Urban legends. Old wives' tales. It doesn't matter what you call them. They add up to one thing: A bunch of scary, if unlikely, events that could maybe, possibly, if the right set of circumstances were met, be true.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 2, 2017 is:
dithyramb • \DITH-ih-ram\ • noun
1 : a usually short poem in an inspired wild irregular strain
2 : a statement or writing in an exalted or enthusiastic vein
She is working on a scholarly analysis of early Greek dithyrambs.
"His books are immensely entertaining …, but they also are serious examinations of the underside of American society, a large, dangerous and important world that goes entirely unnoticed in the frail dithyrambs emitted by the university creative-writing departments." — Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2005
Did you know?
In ancient Greece, the wine god Dionysus (or Bacchus) was feted several times throughout the year. Processions, feasts, dances, and dramatic performances, accompanied by poems recited or sung in the god's honor, were all part of the revelry. Not too surprisingly, the poems tended to be wild, irregular, and dissonant. We know that the Greeks used dithyrambos as the word for a poem in honor of Dionysus, but beyond that the origin of the word is unknown. The ancient Greeks also had an adjective, dithyrambikos, which gave us our adjective dithyrambic, meaning "pertaining to or resembling a dithyramb."