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Wikipedia Is Not Amused By Entry For xkcd-Coined Word 553

Posted by timothy
from the didn't-confuse-me-for-one-frobnitzjibber dept.
ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "Today's xkcd comic introduced an unusual word — malamanteau — by giving its supposed definition on Wikipedia. The only trouble is that the word (as well as its supposed wiki page) did not in fact exist. Naturally, much ado ensued at the supposed wiki page, which was swiftly created in response to the comic. This article has more on how the comic and the confusion it caused have put the Net in a tizzy. It turns out that a malamanteau is a portmanteau of portmanteau and malapropism, but also a malapropism of portmanteau. All this puts Wikipedia in the confusing position of not allowing a page for an undefined word whose meaning is defined via the Wikipedia page for that word — and now I have to lie down for a moment."
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Wikipedia Is Not Amused By Entry For xkcd-Coined Word

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  • LOL (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:07PM (#32197882) Homepage Journal

    These guys take themselves waaay too seriously.

  • Best. Joke. Ever. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:08PM (#32197904) Homepage

    This is the best example of why XKCD is an awesome web comic - a modern "funny" - I've seen in some time. In fact, I'd argue the societal commentary is often better - more cutting and intelligent - than you'll find most anywhere else (WSJ included). It's not always just "geeky" stuff, though Little Johny Normalization is a great example in that department, too.

  • Jorge Luis Borges (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:10PM (#32197932)
    Salute your spiritual heir, xkcd.

    The library is witness to both truth and falsehood
    I'd check the quotation properly in my translation, but currently it's hiding somewhere in L-space, probably afraid to come out.

  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:15PM (#32198030)

    read the talk page on wikipedia last night, might have been one of the funniest things i've ever read. i do love wikipedia admins, never before in human history has anyone gotten so drunk on so little power.

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:17PM (#32198064)
    TL;DR

    Personally I've been done with Wikipedia for years, it takes itself too seriously... A lot of what humanity was, is and will be is nothing more than bullshit and tom foolery. And unfortunately Wikipedia has only nailed the bullshit part thus far!
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:21PM (#32198134) Journal

    "whose meaning is defined via the Wikipedia page for that word"

    it's not. it's defined by xkcd _pretending_ that it's defined by wikipedia.

    now, wikipedians, chill out. IIRC, there's an entry on the wikipedia's rules saying that you can throw away all the rules if appropriate. this is one instance where this could be use, so stop being so anal about it, include the fucking word and move on.

    munroe is trying to throw a classic mind fuck on you guys. the more you bitch and moan, the more childish you look, which will have the effect of every cartoonist out there trying to do the same. every kid in the world knows that it's a lot funnier to poke the bitchy guy, and everyone knows the best thing to counter is to just ignore.

  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:22PM (#32198180)

    This is what happens when you let a bunch of random self absorbed schmucks think what they are doing is actually important to the world.

    While I'll use wikipedia as a starting reference point but lets face it, if you use Wikipedia as any sort of authoritative reference, you're an idiot. I say this because every person I know that uses wikipedia as a reference is in fact an idiot.

  • The problem... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:22PM (#32198182) Homepage Journal

    The problem isn't really with xkcd. The problem is that there are tens of thousands of idiots out there who think they're as funny as xkcd. If the Wikipedia administrators only had to deal with the once-in-a-blue-moon comic vandalism by Randall Munroe or Stephen Colbert, this would be a non-issue. Unfortunately, when these idiots take it upon themselves to try to convince their buddies that they are as funny as the people who really are funny, it makes life awful difficult for people trying to maintain a useful site.

    I'm GLAD they take themselves seriously. If we didn't have folks working on behalf of Wikipedia that did, looking up information on anything would be precisely as useful and informative as looking up information on malamanteau.

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {yranoituloverevol}> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:27PM (#32198264) Journal

    Wikipedia articles and wikipedia 'personalities' are two different things. You can use the articles while ignoring the personalities. Of course, if you want to edit the articles, you have to deal with the personalities, but who edits articles? Antisocial, egotistical wingnuts with too much time on their hands, that's who. You don't have to join the Cult of Wales to use wikipedia.

  • Re:The problem... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tsm_sf (545316) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:28PM (#32198290) Journal

    I'd say that being able to create a reference page for a brand new word is probably one of the strengths of wikipedia.

    And nobody sees the irony in commenting on a page's lack of notability?

  • Re:The problem... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mujadaddy (1238164) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:29PM (#32198298)

    The problem isn't really with xkcd. The problem is that there are tens of thousands of idiots out there who think they're as funny as xkcd.

