When it comes to world class pedantry, few groups can challenge the prowess of Wikipedians and Star Trek fans. So when the two come together it's little surprise they create a swirling maelstrom of anal retention from which no common sense can escape.
Given that Wikipedia's Manual of Style directs that prepositions with four letters or less should not normally be capitalised in titles, the discussion hinged on whether "Star Trek into darkness" should be understood as a single phrase, like "the journey into space", or whether the word "into" marked the beginning of a subtitle whose first word should be capitalised. Another factor was that the film's makers and most media reports capitalised the word "Into" in the film's title. A minority view also advocated that it should be seen as a subtitle (like other Star Trek movies) and therefore needed a colon, i.e. "Star Trek: Into Darkness".
In his Daily Dot article, titled "Wikipedians wage war over a capital 'I' in a 'Star Trek' film", Morris summarized the entire affair in the quote above, and cited User:Frungi to give his readers a brief summary of arguments in favour of an upper-case or lower-case spelling, saying he did not want want his readers to experience in "excruciating detail the main arguments from both sides. They are exhaustive and pedantic to such an extent that 'pedantic' no longer seems a suitable adjective."
Frungi's summary, compiled on 11 January, read:
Arguments for the lowercase I
“Into Darkness” may not be a subtitle, and “Star Trek into Darkness” may have been intended to be read as a sentence.
Assuming it’s not a subtitle, the MOS dictates a lowercase preposition.
Treating “into Darkness” as a subtitle without punctuation would be original research.
Allowing it to be interpreted as a subtitle would play into the studio's marketing.
The creator said that the title would not have a subtitle with a colon.
Arguments for the uppercase I
“Into Darkness” may be a subtitle, in line with the precedence of every Star Trek movie title longer than two words.
Assuming it is a subtitle, the MOS dictates the first word be capitalized.
Treating “Into Darkness” as part of a sentence would be original research.
Capitalizing the possible subtitle would allow it to be interpreted either way.
Every official, and the vast majority of secondary, sources capitalize it, and Wikipedia should follow this real-world use.
The sentence “Star trek into darkness” makes no grammatical sense.
The creator said that the title would have a subtitle rather than a number, and that the subtitle would not have a colon.
Morris chose to use a capital I throughout his article, saying he agreed with the passionate sentiments of an anonymous vandal who told Wikipedians to read the official website.
Keleny acknowledged the ambiguity introduced by the missing colon, which allowed an interpretation of the title along the lines of "This is the story of the Star Trek into Darkness", but concluded:
There’s only one thing to do. Follow the preference of the film-makers. It is their title, after all. They call it Star Trek Into Darkness—so that is what it is. In the same way, for instance, everybody accepts that the singer is called k d lang. Her typographical peculiarity may be pretentious and irritating, but her name belongs to her.
Science fiction news site Blastr took much the same view. The title of the Wikipedia entry was changed from lower-case to upper-case spelling on 31 January.
What if the Wikipedia "revolution" was actually a reversion?
On 30 January 2013, Rebecca J. Rosen, senior associate editor of The Atlantic, reported on a paper by Jeff Loveland and Joseph Reagle which argues that rather than being a break with the past, Wikipedia and Wikipedians are actually part of a long tradition of "obsessive compilers" that created "not just encyclopedias, but dictionaries, medical texts, histories, and even object collections, such as herbaria". Loveland and Reagle note a commonality between the methods used to build Wikipedia and various "encyclopedias of old":
... the process of building upon existing work bit by bit, or what the authors call "stigmergic accumulation." Now, that's a mouthful, but it's also a great metaphor. "Stigmergy," they write, describes "how wasps and termites collectively build complex structures by adding to the product of previous work rather than by communicating directly among themselves."
Piracy and other types of "borrowing" in such endeavours were common. Ephraim Chambers' 1728 Cyclopaedia "borrowed heavily from the Dictionnaire de Trevoux," and in turn was reprinted in full by Scottish "pirates". Chambers himself confessed that the Cyclopaedia contained "little ... new, and of my own growth."
Men like Chambers were always a bit author, a bit compiler, a bit borrower, a bit editor. If Wikipedia complicates the notion of "authorship," it's not as though that notion were ever simple to begin with.
Even Wikipedia's open ideology has antecedents during this period. Diderot announced that people were free to reuse the art from his Encyclopedie—"a stance," the authors note, "probably meant to justify his and his colleagues' appropriation of illustrations from the 'Description des arts et metiers.'"
Wikipedia's collaborative approach, too, is really a function of the size of the task, and has its precedents in previous projects of comparable magnitude. Something very much like a crowdsourcing approach was used to compile the Oxford English Dictionary for example. Thousands of people contributed to the effort, sending in slips of paper noting words in their context. Diderot's and d'Alembert's encyclopedia had over 140 different contributors.
Wild East: A 28 January 2013 press release hosted for example on the Wall Street Journal"Market Watch" website and the website of the Sacramento Bee warns that "Russian business conflicts spill over into Wikipedia". The press release says the story originally appeared in Wild East, "a business conflicts blog published by Russia! Magazine". It essentially reports on the actions of a single editor in the Russian Wikipedia who appears to be editing in favour of one side in a high-profile dispute involving a Russian cement company.
Interview with Sue Gardner: Kai Ryssdal interviewed Wikimedia executive director Sue Gardner for American Public Media on 31 January 2013. The conversation touched on similarities between public radio and Wikipedia, the success of the most recent Wikimedia fundraiser, the lack of minority representation in Wikipedia, the gender gap, the unlikelihood of the site's ever featuring advertising, and Wikipedia's accuracy.
Wikipedia reaches 3 billion monthly mobile views amid concerns about contributor content: An article in the International Business Times on 2 February 2013 reported that January 2013 was the first month in which Wikipedia had more than three billion mobile page views. "14.5 percent of Wikipedia page views now are to the mobile site, up from 9.9 percent a year ago," Amit Kapoor, Wikimedia’s senior manager of mobile partnerships, explained. "Mobile page views rose over 75 percent in 2012, while desktop traffic grew at just under 20 percent. It is clear that much of Wikipedia’s growth is happening on mobile." The article contrasted the growth of Wikipedia's readership with the ongoing erosion of Wikipedia's editor base, and its lack of diversity.
Wikipedia aims for billion users with mobile spread: In a related story, multiplenewsoutlets are reporting that Wikipedia hopes to double its reach to around one billion users on the back of mobile phone expansion in the developing world. But according to Wikimedia press spokesman Jay Walsh, mobile phones as a tool to access Wikipedia have a downside—"the constraints of the mobile phone as a tool for editing remain a big hurdle."
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