Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Gossip and Slander.

gossip vs slander

Have you ever wondered when you hear people talking about another person if it is gossip or slander? I mean it’s all the same thing right? Well there is a difference and I’ll explain that as best as I can without being malicious or defame anyone, so I can stop the slander about me being a gossip.

Gossip:
As defined by Dictionary.com
idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others

Word origin:
Old English “Godsibb” God and sibb; meaning related. Godparent, usually a woman.

This word is believed to have started when the women of a village or family would gather for a birth and start talking about their friends and neighbors. Gossip is usually negative but can also be positive and lead to good things such as work promotions, new friendships or that date with the cute guy in your building.

Examples:
Gossip about co-workers is strictly off limits.
Did you hear the gossip about Jennifer Anderson being pregnant?
The rumour about Tanya breaking her leg is complete gossip.
Julia loved to read the gossip column in the paper.
John asked out Sarah when he heard the gossip that she was really good in bed.

Slander:

As defined by Dictionary.com
noun, defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

Word origin: Late latin scandalum, to cause offence.

Examples:
The rumour that Julia was cheating on her husband was slanderous and he sued her.
They cut his tongue off as punishment for his crime of slander against the king.
The charges of slander were quite serious.
Shari got fired when they discovered her slanderous comments about her boss .
George started spreading rumours with malicious intent. This was proved to be slanderous.

Defamation:
As defined by Dictionary.com
noun, the act of defaming; false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel; calumny:

This is a synonym for slander, basically meaning to make up lies that hurt a person’s reputation. It has been a law around the world for hundreds of years. In some countries it is even illegal to say anything slanderous or defame the dead. Defamation is visual such as a kid defaming a public monument with graffiti. Giving someone the finger is a form of defamation. A good example of slander is what happened recently to the one host from a popular radio station, who got fired because his ex was making up stories about his personal life with her, to hurt him personally and hurt his reputation.

All together now:
The gossip about Sarah cheating on her exam turned out to be slanderous and she got expelled.
The charges of slander against Tom were complete gossip and he was released.
Debbie was mad at Judy and started some gossip that turned out to be slanderous.

There is nothing more hurtful than intentional slanderous gossip.
The malicious gossip completely slandered the companies name and they lost a lot of business.

Conclusion:
To sum it up Gossip is light talk about a person that may or may not be true but is often public knowledge, most often about celebrities and coworkers. Slander are outright lies about a persons actions or character and can seriously harm their reputation. It is good to remember that even though gossip is fun and not illegal it can also hurt a person’s feelings and reputation as well as damage relationships so it is best to keep your mouth shut or just walk away when others start talking about people you know.


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