    In my experience, those idiots are correct.

    Who'd've ever thought that a stick figure comic would be guilty of trying too hard?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:31PM (#32198358)

    XKCD isn't funny per se. Most of them are like "Huh yeah, cool story bro"

    Posted AC because xkcd has 10^3 kg of fanboys.

  • Re:LOL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU (699187) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:32PM (#32198368) Homepage

    This is what happens when you let a bunch of random self absorbed schmucks think what they are doing is actually important to the world.

    Self-absorbed schmucks like the xkcd fans who think that Wikipedia needs an article on yet another joke about Wikipedia?

  • Re:The problem... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:32PM (#32198374) Journal

    No one is saying its XKCD's fault. I think just about everyone on slashdot would agree that since XKCD has poked fun at Wikipedia time [xkcd.com] and time [xkcd.com] and time [xkcd.com] and time [xkcd.com] and time [xkcd.com] again, that the comic has a reputation for this kind of thing and shouldn't catch anyone off guard.

    The only thing that should have been unexpected was people flooding to Wikipedia to look it up, (in which case, Randall would have expected it surely, but not Wikipedia). Its not like it crashed the servers, people just got ridiculous about what it should say, and as such, the fault lies on those stupid individuals.

    Had I coined a new word on Urban Dictionary, and it caught on, and people flooded Wikipedia as well to look it up, would I be blamed? I sure hope not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:33PM (#32198382)

    Noticing that an encyclopedia likes two words.

    Yes, biting social commentary.

    Maybe the next comment they're notice Israeli contains RAEL, and it's like a RAIL GUN hahahahehehehehehahahaha.

    But seriously, mod me troll if you want, but I find this as the opposite things: The reason XKCD has gone down in quality. It is no longer about funny things, and more Randall's Personal Weblog In Pictures! So you end up with things like this...which really in themselves aren't funny to me, but just point something out...or lots of graphs that are interesting, but once again, not funny...not really a comic. Then you have the legion of followers who try to make everything XKCD does relevant somehow, and see it as a lifestyle.

    So yeah, XKCD has gone from something I liked to something I despise, mostly because it has gone from a funny comic to a comic that is basically talking about: Hey, this is how I live my life, isn't this neat? You do this too! Isn't that neat? Someone gets you, but like, in comic form! Isn't that neat? LULZ, 4CHAN REFERENCES, /. REFERENCE.

    Just my $0.02...

  • Re:LOL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:43PM (#32198562)

    except the xkcd community doesn't think what it's doing is important, they think it's funny, and there's a world of difference there.

  • by fondacio (835785) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:44PM (#32198586)

    Cool. It's like a new and improved version of the prank involving the lengthy name of the new German Foreign Minister [slashdot.org] last year.

  • by kent_eh (543303) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:44PM (#32198594)

    I've noticed this more often on the reality shows (when I catch glimpses on talk soup), the reality stars are constantly doing that, replacing the wrong word for the word they mean.

    What is a person that suffers from this linguistical malady called? There must be a more clinical and less pejorative term than 'idiot.'

    In the case of "reality" shows and daytime talk TV, I expect there is no more accurate word than idiot.
    Who cares about pejorative? The truth hurts.

  • by Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:45PM (#32198624)

    Yes, I checked wikipedia right after reading xkcd when the comic came out. I was pleasantly reassured when I saw that wikipedia did not have an article for Malamanteau prior to the xkcd comic being published. Simultaneously and unsurprisingly, I was saddened by the fact that some xkcd fan had decided that since Randall said it, it shall be so, and created the page. And then I was even more saddened the next day when a co-worker sent me the link to the talk page... Holy crap, what is wrong with you people? Just because it happened on xkcd doesn't mean it gets an encyclopedia entry. No, the wikipedia editors aren't being assholes, they aren't killjoys, they're doing what editors do (slashdot editors should take a note: http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1651380&cid=32198120 [slashdot.org]).

    Also, it seems like half the people commenting here are saying that because this article even existed, however briefly, it shows how bad wikipedia is and that they'll never use it again (or have already abandoned it). Completely ignoring the fact that the article was deleted. While the other half is denouncing that very deletion. They claim it shows how bad wikipedia is because the editors don't have a sense of humor by not allowing the article to exist. If you want a wiki with a sense of humor, the sites are out there for you. Go add an entry to Uncyclopedia or Encyclopedia Dramatica or Everything2.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:45PM (#32198632)
    ...And does it matter? You know, disk space and bandwidth is cheap. It would cost what? $.0001 to create an article about this? And the flamewars going on about it are costing more bandwidth and disk space than the article itself would have.

