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ORCs, ELFs, and MORDOR: A little TZ hoax

3rd Apr 2014
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So we suckered a few people in then. When my TZ colleague Craig came to me with the idea for this April Fools news piece it was just too good to resist. Themed around Lord of the Rings (for some unknown reason), I knew it was a goer, and subtle enough to be believable too. Have a read for yourself here.

https://www.trainingzone.co.uk/news/budget-2014-reappraisal

MORDOR, the ‘Ministry for Organisational Development and Occupational Reform’, seemed bureaucratic and vague enough to pass as a government department; ORCs, ‘Organic Reading Companies’, was a bit of a leftfield acronym but few batted an eyelid; and ELFs, Esteemed Learning Facilitators, buried in the second last paragraph, well, if you’d read that far you probably bought the story anyway.

‘Stokes873’ was the first to correctly surmise it was a hoax at 3.48pm on 1 April, but by then the damage was done: it had had 300-odd reads and several social shares, with people saying ‘good insight!' and ‘good article’.

At the heart of the best lies is always a kernel of truth, and this is probably why it went down so well. It suggests some semi-credible ideas that, if implemented, could actually make a difference to how this country feels about learning, both corporate and educational. I’m not talking about the learning tax (though I wouldn’t put it past the coalition to consider such a thing), but a rating system could work. No punishment for lower levels of course. Imagine. Gamifying the L&D function. How meta is that?

But the real reason I’d have known it was an April Fool if I’d read the story for the first time? Because the Government would never pay that much attention to Learning and Development.

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By phil.pryce
07th Apr 2014 13:19

I must admit I like the somewhat cynical bit at the end of this. Nothing wrong with some cynical realism in this world :-D

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By [email protected]
08th Apr 2014 09:35

As I was noted as the first to comment, I think it's only fair to point out that I made it clear that it was a scam. I wonder if my comments were removed to avoid others following suit?

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By Jon Kennard
08th Apr 2014 14:47

Hi Stokes873, I should have made it clearer in my follow-up that you sussed it was a hoax. Will amened the piece now. Also, your original comment is still there. we only redact in the most extreme cases.

Kind regards
Jon

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