Mason getting ready to document dangerous place so before leaving she talks to Jerry on phone.

Jerry: I don't get it. Why do you want a gig documenting a mapping mission when you're up for the cover of Time?

Mason: Jerry, when three sources tell you the same thing word for word, you know they're lying. There's something going on here, something that nobody is talking about

Suppose I am new to place I ask three to four people where lodge is locate to rent & live here. I vote for majority here, then how three sources tell you the same thing word for word means lying instead of truth?

  • 4
    Do you understand what the phrase "word for word" means exactly?
    – ColleenV
    Jun 25, 2017 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


This would not apply to guiding you to the bathroom. It refers to a criminal investigation.

When three people independently tell you about a thing and tell the truth, they will - given a reasonably long story - never use the exact same words (this is what word by word means).

If they tell the same text verbatim, this indicates that they rehearsed it, all three agreed on the story to tell you. They tell the same text to avoid discrepancies between each other. Telling three completely different stories would of course also be possible, but immediately obvious as untrustworthy.

  • 4
    Great answer. "You know they're lying" in this context could be paraphrased to "You know something's fishy." And one other key element is that we are talking about "three sources", not three random strangers on the street.
    – J.R.
    Jun 26, 2017 at 21:51

Look at it this way. If three people are telling you the same thing word for word, they are "plagiarizing." Or to be more exact, two of them are probably plagiarizing the third.

If that's the case, they are not telling you the same story independently. Instead, two are following the lead of the third, and the "third" is probably not telling the truth.

  • 1
    The "third" may still be telling the truth, but the fact that the other two copied their story word-for-word raises suspicions about all three.
    – Phil Perry
    Jun 1, 2020 at 18:34

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