Trap Streets, Ghost Words, and Mountweazel - see: Fictious entries
June 25, 2017 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Fictitious or fake entries are deliberately fabricated items and listings in reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and other directories. There are terms for specific types of entry, such as trap or paper streets, paper towns and phantom settlements, phantom islands, ghost words (nihilartikel), and specifically, (Lillian Virginia) Mountweazel. Fictitious entries are included either as a humorous hoax or as a copyright trap to reveal subsequent plagiarism or copyright infringement, unlike intentional forgeries or unintentional mistakes. Except, sometimes those fake things are real, in a way. For example, Londonist found some "real" trap streets, and Urban Ghosts Media identified two almost-real phantom settlements.
posted by filthy light thief (10 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
15 years later, wikipedia is still the greatest site on the internet
posted by growabrain at 12:01 PM on June 25, 2017

Following through from the Wikipedia entry, don't miss Rhinogradentia, an adorable and absurd fictitious order of mammal.
posted by stolyarova at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

For those looking for more on Argleton:

BBC comedian/writer/panel show host Steve Punt (also half of the comedy duo Punt & Dennis , alongside Hugh Dennis), had a BBC radio series investigating odd things called Punt, PI.

He did an episode on Argleton (itunes link here, as it does not appear to be currently available from the BBC Radio 4 website)
posted by chambers at 1:02 PM on June 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by adamvasco at 2:34 PM on June 25, 2017

Not trap streets, but totally sound like they should be : Trump Street and Russia Row, in London.
posted by madcaptenor at 3:34 PM on June 25, 2017

Quite interesting!
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:49 PM on June 25, 2017

As a Philip myself, I have always hated the false Columbo fact. No, I sneer, that is in fact a false trivia item inserted for copyright protection; I don't have the same name as he did.
posted by yhbc at 4:03 PM on June 25, 2017

The link to ghost words/nihilartikel spawned endless junk windows on my phone.
posted by zadcat at 7:17 PM on June 25, 2017

On these streets, one finds the long home of Mr Borges, Mr Eco.
posted by Caxton1476 at 6:12 AM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

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