Rumors just perpetuate fallacies

Rumor has it that the largest Taco Bell in the world is set to be built right here in Bowling Green, OH. This could be our big break – the moment that this small town has been waiting for. This could put us on the map or maybe even in the Guinness Book of World Records. People will come from miles around just to make a run for the border at the coveted grande taco establishment.

But wait a second. When the BG News asked the owners of the local T. Bell how they felt about the up and coming establishment, their reaction was less enthusiastic than expected. The three owners were not eager to boast about the potential, record-breaking eatery. Instead, they laughed in the reporter’s face, questioning how such a rumor became widespread.

It seems that people have a way of accepting information through word of mouth, without checking out the facts out for themselves. Hearing a bit of information from more than one source seems to qualify even the most outlandish notions quote-worthy. The more absurd the idea, the more quickly it will be passed on through AIM, Facebook or text message.

For instance, looking back to the dawn of the new millenium, everyone was stocking their pantries with canned goods and bottled water, preparing for the end of the world. As the clock struck midnight, no mayhem swept through city streets. The lights didn’t even flicker, other than those on the flashing ball over Times Square.

Another local example of the ever-spreading rumor trend, is the accusation that the University holds one of the country’s highest sexually transmitted disease percentage among college campuses, earning us the title BGSTD.

In reality, it was only the University’s participation in a national study, that brought attention to these sensitive statistics. Though other campuses can point and laugh at the number of infected students on the University’s campus, only their lack of participation in the survey keeps all of us from knowing where we truly rank.

Even the BG News has been guilty of falling into the trap of hearsay. In last week’s issue, we reported University President Sydney Ribeau’s home was paid for with student dollars, along with a heated brick driveway. In reality, the University Foundation purchased the home with donated funds, and the driveway needs shoveled every winter, just like any other.

People – ourselves included – should be more aware of the trouble that can be caused when we let something our best friend learned from his cousin become the gospel according to us.