William Beutler on Wikipedia

More Ironic than an Alanis Morissette Song

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on October 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm by William Beutler

Every once in awhile you just come across something like this which makes you out laugh out loud and start showing it to people sitting next to you. For me, this is such a something:


There is an explanation, and some additional curiosity, in the fact that the idea of “original research” as conceptually separable from “research” is primarily a concept at Wikipedia—namely that information in articles should be previously published in reliable sources, which makes this a self-referential article. Wikipedia usually tries to avoid having articles about Wikipedia-related subjects that have not gained currency off-site. For example, “Neutral point of view” has no dedicated article separate from Objectivity, while the Wikipedia biography controversy involving John Seigenthaler does. Should this article exist? It’s been debated before, and even put up for deletion before, but consensus has never been achieved, and others have floated potential sources for inclusion in the article.

Oh, and it doesn’t take all that much to be more ironic than the song referenced in the title; as the “Linguistic usage disputes” section of the Wikipedia article about the song notes, by most definitions the situations posited in Alanis’ song fail the requirements of irony. And that’s kind of ironic, don’t you think?

  1. At one point ‘Reference’ had a {{references}} tag on it.

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