Friday, August 31, 2007

Why I Love Wikipedia

Having had an instant-message discussion with the lovely Mr BC earlier about Falmouth in the Elizabethan era, I was moved to look the place up in that founte of all truthfull knowledge, Ye Wikepaedia.

Joyless people are always going on about how 'the' Wikipedia is scandalously unacademic and untrustworthy and all that, but the sooner you accept that some of it may not be strictly and accurately true, the sooner you can get down to the real business of appreciating its gloriously flawed nature.

Who wants stuffy academia, for example, when you can have lovely bits of user-generated bathos like this:

The name Falmouth comes from the river Fal, which is a Norse/Danish Viking name, strongly suggesting that the Danes used the deep water habour [sic] as a landing/resting place. During the Viking Age, the Danes did ally with the Britons of Cornwall, and the Vikings helped their Cornish allies by making pillaging raids on the South coast of Devon and Dorset, which was then controlled by the Saxons of Wessex, who were historically the enemies of both the Danes and the Britons.

Falmouth is the terminus of the A39, which passes in succession close to the neighbouring town of Penryn.

Which prompts the question: had the Vikings *known* about the A39, would they still have gone round the boaty way?

13 comments:

james henry said...

Depends if it's rush hour from Truro or not, really.

Flirty Something said...

Almost as good as the entry about the Irish town inhabited by werewolfs

james henry said...

LINK PLZ

Smat said...

we're starting a project about the Vikings, so I shall be calling on you for some "expert" information.

patroclus said...

Smat: James is your man for all things Viking-related. I'm more about the Picts. In fact I hope the Picts are going to get a fair and accurate showing in this project, unlike in Time Team.

Smat said...

we'll be covering the Battle of the Bauds where King Indulph defeated the Danish King Eric of the Bloody Axe just south of Portknockie - is that Pictish enough?

patroclus said...

Crikey, those are new names to me. Is that the same as the Battle of Ekkialsbakki, or different? And why is King Indulph not on either of the Pictish King Lists?

Maybe I've been misinformed about the whole thing.

*goes to look it up*

Ah, the Battle of the Bauds was after Pictish times. Therefore no, it isn't nearly Pictish enough!

I'll let you off though. Indulph is quite a good name.

james henry said...

I could probably make a lego diorama of it, if that's any help.

patroclus said...

This thread is getting quite abstruse. I'm off to the shops to buy things I don't need.

Smat said...

yes, Viking Lego - I need some!

Billy said...

I'd like someone to vandalise that Wikipedia entry and rewrite it in Middle English. Or Cornish.

Tim Footman said...

Two gems from Wikiworld that I found recently, although I don't know how long they'll be there:

About former Tory MP George Walden: "In retirement, he writes letters about himself to the Times Literary Supplement."

And about enthusiast for Papuan arsepipe boogie Andy Kershaw: "On 30th August 2007 he was imprisoned for breaking a restraining order after picking up the home of his former partner and attempting to shake it up and down."

james henry said...

Excellent!