Wikipedia: None of us is as dumb as all of us

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by pseudobrit, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #1
    People suck at adding things to articles. I'm not talking overall grammar or substance, I'm talking style.

    In this medium-sized article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One

    the word "however" appears 14 times. The word "although" appears 4 more.

    And I think you could safely delete every single instance. In most cases you could excise it outright and in a few more you'd have to restructure the sentence a little bit, but anyway you'd come out with a much smarter sounding article.

    Twits come along with a clause to add or a single fact, and instead of reworking the phrases that exist, they drop a "however", a comma, and go to work with their **** English. :mad:

    Another pet peeve of mine is overuse of the words "actually" and "basically" where twits use them as interjections before damn near every sentence to try to impress people with their use of three-syllable words.
     
  2. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    #2
    Actually, I think this points out some of the many flaws that exist in Wikipedia, however the facts may be correct, although this makes it questionable, since it is actually being editted by lay-folk, who may be smart, however, they might not be posting the most factual info.
     
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #3
    "Formula One" is a Featured Article, an example of the best Wikipedia has to offer! :D
     
  4. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #4
    My problem isn't so much with bad facts; the discussion sections seem to clear up most disputes relevant to that. Nor have I a problem with the spelling or the vandals 'cause there's always someone on top of that, too.

    My problem is that there's like 12 people writing who know how to write and 12,000,000 who know some obscure tidbit that they feel needs to be shared with the world.

    Of course they haven't a clue as to how that information can be properly conveyed, so it's however indeed.
     
  5. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #5
    Maybe Wikipedia should require a course in The Elements of Style for its prospective contributors, actually that's not a bad idea in my opinion, however it might dissuade a number of people from contributing.
     
  6. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    #6
    Honestly, how I think Wikipedia should work, is this:

    - You read a _professionaly written_ article about something you have knowledge of, and you'd like to add to, or alter, it. So you click [Edit].

    - After you make the changes, you then click [Submit]. It then get's placed in queue for someone who has been asigned a role as a Writer. That person sees the article, with the changes made highlighted.

    - The professional writer then works the addition into the article, in the most professional and flowing way possible.

    - They click [live] and the new version of the professionally written article is published. Repeat #1.

    This wouldn't require much effort, as there is quite a large community built around Wikipedia, and I'm sure there are numerous individuals with the ability to write well who wouldn't mind volunteering as one of these "professional writers"

    I just think it needs some sort of moderation in the style of writing, rather than letting every one who reads it take their stab at writing for it.

    Maybe each paragraph should be assigned a key number, and there could be a [Submit alteration or fact] link. You then enter the paragraph number, and the fact. The reviewer would then be able to see the fact, and which paragraph it relates to.
     
  7. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #7
    What you describe is how Encarta works. The catch is that it is not free.
     
  8. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #8
    ooooOOOOooohhh, get her! :rolleyes:

    Obviously, actually, basically, I'm far too stoopid to come up with a properly structured argument to this. Oh well.
     
  9. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

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    #9
    Hey, just makes it easier to plagiarize. Who's gonna contest the fact that you wrote something if it actually SOUNDS like you wrote it? ;)
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    I don't think anything mentioned so far is that bad.
     
  11. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #11
    Have you ever heard someone speak who uses the word "acutally" and/or "basically" to start at least a quarter of their sentences?

    It may not seem like much but it quickly becomes maddening. It's worse than someone who uses "like" too much.

    It's actually what is basically a crap attempt to sound authoritative and important.
     
  12. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

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    #12
    Usually, I end up using however a lot in my writing.

    Actually, I didn't mean to do that...


    No, but really, my teachers have pushed the importance of "transitions" on me for so many years, but they always shoot me down for my multiple word transitions (which I would think are better)... So I end up using however. It's versatility as a word should be commended.
     
  13. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #13
    Actually, the whole point of Wikipedia is for citizen-editors. It does have a large number of grammar-nazi editors, however, if you find any problems you think are horrible, you can just go ahead and fix them yourself! Anyone can make edits to just about any article, although some articles may be 'semi-protected', requiring you to create an account to edit them.

    (Sorry, couldn't resist. I wrote 'Acutally however although' first, then had to write the sentences around them. Basically, it's hard to write sentences around conjunctions! :p )

    AAAAGH! Now I want to begin every sentence with one of your dreaded interjections!

    Just go fix it. That's right, Wikipedia isn't perfect. That's where editors come in. Fix the problems, and make Wikipedia better.
     
  14. Poeben macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2004
    #14
    Actually, these words have basically four syllables. However, it is not my intention to impress you with this fact (or to correct your spelling.) :p

    I do agree with you though. Far too many people have poor grammar and spelling. One of my favorite pet peeves is when people try to impress others by using phrases like "for all intensive purposes" without realizing that they are saying it incorrectly.
     
  15. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #15
    A typographical error if ever I've committed one, but certainly not a spelling error.

    As for syllabics, it can be three or four in either, depending on the dialect.

    Ak-shu-lee or base-ik-lee are how I typically (tip-ik-lee) hear them pronounced in my Penna Dutch dialect.
     
  16. Poeben macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2004
    #16
    Sorry, I did not mean to imply that your typographical error was a spelling error. Besides, I'm on your side!

    Generally, (is that jen-ur-al-lee or jen-rul-ee) regardless of dialect the correct syllabic pronunciation is with four syllables. On this side of the Delaware River, much like your Penna-Dutch brethren, most people pronounce these words using only three syllables. That doesn't necessarily make it correct (although some of these words do have alternate pronunciations listed in some dictionaries.)
     

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