It’s no hoax, Tim Bowen’s back with another look at these handy collocations!

A hoax is a dishonest trick. As such, it can be cruel, as in ‘The promise of a free holiday turned out to be little more than a cruel hoax’; elaborate, as in ‘It appears that we have all been the victims of an elaborate hoax’; or spectacular or gigantic, as in ‘The Piltdown Man turned out to be a gigantic hoax and one that fooled a large number of eminent scientists’. 

The verb that mostly collocates with hoax is to perpetrate, as in ‘The letter was later found to have been a hoax perpetrated by pupils at the school’. Likewise, the noun perpetrator can be used to describe those behind a particular hoax, as in ‘Once it was established that the alleged incident was little more than an elaborate hoax, the search began for the perpetrators’. 

Hoaxes can be revealed or exposed, as in ‘The hoax was only revealed after a series of bogus emails to the local newspaper’ or ‘He once exposed a spectacular hoax solely through publishing the transcripts of a series of phone interviews’. 

Various kinds of hoaxes can be perpetrated, notably hoax bombs, phone calls, emails, messages and warnings, as in ‘It can sometimes be very difficult to identify a hoax email or a fake offer’ or ‘Hoax bomb warnings have to be taken seriously and buildings are often evacuated as a precaution’. The perpetrators behind such hoaxes often use telephone calls, as in ‘The emergency services waste a lot of time and resources dealing with hoax callers’.