urban legend

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urban legend

(ŭr′băn) [L. urbanus]
Myth (2). Urban legends about health care are widely disseminated by patients and practitioners. One favorite is the internet prank that states that dihydrogen monoxide is a deadly toxin widely consumed by human beings. Its chemical formula is H2O.

Most urban legends are not humorous or malicious pranks but are based on misunderstandings or unrecognized errors in reasoning, e.g., the common but false belief that emergency rooms are busiest during certain phases of the moon.