[lg policy] Wikipedia: write first, ask questions later

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Fri Mar 19 04:03:41 UTC 2010

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Admit it, we all use Wikipedia. The collaborative online encyclopedia  
is often the first place we go when we want to know a fact, a date, a  
name, an event. We don’t even have to seek out Wikipedia: in many  
cases it’s the top site returned when we google that fact, date, name,  
or event. But as much as we’ve come to rely on it, Wikipedia is also  
the online source whose reliability we most often question or ridicule.

Wikipedia is the ultimate populist text, a massive database of more  
than 3.2 million English-language entries and 6-million-plus entries  
in other languages. Anyone can write a Wikipedia article, no  
experience necessary. Neither is knowing anything about the subject,  
since Wikipedians – you can be one too – can simply copy information  
from somewhere else on the internet and post it to Wikipedia. It  
doesn’t matter if the uploaded material is wrong: that can be fixed  
some other time. Wikipedia’s philosophy comes right out of the  
electronic frontier’s rough justice: write first, ask questions later.

read the rest of the post on the Web of Language: http://bit.ly/weblan
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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