Gaslighting is not yet journalese, but is a wonderful word, the origin of which movie critic Ty Burr explains in The Boston Sunday Globe, Jan. 29, 2017, in an essay headlined (in the online edition) : ” ‘Gaslight’ is back in the Trump era, but where does it come from?” His piece begins:
“What do the people of America have in common with the late, great Hollywood movie star Ingrid Bergman?
“We know how it feels to be gaslit.
“Gaslighting” — in which a narcissistic personality insists so strenuously on a false version of events that people in his or her life start doubting reality — has become a full-fledged sociopolitical meme over the past four weeks. It is what our new president tries to do when he repeats claims that his inauguration was the most well-attended ever or that there was massive voter fraud perpetrated by illegal immigrants; it is what his spokespeople engage in when they substantiate those claims with what they refer to as “alternative facts.”
“Say it enough times, with enough conviction, and you bamboozle people into thinking they’re the ones going crazy: That’s gaslighting.”
Ty Burr’s terrific essay can be read at: http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/movies/2017/01/26/turning-down-lights/g0pZzMMe7uCHxqWItwJGlM/story.html