If you say something that isn't true, you are broadcasting a lie.

But I'm searching for a term that can be used in a broader, largely political context. To put it in perspective, we might ask what the enemies of truth are. They include...

lies (e.g. Fukushima radiation is harmless)

lies of omission (e.g. WHAT radiation?)

propaganda (e.g. Fukushima radiation off the U.S. Pacific Coast is well below levels that meet government guidelines)

diversion (e.g. California's biggest problem has to be Bruce Jenner!)

So if all the factual information about Fukushima radiation (or any other topic) can be characterized as TRUTH, what would you call the sum of all the lies, propaganda and lies of omission?

If you can't think of a good term, I welcome suggestions for such a term (note the coin-a-term tag, which I created recently).

In fact, if it's allowed, I would tentatively like to accept TWO correct answers. If anyone suggests a really good existing term, that's the correct answer. But if anyone can also suggest a really cool new term, I'll give them 25 bonus points, if that's allowed. Actually, I've never offered bonus points before, so I'm not sure how it works, but I'm sure someone will help me figure it out ;)

P.S. I posted two tags - term and coin-a-term - but it rejected both, instead listing neologisms.

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    Well, you can always go with "falsehood". Or "untruth". And I'm sure politicians have a few choice terms. – Hot Licks Dec 23 '15 at 3:49
  • Ah, yes -- now I remember: inoperative! – Hot Licks Dec 23 '15 at 3:54
  • Maybe "falsity"? – Yee-Lum Dec 23 '15 at 3:54
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    Regarding bonus reputations (which you mentioned as bonus points), you can see "question eligible for bounty tomorrow or X hours" right below "add a comment" when you ask a question. You can click "start a bounty" when the time is passed. That's the only way you can award an extra reputation. Minimum bounty is 50 reputations and it is used by an OP who wants to get a better answer (usually). If you start a bounty, the question will appear in featured questions. – user140086 Dec 23 '15 at 4:39
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    Regarding accepting two answers, it is not allowed here. Regarding Tags, you can create a new tag if you have over 300 reputations, but neologisms is the tag for coin-a-term. You can also put "single-word-request" tag since you are asking for a single word. – user140086 Dec 23 '15 at 4:44

Since nonstandard words and neologisms are allowed, I would suggest:

nontruth: That which is not true; a lie or falsehood. (Wiktionary)

Official references are sparse; for example, it's not defined but is referenced at dictionary.com.

The word has been increasing in popularity over the last half century as evidenced by this NGram.

I find this term preferable over a similarly appealing term ("untruth") because non- implies negation or absence, but unlike un-, doesn't imply the total opposite of or opposition to. See this Stack Exchange answer for more details.

  • I voted nontruth up, but I have to give it a little thought before accepting it as the correct answer. I agree with your argument 100%, yet untruth just sounds cooler somehow. – David Blomstrom Dec 23 '15 at 5:05
  • On second thought, I shouldn't pass up logic and an apparently new (or at least unofficial) term to boot. ;) If there's a way to give you 50 bounty points, let me know how to do it. If nothing else, maybe I could uncheck your answer as correct, wait until the bounty gizmo appears (or is it too late?), give you the bounty, then mark it as the correct answer again. – David Blomstrom Dec 23 '15 at 5:13
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    @DavidBlomstrom: You are too kind. I am glad to have been able to be of service. No need to offer a bounty; the upvote and acceptance are 25 reputation points, which is more than fair. However, for future reference, you can learn about bounties (including how they can be started two days after your post) here: english.stackexchange.com/help/bounty – Nonnal Dec 23 '15 at 5:19

bunk. Because to "debunk" an assertion is to expose any and all of its falsehoods.

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