|This page in a nutshell: Articles that are obviously false are complete bollocks and should be treated differently from similar articles.|
The policies of Wikipedia state that articles must be verifiable and stated from a neutral point of view. This strongly implies that they must also be true. Sometimes, articles arrive at articles for deletion which have only the most tenuous connection to reality: they are, to use a British term, complete bollocks.
Identifying complete bollocks
Some giveaway signs of complete bollocks are phrases such as emerging theory and widely disputed. Articles puffing non-notable websites are often complete bollocks or in other terms "bullshit", in that they make wholly spurious claims to notability (e.g. claiming to have originated some new process, neologism or phenomenon which is either not verifiably existent or, conversely, blindingly obvious). These articles very often start with the name of the site, properly capitalized, as a link. Whereas Geogre's Law posits incorrect capitalization as a hallmark of vanity in biographies, abundant capitalization and/or trademark signs (sometimes linked at every single instance) is often a hallmark of complete bollocks in articles about websites.
A confirmatory sign of complete bollocks is a set of circular articles, or a self-contained nest of articles, such as three articles that only reference each other and are themselves composed of nonsense, particularly if the set is started by one author or a set of authors (or IP addresses) who all contribute to the same set of articles. In wiki parlance this is a walled garden.
Probably the most prolific source of complete bollocks is the bored student fraternity. As Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day. Not all of this, however, is complete bollocks: some of it will have to be subjected to a deletion process before it is finally removed. There is no shortage of bad ideas for articles, and some of them elevate themselves to the giddy heights of really stupid ideas for articles. It's this latter category which is likely to be complete bollocks.,
The art thereof
Consider these deathless lines by Charles Battell Loomis:
- A Classic Ode
- Oh, limpid stream of Tyrus, now I hear
The pulsing wings of Armageddon's host,
Clear as a colcothar and yet more clear--
(Twin orbs, like those of which the Parsees boast;)
- Down in thy pebbled deeps in early spring
The dimpled naiads sport, as in the time
When Ocidelus with untiring wing
Drave teams of prancing tigers, 'mid the chime
- Of all the bells of Phicol. Scarcely one
Peristome veils its beauties now, but then--
Like nascent diamonds, sparkling in the sun,
Or sainfoin, circinate, or moss in marshy fen.
- Loud as the blasts of Tubal, loud and strong,
Sweet as the songs of Sappho, aye more sweet;
Long as the spear of Arnon, twice as long,
What time he hurled it at King Pharaoh's feet.
As Douglas Hofstadter has pointed out, the archaizing language and the mix of classical and Biblical allusions all lend authority to this poem. A reader may read it, and re-read it: there must be some meaning there, it seems so serious in tone and intention. Further study will bring it to light. Good luck!
After you have figured out the poem, consider the following:
- Problems in a business process may arise in three places:
- Problems in a business process may moreover be classified into two separate categories:
- the monogenetic problem, in which a single cause intervenes in the process, and
- the polygenetic problem, in which several different causes intervene, either simultaneously, concurrently, or serially.
The reader is challenged by this section to identify what he has learned from the text that was not already known, or could not have been thought up by a mind gifted with sufficient leisure and vocabulary. Pay careful heed to the bolded terms, with their Greek letters and classical compounds. The presence of Greek letters is a sure indication of mathematical rigor, and classical compounds indicate that science is at play here. If there is an exam with this course, be assured that the student will be expected to repeat these terms and their given definitions. The tone assures the reader that a great deal of research, or at least logic, backs up the assertion that the causes of a polygenetic problem will intervene either simultaneously, concurrently, or serially.
The wisdom thereof
- He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.
- — Attributed to Abraham Lincoln
- One thing you will note about shopping-center theory is that you could have thought of it yourself, and a course in it will go a long way toward dispelling the notion that business proceeds from mysteries too recondite for you and me.
- Ow! My groin.
- Roughly translates to "complete nonsense" in other dialects, but is stronger in tone.
- See The Journal of Consulting Stylistics, vol. 37, p. 202 (Summer, 2006)
- See The Compendious and Voluminous Thesaurus of Lofty Abstractions and Metaphysical Terminology, by Grignr.