Is That an Opinion, or Just a ‘Pre-fact’

I got the chance to re-run an old column in the paper on Sunday, May 20th. I wrote it in 2016, soon after the election, but sadly, all of it holds true today…

“Merriam Webster’s dictionary opened its arms to a host of new words in 2016: Aughties, snain, glitten and jockumentary being among my favorite. Look ’em up…

…Sometimes, however, our language is not keeping up, and we need to give it a little nudge. Today, although I probably lack the influence to do so, I will humbly introduce a new word which I think our culture and language is sorely missing right now.

The word is “prefact.”

…Here comes the offending everyone equally part: I believe that to be considered valid, opinions, as mentioned above, require research, reflection or reliable sources. This information must then be sifted carefully through the matrix of our values, experience and faith. So that when we state that opinion, we are prepared to defend how we came to it, what facts we are interpreting, and how they are shaded by our deeply personal understanding of the world.

But these valid opinions are constantly put on the same playing field as those that exist solely to fulfill the narcissistic promises of social media and our own sensitive egos — the ideas blurted out with bristling pride and a complete lack of foundation. And people shy away from debating them because those other, so-called “opinions” cannot be argued against. They were created before any reasonable investigation into the subject: pre-fact, if you will.”

Read more on The Post Independent’s website.


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