much to drink." For women, it's "Nothing's wrong, I'm fine." According to the survey, people are most likely to lie to their mothers.

Of course, statistics, even accurate ones, can deceive. A 2010 analysis of surveys of lying in America noted that 60 percent of Americans report telling no lies at all in the past 24 hours, and that almost half of all lies are told by only 5 percent of subjects. …

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