Malamanteaus? Malamanteaux? May 12, 2010 4:27 AM   Subscribe

Today's XKCD strip links to a nonexistent Wikipedia word "malamanteau." Apparently its only prior use was in a 2007 AskMe answer by ludwig_van. There's a bit of controversy on the Wikipedia talk page over a dismissal of MeFi as an "unused website."
posted by graymouser to MetaFilter-Related at 4:27 AM (157 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Why is it that every time I peek at a Talk page on Wikipedia I want to claw my eyes out and swear of procedural democracy?

I finally get why the British refuse to write down their constitution.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:39 AM on May 12, 2010 [22 favorites]


swear off
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:40 AM on May 12, 2010


I finally get why the British refuse to write down their constitution

Guidelines > rules.
posted by flabdablet at 4:44 AM on May 12, 2010


What a bunch of wankers. I assume there is some well known "rule" which says that everything cool is eventually taken over by humorless small-minded power-mongers?
posted by maxwelton at 4:45 AM on May 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


Bless their little hearts.
posted by molecicco at 4:48 AM on May 12, 2010 [18 favorites]


Okay, I followed all the links and am none the wiser. What's the beef?
posted by tellurian at 4:50 AM on May 12, 2010


Okay, I followed all the links and am none the wiser. What's the beef?

Er? Personally I was just amused that a made-up word on an AskMe thread got referenced, probably totally independently, in an XKCD strip about Wikipedia that then went on to discuss the AskMe thread. Not exactly earth-shattering, but an interesting little interweb thing that happened to bring up an old AskMe. It's an example of the weirdness of hypertext.
posted by graymouser at 4:55 AM on May 12, 2010


*shakes his torch angrily* I was told there was burnin' to do!
posted by adipocere at 4:58 AM on May 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oh God, it reads like the result of an orgy between MetaTalk, Daily Kos Comments, YouTube comments and Yahoo Answers.

But worse.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:01 AM on May 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


I like the claim that a website which has its own Wikipedia page isn't notable. C'mon, Wikipedia editors, make sense occasionally!
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:10 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Er? made-up word on an AskMereferenced, probably totally independently, XKCD strip about Wikipedia discuss, AskMe thread, not exactly earth-shattering, but interesting interweb, wierdness of hypertext.
ffs, didn't we just have a metapost about the metaposts?
posted by tellurian at 5:11 AM on May 12, 2010


A fight, you say? Right people: let's pile in and teach them a lesson.

Remind me again who we're actually fighting first, though. It wouldn't be good form to go for the wrong person.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:11 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


They see AskMe rollin. They hatin.
posted by cashman at 5:11 AM on May 12, 2010 [34 favorites]


rrrraaaage! This is why we can't have nice things. Just skimming that talk page is making me tear my hair out with metaphorical vigor.
posted by Mizu at 5:12 AM on May 12, 2010


I was just amused that a made-up word on an AskMe thread got referenced, probably totally independently, in an XKCD strip about Wikipedia that then went on to discuss the AskMe thread. Not exactly earth-shattering, but an interesting little interweb thing that happened to bring up an old AskMe.

And if we talk enough about other people talking about the word "Malamanteau" not meriting its own Wikipedia page, the discussion over Malamanteau not deserving its own Wikipedai page will get its own Wikipedia page and everyone at Wikipedia would be OK with that.
posted by three blind mice at 5:13 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


They are all mad because they had their Wikimedia porn stash deleted.
posted by vapidave at 5:14 AM on May 12, 2010


All of the ire seems to be the result of people thinking that the page actually existed on Wikipedia before the horrifically unfunny and overrated web comic made a satirical joke about it. I tend to agree that the Wikipedia deletionists are bad people that need to be stopped, but in this case there really is no valid reason for why that page should exist and this is just a bunch of deranged fanboys bleating about something irrelevant.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:14 AM on May 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter is used. But that page isn't, at least not widely. It isn't even open for comments. And the word isn't used anywhere else on MeFi (until now). So in a sense, that word exists on an unused website.

Also, you can complain all you want about how whiny or pedantic or argumentative Wikipedia users are. The fact is, I'm sure all this same stuff happens at other encyclopedias, but without the benefit of public input/scrutiny. Or it happens by fiat from some (hopefully benevolent) dictator.

People interested in codifying all of human knowledge a little anal, Film At 11.
posted by DU at 5:15 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: Oh God, it reads like the result of an orgy between MetaTalk, Daily Kos Comments, YouTube comments and Yahoo Answers.

But worse


You forgot newspaper-website comments. But they all make more sense when read as spoken by Comic Store Guy.
posted by hangashore at 5:18 AM on May 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I say we escalate. Someone call Colbert.
posted by qvantamon at 5:18 AM on May 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


All I know is that I like MetaFilter and I like XKCD.

Wikipedia? Not so much.
posted by Shohn at 5:32 AM on May 12, 2010


If you can wait long enough, he'll be at the Charleston Yacht Club on the 17th.

