[WikiEN-l] Trivia and popular culture sections

John Lee johnleemk at gawab.com
Mon Feb 27 15:07:09 UTC 2006

Peter Mackay wrote:

>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.
(This is not a real example; I just made it up off the top of my head.) 
If the trivia section opens with a bullet-point stating "Paul McCartney 
was introduced to drugs by his dentist", has an entry in the middle 
along the lines of "McCartney's fifth house was bought for X pounds 
sterling", and ends with "Paul McCartney's dog, Martha, was the basis 
for the Beatles' song 'Martha My Dear'", yeah, I'd say that's pretty 
indiscriminate.  Of course people will say, "Well, that's useful 
information!" Rightly so. But there's no reason for it to stand alone in 
the trivia section. The information on McCartney's drug behaviour can 
stand in a section on its own (because you know, it's not like that's 
the only thing that can be said about him and drugs). So can the real 
estate purchase information, perhaps as part of a subsection on 
McCartney's wealth and earnings. And the information on the song 
inspiration? It doesn't even belong in the article (although the part 
about the dog can easily be merged with a section on personal life). The 
rest can go in the song article instead.

Information in trivia sections should not be there at all -- it either 
belongs elsewhere in the article, or it does not belong there at all. 
While I accept that people will just add the trivia section back (with 
more indiscriminate information), that doesn't mean the section should 
be kept. Ideally the information in it should be merged with another 
section of the article (or used as the basis for a new section), or 
removed entirely. I've never found a piece of trivia that didn't fall in 
either of the latter categories.


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