factoid


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fac·toid

 (făk′toid)
n.
1. A piece of unverified or inaccurate information that is presented in the press as factual, often as part of a publicity effort, and that is then accepted as true because of frequent repetition.
2. A brief, somewhat interesting fact.

fac·toi′dal adj.
Usage Note: The suffix -oid normally means "resembling, having the appearance of." Thus, factoid originally referred to a claim that appears reliable or accurate, often because it has been repeated so frequently that people assume it is true. The word still has this meaning for many writers and readers; in our 2013 survey, 59 percent of the Usage Panel accepted it in the sentence The editorial writer relied on numerous factoids that have long been discredited. But factoid is also often used to mean a brief, somewhat interesting fact, and this sense has become common in recent decades. Some 64 percent of the Panel accepted this usage in the sentence Each issue of the magazine begins with a list of factoids, like how many pounds of hamburger were consumed in Texas last month. As the ballot results indicate, neither usage is overwhelmingly approved. If you use the word factoid, be sure the sentence makes it clear whether you are referring to a spurious claim, on the one hand, or an isolated, trivial, or mildly intriguing fact, on the other.

factoid

(ˈfæktɔɪd)
n
a piece of unreliable information believed to be true because of the way it is presented or repeated in print
[C20 (coined by Norman Mailer): from fact + -oid]

fac•toid

(ˈfæk tɔɪd)

n.
1. something fictitious or unsubstantiated that is presented as fact, devised esp. to gain publicity, and accepted because of constant repetition.
2. an insignificant fact.
[1973, Amer.]

factoid

- An unsubstantiated statement, account, or report published as if it were factual, coined by the novelist Norman Mailer from fact + -oid (as in android, humanoid), in reference to his fictionalized biography of Marilyn Monroe.
See also related terms for published.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.factoid - something resembling a fact; unverified (often invented) information that is given credibility because it appeared in print
info, information - a message received and understood
2.factoid - a brief (usually one sentence and usually trivial) news item
news item - an item in a newspaper
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the bits of historical trivia that I recall from my elementary-school American history courses is that when the British surrendered to the colonial forces at Yorktown, the British army's band played a then-popular tune titled "The World Turned Upside Down." This factoid is no doubt related to school children as a metaphor for the unlikelihood of the related event: the army of the world's superpower of the day beaten by amateurs.
If you pay a visit to the website for Folkways--whose catalogue is now owned, not incidentally, by the Smithsonian Institution--you might come across a factoid of some relevance for Poledna's work.
It ain't broke, and nobody needs to fix it." Above: Analysts Nik Modi of UBS and Christine Farkas of Merrill Lynch discuss beer industry trends, during a panel discussion moderated by Benj Steinman of Beer Marketer's Insights.Ms.Farkas noted that growth trends for spirits and wine have not slowed, and provided the factoid that 50% of American households now own a corkscrew.
Because of spectacular derating during the Heisei Malaise, the Japanese stock market is now trading at a multiple of some 17x, which is the lowest since 1975, and lower than the US market, a factoid that would be unthinkable in the mid-80s.
FACTOID: The brain is so sensitive in picking up facial traits, even very minor differences on how a person's eyes, ears, nose, or mouth are placed in relation to each other make us see him or her as "different."
Each package features an extreme sport athlete in action -- from surfing and skate-boarding to snowboarding, BMX racing and more, as well as an educational factoid about the sport.
My favorite factoid: Seeds of the honey locust tree are so toughly coated that they will not sprout for gardeners unless the outer layer is mechanically cracked or the seed dipped into sulfuric acid.
Some publishers proposed following every mention of Bush's name with as asterisk leading to a pertinent factoid - e.g., "lost the popular vote," "appointed by judicial fiat." The Nation decided to tower-case the A in "Bush administration" for the next four years.
On page 33, Diane Sawyers photograph is accompanied by the words "That factoid is bogus." As a factoid is defined as "a piece of unverified or inaccurate information that is presented in the press as factual," would a bogus factoid then be an actual fact?
By the close of James Edward Smethurst's learned, important study The New Red Negro, Calverton's novel fusion of Old Left and black vernacular categories looks both less surprising and more significant than it does in the form of this plain factoid. Smethurst's case for the linked reddening and "vemacularizing" of New Negro verse from the Depression through the Second World War is unpretentiously expressed and thoroughly immersed in a relatively unstudied stretch of African American poetic history.
The owner's manual states: "Compound Leverage Factoid: SOG's patented compound leverage generates more plier gripping, wire cutting and wire crimping power than all other designs."
Factoid: Based on kudo recognition to date, its best bet is in the screenplay realm.