That’s a fact, Jack! Cold, hard facts. Just the fact’s, ma’am. The facts are indisputable.
In its current meaning, a fact is truth with no uncertainty, an objective reality that no one can dispute, an undeniable occurrence. A fact is not negotiable. A fact, in and of itself, does not need interpretation.
Opinions are not facts. You might state your opinion with spittle-flying passion, but its still an opinion, not a fact. Even if your opinion is based on interpreting a collection of facts, until your opinion is proven, it’s still an opinion, not a fact. Various speakers have been attributed with saying that “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.” There’s no such thing as “alternative facts”, only alternative opinions.
In this hyper-connected, social media-driven age, we’ve lost sight of the difference between fact and opinion. Anyone with a smart phone and a data connection can masquerade as an authority. And as we become more polarized, more tribal, we need to be even more vigilant the we’re getting our facts straight.
Accept no substitutes.