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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.
Categories: Miscellaneous, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Fri Nov 12, 2004
Comments (143)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Pop pop, fizzle fizz
Not heartburn; pop rocks and coke
Hey, Mikey liked it.
Posted by James  on  Wed Nov 17, 2004  at  01:30 PM
Man walks on the Moon
Neil Armstrong takes 'One small step'
In Studio 4.
Posted by doctorpsi  on  Wed Nov 17, 2004  at  03:47 PM
Mirrors on the moon
reflect laser beams from earth
Proof man was on Moon
Posted by John  on  Wed Nov 17, 2004  at  04:51 PM
Mirrors are no proof
How do we know they are there?
NASA says they are!
Posted by doctorpsi  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  08:06 AM
Upon my car seat,
Wearing a wet wedding dress,
And then she was gone.
Posted by Tru  in  Other Words  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  10:29 AM
Turkey in the bed?
Don't trust the baby sitter!
Child in the oven?
Posted by Tru  in  Other Words  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  10:36 AM
Tom Jones is now god
That explains a lot of things
What's New Pussycat?
Posted by Sharruma  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  02:25 PM
Two days more to go
Then really for sure I'll Know
I am no poet
Posted by Sharruma  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  02:27 PM
Millionaire Guy
Offers to make me one to
Just follow his plan
Posted by Sharruma  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  02:32 PM
Letter comes in Mail
Break the chain, receive a curse
Throw it in the bin!
Posted by Sharruma  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  02:39 PM
I flash my headlights
Gang banger makes a U-turn
I am in his sights
Posted by Carl  in  Long Beach CA  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  03:44 PM
glow in the dark deer
woman breastfeeds her puppy
museum of hoaxes
Posted by John  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  03:58 PM
"Perfume sample, ma'am?"
Alas! It is ether, and
her purse is stolen

UPS mailmen.
Trust not - clever terrorists
Have been on eBay.

Orangutan jaw
with human skull fools Science
Naughty Charles Dawson
Posted by Nefertari  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  11:01 PM
Cheney's pocket's full
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  06:44 PM
Whoops, try again:

Cheney's pocket's full
of something; so they don't call
him "Dick" for nothing.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  06:47 PM
The classified ad
says, "Free kittens to good home."
Snake food, anyone?
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  06:53 PM
Once you start writing
verses in Haiku format,
it's hard to stop it.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  07:01 PM
I hope you're collecting these verses to make a book, or at least a chapter of a book.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  07:11 PM
A tribute to one of my favorite hoaxers, Dick Tuck:

Moms-to-be rallied
To bear signs: "Nixon's the One!"
Oh, that Tricky Dick.
Posted by Donna Ford  in  Midwestern U.S.  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  09:52 PM
Drat, forgot to post this one. It's another tribute to a favorite tall-tale journalist from history.

Lou Stone's Wild Man hoax
Freaks Winsted; Sucker Creek's bridge
Now honors his name.
Posted by Donna Ford  in  Midwestern U.S.  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  10:11 PM
The particular bit of profanity mentioned in the examples comes from Anglo-Saxon "fokken", to beat against.
Posted by Anonymous  in  Somewhere  on  Tue Nov 23, 2004  at  10:12 PM
November twenty
was four days ago and so,
who won the book prize?
Posted by Conny  in  Vienna  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  05:23 PM
I announced the winner on Monday: Big Gary C
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  05:37 PM
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