Truthiness: The WØRD (of the Year)!

Stephen Colbert can add another award to his mantle. Merriam-Webster has named “truthiness” 2006’s Word of the Year.

While it should never be forgotten that 2006 was the year that Stephen Colbert tore up the pols and the press at the White House Correspondents Dinner (one of the most-circulated videos of the year and probably in C-SPAN history: watch it here), it was also the year in which Colbert’s famous word-coinage was appropriated by real-news columnists and pundits to describe the Bush administration’s often unbelievable imagination/interpretation of reality.

Colbert is universally credited with coining the word “truthiness” and defining it on The WØRD segment of the inaugural Colbert Report as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.” Click to watch Colbert’s “truthiness” segment.

But already, a Google search culls “about 736,000” instances of “truthiness” on the Internet. As late as February, I recall getting involved in a discussion on Wikipedia regarding whether the word “truthiness” even merited it’s own entry (there are already considerably detailed entries on Colbert, Colbert the character, and his “Report“).

Colbert has become such an extraordinary legend among surfers of the InterTubes that he now has a wiki that is entirely his own — Wikiality: “The Internets Tube Dedicated to Truthiness!”

From the AP:

“We’re at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people’s minds, and truth has become up for grabs,” said Merriam-Webster president John Morse. “‘Truthiness’ is a playful way for us to think about a very important issue.”

Other Top 10 finishers included “war,” “insurgent,” “sectarian” and “corruption.” But “truthiness” won 5-to-1, Morse said.

See all of M-W’s Words of the year here.

What a year. In fact, for “truthiness” it’s the second year of being named word of the year by one organization or another.

Here’s M-W’s official definition:

1. 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)

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related posts: Stephen Colbert

Tom Brady Sues Yahoo! for Using Image on Fantasy

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read stuff like this. New England Patriot’s QB Tom Brady, yeah, the Michigan alum and 3-time Super Bowl champ, is suing Yahoo! for using an image of him to promote Y! Fantasy Football “without authorization” in both a print ad in Sports Illustrated and in banner ads on the site.

Having worked with Yahoo! (I am currently a part-time, contract content producer), I find it hard to believe they an unlicensed image would have been used for something as high-profile as Fant. Football. Nonetheless, CNET News reports:

The New England Patriots’ three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, Tom Brady, is alleging in a lawsuit that Yahoo used his likeness to promote the portal’s fantasy football league without his permission.

According to a report on the news site The Smoking Gun, Brady filed his suit in U.S. District Court and is asking for unspecified damages.

[…]

Brady asserts that Yahoo’s use of his image “connotes a false endorsement,” according to the news site.

The advertisement in question shows several NFL players with their teams’ helmet insignias removed. Among the players are running back LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers, and New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Calls to Yahoo representatives were not immediately returned on Thursday. With more than 4 million users, the portal’s fantasy football league is one of the largest on the Internet.

Guide to 2006 Top Album Lists

I’ll be fleshing out my thoughts re: Best of ’06 over the coming weeks. For now, be sure to see LargeHeartedBoys aggregation of the many Best of Music ’06 lists on the Web.

And a big happy birthday to Tom Waits!