[WikiEN-l] good example of overuse of {{fact}}

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Oct 17 00:01:09 UTC 2006

Jimmy Wales wrote:

>First, and example, and then a question/suggestion.  If you get bored 
>with my example, please continue anyway to my question/suggestion. :)
> >Some are easy, of course, like the Wikipedia entry claiming that the 
> >word blackboard ‘‘is now perceived by some as being ’politically 
> >incorrect’ in the United Kingdom.’’ ‘‘Citation needed,’’ a parenthesis 
> >cautioned. Indeed: a Nexis search of UK publications found some 30 
> >blackboards in a week, against just three chalkboards.
In the context of that Boston Globe article our cynicism ends up looking 
pretty good.  Compare this to the others who simply quoted the 
politically correct material without question.  The one who couldn't 
distinguish explication from political correctness in Dylan's lyrics 
does not even have the musical sense to recognize that replacing a 
monosyllable with a pentasyllable won't work.

I believe that the word "blackboard" is indeed retreating into 
obsolescence, but not for the reasons stated.  Slate is an expensive 
commodity that is best reserved for useful things like pool tables, that 
has first been replaced by manufactured greenboards where chalk could 
still be used, and more recently by whiteboards where we can use a kind 
of erasable magic marker.  If you think that whiteboard is not 
politically correct you can no longer complain by long scratchest with 
your fingernails.

>This is a quote from:
>Our full text reads:
> >Political correctness is a real or perceived attempt to refine or 
> >restrict language and terms used in public discussion to those deemed 
> >acceptable or appropriate. For example "blackboard" is now perceived 
>by >some as being "politically incorrect" in the United Kingdom, 
>[citation >needed] and so teachers are instructed to call it a 
>"chalkboard" >instead.
>The tag was added here:
>So from March 12 until now, we have a request that this dubious tidbit 
>be sourced, with no movement.
That diff also shows that that editor also made a number of unrelated 
changes to the article at the same time.  Also missing at the time of 
his edit were the key words "by some" that appear in your quote.  I 
would think that the standard of evidence should be much stricter if the 
words "by some" are omitted.


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