Oh, wait, you meant Stephen? Can't help you as much there.
posted by theichibun at 5:35 AM on May 12, 2010


I'm still trying to understand the point of the xkcd comic. If the Wikipedia article about the word didn't exist, then the whole thing, including the mouseover text about 23 citations, reads like incitement to create the page and vandalize Wikipedia. Like Rhomboid, I can't stand the way the deletionists go about what they do over there, but that's kind of a dick move on xkcd's part.
posted by mediareport at 5:37 AM on May 12, 2010


It's one stupid joke on an irrelevant page on an unused website.

GRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!
*kicks wall, hobbles away in pain*
posted by Dr-Baa at 5:41 AM on May 12, 2010


I thought the point of the comment was all the "neologism" "malapropism" stuff. They've got 10k words over there for parts of speech and forms of puns and it's a real hassle to decode it all when you just want a gloss on what the word means. (Which isn't to say the comic is all that funny or that I dislike Wikipedia.)
posted by DU at 5:42 AM on May 12, 2010


The thing I loathe about wikipedia's deletionists is that you can find out insignificant facts about insignifant characters on TV soaps but in other places ludicrous standards of notability are applied.

In summary: wikipedia is quite useful in spite of some or many of its editors.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:43 AM on May 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ok, thanks, DU, that makes at least a bit more sense.
posted by mediareport at 5:45 AM on May 12, 2010


I'm looking forward to an …
posted by tellurian at 6:03 AM on May 12, 2010


the discussion over Malamanteau not deserving its own Wikipedai page will get its own Wikipedia page and everyone at Wikipedia would be OK with that

OK, so who is going to make a Wikipedia page about "Malamanteau Controversy"?

I personally am glad all this came about, because I hadn't seen the original use of the word and now can't wait to roll it out in a casual conversation. It may be years befor I have a chance, but in the meantime it will be there in a hidden corner of my vocabulary, just waiting to see the light of day.
posted by TedW at 6:04 AM on May 12, 2010


It's a good thing I haven't washed my hand since it incidentally brushed against ludwig_van's crotch at piratebowling's birthday party last weekend.

Who wants to smell it?
posted by The Straightener at 6:05 AM on May 12, 2010


Once you see someone start rolling out "WP:ANY ARRANGEMENT OF INITIALS" then you know you're dealing with someone who thrives by beating up others via Wikipedia rules and policies. A fair number of admins and editors at Wikipedia would fit in perfectly well in one of the administrative bureaucracies of Brazil.


All that said, if the article was created after the XKCD cartoon then it doesn't seem to warrant an article outside of the brief and insular flurry of argument over it's existence.
posted by Atreides at 6:12 AM on May 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


But that page isn't, at least not widely. It isn't even open for comments. And the word isn't used anywhere else on MeFi (until now). So in a sense, that word exists on an unused website.

You really have to stretch to get "page" and "website" close to each other even before you can say what "unused" really means, so I don't really think "the word exists on an unused website" in any non-silly sense.
posted by fleacircus at 6:17 AM on May 12, 2010


In the sense that requests to the web server arrive as discrete events rather than as a continuous flow, it is true that MetaFilter is frequently an unused web site. Sometimes for several milliseconds in a row!
posted by FishBike at 6:21 AM on May 12, 2010


MetaFilter is used. But that page isn't, at least not widely. It isn't even open for comments. And the word isn't used anywhere else on MeFi (until now). So in a sense, that word exists on an unused website.

But they said "an irrelevant page on an unused website." They distinguished between the "page" and the "website" it's "on," so they're clearly not using "website" to be synonymous with "webpage."
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:23 AM on May 12, 2010


This is a few years old, but here's a singularly aggravating discussion about whether the MonkeyFilter page should be deleted, in which editors essentially plug up their ears and go "la la la la."

I think Encyclopedia Dramatica's take on Wikipedia nails it, and gives the proper mindset for dealing with the site: Wikipedia is a MMORPG where players take on the role of editors at a real encyclopedia...
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:25 AM on May 12, 2010 [18 favorites]


so I don't really think "the word exists on an unused website" in any non-silly sense.

More serious portion of my comment:

What if you insert "portion of a" before "website"?

Less serious portion of my comment:

MetaFilter is a huge and constantly growing stack of bean plates. Only the top few are in use at any given time. The rest is unused.

In fact, one could use a population density argument. Montana is "unpopulated" in the sense of having few people per square mile. But a town with the same population would be "highly populated" simply by virtue of having a smaller area. By the same argument, MetaFilter is "unused" in that the vast majority of the site is never visited.
posted by DU at 6:28 AM on May 12, 2010


Who was this? It was probably a MeFite and definitely awesome:

"Yeah. We sure wouldn't want Wikipedia's credibility as a source of Sonic the Hedgehog information, not to mention the reams of detail on minor japanimation details, to be sullied by a **frivolous** entry! The world could very well end."
posted by harperpitt at 6:29 AM on May 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


Ludwig Van's fans aren't crazy enough to make a wikipedia article for every stupid thing s/he says.

holy shit you guys
posted by ludwig_van at 6:36 AM on May 12, 2010 [30 favorites]


While we're here, I think this would be a good time to remind everyone to please read WP:XKCD, especially the xkcd fanatics who insist on editing pages any time something is mentioned in the comic. Thank you.

