Theory – A to Z Challenge New Age Literary Terms

TAs a writer, I have my pet peeves, and this is one of them. The misuse of Theory. Many people use the term theory to mean educated guess. And it’s not just the lay person, but even Science Fiction TV show, or TV shows in general.

Theory is a predictive model. Meaning that if something will happen in theory, it means that it has been tested over and over again to produce that result. A theory is basically the conclusion of that testing. In this way, Theory is pretty much a standard of fact in science. However, new evidence or new understanding of our world can alter theories or even show that the conclusion was wrong.

It should also be noted that for something to be a theory, requires extensive study and testing, but also extensive peer review. This peer review will see if there are any faults to it. If there are, it’s denied. Only under strict scrutiny can something be determined as a theory. However, even then, it is still tested to verify that the results are repeatable. Very likely that a theory itself has gone through thousands of hours of research and testing.

So if people are misusing the term theory, what do they actually mean? Hypothesis (or hypothetical). Basically a Hypothetic plan is an estimation based on the available information to predict an outcome, but you don’t know what the actual outcome will be until it is tested.

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