Saturday, December 16, 2006
"Truthiness"
According to Merriam-Webster, the Word of the Year is "Truthiness", coined by tv political satirist Steven Colbert of the Colbert Report. According to Wikipedia, truthiness is "the quality by which a person claims to know something intuitively, instinctively, or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or actual facts." Or in other words, truthiness is what I want to be true, regardless of the actual facts. Colbert often characterizes the Bush administration as having a high commitment to truthiness.

Interestingly, that seems to also describe well the way a lot of Christians tend to approach their own beliefs.

Anyhow, the following was reported by CNN:
SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) -- After 12 months of naked partisanship on Capitol Hill, on cable TV and in the blogosphere, the word of the year for 2006 is ... "truthiness."

The word -- if one can call it that -- best summed up 2006, according to an online survey by dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster.

"Truthiness" was credited to Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, who defined it as "truth that comes from the gut, not books."

"We're at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people's minds, and truth has become up for grabs," said Merriam-Webster president John Morse. "'Truthiness' is a playful way for us to think about a very important issue."

Other Top 10 finishers included "war," "insurgent," "sectarian" and "corruption." But "truthiness" won 5-to-1, Morse said.

Colbert -- who once derided the folks at Springfield-based Merriam-Webster as the "word police" and a bunch of "wordinistas" -- was pleased.

"Though I'm no fan of reference books and their fact-based agendas, I am a fan of anyone who chooses to honor me," he said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

"And what an honor," he said. "Truthiness now joins the lexicographical pantheon with words like 'squash,' 'merry,' 'crumpet,' 'the,' 'xylophone,' 'circuitous,' 'others' and others."

Colbert first uttered "truthiness" during an October 2005 broadcast of "The Colbert Report," his parody of combative, conservative talk shows.

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posted by Mike Clawson at 10:01 AM | Permalink |


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