No true Scotsman on Wiki

From Wiki [emphasis mine]:

Huh? :confused:

Am I missing something? Or has a vandal altered this paragraph?

Vandalism. Fixed.

ETA: It’s Wikipedia. Wiki is a general term for a type of website. I have a wiki of my own, for example. You can’t just call Wikipedia wiki; it’s ambiguous.

Sure, I can. Everybody knows what is meant.

No true Scotsman would call Wikipedia wiki! :smiley:

You’re fighting a losing battle with this one.

I don’t know what you mean and I’m somebody. If you were talking about a car you couldn’t assume everyone knew you meant a Ford Taurus.

Wiki and Wikipedia are separate concepts.

If I said I drove a Taurus, most people would understand that I did not drive an astrological sign.

As engineer_comp_geek says, you’re fighting a losing battle. Did you put something in the ‘microwave’? Or did you put it in the microwave oven?

If you use the term wiki, you could be referring to any wiki. There is no reason anyone would assume you mean Wikipedia unless you give some indication what you are talking about (like posting a link, as you did). No one who understood the difference would use the terms interchangeably, and I can’t comprehend how it’s a “losing battle” to point this out. Isn’t this board supposed to be about fighting ignorance?

Your example with a Taurus isn’t the same. You can’t drive an astrological sign, but you can put information in lots of different wikis. You could be talking about Conservapedia for all your readers know. And microwave is a common shorthand for microwave oven. Not the same thing at all.

It’s about respect for your readers. If you want people to know what you’re talking about, then say what you’re talking about. Wiki isn’t an accepted or commonly used shorthand for Wikipedia. They are distinct concepts that can’t be conflated.

Also, the edit that added “I’m gay” to that Wikipedia article was the first one in the history. It’d have taken you less than a minute to check that and revert it yourself.

It’s exactly the same thing. Wiki is a common shorthand for Wikipedia.

Yes, it is. I take it you’re a ‘Wikipedian’, so you may have a different perspective. But most people aren’t, and the shorthand is valid.

Pure coincidence. Since the history page does not state what changes are made unless the author states the reason for the edit, there is no way (that I know of) to find a specific edit. And it fact, I did check a few edits. It just happened that there was no specific reason to check the first one.

Thanks for changing it, as I wasn’t sure if it was vandalism or if I was missing something. But you’re being a bit pedantic. Nothing wrong with that. Everyone has a subject or two that brings out pedantry. Since everyone (else) knows that ‘Wiki’ means ‘Wikipedia’, I see no reason not to call it ‘Wiki’.

Not a losing battle – and still one worth fighting. I hate that kind of ambiguity, especially when there are half-a-dozen wikis I deal with on a fairly regular basis.

We’ve already pretty much lost the distinction between an internet and the Internet (I’m guessing less than 10% of Dopers even know what that distinction is, much less use the capital letter “correctly”), and even the manufacturers (who ought to know better) refer to cable “modems.”

But we haven’t lost the wiki/Wikipedia fight yet!

Yeah you have.

Oh, yeah? Well maybe it’s MY turn to be the stickler. What do you think of that? Huh?


What’s wrong with “cable modem”? A modem is a modulator/demodulator, and a cable modem does just that–it modulates the the outgoing message with a carrier signal to be transmitted over a coaxial cable, and demodulates incoming signals. The fact that it uses radio instead of audio frequencies is irrelevant.

I think that the user name I chose 6 years ago is no longer very indicative of my philosophical leanings on the issue of language usage and that while you are free to make the distinction between wiki and wikipedia in your own writings and speech, the majority of english speakers will not care and will use wiki to mean wikipedia. Because no one cares about all the little podunk wikis running around the internet.

OK, I might be shoving my hand into a wasp’s nest here.

All internet users know what you mean when you say “wiki”. Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites on the whole internets.

If my dad says to me “I’m going to the game on Saturday. Let’s go for a beer after. I’ll have my mobile with me”, I don’t reply “Mobile what? Home?” I know he’s talking about a mobile telephone.

Or, let’s say wikipedia is to cow’s milk as wiki is to milk. Sure there are lots of different kinds of milk, but when you just say milk, everyone knows what you mean, and milk of magnesia enthusiasts aren’t complaining. Wikipedia is the big wiki in town, and for any other wiki you’d use a descriptor anyway, so it’s not like there’s potential confusion.

The distinction is important. When Wikileaks did their first big data dump, several folks I know wound up conflating it with Wikipedia.

I really don’t think it’s the majority of English speakers that are making the mistake. Some of the “podunk” wikis that you refer to are very large sites and some (e.g., Wikileaks) have been very much in the news.

I’ve seen people on this board mention looking up lyrics on “wiki” (referring to lyricwiki, as Wikipedia doesn’t do music lyrics), and when I was a very active World of Warcraft player, a lot of people used wowwiki as a primary source of WoW information. I have worked with a trade association that has its own wiki, and members of the association refer to getting something from “the wiki.” Ditto at a company I worked with that had a big wiki on their Intranet. If someone from that company referred to “wiki,” they meant their own, not Wikipedia.

The nickname “wiki” is used for whatever wiki people are most familiar with, or use the most often, which is often not Wikipedia.

In terms of the “No true Scotsman” fallacy, the idea is that Fallacy User makes an absolutist statement regarding some socially acknowledged group of people (Scotsmen, gays, Brooklynites, black people, little girls, blue collar workers, etc.) that, socially, are reasonably well bounded.


John: “All African-Americans like menthol cigarettes!”
BIll: “My friend Alan is African-American, and he hates menthols!”
John: “Well, no true African-American hates them.” (implying that Alan can be excluded from an ethnic classification based on this one data point).

Similar No True Scotsman fallacious arguments:

“No true straight man likes Twilight!” (Implying that liking Twilight somehow inherently makes a man gay or turns him into a woman)

I never said that people only ever refer to wikipedia as wiki. I’m saying trying to get people to not refer to their preferred usercreated encyclopedia as wiki or the act of looking something up on it as wiki’ing is a fool’s errand. For people who find wikileaks or lyricwiki or wowwiki to be an important resource in their internet life, a distinction will be made.