When I first signed up for wikipedia, the name nonsenseferret was unknown to google and I could not find any references to this conjunction of words being used on the internet by anyone before. I have never used the name outside of wikipedia but for reasons I cannot fathom the name now seems to be used on a wide number of sites, apparently by different people. None of these have anything to do with me.
Plain speaking, please
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
On incivility and underpants
Basic civility is a requirement of being a wikipedia editor, WP:CIVIL.
There are editors who feel if they give of their own time to assist wikipedia in providing content, then they should be free to communicate with fellow editors in whatever fashion they deem fit. Indeed, many such people use means of expression both on wikipedia and their day to day lives, which are colourful and expressive, but potentially offensive. As James Kelman once wrote, a student of linguistics would laugh at the suggestion that there is such a thing as bad language.
While I am not unsympathetic to this viewpoint, it is a bit like volunteering for charity street collections, but turning up to carry out your duties wearing only your underpants. Of course, you may very well be much more comfortable doing so, and nobody is paying you for your time. Your immediate friends (and fellow editors) may well think of this as a little eccentricity and love you all the more for it. However, the needs of the organisation as a whole are not well served by this situation. The people discouraged by your actions will in the end greatly outnumber those who are impressed by it.
The Rat Race
"Society and its prevailing sense of values leads to another form of alienation. It alienates some from humanity. It partially de-humanises some people, makes them insensitive, ruthless in their handling of fellow human beings, self-centred and grasping....
"The challenge we face is that of rooting out anything and everything that distorts and devalues human relations....
"Reject these attitudes. Reject the values and false morality that underlie these attitudes. A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement... The price is too high. It entails the loss of your dignity and human spirit...
"I am convinced that the great mass of our people go through life without even a glimmer of what they could have contributed to their fellow human beings. This is a personal tragedy. It is a social crime... "All that is good in man's heritage involves recognition of our common humanity, an unashamed acknowledgement that man is good by nature..." Jimmy Reid
- Synaesthesia (rhetorical device)
- Comandante (book)
- Nigel Walker (criminologist)
- Paul Kildea
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
- List of books featured on Book of the Week
- The Elements of Eloquence
- List of German spies
- List of British spies
- Eric Roberts (spy)
- List of secondary schools in Botswana
- Philip Howard (journalist)
- Gordon Manzie
- Hugh C. Rae
- The Establishment: And how they get away with it
- Merton Sandler
- Edward Eveleigh
- Alexander Monteith Currie
- Mary Featherstonhaugh Frampton
- Angus Macleod (journalist)
- Gordon Smith (soldier)
- Hommage à Piazzolla
- Martin Durrell
- Once in Every Lifetime
- Mendel Peterson
- Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
- How Much is Enough? (Skidelsky book)
- St. Gerard's RC Secondary, Govan
- Douglas Samuel Jones
- Lucy Deane Streatfeild
- Stan Paterson
- Cavendish Pianos
- Walking Wounded (short stories)
- 2013 Glasgow Helicopter Crash
- The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror
- Mark Forsyth
- The Etymologicon
- Mo Said She Was Quirky
- Hans-Heinrich Voigt
- Sammy Barr
- Sammy Gilmore
- Tom Hanlin
Stubs created requiring development
- The Horologicon
- On Liberty (2014)
- Please, Mr Postman (book)
- Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
- The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things
- On Silbury Hill
- Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love
- The Pike
- Bedsit Disco Queen
- Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century
- Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
- Hammer's German Grammar and Usage
- The Miracle at Cardenrigg
- The Burn (short stories)
- Not Not While The Giro
- A Chancer
- The Good Times (short stories)
- The Busconductor Hines
- Some Recent Attacks
- And The Judges Said
- You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free
- If It Is Your Life
- Translated Accounts
- Greyhound for Breakfast
- Weekend (novel)
- Remedy is None
- A Gift from Nessus
- The Big Man (novel)
- The Kiln
- Jenni Fagan
- The Panopticon (book)
- Shades of Grey: Glasgow 1956-86
- The Papers of Tony Veitch
- Docherty (novel)
- Marx's Revenge
- J. Kenyon Mason
- Kenneth Reid (legal scholar)