Why does this phrase appear so often when someone tries to assure their audience of something, regardless of whether or not the said information actually constitutes a fact?
I'm annoyed by the misuse of that phrase, usually in some heated argument by a person who's ran out of convincing arguments.
These statements usually go by the template:
We are in the situation of <this and this>. It must be handled the best way in a most expedient manner. Given the fact of <this and this> (really the crux of the whole discussion, controversial interpretation of events), the matter should be decided <this way>.
I think I know the source of agitation. Facts are something so obviously true and real, only a fool would go against them. Sometimes something is taken as a fact prematurely, because the idea has worked for them in the past, or there doesn't seem to be contrary evidence at the time.
When time passes and the less factual nature of the "fact" becomes obvious, he or she feels anxious for the early commitment to the "fact". So, the person is convincing themselves they don't have to change their interpretation, because nothing would be as devastating as not having one's facts straight.