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This is How Rumors Get Started
By: Maryann Fabian
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How does that State Farm commercial go? “They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.” “Where’d you hear that?” “The Internet.” Enter the Internet’s version of a French male model, fanny pack-wearing Bubba from down the block.

The week is only half over and the Internet has already brought us some interesting rumors. First, that Cher is dead. Thatcher is dead. Cher is NOT. The hashtag “thatcher is dead” somehow morphed into “that cher is dead." You’d think the rumor was started by people too young or unschooled to remember Margaret Thatcher, but then how are they old enough to remember Cher? Ahhh. If I could turn back time.

So the next story that began to circulate was how former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher discovered soft-serve ice cream. This one is still up for debate, depending upon whom you believe. The New York Times, msn, and Fox News said yes. And when was the last time they aligned on anything? The New Yorker says no. The Los Angeles Times says well, maybe. Bon Appetit just opined that “it wasn’t the fluffy, creamy stuff you’d expect to get from a Mr. Softee today.”

The debate is really about who was first to come up with the formula for adding air to frozen ice cream. It was either a young chemist working for J. Lyons and Co. in Great Britain named Margaret Roberts (before she got married, joined Parliament, and became Margaret Thatcher) or the American team of Tom Carvel and J. F. McCullough (who founded Carvel and Dairy Queen). Of course, Thatcher’s left-wing opponents are quick to point out that she “added air, lowered quality and raised profits” on everything.

And the latest rumor is that ousted JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson may be headed back to Apple to his old job, which coincidentally is open. Who do you think started this one? Ron Johnson? The truth to this rumor depends on three big “ifs.”

1. If Johnson wants his old job back. Can he write off his year at JCP as if it were a bad dream?
2. If he deserves to get it back. Were his JCP ideas just too bold to pull off? Or do they reflect bad judgment?
3. If Apple really wants him back. Do they need him?

It’s only Wednesday, folks. Stay tuned.

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About the Author
Maryann Fabian is a copywriter who has crafted the voice of some of this country's best brands.
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