Friday, November 25, 2016
The Oxford English Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year is “post-truth.” And it was a perfect choice. Post-truth refers to a political and social environment that exists not uniquely but preponderantly in the United States in which the truth is a moving target, with opponents in argument each seeming to have a separate set of facts to argue from. What’s more, persons predisposed to one side of an argument are generally comfortable with the set of facts that support their existing view of the issue and are likewise suspect of the facts that support the side they oppose. Post-truth is a sausage skin, a thin membrane of lexigraphy that holds together a great load of noxious material and manages to make it seem less horrible than it is. It is an antiseptic and prophylactic term in that way, reductive to the danger point, but it is indeed efficient, and despite good, solid information never having been more at the ready, it succinctly describes the alphabet soup of specious nonsense the fair debater is up against in a post-truth America.