Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 26th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Flashback Friday post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (26th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on May 26, 2017. I published my first post on this blog on May 14, 2017 and this was the fifth of seven posts I published that month. It seems remarkably relavent six years later.

Facts Versus Truth

When I first read Faulkner’s quote (above), I was perplexed. I had always considered “facts” and “truth” to be synonyms. Even the definitions of the two words cross-reference one another:

  • Fact: something that actually exists; reality; truth.
  • Truth: conformity with fact or reality; a verified or indisputable fact.

Facts are used as proof of what is undeniably “the truth,” but are these words truly interchangeable or do they actually have different meanings and usage?

I was curious enough about the similarities and differences between these two words to do some Google research. And I learned that not everyone believes that they are synonymous. Some folks actually differentiate between the them using diametrically opposed logic.

One site argued that facts can be fleeting, enduring for but a moment. For example, the “fact” of someone’s location on a fast-moving train changes every instant. Truth, on the other hand is a more enduring type of fact, this source claimed.

Another site argued that if it’s a fact now, it will be a fact in the future, whereas truth is more temporal. Facts indicate a universal truth, while truth depends upon temporal circumstances. For example, that the sun appears to always rise in the east and set in the west is a fact. It will never change.

I found an interesting site,, which provided four facts (or truths?) about facts and truths:

  • Facts are more objective when compared to the more subjective truths.
  • Facts are more permanent when compared to the more temporary truths.
  • Facts exist in reality, whereas truths are usually the things that one believes to be true, or the things that are true in the current situation.
  • Facts can also answer the ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how’ questions, whereas truths answer the ‘why’ question.


And then there is “truthiness,” a word first coined by Stephen Colbert a dozen years ago. Like when Bill Maher says, “I don’t know it for a fact…I just know it’s true,” truthiness is the quality of seeming to be true based upon one’s intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic or factual evidence. It’s when someone feels, believes, or wishes that something is true even when it is not supported by the facts.

So with both facts and truth under siege by Donald Trump and his surrogates, and with “alternative facts” and “false truths” being promulgated, I  have to wonder if Faulkner’s statement was extremely prescient and sadly reflective of where we are in the second decade of the 21st century.

So what do you think? Are the words “fact” and “truth” synonyms? Do you use them interchangeably in your oral and written communications? Or do these two words, as Faulkner believes, have little to do with each another?

And in today’s world, where truthiness means more to a lot of people than either facts or truth, does it even matter anymore?

13 thoughts on “Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 26th

  1. Shail May 26, 2023 / 6:13 am

    I thought they were synonyms. I’ll have to rethink things now. 🙂
    Here’s my link for the day:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. shail May 26, 2023 / 6:16 am

    My comment just disappeared. So trying again.
    I thought facts and truth were synonyms. I’ll have to rethink things now 🙂
    My link for the day:


    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 26, 2023 / 9:24 am

      Thanks. Jim. It was actually my fifth of seven posts I’d written since I started this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ghostmmnc May 26, 2023 / 12:34 pm

    Interesting to think about – truth or fact. I figured they meant the same thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen May 26, 2023 / 1:35 pm

    I don’t use “truth(s)” and “fact(s)” interchangeably — also, “true” isn’t the same thing as truth… nor truth as truths beyond the simple difference of a singular or plural form. They are (all) related, however, and not only in a dictionary as struggling reference one to another. Sometimes very much so. Add in the use of words ironically or sarcastically and we have stacking complexity. Oh, and dishonestly as another option. With truthiness in ascendancy, as you recognize, it might not matter to society any more (if it ever did). In actuality (or reality or truth/absense-of-truth or point of fact or something), it’s a fact (or an observable set of facts) that we (as a whole in function even if not via most people by intended ascent) are falling headlong for idiocy (or a paucity of true information or data points of high relevance and goodness). It could change, but I’m seeing that as unlikely. Whether it’s who we are told [I say
    “told” while some people believe or are even pushing these notions themselves per themselves or per icons like Musk (Elon) or Welch (Jack) or Masons (“Free”) or bishops (in other kinds of hierarchy) institutionally and culturally-to-morally] are geniuses or worthy or impressive or one(s) to follow (and the evils are far in excess of Trump and his buddies or party) or what we are told is a good way to go or an upstanding product and so on, we’re largely screwed.

