[Ads-l] Definition OTY

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 18 14:28:05 EDT 2020


I know we’ve had threads on this in the past (e.g. “I deny the fact that…”), and I suspect you’re right in that this non-committal use of “fact” is increasing.  In some contexts “claim” can be used as a non-presuppositional alternative to “fact”, but of course not all propositions correspond to overt claims.  And as you say, “proposition” is rather non-colloquial.  Of course, if there can be alternative facts, there’s no reason not to accelerate the trend.  As Daniel Patrick Moynihan didn’t quite say, 
“You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. I am, though.”

LH

> On Aug 18, 2020, at 2:04 PM, Mark Mandel <markamandel at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> In general, I hear "fact" being used more and more often to mean something
> like "proposition" in the logical sense. And the fact that I have to
> describe the usage that way illustrates why the usage is spreading: we have
> no colloquial word for the concept.
> 
> MAM
> 
> 
> On Sun, Aug 16, 2020, 3:17 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> Remember "Truth is not truth"?   Remember "alternative facts"? :
>> 
>> 
>> https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-chief-of-staff-mark-meadows-says-lack-of-evidence-of-mail-in-voting-fraud-is-the-definition-of-fraud
>> :
>> 
>> “But there’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud,” Tapper added after
>> Meadows reiterated his concern with voter rolls.
>> 
>> “There’s no evidence that there’s not either. That’s the definition of
>> fraud, Jake.”
>> 
>> See, undetected fraud is the worst fraud, so if there's no evidence of
>> fraud, that means the fraud has gone undetected.
>> 
>> Extraordinary claims require undiscovered evidence.  Absent evidence is
>> evidence of non-absence.
>> 
>> JL
>> --
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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