“Truthiness” was credited to Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, who defined it as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.”
“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.”
Colbert reportedly said, “Truthiness now joins the lexicographical pantheon with words like ‘squash,’ ‘merry,’ ‘crumpet,’ ‘the,’ ‘xylophone,’ ‘circuitous,’ ‘others’ and others.” Hey, look at that, we mentioned circuitous only the other day!
This word does not remind me of anything other than my never-ending frustration with misplaced fear. It goes to show that any logical person would never win a presidential election or do well in marketing or sales. In order to change perceptions you need to understand what they are (not what you think they are or think they should be) and then what factors facilitate their prevalence. Much like psychoanalysis, only when you understand the reasons for a certain “truthiness” can you ever hope to change it.