Deception Tips Podcast Episode 31 – Unconventional Language

Hello and welcome to the deception tips podcast where you will learn amazing cues to detect deceit that will help you read people like never before. I’m your host Spencer Coffman, let’s get started.

Welcome to episode 31 of the deception tips podcast. Thank you so much for continuing to listen to this podcast. I really hope that you will take the time to leave a review on iTunes or wherever else you’re listening. It really would help me out, help me to know who’s listening and what’s going on and what you guys like about the podcast. In addition, please connect with me on social media. You can do that on

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Now, last time we talked about a behavior that is something that a lot of people demonstrate almost in tension or anxiety, it’s a form of relief. It’s something that you often see people doing when they’re sitting in chairs or sitting waiting. I always know that whenever I’m sitting next to someone that is bouncing their legs like that, sometimes I’ll even put my hand out there and stop it because I can feel my chair vibrating as well with their leg movements and it’s like a crazy deal. So, that’s what we talked about, bouncing both legs.

Now, this is usually done when someone needs to release their tension or anxiety. As we’ve talked about many times before, tension and anxiety build up when people are being deceptive. When someone tells a lie, there is an immense amount of tension and pressure and stress for them not only to get that lie out because it’s boiling up inside of them and they can’t wait to release it but then, once they release it, now they’re also worried about how the target received the lie. Whether or not they will believe it, whether they messed up when they were speaking it, all of these things go into the tension of telling a lie.

When you’re already nervous about something and then you’re lying about it, you’re even more nervous. And then, when you’re wondering if someone is going to believe you, it’s even more nervous, so a lot of times tension can be released by bouncing the legs, they can be non-rhythmic. In addition, this is also sometimes a pleasing gesture for some people, so it may mean nothing which is essential that you look for patterns and clusters of behavior. You must always look for patterns and clusters of behaviors so that you will be able to tell whether or not someone is lying or whether or not they are telling the truth.

Now, today we have a special deception tip that is more related to vocal and voice, it is speech patterns and how people talk. It is their word choice and word usage that you want to be on the lookout for. If people are speaking in a certain manner or a certain way, generally, if you know them or if you talk to them a little bit you kind of have a baseline of what their normal speech sounds like. Sometimes when people lie, they speak in different ways or they have different words they use because they think that it’ll help them tell their lie.

It’s almost like when people write a letter or when they speak in person, the language is usually different. Similarly, when people text or when they talk, the language is also different because they’re trying to communicate in a different form or a different fashion. Now, by the language is different I don’t mean that’s like French or German or Spanish or English, I’m talking within the language they speak, so within the English language, the way that they speak is different.

It’s either a form of proper grammar or it’s that letters and text like PPL and TY and those kinds of abbreviated mannerisms that people use when they’re texting or when they are writing a formal letter. However, in this instance, it’s not speaking in those abbreviations or anything like that, it is a more sophisticated language or unconventional language.

So, here it is, this is deception tip number 31, liars like to use unconventional and in-ordinary language in an effort to sound more truthful and sophisticated. Here it is again, liars like to use unconventional and in-ordinary language in an effort to sound more truthful and sophisticated. So, what this means is that a lot of times when people lie, they know that if they use language that sounds better or higher than they normally speak, then they think that some people will believe them.

It’s almost like when we talked about a few times ago, actually it’s more than a few times ago, it was way back in episode 17 when we talked about detailed stories. How liars like to use a lot of detail in their story because it makes them seem like they sound more truthful or like they know what they’re talking about. In the same way, a lot of liars like to use more sophisticated or unconventional language so that they sound a little bit more intelligent like they know what they’re talking about.

Now typically, this relates to another episode, episode 15 where we talked about rehearsed stories, is when liars use this unconventional and sophisticated language, they’ve oftentimes rehearsed it. They’ve planned to use these detailed words or these larger words or oftentimes three-syllable words, things like that, to sound a little bit more educated and a little bit more sophisticated. Now, we’re going to talk a lot more about why they do this and what the reasoning behind it is, coming up right after this.

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People always like to sound a little bit more intelligent than they are and that’s why they may use this sophisticated or unconventional language, they want to sound like they know what they’re talking about. In most cases, when people sound like they know what they’re talking about then they sound more believable, more people will believe them if they are more confident and if they sound like they know what they’re saying.

Now, this is something that you’ll obviously want to watch out for because the tough part will be knowing whether or not this person actually knows what they’re talking about. They have these statistics and this unconventional language and things like that as a natural part of their speech or if they’ve just rehearsed it enough times that now they are confident in what they’re saying. They’ve rehearsed the story over and over again, they’ve learned a little bit of the material enough to get by and now they are simply playing you.

