Word of the Week: Hoax

As in:  “The other way of saving him [the frog] would be to expose the puzzle as a hoax by proving that there is no possibility of his reaching the safe square in conformity with the rules imposed by the wizard.”

Sarver, V. T.  (2005). The hapless frog and the evil wizard: an introduction to indirect proof.  Teaching Mathematics & its Applications, 24, 179. doi: 10.1093/teamat/hrh024

Though hoaxes are frequently associated with April Fools’ Day, a memorable one was pulled off on Halloween eve in 1938.  Actor Orson Welles and his company performed an adaptation of H. G. Welles War of the Worlds on the radio, terrifying many listeners who thought the Martian invasion was real.   Joseph W. Campbell devotes a chapter of his 2010 book, Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism to the broadcast, its consequences and how these were reported in the media.  (Books referenced by Campbell that are in our collection include Panic Broadcast: Portrait of an Event and The invasion from Mars: a study in the psychology of panic.)

You may also wish to view the PBS America program: War of the Worlds.  And we haven’t even gotten to scholarly articles, of which there are many…..

If you would like more information about this topic or others, please contact the Reference Librarians at 617-735-9927, reference@emmanuel.edu,  or stop by the Reference Desk in the Library Reading Room.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: