instead of 'it is' the germans say 'es gibt' — it gives or it is given. there is also the sense of something becoming apparent or revealed — or unconcealed, as the old german philosopher insisted.

in the english language, a given is a known, an immutable or established fact or situation, something which we do not have to discuss or negotiate : it is a given.

this seems like a waste of a word which has a lot more potential. i sometimes think in terms of the world giving things, things that are interesting or useful or beautiful — and events ... but also things/events that are the exact opposite and things/events that have a dark side, things/events that appear to be one way and then turn out to be another.

gift is not a good word for such things/events because of its association with giving presents. i wondered if the word 'givens' could be redeployed for such things/events. or would it be confusing?

let's give it a try :

yesterday there were a number of givens. argh ... it sounds stupid.