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Why not another name for non-fiction?

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie It is a minor thing, but I never like when things are defined by what they aren't instead of by what they are. Non-fiction, for example. It turns "fiction" into the standard, leaving non-fiction to be the poor relation, the other.

(Yes, I do sit around and think about things like this. I'm such a nerd.)

Words, names, labels, they are powerful things. Does defining something by what it isn't change how we approach the thing? Does an presumption of a default change our thinking? Why not "documentary"? Why not "existion" (to make up a word at random)?

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

My partner calls it "truth," and fiction "lies."

message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie How Aristotelian! :D

message 4: by Jamie (last edited Feb 26, 2008 06:48AM) (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 77 comments I remember being confused by the term when I was a little girl; thinking that surely "non-fiction" meant books that were not true.

message 5: by Dora (new)

Dora | 41 comments And, to further confuse the question, I would posit that some fiction is true, while some non-fiction is false.

But, yeah, non-fiction isn't a very satisfying label.

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