Difference Between Fact and Fiction
Fact is defined as a piece of information about a circumstance that existed or events that have occurred. It is merely saying the information that is verified to be true or had actually occurred.
Fact came from the Latin word “factum” meaning “event or occurrence or something done”. So in essence, it is a circumstance that had happened. In ancient times, people refer to “fact” as a finished event. This is mainly why the justice system simply wants the facts ‘“ a report of the event.
In the modern sense, fact is often considered as the truth. It can be defined as “something that is known to be true” or “something that has actually occurred”. However there are lots of debates whether to consider facts as true because , if one has to report something that occurred, it is limited or exaggerated by one’s own perception. What can be considered as a fact for, as one may not be the same for the other.
Even long established historical accounts that are long considered to be facts by many are debated to be not true. Other parties may shun declared facts as they perceive the occurrence otherwise. So the term “historical fact” can still be subjective and not considered as the truth.
Having said that, the definition “something that is known to be true” is rather correct. It means that a thing to be considered as fact,it must at least be known by the majority as the truth. Nevertheless, it can still be debated and proved otherwise. Take this for example, the world being flat is considered by ancient people as truth, therefore a fact at that time. Only a few discard this assertion in which some believed that it was spherical. Eventually, the earth was indeed proven to be not flat but spherical and now, that new fact remains to be known as true.
So in essence, fact should be defined as “something collectively perceived to be true”.
Fiction, on the other hand, is defined as “an imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented”. It came from the Latin word “fictio” meaning “the action of shaping, a feigning, that which is feigned”. From its root word it is apparent that fiction comes from a verb which means feign or pretend.
When one pretends, it comes from the mind or imagination and it is something artificial. Fiction is definite in its meaning that it is not true but a product of the mind. That is why when people say fiction, they often think about novels and movies because such things are product of imagination and artistic creativity. Fiction is never considered to be true like fact is. It is clear in its presentation that it is only an invention.
1. Fact comes from the latin word “factum” meaning “event or occurrence or something done” while fiction comes from the latin word “fictio” meanning “the action of shaping, a feigning, that which is feigned”
2. Modern meaning of Fact is “something collectively perceived to be true” while Fiction is “an imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented”.
3. Facts can be true while fiction is pure imagination.
4. Fact may start from perceived occurrence or incidence while fiction always begins in the mind.
5. Fact is not created but perceived while fiction is always created by imagination.
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