A sentimental or uplifting story, particularly one delivered via e-mail, that uses inaccurate or fabricated facts; a story that is mawkish or maudlin; the genre consisting of such stories.
Two tales now making the rounds of Pensacola e-mailers involve a distorted claim about credit ratings taking effect soon and an exaggerated account of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, always a popular topic as July 4 approaches. ...
The account of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence is a case of "glurge." That's the term snopes.com uses to describe something meant to be inspirational but which undermines the message "by fabricating and distorting historical fact in the guise of offering 'true stories.'"
Mark O'Brien, "Beware of e-mail that lacks the stamp of authenticity," Pensacola News Journal, July 1, 2003
What do you do with all those e-mail jokes, recipes, second thoughts, advice, inspirational stories and sayings forwarded to you by friends and relatives?
Can you say "delete"?
Tammy Wright had a better idea. She compiled dozens of the best messages that landed in her e-mail box into a book called "Off the Internet for Everyone" (Wright Opportunities Inc., Richmond, Va.). ...
It has what has come to be called "glurge," sappy inspirational stories like the one about the feeble grandfather banished to a corner away from the family dinner after spilling one too many peas. (If you haven't seen that one, suffice to say that a child provides the epiphany.)
Don Mayhew, "Book packages good feelings," The Fresno Bee, October 21, 2002
The phrase "chick flick" has some negative connotations and this film is certainly not going to change many minds on the topic. Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman play a mother and daughter team with a love-hate relationship. Sarandon uproots her unwilling daughter from their small town and moves to Beverly Hills convinced that more opportunities exist for her there. They fight, they laugh, they struggle, they hug, and they have ice cream. Thankfully, it's not as glurge-ridden as it could have been, but it's a pretty soulless piece, saved from a fate worse than mediocrity by the good performances of the leads.
Kerrie Murphy, "Anywhere But Here," The Australian, June 1, 2000
The word glurge originated with the urban legend debunkers at the Web site snopes.com, who describe it as "chicken soup with several cups of sugar mixed in." The following post to the alt.usage.english newsgroup explains the origins of the term:
Glurge is a term specific to snopes.com, coined in 1998. Already in its short lifespan it has reached across the Internet and has appeared in the print media a number of times, and it may well soon make the final breakthrough by appearing in dictionaries as a bona fide entry. The word was invented by Patricia Chapin, a member of the urban legends discussion mailing list run in conjunction with this site. At a loss for words to describe the retching sensation this then-unnamed category of stories subjected her to, she fashioned a word that simultaneously named the genre and described its effect.
Glurge (a term which can be used to describe one story or applied to the genre as a whole) is the body of inspirational tales which conceal much darker meanings than the uplifting moral lessons they purport to offer, and which undermine their messages by fabricating and distorting historical fact in the guise of offering "true stories." Glurge often contains such heart-tugging elements as sad-eyed puppies, sweet-faced children, angels, dying mothers, or miraculous rescues brought about by prayer. These stories are meant to be parables for modern times but fall far short of the mark.
DDEckerslyke, "Glurge," alt.usage.english, August 26, 2003