Haha, there is a rule just for XKCD.
posted by cj_ at 6:39 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not using this website.
posted by Life at Boulton Wynfevers at 6:40 AM on May 12, 2010


People still say 'japanamation'?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:47 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, that is pretty funny. I love reading Wikipedia talk pages and I am sad about their deleted porn stash.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:47 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Well, technically, Officer, I wasn't speeding because time is just a human construct. Plus, we're in the middle of Montana, which I have on good authority is unpopulated. I'm finding it hard to believe that you actually exist, let alone that you exist for the sole purpose of giving me a ticket for something that doesn't exist. GOOD DAY SIR"
posted by 23skidoo at 6:51 AM on May 12, 2010 [15 favorites]


There are no sentences that are not improved by the phrase "human construct".

Example: Christ, what a human construct.
posted by DU at 7:01 AM on May 12, 2010 [7 favorites]




Once you see someone start rolling out "WP:ANY ARRANGEMENT OF INITIALS" then you know you're dealing with someone who thrives by beating up others via Wikipedia rules and policies. A fair number of admins and editors at Wikipedia would fit in perfectly well in one of the administrative bureaucracies of Brazil.


Some ambient mood music for this kerfuffle.
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 AM on May 12, 2010


Will no one rid me of this turbulent wikipedia admin?
posted by Damn That Television at 7:03 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


A fair number of admins and editors at Wikipedia would fit in perfectly well in one of the administrative bureaucracies of Brazil.

I would rather they focus their attention on wikipedia than traditional things like government though.
posted by smackfu at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter is a huge and constantly growing stack of bean plates. Only the top few are in use at any given time. The rest is unused.

Not unused. Archived. Not the same thing. AskMe is still quite active and has thousands of currently contributing users. To say it is "unused" is flatly inaccurate.

In fact, one could use a population density argument. Montana is "unpopulated" in the sense of having few people per square mile. But a town with the same population would be "highly populated" simply by virtue of having a smaller area. By the same argument, MetaFilter is "unused" in that the vast majority of the site is never visited.

So you don't get favorites from closed posts and comments, or MeMails regarding them? Interesting.
posted by zarq at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2010


We sure wouldn't want Wikipedia's credibility as a source of Sonic the Hedgehog information, not to mention the reams of detail on minor japanimation details....

The thing is, Wikipedia would be awesome if it were that. There is a place in the world for a compendium of information about Sonic the Hedgehog and Japanimation and Star Wars and obviously World of Warcraft, and all the things that Wikipedia-people actually do know about. If it were just a place for teenagers and dropouts to write down everything they know (rather than pretending to approve or reject things they don't), that would be really cool. Before Nature screwed things up, for instance, the South Park episode pages were a lot more interesting.

Wikipedia is a MMORPG where players take on the role of editors at a real encyclopedia...

Well, the site's one rule is that whoever spends the most time on Wikipedia wins. From what I know about World of Warcraft [insert cite to Parker & Stone], that's exactly how MMORPGs work.
posted by cribcage at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2010


http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends?sa=X&date=2010-5-12

"Malamanteau" was the 5th most popular search earlier. It's the 10th right now. You know what you must do.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:07 AM on May 12, 2010


DU: “MetaFilter is used. But that page isn't, at least not widely. It isn't even open for comments. And the word isn't used anywhere else on MeFi (until now). So in a sense, that word exists on an unused website.”

Yes, but that doesn't take into account my favorite comment there – the next rejoinder in the conversation, where someone ominously points out: "It [ask.metafilter] will be notable soon enough." Because, of course, the "malamanteau" Wikipedia entry was just a sinister plot to underhandedly use Wikipedia's broad popularity to suddenly boost the traffic and notability on our tiny, insignificant ask.metafilter website. If only they'd let it stand! We could have been saved from this hopeless obscurity.
posted by koeselitz at 7:09 AM on May 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Someone who knows how to work the wikipedia should make a page for portmanpropism with the same definition and see what happens. I tried to do it, but I'm not inclined to try to figure out how.
posted by jefeweiss at 7:17 AM on May 12, 2010


http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/metafilter.com
Average Load Time for Metafilter.com
Slow (3.217 Seconds), 66% of sites are faster.
Note: Slow sites may be penalized by search engines.

Metafilter.com’s Worldwide Traffic Rank
Country / Rank
Ireland / 543
United States / 844
Canada / 1,024
United Kingdom / 1,243
South Korea / 1,418

Where Visitors Go on Metafilter.com
Subdomain / Percent of Site Traffic
ask.metafilter.com / 58.0%
metafilter.com / 38.8%
metatalk.metafilter.com / 2.0%
login.metafilter.com / 0.8%
projects.metafilter.com / 0.2%
"...an unused website..." Pffft.
posted by zarq at 7:27 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd suggest holding a vote on whether it's appropriate to consider voting, but I think that would violate WP:BEANS. Wait, what? -- Narsil (talk) 06:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

:o
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:30 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Someone who knows how to work the wikipedia should make a page for portmanpropism with the same definition and see what happens. I tried to do it, but I'm not inclined to try to figure out how.
posted by jefeweiss at 10:17 AM


but a portmanpropism is a real word already

(its a bet on what kind of weird inappropriate facial expression natalie portman will make in a given movie scene)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:33 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh no, the memes have collided! I'm overthinking WP:BEANS.
posted by handee at 7:40 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm taking names down, and, once I can afford it, will send all of you a LIFE. 'cuz you need to get one...
posted by HuronBob at 7:48 AM on May 12, 2010


I kind of wish these wikipedia editors had a real life meeting. That way I could stand outside and push them all down the stairs when it was over. I don't think I've ever seen such a circlejerk of inflated assholes.
posted by sanka at 7:52 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm taking names down, and, once I can afford it, will send all of you a LIFE. 'cuz you need to get one...

