Friday, October 25, 2013

A new definition for factose intolerant is hard to swallow

Posted By on 10.25.13 at 02:35 PM

Stephen Colbert delivers the keynote last week at a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York. Some of the guests may have been factose intolerant.
  • AP Photo/Jason DeCrow
  • Stephen Colbert delivers the keynote last week at a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York. Some of the guests may have been factose intolerant.
Liesl Schillinger needs to face the factose: factose intolerant is more than she claims it is.

Schillinger's new book, Wordbirds: An Irreverent Lexicon for the 21st Century, is a delightful dictionary of newly coined (mostly by her) words and phrases, aka neologisms.

According to Schillinger, factose intolerant means "to shun certain foods out of the belief (based on no medical evidence) that you have acquired a severe allergy to them." Her usage example: "Veronica wanted to throw a dinner party, but couldn't, because so many of her friends were factose intolerant."

But in all truthiness, factose intolerance involves an aversion to any facts, not just "facts" about food. Venerable sources prove this. The Urban Dictionary explains that people are factose intolerant if they "completely dismiss all and every fact concerning any disagreement; and deliberately try to obscure or underscore the facts with endless distortions and allegory."

My usage example: "Thank goodness online commenters are never factose intolerant."

And according to the esteemed Wikiality, a website spawned by the multinational Stephen Colbert corporation, factose intolerance is "the condition brought about by the incomplete digestion of facts in guts normally accustomed to truthiness."

Schillinger no doubt realizes the true meaning of the phrase, and is just having fun with it. Her lexicon tilts toward food and eating; it includes mealbreaker ("One who drains cheer from a group meal by not partaking of the food"), ortate ("To talk with your mouth full"), overdoeuvre ("To eat so many appetizers that you lose your appetite for a meal"), and reciplay ("To cook without a recipe").

But it would be unfortunate if a phrase with as much potential as factose intolerant were diluted in its infancy, and so we must rise up and defend it. Or at least that's my gut feeling.

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