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By-and-by I was told by somebody that birds could not be caught by putting salt on their tails; that I was being made a fool of, and this was a great shock to me, since I had been taught to believe that it was wicked to tell a lie. Now for the first time I discovered that there were lies and lies, or untruths that were not lies, which one could tell innocently although they were invented and deliberately told to deceive. This angered me at first, and I wanted to know how I was to distinguish between real lies and lies that were not lies, and the only answer I got was that I could distinguish them by not being a fool!

http://publicliterature.org/books/far_away_and_long_ago/book.txt

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Hi,

In the underlined part, "which" refers to "lies and lies, or untruths that were not lies"?

"One could tell innocently"? Here, "tell" means to find out, to know OR does it mean "to say something"?
Comments  
In the underlined part, "which" refers to "lies and lies, or untruths that were not lies"?-- Actually, it refers to this part: 'lies, or untruths that were not lies' (i.e just the 2nd 'lie' of 'lies and lies' plus the following modifier.)

"One could tell innocently"? Here, "tell" means to find out, to know OR does it mean "to say something"?-- 'Say something'.
Oh!

Thanks so much, Mister Micawber....

Your answer really helped me.

I got enlightened..

By the way, an English book in Korea quoted the above passage as below, cutting out the "and the only answer I got was that I could distinguish them by not being a fool!"

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By-and-by I was told by somebody that birds could not be caught by putting salt on their tails; that I was being made a fool of, and this was a great shock to me, since I had been taught to believe that it was wicked to tell a lie. Now for the first time I discovered that there were lies and lies, or untruths that were not lies.

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And translated the passage as meaning "I discovered that there were various kins of lies and there were untruths that were not lies". Does the above passage allow for this interpretation to native speakers?

And is it that it does allow for both interpretation but the interpretation as given by you, in the context of the whole passage, should be considered the better one?
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I'm not clear on exactly what you are asking about, but the phrase 'there are Xs and Xs' is a semi-fixed phrase. Is that of any help?
Thanks....

The passage is quoted in a book, with the end part missing, as shown below.

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By-and-by I was told by somebody that birds could not be caught by putting salt on their tails; that I was being made a fool of, and this was a great shock to me, since I had been taught to believe that it was wicked to tell a lie. Now for the first time I discovered that there were lies and lies, or untruths that were not lies.

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And the book explains that "lies and lies" means "various lies", which is very different from the original meaning of it, the original meaning that the author seems to have intended. As you explained, it's not "lies and lies" but it is "lies" and "lies, or untruths that were not lies".

So, I'd like to know if that kind of explanation presented in the book could be justified, IF(or BECAUSE) the passage is quoted in that way, some part missing, ending in "or untruths that were not lies".
Sorry to be so long in getting back on this one. Yes, that kind of explanation is good enough. The idiom ('there are Xs and Xs'), like most idioms, is rather pithy, and the exegeses can be various, I think, without harm to the general intent.
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Thanks, Mister Micawber....

Your answers for this question of mine were of great help to me.....