Why We Hate Wikipedia!
If there was a Wikipedia TV show (God forbid!) you could get bombed very quickly playing a drinking game where you have to down a gulp of booze every time someone says “portmanteau.”
Have you ever noticed that about Wikipedia? Every other goddamn entry on Wikipedia describes the name of whatever you’re looking up as a “portmanteau of [this] and [that].” And portmanteau is always italicized and always linked to their portmanteau entry. I’m telling you, no one ever heard of the word portmanteau before Wikipedia came along. I’m half-convinced they made it up. I’m further convinced there’s some jackass who’s sole (volunteer) function on Wikipedia is to note – at the beginning of the entry of whatever the hell you’re looking up – that it’s a goddamn portmanteau of two other words.
Like you, I have a love/hate relationship with Wikipedia. On the one hand, it’s wonderful because it makes casual, unimportant research very easy. On the other hand, the people who make all that casual, unimportant research so easy just annoy the hell out of you and me. How could so many lonely people with so much time on their hands be so utterly and completely pretentious?
Case in point: Yesterday, as you recall, I made some stupid (though hilarious) throwaway reference to the Kermit the Frog “Rapunzel” sketch from Sesame Street. I wanted to make sure I called it the correct thing – I thought those segments were called “Muppet News Flashes,” but I wasn’t sure. So I checked Wikipedia where I learned they’re called “Sesame Street News Flashes.” Okay, makes sense. Maybe “Muppet News Flashes” were from The Muppet Show. Who knows?
I ended up reading the whole article. And in just the second paragraph, we come to this:
Other skits were spoofs of popular culture (such as one which parodied the then-popular The Six Million Dollar Man), while others involved Kermit asking children simple vox populi, or “man on the street,” style questions.
So some loser Wikipedia editor decided that “man on the street” wasn’t good enough. He had to put in “vox populi” and link it to the article that defines it as, surprise!, “man on the street.”
Further down, citing some examples of Sesame Street News Flashes, we get this:
Did you look up “in media res”? It means in the middle of things. I’m sure the same vox populi asshole who presumably recently got his increasingly worthless degree in journalism put that one in there, too – you know, to make sure we all know, and so that future generations will know, the crucial, critical fact that a two and a half minute puppet sketch about a nursery rhyme on a children’s program begins with the felt frog in the trench coat, oh boy, right in the thick of it.