Interesting... (from etymonline, about fame and rumors)
early 13c., “character attributed to someone;” late 13c., “celebrity, renown,” from Old French fame “fame, reputation, renown, rumor” (12c.), from Latin fama
“talk, rumor, report; reputation, public opinion; renown, good
reputation,” but also “ill-fame, scandal, reproach,” from PIE root *bha- (2) “to speak, tell, say” (cognates: Sanskrit bhanati “speaks;” Latin fari “to say,” fabula “narrative, account, tale, story;” Armenian ban, bay “word, term;” Old Church Slavonic bajati “to talk, tell;” Old English boian “to boast,” ben “prayer, request;” Greek pheme “speech, voice, utterance, a speaking, talk,” phone “voice, sound,” phanai “to speak;” Old Irish bann “law”).
The goddess Fama was the personification of rumor in Roman mythology. The Latin derivative fabulare was the colloquial word for “speak, talk” since the time of Plautus, whence Spanish hablar.
I’ve always been afraid I was going to tap the world on the shoulder for
20 years, and when it finally turned around I was going to forget what I
had to say. [Tom Waits, “Playboy” magazine interview, March, 1988]
This is really interesting.
And this is the one area of receptive language I actually have a strength in – picking up vocabulary in unknown languages by comparing word roots from different languages and comparing the different meanings of these word roots. This requires more skill at (long-term) memory and patterns than at actual basic language comprehension. So it, along with the ability to hear and mimic native accents at an age well beyond when I’m supposed to have regressed in that area. (1)
The bolding is my own: The goddess Fama was the personification of rumor in Roman mythology.
I find this connection between the idea of fame and the idea of rumors, fascinating. Because the people most likely to refer to me as “famous” or worse an “autism celebrity”, are the same people who love spreading false rumors about me. And there’s this idea that if you’re in the public eye, even the tiny bit I have been (2) then you’re fair game for rumor-mongering and gossip and people being extremely nasty to you, and you should just put up with it because that’s the way life is, or something. And you’re not allowed to complain, because complaining about anything connected to “fame” (real or imagined, big or small) is seen as a form of back-handed bragging or something.
So remember that connection between fame and gossip. It’s real. And try not to spread gossip about people you consider famous. Chances are, the gossip is either totally inaccurate, or just accurate enough to make you think that the whole thing people are saying is accurate. (3)
TL;DR: The Online Etymology Dictionary shows a connection between the ideas of fame and gossip and rumors, which I find interesting because my only experience of (15-minute) fame involved a shitload of being gossiped about, and I’ve seen the same happen to anyone in the autistic community who gets well-known enough. People, even autistic people, seem to love to tear down autistic people whose stories make it into the media. Which reminds me: We don’t control what story the media tells about us, so don’t assume that what you hear from the media is 100% accurate. They have their own motivations and perspectives that may not resemble our lives at all.