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Win A Book, Contest #2
image I've received a free copy of David Wilton's new book, Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends, courtesy of Oxford University Press. So I'm having a contest to give it away. The book has just been published. I'm not sure it's even out in stores yet, but you can get a copy here... if you win the contest.

First, what's the book about? Wilton debunks all those stories about where words come from, such as 'is GOLF really an acronym for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden?' or 'does SOS stand for Save Our Souls?' or 'was F**K originally an acronym meaning For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge?' You'll have to get the book to find out the answers. It's a lot of fun, and quite enlightening.

Here's what I've decided for the contest: urban legend haiku. I figure this is appropriate since it's a book about urban legends and language. Whoever comes up with the best haiku describing an urban legend (or a hoax, since this is the Museum of Hoaxes) wins the contest. What's 'best' will, of course, be subjectively decided by me.

If you need inspiration, examples of urban legend haiku can be found here or here. I'm not going to be a stickler about whether or not entries maintain proper haiku form (three lines: first line five syllables, second line seven syllables, third line five syllables), since apparently the idea that haiku must adhere strictly to this form is itself a bit of an urban legend. Keep it to three lines, but if the number of syllables isn't perfect, I don't care.

Here's my own rather weak attempt at a hoax haiku. It took me all of a minute to write:

Enclosed in glass,
Soon she'll be rectangular,
My Bonsai Kitten.


You'll have to do better than this to win the book.

The contest will end on Nov. 20, about a week from today (oh, and you can submit as many haiku as you like).
Update: And one more thing, submit your entries as comments. Don't email them to me directly.
Update: Okay, the contest is now closed. I need a day or two to review all the entries.
MiscellaneousUrban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 12, 2004


UFO in sky
Bedroom invader at night
Must still be asleep.
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:23 AM
Lets go to Loch ness
see the monster see the beast
Nothing to see there
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:34 AM
Famous Singer Lives
Elvis has been seen my friend
Serving us fast food
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:37 AM
Fly me to the moon
Green cheese to gorge, love the taste
Must pack enough wine
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:41 AM
Last one for tonight
could be a waste of my time
no more haiku here!

Sorry for so many ^
was having far too much fun smile
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:43 AM
George died on Monday.
Still at his desk Saturday;
he kept to himself.
Posted by Krista  in  Ottawa  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  10:23 AM
I awake in ice
Memories of love and drinks
Without a kidney
Posted by Mark  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  02:35 PM
Just to officially update my first entry, of which I screwed up the meter:

Gator, young, too young,
The sewer is my home now,
Flushed by fickle hand.
Posted by Scott W.  in  Heart of America  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  02:49 PM
If you need money,
Take the short road to eBay.
Say it is haunted.

Museum of Hoaxes.
Sometimes it talks of fake things.
Sometimes they are real.

They often spread lies.
Incorrect, false, wrong, stories.
Bad Ananova.

Socks for your iPod.
Could such things really exist?
Still, they are not cheap.

Hoaxes, pranks, and lies:
All false, a few offensive.
Dwelling on the Net.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  03:20 PM
Funny joke from friend!
For punch line forward eight times,
then press F8. Oh.
Posted by Karen D  in  Reno  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  03:22 PM
Holmes' writer thought that
Cottingly faires were real
He is no Sherlock
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  03:26 PM
Succubus so sweet
How could I resist your charms?
Drain my life away
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  04:31 PM
Cat on baby's head
Feel him breathing take that breath
suffacated child
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  04:34 PM
Change from red to black
It just may give you cancer,
Lipstick made of lead.
Posted by Myst  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  04:42 PM
Kitten born four-eyed,
To stare brings a big surprise,
You end up cross-eyed.
Posted by Myst  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  04:43 PM
Sweet little kitten,
Oh my what a big surprise,
Seeing its four eyes!
Posted by Myst  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  04:45 PM
Ditzy teenager
asks an outrageous question
why does sperm taste salty?

-sorry, it sucks
Posted by Jenny  in  Wisconsin  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  04:49 PM
Yo, balcony boy
over your right shoulder's trouble
have a parachute?
Posted by Mike M.  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  05:25 PM
Tourist on rooftop
Aircraft on collision course
Cam'ra in Rubble



Beaten to subject matter :(
oh well smile
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:13 PM
Head under her arm
The spectre walks the tower
Will Anne never rest?
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:17 PM
Wine spills on Fluffy
Woman needs to dry her. . . How?
Microwave? Perfect!
Posted by Jacob  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:47 PM
Paul is a dead man
You can see it everywhere
Why don't they beleive?

High on PCP
Man feeds his dogs his own face
Dogs' stomachs get pumped

911. . . look!
Everywhere it then appeared
Microsoft knows too.

[On the last haiku:its a reference to the urban legend that 911 appeared everywhere on 9/11, and the microsoft wingdings fiasco]
Posted by Jacob  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  06:57 PM
Some weird sort of bug
Everything is gonna get wiped
Dreaded two thousand
Posted by Sharruma  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  08:03 PM
the vetinarian
got it out, the thumb in my
faithful dog
Posted by Pepe Nero  in  New York City  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  10:01 PM
That's a good cookie
I'll get that Neiman Marcus
Here's the recipe
Posted by Mike M.  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  10:26 PM
Stars & moon on Crest
it is cute like Lucky Charms
No, it's the devil!
Posted by Mike M.  on  Sat Nov 13, 2004  at  10:29 PM
Our world is full of hoaxes
From Nile getting carjacked and Mr. six
But what will be next.
Posted by Darrien  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  12:12 AM
Remote Control hunts
and the feared StunStrike Stun Gun
Just DUCK AND TAKE COVER
Posted by Darrien  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  12:39 AM
Okay, doesn't follow the 5-7-5 thing, but it does add up to 17 syllables. Plus, I don't really care. I dedicate this to my favorite author, Jonathan Swift.

"You're surely dead,"
The wise man said, "For have you seen,
"the crap you've written?"
Posted by Fay  in  MI  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  03:31 AM
Freezing in a tub
Curious scars on my back
Kidneys on E-Bay

Microsoft testing
E-mail tracking - Forward it!
Soon I will be rich

Funny E X E
A free joke from a stranger
Viruses are fun
Posted by Nick  in  Los Alamos, NM  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  04:51 AM
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