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有关愚人节的英语文章

栏目:英语小故事 作者:草屋文章网 时间:2010-03-19 点击:
1.April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day, though not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends and neighbors, or sending them on fools' errands, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. In some countries, April Fools' jokes (also called "April Fools") are only made before midday. [1] It is also widely celebrated on the Internet.

2.Origin
The origin of this custom has been much disputed. Many theories have been suggested.

What seems certain is that it is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year's Day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April.

It has been suggested that Europe derived its April-fooling from the French [2]. France was one of the first nations to make January 1 officially New Year's Day (which was already celebrated by many), by decree of Charles IX. This was in 1564, even before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar (See Julian start of the year). Thus the New Year's gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of the 1st of April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair game for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and paying calls of pretended ceremony on the 1st of April. French and Dutch references from 1508 and 1539 respectively describe April Fools' Day jokes and the custom of making them on the first of April.

Though the 1st of April appears to have been anciently observed in Great Britain as a general festival, it was apparently not until the beginning of the 18th century that the making of April-fools was a common custom. In Scotland the custom was known as "hunting the gowk," i.e. the cuckoo, and April-fools were "April-gowks," the cuckoo being there, as it is in most lands, a term of contempt. In France the person fooled is known as poisson d'avril. This has been explained from the association of ideas arising from the fact that in April the sun quits the zodiacal sign of the fish. A far more natural explanation would seem to be that the April fish would be a young fish and therefore easily caught.

The Dutch celebrate the 1st of April for other reasons. In 1572, the Netherlands were ruled by Spain's King Philip II. Roaming the region were Dutch rebels who called themselves Geuzen, after the French "gueux", meaning beggars. On 1 April, 1572, the Geuzen seized the small coastal town of Den Briel. This event was also the start of the general civil rising against the Spanish in other cities in the Netherlands. The Duke of Alba, commander of the Spanish army could not prevent the uprising. Bril is the Dutch word for glasses, so on 1 April, 1572, "Alba lost his glasses". Dutch people find this joke so hilarious they still commemorate the first of April.

The French traditionally celebrated this holiday by placing a dead fish on the back of friends. Today the fish is substituted by a floppy kerk.

Chaucer's story, the Nun's Priest's Tale, written c.1400, takes place on 32 March; that is, 1 April; it is Chanticleer and the Fox, a story of two fools.

