Friday, October 26, 2007


So it begins.

I love the wikipedia in every non-sexual meaning of the verb. I own more reference books in more languages and they compose a higher percentage of my total material possessions than anyone ever. You don’t even want to know about me and my 2001 Almanac. Or the 2003 one. Prolly wouldn’t even believe me if I did tell you. And once you realized that I wasn’t exaggerating you wouldn’t be incorrect to have me hauled off in a straight jacket.

Whatever, I’m sure you got some quirks too.

One of my favorite things ‘bout wikipedia is that you can read the article in other languages. Listening to multiple opinions is always a good idea, especially when the validity of the information you are receiving is completely unknown. Usually English is the best/longest/most thorough of the user generated things, but sometimes you get an all-star who wrote a thesis in another language. The wikipedia can also be used as a translation tool. Just type in whatever you want in English and then look on the left side where they have the page in other languages. This is how I stumbled across simple English.¹

Simple English is English written on a Forrest Forrest Gump level. They break it down as: “Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use fewer words and easier grammar than the original English Wikipedia. The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs, such as students, children, adults with learning difficulties and people who are trying to learn English. Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because its simple language helps them to understand unfamiliar topics or complex ideas.”

Awesome. I support the cause. Got me plenty of experience ‘splaining stuff to kids and folks with limited English abilities too. I am very qualified to be a contributor to the Simple English. Their lack of articles and dearth of weirdoes provides plenty of room for me to conquer. Mwah ha ha ha. I had always figured my initial foray into the wikipedia was going to be translating Spanish articles into ‘Merican. I was also gonna learn Portuguese by translating it into English. A pretty ambitious language acquisition technique to be sure, but one based on practical implementation with immediate gratification. And I would be contributing to the dissemination of wisdom that has been for too long sequestered into isolated ghettos of mutually unintelligible vernaculars. ‘Cept I am way to lazy to get into that habit. Was ‘possed to have been studying Portuguese for the past several months now, but aside from an occasional visit to globoesporte that hasn’t happened. If I wind up going to Brasil in December I may regret my summertime sloth, but at the moment I lack the motivation of necessity.

Simple English provided the impetus for me to register with the wikipedia and dip my proverbial toes into the waters of the World Wide Web upon which I had been so adeptly surfing. Made a correction and then clicked on a tutorial editing page and clicked ‘til I emerged in the metapedia. Metapedia is hardcore. It’s where the dudes who write the propaedia hang out. If you don’t what the propaedia is, you’ve prolly never awoken from an alcohol induced state of unconsciousness and found yourself to be in the midst of cross-referencing sources across centuries. Metapedia is hardcore. I was elected ambassador from the Simple English realm, but quickly realized I need to first become at least a medium sized fish before properly repping my relatively miniscule pond.

Figured I’d pay my dues on the biggest baddest one and then translate ‘cross the ‘Mericas to build up all kinds of cred. If I got English, Spanish, and Portuguese on my resume, my gravitas in the Simple should be unquestioned. A few snags were encountered on account of what I humbly assume to be my unprecedented badassness, but this issue was quickly resolved. Like I said, earning my keep through bootstrap pullage. The glamour lies in the willingness to perform thankless perfunctory tasks. Starting out by writing articles that were red linked. Of the top 200, 27 were red linked when I embarked upon my cleanup. Created an ideal stub template and have been filling in the gaps. Not editing other people’s sorry-ass stubs yet, that will be cleanup 2.0. First I’ll de-red link the lists in Spanish and Portuguese. Not sure if I’ll do the Simple ones then or hold off until cleanup 2.0 sweeps away the filth of Augean stables. I’m talking conquest. Perhaps I’ll ease into it, just kinda depends.

As updating the pretentious yuppie blogspot has long been a bane, might as well up the stakes and turn this into my wikipedia memoir. ‘Least ‘til my wikipedia entry becomes the ultimate masturbatory retinue.

¹ While I was discovering the most macho twin names ever: Zakil and Zakar. Call ‘em the Zozo boys. You can’t get any more testosterone-laden than that. And just wait ‘til you find out what those words mean.