Dictionary Has Last Word on 'Fact' Following Kellyanne Conway 'Alternative Facts' Comment - NBC4 Washington

Dictionary Has Last Word on 'Fact' Following Kellyanne Conway 'Alternative Facts' Comment

Merriam-Webster dismissed the term 'alternative facts'

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    Dictionary Has Last Word on 'Fact' Following Kellyanne Conway 'Alternative Facts' Comment
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    Counselor to President, Kellyanne Conway, prepares to appear on the Sunday morning show Meet The Press, from the north lawn at the White House, January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Conway discussed President Trump's recent visit to the CIA and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's first statement, describing his comments as "alternative facts."

    Searches for the definition of “fact” spiked on Merriam-Webster's website following Kellyanne Conway’s appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” where she used the phrase, “alternative facts.”

    “A fact is a piece of information present as having objective reality,” the dictionary tweeted Sunday afternoon, following the segment.

    Press secretary Sean Spicer had previously described the crowd at President Trump’s inauguration as the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” On “Meet the Press,” Todd questioned the veracity of this statement.

    Conway told Todd that “alternative facts” were used to assess the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration.

    “Alternative facts are not facts--they’re falsehoods,” Todd said.

    Twitter users went wild with humor and memes, at first with "alternative facts," and then at the correction that the dictionary offered for Conway's phrase. But it was Merriam-Webster’s website that had the last word.

    “In contemporary use, fact is generally understood to refer something with actual existence, or presented as having objective reality.”