Sir Humphrey: Unfortunately, although the answer was indeed clear, simple, and straightforward, there is some difficulty in justifiably assigning to it the fourth of the epithets you applied to the statement, inasmuch as the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts, insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear.
Hacker: Epistemological — what are you talking about?
Sir Humphrey: You told a lie.
Hacker: A lie?
Sir Humphrey: A lie.
Hacker: What do you mean, a lie?
Sir Humphrey: I mean you… lied. Yes, I know this is a difficult concept to get across to a politician. You… ah yes, you did not tell the truth.
Hacker: You mean we are bugging Hugh Halifax’s telephones?
Sir Humphrey: We were.
Hacker: We were? When did we stop?
Sir Humphrey: [checks his watch] Seventeen minutes ago.


Category: Espresso

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