Tuesday, January 10, 2006

'Truthiness' and Katrina

Apparently, the word ‘truthiness’ best reflects 2005.

A panel of linguists from the American Dialect Society chose the word last Friday, (Jan 6).

Michael Adams, a professor at North Carolina State University who specializes in lexicology, said 'truthiness' means 'truthy, not facty.'

To be honest, I had never noticed the word before, but thinking back over the past twelve months, and the numerous incidents of bogus reporting by many large media outlets, I can understand why the word is so popular.

The American Dialect Society defined ‘truthiness’ as ‘the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true’.

The word ‘Katrina’ was in the run-off with ‘truthiness’ for the honour of Word of the Year.

The reporting around the events of Hurricane Katrina is a good example of ‘truthiness’. For weeks, the world’s media broadcast and printed many things that turned out to be utterly false. They stated ‘facts’ they wished to be true. We now know we were misled.

‘Truthiness’, a good word for 2005.

Eye of the storm