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Urban legend and urban myth

An urban legend is a story that is told and retold as a true happening, but is in fact untrue. Urban legends usually reflect the concerns and fears of the current culture, though sometimes they are simply amusing. Often, urban legends are related as something that happened to “a friend of a friend” of the person telling the story, someone who does not actually exist. Most people who relate urban legends do not realize that their story is untrue. Urban legends were first found in print in 1968.

The term urban myth means the same thing as the phrase urban legend. Urban myth is used primarily in British English while urban legend is primarily a North American term, though there is some crossover.


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Examples

Snopes, a rumour-busting website, attributes the missing day urban legend to a Harold Hill, president of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, Maryland. (The International Business Times)

In 2014, a local band, the Mantua Finials, released a concept album, inspired by those incidents, about the urban legend. (The Washington POst)

Regardless of details, the modern-day implications of the Appleton urban legend remain the same for those who dare visit Blood’s off-the-path tombstone at Riverside Cemetery. (The Appleton Post-Crescent)

“Contrary to urban myth, rents won’t change much, nor will housing markets collapse.” (The New Daily)

Many enthusiasts and collectors had heard about Mr Vague’s bikes, but most people thought it was an urban myth. (The Plymouth Herald)

One urban myth suggested 420 was the penal code in the state of California used by police officers for marijuana use. (The Independent)

TVNZ’s free-range reporter Brodie Kane investigated the effectiveness of household fly sprays, while host Pippa Wetzell stuck a bunch of takeaway hamburgers in a camping pantry to find out, “Is the burger that lasts forever just an urban myth?” (The New Zealand Herald)

 

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