Ms. Quinson's 2011-2012 9H Blog

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“Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”


What do you think this old adage means? Do you follow this piece of advice? Why or why not?

by posted under Ethan Frome | 33 Comments »    
33 Comments to

““Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.””

  1. February 27th, 2012 at 11:56 am      Reply ashleys2 Says:

    I think that this adage means that you can’t always believe what you hear because it isn’t always reliable. I agree with this because some people like to spread gossip and rumors that aren’t true, so you can’t always believe them. When you see something, you have to believe it because it is there right in front of you and you can’t not believe in something that you saw with your own eyes. I follow this piece of advice because when I hear a rumor, I don’t always believe it until I actually see it because there is a good chance that it isn’t true and that the person that spread the rumor is just spreading it to be mean and nasty to a person. Spreading rumors is a form of bullying that is extremely rude and it can really damage a person’s self esteem and self image, so that is why you can’t always believe what you hear.

  2. February 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am      Reply johnk4 Says:

    I think that this adage means that you should never trust what you hear and do not accept what you see as the whole truth. The things you may hear may be gossip or lies created in order to tarnish a person’s reputation. The things that you see may not be necessarily true. Producers may cut certain things out and therefore make the footage not the whole truth. Propaganda posters are not necessarily true either. They are most of the time lies to sway you beliefs and support whoever made the propaganda. I do follow this piece of advice because everyone does have certain agendas and people are willing to stretch the truth or tell outright lies to get you on their side. It is just in human nature to lie to get what they want from your support to your possessions.

  3. February 27th, 2012 at 11:59 am      Reply anthonym9 Says:

    This means that some people are not who they seem to be. You should never believe anything they tell you because it is probably a lie and only believe some of what you see because people act differently when no one is watching. It also means that people will say things just to be liked and if you really want to know who they are, you shouldn’t listen to what they say. Image is also a bad way to characterize someone because most of the time, image is an act and it doesn’t show what people really are. I follow this advice only when getting to know someone new. It is good advice for making friends because people try to act differently around others.

  4. February 27th, 2012 at 11:59 am      Reply Jesse Says:

    This adage means that you should not believe what everything you hear or see because you can not be sure it is true. When you someone tells you something they could be exaggerating the truth or lying. they could also just be mistaken or confused. When you witness something you do not have all the facts about, sometimes it can be misleading. I do follow this advice because I do not trust that everything you see or here is a true fact. I’ve learned from personal experience that your eyes can play tricks on you as well as people can. I try to keep an open-mind about things that I don’t know enough about, unless it is really improbable.

  5. February 27th, 2012 at 12:01 pm      Reply sharonm1 Says:

    I think that this saying means that you can’t believe something unless you have the whole story. You can’t believe what you hear because it might not be true. You could have heard something wrong or only hear part of the story. You can only believe half of what you see because you might not have seen everything. I believe this adage because you can never believe something unless you know the whole story.

  6. February 27th, 2012 at 1:27 pm      Reply michaelt10 Says:

    I think “believe half of what you see” means that being that you saw it, you know it was there or happened. However, what you see is not necessarily true. It could be biased propaganda.(or a hologram). “Believe none of what you hear”means that just because you heard it doesn’t mean its true. Someone could have twisted the facts for better or worse, and it could be corrupt. What others say could be a lie altogether.

  7. February 27th, 2012 at 1:29 pm      Reply carlya1 Says:

    I think “believe half of what you see and none of what you hear,” means that you shouldn’t listen to rumors or anything you may hear because it may not be true. What you see also will have two sides to every story and what you see may only be one side. So listening to half of what you see will show you half the story, the side you choose to believe, and none of what you hear will prevent you from being influenced by what you hear. For example, if you ever serve on a jury for a major case, you aren’t allowed to read or hear about the case prior or during your time served on the jury. What you see can influence you as well. You can judge someone on their appearance and form an opinion based on what you see or hear about a person. That’s why you should “believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”

  8. February 27th, 2012 at 1:30 pm      Reply tylerf2 Says:

    What I personally believe that this old adage means that you should only believe what you witness yourself, but only a portion of it, since not everything we see is what it actually is. Then you should believe none of what you hear because you do not know for sure if the person you are hearing this message from is telling the truth or not. What they are saying could be completely different from what happened or is going to happen. I personally try my best to follow this message because some people we might know could be more trustworthy than others. But you can never truly believe and understand the story unless you have witnessed the event yourself and know the whole story yourself.

