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Red rose in the Rose Garden of Regent's Park, London


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[edit]

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Stolen from George Orwell's Politics and the English Language

On incivility and underpants[edit]

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[edit]

"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

Articles created[edit]

Stubs created requiring development[edit]