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Post-truth

Post-truth is a new word, it has been chosen as the Word of the Year for 2016 by the Oxford English Dictionary. Post-truth is a compound word, which is a word comprised of two words joined together to create a new word with a new meaning. We will look at the meaning of the term post-truth, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Post-truth describes a situation in which the importance of actual facts is supplanted by appeals to emotion and personal prejudices in influencing public opinion. The prefix post- means after, though beginning in the 1970s it began to be used to designate a time when something becomes irrelevant. An example of this use is the word post-racial. First used in the 1990s, the term post-truth was popularized with the 2004 publication of the book The Post-truth Era, written by Ralph Keyes. The term post-truth is most often used in the term post-truth politics, a political philosophy which stresses emotion and personal prejudices over objective fact or specific policy. A related term is post-truthers.


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Examples

On our shores, the Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy put it this way: “We’ve been drifting, in increments, in the direction of post-truth, but the election of Trump is a headfirst pitch over the cliff.” (The Australian)

We are witnessing the results of a widespread trend, summed up by the epithet “post-truth politics”, that can be understood through studies of disinformation in Putin’s Russia. (The Business Standard)

The election of an American president who routinely lies and the success of Brexit after a campaign full of falsehoods suggests we’re in a post-truth world, writes Roy Greenslade for The Guardian. (The Albany Times-Union)

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