Now, this only happens when obviously someone is trying to push information or push an opinion on someone else or it happens a lot of times in sales. Now, you’ll see this a lot when people are trying to sell like middle-of-the-road items. It’s not people selling the ten-dollar items at the store or it’s not people selling the hundred-thousand-dollar-deals or the big equipment or machinery or big printer things or stuff like that, it’s not the contract sales, the big sales, it’s the middle of the road sales.

Typically, this falls in line with car salesman because they’re about the middle of the road, anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000, things like that, it’s an average sale, it’s something everyone needs. So usually, because there’s so much competition between car salesmen and so many of them out there, sometimes you’ll find that weasel or that snake that they use this unconventional language tactic. They start talking about more details, they start bringing out some more dates or some results or citing, some studies about the safety ratings or about this.

You may mention, you know what, I would really like to get a nice kind of a midsize SUV type, something that is still has a good pickup and is a little bit sporty but also that I could throw a car seat in there for the kids. And they might say, oh, then this is what you want, 0 to 60 in XYZ seconds and in 1982 they did these studies, 82 might be too long ago but maybe it’s a previous model and in continuation. But they may say, oh yeah, in 2008 it was rated XYZ for this performance, in 2010 it received this award for a safety rating and is rated the best vehicle by Consumer Reports to have three car seats in the back.

They may come up with all this stuff, all these details and these dates or names, stuff that normal people aren’t really going to remember and stuff that’s going to cause you to be like, whoa, dude, where is all this information coming from? Like way too much information, but they’re using unconventional language to sound a little bit more sophisticated and a little bit more intelligent. It’s something that they are trying to push their opinion and their belief on you. They want you to buy the car so they’re pushing that car on you.

Now typically, this will happen a lot with history and these history buff type people they start to bring out more names, dates and big-time facts like that to help argue their point or support their point. They may say, oh yeah, in 18 whatever and 19 whatever this happened, or this happened and then did you know that this guy was a part of this and it was actually related to this and it connected this way? And you’re like, man, I’m never going to remember all this, I don’t care about all this detail just give me the synopsis, the SparkNotes.

Information that normal people don’t remember, it’s information that is only for sophistication. Again, the question is whether or not that person is memorized a few names and dates to help push their story or whether or not they really are a history buff. That is something that you’ll learn through conversation with them and through watching their normal behaviors and their other behaviors to pick up patterns and clusters of behavior to determine whether or not they are telling the truth.

Now, another time this could happen is when you are talking with people and you may notice that the words that they’re speaking are larger-than-normal. They are more syllables, they are like a five-syllable or sometimes maybe four or even three syllable words, they’re longer words that are not normal in our everyday language. I mean, if you take a listen to this podcast again or you get the transcript for it on or you check it out anywhere else, you notice that if you read through all these words, a lot of them are single syllable words or double syllable words. They’re not long like that Mary Poppins Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 15 or whatever syllable word, no.

Unconventional, that’s probably the longest word in this podcast and it is, it’s unconventional, most of the time people speak at a normal level. Now, normal level of speech is usually about a fifth grade, it’s sad, it’s really sad, a fifth-grade level. Now, that’s why there’s that big, popular show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, because most people think, reason, speak at a fifth-grade reading level.

So, if we read and everything is written at a fifth-grade level, then we speak at a fifth-grade level using those like five to ten cent words. Now, some even say that things have been dumbed down a little bit more so now we’re at more of a third-grade reading level, but keep in mind that that is not the entire population, that is just the masses of people. So, there will be those out there who think and reason at a college level or even like an eighth-grade level or something like that, they’re always going to be exceptions to every rule.

This is why, again, I cannot say this enough, guys, it is essential to look for patterns and clusters of behavior because if you watch the patterns and clusters of behavior then you will be able to confirm each and every suspicion with more data. Also, keep in mind that when you learn someone’s baseline behavior, then you have something to go on, you can compare it to that. So, through speaking with someone a little bit more, you’ll learn how they normally talk and normally operate in a normal environment.

I use the word normal a lot there but that basically means like where everything is kind of controlled, contained, they’re feeling a little bit less stress, is more casual, where they’re able to open up and be themselves a little bit more. Then you hit them with the question of whether or not they lied or getting them to tell the truth and now you’ve added a new can of worms about whether or not they are going, to tell the truth. You’ve added some stress and some tension, you’ve given them a little anxiety.

Now, you can see how they are going to react to that added tension and whether or not they will tell the truth. You’ll find that out based on comparing their behaviors under stress and tension with their current baseline behaviors and see whether or not you pick up any additional signs of deception in that pattern or cluster of behaviors. So, remember, when people use more sophisticated language, they may be using it deceptively to sound more intelligent and more sophisticated.

So, I want to thank you for listening to the deception tips podcast. I ask that you share with your friends, subscribe to the feed, check out the videos on YouTube, the blog, and also the books I have available and tune in next week for a new deception tip.