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Thread: useful fiction

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default useful fiction

    Hi,

    Does anyone know what the phrase 'useful fiction' means?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    It is something that is not true, but is useful to learn.

    Here's an example of it being used:

    The theoretical understanding of the scientific method is a useful fiction. You will seldom, if ever, see all of these stages exhibited in any single scientific enterprise.
    http://www.accd.edu/sac/studdev/hand...c%20Method.htm

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: useful fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Celia
    Hi,

    Does anyone know what the phrase 'useful fiction' means?

    Thanks a lot.
    Useful fiction:

    "The financial statement of most companies is fiction, but it is useful fiction, because our economic system requires mutually believed fiction to operate. We need workable myths upon which to make decisions. So we fabricate balance sheets, make investments, loan money, commit resources and energy on the basis of some number stories that we hope balance out in the end."
    From: http://www.screwmachineworld.com/archives/story83.shtml

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