[WikiEN-l] Trivia and popular culture sections

Guy Chapman aka JzG guy.chapman at spamcop.net
Sun Feb 26 17:48:43 UTC 2006

On Mon, 27 Feb 2006 03:40:53 +1100, you wrote:

>> My view is that when they wrote "Wikipedia is not an 
>> indiscriminate collection of information" they had in mind 
>> keeping the focus on what is actually important, rather than 
>> running off after red herrings.

>The keyword is "indiscriminate". "Unimportant" is nowhere merntioned.
>Organising small but interesting facts into a trivia section, where there
>are enough to warrant doing so, is hardly indiscriminate.

Discrimination has more than one meaning.

>Sure, a lot of facts about old or uninteresting subjects need not be
>included, but if they are uninteresting, then they are hardly trivia.
>Trivia, by its very nature, is unimportant but interesting. If someone was
>moved to put it in, then you should know your subject very well indeed
>before deciding that it is useless to everybody.

No, trivia is simply trivial.  It can be interesting or uninteresting.

>For example, the Latin names of plants and animals are boring useless
>clutter to me, and IMHO, we could make for a better, more streamlined, more
>relevant encyclopaedia by removing such linnaecruft. But I'll bet London to
>a brick that if I started to remove this rubbish, one or two people would
>start getting agitated, saying that this unpronounceable, archaic nonsense
>was useful and interesting.

Mainly because it is the dominant system used by scientists to record
taxonomy, and is therefore highly relevant particularly where common
names are ambiguous or vary by location.
Guy (JzG)

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