In So Many Words

Info-Comics by Larry Paros

How to Lie with Class

Dizzy from the happenings in our nation's capitol? In a daze trying to figure out what's really going on? Just call for the spin doctor.

Spinning was once an honorable and innocent activity entailing the twisting of fibers into thread. Things turned rapidly, however, about 1667, giving things an especially odd twist, as in the execution of a particularly difficult billiard shot.

It all came together in recent years when we created fabrications by putting a particular twist or interpretation on the facts, sending them off in a direction other than that which had been originally intended.

Obviously, such delicate and intricate maneuvers called for a skilled authority such as a doctor, the additional link coming with "doctoring," an activity long synonymous with "fixing" things.

Enter the spin doctor who made his first house-call during the presidential campaign of 1984. His specialty is triage — halting the bleeding of irresponsible rumor mongering, binding the nation's wounds and cleansing the festering sores on the body politic.

His practice is booming, and his success in politics has now been replicated in other areas, notably the corporate sector. And would you believe, that after having put a successful spin on things for more than a decade, there hasn't been a single case of malpractice. Round and round, it goes, and...