  9. February 27th, 2012 at 1:30 pm      Reply johnk4 Says:

    I think that this means that you shouldn’t believe what what you hear because it is most likely not true and you should only believe half of what you see because you might not know what is actually going on even though you are actually witnessing it. I agree with this adage because most of the time when you hear a story from someone then you are not hearing the whole story because they could have changed something or they could have forgotten a part. You just shouldn’t believe any of it since they probably have a twisted version of the actual thing. When you actually see something going on you should only believe half of it because you might be seeing it but you might not know the reason behind why it is happening which means you don’t know the whole story so you shouldn’t just believe everything right away.

  10. February 27th, 2012 at 1:31 pm      Reply amandaf2 Says:

    I agree with this quote. You can’t believe everything that you hear because you might not always be able to trust the person that is talking. The information can be a lie, or it can be very biased. If you believe everything that you hear, than you are very vulnerable to believing false information. Also, if two people tell you opposite things, you can’t believe both of them. You should listen to multiple versions of a story to make sure that you are believing unbiased, valid information. You should only believe half of the things that you hear because things might look one way, but really be another. For example, it might look like someone was being mean and abusive, however, in reality they could be practicing lines for a scene in a play.

  11. February 27th, 2012 at 1:31 pm      Reply nicolea4 Says:

    This means not to believe what other people tell you because the information may not be accurate, and to only believe part of what you see because appearances can be deceiving. I agree with this piece of advice; I have heard things that were not true and I have seen things that appeared one way, but were in reality not what I thought. In the game broken telephone each player whispers a phrase they thought they heard into the next player’s ear, and by the time the phrase reaches the end, the meaning has completely changed. This is why you should not believe what you hear; the meaning gets altered from one person to the next. Also, you should not fully believe what you see because someone can seem happy on the outside, but can in fact be very depressed. You do not know how they feel completely just by looking at them.

  12. February 27th, 2012 at 1:32 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

    Overall, this adage leaves the impression of being wary when introduced with information. It also seems to discourage trust, implying that not everything can be trusted, especially what you hear. According to the adage, You should not believe ANYTHING that you hear, and even when you see something you should only believe half of it.

    I think the reason for this non-trusting attitude towards info is because info can be extremely altered from its original source. Everyone can look at something in a different way, and as the information is passed from one ear to another in a way much like gossip, by the time it gets to you it could be very different. Especially if the information you receive is very crucial, the mis-leading information could perhaps endanger you. Only if you see what lies in front of you can you really trust that the information is legitimate. Even so, you should not take it all in until it is confirmed by other sources. Thus it is shown by this adage that one should not let oneself be deceived so easily.

  13. February 27th, 2012 at 1:32 pm      Reply sabrinak1 Says:

    This adage means not to believe in rumors or what you only see for a second. Rumors may start out as a true story but soon become twisted when passed from person to person. If you hear something from a friend, don’t always believe it because no matter how trustworthy the friend is, they may have been misinformed. When it says to only believe half of what you see, this is good to use too. In television shows this happens all the time. Someone trips and falls onto another person and one of their significant others comes in and thinks something bad is going on when really they just tripped. Yes, the person did see them on top of each other but that doesn’t mean something was going on. When you see something, yes you have evidence because you saw it with your own eyes, but you never know what else might have been going on that you just didn’t see. When people only see half of something, they sometimes get angry and it can lead to lots of problems between people. All they had to do was ask and would have found out what really happened. That’s why people should always be aware of what else is going on because you never know what could happen if you only know half of the truth.

