As the present participle of the verb fabricate, therein lies the origin and history of a word that has evolved over time. From the Latin, fabrica – something skillfully produced, as in a practicing a craft – to fabricat – which means to make or manufacture – we finally arrive at the Middle English fabricate.
past tense: fabricated
past participle: fabricated
present participle: fabricating
Originally used to represent the creation of something, either by hand, within a factory, or at a construction site, fabricate developed a secondary meaning that referred to a story that was untrue, as if it had been made up from one’s imagination, rather than assembled from facts.
What’s interesting is that, to a large degree, the art of storytelling lends itself to both definitions, as all stories are built from bits of information woven into passages of narration, all of which come from the speaker’s imagination. While the intent of Fabricating the Truth is to build true stories from a personal perspective, the speaker does, in fact, determine what pieces are employe, which are discarded, and how the narrative is arranged. So the idea of “truth” becomes key to the equation, and will be covered in a subsequent post.
The Eiffel Tower provides a classic representation of a structure that was at first imagined, then drawn on paper, and years later fabricated into the structure that still stands today in Paris. Most stories are not so complex – there were 18,000 pieces used to construct the Tower – and hopefully it won’t take five years for you to complete your narrative, but a well crafted story can be a work of art that is relevant for generations.
From the initial drawing of the Eiffel Tower by Maurice Koechlin in 1884, to the fabricated structure.