Talk:The Book of General Ignorance

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Former good article nominee The Book of General Ignorance was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 21, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
August 6, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
WikiProject Comedy (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
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Teenspoint review[edit]

Is a small review by notable enough to be placed in the comments and criticism section? Is it spam? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

GA failed[edit]

I feel that the article is quite a way from being ready for GA.

  • Comprehensiveness - In short, the article is really almost too short to qualify. It needs more information about the success of the book - publication numbers, contracts with publishers, how the two authors met each other and began their partnership...How big and comprehensive is the book? Also you say it is based on the TV show -> please discuss the TV show as a background
  • Lead - The lead is supposed to recap the main body. At the monent it tells us new stuff that is not in the main body and not expanded upon. Please see WP:LEAD
  • There is very little main body except for the examples and the quotes of two pundits. How do we know that most people are positive when you have only cited one pro and on anti- pundit?
  • 3000 chars mainspace and a lot of this are quotes and so forth. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 07:59, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Just the sources at present have a fair bit more info for you to work with. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 07:58, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

How about now, with far more reviews, a more comprehensive article, and a fairly clear explanation of how Lloyd and Mitchinson are involved? :o) ntnon (talk) 20:17, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Not quite. There are some things which can still be improved. For starters, not all of the quotes needed to be indented. Only large quotes really need this. Also, it may be a good idea to change the "Nit-picking" subheading, as this might be thought to be POV. Also, the introduction should be expanded and referenced. ISD (talk) 08:20, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
How's that, then? :o) ntnon (talk) 20:25, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Seems good enough to me. ISD (talk) 21:52, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Not 100% reliable[edit]

This article should probably mention the fact that some statements in the book are unreliable, being either merely misleading or plain untrue. To give just one example, the section on page 130 (Faber&Faber, London, 2006) How many words do Eskimos have for snow? answers this "No more than four." However as stated in many web articles on this vexed question, called "ESV" (Eskimo Snow Vocabulary), there are in fact quite large numbers of words for various kinds of snow in various languages spoken by peoples who come within the category called in English "Eskimo". A book called "The Meaning of Tingo" by one Adam Jacot de Boinod, who in fact previously worked in the team behind The Book of General Ignorance, lists (page 166) more than 50 examples of snow vocabulary. Admittedly, when one reads the full article on pp.130..131 in The Book of General Ignorance, the short answer is explained at some length, and this boils down to "it depends what you mean by 'words for snow'"; but the book's customary style of provocatively unexpected answers, which are then supposedly justified by sometimes quite lengthy — but sometimes also rather dubious — arguments, leads to quite a lot of these initial answers being not only provocatively unexpected but potentially misleading, and in my opinion semantically contentious. That is, one could argue at great length about whether the particular interpretation of the question, and the interpretation of the relevant facts, that gives rise to the short answer offered are really valid. I realize that for such a comment not to be classified as original research it would have to be supported by reference to some authority who expressed this kind of doubt. I guess I cannot provide such comment myself, even elsewhere, under wiki rules; so I leave the above comment simply for others to consider.

Well if you are able to provide some sources to prove your claims, then they can be posted. ISD 13:57, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Some claims in the book have certainly been refuted. However, the claim concerning the number of words for snow is not the best example. The research for that section was provided by a lecturer in linguistics who specialises in and is well versed in the language of inuktitut. If there is to be a section about inaccurate claims then the claim that Earth has more than one moon should be the priority since it has been accepted by the researchers that this is false. Although finding a source to refute the claim maybe more difficult.Grizzlyqi 16:13, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

There are several wrong claims, possibly the easiest one to proove would be the one about the 'Smashing Orangy Bit' in Jaffa cakes being flavoured with apricot and containing no Oranges. Simply looking on the ingredients of a packet tells you that it contains Concentrated Orange Juice, with no mention of Apricots whatsoever. Philman132 (talk) 16:30, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Well, if you want to let QI know about it youself, you can email them at the QI Qibble Blog. ISD (talk) 17:48, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Tallest Mountain[edit]

I removed this:

Even then, the QI team is not infallible - since is has subsequently been noted that measuring from a starting point on the sea bed reveals not Mauna Kae, but Mount Lamlam (on Guam) as the higher peak: 37172 ft. as measured from its base in the Marianas Trench.

because there was no reference, and I found this page refuting it.--Angelastic (talk) 13:27, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Youkay / Youess differences?[edit]

I possess a copy of the US edition, and have never seen the British one.

For somebody such as myself who's outside both Britain and the US, the book seems to spend a disproportionate amount of space on British examples; for example, its discussion of earthquake magnitude spends a sentence or more on Britain's piddling little earthquakes.

However, this is to be expected: It's a book by British people that was first published for British people and was adapted from a TV series broadcast in Britain.

What does surprise me is the disproportionate amount of space devoted to US examples (much more than to British). Also, the use of olde-worlde units of measurement for all that isn't strictly "scientific" (I know many Brits are half-hearted about metrication, but all the talk about how the earth's core starts so many miles under the surface, etc etc, surprises me). Both seem more US than British. This in turn suggests to me that the US edition has been extensively reworked to suit the US palate.

I'm just guessing here. Does anyone have copies of both editions and know? -- Hoary (talk) 04:01, 25 May 2008 (UTC)