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Re: Reviving Wikipedia:Conlangs

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Saturday, January 26, 2008, 4:36
Sai Emrys wrote:

> By extension, it is assumed that all conlangs or conlang related > resources that are primarily known only within the community and > online are by definition non-notable and thus should be deleted... > which, let's be honest, is pretty much all of it, given that the 'net > is our primary means of communication these days.
The problem is the idea of "notability" is not well defined. So how does it make any sense to say that anything is "by definition" non-notable? So much writing happens online these days (blogging, etc) that the online nature of most conlanging activities isn't that unusual any more. I can see not wanting to flood Wikipedia with articles that no one has much use for, but many conlangs could be referenced in a summary page. Wikipedia has a bunch of those already for things like "List of Middle-Earth Elves" or "Minor Harry Potter Characters". You could make the case that most conlangs (I'd include my own in that category) are not inherently notable. But the few that may have been mentioned on paper in a news article or academic journal aren't necessarily the best examples of conlangs for someone who might be interested in learning about the subject.
> As far as I can tell there are only really three options (which are > not entirely exclusive): > > 1. Remove notability as a guideline, either generally or specifically, > in favor of type > criteria. Would be difficult, given the current trend towards > deletionism.
Anything that involves modifying Wikipedia's guidelines doesn't seem likely to succeed.
> 2. Abandon Wikipedia as a place to have conlangs discussed when they > don't meet notability criteria, in favor of documentation on a > conlang-centric forum and focusing on a small number of high quality > omnibus articles (e.g. on each genre of conlang and on the handful of > most notable examples that have gotten press). *
If more time is spent arguing about whether something is notable than actually writing about it, there doesn't seem to be much point in using Wikipedia. Let the Wikipedia regulars write about whatever conlangs interest them. But there is certainly room for all sorts of articles on Wikipedia that have a very limited audience, and there ought to be Wikipedia articles that cover the basics of conlanging and link to prominent conlang-related sites.
> 3. Make conlangs both notable and verifiable, by publishing academic, > peer-reviewed articles in a conlang-centric journal. *
On the other hand, just because something is published doesn't make it notable. Verifiable, certainly, but so much is published that it can't all be notable. Given the nature of Wikipedia, having a verifiable source for information about conlangs would certainly be a step in the right direction, but what we really need is a set of guidelines for what makes a conlang notable enough to mention. Is it well documented? Has it reached a certain level of stability? How much text has been written in it? Etc.
> I'd like to hear any other proposals of course, if you have an idea > for a way that would be stable. > > Comments? Which should we do? > > - Sai ** > > * These two will be elaborated on in separate threads, so here please > confine discussion to the 'what should we do about wikipedia' aspect. > ** I am writing as myself-personally, not as an LCS representative. > When I do the latter, I always sign with my LCS title.


Sai Emrys <sai@...>