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Hoax

From Academic Kids

A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. Generally there is some material object involved, which is actually a forgery. Unlike a fraud or con (which usually has an audience of one or a few), which are made for illicit financial or material gain, or a fraud which is perpetrated to support a false religion, a hoax is often perpetrated as a practical joke with a humorous intent, to cause embarrassment, for personal aggrandizement or to serve political purposes. Still, many confidence tricks and the like have also been labeled as hoaxes.

Many hoaxes are also motivated by a desire to satirize or educate by exposing the credulity of the public or the absurdity of the target: literary and artistic hoaxes are often of this sort, although political hoaxes are sometimes motivated in part or whole by the desire to ridicule or expose politicians or political institutions.

The status of a given factoid as reliable or hoax is often the subject of considerable controversy.

The word hoax came from the common pretend magic spell "hocus pocus". "Hocus pocus", in turn, is commonly believed to be a distortion of "hoc est corpus" (= "this is the body") from the Latin Mass. Many etymologists dispute this claim.

Contents

Historically important hoaxes

  • Bathtub hoax, perpetrated by American journalist and satirist Mencken in the 1920s, was credited even after it was exposed by the author.

Hoax traditions

During certain events and at particular times of year, hoaxes are perpetrated by many people and groups. The most famous of these is certainly April Fool's Day, the annual 'open season' for fictional accounts and dubious announcements.

A New Zealand tradition is the capping stunt, wherein university students perpetrate a hoax upon an unsuspecting population. They are traditionally executed near autumn (may) graduation (the "capping").

See also

External links

fr:Canular ja:悪戯 nl:Hoax pl:Mistyfikacja pt:Hoax

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