Difference between gossip and rumor
Gossip vs rumor:
There are many ways in which one can obtain information regarding the society around us. The media being one of these resourceful modes of obtaining information, rumors and gossip also needs to be given an exclusive mention as rather informative ways in which one can gain unofficial information in a rapid manner. However, most people find it extremely difficult to differentiate a gossip from a rumor as a result of which one sees these two words being used as synonyms in day to day life. However, it must be said that using these two words as synonyms is not a wise choice as gossip and rumor stand for entirely different things altogether.
What is gossip?
Gossip can be defined as idle talk that pertains to the personal lives of others living in a society and this remains to be one of the oldest ways of sharing information among peers. However, due to the lack of regulation of the kind of information that is being passed around without control, grave errors and misunderstandings tend to occur due to the kind of misinformation that starts rapidly spreading in the society. As opposed to normal conversation, gossip is trivial in nature and one is often seen to be spreading dirt about other people’s life by way of excited discussion of scandals.
What is rumor?
Although it has been discovered that sociology, psychology and communication studies have widely varying definitions for rumor, a rumor may be generally described as unverified accounts or explanations of events, people or objects in the society, topics of which are matters of public concern. Rumor has also been defined as a subset of propaganda and yet it has been also spoken of in par with misinformation and disinformation as well which sometimes involve deliberate false information which is created with the aim of leading the public astray.
What is the difference between rumor and gossip?
It must be said that while rumor and gossip occur due to societal interactions of people, these two forms of communication often lead people astray with misinformation and false information which have been deliberately or unintentionally passed through whole communities. Yet, the two words differ largely in nature. Gossip pertains to idle chit chat among peers, often in the form of disapproval, sharing opinions or discontent and views regarding another person’s way of life or behavior. Thus it has a negative connotation of being petty, distasteful and nosy. A rumor however, pertains to unverified accounts or unofficial information with regards to certain events, persons and the like which does not always involve the intimate details of the personal life of another person. A rumor does not always carry a negative connotation as it can also be regarding a political ideology, current affairs, legal matters, weather changes and such whereas gossip is always regarding the lives of other people.
Gossip is much more general in nature whereas a rumor is very specific. Gossip is a collection of tidbits of information that is shared among peers in excited discussions of scandals and the like whereas a person spreading a rumor is very specific with regards to the kind of information that he or she is spreading as well as the subject of the rumor. Also, gossip may be discussed with anybody, especially among friends and family while a person spreading a rumor may be selective and careful about those who he or she may approach with the rumor. However, gossip may not necessary have malignant motives whereas rumors most often tend to have malignant aims of tarnishing a person’s reputation and such evil intentions. Gossip is almost always light hearted in nature as it is casual banter that one indulges in to while away their time. Rumors may not be as light hearted as gossip as a person spreading a rumor almost always has an agenda of his or her own in mind. Gossip and rumors can both prove to be harmful while they are also known as good ways in which one can gain insight regarding the views and opinions of a society at large regarding certain factors or people.
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