Truthiness reaches the Australian capital

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 5 19:55:13 UTC 2006

>Australians claim bullshit!
>PS: Even more seriously. Is "truthiness" confined to politics?

Hardly--it's been thrown around freely during the James Frey/Oprah
affair, for example.

>  Don't
>we just see more of it at play there?

That is arguably where it matters most, after all.


>>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 -

The American Dialect Society -

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