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Saturday, January 07, 2006

A word for our times -- truthiness 

truthiness: the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.

The American Dialect Society has selected "truthiness" to be its Word of the Year. First said by that noted Daily Show linguist Steven Colbert, the word is one for our times -- the news story announcing the award quotes North Carolina State professor Michael Adams defining truthiness as "truthy, not facty." He continues "The national argument right now is, one, who's got the truth and, two, who's got the facts. Until we can manage to get the two of them back together again, we're not going make much progress."
Here are some of the other new words I liked:

brown-out: the poor handling of an emergency.
disaster industrial complex: the array of businesses which make profit from by providing emergency services, especially those that result from no-bid government contracts.
lifehack: to make one’s day-to-day behaviors or activities more efficient.
whale tail: the appearance of thong or g-string underwear above the waistband of pants, shorts, or a skirt. Also known as a longhorn.
muffin top: the bulge of flesh hanging over the top of low-rider jeans.
man date: when two heterosexual men engage in an activity together without romantic implications.
pope-squatting: registering a domain name that is the same of a new pope before the pope chooses his new name in order to profit from it.
Ex-Lax option: immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
holistic practitioner: a prostitute.
VBIED: a car bomb. An acronym for Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. Sometimes pronounced vee-bid or vee-bidder.
jump the couch: to exhibit strange or frenetic behavior. Inspired by the couchbouncing antics of Tom Cruise on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show.
Cyber Monday: the Monday after Thanksgiving, purported to be the day that most online shopping takes place.
folksonomy: a taxonomy created by an ad hoc group of non-experts. From folk + ta(x)onomy.

Click here to see all the nominees(pdf).

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