User:The Literate Engineer

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Regarding my user name, I am not licensed to practice engineering in any nation, state, province, territory, or other legal jurisdiction. I am not a licensed Professional Engineer or its equivalent in another jurisdiction, I do not claim to be such, and I neither offer my services as an engineer nor practice engineering except under the supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer. I am a certified Engineer Intern in the State of Tennessee; that certification is transferable and valid in any other U.S. state.

I am literate, but only in English (and to a slight extent Spanish). I don't speak as many languages as I'd like to.

I don't contribute to Wikipedia very much anymore. I have reasons for that.

# Of Times This Page Vandalized Since I Joined Wikipedia on May 29, 2005: 4±1 <---Hah! Think you can outsmart me on my own vandalism counter, do you? -TLE

My favorite page in the Wikipedia namespace? WP:DEP. Pages listed there always need improvement, and a few minutes work building the web improves the entire encyclopedia, not to mention the article in question.

My second-favorite? WP:CSBOT It's more important than the Dead-End Pages list, actually, but the improvements are harder to make.

I'm #157!.

Articles I've Started[edit]

Freeway service patrol * D. A. Clarke * Martha McCaughey * Rape culture * USS Charrette (DD-581) * Cangas del Narcea * Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Lists of songs * DeShaney v. Winnebago County * lost time

Articles I've Made A Substantial Rewrite To Or Otherwise Heavily Influenced (saved from deletion, added a subsection, etc.)[edit]

Highway Emergency Response Operators * shephali (got to clear a wikify tag!) * Architect Registration Exam * Gu Long (got WP:CSB credit for this one!)* Richard Haas * Epidemic Intelligence Service * Gordon Gee * Alberto Gonzales * Intersectionality * Manganism * Don McPherson * Castle Rock v. Gonzales * War Risk Insurance Act

Requested Articles I Intend To Start If Nobody Beats Me To It[edit]

None, at the moment.

My Approach to AFD[edit]

  1. I am vehemently opposed to lists as articles. My belief is that there is no place on Wikipedia for any "List of..." articles. Any worthwhile list can and must be folded into a pre-existing legitimate article. Otherwise all lists are to be deleted, although a few are worthy of reincarnation as categories. I've yet to encounter the exception to this rule.
  2. Everything has its place. For some information, that's in an encyclopedia. For other things, it's in a thesaurus or in a dictionary. Never should these be mixed.
  3. Being "useful" is insufficient to justify an entry's existence.
  4. I believe Sturgeon's Revelation is inaccurate because it leaves out a key phrase: "at least". At least 90% of everything is crap, thus at least 90% of everything is unworthy of inclusion in any encyclopedia, Wikipedia included.
  5. Regarding original research, I have access to a university library, including a couple thousand scholarly journals in electronic (and searchable) form. I have neither the time nor inclination to search all of them (even all the relevant ones) for something I suspect is original research. Generally, I'll search 3-5 topical journals. If I don't get a result, I vote delete. Obviously, this only applies to fields of knowledge for which there exist relevant journals. There's also a bunch of databases I can search, like Lexis-Nexis for instance.
  6. All lists are listcruft. All lists must be deleted. Repetition that's worth making.
  7. WP:NOT. At some point, I'm going to have it memorized, I fear.

I believe in Wiki-Hell.

I believe that we who write and contribute to articles as editors are not writers of articles, but ranchers (or farmers, or gardners, or your preference of agricultural professional). And as with any agricultural endeavor, a great deal of weeding and culling is necessary.

In short, I'm a deletionist.

Some Thoughts About Grammar[edit]

While I loathe prescriptive grammar, I'm a big stickler for getting people to distinguish between it's and its and I get livid with people who use quotation marks for emphasis (see Scare quotes). See, with prescriptive grammar, the problem's that word order determines sentence meaning, and so saying that the mission of the Starship Enterprise was "boldly to go" is entirely different from saying it was "to boldly go". The problem with screwing up it's and its is that they're two totally different words.

About Infinitives And The Splitting Thereof[edit]

Let me delve into further detail about the infinitives. Keeping the famed Star Trek example, we have three possible sentences:

  1. The mission of the Starship Enterprise was boldly to go.
  2. The mission of the Starship Enterprise was to boldly go.
  3. The mission of the Starship Enterprise was to go boldly.

Now, why are these three distinct sentences?

  • The first applies boldly to the entirety of "to go", meaning that the decision to go is what's bold. It's approximately synonymous with, "The bold mission of the Starship Enterprise was to go."
  • The second applies boldly only to the word "go", meaning that the going is to be done in a bold way. It's exactly synonymous with, "The mission of the Starship Enterprise was to go in a bold manner."
  • The third applies boldly not to the infinitive at all, but to the Starship Enterprise, meaning that the going is to be done with a bold attitude. It's almost exactly synonymous with, "The mission of the Starship Enterprise was to be bold while going."

About "people" who use quotation marks to emphasize things[edit]

As for the quotation marks for emphasis, I'm going to quote what I once read on a livejournal:

There are two acceptable times to use quotation marks.

  • ONE. When you are directly quoting someone, as in:

Shiny turned to Sunny and said, "Dude, our names SUCK."

  • TWO. Using them in an absurdly wrong place as a means of making a mockery of someone/thing. As in:

"Jennifer" had AWFUL tapered leg jeans on yesterday. (As if to say, "Yes, allegedly, her name is Jennifer, but those jeans render her completely useless and unworthy of officially having a name.) COROLLARY: The above rules also apply to those stupid hand quotation marks. In fact, I amend the above rules in the case of SHQs to state that one can ONLY use SHQs in joking/mocking situations.

This is a Wikipedia user page.

If you find this page on any site other than Wikipedia, you are viewing a mirror site. Be aware that the page may be outdated, and that the user this page belongs to may have no personal affiliation with any site other than Wikipedia itself. The original page is located at

Wikimedia Foundation

About that whole "licensing" thing & the GFDL: I don't understand it. At all. But I don't particularly like mirror sites and I don't approve of them.