  14. February 27th, 2012 at 1:32 pm      Reply harrisond1 Says:

    I believe that this old adage means that you should be wary of what you both see and hear. More specifically, it means that you shouldn’t be so sure in what you see and you shouldn’t trust what you hear from others. For example, if you see something, it assures that the event happened, but what you are seeing could be misunderstood if it is out of context. For example, propaganda and commercials show the good parts of what they are supporting, but not the bad parts. What you see shouldn’t be the only evidence you use, you should use other evidence as well to evaluate what you are seeing. Also, what you hear might be changed to the speaker’s liking and the information may have been spread and gradually changed through many people. The person speaking to you may have been lying as well, and you wouldn’t know until later. You can’t always believe what you see or hear, even if you were the person watching.

  15. February 27th, 2012 at 1:33 pm      Reply elizabethp4 Says:

    There are many other adages regarding what one should believe. One very popular one – except for the title of this blog – is seeing is believing. However, it is too broad; there are way too many things that could be an illusion, too many interpretations that would be twisted. ‘Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear’ is much more reliable advice, even though it would be hard to follow. That particular adage promotes only believing your own opinions and being completely independent of all other trains of thought. It is very useful, especially in this society, because of gossip and rumors that seem to be spreading at every turn. There’s also the famous line that tends to repeat itself too much for anybody’s good: “It’s not what it looks like!” This is where the ‘believe half of what you see’ part would come in. Always find the back story – don’t just listen to someone weaving a tale hurting somebody else who insulted them in one petty way or another. ‘None of what you hear’ could be discouraging to people who believe they have your trust or tend to not lie, but nevertheless it isn’t a good thing to take everybody at their word. They might be looking to gain advantage of you, especially if you tend to be of good will or easily malleable. The quote is a very good one to follow, even though to others it may make you seem like you’re overly paranoid and have far too many trust issues to be valued as a normal human being, but hey. Not getting duped by a supposed ‘best friend’ or a really cool-looking website is worth knowing the truth. The truth should be worth everything and knowing the truth is the worth all that effort.

  16. February 27th, 2012 at 1:33 pm      Reply bridgetd1 Says:

    I think that this adage means that you should not trust what you hear and only trust what you see half of the time. You should not trust what you hear because you may have heard what was said wrong or interpreted it wrong. You should only trust what you see half the time because things can look different than they actually are. You may think that something is happening when really it was just an accident. I both agree and disagree with this piece of advice. I think that you should not always trust what you see. But I also think that it can be safe to trust what you hear sometimes, if it is very clear and you hear the whole story.

  17. February 27th, 2012 at 1:33 pm      Reply Autumn Says:

    I think that this adage means that sometimes what you see may not always be exactly what you think it is and so you can not base your opinion on something on just that. You must dig deeper to find out the truth. When the speaker tells you to “Believe none of what you hear.” they mean that you should not believe what you hear because it can be pure lies. When making a decision or forming an opinion of something you must search for the whole truth before.

  18. February 27th, 2012 at 1:34 pm      Reply briannab3 Says:

    I think this saying means that you shouldn’t believe something unless you have seen the truth yourself. The best situation to connect this piece of advice to is the spreading of rumors. If you just believe something that someone tells you, it may not be true and can be very hurtful towards some other people. You wouldn’t know the truth unless you found out for yourself, or the person the rumor was about told you him/herself. You should do your own research before you completely make your decision. Also, maybe you see something bad happening but you don’t know the whole story. That’s why it says HALF of what you see and not all of it, because you may need an explanation. This is a very good piece of advice to follow.

  19. February 27th, 2012 at 1:34 pm      Reply benjaminf Says:

    I think this old adage means that you should only believe body language and not believe what you hear the person says. I do follow this piece of advice, but not completely. I think this because yes, scientific studies have shown that body language is the best way to tell if someone is telling the truth. But you do need to listen to what people say because their body language does not tell the entire story.

