User:Marbehraglaim

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My blog: http://kylopod.blogspot.com

Here I'm going to discuss some of the changes I have made to Wikipedia articles, and changes I possibly intend to make in the future. I'm talking about major changes, not minor modifications dealing with grammar and the like. Anyone who wishes to respond to any of this can do so on my talk page, or on the talk pages of the articles I modified.

To summarize, I have written articles (in their entirety or almost) for the following books: Richard Matheson's What Dreams May Come and Bid Time Return; Alan Dean Foster's Parallelities; Piers Anthony's Killobyte; Charles De Lint's The Onion Girl and its sequel Widdershins; Gary Larson's The Prehistory of the Far Side. I also provided a synopsis for Dr. Seuss's The Lorax and Geoffrey Nunberg's Talking Right. I have also done some work on the articles about Yeshivish and Roald Dahl, and I started an article about the old video game Car Wars. More recently, I have contributed lengthy plot summaries for the books Killobyte and Heir Apparent.

Keep in mind that later users may have since altered my contributions in one way or another, so what you read in these articles is not always my exact words.

Talking Right[edit]

At someone's request, I summarized the argument in this Geoffrey Nunberg book about the American political system.

The Prehistory of the Far Side[edit]

I wrote a fairly detailed section-by-section description of this book, expanding it from a stub into a full-length article.

Parallelities[edit]

This little-known novel by Alan Dean Foster happens to be one of my favorite books. I found a page requesting that someone write an article describing this book (among many others), so I did just that.

What Dreams May Come[edit]

This 1978 novel by Richard Matheson is another one of my favorite books. But few people have read it, and most people are only familiar with the 1998 film, which I strongly disliked. I contributed a lengthy plot summary of the novel. I also created a section explaining the major differences between the book and the movie, and I contributed a similar section to the article on the film. I also provided some information on the novel's religious basis (which I'm still determining).

Bid Time Return[edit]

I also am the one who created the article for this Matheson novel (made into the film Somewhere in Time). This is not one of my favorite Matheson novels, but it does interest me because he evidently intended it as a companion piece to What Dreams May Come.

The Lorax[edit]

When I first came to this article, the plot summary of Dr. Seuss's book was absurd. It contained lines like the following: "his business was destroying the Truffula ecosystem, causing mass migrations of native fauna." The book is a children's fantasy that contains no mention of ecosystems or migrations or fauna. While the story is clearly an environmental fable, a distinction needs to be drawn between the story's interpretation and its description. With that in mind, I wrote my own plot summary, and moved the original summary into a separate section titled "Interpretation." I tried to keep the language in the new summary relatively simple and free of political jargon. I did keep one element of the original summary in mine: the description of a Thneed as an "odd-looking but versatile garment."

Eventually, someone deleted the "Interpretation" section, deeming it original research. I didn't object to the deletion. After someone incorporated an increasingly unwieldy trivia section into the body of the article, I divided the information into sections. Now the article looks more professional.

More recently, someone greatly simplified my summary. I think he did a good job. From working on the articles to several full-length novels with intricate plots, I've learned a lot about keeping things concise. When I wrote the summary for The Lorax, I hadn't yet had that experience and the book was so short that including almost all the details didn't take up much space, but I can see now that removing those details improves the article. marbeh raglaim (talk) 01:14, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeshivish[edit]

This qualifies as one of the most ludicrous articles I have seen on Wikipedia. But I haven't been sure what to do with it. It's true that Orthodox Jews use the term "Yeshivish" a lot, both to describe a particular lifestyle, and also to describe the language of the people who follow that lifestyle. In Orthodox circles, the term is basically a synoynm to "black hatter," or non-Hasidic Orthodox Jews who are stricter in their observance than the Modern Orthodox.

The Yeshivish "language" is essentially Yinglish used to a particularly high degree and mixed with the jargon of Talmud study. But the article treats this speech form as though it were a separate dialect on its way to evolving into a new language, in the manner that Yiddish diverged from German hundreds of years ago. I added the following sentence to the article: "However, modern-day Jews are more integrated into Gentile society than they were in the past, and their speech is not likely to diverge as far from the standard languages as it once did." Later contributors have modified the wording of this sentence, but the basic idea remains.

There are a lot of spurious or questionable assertions in the article, not the least of which is a section on Yeshivish "grammar," which turns out to be nothing more than the tendency of Orthodox Jews in America to attach English plural endings to Hebrew words. (By that logic, one could argue that non-Jews speak "Yeshivish" whenever they say rabbis instead of rabbeim.)

Roald Dahl[edit]

I have worked to maintain the section documenting Dahl's anti-Semitism, and I contributed the source showing that Dahl admitted his anti-Semitism a few months before his death. This is a frustrating section to maintain, because every now and then some anonymous user attempts to delete or greatly reduce the section, giving tired old arguments about "just because he was anti-Israel doesn't mean he was an anti-Semite" (ignoring the fact that Dahl specifically attacked Jews, not just Israel). It's amazing to me how many people get snippy about such an obvious and unambiguous case of anti-Semitism.

Car Wars[edit]

I wrote this article, still a stub, based entirely on my memories of this old Texas Instruments video game.

Heir Apparent[edit]

This Vivian Vande Velde novel has a complicated plot, and when I came to the page, the plot summary seemed too brief. So I revamped and expanded the page, contributing a lengthy synopsis. I am pretty good at summarizing a book without getting bogged down in details, but Heir Apparent is the sort of book where it's hard to convey the logical flow of events without explaining at least some details. I wanted to be succinct while at the same time giving a sense of what happens in the story, and why. I believe I succeeded.