The internet's urban legends

The internet’s urban legends


This article originally appeared in the first print issue of Return.

An element of legends is that they never really happened. They are believed but not true. The urban legend emphasizes that city dwellers and moderns can be total hicks in epistemic terms, just as much as rural people and people of the past. But when used on Twitter, the term “urban legend” usually just means that a story is false. The essence of an urban legend is a story that is untrue, yet believed.

An interesting comment on the debate of linguistic prescriptivism versus descriptivism is that people are naturally prescriptivist. When encountering poor usage or diction, humans seem to experience a range of emotions, from a vague sense of wrongness or

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