    Honestly, Wikipedia editors are the worst, they take what should be an encyclopedia filled with -everything- and try to narrow it down to fit what they want.

    Does Wikipedia -lose- anything if it accepts an article that is a word coined by xkcd? Of course not.
  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:54PM (#32198772) Journal
    The wikipedia is important, not the most important thing in the world but it is important. However too many admins and editors seem to think they and their individual opinions are more important than they should be.

    Have you seen those pages vandalized with dozens of [citation please]? Too often it's a result of an asshole or douchebag putting the numerous [citation please] tags, just because he (usually a he) either refuses to use his brains properly, or has some personal vendetta against the contributor. Because the asshole could easily have used: "This section may contain original research or unverified claims.".

    Just because you're doing it for free doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't slag you off for not doing it properly. If you let your personal issues reduce the efficiency of a "soup kitchen" you won't be welcome for long, even if you're doing it for free and supposedly for a good cause. You're a voluntary cog in a wheel, you want to do your job? Leave your ego at the door. Few people like noisy wheels.
  • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:02PM (#32198916)

    every kid in the world knows that it's a lot funnier to poke the bitchy guy, and everyone knows the best thing to counter is to just ignore.

    Well you can either ignore people by giving them what they've whining to get... or you can ignore them by sticking to your principles and not budging.

    Wikipedia is supposed to be a collection of solid, sourced information. It's not supposed to be "a source of solid, sourced information... except when it's funny not to be!"

    So Wikipedia is trying to stick to their principles and not let an entry degenerate into something funny but ultimately confusing. The only proper way to actually maintain the entry is to explain the origin and popularization of the word (specifically, that it is a word mentioned in an xkcd comic). Their current solution, a redirect to the entry on xkcd, seems reasonable until the term gains further notability and there's something to actually write about in the entry.

    now, wikipedians, chill out. IIRC, there's an entry on the wikipedia's rules saying that you can throw away all the rules if appropriate.

    The problem with the "chill out" argument is that the perpetrator of every joke-edit and piece of vandalism would like Wikipedia to "chill out"--but to allow all those joke entries to accumulate would seriously harm the quality and credibility of Wikipedia as a whole. Why does your joke-edit warrant the "throw away the rules" exception but all the other joke-edits do not? The fair and proper solution is to not allow joke-content, and to stick to Wikipedia's principles.

    So, really, I think it is the joke purveyors (well-meaning vandals?) who should chill out, and accept that the jokes they are interested in do not warrant the "throw away the rules" exception.

  • Correct response (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmaUMLAUTil.com minus punct> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:05PM (#32198948) Homepage Journal

    The correct response is "Good one. That was very funny! We are a project that lives and dies on the contributions of our users. You just demonstrated how quickly people on the internet can be motivated and organized to a single goal. We're hoping some of that energy can be directed towards making Wikipedia a better place. Thanks. -- The Management"

  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:07PM (#32198988) Homepage Journal

    TL;DR

    Oh, come on, it wasn't that long. I'm sick of people being so short in their attention span that they have to complain about any piece of text not short enough for Twitter.

  • "Wikipedia sucks! Ya man, they're not COOL enough to let my favorite webcomic make shit up on its website!"

    I think XKCD has the right to make whatever jokes it wants to. I also am more of the opinion that Wikipedia should allow the article to be published. For the sake of avoiding confrontation, Wikipedia should probably chill and let it through. In reality, though, all the thousands of people who vandalize Wikipedia every day who think they're SOOO funny just mess things up for everyone else.

    Wikipedia has done more for humanity's accessibility to knowledge than most of us will individually in our lifetimes. So quit being so damned rough on a website with such a huge task at hand: creating an accurate, universal encyclopedia while fighting ignorance, stupidity, and malice.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:09PM (#32199034)

    Link 1: It's a map of the Internet. I remember seeing similar IP address distribution diagrams in the 1970s and 1980s. Up until about 1990, anyone working in IT at a university or large corporation would've seen similar diagrams daily. So this comic isn't even funny. Informational, perhaps. But there's no humor there.

    Link 2: A similar idea was done in the Brady Bunch TV series decades ago, where one of the kids glues his hat and glasses onto his head so they didn't fly off when he was riding the rollercoaster.

    Link 3: Of the examples you gave, this is perhaps the closest to being original. But it's just not funny. Where is the humor supposed to come from? I implemented hashing and encryption algorithms for years, and while I can relate the subject, that comic isn't remotely original, thought-provoking or humorous.

