Thursday, January 12, 2006

Truthiness, justice and the American way

If you're not a fan of the Colbert Report...well why not?

But anyway, mock pundit (in the way Jon Stewart is a mock newsman), Stephen Colbert is already impacting the American lexicon, even if he's not getting credit for it.

Adam Green has the call:

Harkening back to October 17, 2005, the night the Colbert Report debuted on Comedy Central, Colbert replayed his first Word of the Day: Truthiness.

At the time he had joked, "Now I'm sure some of the Word Police, the wordanistas over at Webster's, are gonna say, 'Hey, that's not a word.'" But on Monday, Colbert swollowed (sic) his pride - he admitted he was wrong. Because it turns out, this week the American Dialect Society voted "truthiness" the 2005 word of the year. Colbert commented:

Press article announcing this prestigious award - written by one Heather Clark - had a glaring omission: Me. I'm not mentioned, despite the fact that truthiness is a word I pulled right out of my keyster.

Instead of coming to me, here's where Ms. Clark got the definition. "Michael Adams, a professor at North Carolina State university who specializes in lexicology, said 'truthiness' means 'truthy, not facty.'"

First of all, I looked him up. He's not a professor, he's a vising associate professor. And second, it means a lot more than that, Michael.

I don't know what you're getting taught over there in English 201 and 324 over at Tompkins Hall, Wolfpack. But it isn't truthiness.

In fact, the AP article misses the entire satirical point, that truthiness is the kind of mindset that makes people believe Saddam was involved in 9/11 and al Qaeda and that eolution is "just" a theory.

And though I suspect that the real culprit is some editor, the object of Stephen's wrath is the woman with the byline on the article, Heather Clark.

The truth is clear from American Dialect Society's website

And if you'd like to politely suggest a correction I'd suggest contacting Ms. Clark.

And, as Mr. Green suggests:
And if you're on the fence about whether to contact her, don't just do it for Colbert. Do it in the name...of truthiness.

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