Saturday, December 09, 2006

Yearly Words Reflect Public Consciousness

Well, the word is out on the 2006 Word of the Year, and must say I too am surprised by the apparent influence of Stephen Colbert, who also coined the phrase "wikiality" that I mentioned at a recent story here.

I swear I remember "podcast" being Word of the Year for 2005, but the Merriam Webster list shows "integrity" at the top of the list.

For 2006, we have Colbert's word: TRUTHINESS.

Truthiness (noun)
1 : "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)
2 : "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true"

The top ten Words of the Year since 2003:

Apparently Colbert will appear on 60 Minutes this weekend.

Note that some words appear in more than one year. Somehow I think the "quagmire" at #9 of 2006 has a different ring than it did as #2 in 2003.

As the Bush Administration drifts the country towards an Orwellian nightmare, it makes sense that a word associated with distinguishing reality from reality might develop.

It's really pretty funny, except it isn't.


Blogger Liza said...

Just as you say, this is funny, but it isn't. I agree that "truthiness" is the word of the year. The absence of truth, more than anything else, defines the Bush Administration and the complicit corporate media. Manipulating bits of truth, omitting pertinent facts, and padding the whole thing with outright lies is the basis of what we,the people, are allowed to know these days about what our government is up to. "Truthiness" is a brilliant one word description.

I must say that 2004 is over my head. I haven't a clue what the meaning of "cicado", "pelaton", or "defenestration" might be.

12/09/2006 2:00 PM  

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