Chronicles Of A Fact-Checker

Feb 4 2012 @ 3:39pm

From an entertaining series of exchanges between a non-fiction writer and the guy paid to keep his facts straight:

FINGAL: “… his answers to the questions on the last pop quiz he took in school…” These questions are taken from an “Art Pretest” rather than a “pop quiz.” And the test is dated August 25, 1999, and Levi’s death was on July 12, 2002, so even if this were a “pop quiz,” it’s very unlikely that it was “the last pop quiz he took in school,” unless he was one lucky kid.

D’AGATA: OK, you’re probably right that this wasn’t his “last” quiz. But it’s more dramatic to say that it was, and I don’t think it’s harming anyone to do that. It’s not like there’s a quiz out there that’ll get jealous if we claim that this was Levi’s last quiz. Really, Jim, respectfully, you’re worrying about very stupid shit. (By the way, also very stupid would be calling this quiz a “pretest,” because I kind of suspect that half the readers out there wouldn’t even know what the fuck that was.)

FINGAL: Unfortunately I don’t get to decide which facts are stupid; I have to check all of them.