Johns Hopkins University finally gave in to peer pressure and dropped that silly "s." It now will be referred to as John Hopkins University, saving many from the embarrassment of mispronouncing and misspelling the name.
Or so they would have you believe... April Fool's!
In what has to be the best prank of the day, the university changed its logo on its Web site and Photoshopped pictures of campus signs being changed to reflect its new name change.
And they even came up with a swell press release with great fake quotes:
(Baltimore, April 1, 2010) The Johns Hopkins University announced today that it is bowing to the inevitable and officially changing its name to "John Hopkins."
"We give up," university President Ronald J. Daniel said. "We're fighting a losing battle here. And we strongly suspect the extra 's' was a typo in the first place."
Since its establishment in 1876 as America's first research university, Daniel said, anyone and everyone has stumbled over "Johns Hopkins," omitting the seemingly superfluous "s" altogether or dropping it randomly into the name anywhere but where it belonged.
"It's not just 'John Hopkins,'" Daniel said. "We've heard 'John Hopskins.' We've heard 'John Shopskins.' One flustered high school kid in an admissions interview the other day actually called us 'Bob Hoskins.'"
"We've had an entire team of psychiatrists doing nothing but treating our undergraduates for advanced identity crisis," Daniel said. "It just had to stop."
Kudos to the university for having a great sense of humor.
Some other goodies from the day:
Google's complete list of pranks, including a name change to "Topeka."
The Cleveland Park listserv's annual fake posting.
And Starbucks stating it will be offering more sizes.
If you think all the gags are just fun and games, think again. Last year ThinkGeek.com created a fake Star Wars Tauntaun sleeping bag, but after so many Star Wars fans tried to order it, the company made a pitch to Lucasfilm and they agreed to actually make the darn thing.
So you can wrap yourself up in the warmth of a freshly killed Tauntaun for only $100.