Thursday, 19 November 2009

New word in my lexicon

I was pootling around a local bookshop yesterday, waiting for Mrs S to finish work, and saw a copy of a particular book on sale. On an impulse I made the purchase. Upon reading, my chortle glands were stimulated, and a veil ripped from my inner eye. Subsequently a new word has been added to my vocabulary. Not a new occurrence, but, I feel, an important one I'd like to share with whoever drops by my little pile of semi literate ravings. That word is 'Fark'. Sounds a bit Douglas Adamsish doesn't it? You know, as in a "Holy Zarquon, singing fish!" or "Farking Zarquon!" kind of way. It has the monosyllabic pithiness of a swear word, and just the right amount of pejorativeness without being overtly offensive.

According to Wiktionary, it is prosaically just another way of vouchsafing a common swear word. On the other hand, Drew Curtis and friends use it as a different kind of adjective to describe a spuriously inaccurate and even misleading news 'story' used as mere column inch filler which so many bloggers often spend huge amount of time exposing as fraudulent by the practice of 'Fisking'. It is within this context I wish to indulge my mental meanderings.

For example; let's consider types of news story as 'Fark'. Usually thought of as the more bizarre and outlandish stuff. However, a perusal of the news media, or TV or radio news brings the message home with a vengeance. For example; attributed quotes from public figures which they never uttered, or quotations so far out of context that they are accelerating over the dishonesty event horizon. Statements derived from scientific reports misinterpreted and subsequently sensationalised beyond all recognition. Opinion pieces masquerading as news. Lazy cut and paste from activists' press releases. Are they often spurious? - Yes. Inaccurate? - Very possibly. Misleading? - Most certainly. You could be justified in thinking that all the spurious and bizarre stories were in the National Enquirer and Sunday Sport; E.G. 'Elvis sighted on Lunar Holiday', 'God seen fishing on unidentified friend's luxury yacht'. There's something honest about those kind of stories because their veracity is so obviously, and humorously questionable. They don't masquerade as factual like real 'Fark'.

Therefore I would posit that 'Fark' is 'news' which misleads and misinforms. It is media spin and misdirection. Linguistic smoke and mirrors. As an adjective 'Fark' can be used as shorthand for unworthy of belief, as in "What utter Fark", or "That's a load of Fark isn't it?"

Ladies and gentlemen; I present you with the world of 'Fark'. It's remarkable how much there is of it about.

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