where the writers are
Wikipedia, F&@! Yeah!


In Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies, I tried to position myself as the Beavis and/or Butthead of the grammar world. It looks like I have some competition.

Wikipedia, in its entry for "Sentence," says under the subhead, "Components of a sentence":

"A simple complete sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. The subject is typically a pornstar ..."

It gets worse. Here's the link.

I was so thrown by that that I actually looked up "pornstar," wondering if it was some linguistics term I didn't know. Nope.

I tried to fix it, along with some examples that appear later in the piece.  I can't. Wikipedia won't let me. Seems someone whose IP address is similar to my own -- i.e. issued by the same huge conglomerate the issues my dynamic IP address -- has given our IP address range a bad name.

Sure, they'll let in some schmuck who not only thinks it's funny to insert the term "porn star" but who can't even spell it. 

But me, I'm just not Wiki-worthy. 

Dillweeds, indeed, Mr. Butthead. Dillweeds, indeed.

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June, as of 10:09 PDT, that's still up. I rushed right over and almost changed it, but then I thought, "Nah. Let somebody else do it for once."

But. "I was so thrown by that that I actually looked up 'pornstar,' wondering if it was some linguistics term I didn't know" drives me to use an acronym I save for those rare occasions when nothing else will do: LOL.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Thanks for witnessing it for me!

One of the readers at my main blog fixed it.  I kinda wish it would have stood for one more day -- just so everyone who sees these blog posts got a chance to see it.

Very funny.

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I have never run across a Wikipedia entry like that one. I suppose it's better for a hooligan to post something outlandish than something subtle, so the user knows instantly the source is untrustworthy. If they had written "an adjective" instead, some bozo would still be scratching his head or, worse yet, writing a sentence like: "Obese went to the store to buy more chips."


Shana McLean Moore

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Good point

Maybe I'll go in there and write, "The subject of the verb is usually a monotransitive complex conjugated verb formation of a ditransitive subordinate clause."

 Oh, and I think I saw that guy in the potato chip aisle ....


:  )

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Whoa, that's a doozey!

I find Wiki's content so incredibly unreliable that I rarely use it anymore. It's a shame really. It's such a good idea in principle but I just don't think it works, unless misleading the masses is considered good work.

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I'm with you on this,

I'm with you on this, Ryoma.  On the topics about which I know quite a bit, there are almost always material errors.

Still, I'm surprised at how many people cite Wiki as a source of their information. 


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I know what you mean Ellen

It's pretty shocking. I hope that more and more people will realise how unwise it is to rely on it as a source of information. The sooner the better in my opinion.