    Link 4: Again, this is merely "informational", and isn't funny in any way. Most undergraduate-level astronomy textbooks have similar graphics.

    A comic, by definition, tries to provoke laughter, or at the very least a sense of humor. You've just proved that xkcd doesn't do that. It fails at being funny. Not only that, but the ideas aren't even original.

    xkcd is only "original" if you exclude everything created before 2005, and are ignorant about just about everything created since then.

  • Re:LOL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:12PM (#32199082) Homepage Journal

    Does Wikipedia -lose- anything if it accepts an article that is a word coined by xkcd? Of course not.

    A small measure of dignity perhaps? I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to maintain some semblance of standards despite the site being constantly inundated by this kind of crap.

  • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:16PM (#32199150)

    I didn't know what TL;DR meant until I saw your post. Can we all agree that anyone whose typing speed is so slow they have to make up acronyms like that isn't worth listening to?

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak.eircom@net> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:17PM (#32199164) Homepage Journal

    At least 4chan knows that the sum of the worlds knowledge is more than can be described in 3 million articles.

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Smauler (915644) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:19PM (#32199208)

    Is bbcnewsamerica.com anything to do with the BBC? I'm guessing not.... My first reaction to this story was to wonder how the BBC had ever managed to produce such a fugly website to be honest...

  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:19PM (#32199216) Homepage Journal

    Posted AC because xkcd has 10^3 kg of fanboys.

    1000 kg is only a dozen people though.

    Maybe AC is more clever than you think... Maybe he was simultaneously ripping on XKCD for being fat, and saying that there's hardly any of them at all?

    (Or, then again, maybe he just has no concept of powers of ten...)

  • Re:The problem... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bennomatic (691188) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:34PM (#32199502) Homepage
    I see the irony, especially because this is all regarding a perfectly cromulent [wikipedia.org] word.
  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WoodenTable (1434059) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:41PM (#32199638)

    These guys take themselves waaay too seriously.

    Who?

    The XKCD fans who create a wikipedia page about a word that didn't exist until yesterday?

    Or the Wikipedia admins who delete a page about a word that didn't exist until yesterday?

    To be honest, I think both groups take themselves a bit too seriously. See that talk page in the summary? Yikes.

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:43PM (#32199680)
    4chan is garbage, there's no higher meaning one could extract from that site.
  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:45PM (#32199712)

    You're absolutely correct, but you're overlooking the meta-game of the ego war.

    In your world people would slave over articles, post them, and they would never be looked at because they weren't notable.

    In the Wikipedia world 'notability' is a standard and if the article survives, then it was worth writing in the first place.

    In short, 'notability' is a cheap psychological tactic designed to get people to contribute free labor to the website, and little else. You're trying to buck that trend, which likely would either kill the site or at least kill the fervor with which the zealots maintain it.

  • by jonnat (1168035) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:01PM (#32199966)

    Without getting into the argument about the notability of the term (I think it's quite notable, but I'm biased), "Malamanteau" should not have a Wikipedia entry because Wikipedia is not a dictionary, as Wikipedia will gladly point out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NOTDICT [wikipedia.org]

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:02PM (#32199972)

    Wikipedia is supposed to be a collection of solid, sourced information.

    I'd do a 'citation' joke here, but it's just too damn easy.

    Wikipedia may or may not 'supposed to' be this. But it isn't. It is, at best, a loose collection of individual best efforts that may or may not have accessible sources at the bottom of the article.

    Which goes back to the original advice about not being too full of oneself...

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Peach Rings (1782482) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:05PM (#32200032) Homepage

    Wikipedia is a successful project. You can read mostly well-written summaries of nearly every single area of human knowledge, and for the most part it's accurate and accessible with nice diagrams etc.

    I'm also tempted by that decentralized approach, but when I think about it I know that I wouldn't want to deal with ridiculous one-off articles like malamanteau just because people are having fun dicking around. The internet should be free and decentralized, and Wikipedia's policies are arbitrary and stupid, but sometimes you just want something that works! A coherent high-quality project can't succeed with waves of Internet anarchy pounding at its foundations. If you want a project where only experts and trusted people can edit, then go buy the Encyclopedia Britannica. If you want a project that anybody can edit then you have to deal with people.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:08PM (#32200078) Homepage Journal
    that word becomes mainstream. people make languages, and internet is people.
  • by need4mospd (1146215) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:12PM (#32200136)
    Quite cromulent as well.
  • Re:Oh the irony. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:15PM (#32200180) Homepage Journal

    It's really odd the wikiadmins should be complaining about someone else making up things to put on their site. All things considered, it seems somewhat hypocritical.

