Are your pants on fire?

Do you fib or are you a liar?

There are very few of us mere mortals who have never fibbed nor lied, but does that make us bad people? Perhaps it is the motive behind the lie that defines it. If we lie to deceive then that's clearly unacceptable, but if we lie to protect, surely that's OK?

We are protected by law from liars. Goods that are sold have to be fit for purpose and Trading Standards has the power to prosecute vendors who believe they are above that law.

But what if you're lied to by a friend? The hurt and humiliation cuts like a knife through our souls and it's almost impossible to forgive.

Fibbing sounds much more acceptable. Say the word out loud - do you hear that soft sound?

Now try liar. Harsher isn't it?

Psychologically we are happier to live with a fibber than a liar.

Liar, liar pants on fire - if only!

Most liars go without punishment, although the thought of those burning pants is an attractive one!