AP story on truthiness short on factiness

Comedy Central 008.jpgThis is pretty egregious: the Associated Press published a story about how the American Dialect Society chose the word “truthiness” as the 2005 Word of the Year…but it neglected to mention the origin of the word. Seriously! As any Fishbowl reader knows, the word “truthiness” entered the lexicon via “The Colbert Report” in its very first episode.

The American Dialect Society knows this – they mention it on their blog (incidentally, “blog” was a Runner-Up Word of the Year in 2002, narrowly beat out by “WMDs” and “Google” as a verb).

“Truthiness” was defined by the ADS as “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.” I think that’s actually not entirely accurate. My impression was that truthiness referred to “the quality of seeming to be true, or of being spun to seem true despite what actually is true.” I do agree with North Carolina State University lexicology professor Michael Adams, who said “truthiness” means “truthy, not facty.” That statement is both truthy AND facty. Unlike the AP article.

Runners-up included “Katrinagate,” “podcast” and “soduku,” which will surely please the New York Post. Other words of the year here; it’s pretty fun to scroll through them and see what stuck (“Infobahn,” you never quite took, eh?).

In related news, permit us to say we told you so.

‘Truthiness’ voted 2005 word of the year [AP via ABCNews]