You do realize you're posting this on a section of Metafilter dedicated to discussing all things Metafilter, right?

I'll add your name to my list and send you a LIFE just as soon as I figure out what one is.
posted by bondcliff at 7:52 AM on May 12, 2010


I don't think I've ever seen such a circlejerk of inflated assholes.

Some people really just don't want the tagline jokes to end.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:53 AM on May 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


"....all things Metafilter, right...."

See, it's that "all" part that might be misleading... and, perhaps unnecessary.
posted by HuronBob at 7:54 AM on May 12, 2010


An unused website? Crap, the meds have stopped working; I'm hallucinating entire web communities!

Time to write an AskMe about this.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:55 AM on May 12, 2010


"I don't think I've ever seen such a circlejerk of inflated assholes."... you've not seen it because the concept, as presented, may be an oxymoron and literally impossible.
posted by HuronBob at 7:55 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


the whole thing, including the mouseover text about 23 citations, reads like incitement to create the page and vandalize Wikipedia.

I don't know if I agree that it's incitement exactly. It's a given that someone will try to vandalize Wikipedia in this manner though, which is kind of a pain.

Also, I'm totally a fan of ludwig_van's.
posted by ODiV at 7:59 AM on May 12, 2010


Metafilter: Some people really just don't want the tagline jokes to end
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ugh. Every week, I become more convinced that Wikipedia is this bizarre creature that somehow succeeded in being useful despite the best intentions of its founder, who is by all accounts a raging asshole, and its administrators, who seem to be doing their damndest to ape the Central Bureaucracy from Futurama, only without any sense of humor at all.

The only thing it has going for it is name recognition at this point; it's sort of coasting on the goodwill of people who drop in to make quick edits here and there without knowing better.

Someone needs to fork the entire database, and then kidnap everyone currently involved at the administrator level or higher and send them to some deserted island where they can argue at each other without destroying anything. And then the project can hopefully be rebooted and carry on without quite so much bullshit.

Alternately we could just kill all the deletionists. Either way.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:07 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I view Wikipedia a lot like I do hot dogs. I enjoy them both, but I don't really want to know what goes into them behind the scenes.
posted by quin at 8:13 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I find Wikipediaiana fascinating but man does every episode make me happier I shook off the instinct to join up years ago.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to start mailing individually wrapped tiles of Life cereal to needy unused website users.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:14 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


What's funny is that a person who may or may not be one of my supervisors at work was being insanely catty about something insignificant this past week and my immediate instinct was to think, "Man, if I could get her on Wikipedia, she'd be a fucking goddess to them and might leave me alone to do my damn job. Win/win."

I may have underestimated Wikipedia. I'm totally emailing her a login anonymously and taking the rest of the summer off.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:16 AM on May 12, 2010


Clearly, the appropriate term here should be malateau cocktail.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:25 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Some people really just don't want the tagline jokes to end

You motherfucker!!!
posted by shakespeherian at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2010


Metafilter: You motherfucker!!!
posted by shakespeherian at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2010


kittyprecious: "
Clearly, the appropriate term here should be malateau cocktail.
"

And iterating doggedly through suffixes to find something that sounds jazzy? Malamutations.
posted by boo_radley at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2010


malateau cocktail

One jigger of Absinthe
One jigger of Creme du Violet
Splash of mineral water
A few drops of Green Dragon THC-infused Everclear.

Serves one and only one.
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love Urban Dictionary's definition of malamanteau now.
posted by misha at 8:38 AM on May 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


tell everyone when you first started using the internet, and what was the first thing that made you say "wow, this isn't just a place for freaks after all?"

*chuckle*
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:46 AM on May 12, 2010


"The Malamanteau Controversy" totally sounds like something the Doctor would reference when chiding a naughty, naughty alien invader. "You are in violation of Article 15 of the Shadow Proclamation, Articles 10 through 11.666 of the Ruling of Golgafrincham and in DIRECT disobeyance of the judgement of the Malamanteau Controversy!!"

I'm just sayin. Malamanteau Controversy is fun to say.
posted by The otter lady at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


*chuckle*

We're reclaiming the internet, is all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:53 AM on May 12, 2010


By talking about Spiderman crotch shots.
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rhomboid writes "All of the ire seems to be the result of people thinking that the page actually existed on Wikipedia before the horrifically unfunny and overrated web comic made a satirical joke about it."

You are dead to me.
posted by Mitheral at 8:57 AM on May 12, 2010


Malamanteau now has two meanings: ludwig_van's, and "a reaction attempting to quash something which increases its importance" (and needs a much longer Wiki article, doesn't it?).

I intend to use both senses as often as possible from now on, and will create as many malamanteaus as I can. Maybe the more creative mefites could help with that?

