February 5th, 2008

Myths and legends of our times

Poll #1133080 Mythical figures

A poll allegedly claims that 23% of Britons (or some such percentage, can't be bothered to check) believe that Winston Churchill was a mythical figure. Who or what do you believe to be mythical?

Winston Churchill
0(0.0%)
Winston Smith
0(0.0%)
Winson Green
0(0.0%)
Soylent Green
0(0.0%)
The talking Churchill Insurance dog
0(0.0%)
Gravity
2(15.4%)
David Cameron
0(0.0%)
Champion The Wonder Horse
0(0.0%)
Margaret Thatcher, the mythical milk snatcher of yore
0(0.0%)
Pollsters
0(0.0%)
23% of Britons
1(7.7%)
Other, which I will explain in the comments
0(0.0%)
The comments
1(7.7%)

The hierarchy of being

As of this moment, I quite like the poll results...
Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill completely unmythical, and at the other end of the scale, Champion The Wonder Horse, 23% of Britons and 'the comments' completely mythical.

A modest profauxsal

I keep meaning to post this, but never quite get round to it...
Clearly, what we need is a word which means broadly the same as 'proposal' but carries the additional meaning of 'but whilst press releases have been sent round and been dutifully reproduced by the gullible and/or lazy media, and people have been interviewed, this is manifestly not going to happen due to
a) being a phenomenally stupid idea even beyond the stupid ideas that do get implemented
and/or
b) requiring The Singularity and/or a solution to the Hard AI problem
and/or
c) requiring a new and fundamentally different techno-economic paradigm
and/or (more prosaically and actually the most common)
d) fundamentally not being worth anyone's time or money
and/or
e) it being a solution to a non-problem

This putative term is needed on the micro- as well as the macro- scale e.g. elderly parents suggesting things that they might have for dinner on Mondays when as everyone knows they have had macaroni cheese every Monday for the last 20 years, discussions at work about how to cooperate with some other software when inevitably the answer will end up being 'let's put on the show right here in the old barn, with CSV files'.

The word I have come up with is 'profauxsal'. Profauxsals are, of course, profauxed by profauxers.