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[citation needed]
January 12, 2010 7:36 AM   Subscribe

[citation needed] - bad prose culled from Wikipedia and other wikis by the Comics Curmudgeon and Rifftrax's Conor Lastowka
posted by minifigs (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_Who_Would_Rather_Curse_The_Darkness_Than_Light_A_Candle
posted by DU at 7:39 AM on January 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


You called?
posted by [citation needed] at 8:04 AM on January 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


Trust me, as a formerly active Wikipedia administrator, if you tried to change many of these obviously horrible, obviously well-loved sentences, you would find yourself quickly reverted. It would take a lot of time to deal with the Nebraska state-capitol boosters, or the male lactation crowd (whoever they are), which you may or may not have. Sometimes laughing at the absurdities of Wikipedia, rather than being morally obligated to correct them, is okay. Really.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:05 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


blahblahblah: "the male lactation crowd (whoever they are)"

The mainstream medical community.
posted by idiopath at 8:10 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK - not the best link, but it is a legitimate medical occurrence that if I understand correctly most men could induce with hormone treatments if they really wanted to.
posted by idiopath at 8:13 AM on January 12, 2010


idiopath- Um, yes. And my lack of knowledge on the subject is one of many reasons why I am not editing the article.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:13 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Franken Berry was very popular when first introduced possibly because the initial batches of the cereal used a dye that didn’t break down in the body, causing many children’s feces to be bright pink, a symptom sometimes referred to as “Frankenberry Stool.”

Ability to color my stool is a key factor when I choose a breakfast cereal.
posted by [citation needed] at 8:18 AM on January 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Not trying to jump on you for an error as much as wanting to point out that their own lulzy "no comment" sarcasm seems ignorant in that case (and I would guess others as well).
posted by idiopath at 8:18 AM on January 12, 2010


My eternal favorite wiki page. God hates lesbians, but not so much that he'll smite them quickly or even give them an infectious disease. He'll just fatten them up so that they live slightly shorter than their peers!
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:19 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the lulzy comment in the linked blog was not about the subject, but about the bad sentence, the [citation needed] tag.

My point is that telling people to correct errors, instead of laughing about them, misses the fact that correcting errors on Wikipedia is HARD, since you have to often achieve consensus on everything. In fact, if you see [citation needed], that almost certainly represents a case where somebody tried to change or insert a sentence, and the other editors rejected it, so they compromised on a citation tag.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:23 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


blahblahblah: One the other hand, I've anonymously removed countless unreferenced sentences over the years, and I don't think any of those edits were ever reverted
posted by aesacus at 8:28 AM on January 12, 2010


Not to mention that some of these don't need sentences removed so much as rewritten. Keep the info but make the sentence readable.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I think God put me on this earth simply to remove 'female' as a qualifier before Wikipedia references to various women's professions.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:38 AM on January 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


Rifftrax's Conor Lastowka is actually mefi's own, though I'm not sure if he wants to keep his username private - I'll ask him.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:05 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been on a big "Farscape" kick recently, and whenever I'm into a movie or TV show I end up wandering around Wikipedia reading up on people involved in the production. Thus, I found Lani Tupu's Wikipedia page, which includes this fascinating bit of trivia:
Lani's make-up for Crais took an hour to apply, which is a standard time for any actor on camera.
Also:
Lani was trained to work without using a microphone at the theatre, which is standard for any theatre actor.
I don't know about you, but I really feel like I know him now.
posted by brundlefly at 9:06 AM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ability to color my stool is a key factor when I choose a breakfast cereal.

If the cereal companies could market directly to five-year olds, they could make millions on cereals that colored your poop.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:17 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Froot Poops
posted by e.e. coli at 9:28 AM on January 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


If you want to see how not to tell a story, I suggest you read through Wikipedia's vast collection of Twilight Zone synopses:
The story opens on the aftermath of an automobile accident, which apparently resulted in a death. The young doctor, Dennis Barrows, who looks after the fatality oddly enough was involved in the accident, but was not at fault.
Rarely do you get so much tangled grammar in only two sentences, but Wikipedia is a miraculous place.
posted by Spatch at 9:34 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


idiopath- Um, yes. And my lack of knowledge on the subject is one of many reasons why I am not editing the article.

>>Not trying to jump on you for an error as much as wanting to point out that their own lulzy "no comment" sarcasm seems ignorant in that case (and I would guess others as well).

This conversation reads like a Wikipedia discussion page.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:36 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the cereal companies could market directly to five-year olds, they could make millions on cereals that colored your poop.

If they could? I constantly see cereal commercials on TV that market directly to five-year-olds. They may not be quite as blatant as telling them that the cereal will make their poop turn colors, but it's not far from that point.
posted by blucevalo at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2010


Robot (dance)

The robot is simply the illusion of being a robot. Movements of the robot are normally started and finished with a dimestop (a very abrupt stop), to give the impression of motors starting and stopping, but poppers have also been known to do the robot with a pop to the beat. As long as the illusion of being a robot is maintained, it is considered the robot.

posted by matildaben at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: As long as the illusion of being a robot is maintained
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


blahblahblah, actually my first reaction on seeing something like the "heaviest building" claim is to look for a citation and add it. My second reaction is to revert, and on that score my experience has almost universally been in line with aesacus.

I will agree with Spatch that plot summaries are a problem across Wikipedia, but generally my beef is with their blow-by-blow detail and subsequent length.
posted by dhartung at 10:30 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I am glad that other people's experiences with minor edits were better, please forgive my flashbacks. I am probably just scarred by the fact that, a number of years ago, I was the administrator who was, in large part, most actively overseeing the articles on the Holocaust and some aspects of World War I and World War II history. If you ever want to see the worst of people on Wikipedia, that's the place.

Also, for some reason, I had massive problems trying to fix the spelling issues in articles like that of Genghis Khan. Mongolians kept removing all of the nasty bits of Genghis's history. And don't get me started on the Great Gdansk fight.... going to lie down now, head starting to throb....
posted by blahblahblah at 11:38 AM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know about you, but I really feel like I know him now.

That's to be expected, brundlefly. It's standard for any stage or film actor.
posted by Naberius at 11:53 AM on January 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks for posting this! This is Conor. Brundlefly, that Lani page is incredible. Hope you don't mind if I poach it for the site.
posted by JoeGoblin at 7:08 PM on January 12, 2010


I would be honored!
posted by brundlefly at 7:29 PM on January 12, 2010


And don't get me started on the Great Gdansk fight.

Ah. That's one of the exceptions I keep encountering -- nationalistic Poles who think that articles on Polish topics should use the Polish names, despite the fact that a) it's the English Wikipedia, b) it's policy to use the most common English usage, c) it's policy to use English unless b) supersedes, and d) it's a different alphabet. And they act like you're committing the offense of marginalizing them.

Believe me, I do sympathize, but I also see it as a process that more often than not grinds out edible sausage.
posted by dhartung at 8:27 PM on January 12, 2010


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