"Unused-site" is now a verb for saying something really stupid to support another really stupid statement. There are lots of words for that probably but it's becoming so common that we need more way to refer to it.
posted by Some1 at 8:59 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you so much. I was genuinely not expecting to wake up to this; I figured someone would probably try to make the article, someone else would delete and protect it, and that would be the end of it—Wikipedia has gotten pretty good at handling that kind of potential abuse. I had no idea I'd wake up to this cavalcade of hilarious opinionating, but it's definitely brightened my morning.

Yes, I made up the word (although I didn't Google it until moments before the comic went up; like many nonsense words, it did have one use in a discussion thread somewhere). No, it shouldn't be an article. Yes, a clarifying article would be helpful. No, you shouldn't be helpful in this situation, because it's not your job.

Apologies to all the editors who are trying to keep this discussion under control. I know you have better things to do (like carefully documenting every public mention of Wikipedia, even offhand ones, in the Wikipedia article). Also, just so you know, nobody used the word 'disambiguation' until you people showed up. <3>

Meeeow, Randall's got a little snark in him.

posted by Think_Long at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2010


stupid italics
posted by Think_Long at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2010


[citation not needed]
posted by Babblesort at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2010


Dude is trying to bite my rhymes.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:13 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


xkcd basically ruins things. It's user friendly for a new generation.
posted by boo_radley at 9:13 AM on May 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Though I'll sometimes complain about Wikipedia's deletionist tendencies, this seems like a completely valid deletion. And Metafilter is not a valid source.
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on May 12, 2010


This only really makes me want a malamar, for some reason.
posted by kaseijin at 9:23 AM on May 12, 2010


Mallomar. Mallomar.

Not malamar. Mallomar.
posted by kaseijin at 9:25 AM on May 12, 2010


The malamar was the crystal ball thing in the hobbits movie.
posted by The otter lady at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2010


"a reaction attempting to quash something which increases its importance"

Also known as the Streisand Effect
posted by sanka at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Malamanteau is a cromulent word. I propose we embiggen its presence in the public mind.
posted by ardgedee at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2010


For the Streisand effect as relates to Wikipedia see the multiple deletion attempts on Deletionpedia.

This is not that. This is some garbage that needs to go. Stop poking the weirdo paranoid Wikipedians as it only makes them more weird and paranoid and more likely to iignore outside complaint when they delete stuff that is not garbage.
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2010


Malamanteau now has two meanings: ludwig_van's, and "a reaction attempting to quash something which increases its importance" (and needs a much longer Wiki article, doesn't it?).

Just redirect it to the Streisand effect.
posted by quin at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2010


Wait is this thread about the Marmaduke movie or isn't it?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2010


Damnable lack of preview skills on my part, that's what that is.
posted by quin at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2010


In Defense of Wikipedia Editors:

No they cannot take a joke.

They have no insight, no flexibility, and little use for innovation and change.

Things that are obvious to everyone seem trivial to them, and trivia, unless it is on their favorite subject, seem like lies.

They love rules and procedures, not knowledge or truth or history.

But the rules are make what is on the site, if not Real, at least Rigorously Tested.

Perhaps the hoops they make a fact jump through are meaningless, but they do test for testability in a method close to a scientific one.

And so the almost private stories of forgotten times --of people and groups from recent or distant history-- are given a place of honor among the global facts from textbooks. And forbidden or contentious subjects receive sober and evenhanded attention. And those who seek to hide or distort the truth get the same rebuffing as jokers and johnny-come-latelies: [Cite Needed].

Perhaps it is this kind of gray flannel man and woman who will hold back the tide of hype and omissions that characterize internet discourse: friends eliding each others dirty laundry, winners trying to rewrite the beginning and middle at the end, news and culture cycles eating their young every 24 hours.

Us imaginative, sensitive, hilarious types--we can rail against the faults and failures of the bureaucrats, but we don't have the patience and single-mindedness to spend our hours documenting, correcting, interpreting...we want to produce not record! Someone will fill that in later. Someone will write the important bits down. Someone will make sure the dates fit and the numbers actually add up and the commas in the right place. Someone surely will.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:55 AM on May 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


Wait is this thread about the Marmaduke movie or isn't it?

It is now! Could someone start by expanding the Marmaduke movie (excuse me - film) wiki page first? It is woefully undeveloped.
posted by Think_Long at 9:56 AM on May 12, 2010


Since when does the existence of a term with the same meaning have anything to do with the creation of a neologism?
posted by Some1 at 9:56 AM on May 12, 2010


I can just see the eBay posting for MetaFilter right now: "One community website for sale. Unused."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:02 AM on May 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


maxwelton: "I assume there is some well known "rule" which says that everything cool is eventually taken over by humorless small-minded power-mongers?"

Wikipedia only became cool because there were a lot of people working hard to make it consistent, accurate, and contain legitimate information. Those are the people you call humorless small-minded power-mongers. Would you hurl the same insults at people who will keep "malamanteau" out of Webster's? I seriously don't get people who think that because it's on the Internet, it can't be serious.

