Word of the Day : May 10, 2011

factoid

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noun FAK-toyd

Definition

1 : an invented fact believed to be true because of its appearance in print

2 : a briefly stated and usually trivial fact

Did You Know?

We can thank Norman Mailer for the word "factoid"; he coined the term in his 1973 book Marilyn, about Marilyn Monroe. In the book, Mailer explains that factoids are "facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority." In creating his coinage, Mailer relied on "-oid," a suffix that traces back to the ancient Greek word "eidos," meaning "appearance" or "form." Mailer followed in a long tradition when he chose "-oid"; English speakers have been making words from "-oid" since at least the late 16th century.


Examples

Printed on the back of each baseball card in Mikey’s collection was a chart showing the player’s statistics along with one or two interesting factoids about his career.

"Here's an interesting factoid: 'Mary Poppins' is the only Broadway show that debuted in the 2006-2007 theatrical season still in performance." -- From an Orlando Sentinel blog posting by Matt Palm, April 18, 2011



Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "vitrine," our Word of the Day from April 25, 2011? The answer is ...


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