What does this mean:

Neighbour on the bus or a dear old queen

With the possibility the world is packed

But the keeper of the secret is not close to max (maybe the name Max)

And that's beyond a fact.

This is a puzzle. Does that mean that the previous phrase is actually a lie (beyond a fact) or that we need to look at the word arrangements and not the meaning?

  • 4
    Offhand I would say it means more than true. But indeed, you owe us some more context.
    – fev
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 21:07
  • 1
    This question calls for an interpretation of a text that is intentionally puzzling. Attempts at such an interpretation are unlikely to provide any general insight into English language an usage.
    – jsw29
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


A referenced quotation of this usage would help us to answer authoritatively. However, the usage occurs occasionally, as in this extract from a test posed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The PISA 2018 Global Competence assessment measures students' capacity to examine local, global and intercultural issues and other matters ...

OECD "The student must evaluate the information carefully and then consider whether the statement is truly a fact or if it goes beyond a fact and reflects the opinion of the author. In this way, the student must consider the reliability of the statements, which is related to the cognitive subprocess of «Weighing sources»."

This quotation makes clear that "beyond a fact" may deal with the interpretation of facts and the consequent formation of opinions.

As examples:

Fact: I see a policeman running after a badly-dressed running man who is clutching a laptop.
It goes beyond a fact for me to say that the policeman is chasing a criminal (=opinion).

Fact: I look briefly into a field and see a white cow standing still. All I can factually say is that I saw a cow, one of whose sides was white.
It goes beyond a fact for me to say that there was a totally (= opinion) white cow in the field. The other side may have been black.

  • Spot on, I think you are right. I also thought it might also mean that; don't take the above line literally, but change it in one way or another to get to the fact.
    – Saw
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 6:07
  • I like your idea of reversing the process so as to get from the opinion back to the fact. I had not thought of that aspect but of course it is a crucial part of objective thinking. Perhaps the policeman and the laptop holder were both running away from a burning vehicle likely to explode.
    – Anton
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 7:11
  • 1
    This is indeed what this phrase may sometimes mean. The text that appears in the question is, however, deliberately obfuscating, so it is not obvious that the phrase must have this meaning in that particular context.
    – jsw29
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 15:06

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