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To give some background for a post (Should I use simple present or simple past in a tiny story to illustrate a scenario of the usage of some words?) I said

I made up a tiny story to illustrate a scenario of the usage of "just" in a post (In terms of meaning "recently", what is the difference between just & only?).

I was trying to use the word "fabricate" instead of "make up" though, I was worried "fabricate" indicates meaning like "on bad purpose" or "on bad manners", so I didn't choose it there.

So, would "fabricate" indicates meaning like "on bad purpose" or "on bad manners"?

  • As an alternative, you could use created instead of made up. – puppetsock Mar 5 '20 at 14:32
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"Fabricate" doesn't always have a negative meaning. Let's substitute it in your example sentence to see:

I fabricated a tiny story to illustrate a scenario of the usage of "just" in a post.

Here, the reader won't automatically assume some negative meaning in the word, mostly because it's hard to imagine how you making up a sentence to illustrate usage of "just" could be some nefarious thing.


However, in practice, the word usually is reserved for scenarios where you want to specifically imply that the person doing the fabricating did so for nefarious purposes. This is definition 1b in Merriam-Webster:

to make up for the purpose of deception

"Make up" sounds much more natural and is more colloquial for the example sentence you gave.

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