Famous Ways You’re Being Deceived Without Even Knowing It

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Advertisers use all sorts of funny language to deceive us’¦ so do politicians. All around us we are being bamboozled with nonsense information, misleading slogans and dodgy claims; what’s more, people get away with it. What’s worse is that we let them. Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


1. Diets


We spend thousands every year trying to lose weight and for most it is successful ‘ what most diets don’t tell you is that what typically happens is that the weight piles straight back on again and sometimes you will put on more than you had before. What’s worse is that the diet companies have a vested interest in your yo-yo dieting so that they can sell you the next miracle weight loss plan. The shake didn’t work? Hmmm, have this pill! There is only one way to lose weight and keep it off ‘ a good exercise regime and sensible eating

2. Scientifically Proven’¦


This is a regular claim of the cosmetics industry ‘ it seems to add weight that this or that substance will help you achieve this or that result. They probably did test in a lab but they would not have used any scientific method used by academia. They would have used their own labs and discarded those results that were not beneficial to the advertising claim. This is science, corporate style and you will not find any published paper anywhere to prove their ‘scientific’ claims

3. Placebo


Some lies are for our own benefit. When you have something undefined wrong with you, you feel down, out of sorts, groggy’¦ you might have a cold or some other minor condition. The Doctor can’t tell but he gives you a prescription anyway and magically you feel better a couple of days later’¦ but why? Because you believe that the pill would work, and because he listened to your concerns, you start to feel better. What he has given you though is most likely a sugar pill. Interestingly, the placebo ‘works’ better in capsule form than tablet form too

4. Natural vs GMO


The organic industry stands against GMO because it is unnatural. They want to sell you a ‘natural’ food product as nature delivered with all the natural goodness that nature intended. ‘Natural’ is a word that appears in all of their literature but what does it actually mean? Not one of our food crops has evolved to be the way we see them ‘ they are the product of around 10,000 years of artificial selection by humans in order to make them hardier, for higher yields, for flavour and for ease of use

5. Organic


While we are on the subject, organic has been taken to mean that a food product is free from pesticides and any other ‘unnatural’ substances. This is simply not true ‘ organic produce can and does use pesticides. Only, in their minds they use ‘natural’ pesticides. Because there is no legal definition of a ‘natural’ pesticide, organic farmers can use chemical pesticides so long as it is derived from natural means. Confused? So is everybody else. Oh, and chemicals are the most natural thing in the universe

6. Everything Must Go!


A trick used by certain shops, usually discount stores, it seems to suggest ‘ without even saying ‘ that they are having a closing down sale so they will use urgent language such as ‘everything must go!’, ‘last few days!’, ‘7 days left!’ and even ‘Clearance Sale!’ None of these actually mean that they are closing down ‘ it usually means they have a lot of surplus stock and wish to get rid of a lot of it as quickly as possible to make way for new stock. In our minds we think it is a closing down sale and go inside in the hopes of getting a bargain

7. Garages

Clean Garage

They will do anything they can to up your bill. Replacing a cambelt a year or two early is one trick as is replacing quick to change parts that are used but not close to being worn out (such as exhausts, brake pads and other stock items). Most of these can usually go on but when they are offering the cheapest vehicle test or service deals around, they have to make up the shortfall in the costs. Usually it is the big chains of garage that buy lots of parts in bulk

8. Buy One Get One Free


We might think we are getting a good deal here when a supermarket offers it to us but there are often two lies here; in one case the supermarket is deceiving us: The supermarket is likely to have put the price up in order to minimize the loss on the increased sale of the item so you won’t get much of a saving. In the second case, we could be deceiving ourselves: If it is a perishable good with a short shelf life we convince ourselves that we will use it’¦ but it ends up being discarded. This means you have paid over the odds for one item to get a second item you haven’t used

9. Media Balance


There’s always two sides to a story right? It’s only fair that we hear both sides, right? Wrong. The media ‘ perhaps sometimes well-meaning and other times deliberately muddying the waters, are so concerned with making sure everyone gets their say that they will nearly always give us picture of false parity. This is considered one of the biggest stumbling blocks to educating the public about climate change for example. In other areas, some media sources promote minority views in order not to offend people ‘ no matter how bizarre the viewpoint

10. Live Television


Certainly some shows are broadcast live and we receive the images the second they happen but increasingly, this is not the case. Ever wonder why when a public event goes wrong ‘ such as a streaker at Wimbledon or somebody throws an egg at the President ‘ we never actually see it? That’s because ‘live’ television is broadcast with a delay of about ten seconds so that any hiccups will mean the feed is cut off before we see it



We’re being lied to, about everything, all of the time ‘ it is how people actually lie to us that is often a bigger deception than the lie itself. We use colourful language to cover up events so that they don’t sound as bad ‘ people don’t die, they ‘leave us’ or ‘pass on’. Some of these are for our own benefit, but not always

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