Meanings of this word, the group reports, "date as far back as 1824."
Fun stuff, if truthy, but is it?
My "Websters New World College Dictionary" is having none of it. My second college edition "American Heritage Dictionary" won't play ball. Not even my huge "Oxford Universal Dictionary" gives "truthiness" any ink. The closest this unabridged volume comes is to mention the shorter "truthy," which it says is rare dialect. Ironically, this empty space where the word "truthiness should be immediately follows an entry for a word Oxford does deem ink-worthy: "trustiness."
Is the American Dialect Society lying? Not likely. I'm sure that the "meanings" they found dating back to 1824 do include documented cases of the word "truthiness" appearing in print.
This is how "nauseous" came to mean the same thing as "nauseated." It's how "healthy" came to have the same meaning as "healthful." And it's how "whom" became officially optional in all but the most formal speech and writing.
So if everyone else can invent rules and words, I can, too. Thus, I would like to announce a new word I just made up: "report." This new word I just made up is spelled like "report," pronounced like "rapport," and describes the congenial manner in which I "report" back to readers who e-mail me their questions.
And with that, here's today's Casagrande Report, prompted by Deane Bottorf of Corona del Mar:
Dean writes: "'He drove the car and he accidentally ran her over.' This expression keeps appearing and bugging me. It just sounds wrong and I don't know why. It should be ' ... he accidentally ran over her.' Doesn't 'over' modify the very 'ran'?"