Truth: what’s in a word?


As we entered the uncertainties of 2017, The Oxford Dictionary announced that the word of 2016 was “post-truth”. This word travelled from the old to the new year and from all observations and experiences to date, will probably be around for quite some time to come.

Now, over half way through the year, the word is well-established, used and understood, often in media reports but also in everyday speech. It has entered the language. But what does post-truth actually mean? And do the journalists who use it acknowledge what it means? Do they spell it out for us, or are we left to wallow in this buzz word of the times?

 “Post” as a prefix means after…….for example post-natal means the period of time after the birth of a baby, post-traumatic means the reaction following a harrowing experience or event. So does post-truth therefore mean after, beyond and way past the actual truth? 

Hang on – isn’t that lies? Isn’t that lying? As in the telling of lies, telling “porkies”, bending or perverting the truth, being economical with the acuality?Post-truth, for me, means news I can’t trust and hey, did I really want to hear about it anyway? There’s already enough bad stuff about.

Why should any of us believe what we are being fed via the media, in an era where news corporations (and most likely governments – even presidents) make up news, or distort the facts to provoke an emotional, irrational, manipulated or calculated response. Or maybe to cover things up too. It’s the age of false truth and adjusted facts (aka lies, more lies and distorted facts).

Why would any of us in our right minds allow ourselves to be manipulated in this way? When I was running workshops on personal growth and self-awareness I used to write on a flip chart “This is not the Truth” along with a drawing of a large red heart shape; the message was delivered with love and respect. This was to remind me and the workshop participants that what I told them was my truth, but not neccessarily the truth, as I could only speak for myself, based on my own life experience.

It was to remind them not to take what I said as gospel – I encouraged people to go off and examine, consider and apply to themselves what they were learning or hearing first of all before deciding if it was, in fact, the “truth” for them. If it was their truth then they could own it, be responsible for it, and speak out loud and proud about it. If not, they would have to continue searching and exploring, seeking out what was true for them.

The photo above is real, by the way. It is true and genuine, it’s not made up, not post-truth. I took it myself. It’s a real warning for visitors in a state park in Texas, where it’s possible to get up close to alligators and snakes in the wild.

It’s telling the truth.

1 thought on “Truth: what’s in a word?

  1. Reblogged this on Eyes in the back of my Head and commented:

    I wrote this post back in 2017, when post-truth became a buzz word and it was wise to question or doubt what was reported in the media, and also necessary to take what prominent politicians said with a pinch of salt.

    I’m reblogging it now because of the lack of trust in the words, claims and promises of not only many of our politicians, but also trusting the words and truth from of our prime minister. Truth seems to be out of fashion and making things up on the hoof appears to be the modus operandi of our PM.

    As we in the UK enter this ever-crazier phase of the Brexit fiasco by having a general election 2 weeks before Christmas, it might seems that the pantomime season has started a little earlier this year. In which case, it’s upon us all as voters to examine the qualities of truth and trust alongside what is being said and how it is being said and presented in our media.


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