The word of the week is:



  1. given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth
  2. untruthfulness
Here’s an example from Oscar Wilde’s Intentions

Athena laughs when Odysseus tells her “his words of sly devising,” as Mr. William Morris phrases it, and the glory of mendacity illumines the pale brow of the stainless hero of Euripidean tragedy, and sets among the noble women of the past the young bride of one of Horace’s most exquisite odes. Later on, what at first had been merely a natural instinct was elevated into a self-conscious science. Elaborate rules were laid down for the guidance of mankind, and an important school of literature grew up round the subject. Indeed, when one remembers the excellent philosophical treatise of Sanchez on the whole question, one cannot help regretting that no one has ever thought of publishing a cheap and condensed edition of the works of that great casuist. A short primer, “When to Lie and How,” if brought out in an attractive and not too expensive a form, would no doubt command a large sale, and would prove of real practical service to many earnest and deep-thinking people.


Write for five minutes, using the word “mendacious” as frequently as you can. When you’re fin­ished, post your practice in the comments section.

Also, extra credit if you use the word of the week in your daily practice!

Ocar Wilde

Oscar Wilde by Thierry Ehrmann

My Practice

Dear Madam,
I absolutely and most definitively repute the mendacity of your recollections of the night of August 5th 1987 that you have seen fit to publish in your loosely termed autobiography although I would prefer the genre complete and utter fiction.

First and foremost my waist measurement is 32” and has been since achieving maturity. I have not ever purchased a pair of slacks in a size other than that and to suggest that my waist was more generous, even to the point of mendaciously and vindictively implying a size of forty inches is incomprehensible.

Furthermore, my dear good lady, I would never “attack a steak like I had never been fed” on the contrary my table manners since attending Woodleigh Grange Finishing School for Utterly Snobbish and Boorish Gentlemen in 1977 have been and continue to be impeccable. In fact as I recall, you ate crab claws like you had been raised in swamps of New Orleans.

One has to say that your irascible nature, as I recall, caused the evening to be cut short rather than any imbibing, on my part, of the very excellent port at L’Espalier. Finally I have to say that the depths to which your mendacious claws reached include the little known fact that the restaurant wasn’t on Boylston Street in 1987 but in a townhouse on Back Bay.

Yours Sincerely,
Timothy Ralph Lowell

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let’s Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).