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The Difference Between a Fact and a Factoid

The Difference Between a Fact and a Factoid

By Daven Hiskey

Today I found out the difference between a fact and a factoid. I have gotten several helpful commenters pointing out recently that perhaps I am using the word “factoid” incorrectly in my articles here, thinking that it means the same as “fact”. Due to the confusion surrounding this word, I can absolutely see where they are coming from as “Factoid” has two somewhat distinct definitions, one being more or less a subset of “Fact”, the other not meaning the same thing at all as “Fact”. “Fact” obviously means something that is unquestionably true, or as Webster more eloquently puts it, it is the “quality of being actual”. Mailer described a factoid as “facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper”.