User:Epicgenius/Things to avoid while editing
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a list of things to avoid while editing.
|Manual of Style (MoS)|
- Weasel wording: "It is widely agreed that ZitRemedy was one of the most important and influential rock bands of the 1980s."
- Research shows that the band played as an opening act for a few tours of B-level hard rock bands in the US midwest and Northern England in 1981 and 1982, and disbanded in 1983.
- Peacock wording: "Jane Doe was a legendary and world-famous ocarina player from Rockland, Maryland"
- Show it with sourced facts, don't just make vague claims. If she was so "legendary" and "world-famous", she should have achievements, awards, and excellent published reviews in the Ocarina Player Magazine to show for it.
- "John Smith, an award-winning author..."
- Making a vague, unspecified refernce to "awards" is promo-kit fluff...merely having ANY award is not relevant! If an author's award is a $10 gift certificate awarded at the Albany Amateur Authors Reading Circle", a group of buddies who meet to chat about their writing, this is not a notable, respected award.
- Puffery: "In the 1990s, the rock band ZitRemedy shared the stage with the Rolling Stones and the Who, and worked with Sting and Diana Ross."
- "Shared the stage" is a widely used smokescreen to puff up a band. More research sometimes reveals that ZitRemedy in fact played as an unpaid warm-up act at 1 PM at a festival stage, where the Rolling Stones and the Who played at 10 PM, nine hours later. And the "worked with Sting and Diana Ross" was in fact when they were jamming onstage at a charity telethon where there were 100s of musicians and singers, and Sting and Diana Ross did a 3-minute walk-on at the end of the night!
- Fluff: "ZitRemedy's tireless touring through midwestern hotspots and their legendary stage shows have made them the go-to group for the hottie-hipster set."
- While I find fluff slightly less objectionable than puffery, since it is not attempting to deceive the reader, it is still a problem. Why? Because it doesn't really say anything useful, meaningful, or verifiable. It is the type of light, breezy writing used in promotional press kits, album cover "blurbs", or poorly-written music reviews, the opposite of the factual, neutral writing style expected in an encyclopedia.
- "The seminal 1983 "BloodDemonSplatter" EP by the legendary Albany death metal band DarkWarriors of Zerxes became a classic of the genre, which had a wide influence on the development of death metal" (no sources cited)
- The words "seminal", "legendary", and "classic" are so overused in Wikipedia music articles! I believe the word "seminal" should only be used with a source, because every fan thinks that their favorite band's debut LP is the "seminal" record in the genre...the words "legendary" and "classic" should not appear in music articles unless they are in a quote by a music critic or music journalist...every fan views their favourite performer as "legendary", and thinks that their favourite song is a "classic"! : )
- Self-promotion: "John Doe is one of the top 3-string banjo repairers in North America. Leading international banjo stars have praised the quality and beauty of his repair work. More information on how to ship your banjo to this legendary repairman, on pricing, or on services is available at John_Doe_Legendary_Banjo_Repair.czm, or at my phone number BAN-JO4U."...
- Wikipedia is not a free advertising service!
- Excessively detailed plot summaries: In some articles about action movies, some editors provide a detailed account of every scene, rather than giving an overview of the plot. Instead of getting the "big picture" (e.g., "Rambo overpowers the sentries and makes his way to the fortress"), we hear reams of detail about every weapon that is used, every shot that is fired, every clip of ammo that is loaded, every twist and turn, and about the gory demise of every anonymous ski-masked villain.