ADS in "Free Will Astrology"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Feb 1 21:54:55 UTC 2006

"Free Will Astrology" appears in various alt-weeklies, such as the
Village Voice. From the Feb. 1 edition:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The American Dialect Society has chosen
the best new words of 2005. Winning in the "most creative" category
was "whale tail," which refers to the top of a thong showing above the
waistband of pants or a skirt. But the fresh coinage that's most
meaningful to you right now, Sagittarius, is "truthiness." It's the
quality people embody when they assert concepts that they wish to be
true instead of sticking to the facts. In his TV show on Comedy
Central, Stephen Colbert articulated a perfect example: "Who's
Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was finished in 1914? If I want
to say it happened in 1941, that's my right. I don't trust books.
They're all fact, no heart." It's always important for you to avoid
truthiness yourself and protest it when it spills from others. But
it's especially crucial now. Arm yourself with factiness.

"Factiness", by the way, has appeared as an alternative to
"truthiness" in several sources, especially since the Oprah vs. Frey
tussle. The earliest usage I've seen was in a Jan. 8 headline on Media
Bistro's Fishbowl NY about Colbert vs. the AP:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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