Words, whether written or spoken, are powerful. They are one of the most effective tools of communication.
They are used to share our love and affection for family and friends. They let others know when we are angry or upset about something. They can be used to offer comfort to someone in a time of sorrow, or convince someone not to lose all hope. They can inspire, entertain and inform.
As a professional writer, words are especially important to me. Each one in everything I write is carefully selected to convey the proper message and tone.
It’s for this reason that dictionary.com’s 2018 word of the year, misinformation, continues to be appropriate for current times.
By definition, misinformation is “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.”
Indeed, words that were misleading or twisted into a different meaning were plentiful last year. So were words related to understanding what misinformation is. One of the more common or popular terms related to spreading misinformation is “fake news,” especially in the political arena.
It’s something that the Boulder City Review been accused of spreading. It is, of course, not true; that is misinformation.
According to dictionary.com., the word of the year poses challenges as we try to navigate through life, discerning between misinformation and disinformation, which is “deliberately misleading or biased information.”
The key difference between the two is intent. One can easily share wrong or misinformation without knowing they are doing so. Sometimes, people believe the information they are sharing to be true even when it is not.
I see this on a regular basis on various social media sites. One person shares something and then their friends pick up on it without checking to verify its authenticity. Fortunately, there is a website, Snopes.com, which is extremely helpful in debunking fiction from fact. It’s sole mission is to battle misinformation.
While we don’t specifically battle misinformation, our mission is to provide true and accurate information to our readers to the best of our abilities. This will be especially crucial in the coming months as we face a civic election. Not only are there three spots on the council up for re-election, there are ballot questions that have the potential to be extremely divisive.
Rest assured that we will continue to choose our words wisely in 2019.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.