We were so smug last year when the Oxford English Dictionary announced that its "Word of the Year" for 2015 was the Face With Tears of Joy emoji. We were wrong. We should have celebrated it. At least that was a symbol of happiness. Mirth.
Well, 2016 continues its reign of terror. Your favorite musician is probably dead. Civility is, mangled and left bleeding by the U.S. presidential debates. Pictures are words. Phones are explosive devices. And, we're living in a "post-truth" society.
Yes, that hyphenated gobbledigook is the esteemed resource manual's word of the year. Don't blame the OED. It's not the writers' fault words have lost all meaning.
Per the dictionary:
Post-truth: relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.
"Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines," the dictionary's blog explains.
Shortlist runners up are equally unnerving
Alt-right, Brexiteer and woke are sure to keep you up at night. Don't buy into the Danes' peaceful, easy hygge; cultural coulrophobia permeates society like endless bozos falling from behind the wheel of a tiny automobile.
How can we make the world truthful again?
Well, accept that perception alters even the most rational minds.
But, also: Care a little about empiricism. Stop calling things "evidence-based" that aren't. And, consider gently breaking it to your friends and family that many of their favorite websites are not only "post-truth," but "post-reality."
Next, believe Facebook when they tell you they are not a media company. They are, but you don't have to let them get away with controlling your stream of information. Seek out sources outside social media, and not just ones that validate your beliefs.