Good evening, my name is Alistar Riley, and this is Grammar Alive! The
show that seeks each night to challenge its viewers with not only what is right, but what is also grammatically correct.
Tonight we tackle what some have called the most tragic miss-use of the English language since “gate” was
deemed a suffix. And that of which I speak is none other than the miss-use of the word “fact.”
Our first guest is Doctor Cranston Edelfice, editor of the very popular Dictionary of Every Word Ever Said And
Why You Shouldn’t. Tell me, Doctor Edelfice, and may I assume that we are not speaking in terms
of a medical degree? Very well. Tell me Doctor Edelfice, just why is it that you’re
getting so bloody agitated over the misuse of the word “fact”?
Alistar, if it mayn’t be too presumptuous of me to call someone by his first name who has yet to receive his doctorate?
Very well, then. You see, it’s a fact that people are using this word without even thinking
about it. And words without thought... what’s the point of that? Take my previous
example. I stated that it is a fact that people are misusing the word “fact.” Of
course it’s a fact. If it exists, it is a fact. A rather pointless use of the
word, I would say. And then, of course, is the phrase, “It is a known fact.”
What other kind of facts are there? A lot of good unknown facts are going to do anybody.
I’m sorry, Sir Edelfice, if it may not be presumptuous to call somebody
by a term of nobility that is based solely on land, but are you saying that unknown facts cannot exist?
Certainly not, A.R., if it may not be presumptuous of me to call somebody by his first initials because
he’s not man enough to tell me to my face if he didn’t. It exists on the same continuum as
known facts. If they’re unknown facts, they remain facts just the same. Whether
the adjectival modifier negates or confirms matters little. It is still nothing more than a modifier and
it doesn’t change the condition of the noun.
Well you ignorant polymorphatic
abstraction, if it’s not presumptuous of me to openly insult you because there’s no one in the entire educated
community who would take your side unless a bottle of very fine Scotch were involved in the transaction. But
isn’t that the precise intention of modifiers, to change the condition of the noun?
You know, Crany, if it may not be presumptuous of me to reduce your name to nonsense because it so much
better suits your personality, I say the hell with this and we go open that bottle of Scotch I’ve been saving for just
such an occasion. This is Grammar Alive! and we’ll be back after the break with Dr. Hortland
Howl, whom, it is a well known fact, is the world’s leading authority on semi-colons, and author of the nearly best-selling
novel, Semi-Colon of Desire. Stay tuned, why don’t you?