January 4th, 2009 at 6:22 am (Science Factini)
OK, at first glance the word may look silly. But it should suit my need.
Ever since finding out that using the word factoid for a true fact, rather than an almost-but-not-quite-true fact, is incorrect, I’ve hoped to find an appropriate substitute. I need a word for the little tidbits of scientific results I so love so. I love telling my mom about oxytocin and trust, my heartbroken friends about vassopressin and voles, and random strangers at cocktail parties about, gosh, anything I read in New Scientist that happens to fit into the conversation. Science Nerd, sure. But I have enough English Major in me to hesitate to knowingly misuse words.
So, after some deliberation, I decided “factini” would work well to mean a small fact - a real fact. Perhaps a fact that could be taken out of context a bit or taken a step beyond what is strictly proven, but the best factini inspires wonder and/or comprehension in a eureka flash.
And it’s best served dry with two olives.