Use of Wikipedia ^ October 30, 2006 6:27 AM   Subscribe

I made a FPP (Stern Review of global warming) linking to Wikipedia using the ^ - for stylistic reasons, I wanted to emphasis the second link in the FPP and not the Wikipedia link, which is the first link, and so wanted to keep it small and unobtrusive. Someone< ?> then changed it and made it a full link. Is there a style-policy? Is it documented anywhere?
posted by stbalbach to Etiquette/Policy at 6:27 AM (51 comments total)

I don't know that there's any official policy—though a MeFi Style Guide would be an interesting beast to behold—but there is a sort of seeping general loathing regarding Cap'n Carat.
posted by cortex at 6:34 AM on October 30, 2006


(I didn't change it, but--) Why would you link only to the tiny little caret thing but leave the actual text the link discusses unclickable? The whole point of hyperlinks is that they link a context (the text you are making a link) to another context (the content it goes to.) Save it for when you are making a post about a ^ symbol.

I think the 'emphasis' issue is a red herring, there are many many posts on MF that have multiple links, people will get what they want out of your post.
posted by neustile at 6:35 AM on October 30, 2006


There's no style policy just a bunch of precedence arguments here in MeTa. mathowie must have changed your link.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:37 AM on October 30, 2006


De-emphasize it by making people go "WTF is that linked caret for"?
posted by smackfu at 6:41 AM on October 30, 2006


o/t: Is it #1's birthday? 27-or-so hours with no MeTa thread. Hip hip hooray!
posted by peacay at 6:46 AM on October 30, 2006


God no more stupid caret links please. Please.
posted by chunking express at 6:49 AM on October 30, 2006


Aww, but if we edit out Wikipedia carets, that awesome Greasemonkey script doesn't add hilarious [I HAVE NO SOUL] links.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:58 AM on October 30, 2006


I feel the flood of here-we-go catch-all damning of caret usage in every careted thread has become much more annoying than a given poster's minor esthetic-editorial decision could ever be.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:09 AM on October 30, 2006


The only reason to use the caret to link to Wikipedia is if you have already linked the text to which it refers to another page. It makes absolutely no sense to leave the text unlinked but tack on the caret.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:09 AM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, joyous precendent! Death to the caret!

Any chance you could start changing every instance of 'FPP' to 'post' and 'OP' to 'poster' too, mathowie?
posted by jack_mo at 7:12 AM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


God are we still on this caret thing? Possibly the lamest thing ever.
posted by dead_ at 7:18 AM on October 30, 2006


jack_mo, would that I could favorite that comment once a day, forever.
posted by gleuschk at 7:19 AM on October 30, 2006


You "wanted to keep it small and unobtrusive"? Are you afraid you'll take up all the space on the internets? Format your post differently if you want to link to a wikipedia article. I don't know who first started using the caret as a default wiki link and made people think it's ok, but I hope he dies of penis cancer.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:25 AM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Now see, that's what I mean.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:27 AM on October 30, 2006


for stylistic reasons, I wanted to emphasis the second link in the FPP and not the Wikipedia link, which is the first link, and so wanted to keep it small and unobtrusive

Understandable. But why not just emphasize the important link by putting it first?

The "Stern Review" on global warming, from British economist Sir Nicholas Stern. Ends on an optimistic note for England to lead the world with solutions. (first link contains 15-min video presentation, PDF executive summary, PDF slideshow, and news summary)

Ta da. No clunky reinvention of an existing character or the basic way the Web works. Just take the carets off the table, and the other better solutions will present themselves.
posted by mediareport at 7:28 AM on October 30, 2006


Using a caret should only done in addition to an existing link, to provide background info. Like this:

Yahoo^ is a great search thingy.

When a caret is just hanging out in the breeze, people get all hung up over the lame formating and I removed it and put the link on the logical unlinked text. Sorry to melt your special snowflake, but don't add carets just for the sake of it. There was originally a purpose to doing them (save space on an already link-loaded post) and all that is lost and pointless using your method.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:32 AM on October 30, 2006 [3 favorites]


God are we still on this caret thing? Possibly the lamest thing ever.

If by "this caret thing" you mean "whining about carets," I heartily agree. I really can't understand what on earth gets people so wrought up. You'd think a caret slept with their mother and ran over their dog.
posted by languagehat at 7:33 AM on October 30, 2006


Be grateful that mathowie saved you from scowlage.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:34 AM on October 30, 2006


Gotta whine about something.
posted by smackfu at 7:35 AM on October 30, 2006


All these links are yours, but leave europa the caret alone.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:38 AM on October 30, 2006


I really can't understand what on earth gets people so wrought up.

And this human emotion you call..."love".

*does robot*

btw the caret slept with my dog and ran over my mother and you are so insensitive
posted by cortex at 7:41 AM on October 30, 2006 [3 favorites]


btw the caret slept with my dog and ran over my mother and you are so insensitive

Heh. I was about to post that exact same joke, you bastard.

posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:43 AM on October 30, 2006


I really can't understand what on earth gets people so wrought up.

