Solomon emphasized how the dictionary wants the choice of “mis” over “dis” to be a call to action. The dictionary hopes selecting misinformation as the word of the year can teach people not to blame others, but to look at their own actions.
“Disinformation is a word that kind of looks externally to examine the behavior of others. It’s sort of like pointing at behavior and saying, ‘THIS is disinformation.’ With misinformation, there is still some of that pointing, but also it can look more internally to help us evaluate our own behavior, which is really, really important in the fight against misinformation,” Solomon said.
“It’s a word of self-reflection, and in that it can be a call to action. You can still be a good person with no nefarious agenda and still spread misinformation.”
That’s adorable. By contrast, their Word of the Year for 2016 was xenophobia, so perhaps this is a sign that they’ve moved into the “We’re not angry, just disappointed” stage of their post-Trump trauma. Like modern-day John Harvey Kelloggs, today’s progressives hope to cure political vice and improve intellectual hygiene through a strict diet of bland platitudes and peer-reviewed conclusions. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Voxplainer droning on into a human ear — forever. Unfortunately for them, human communication has always been a game of Telephone. The law of noospheric entropy states that ideas and concepts are forever decaying into clichés, slogans and buzzwords; likewise, even a conversation that begins with Just the Facts will degenerate into rumor, propaganda and fantasy by the time it reaches the end of the circle. Earnest proselytizing can only go so far among an audience without the ears to hear it.