Or, what Potomac Avenue said.
posted by Plutor at 10:27 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sure you can bitch about TV Tropes type stuff being kept out of Wikipedia, so long as you never bitch about TV Tropes style stuff being kept in Wikipedia - a lot of people seem to like to do both.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2010


Also if you really want something to be in Wikipedia, and not just get deleted, learn the notability guidelines (in general: An article is going to need at least two cites from reliable sources) and the reliable source guidelines (In general: sites with user generated content do not cut it, mirrors of earlier versions of Wikipedia do not cut it, kooky looking weird sites do not cut it, Google Books is your friend) and update the article accordingly, THEN get into a argument on that basis. Just posting "but this is really important!" to a talk or AfD page is pointless on it's own.
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on May 12, 2010


. . . I am sad about their deleted porn stash.

This conjures the mental image of a clean-shaven Ron Jeremy.
posted by barrett caulk at 10:41 AM on May 12, 2010


holy shit you guys
posted by ludwig_van


ludwig_van fans unite!
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:49 AM on May 12, 2010


Note: I did not actually create a page for that joke because I don't actually like vandalizing wikipedia. You can pretend though.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:51 AM on May 12, 2010


HAHAHAHAHAHA just saw this:

Thank you so much. I was genuinely not expecting to wake up to this; I figured someone would probably try to make the article, someone else would delete and protect it, and that would be the end of it—Wikipedia has gotten pretty good at handling that kind of potential abuse. I had no idea I'd wake up to this cavalcade of hilarious opinionating, but it's definitely brightened my morning.
Yes, I made up the word (although I didn't Google it until moments before the comic went up; like many nonsense words, it did have one use in a discussion thread somewhere). No, it shouldn't be an article. Yes, a clarifying article would be helpful. No, you shouldn't be helpful in this situation, because it's not your job.
Apologies to all the editors who are trying to keep this discussion under control. I know you have better things to do (like carefully documenting every public mention of Wikipedia, even offhand ones, in the Wikipedia article). Also, just so you know, nobody used the word 'disambiguation' until you people showed up. <3>
Don't try and take credit for malamanteau, Randall! The record | clearly shows that I invented it in 2007. All users of malamanteau must send royalties to me. 76.99.24.196 (talk) 16:09, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

there you go. No need for an article. The lord has spoken. Coolug (talk) 14:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

You know what you should do? A strip about Summer Glau: Wikipedia Editor! That would be awesome! -- Narsil (talk) 15:07, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


So, Mr. 76.99.24.196 - is that you ludwig_van?
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 10:54 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah but the problem with WP:N is the definition of reliable sources. In the world of open source software there has been a lot of controversy recently because the filthy deletionist assholes keep going after pages related to open source projects on the grounds that they don't cite enough reliable sources, but by the nature of these projects most of the documentation and references fall under 'user generated content' and there is a relative lack of coverage by traditional journalism/print media about anything but the most prominent of open source projects.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2010


Yeah, that's a big problem when a deletionist asshole is involved, especially if they go on a big spree. And though your average wikipedian and even most of the admins are more reasonable, when a big argument occurs because of the deletionist assholes actions they'll side with the asshole, because the asshole with have wikilawyering and putting on an admin-acceptable face totally down, whereas casual users opposing them will be all flustered and pissed off and not necessarily as fluent in Wikipedias special secret twin-talk.
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on May 12, 2010


man, as silly as wikipedia is, I absolutely 100% endorse their xkcd rule. xkcd fans are rabid dogs. if it weren't for the fact that our guidelines satisfactorily cover the problem already, we too would need an xkcd specific rule to keep every comic from being posted to the front page.

but back to how silly wikipedia is. somethingawful basically nailed the problem with wikipedia when they invented wikigroaning.

an example:
boxing ring
cock ring

note not only the length of the articles in question, but the number of illustrative photos provided.
posted by shmegegge at 11:03 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then you get things like WP:FRINGE. Theoretically a good policy that stops people putting in articles about random kooky weird shit, in actually: the perfect cover for deletionist assholes who take special joy in wrecking articles relating to anything Fortean.

That's the main reason I don't edit Wikipedia anymore - I started pulling on that string when some of their areas of interest overlpaped with mine, and before you know it I ened up in the middle of hundreds of arguments between deletionist assholes and somewhat flakey enthusiasts that have created somewhat shakey articles that nonetheless have some merit and can be sourced if you put a little effort in. A few rounds of that will put you off the project forever.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on May 12, 2010


I'd actually consider it a badge of honor that MetaFilter, the whole website, is "unused"... by Wikipedia Editors. They are exactly the kind of internet creature who, if they got into our low-walled garden, would do their damnedest to ruin it for the rest of us.

Then again, I really wish there were a Wikipedia entry for "Eponysterical".
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:19 AM on May 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm wearing a pair of ludwig_vans right now, most comfortable shoes I own.
posted by Mick at 11:30 AM on May 12, 2010


xkcd basically ruins things. It's user friendly for a new generation.

Arguably true, but xkcd has way better art than User Friendly.
posted by webmutant at 11:34 AM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dude is trying to bite my rhymes.

Actually, I think he's trying to busta your rhymes.
posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2010


I think we should show our support for ludwig_van by going to his band's show this Friday night at the North Star bar in Philly. He'll need the boost in morale after having his word stolen.
posted by rbf1138 at 12:12 PM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Malamanteau Controversy

I think we should maintain the original form, calling this "The Malamanteau Fiascroversy".
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:31 PM on May 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


adipocere: "*shakes his torch angrily* I was told there was burnin' to do"

adipocere is a guy?
posted by deborah at 12:43 PM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we should maintain the original form, calling this "The Malamanteau Fiascroversy".

