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Jon Kennard


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ORCs, ELFs, and MORDOR: A little TZ hoax


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.

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.

3 Responses

  1. Final paragraph!!!

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

  2. Update

    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?

  3. a minor apology
    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

Author Profile Picture
Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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