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‘The Daily Pennsylvanian’ fools the Internet with Emma Watson Penn rumor in annual joke issue

Nice try, guys. You almost had us.

Nice try, guys. You almost had us.

The University of Pennsylvania's independent student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, is reporting today that Harry Potter star Emma Watson has decided on Penn for graduate school. And, looking on Twitter, there's quite a bit of excitement at the news:

Which is a shame, because none of it is true.

The story actually comes from The Daily Pennsylvanian's annual joke issue, released around April Fool's Day. In the same issue, you'll see that the DP is also reporting that Amy Gutmann has signed on with CoverGirl, the Penn campus is set for an AstroTurf conversion, and area Starbucks shops are actually serving Folgers coffee.

Still, though, we here at have been forwarded this story many times today. So, for posterity's sake, let's examine the DP's article for a lesson in how to spot a fake.

First and foremost:

Kingsley Pennyton, Watson's publicist, said that after discretely visiting campus and speaking to individuals from the English Department, Watson fell in love with the school. 

"Kingsley Pennyton" is the fakest British name ever conceived. And, not only that, but there's one primary result for that name in Google — the DP's article.

Next up is one Catherine Bennet:

"I'm excited," said Catherine Bennet, head of the Graduate English program. "I think Emma's beliefs mirror those of the English Department here at Penn. 

A simple search of Penn's site reveals that there is no one named Catherine Bennet who works in Penn's English department, graduate level or otherwise. She is also a character in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, though in that novel she is referred to as Kitty Bennet. Lit majors, man.

And finally:

Pennyton emphasized that she wants to experience normalcy and avoid unwanted attention while on campus.

If Emma Watson moved to Philadelphia, she'd instantly be the biggest celebrity in Philadelphia — not exactly conducive to normalcy. Besides fan interaction, we (the media) would likely cover every time she ordered a cheesesteak or sipped Yuengling. This fact would probably not escape an actual publicist.

So, no, you won't be seeing Emma Watson around Penn's campus anytime soon. Still, though, at least two mainstream news outlets have been fooled by the DP. Via the Australian edition of the International Business Times:

Meanwhile, the actress confirmed on March 24 that she will attend Penn for graduate school after she graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature. 

And Vanity Fair:

The actress will continue to do her bookish alter-ego Hermione Granger proud when she attends graduate school at University of Pennsylvania: Penn.

Penn kids, however, can buck up — as a consolation prize, they'll host Kesha at their upcoming Spring Fling next month.

That part, for better or worse, is true.

[The Daily Pennsylvanian]