Friday, February 09, 2007


A week or so ago, someone tried to use Wikipedia to coin a new word, 'wittertainment'. The entry began as follows:

Wittertainment is a term inspired by the ‘Good Doctor’ Mark Kermode's film reviews on Simon Mayo's BBC Radio Five Live show.

Suggested usage: “Wittertainment at its most wittertaining”

In a nutshell, provoked into ranting by the urbane and erudite, Mayo, a perfect foil for the discontemparily-coiffed (sic), Kermode.

Now, Wikipedia policy forbids the coining of new words, and requires the citing of sources, so the Wittertainment article was deleted ( However, the Wittertainment entry was read out on last Friday's film review slot, and this fact was added to the Wikipedia entry prior to deletion. This means that the entry acquired a source, even if the origin of the source was circular. This begs the question of whether Wikipedia entries could be self-generating. If 'wittertainment' enters general usage because of the Wikipedia entry, then the entry will have to be restored, and will become a self-generating encyclopedia article.


Anonymous said...

'Wittertainment' is not a nice word. It doesn't trip off the tongue really, does it? As for the notion of Wikipedia becoming a self-generating encyclopedia, surely if that kind of thing started it would no longer be an encyclopedia. It would become something else entirely. I don't know, some form of... wittertainment!

Unknown said...

'Wittertainment' describes the original radio show perfectly.

I don't think it is that bad a word