Irreverent Mama

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Truthiness and Wikiality.

Apparently there is a political satirist*, name of Stephen Colbert, who likes to coin words. He proves his wit and gift with the language on his television show, giftedly and wittily entitled, "The Colbert Report".

(*Which I discovered here. Some people might have discovered this by watching his show. Quite possibly many have. Just not me.)

"Truthiness" and "wikiality" were two recently Colbert-minted words, picked up by the Global Language Monitor.

Quiz: how would you define the terms?
Stop and think about it, now.
All right, then. Got something?

My guesses:

"'Truthiness'?" I scoffed. "How silly. We have a word for that - truthfulness." A pretentious redundancy, I thought, thus proving I have never watched the clever and witty Mr. Colbert before, because his definition is indeed cleverer and wittier. And I should have seen it in the suffix. Nuts.

On to wikiality.

Wikiality is, obviously, derived from Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia compiled by anyone who wants to make a contribution. It has managed to let a couple of suspect bits of "information" out into the ether. Thus, I guessed, its meaning would be something like "information/belief which is easily accessed but of questionable validity/veracity." I was closer, but not as clever.

Okay, are you ready for the Global Language Monitor's definitions of Mr. Colbert's terms?

Truthiness: Truth unencumbered by facts.
Wikiality: Reality as determined by majority vote. (As when astonomers voted Pluto off their list of planets.)

Clever. Maybe I'll watch the show next week.

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  • He's great. I like the show, but in small portions. He's such a parody on the right-wing talk shows that sometimes I just can't watch. Makes me want to hurt someone.

    By Blogger Candace, at 11:14 a.m.  

  • Great show. You'll enjoy it. That's an order.

    By Blogger Karl, at 8:55 a.m.  

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