A rumor is a “tall tale of reasons for things happening in the past and usually pertaining to something, an event, or topic in the general public interest.” In other words, a rumor is a story that is told around a group of people usually with a purpose of driving their own interests. Rumors are most often started by someone in authority (such as a police officer, coach, trainer, boss, etc.) who will usually say “but that’s just a rumor!”
The rumour verb is useful in helping to explain the difference between a fact (a fact) and a false claim (a false claim): “A man once told me that the best fighter was a five foot tall giant who could turn into a dog and hide in trees. He also said that the strongest horse was lame, and he’d never trade it in for another horse, but a seven-foot tall giant with superhuman strength who could turn into a dog…” This example illustrates the difference between a fact (a fact) and a rumor (rumour). Facts are unconfirmed, are generally accepted as true by all reasonable people, and can have any number of possible consequences. On the other hand, claims are usually untested and if made are believed by fewer people. So a fact (a fact) is a rumor.
There are two primary ways that we can differentiate between a fact (a fact) and a rumour (rumour): As the first kind of gossip is sourced from an unverified account, this indicates that the source of the gossip is someone other than the subject of the rumour. For example, someone may say that Tom Cruise once smoked pot for years in order to hide the fact that he is gay. Someone else might tell you that Elvis once performed sex-capades on stage in order to keep his sexual activities secret. These two examples demonstrate the first difference between a fact (a fact) and a rumour (rumour).
The second difference between a fact (a fact) and a rumour (rumour) is that a fact is generally supported by at least one source; that is, if someone says that something happened, there must be at least two or three independent sources of this fact. On the other hand, a rumour is generally supported by only one source. For example, someone might say “A friend of mine said that Elvis died of a drug overdose”. However, no one has come forward to say that their friend actually saw Elvis dying of a drug overdose – there are no independent reports to corroborate this fact.
In contrast, the key difference between a fact (a fact) and a rumour (rumour) is that a fact is generally true, whereas a rumour is false. For example, the fact that Santa Claus really does exist is not a myth; whereas the rumour that he does exist, that he lives in a big house in the back garden of a shopping mall in Belize, is fact. Falsehoods are seldom (if ever) true. Therefore, you can see how strategic communication tools such as rumours can have real world value when they are true, whereas false rumours have very little value in the information age.
Now, when it comes to the use of rumor in your own business, you must always be careful about the wording of your announcements. You absolutely mustn’t adopt some sort of “rumor nouveau” attitude: if a rumour starts to circulate, you absolutely must take steps to put a stop to it. This is just as true in the social media arena as it is in traditional business communications. If you start spreading rumors about your company, customers, products or anything else, you are damaging your company’s reputation, credibility and the trust of your customers. Therefore, the use of rumor nouveau tactics should be very limited, if not totally banned.