So what ARE rumors, exactly? Is there a difference between a rumor and a piece of gossip?
Well, this is what characterizes a rumor:
Here's a good example of a rumor: "I heard that anybody who fails the next history test is going to have to repeat the course over the summer."
- A rumor is a piece of information or a story that has not been verified, meaning that the person telling it doesn't know if it's true or false.
- Rumors spread from person to person, or can spread from one person to a whole bunch of people at once.
- Rumors can change slightly each time they're told, so they get more exaggerated over time.
- Most people who spread rumors don't care if the story is true of not, and don't bother to check it out.
- A rumor might be true, it might be partially true and partially made up, or it might be totally made up. Unless somebody can definitely say that a story is real or fake, it will stay a rumor.
Gossip, on the other hand, is a little different:
- Gossip is talk that is somehow "juicy," meaning it deals with subjects that are shocking or personal.
- Gossip is usually about things like love and relationships, or private things that people don't talk openly about.
- Gossip about a person is usually spread behind that person's back.
- Gossip can be true, false, or a rumor.
- When a piece of gossip is known to be false, it's a lie, plain and simple.
- Someone who spreads a lot of gossip can be called "a gossip."
- If a piece of gossip about somebody is true, it can still be very hurtful because that information may be private and personal.
Here's an example of gossip: "Jane told me that when she tried to ask Craig out to a movie, he got so nervous that he almost fainted!"
Now that we've handled the definitions, let's take a closer look at the Different Types of gossip and rumors.