I agrassentoncur.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:46 PM on May 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


They are exactly the kind of internet creature who, if they got into our low-walled garden, would do their damnedest to ruin it for the rest of us.

"They" is "us", if you look around a teeny little bit here and there.

I find it interesting that there are a few publicly agitated MetaFilter posters who believe that one anonymous editor saying something barely derogatory about MetaFilter being "unused" somehow represents an entire Wikipedia nation, or that Wikipedia is a monolithic bloc of editors of one type or another.

It's rather analogous to grabbing a random foaming nutter living in the New York subway to give the State of the Union speech (which, come to think of it, probably would have been better than our previous President, but I digress).

Taken as a whole, Wikipedia is more useful to more people than MetaFilter is, or likely will ever be. For all its silly and maddening faults, a lot of "us" think Wikipedia's usefulness is a status to respect and support by helping build and improve it.

Incidentally, if anyone thinks even a third of those comments are attempts at a serious discussion on the redirect (the high ratio of IP-anonymous posts and new editors is a dead giveaway), I have a bridge...
posted by mdevore at 12:49 PM on May 12, 2010


is that you ludwig_van?

Yes, though this "Randall" character may try to Edison my Tesla, I will shine the light of truth on his deception, and history will know me as the true originator of the malamanteau phenomenon. Let it be recorded for posterity -- "Inventor of Malamanteau" is going on my headstone, even if the cowardly xkcd commenters would prefer to ignore the scandal unfolding before our eyes.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:52 PM on May 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


Yes, though this "Randall" character may try to Edison my Tesla, I will shine the light of truth on his deception, and history will k...

Hi Ho Silver!
posted by xorry at 12:58 PM on May 12, 2010


Someone will fill that in later. Someone will write the important bits down. Someone will make sure the dates fit and the numbers actually add up and the commas in the right place. Someone surely will.

Yeah, but fuck those guys. Rate we're going, we're gonna run out of oxygen before our grandkids get to college. All human endeavour, viewed in this light, is futile and masturbatory. So, hug someone close to you, and post something spurious on Wikipedia.
posted by tigrefacile at 3:30 PM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter.com’s Worldwide Traffic Rank
Country / Rank
Ireland / 543
United States / 844


Metafilter: Coitianta in Éirinn
posted by armage at 8:24 PM on May 12, 2010


Metafilter: futile and masturbatory. So, hug someone close to you.
posted by The otter lady at 8:28 PM on May 12, 2010


tigrefacile: “All human endeavour, viewed in this light, is futile and masturbatory.”

Metafilter tip #423: to avoid confusion, try to refrain from using apparently self-contradictory phrases such as "futile and masturbatory."
posted by koeselitz at 8:52 PM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Malamanteau The REAL Meaning
posted by homunculus at 9:05 PM on May 12, 2010


IT'S MADNESS IT'S CARPETS IT'S CARPET MADNESS
posted by The Whelk at 9:06 PM on May 12, 2010


THIS IS HOW IT FEELS TO BE CARPET MADNESS
posted by koeselitz at 10:14 PM on May 12, 2010


!!!
posted by koeselitz at 10:17 PM on May 12, 2010


Yet another Wikipedia scandal (probably deserves its own FPP)
posted by armage at 10:31 PM on May 12, 2010


People still say 'japanamation'?

Actually, now they say japanamalamanteation.
posted by davejay at 11:46 PM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: boy, does that wikipedia user "LesterRoquefort" have a bug up his ass about Randall. Like he's some failed cartoonist, jealous of Randall's success, squatting in the corner throwing poo.
posted by davejay at 11:53 PM on May 12, 2010


> Yet another Wikipedia scandal (probably deserves its own FPP)

Down now. What was it about?
posted by languagehat at 8:09 AM on May 13, 2010


Wikipedia editors are a distrusion that might inflaze and discarriage me to the point of bemaddlement if I weren't so satianced and balisfied in my objudicality.
posted by lucien_reeve at 8:38 AM on May 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Malamanteau is a cromulent word. I propose we embiggen its presence in the public mind.

Actually, they don't have the Simpsons words, so that's a pretty good argument against xkcd words.
posted by smackfu at 8:48 AM on May 13, 2010


> Actually, they don't have the Simpsons words, so that's a pretty good argument against xkcd words.

Searching for embiggen or cromulent will redirect to the entry on the Simpsons episode in which they were coined (as will Kwyjibo), which would be precedence for creating a malamanteau section in a relevant Wikipedia entry, such as the one on xkcd or one on coined words.
posted by ardgedee at 9:11 AM on May 13, 2010


Oh God, it reads like the result of an orgy between MetaTalk, Daily Kos Comments, YouTube comments and Yahoo Answers.

But worse.


Excuse me?? Perhaps I am failing to see the humor in this comment, but etc. etc.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:00 AM on May 13, 2010


languagehat: “Down now. What was it about?”