  20. February 27th, 2012 at 1:34 pm      Reply amandaj3 Says:

    To me, this saying is defined as you can’t always believe what you see or hear. Different people have different opinions. They also have different beliefs. It is okay to have a different opinion. An example of this saying, is tabloids. Tabloids are magazines that might have different beliefs on a matter. Most tabloids promote false rumors. In fact, most of the rumors are about celebrities and their personal lives. Gossip and lies can ruin someone’s life. If rumors affect you a lot, it can eventually lead to depression and/or suicide. You don’t know for a definite fact that the rumor is true or not. You don’t know what to believe. Spreading rumors or promoting propaganda are examples of this saying. You never know what is true until you know the whole story or the definite truth.

  21. February 27th, 2012 at 1:35 pm      Reply lucyl2 Says:

    I think that this old adge means that you should not believe what you hear, because there may be a lack of truth in it. You may only believe half off what you see because there may be information behind the situation that you cannot figure out just by looking at the end result. I follow this piece of advice in my own life, because I believe that if you hear something, that idea may not be true. Someone may be starting a rumor about another person.Or the thing that you’ve heard has been distorted as different people told the story because f sheer mistake or bias. When you see something, it might not be the beginning of a problem, but the part which everything has built up to.

  22. February 27th, 2012 at 1:35 pm      Reply carak1 Says:

    “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”

    This adage means that you should be wary of information you receive. “Seeing is believing” is also part of this idea. What one sees personally is more reliable than what one hears. When one hears something (by word of mouth) he or she is subject to the interpretation and bias of the person he or she heard the information from. When one sees something, he or she can come to his or her own conclusions and understand the sight through his or her own bias. However, “things are not always as they seen.” One must be wary of even what he or she witnesses. Everyone has said “it’s not what it looks like” at some point in their life! Therefore, one can learn from their own experience that they should only believe some of what they see. Unlike the quote, I think one should believe some of what they hear as well. Not everything heard is through word of mouth. It can also be a personal observation. One could hear a gunshot, and following this adage, they would be worried??? I think rather than not believing what one hears or sees, one should think of what bias is present and what they could be missing.

  23. February 27th, 2012 at 1:35 pm      Reply nicholasm14 Says:

    This basically means that not everything you hear is always true and everything you see isn’t necessarily the truth either. Things you hear may be propaganda or gossip and are not always true. Sometimes their goal is to make you think of something in a different way than you would originally. In this case, you can’t always trust what you hear. Believing half of what you see basically means that should always look at something from multiple angles before thinking whether or not it’s true. Not everything you see is the truth, like propaganda posters. They are meant to make you think a certain way. I follow this advice because it is incredibly true in life. Just because you hear something from your friends doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. You need evidence before you believe that it is true. As for believing only half of what you see, that is also very true. Again, you need evidence or need to look at something differently before you believe it to be true.

  24. February 27th, 2012 at 1:36 pm      Reply alwynp2 Says:

    In my opinion, I think that the quote means that never believe something unless you witnessed it for yourself. It is very easy to spread rumors that something happened. However, if there is some sort of evidence to prove whether or not some rumor happened, then, you can believe that that event happened. Some people can tell complete lies just for kicks.

  25. February 27th, 2012 at 1:36 pm      Reply johnw2 Says:

    What I feel this saying mean is that you cannot believe what others tell you, and you shouldn’t always believe what you see. I agree with this quote because, just because you hear one point of view on a certain matter it does not mean you know the entire story. Also you can’t always believe what you see, because it could easily be just as fake as it appears to be real. Over all the moral of this quote is, just because you believe something is real does not always mean it is real.

  26. February 27th, 2012 at 1:37 pm      Reply coryannm2 Says:

    This adage means that things you hear are not always true. Stories change as they go from one person to the other. Not only can the information be changed through each telling, but rumors and gossip can also be included in factual information. Therefore you can not trust what you hear from other people and must find the truth through a more reliable resource. The other part of the adage says that you should only believe half of what you see also. Now this is slightly confusing, because what you have seen has to be correct. Though you may see something that looks suspicious, yet the people under suspicion may have a completely rational explanation for their actions. You do not have the whole story and you should only believe half of what you see. Yes, I do follow that advice most of the time and I tend to be slightly suspicious of information I receive from people. You have to analyze the entire situation before you start freaking out.