It's dumb, unnecessary and distracting? And was spreading?

Sorry that's difficult to understand. :P
posted by mediareport at 7:43 AM on October 30, 2006


I've recently figured out that I really like carrot juice. Which I knew from drinking it, but had never really formalized into a thought. Now I'll make an effort to have more of it, because I've figured out how much I like it.
posted by OmieWise at 7:46 AM on October 30, 2006


Carets are the new 'click here'.
posted by malevolent at 7:51 AM on October 30, 2006


Ξ(O)Ξ
posted by quonsar at 8:53 AM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm still disappointed that it's not the giant spinning lightbar as I suggested the last time this came up.
posted by boo_radley at 9:10 AM on October 30, 2006


MetaFilter: I hope he dies of penis cancer.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:27 AM on October 30, 2006


Using a caret should only done in addition to an existing link, to provide background info. Like this:

Even that is kind of ridiculous. Much better to use superscript numbers, or asterisks, or just put a teeny tiny [wiki]..
Yahoo1 is a great search thingy.

Yahoo* is a great search thingy.

Yahoo [wiki] is a great search thingy.

Yahoo [wiki] is a great search thingy.
posted by Chuckles at 9:36 AM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


The best way to de-empathize something is to dog its mother.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:07 AM on October 30, 2006


Every time a caret is killed, my heart sings for joy.
posted by dame at 10:31 AM on October 30, 2006


Well, OK. If it makes dame happy, kill all the carets. 'Cause I like dame better than I like carets. Or carrots.
posted by languagehat at 10:43 AM on October 30, 2006


What about carats?
posted by dame at 10:51 AM on October 30, 2006


Even that is kind of ridiculous. Much better to use superscript numbers, or asterisks, or just put a teeny tiny [wiki]..

Exactly it's not the idea of adding a wiki link, it's the way the caret looks visually. It's Just. So. Ugly.
posted by delmoi at 11:16 AM on October 30, 2006


Carets hurt my brain. I was staring at this FPP for about an hour trying to raise "Stern Review" to the power of "warning."
posted by koeselitz at 12:39 PM on October 30, 2006


Link text should be meaningful. That's my issue with using carets for wiki links. (They are also ugly, as delmoi points out.)
posted by chunking express at 12:40 PM on October 30, 2006


It's Just. So. Ugly.

They are also ugly

Um no, *you* think or feel that it's ugly. Hate to be that guy, but I think it's important here: I guess I'm just missing a gene or something that would have enabled me to find carets aesthetically displeasing.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:11 PM on October 30, 2006


Personally, I don't consider the caret to be ugly in and of itself—a corner, a chevron, an arrowhead: it's just a mark—but a glowing yellow carat in the middle of a stream of text, for no particularly good reason? Ick.
posted by cortex at 5:13 PM on October 30, 2006


Thank you Matt.
posted by gd779 at 5:15 PM on October 30, 2006


Bob, I didn't start it, but I welcomed it here in MeTa. Should I ever contract penis cancer, I will certainly forge your name and bank account on any expenses incurred.
posted by mwhybark at 6:08 PM on October 30, 2006


Can somebody definitively point to the first post to use the damned caret notation? I tried a while ago and gave up after a bit of searching. We must have a scapegoat, surely.
posted by blasdelf at 3:53 AM on October 31, 2006


Um no, *you* think or feel that it's ugly.

Just put "I think" at the front of every sentence you read on message boards and you'll be much happier.
posted by smackfu at 6:35 AM on October 31, 2006


I think Just put "I think" at the front of every sentence you read on message boards and you'll be much happier.

There seems to be some flaw with that approach.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:12 AM on October 31, 2006


I think there seems to be some flaw with that approach.
posted by bob sarabia at 12:56 PM on October 31, 2006


I think quonsar will burn in his tank. I think I will cut off my right hand. I think I am leaving and never coming back.
posted by cortex at 2:05 PM on October 31, 2006


I think cortex thinks quonsar will burn in his tank.

At least, I think that's what I think.
posted by languagehat at 2:45 PM on October 31, 2006


I think you may be mistaken.
posted by cortex at 3:50 PM on October 31, 2006


I think I love you guys.
posted by blasdelf at 1:09 AM on November 1, 2006


Upon reflection, "*you* think" would be even better. Or even "someone thinks". "It is thought..."? "Thoughts arise of the following nature..."?

All of these are preferential. I know this for a fact.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:40 AM on November 1, 2006


Let's get FOXy and just use "But there are those who speculate that..."
posted by cortex at 5:23 AM on November 1, 2006


Carets aren't just for link overloading, not sure where that idea originates. stbalbach's usuage seems appropriate.

But if you must change them, why not just use chuckles's superscripts1?
posted by jeffburdges at 7:03 AM on November 7, 2006


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