    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    It's precisely because it's so easy for random people to document made-up stuff on Wikipedia that the wikiadmins take such a hard line about removing it. Without a serious focus on removing such articles, the encyclopedia would be flooded with them.

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {yranoituloverevol}> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:19PM (#32200238) Journal

    Mistakes happen over and over again with regularity, and calls to fix these mistakes are met with paranoia and outright hostility. Any normal people were driven out of wikipedia long ago, all that are left are vicious, petty, power hungry control freaks. I don't take it personally, crazy people can't really be held accountable for their craziness. I just don't interact with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:30PM (#32200408)

    The reason XKCD has gone down in quality. It is no longer about funny things

    Right. It has gone down in quality due to being no longer about funny things.

    So, basically, you think it needs to go back to those good old days where Randall dealt with such hilarity as spiders crawling on cubes, or some kid floating in a barrel, or drawings of flowers.

    XKCD has never been about being funny all the time. If anything, it's funny now more often than it used to be. Basically, it's just silliness geared toward nerds. Always has been, and still is.

  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @05:44PM (#32200632) Homepage

    [Citation Needed]

    Wikipedia has made me hate those two words. Not because citing sources is bad, but Wikipedia has turned it into a parody. If you look at a real encyclopedia, it will contain a rather original text written in encyclopedic style. If you took such an article and pasted into Wikipedia you'd get dozens of [citation needed] because not every other sentence has one. Meanwhile you can pretty much load it with all the bias you want just by using biased sources despite the NPOV policy. I liked it back when you could just contribute some knowledge about a topic you knew about, today that's frowned upon as "original research" even though it isn't very original or research. That and the very questionable concept of Notability [wikipedia.org], which manages to completely not mention point of view. For example if I study local history of [city], then there's tons of information that might be notable enough for someone to put in a book and thus have decent authoritative sources. Are they then notable from the point of view of wikipedia? Did they have an impact on world history? Hardly, but if so you could delete 98% of wikipedia. How local a notability is notable? The hard questions are really answered by policy, which is why you get the politics.

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe.jwsmythe@com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @06:09PM (#32200924) Homepage Journal

        Sorry, this window only takes up half my screen. I have streaming porn on the other side. I only got as far as "boobies". Can you explain what you were saying again?

        Oh look.. boobies..

  • by CyprusBlue113 (1294000) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @06:09PM (#32200944)

    Clearly you haven't been targeted by 4chan.

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rvw14 (733613) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:37PM (#32201952)
    That is a very cromulent idea.
  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imthesponge (621107) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:29PM (#32202370)
    You can't win. Use "common sense" and you're being "arbitrary"; stick to a strict set of rules and you're "wikilawyering".
  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:27PM (#32203170)

    Well you can parse that both ways: refuse (to create) and (follow) or refuse (to create and follow). Besides which, arguably the have fairly strict rules and they do follow them (maybe: as well as humanly possible). Those rules just create a situation where a fictional place from what is apparently a fairly popular show does have an article, while a fictional place from a less popular show doesn't.

    Having a notability criterion where "one fictional place is more notable then the other" doesn't seem very unlikely or unreasonable. In fact, it seems almost mandatory. Otherwise, I could make up any number of fictional places and add them. Maybe give them the same name as real places and create disambiguation pages while I'm at it.

  • Re:not funny? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:53PM (#32203346)
    Not suitable for Arts Majors.
  • by MadUndergrad (950779) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:09AM (#32203752)

    You're doing the same thing the "idiots" are. You're being imprecise in your language. Why don't you find the proper word to express what they are?

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fractoid (1076465) on Friday May 14, 2010 @03:21AM (#32204564) Homepage

    The problem I have with Wikipedia is that it refuses to create strict rules and follow them. It has stupid 'Notability' nonsense instead where it's just totally arbitrary.

    Even if (as others argue) the 'notability' rules are quite well defined, they're vulnerable to race conditions leading to recursive self-referencing [slashdot.org].

  • by Tom (822) on Friday May 14, 2010 @03:26AM (#32204578) Homepage Journal

    Wikipedia (or rather, the people running it) is taking itself way too serious, and has for a long time now. Just read the comments of any edit war, or most of the delete request discussions.

    Some seriousness is good and necessary, but when you're running a community project, you should never forget that there are only three base motivators for people to contribute stuff: Money, Fun and Fame. Since money is out, that leaves the other two. If you remove the fun by becoming too serious, you're left with a bunch of low-lifes who are trying to get the fame real life denies them in your community, usually through extended power trips. Ooops, did I just describe the average Wikipedia admin?

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