Bringing the Text to Life
Have you ever played the game "Gossip" or "Rumors"?
After gathering everyone into a circle, one person begins by whispering some message to a neighbor--softly and quietly. The neighbor must then pass along that whispered message (or at least the version he or she heard of it). Everyone gets only one chance to hear what is said before telling it to the next one in the circle.
It's not hard to imagine how scrambled, or even unrecognizable, the original message is once it comes back, full circle, to the ear of the leader.
Despite the advent of high-tech communication--e-mail, faxes, conference calls--a lot of messages and stories still seem to get through our culture on the old gossip chain. And typically, these stories are altered and adjusted to fit the part of the country they emerge in, the economic status of the community, or the local prides and prejudices.
Some cultural rumor-stories have been around now for decades. Ever hear about the snake in the coat at K-mart--or was...