Clinton’s gaffe about her trip to Bosnia, which you can read about here, brings to light an interesting dilemma. Exaggerating facts has long been a technique used by storytellers. In fact, I once interviewed an author who would occasionally exaggerate facts about "true" stories and saw it as enhancement, rather than lying. Ancient story tellers use to begin stories by declaring, "I want to tell you a true story, but I’m not sure it happened this way."
It’s clear that in our culture, Clinton describing the scene as a war zone–with bullets flying–is going to be challenged. Not only is the media looking into every word she’s saying, but the account of the trip is plastered all over the Internet–including video. Her exaggeration was certainly used for effect, regardless of what she says about mis-remembering. We’ve probably all done this, or at least have been tempted to exaggerate facts in order to maximize our image.
Perhaps that ancients had the right idea: wait until the story is old enough and all the characters in the story are long gone, before you change things up. Who knows, it’s also quite possible that the ancients, due to the oral tradition that permeated their culture, just couldn’t remember all the facts of the story and added what they "thought" might have occurred.
Inflating the story to inflate my ego or image is where trouble is bound to surface.
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