Truthiness reaches the Australian capital

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sun Feb 5 14:01:35 UTC 2006

Australians claim bullshit!


PS: Even more seriously. Is "truthiness" confined to politics? Don't
we just see more of it at play there?

>In Saturday's Canberra Times, in Laurie Barber's "My Word" column, he
>wrote about Merriam-Webster's list of the most looked-up words of 2005
>-- integrity, refugee, contempt, etc. Then in his last paragraph he
>"Another American group, the American Dialect Society, made a more
>subjective choice with its words and decided its word of the year was
>"truthiness", something that has not as yet made its mark in the
>Australian context. The society defines truthiness as "the quality of
>stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than
>the concepts or facts known to be true".
>Truthiness does in fact exist in Australia, especially here in the
>national capital, it's just that we haven't had a word for it that we
>can use in the political sphere. But it's obvious we need one -- when I
>talked about truthiness (and mentioned ADS, of course) on ABC Radio (the
>national, government-funded, broadcaster) last week it was obvious from
>listener response that the need is recognised. The Australian term
>"bullshit" pretty well covers the concept, however, though it is not
>confined to politics as "truthiness" apparently is.
>Pauline Bryant
>Dr Pauline Bryant
>Visiting Fellow
>School of Language Studies
>Building 110
>Australian National University
>Canberra  ACT  0200
>Issues Editor: Current Issues in Language Planning
> <>
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1036 USA
Office: (517) 353-4736
Fax: (517) 353-3755

The American Dialect Society -

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