2006 Word Of The Year: Truthiness

Merriam-Webster has announced that the winner of their first Word of the Year online survey is Stephen Colbert’s own “truthiness.”

“By an overwhelming 5 to 1 majority vote, our visitors have awarded top honors to a word Colbert first introduced on ‘The Word’ segment of his debut broadcast on Comedy Central back in October 2005.”

Colbert had this to say about having been recognized by this prestigious community of linguists:

“Though I’m no fan of reference books and their fact-based agendas, I am a fan of anyone who chooses to honor me. And what an honor. Truthiness now joins the lexicographical pantheon with words like ‘squash,’ ‘merry,’ ‘crumpet,’ ‘the,’ ‘xylophone,’ ‘circuitous,’ ‘others’ and others.”

Truthiness, as devoted Colbert fans know, is defined as:

“the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.”

Ironically, that is also how I would describe of viewers of Fox News. So in honor of Colbert being honored for his grammatical invention, I would like to announce one of my own. Here is the first synonym for truthiness: foxic. Foxic shares the same conceptual meaning as truthiness, but it can be used in more academic contexts, along with variations like foxicology and foxicism.


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