To: Stephen Colbert
From: Carol Reid
Date: March 29, 2007
Subject: Tonight's Word: Apologia (I’m a Librarian—and I’ve Been Hiding Something)

Dear Stephen:

I have an apologia to make. (As an erudite man, no doubt you know the word is defined as “a defense especially of one’s opinions, position, or actions.”)

I’m a librarian—and have been hiding something: the fact that it was I who set the modern-day precedent for the word “truthiness.” You see, for ten years I wrote an office newsletter column for the New York State Library titled “Reid This.” In 1999 I submitted a piece, “See No Evolution, in which appeared the following passage:

“Why, for example, [...] is no one calling for curricula putting forth the proposition that e = mc cubed? After all, Einstein’s idea is only a ‘theory’ too. And, really, what with a name like Relativity, you’d think its absolute truthiness would have been trashed a long time ago.”

The column was rejected out of fear that it might offend some staffers and I hope you're not offended, but you see, sir, my claim to the word “truthiness” is not only truthy, it’s true—and I’m no longer hiding it.

Since you’re a stand-up guy, I hope you’ll acknowledge my position as the coiner of the word even though you’ve been receiving all the recognition for it (not to mention the coin).

Stephen, you’re On Notice until you’ve accepted this challenge to accept my apologia.

And that’s the Word.

Yours truly,

Carol Reid
Albany, New York

P.S. Here’s a brief bio.

click for hi-res version