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Have you ever been the victim of a hurtful rumor? How did you deal with it?

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Gossip And Rumors: What The Words Mean
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Topics on Gossip And Rumors:
Did You Hear?
What The Words Mean
Different Types
Why Do People Do It?
Why It Hurts,
     Why It's Wrong
Breaking The Chain
When The Rumor's
     About You
From the Mentors
So what ARE rumors, exactly? Is there a difference between a rumor and a piece of gossip?

Well, this is what characterizes a rumor:

  • 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.
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."

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.


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