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How reliable do you find Wikipedia ?
Poll ended at Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:30 am
100 % - it's Always Right 10%  10%  [ 1 ]
Interesting, but should be checked carefully 60%  60%  [ 6 ]
OK for general reference, but not reliable 30%  30%  [ 3 ]
Especially suspect for any Political information 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Never would even look there for meaningful data 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 10
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 Post subject: Wikipedia
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:30 am 
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Schoolchildren told to avoid Wikipedia
Exams watchdog: Not 'authoritative or accurate,' in some cases 'completely untrue'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/69 ... pedia.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:57 am 
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Well, it can be useful for general information, but you have to be careful because it is too easy to edit the information. One could go right now and edit the xbox 360 page, clearing everything out and having in huge letters, "waste of money", "garbage", "monopoly", etc.


Not saying you should. No, no. Big one.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Wikipedia is one of the better AIO free info sources. But it should have better security as to input or editing! Only registered members or contributors should have access to changing the pages!
The site does have a lot of authentic and verified info, if you note references and footnotes. There also may be a marker cautioning that the info may not be totally accurate. I would not say "100% on" at all pages, but for most, yes. And in general terms so that all can research their needs.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:55 pm 
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I use the library.

True, though. I have caught several errors by well-intentioned, but misinformed writers. Overall though, it's a good general reference for quickie "how do I do this" thing.

"The greatest thing about Wikipedia is you can quote something, and totall make up the source" - George Washington

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:16 am 
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Please remember that Wikipedia articles are written by Mr Joe Average Public and not experts.

Therefore articles are often wrong and misleading.

Wikipedia is like using a dictionary, use it if you have some idea of what you are reading, but if you have no clue at all then steer clear.

Therefore my vote is: "OK for general reference, but not reliable".


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:20 pm 
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MrG wrote:
Please remember that Wikipedia articles are written by Mr Joe Average Public and not experts.

Not true as a general rule. Many reference articles are posted by engineers and professional sources. Some articles have extensive footnote listings and reference notes plus links to other related articles.
Best to use common sense with all research, whatever the field.
Learned individuals from similar fields do review the postings, and are allowed to note that the article may not be in whole truth.. lacking references or specific facts. WIKI does have a review board, acting like proof readers at newsprint plants.. and can close any reference article they deem improper.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:35 am 
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I trust wikipedia with my life on any page that isn't a hot topic. Like maybe the article on Carbon.

For grade school use I would say wikipedia is 100% reliable. For college use I would say maybe 20% reliable. It really depends on what you're writing about.

Another important note, who remembers anything they wrote papers on in grade school anyway? My biggest paper was 20 pages in 8th grade about the USSR. Yeah, I'll be using that some time soon.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:41 pm 
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Also, another tell-tale sign that it might not be 100% accurate is words that should be one word are two (or vice versa).
Like boxcar, cannot, chipset, half-life (that's a stretch though)


I noticed the "chipset" one when I was doing a review for my IT class. Forget the article, but they kept on spelling it "chip set." Yes, I know, it's literally a bunch of chips, but gramatically, it's one word.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:38 am 
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At least the main article has it correct:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipset

and google doesn't automatically correct you either:
http://www.google.com/search?q=chip+set


Personally I feel can not is the correct term, cannot is a corrupted version that has gained popularity ;)

edit: ooh, found a good explanation on that one word:
Quote:
#

The two forms mean the same thing, so we should just pick one and use it.

The point of grammar is to make sense, and making "cannot vs. can not" an either-or situation ignores the logic of the words themselves. They are two different forms, and therefore necessarily mean different things. "Cannot" means it cannot happen at all. There isn't a "can" option to contrast to it. I cannot go back in time, for example. The reason we don't have an equivalent "shouldnot" or "mightnot" is because the essence of should and might doesn't lend itself to this option. "Can," though, readily implies its absolute opposite.

"Can not" means it might happen; it can happen, or it can not happen. I can not post this comment if I choose. If you might not do a thing, then you can choose not to do it. So a person can say, with perfect consistency, "I can not do that, therefore I might not do that."

The very fact there is such a debate over this should be taken as a symptom that there's a problem with the either-or scenario. It simply doesn't make sense to restrict the language artificially, in order to force an illogical rule (whichever rule you learned). If it doesn't make sense, it's not good grammar.


http://alexfiles.com/cannot.shtml

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Similarly, the words "have" and "got" all too often become misused together! Yet the most glaring grammar mistake is the use of the ' or apostrophe, being misplaced as to singular possessive, plural possessive or just plural!

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