Definitions of Common Terms

Using the precise definition of words makes conversation possible. Click here to link to definitions of words often used in Pol 10.

The most important definition is the difference between FACT and OPINION.

Fact v. Opinion

fact ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fkt)
n.
Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.

Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed: Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.
A real occurrence; an event: had to prove the facts of the case.
Something believed to be true or real: a document laced with mistaken facts.
A thing that has been done, especially a crime: an accessory before the fact.
Law. The aspect of a case at law comprising events determined by evidence: The jury made a finding of fact.
Opinion

o·pin·ion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-pnyn)
n.

A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof: “The world is not run by thought, nor by imagination, but by opinion” (Elizabeth Drew).
A judgment based on special knowledge and given by an expert: a medical opinion.
A judgment or estimation of the merit of a person or thing: has a low opinion of braggarts.
The prevailing view: public opinion.
Law. A formal statement by a court or other adjudicative body of the legal reasons and principles for the conclusions of the court.

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