`Truthiness' Is Named Word of the Year
Friday, December 08, 2006
By ADAM GORLICK, Associated Press Writer
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. 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
"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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