View Poll Results: Dictionaries do NOT contain factual information

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  • TRUE: Dictionaries do NOT contain factual information

    7 18.42%
  • FALSE: Sure they do.

    31 81.58%
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Thread: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

  1. #61
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    Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post
    Looks like an interesting poll question.

    Dictionaries do NOT contain factual information

    A: True

    B: False
    If you want to get philosophical about it - words and their definitions and usage, as well as grammar (so on, so forth) - are not facts.

    They are accepted norms of language or rules of society, etc etc - not provable facts as in "My Dad is my biological father" which is a statement that can be proven in some type of test and documented quite thoroughly.

    As far as words go - you can prove that a people, culture or society used ___ word always in ___ way. That would be a statement of fact. But in the way a dictionary defines them - no - they are bold statements or agreed on terminology.
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    Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    If you want to get philosophical about it - words and their definitions and usage, as well as grammar (so on, so forth) - are not facts.

    They are accepted norms of language or rules of society, etc etc - not provable facts as in "My Dad is my biological father" which is a statement that can be proven in some type of test and documented quite thoroughly.

    As far as words go - you can prove that a people, culture or society used ___ word always in ___ way. That would be a statement of fact. But in the way a dictionary defines them - no - they are bold statements or agreed on terminology.
    Exactly the point I made on page two:

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/...post1058708675

    No. A dictionary contains no objective facts (and therefore, it contains no facts, since a subjective fact would be a contradiction in terms).
    Language is a social construct, and it is not static. It evolves constantly.

  3. #63
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    Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    But there are mounds of facts in a dictionary. Just thumb through one. True there are word "definitions" but, there are many facts associated with word defs.

    Open one up and see all the "facts" on any one page.
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  4. #64
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    Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by ADK_Forever View Post
    But there are mounds of facts in a dictionary. Just thumb through one. True there are word "definitions" but, there are many facts associated with word defs.

    Open one up and see all the "facts" on any one page.
    It is both amazing and funny that this poll has resulted in this debate.

    No wonder we (many of us) can't agree on anything else.

    fac·tu·al
    1. of or pertaining to facts; concerning facts: factual accuracy.
    2. based on or restricted to facts: a factual report.

    Dictionaries are not factual,... who knew?

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    Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post
    It is both amazing and funny that this poll has resulted in this debate.

    No wonder we (many of us) can't agree on anything else.

    fac·tu·al
    1. of or pertaining to facts; concerning facts: factual accuracy.
    2. based on or restricted to facts: a factual report.

    Dictionaries are not factual,... who knew?


    Main Entry: fact
    Pronunciation: \ˈfakt\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
    Date: 15th century

    1 : a thing done: as a obsolete : feat b : crime <accessory after the fact> c archaic : action
    2 archaic : performance, doing
    3 : the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence>
    4 a : something that has actual existence <space exploration is now a fact> b : an actual occurrence <prove the fact of damage>
    5 : a piece of information presented as having objective reality

    — in fact : in truth

    Fact - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    Again: nope.

  6. #66
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    Talking Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    Main Entry: fact
    Pronunciation: \ˈfakt\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
    Date: 15th century

    1 : a thing done: as a obsolete : feat b : crime <accessory after the fact> c archaic : action
    2 archaic : performance, doing
    3 : the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence>
    4 a : something that has actual existence <space exploration is now a fact> b : an actual occurrence <prove the fact of damage>
    5 : a piece of information presented as having objective reality

    — in fact : in truth

    Fact - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    Again: nope.
    Mr. President! (gavel pounding in background) Mr. president,... (Cspan viewers leaning in),..... Mr. President,... I would like to note that my estranged collegue has just used a quote from a dictionary of the word "fact" in an effort to prove the dictionary she quoted has no 'factual information.'

    Mr. President,... to my estranged collegues,.. I would ask,... if the dictionary soes not contain factual information,.... why then are you trying to use the dictionary and one of it's definitions to bolster your case?

    Do you realise you can't do so without also bolstering mine?

  7. #67
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    Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by ADK_Forever View Post
    But there are mounds of facts in a dictionary. Just thumb through one. True there are word "definitions" but, there are many facts associated with word defs.