3.Well-known hoaxes
Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi to the "Biblical value" of 3.0. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 sci-fi classic "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert A. Heinlein.
Spaghetti trees: The BBC television programme Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. They had claimed that the despised pest the spaghetti wevil had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees.
South Park: April 1st was advertised as being the premiere of the show's second season—and also the resolution of a cliffhanger where Eric Cartman was about to discover the identity of his father. Fans spent weeks speculating on the father's identity, but when they tuned in to the episode, they were instead treated to a half-hour of Terrance and Phillip fart jokes. The true resolution to the cliffhanger aired several weeks later. The show's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone claim during the DVD introduction to this episode that they received death threats over pulling the prank, although there were not any police reports to prove this.
Left Handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out the right side.
Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied with tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
Lies to Get You Out of the House In 1985, the L.A. Weekly printed an entire page of fake things to do on April Fools day, by which hundreds of people were fooled.
Kremvax: In 1984, in one of the earliest on-line hoaxes, a message was circulated that Usenet had been opened to users in the Soviet Union.
San Serriffe: The Guardian printed a supplement in 1977 praising this fictional resort, its two main islands (Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse), its capital (Bodoni), and its leader (General Pica). Intrigued readers were later disappointed to learn that San Serriffe (sans serif) did not exist except as references to typeface terminology. (This comes from a Jorge Luis Borges story).
FBI Crackdowns on On-line File Sharing of Music: Such announcements on April Fools Day have become common.
Metric time: Repeated several times in various countries, this hoax involves claiming that the time system will be changed to one in which units of time are based on powers of 10.
Smell-o-vision: In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. This hoax was also conducted by the Seven Network in Australia in 2005.
Tower of Pisa: The Dutch television news reported once in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen. Many shocked people contacted the station [citation needed].
Wrapping Televisions in Foil: In another year, the Dutch television news reported that the government had new technology to detect unlicensed televisions (in many European countries, television license fees fund public broadcasting), but that wrapping a television in aluminium foil could prevent its detection.
Breast Exams by Satellite: In the 1990s, Portuguese national television network RTP announced the Ministry of Health would perform free breast exams by satellite, causing thousands of women to go out topless [citation needed].
Assassination of Bill Gates: Many Chinese and South Korean websites claimed that CNN reported Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was assassinated [3].
Write Only Memory: Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.
Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy! Double Switch: In 1997, Pat Sajak, the host of Wheel of Fortune, traded hosting duties with Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek for one show. In addition to Sajak hosting Jeopardy!, he and co-host Vanna White appeared as contestants on the episode of Wheel hosted by Trebek. White's position was filled by Sajak's wife Leslie [4].
Comic strip switcheroo: Cartoonists of popularly syndicated comic strips draw each others' strips. In some cases, the artist draws characters in the other strip's milieu, while in others, the artist draws in characters from other visiting characters from his own. Cartoonists have done this sort of "switcheroo" for several years. The 1997 switch was particularly widespread.
The Trouble with Tracy: In 2003, The Comedy Network in Canada announced that it would produce and air a remake of the 1970s Canadian sitcom The Trouble with Tracy. The original series is widely considered to be one of the worst sitcoms ever produced. Several media outlets fell for the hoax.
National Television Station (TVM) in Malta: In 1995, TVM announced the discovery of a new underground prehistoric temple with a mummy. Another year, TVM announced that Malta would adopt the European continent convention of driving on the right-hand side of the road [citation needed].
Free wine for all:The Norwegian newspaper "Bergens Tidende" announced in 1987 that the state's alcohol monopoly had 10,000 litres of illegally smuggled wine that had been confiscated. The inhabitants of Bergen were invited to the main store in town to receive their share of the goods, rather than to spill good wine down the drain. That morning staff were met by about 200 men & women with bottles, buckets, and other suitable vessels for carrying the prized goods. Legislation in Norway causes alcohol to be relatively expensive and have limited availability [citation needed].
Rain drop power: On April 1st 2006 Norwegian media had a one-page story concerning "rain drop power", which could replace oil as a primary energy source. One could write to the energy company BKK in Bergen in order to be a volunteer and receive the power generated for free.
The Canadian news site bourque.org announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned "in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks."
SARS Infects Hong Kong: In 2003 during the time when Hong Kong is seriously hit by SARS, it was rumored that many people in Hong Kong had become infected with SARS and become uncontrolled, that all immigration ports would be closed to quarantine the region, and that Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong at that time, had resigned. Hong Kong supermarkets were immediately overwhelmed by panicked shoppers. The Hong Kong government held a press conference to deny the rumor. The rumor, which was intended as an April Fools' prank, was started by a student by imitating the design of Ming Pao newspaper website. He was charged for this incident.
(Announcement of Hong Kong Government denying this rumor)
China Decapitates Taiwan: In 2005, an undergraduate nicknamed SkyMirage, who was well-known in Taiwan for his humor, fabricated a series of news that China's airforce was bombarding Office of President, Taiwan.
Water on Mars: In 2005 a news story was posted on the official NASA website purporting to have pictures of water on Mars. The picture actually was just a picture of a glass of water on a Mars Candy Bar.
Annual BMW Innovations see a new "cutting-edge invention" by BMW advertised across British newspapers every year, examples including:
Warning against counterfeit BMWs: the blue and white parts of the logo were reversed
The "Toot and Calm Horn" (after Tutankhamun), which calms rather than aggravates other drivers, so reducing the risk of road rage,
MINI cars being used in upcoming space missions to Mars,
IDS ("Insect Deflector Screen") Technology - using elastic solutions to bounce insects off the windscreen as you drive,
SHEF ("Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration") Technology, which sees the car's GPS systems synchronise with home appliances to perfectly cook a meal for the instant you return home,
Marque-Wiper - mini-wipers for each exterior "BMW" logo coming as standard on all future models,
"Uninventing the wheel" to counter the "EU ban" on right-hand drive cars, and
Zoom Impression Pixels ("ZIP") to counter new "Slow Cameras".
Sheng Long - Electronic Gaming Monthly's infamous hoax of a secret character in Street Fighter II.
There have been several other EGM pranks that readers have fallen into. Among them: claiming that some Street Fighter II characters possessed unlisted special moves, including Chun-Li hurling her bracelets at an opponent, Sega mascots Sonic and Tails appearing as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and the release of a graphically-remade The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker as a preorder bonus. All such pranks have been met with praise and equal hatred from its readers, as can be seen in the "April Fools" letters section in the May issue.
EGM tried the Sheng Long hoax again with Street Fighter III and once again got some people to believe it.
Coldplay to back the Tories - On April 1 2006 the UK Guardian journalist "Olaf Priol" claimed that Chris Martin of rock band Coldplay had decided to publicly support the UK Conservative Party leader David Cameron due to his disillusionment with current New Labour prime minister Tony Blair [3], even going so far as to produce a fake song, "Talk to David", that could be downloaded via the Guardian website [4]. despite being an obvious hoax, the Labour Party's Media Monitoring Unit were concerned enough to circulate the story throughout "most of the government" [5].
4.Side-effects of April Fools' Day
The frequency of April Fool hoaxes sometimes makes people doubt real news stories released on 1 April.


Hawaiians running from an approaching tsunami in Hilo, HawaiiThe 1 April 1946 Aleutian Island earthquake tsunami that killed 165 people on Hawaii and Alaska resulted in the creation of a tsunami warning system (specifically the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center), established in 1949 for Pacific Ocean area countries. The tsunami is known in Hawaii as the "April Fools' Day Tsunami" due to people drowning due to thinking the warnings were an April Fools' prank.

Gmail's April 2004 launch was widely believed to be a prank, as Google was known to include joke pages on their website, until that point.

The merger of Square and its rival company, Enix, took place on April 1, 2003, and was originally thought to be a joke. Fans of the long running square series Final Fantasy often claim that the merger was in fact a joke due to the decline of the series after the merger.

The 2005 death of comedian Mitch Hedberg was originally dismissed as an April Fools' joke. The comedian's March 29, 2005 death was announced on April 1, 2005.

Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z was announced for production by Aniplex, Cartoon Network, and Toei Animation on 1 April 2005 and was originally discredited, but turned out to be true when poster art and clips from the series were revealed days later. [8]

People obeying hoax messages to telephone "Mr.C.Lion" and "Mr.L.E.Fant" and suchlike at a telephone number that turns out to be a zoo, sometimes cause a serious overload to zoos' telephone switchboards.

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