The Wikipedia porn thing.
posted by koeselitz at 11:54 AM on May 13, 2010


I was told this was the place to be to reserve your copy of "Battletoads 3: The Hystericanny" but I can't seem to find the link to purchase. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Romerom (talk • contribs) 16:13, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Ok now that made it worth having to wade through that wagon of dicks.
posted by Kskomsvold at 12:18 PM on May 13, 2010


we're gonna run out of oxygen before our grandkids get to college

[citation needed]
posted by webmutant at 1:58 PM on May 13, 2010


I feel so unused.
posted by Phanx at 3:54 AM on May 14, 2010


this "Randall" character may try to Edison my Tesla

He may try. But THE ARCHIVE knows all.

All hail THE ARCHIVE.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:42 AM on May 14, 2010


Metafilter contributers making fun of Wikimedia editors shows a stunning lack of self self awareness on part of the users of this site.
posted by afu at 5:55 AM on May 14, 2010


It's like the Mennonites ragging on the Amish, imo.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:32 AM on May 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I seem to have defaulted to a hockey analogy. You get fights between players on opposing teams all the time during the game. Sometimes you get fights between the fans of opposing teams.

But this back-and-forth between MetaTalk and a Wiki talk page? This is like the guys who track the ice time for the players of one team getting into a fight with the ice time trackers from another team.
posted by FishBike at 7:01 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to think it's more like Quakers ragging on the Amish, but yeah.
posted by koeselitz at 7:06 AM on May 14, 2010


Did you see the reflectors they use on their buggies? OMFGLOL
posted by Meatbomb at 7:09 AM on May 14, 2010


I was genuinely not expecting to wake up to this; I figured someone would probably try to make the article, someone else would delete and protect it, and that would be the end of it—Wikipedia has gotten pretty good at handling that kind of potential abuse. I had no idea I'd wake up to this cavalcade of hilarious opinionating, but it's definitely brightened my morning ... --Xkcd (talk) 14:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Randall

I find it odd that someone like Randall (internet celebrity, has his own wikipedia rule, etc.) would underestimate the sort of reaction that his comic would cause. I don't mean this as a slight against Randall and I know that I'd would not have predicted this if I where him. The comic has a balance of ambiguity and friendly insult that is just right to set something like this off. I know, perspective, this isn't much of a big deal, but I'm interested.

I know that for myself, jokes frequently come from some less than conscious part of the mind. They slip out without censor and their deeper import is only known when you see the laughing yet hurt reaction of your target.
posted by bdc34 at 7:29 AM on May 14, 2010


I had no idea I'd wake up to this cavalcade of hilarious opinionating, but it's definitely brightened my morning ... --Xkcd (talk) 14:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)Randall

Verily, for nothing brightens one's morning like callously taking credit for the tireless labor of others. Do the denizens of wikipedia really believe "malamanteau" to be the half-considered product of an idle moment, like some sort of bastard child borne unto the cruel streets on a moonless winter night? Nay, the creation of malamanteau was far more tortuous and exacting; many a fitful night did I spend in my workshop, scrapping revision after revision, slowly chipping away at the marble until I was able to reveal the ideal figure which had always lurked beneath. The gentleman from xkcd does a disservice to all those who toil, all the unrecognized proles whose blood, sweat, and tears serve as garmonbozia for their bourgeois masters. His day of reckoning is nigh, my friends. The revolution will not be tweeted.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:26 AM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Really, what we're looking at is repeated independent acts of derivation according to syntactic and semantic guidelines expressible in terms of the low-level, involuntary language-organizing facilities of the human brain. Neither of you invented the word so much as correctly assembled lexemic lego blocks in a way that anyone could have given a reasonable degree of literacy and the proper motivation. You're both just pawns of the antediluvian ur-linguists that control the One World Vocabulary; your squabbling serves them by distracting the public from the ongoing dissemination of the word "moist".
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:37 AM on May 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Xkcd#Talk:Malamanteau
posted by ludwig_van at 1:55 PM on May 14, 2010


My favorite thing about wikipedia is the disconnect between how seriously the editors pretend to take being "encyclopedic" and how absurdly detailed useless pop culture stuff is when held up to the actual encyclopedic content. Something Awful takes the piss on this (linked upthread) but they don't even dig deep enough. Just comparing one page about Jedis to the article on Knights is not sufficient -- you have to keep digging.

If you combined the total content of every page related to Star Wars, or mythology of Heroes, or comic book characters, etc., it would dwarf all the serious content of WikiPedia combined. But they will fight to the death about a page they decide isn't "notable" because they weren't in on the joke. It's sort of insane.

I think they end up doing a pretty good job of making something awesome, but it's endlessly frustrating when some rules-lawyer type kills your page/edit and is able to cite 15 different policies to back his point, when something like 85% of the site is full of the same useless fluff he's crusading against. If they ate their own dogfood and argued in good faith most of wikipedia would not even exist.
posted by cj_ at 2:08 AM on May 15, 2010




Wikipedia goes 3D
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on May 16, 2010


There's a nice Erin McKean column about malamanteau at The Boston Globe. MetaFilter (and ludwig_van specifically) gets a name check.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 11:30 AM on May 30, 2010


Muahahaha
posted by ludwig_van at 11:39 AM on May 30, 2010


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