"true fact"(Usage Disputes)
Many phrases often criticized as "redundant" are redundant in most contexts, but not in all. "Small in size" is redundant in most contexts, but not in "Although small in size, the ship was large in glory." "Consensus of opinion" is redundant in most contexts, but not in "Some of the committee members were coerced into voting in favour of the motion, so although the motion represents a consensus of votes, it does not represent a consensus of opinion." Context can negate part of the definition of a word. "Artificial light" is light that is artificial (= "man-made"), but "artificial flowers" are not flowers (i.e., genuine spermatophyte reproductive orders) that are artificial. In the latter phrase, "artificial" negates part of the definition of "flower". The bats known as "false vampires" do not feed on blood: "false" negates part of the definition of "vampire". The ordinary definition of "fact" includes the idea of "true" (e.g., fact vs fiction); the meaning of "fact" does have other aspects (e.g., fact vs opinion). Context can negate the idea of "true". Fowler himself used the phrase "Fowler's facts are wrong; therefore his advice is probably wrong, too" (a conclusion that he was eager to avert, moving him to defend his facts) in one of the S.P.E. tracts. It follows that "true fact" need not be a redundancy.
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