Xref: info.physics.utoronto.ca alt.answers:4831 alt.folklore.urban:164425 news.answers:30433
From: email@example.com (Terry Chan)
Subject: alt.folklore.urban Frequently Asked Questions [Part 4 of 4]
Date: 7 Oct 1994 21:02:15 GMT
Organization: Department of Redundancy Department
Expires: 31 October 1994
Reply-To: TWChan@lbl.gov (Terry Chan)
Summary: Urban legends supported, challenged and debunked
Please read before posting to AFU
7 October 1994
This is the last section of the four part Frequently Asked
Questions list for alt.folklore.urban. This section credits
posters who have contributed in the spirit of the newsgroup
and also lists some basic references. Note, many of the ULs
discussed in the FAQ list as being "F" or "T" are discussed
in one of the following references.
PART IV: CREDITS AND SOME REFERENCES
Many Thanks to the Following Posters for Relevant Information on
the FAQ List and for Contributing to the Overall Spirit and Quality
Jane Beckman, Steven Bellovin, Conrad Black, Mark Brader, Jean-Louis Brodu,
Danny Burstein, Jack Campin, Raymond Chen, Joe Chew, Patrick S Clark, Cathi
A.Cook, Cindy Davies, Glenn Davis, Jeff Davis, Ray Depew, Scott Deerwester,
Larry Doering, all the Terry's: Carroll, Chan, Monks, Wood, et al., David
Esan, Clive Feather, Ted Frank, Greg Franklin, Alan Frisbie, Joel Furr, Kim
Greer, Tom Greer, Dave Gross, Phil Gustafson, Jason R. Heimbaugh, David A.
Honigs, David B. Horvath, Wendy Foran Howard, Mark Israel, Richard Joltes,
Jim Jones, Cynthia Kandolf, Diane Kelly, Phil Kernick, Ron Knight, Andrew
Lewis, Susan Mudgett, Bill Nelson, Tom Neff, Bob O'Brien, Jonathan Papai,
Christophe Pettus, saki, G. Paul Savage, Brian Scearce, Sean Smith, Randal
Schwartz, Ken Shirriff, snopes, Doug Spindler, Haakon Styri, Derek Tearne,
Bruce Tindall, Dwight Tovey, Peter van der Linden, Greg Widdicombe, and Dan
Have you ever wondered how those people have gotten the name at the end
of the FAQ list? They are people who are widely recognized as thoughtful
posters of reliable information. They have consistently added value to
various debates by sharing their point of view, and often researching
difficult questions which arise on the net, and posting authoritative facts
The official way for joining the list of distinguished AFU-ers is to
research a number of the unanswered questions that come now and then
and reach a definitive conclusion (or demonstrate that one cannot be
found). Post your findings. If your reports are sound, and have
provide a reasonable contribution to the signal-to-noise ratio of
the newsgroup, and the original question was non-trivial, you will
be added to the acknowledgements section of the FAQ list! Be prepared
to submit references. We are mostly adults here (except around the
beginning of the academic year). Be prepared to discuss and debate
your research and conclusions here. The unofficial way to get on the
list is to give me a big payoff (and it better be more than two-fifty).
INCREDIBLE NEW REFERENCE:
Peter van der Linden, _Expert C Programming_, 1994, Prentice-Hall.
ISBN 0-13-177429-8, paperback, 384 pages, US$32. An provocative
and lively excursion into the depths of mental anguish and
instability that give rise to urban legends such as C. Recommended
for people of all ages and religious persuasions. If this isn't
the most spine-tingling book you read this year, you haven't lived!
So controversial that the Book of the Month Club won't even acknowledge
Also by the same author: _The Official Handbook of Practical Jokes_
Signet, ISBN 0-451-15873-3, 1989, _The Second Official Handbook of
Practical Jokes_, 1991, Signet, ISBN 0-451-16924-7.
SOME PRIMARY FOLKLORE-SPECIFIC REFERENCES:
Jan Harold Brunvand (_The Vanishing Hitchhiker_, 1981, ISBN 0-393-95169-3;
_The Choking Doberman_, 1984, ISBN 0-393-30321-7; _The Mexican Pet_,
1986, ISBN 0-393-30542-2; _Curses! Broiled Again_, 1989, ISBN 0-393-
30711-5, _The Baby Train_, 1993, ISBN 0-393-03438-0; _The Study of
American Folklore_, 3rd Ed., 1986, all published by W.W. Norton);
_Folklore: A Study and Research Guide_, 1976, St. Martin's (out of
print). JHB is one of the leading folklorists in this field today
and has done much to popularize the study of ULs. Also has a great
back hand and skis a mean "figure 11."
Alan Dundes, _Cracking Jokes: Studies of Sick Humor Cycles and
Stereotypes_, 1987, Ten Speed Press. Curious about what makes
sick humor popular? Check this baby out so you'll be ready the
next time an Olympian gets whacked with a crowbar.
Alan Dundes and Carl Pagter, _Urban folklore from the Paperwork
Empire_, 1975, American Folklore Society. You want it when?
