“Truthiness”: Why is history is essentially revision?

*A NOTE ON “TRUTHINESS,” chosen as the “word of the year” by the American Dialect Association 2006. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution

01/08/06: http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/0108metword.html

Members of the American Dialect Society gathered in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday evening to select the word or phrase of the year. .  .  . The winner, made famous by a late night mock news show, means the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.  .  .  .  "It seemed to us at the time to encapsulate the whole year," said Wayne Glowka, the Georgia College & State University English professor who presided over the "word of the year" selection. .  .  . Michael Adams, a professor at North Carolina State University who specializes in lexicology, said truthiness means "truthy, not facty." "Truthiness is sort of what you want to be true, as opposed to what the facts support," Mr. Colbert said in a recent interview. "Truthiness is a truth larger than the facts that would comprise it -- if you cared about facts, which you don't, if you care about truthiness."

The image on the far right shows China's first emperor, Shi Huang Di, ordering that books be burned and scholars be burried alive to insure that his version of history would be uncontested. The image on the far left is of Winston Churchhill, advocate for the British Empire, who once said that "history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Revolution, deleted his rivals from a photograph to insure his memory would not be insulted.