Truthiness

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A church sign stating, "Truthiness and Consequences", taken March 10, 2007, in Cape Coral, Florida.

Truthiness is a word used by Stephen Colbert. It was first used on October 17, 2005 in the first episode of the television show The Colbert Report. The word is used to describe something that feels truthful. Facts and logic have nothing to do with truthiness. The truthiness of something is only measured by it instinctively feeling correct.

The word was picked as the word of the year for 2005 by the American Dialect Society on January 6, 2006[1]. It was also selected by the Merriam-Webster dictionary on December 10, 2006 as its 2006 Word of the Year [2]. It beat the term google to get Word of the Year.

Colbert on Truthiness[change | edit source]

On the October 5 2005 Cobert Report, Stephen Colbert has this to say about truthiness:[3]

"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 'wordinistas' over at Webster's are gonna say, 'hey, that's not a word.' Well, anyone who knows me knows I'm no fan of dictionaries or reference books.
I don't trust books. They're all fact, no heart. And that's exactly what's pulling our country apart today. 'Cause face it, folks; we are a divided nation. Not between Democrats and Republicans, or conservatives and liberals, or tops and bottoms. No, we are divided between those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.
Consider Harriet Miers. If you 'think' about Harriet Miers, of course her nomination's absurd. But the president didn't say he 'thought' about his selection. He said this:
(video clip of President Bush:) 'I know her heart.'
Notice how he said nothing about her brain? He didn't have to. He feels the truth about Harriet Miers.
And what about Iraq? If you think about it, maybe there are a few missing pieces to the rationale for war. But doesn't taking Saddam out feel like the right thing?"

References[change | edit source]

  1. "Truthiness Voted 2005 Word of the Year by American Dialect Society" (PDF). http://www.americandialect.org/Words_of_the_Year_2005.pdf. Retrieved 2006-06-04.
  2. "Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2006". Merriam-Webster. http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/06words.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-08.
  3. "The Colbert Report: Videos: The Word (Truthiness)". 2005-October-17. http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_colbert_report/videos/the_word/index.jhtml?start=81. Retrieved 2006-06-04.

Other websites[change | edit source]