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anecdotal

Anecdotal (noun) is a phylum within the animal kingdom.

When we say “kingdom” we are obviously not speaking of a nation ruled by a king. Nor are we using the word in the ridiculous religious sense of the “Kingdom of God.”

(To be clear, and to avoid being accused of rank discrimination, we must make it clear that by “ridiculous religious sense,” we are not suggesting that we think that a particular religion is ridiculous. Not at all. We are merely saying that we think they are all ridiculous. But we digress.)

Instead of the national or religious senses of the word, we are using the definition of kingdom relevant to the realm of biology, i.e., one of the three tradition divisions of natural things, animal, vegetable and mineral. This should have been made obvious by our use of “animal” in “animal kingdom,” but we never take for granted our readers’ ability to see the obvious. Observational data suggests that, with the exception of the person reading this right now, common knowledge and intelligence aren’t statistically significant qualities of The Word Project’s audience. But, never mind that.

You might ask, what is the probability that someone who didn’t know which sense of the word kingdom we were using would have the slightest idea of what “phylum” means? None whatsoever, that’s what. So look it up, you lazy bastard.

What distinguishes the phylum anecdotal from other phyla is that all classes, orders, families, genera and species within it cannot be proven to exist. Instead the only evidence of them are stories told by uncredentialed individuals, some of whom may not be the most trustworthy of people. By definition, sightings of members of a species within the phylum anecdotal are inadequately documented and verified, or possibly not documented or verified at all. Often, the stories about a species in the phylum anecdotal are most appropriately categorized as little more, and frequently less, than fairy tales.

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