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Hoax letter tries to make prom night more fun.
Posted: 25 April 2008 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From KATU.com:

[quote author=“KATU.com”]Lincoln H.S. parents receive hoax ‘prom night’ letter.
Administrators at Lincoln High School are trying to find out who sent a hoax letter to parents about this Saturday’s senior prom. The letter is printed on what appears to be Portland Public Schools letterhead and it says students will likely be drinking, doing drugs, and having sex on prom night. The letter goes on to encourage parents to open their homes for parties so kids don’t drink and drive and even provides instructions on how much alcohol to provide.
 
District officials say they did not send the letter and that it is an elaborate hoax. In addition to finding out who did wrote the letter, the district wants to know how the pranksters gained access to addresses of parents and guardians of Lincoln students.

[Original here…]

Nice try, kids! LOL

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Posted: 25 April 2008 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Heh, not bad; the letter gets the tone pretty much right - it has real verysillymitude.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m annoyed that things are so often called “an elaborate hoax”.  This consisted of faking the school’s letterhead and writing a letter that no one in his right mind would think came from the school.  How is that “elaborate”?

Worse, is one those breathless documentaries about something like Bermuda Triangle or haunted houses or space aliens or whatever, they’ll find some poorly made piece of video and claim it must either be “proof” or “an elaborate hoax”.  They leave off the option of something like a very simple lie.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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True, Joe.. ‘elaborate’ would be writing a letter explaining that it was a ‘theme’ prom, and that in addition to the regular prom gear, all attendees would be required to bring a watermelon and wear a baseball cap.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Getting hold of the mailing list was moderately clever, but the letter itself? Bah. Like duplicating letterhead is hard?

However, the writing really is very good. Even reading it with the knowledge that this is a hoax, I didn’t detect a single syntactical or punctuational or grammatical error that sounded an alert in my brain that this wasn’t written by school officials. The content did, of course, but that’s another matter. “Elaborate”? Maybe not. But very clever. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the hoaxers are caught simply because the pool of students who could have pulled this off won’t be a very deep one; but I also wouldn’t be too surprised if they are never caught because even if there is suspicion, there won’t be any proof.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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My daughter’s school send electronic newsletters round to parents anyway. I’m sure copying the letterhead out of a PDF isn’t that difficult.

*Ctrl-Alt-PrtScrn* *Ctrl-V* *Click-and-drag* *Ctrl-Y*

8 seconds. Nope, it isn’t.

They also have a directory of parents’ addresses and phone numbers (which you can opt out of if you wish).

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Posted: 25 April 2008 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 25 April 2008 02:21 PM

True, Joe.. ‘elaborate’ would be writing a letter explaining that it was a ‘theme’ prom, and that in addition to the regular prom gear, all attendees would be required to bring a watermelon and wear a baseball cap.

If it’s just a letter, I still wouldn’t call it “elaborate”.

Kathleen - 25 April 2008 02:36 PM

“Elaborate”? Maybe not. But very clever.

I’d buy that, or at least be OK that a reasonable person could consider it clever.  (The fact that a high-school student can write a letter without a lot of errors shouldn’t by itself earn “clever” IMHO.)

For “elaborate” I think there has to be a LOT more to it than a letter. . . .or shaky, grainy 8mm film footage of a guy in an ape suit, for that matter.

I’d consider the famous alien autopsy film to be an elaborate hoax.  It was poorly done and very obviously a hoax, but there was a lot more to it.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I suppose if the hoaxers obtained the parents’ names and addresses by the simple expedient of asking everyone at school what their parents’ names and addresses were, that might count as elaborate.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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JoeDaJuggler - 25 April 2008 04:16 PM

I’d buy that, or at least be OK that a reasonable person could consider it clever.  (The fact that a high-school student can write a letter without a lot of errors shouldn’t by itself earn “clever” IMHO.)

This earns from me an “Oh, I do WISH that were true!”

But all sadness regarding the state of English instruction in U.S. high schools aside, it isn’t just that it doesn’t have errors. It’s that it’s written in the style of a school administrator, and that’s not the easiest thing in the world for 17- or 18-year-olds to pull off. It’s also not the hardest thing, mind you, but it is quite well done.

But I agree that it’s not elaborate. The use of that word is yet another example of what us grammar geeks call “adjective inflation,” a phenomenon that turns every reasonably large house for sale into a “stunning executive mansion,” every murder into “deliberate murder,” and every salad into a “bed of crisp, garden-fresh greens.”

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Posted: 25 April 2008 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Win I’s 17 I’s a priddy good talker n rider.  I’da coulda rit that letter.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Rookies.  If they had really wanted to make it a convincing hoax they would have lined up the caterers and booze and billed it to the school district.  Or at least sent a letter to the administration saying that the governor was going to be in the area and was interested in speaking at the prom.

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