fictitious (sp?)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 25 04:00:15 UTC 2003

At 8:47 PM -0600 3/24/03, Gordon, Matthew J. wrote:
>I heard 'fictition' last week from a caller to an NPR show. At the
>time I took it as slip of the tongue - the caller sounded upset
>about an author's mixing of "fact and fictition".  However, with
>Moore's usage at the Oscars now I'm wondering if this form has some
>currency. It seems like a nice case of back formation.

There's an established blend noun "faction" with just this meaning.
Here's the AHD4:

1. A form of literature or filmmaking that treats real people or
events as if they were fictional or uses real people or events as
essential elements in an otherwise fictional rendition.
2. A literary work or film that is a mix of fact and fiction.

Blend of fact fiction.

Last night I suspected "factition" was an on-line back-formation of
"fictitious" that Michael Moore constructed in the (considerable)
heat of the moment.  If "fictition" does catch on (there are only 48
google hits), it may be because it works better than "faction", which
of course was previously taken for another function.


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