Factoid

From Academic Kids

Factoid originally meant a wholly spurious "fact" invented to create or prolong public exposure or to manipulate public opinion and was coined by Norman Mailer in his 1973 biography of Marilyn Monroe. Mailer himself described a factoid as "facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper". Mailer created the word by combining the word "fact" and the ending "-oid" to mean "like a fact".

The term is sometimes now also used to mean a small piece of true but often valueless or insignificant information. This definition was popularized by the CNN Headline News TV channel which during the 1980s and 1990s used to frequently include such a fact under the heading of the word "factoid" during newscasts. Example - If the entire earth was conceived over a period of two days humans would take up the last two seconds.

Factoid implies that the statement in question may not be correct. A 'factlet' is a fact that is tiny and trivial, and also correct.

See Also

sv:Faktoid

External links

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