View Full Version : Fictionary characters in factual magazine articles?

06-05-2001, 06:23 AM
OK, you know the articles I mean - the ones in Cleo/Cosmo, etc., where the writer is talking about abusive boyfriends, backstabbing girlfriends and evil mothers-in-law. Invariably, something like this will come up:

<Insert introduction about how sometimes boyfriends and friends become attracted to each other without realising it>

"Take my friend Alison, 28, who is worried that her boyfriend is flirting too much with her friend, Kate, 26. This has been going on for months, with Kate and Michael denying it when Alison confronts them, or laughing it off."

Now my general question is this: are Alison, Kate and Michael real, or have they been made up? If they are real, how does the writer know them? Do they only ever write about their friends, or do they go out and actually interview these people?

Please someone answer this, as it's been bugging me for ages! I've suspected that they simply make people up, but never been 100% positive. What's the straight dope?

06-05-2001, 06:28 AM
Well, as a corollary, a studio has just admitted to inventing a critic to provide praise for the movie The Animal. So it's not like it's impossible...

I imagine that they use real people whenever possible, but if they don't find anyone that "fits the bill", they probably fudge it a tad.

06-05-2001, 06:58 AM
< scratching head here >

Slight highjack, I apologize but I have to ask.

Is "fictionary" even a legitimate word?

Sorry I had to ask because I can't find it in the dictionary and it sounds like a Bushism to me. ;)

06-05-2001, 07:27 AM
Oh shit! Fictional! I meant fictional! I swear! : pant pant :

I was stuck between fictional and imaginary ... and some weird hybrid came out. :eek: Once, I was undecided between "tidbit" and "bit", and came out with "tit".

06-05-2001, 11:13 AM
Well, if the New York Post (http://www.overpricedcrap.com/nypost.html) can make up fictional characters, I bet Cosmo would think nothing of it.