    Open one up and see all the "facts" on any one page.
    The fact remains that dictionaries don't aim to be authorities on what facts exist, and merely reflect what the writers believe to be the consensus view. They aren't even very careful about what they imply certain facts to be. If you use dictionaries as your authority as to 'what the facts are' you're going to be misled.

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    Cool Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    The fact remains that dictionaries don't aim to be authorities on what facts exist, and merely reflect what the writers believe to be the consensus view. They aren't even very careful about what they imply certain facts to be. If you use dictionaries as your authority as to 'what the facts are' you're going to be misled.
    Not that I accept your premise (I don't)

    Please site a reference where "facts" are recorded. A reference that is not determined by consensus in the way that dictionaries are.

  9. #69
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    Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Many word definitions include scientific, geographical, historical, etc. facts as additional definition and context for many words. Like I said, just open a dictionary up and start reading. There are facts everywhere.

    For instance, look up "America".

    From dictionary.com:

    A·mer·i·ca
       /əˈmɛrɪkə/ Show Spelled[uh-mer-i-kuh] Show IPA
    –noun
    1. United States.
    2. North America.
    3. South America.
    4. Also called the Americas. North and South America, considered together.

    United States

    –noun
    a republic in the N Western Hemisphere comprising 48 conterminous states, the District of Columbia, and alaska in North America, and Hawaii in the N Pacific. 267,954,767; conterminous United States, 3,022,387 sq. mi. (7,827,982 sq. km); with Alaska and Hawaii, 3,615,122 sq. mi. (9,363,166 sq. km). Capital: Washington, D.C. Abbreviation: U.S., US
    Also called United States of America, America.

    —Related forms
    pro-U·nit·ed States, adjective
    There's a few facts just in the pronunciation and then in the actual definition.

    Then, from some dictionaries...
    Word Origin & History

    America
    1507, in Cartographer Martin Waldseemüller's treatise "Cosmographiae Introductio," from Mod.L. Americanus, after Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) who made two trips to the New World as a navigator and claimed to have discovered it. His published works put forward the idea that it was a new continent, and he was first to call it Novus Mundus "New World." Amerigo is more easily Latinized than Vespucci. The name Amerigo is Gmc., said to derive from Goth. Amalrich, lit. "work-ruler." The O.E. form of the name has come down as surnames Emmerich, Emery, etc. The It. fem. form merged into Amelia. Amerika "U.S. society viewed as racist, fascist, oppressive, etc." first attested 1969; the spelling is Ger., but may also suggest the KKK.
    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
    Cite This Source
    A·mer·i·ca (ə-měr'ĭ-kə)

    1. The United States.
    2. also the A·mer·i·cas (-kəz) The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
    Cite This Source
    Some more contextual facts.

    They're on every page of a dictionary. If a dictionary wasn't fact-filled we wouldn't be able to use it as a base for understanding words.
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  10. #70
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    joke Re: Dictionaries no NOT contain factual information

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    I stand by what I said. For a dictionary to be useful, the definitions within it must reflect current usage of words. While those usages might be agreed on by large groups of people, they're still subjective.

    However, I will concede that the definitions of some words seem to be pretty much fixed, and don't seem to change over time.
    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    My point is that words (and their definitions) don't define what a thing IS. Therefore, dictionary definitions aren't factual information. Since the OP took my original post out of context, I'll use it as an example.

    He was making the argument in the abortion forum that a human embryo, zygote, or fetus is a child for the sole reason that a medical dictionary lists something like "an unborn fetus" as one of the definitions of the word "child".

    My counter argument was that just because a dictionary calls something by a certain name does not mean that it is that thing. That's why I still say that dictionaries don't contain factual information. Dictionaries tell us a lot about what things are called, and how society uses language, but that's it. They aren't a source of facts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post
    Your claim was;
    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    Dictionaries do NOT contain factual information. They contain subjective definitions of words that can (and do) change over time.
    Do you still hold this view?
    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    Yes.

    (10 char)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post


    Thanks

    (remaining characters held in reserve)
    So much for the claim that you were taken out of context,... huh.

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