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Humor needs indicators[edit]

Humor that is counter to the truth or verifiability of an article used in Wikipedia requires clear and concise indicators. Many editor and administrator hours have been spent resolving disputes where humor has been used intentionally, or used as an excuse (backpaddle) to circumvent the complaint against the editor making the text edit. Text can be marked inline with {{april fools}} or {{sarcasm}}. Complete articles or sections can be marked with indicators before lead paragraphs or under the section header such as {{humor}}. Sarcasm following these methods can avoid many disagreements from escalating and save much WP:ANI and editor time. Humor, used inappropriately without clear and concise indicators, can and often does result in blocks or other corrective actions against editors.

Humor in articles[edit]

There is no clear consensus as to when and how humor should be included in articles.

If humorous content is included in an article, it must be done in such a way as to meet all the usual article requirements, including:

Writing an article about humor or humorous subjects is not the same as adding humor to an article. One can write "dry" articles on humor, should that be considered appropriate. This concept is somewhat analogous to the style guidelines for writing about fiction.

How humor can be included[edit]

  • When a humorous work on a subject has attracted enough attention to be verifiable in reliable sources, it can be appropriate to reference that work on the page for the subject it is written about. For example, whereas an article in The Onion might not be an acceptable source/reference to use to add a humorous observation to a page, if an article in The Onion attracts outside attention, such as [1], then the humorous article can be mentioned, using the source written about it.

Humor outside of articles[edit]

Humor is the grease of communications. – Unknown

Outside of the encyclopedic content, humor is often seen on Wikipedia pages. The primary purpose of project namespace and similar pages is to coordinate the mission – the building of the encyclopedia – but being a human community, humor often appears as well.

Humor can appear in many different ways, with considerable overlap. These ways include:

  • Sometimes Wikipedians just highlight the humor (in articles or otherwise), without intending to criticize at all. For example, Wikipedia:Unusual articles, which generally considers the humorous nature of the listed articles to be a positive thing.
  • Humor is often used in attempts to "lighten the mood" in an active discussion, with varying degrees of success and failure.
  • Irony is often used to illustrate a point. For example, the essay "Sarcasm is really helpful" never deviates from its title premise, but is very much arguing against the reckless use of sarcasm.
  • Humor is sometimes used to illustrate a point without irony. For example, the list of the Lamest Edit Wars may serve to curtail edit wars by providing examples of just how absurd they can become.
  • Wikipedians often make jokes about the Wikipedia community, and/or which are intended for the Wikipedian community. These may sometimes qualify as "in-jokes", as without community experience, the humor will be lessened or lost.
  • Wikipedians sometimes voice the opinion that Wikipedias are taking a given issue too seriously, and will create "spoofs" of the issue, which many find humorous.

Humor tends to be very subjective. One should remain aware that what one finds hilarious, another may be offended by it. The use of humor does not override such core policies as Civility and No Personal Attacks.

Many pages which at least some Wikipedians found funny have been categorized into Category:Wikipedia humor.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]