Tuesday, December 19

Truthiness: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year

What a cool word! Truthiness
I love how the English language is constantly changing -- it's a dymanic language, rather than being stuck, static. New words keep the language alive.

Truthiness is Merriam Webster's Word of the Year for 2006. This is a quote from their website:

By an overwhelming 5 to 1 majority vote, our visitors have awarded top honors to a word Colbert first introduced on "The Word" segment of his debut broadcast on Comedy Central back in October 2005. Soon after, this word was chosen as the 16th annual Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society, and defined by them as "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true."

Merriam-Webster's #1 Word of the Year for 2006 based on votes from visitors to our Web site is:

tada .... wait for the drum roll ...

truthiness (noun)
1 : "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)
2 : "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true" (American Dialect Society, January 2006)

more about truthiness:

"I think there's a serious issue lurking behind the popularity of the word truthiness," said John Morse, President and Publisher of Merriam-Webster Inc. "What is it exactly that constitutes truth today? This isn't just a political question-it's relevant to a broad spectrum of social issues where our ideas on the nature of authority are being challenged. Adopting the word truthiness is a playful way to deal with this important question."

Traffic to Merriam-Webster OnLine now encompasses 100 million individual page views per month. On average, the website responds to approximately ten lookup requests in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary or Thesaurus per second. During peak hours, this may increase to more than 100 requests per second. Here are the other 9 words in the top 10 words of the year:

2. google
3. decider
4. war
5. insurgent
6. terrorism
7. vendetta
8. sectarian
9. quagmire
10. corruption

I like quagmire. It reminds me of when my boys were much, much younger and they, along with me and an adult friend, Jeff, got my VW Rabbit stuck in a big mud puddle -- actually it was a mixture of mud and cowshit. Mickey had just learned the words, quagmire and cesspool. He delighted in saying them over and over -- laughing -- while we tried to get unstuck.
Pronunciation: 'kwag-"mI(-&)r
1 : soft miry land that shakes or yields under the foot
2 : a difficult, precarious, or entrapping position : PREDICAMENT