Buck's English: A fact can't be wrong, reader contends

Gene Owens: Buck has always avoided the redundant expression, “true facts.” A fact is true, or it isn't a fact. Or is it?
BY GENE OWENS Published: December 25, 2012
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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.”



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