January 7, 2006

Truthiness and heart-feeling.

The most useful word of the year is "podcast," says the panel of linguist, but they still pick, for word of the year: "truthiness."

Also in contention were "whale tail" and "muffin top," both of which have to do with the way young women mis-wear their pants.

The linked CNN article -- which shoehorns in every possible thing about Tom Cruise it can -- fails to credit Stephen Colbert for truthiness, so go here for more, including the original Colbert quote:
And on this show, on this show your voice will be heard... in the form of my voice. 'Cause you're looking at a straight-shooter, America. I tell it like it is. I calls 'em like I sees 'em. I will speak to you in plain simple English.

And that brings us to tonight's word: truthiness.

Now I'm sure some of the Word Police, the wordanistas over at Webster's, are gonna say, "Hey, that's not a word." Well, anybody who knows me knows that I'm no fan of dictionaries or reference books. They're elitist. Constantly telling us what is or isn't true, or what did or didn't happen. Who's Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was finished in 1914? If I wanna say it happened in 1941, that's my right. I don't trust books. They're all fact, no heart.
Watch the clip here, which goes on to talk about Bush and "feeling the truth about Harriet Miers," the Iraq war, and so forth. Colbert says that the real division in this country isn't between liberals and conservatives but between those who think with their head and those who feel with their heart. All the examples of heart-feelers he gives are from conservatives (which fits his character on the show, who promotes both heart-feeling and conservatism). In real life, there are folks playing the heart-feeling card in both parties.

(Some are Senators on the Judiciary Committee who, I predict, will do some serious heart-talking next week at the Alito hearings.)


HaloJonesFan said...

Of course, the real problem is when you get people who think with their heart. (People who have the opposite problem--feeling with their head--usually go into engineering, and vote Libertarian if they can be bothered to vote at all.)

Uncle Mikey said...

Here is a link to the "Word of the Day" segment on the Colbert Report in which the Word is Truthiness. A perfect example of why Colbert's so much better and funnier than Jon Stewart. "Anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you."

onelmom said...


Tim Kanwar said...

Here's my submission for next year's field: "circumlegally."

The term refers to "the ability to skirt or bypass existing legal requirements by successfully arguing that the behavior or action was appropriate because either a) the law, in the interest of national security, doesn't apply to you b) the law doesn't mean what the rest of the country thought it meant or c) it is what the law ought to allow anyway."