Monday, November 26, 2012
Avoid the factoid
"While it is usually difficult to pinpoint exactly when and where a word was first used, factoid is an exception. The late, great Norman Mailer invented the term in his 1973 biography of Marilyn Monroe.4 He dismissed an earlier biography of the actress as 'a book with facts embellished by factoids (to join the hungry ranks of those who coin a word).' Mailer described factoids as '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.'"