Wally Voss read one of his favorite columns in the Swayback Daily Kick and found it referring to “blatantly wrong facts that are being thrown around.”
Wally drove straight to Curly's Soonerco and put it before the Sagebrush Academy of Linguistics.
“A fact is a fact,” he said as Buck checked his antifreeze. “It cannot be wrong. It can be used in an incorrect context so as to mislead the reader, but that doesn't change the actual fact. A misstatement can be a mistake or a purposeful lie, but it cannot be a ‘fact.' Now that I've ranted over what you may consider inconsequential, I at least feel better and will continue to enjoy your column.”
Buck mainly agrees with Wally, and has always avoided the redundant expression, “true facts.” A fact is true, or it isn't a fact. Or is it?
One definition of “fact” in the American Heritage Dictionary is “Something believed to be true or real.” The AHD gives as an example: “A document laced with mistaken facts.”
Merriam Webster's definitions of facts include this one: “A piece of information presented as having objective reality.”
So American Heritage regards it as a “fact” if it is “believed to be true or real.” Webster's says it's a fact if it is “presented as having objective reality.”
Buck thinks it's simpler to consider a fact as objective truth. Anything else is not a fact.
“The fact is,” said Luther Huckabuck, “I was sober as a judge when I came home from the all-night poker game.”
“Yeah,” said Floyd. “Judge Hangum High was at the same party, and he was lit up like Bricktown on New Year's Eve.”
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