  27. February 27th, 2012 at 1:37 pm      Reply nikital Says:

    I think that this adage means that you should not make assumptions based on what you see and hear. Such accounts may be biased, or altogether untrue. What you see can be only trusted to a certain degree since it is usually uncommon that action itself is unbiased. What you hear, however, always has the potential to be biased. Rumors can spread like wild fire. All in all, this phrase shows that one should trust one’s own judgement rather than that of others.

  28. February 27th, 2012 at 1:46 pm      Reply kevinj3 Says:

    An adage is a traditional saying that tries to convey a message. This adage states, “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” I immediately agreed with this because the information you hear has been passed from person to person and may be secondhand, and false, even if the person who originally spread the information was meaning to be true. There is another saying that says “Don’t believe it until you see it.” Therefore, because there are many people who are mean and don’t have good motives, what you hear is not necessarily true. However, when you see something, it will most likely be true. Some of the time though, a facade can be put up to try to trick you. That is why you can only believe some, or half of what you see. This adage teaches us a lesson that you can’t completely accept what you hear or see because of the many sinister people that exist in the world. It is the nature of people to try to benefit themselves.

  29. February 27th, 2012 at 1:49 pm      Reply anjuv1 Says:

    I believe this old adage means that you shouldn’t always believe in what you hear because not everything said is true. Sometimes, people only hear half of what the real story is or they just hear what they want to hear. Also, the person who is speaking might influence the story to make more parts seem more exciting and over dramatic.This also applies to what you see. Not everything you see and hear are reliable. In this old adage, it says “Believe half of what you see….” I think that this means that seeing something is more reliable than hearing something, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be true. Many people believe seeing something is easier to believe than hearing. Like with hearing, a person might only see half the story. This adage refers to rumors in a way. This is how rumors usually start, by someone not knowing the whole story.

  30. February 27th, 2012 at 5:52 pm      Reply shianak3 Says:

    I think the meaning of this old adage is that we shouldn’t judge an incident on what we hear because we don’t know the accuracy of our hearing source. Also we can’t judge something based on what we hear because we weren’t first person or you didn’t see it. I think that you can’t judge an incident by just hearing it but also seeing it. At the same time, though, as the adage says you can only half believe it if you see it because you may only see a part of it and you make jump to conclusion. I think that you can’t have one without the other. If you base conclusions on your sight or hearing alone you don’t get the whole story.

  31. February 28th, 2012 at 12:01 pm      Reply Ben E. Says:

    I think that this adage means don’t believe anything unless you back it up with proof. Even when you have proof you should also have more. The adage also says that you can’t believe everything you see. It says you should believe only half of what you see. If you base your conclusions on what happens without any analysis you may see something different than what you see with analysis.

  32. February 28th, 2012 at 1:47 pm      Reply innag2 Says:

    This old adage means that not everything you see is valid, and everything that you hear may not be true, it may all be lies. When you hear things, they may be lies, because people tell lies often, and if you believe those lies, you will never know the truth, which lies someplace between those lies and what actually happened. It also says that you should believe only half of what you see. What it means is that not everything that you always see is true, because your eyes may be playing tricks on you, but some things that you see are exactly as they are, and it is up to you to decide which half you believe, and which half you don’t. I do follow this piece of advice, or as much as I can. I only believe some of what I see, because I know sometimes, when I see something I don’t like, or something that looks like it can be strange or different to me, my brain goes out and puts a label on it, when in reality, it can be absolutely normal. I do only believe half of what I see, and I generally do not believe anything that I hear from people. I mean, yes, some things I believe, like when my mom says she will ground me if I do not clean my room, but things like gossip and rumors, I do not believe.

  33. June 12th, 2016 at 4:14 am      Reply Kim Says:

    So here it is, 4 years later.

    Thoughts regarding this..NOW?

    I wonder if those who commented feel the same way as they did before.

    Just curious

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