Find out about it and other Xerox lore in the modern (or not
so modern) office in this series of collections by Dundes and
Beng af Klintberg, _R&ttan i Pizzan_ (The rat in the pizza. The
'&' is an a-with-a-ring-above), Pan, 1990 ISBN 91-1-893831-0.
Haakon Styri, maintainer of the Norway AFU ftp site says Bengt
af Klintberg writes in a Brunvandish style. He lists 100 legends
(unfortunately not classified by topic). Though many of the
legends are well known in other parts of the world there are a
few that may be strictly European.
Iona and Peter Opie, _The Lore and Language of School-Children_,
Oxford, Clarendon P., 1972. Noted poster Jack Campin says:
"This [book] has some mind-boggling figures on the speed and
effectiveness of folklore transmission by kids."
Paul Smith, _The Complete Book of Office Mis-practice_, 1984, London;
Boston: Routledge & K. Paul, 1984. Covers some of the same subject
matter as Dundes and Pagter. Other comments by Jack Campin:
"He's also done a series of popular books with titles
incorporating the phrase "Nasty Legends" (rather like
Brunvand's stuff) and some heavyweight folklore theory
in a series he edits called "Perspectives on Contemporary
Smith has also co-authored two books with Gillian Bennett
entitled, _Monsters with Iron Teeth_, 1988, and _Perspectives
on Contemporary Legend_, 1987, both published by Sheffield
Sheffield Academic Press.
Patricia Turner, _I Heard It Through the Grapevine: Rumor in African-
American Culture_, 1993, University of California Press. Provides
interesting insights into the propagation of urban legends in
The International Society for Contemporary Legend Research (ISCLR)
has two publications of interest.
_FOAFtale News_ is the newsletter of the society and contains
information from around the world along with extensive
bibliographies and reports and notes from other related
publications. It is published quarterly.
_Contemporary Legend_ is a refereed journal of scholarly articles
on legends. It is edited by Paul Smith.
Membership in ISCLR entitles one to both publications. For US and
Canadian subscription information, write to: Paul Smith, Department
of Folklore, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, CANADA
A1C 5S7. Subscription rates as of July 1994 are US$18 or 10 pounds
SOME GOOD PRIMARY REFERENCES:
Cecil Adams (_The Straight Dope_, 1984, ISBN 0-345-33315-2, _More of the
Straight Dope_, 1988, ISBN 0-345-35145-2, _Return of the Straight
Dope_, all published by Ballantine Books). Author of "The Straight
Dope" Q&A column of _The Chicago Reader_ and is syndicated in many
alternative newspapers. Worth reading if only for for his writing
style. Contrary to what you may read on a.f.u., he is not
related to Marilyn vos "Idiot" Savant but he might be Monty Hall.
You can e-mail his editor, Ed Zotti, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alfie Kohn, _You Know What They Say...The Truth About Popular Beliefs_,
1990, ISBN 0-06-092115-3, Harper. Pretty good book with, get this,
*references* to stuff in the back. This is a good habit which some
of you folks may want to try sometime...
Paul Krassner (ed.), _Best of the Realist_, 1984, ISBN 0-89471-287-X,
Running Press. The worst thing about _BotR_, is that the reprints
aren't dated. Otherwise the book is a must, especially for the
generation X crowd: articles by Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Robert
Anton Wilson, Terry Southern, Mae Brussel, and Margo St. James; art
by Rodrigues, S. Clay Wilson, and the pre-carp Richard Guindon. Not
to mention "The Parts Left Out of the Kennedy Book", "The Case of
the Cock-Sure Groupies" (the Plaster Casters), and an illegal Groucho
Marx quote: "I think the only hope this country has is Nixon's
assassination." [Unfortunately, this appears to be out of print.]
G. & C. Merriam Co., _Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary_, 1977, ISBN
0-87779-348-4. Great bedside reading. Check it out sometime.
There's also the OED, but Bruce Tindall has first dibs on it.
William Poundstone (_Big Secrets_, 1983, Morrow, _Bigger Secrets_, 1986,
and _Biggest Secrets_, 1993 Houghton-Mifflin). Sorry, it's a secret.
Peter Trei says the stuff on Masons is total BS, but then, he WOULD
say that. Perhaps the weakest of the lot though still on target
and somewhat interesting for the most part.
Bruce Tindall and Mark Watson, _Did Mohawks Wear Mohawks? And Other
Wonders, Plunders, and Blunders_, Quill - William and Morrow, 1991.
ISBN 0-688-09859-2. Damn good book (even if his father did write
_America: A Narrative History_) with only one wrong entry so far.
Just don't believe what they say about dalmatians, humans, and urea.
You can even e-mail Bruce on the net at email@example.com
to blast 'im. Part II is coming out in approximately Fall, 1994.
The AFU Frequently Asked Questions List has been maintained by
Terry Chan since July 1991. Its inception and spirit was due to
the efforts of Peter van der Linden in February 1991.
This Frequently Asked Questions List is a publication of AFU, Inc.,
a wholely owned subsidiary of Old Hat Enterprises, Inc. Please
contact Terry Chan at TWChan@lbl.gov or Peter van der Linden at
firstname.lastname@example.org for licensing and duplication rights.
Copyrighted 1991-94. All rights reserved by Terry Chan (email@example.com).
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