Word Gossip

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Introduction

A long time ago, our ancestors faced the problem of not knowing everything about all the persons they lived with. They could not trust only their own judgments and so sought the opinions of other people of their acquaintance. They benefited with knowing who was reliable or not and who might be a good potential partner.

Since the Stone Age, humans have kept the need to gossip and spread rumors. During those times it was a necessity to exchange information about the food supply, the likes and dislikes of the village chief, the whereabouts and strategies of the enemies, and so on. Rumor and gossip was then essential for humans to be able to manage their daily lives. Gossip and rumor then spread everywhere to the modern world. Over millions of newspaper columns, magazines, television talk shows, and tabloids became devoted to spreading the word. Gossip also spread via cyberspace and the traditional method of word of mouth. Yet, as time went on, gossip and rumor-mongering acquired negative reputations. Gossiping and rumor-mongering were shunned and scorned as evil acts, as "the devil's mouthpieces".

Rumor and gossip have became national growth industry. The word gossip which came from the Old English word "godsibb," meaning "a person related to one in God," or a godparent is now defined as "chatty talk; the reporting of sensational or intimate information." What were once defined banally are now perceived as dangerous weapons—weapons which can ruin reputations, poison relationships, and halt careers. Rumor-mongering and gossiping are considered unethical in instances such as when revealing information that was promised to keep as a secret, when invading the right to privacy, when passing on false information, and the like. Gossip and rumors are considered to build walls between people and can cause the break up of friendships. The dark side of gossip and rumor is thought of as malicious, vicious and negative. It is offensive, coercing...
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