[WikiEN-l] Why trivia and popular culture items need sources

Fastfission fastfission at gmail.com
Sun Feb 26 21:26:09 UTC 2006

Along these lines, here is a potential way to sort out what should be
listed where:

Imagine two articles, one of something we can all agree is a very
"popular culture" thing (say, The Simpsons), the other of something
which is probably of more substantive historical value (say, the Enola

If the Enola Gay appears on the Simpsons, and we feel compelled to put
a link one place or another, where should it go?

My suggestion: since the Enola Gay is the reference included in the
work of popular culture, the direction should be: Simpsons --> Enola
Gay. Knowing that the Enola Gay was featured in a Simpons episode does
not enhance your knowledge about the Enola Gay in any substantive way,
but knowing that Krusty was referencing the Enola Gay when he called
his airplane the "I'm-On-A-Rolla-Gay" might enhance your understanding
of the Simpsons.

I've applied this with some success before, such as when people wanted
to put pop-culture references to the Trinity atomic bomb test in the
[[Trinity test]] article. I removed them, and instead put them into
the pop-culture articles they came from (a TV show, a video game,
etc.). Knowing that the Trinity test way in a video game does not
really tell one anything about the Trinity test; knowing that the test
in a video game was modeled after a real test might help know
something about the video game.

Obviously there are places where this would be difficult to sort out
and borderline cases. But I think as a general principle it might help
keep some of these things in perspective, and prevent respectable
articles from being clogged up with these sorts of "in pop culture"


On 2/26/06, Peter Mackay <peter.mackay at bigpond.com> wrote:
> > From: wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org
> > [mailto:wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org] On Behalf Of Steve Bennett
> > On 2/25/06, Daniel P. B. Smith <wikipedia2006 at dpbsmith.com> wrote:
> > > An editor took strong exception to my request for sources
> > for "popular
> > > culture" items in the article on the Statue of Liberty. One
> > of these
> > > items was:
> > >
> > > "The New York Liberty, New York's professional women's basketball
> > > team, has the Statue of Liberty as their mascot."
> > >
> > > The editor said: "The fact that the NY Liberty b-ball team uses the
> > > SoL as its mascot does NOT need an outside citation, for
> > Pete's sake."
> >
> > Even if true, it's not exactly interesting either.
> It is if mascots are your passion. Trust me - such people exist, and can
> give you enough information about mascots in fifteen minutes to last you the
> rest of your life and then some. We cannot determine what sort of people our
> readers might be, and assuming that they are PLU would be a grave mistake.
> Pete, bog-standard representative of humanity
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> WikiEN-l at Wikipedia.org
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list