    I don’t mean to boil it down to this, but this is an example:

    A.I. is B.S.

    He talks about
    a completion machine.

    Plus, it’s easy to forget the drudgery
    of sorting things that are just too gross off.
    Were such topics not removed, by humans, they’d
    be realism that just pops right in with the rest as product.

    I have experience with learning
    completion or filling in blanks (which isn’t
    the best way to learn but is a basic skill to have) and
    with a person who wants people to believe he’s a genius* yet
    really can’t grasp what is missing when you ask him to tell you what he
    just said or what needs to be conveyed about what someone else said or is doing.
    This person is plainly going to be awe-inspired by a hunk of metal or silicon that CAN do such.
    (And, weirdly, he is not going to be disappointed if his worshipped mechanical intellect exhibits failure.)

    [* This is someone who has completed schooling, with a
    couple wowy schools thrown in, so is able to largely pull this off…
    relatively speaking, anyway… and due to pulling largish monetary gains.]

    I’ve recently heard an estimate of how many people are narcissists in our environment. I don’t think we have the observational history to say if this applies to all people as opposed to people in high-pressure capitalist hellscapes. Is the biggest baton or most money or felt power as-proof-of-“merit” truth? Such have become (since when) the highest “good” almost anybody will call the game for (although some will use the word “God” too but don’t know or might not care they have or use vain notions). The prevalence of toxic people only in the category of narcissists might be one in ten. So, a lot of people don’t learn in the sense that I think of as learning — whether facts or truth or good, nor meaningful concepts. I don’t know how to explain it briefly with sufficiency, but the learning of a narcissist is largely a list of things meant to serve himself (or herself). Other people are another kind of thing, to be manipulated. It’s rote (as the blanks idea would seem to be) but in the sense that the concepts (not only words) aren’t real concepts to integrate or try, in good faith, to apply or reject and rework mutually. What should be relating is like a contest where you’re only stupid if you don’t know the aim is for someone to lose.

    I’m not tremendously familiar with Faulkner, but the way the world functions is one fact after another. For instance, I can note a quotation of what someone said right in front of me; someone else can jot different words for the same event. It’s factual that we both wrote. It’s factual that something was said. What will be taken as the facts further than characters being on a surface? I can film the pinching of a rear in real time. The serving of a meal as well. Fact. Fact. But it’s very unpleasant and dishonest and power-and-trickery-oriented rather than set in a societal base of proper focus and significant if any ability to correct dysfunction on the whole when anybody truly wants to do so. And when dysfunction “wins” it is no longer called dysfunction. Now… there we are again on what words are what — world, life, earth, humanity…

    There is a person who sometimes comes around (more often in the past) where my mother is, to get some benefit out of her. I know that he’s dishonest and crafty. But he presents like an educated individual, because he did in fact go to college it seems and teach. He drove his car at me one day and then inched “closer” and “closer” to me (closer not being a possibility as he was already touching my knees with his vehicle). This was a threat, which also shone in his eyes, and the law there allows for protection orders due to threat (not only due to measurable harm having already been carried out). I obtained an order of restraint. Then, there is a court date. My attorney retired without telling me and didn’t show up to the hearing or reschedule or anything. The judge stated, without my presence or any representation for me, that it “is not reasonable to fear” someone driving at you with a multi-horse-power hunk of metal. In the meantime, with the initial order having been in place, the man had done it again in a more careless way. So what? Right?

    As Pilot (of the Roman Empire in the land of Israel) said, “What is truth?” But I don’t attempt to wash my hands of it. People might benefit to be warned. We believe there is upstanding order in our civilization. It’s a mirage — but with occasional successes or pieces that look like reflections of justice.

    I could proofread this again
    or look for where to edit
    – but I’ll leave it at this.

    It was interesting reading what you gleaned with a google search and to consider your questions and thought undertakings, Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 28, 2023 / 5:34 pm

      Buried somewhere in what I wrote: Is the biggest baton or most money or felt power as-proof-of-“merit” truth? Such have become (since when) the highest “good” almost anybody will call the game for (although some will use the word “God” too but don’t know or might not care they have or use vain notions).

      How “Little House on the Prairie” Beamed
      Libertarian Propaganda Into American Homes

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lolsy's Library May 27, 2023 / 6:00 am

    What an interesting though! I would have thought facts and truth were one in the same. That makes sense really.

    Liked by 1 person

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