Monday, June 29, 2009

Where, oh where, has credibility gone?!?

I apologize off the bat for the extraneous punctuation in the above sentence, but I'm trying to express my absolute disillusionment shall I put this?

I'm disillusioned with the people in my workplace whose role it is to guide me...the people who are paid the big bucks to know more than I do. Do I covet their jobs? Good question. Up until today, not really. Oh, down the road maybe, but I'm happy with my responsibility load.

After today, I know I'll be applying to join their ranks the first chance I get.

"But," I hear you ask, "What happened today that changed your mind?"

One word, a neologism of this new Internet age actually, tucked glaringly in a sentence of official government guidance for me to refer to in my day-to-day work: "According to Wikipedia..."


Since when does a person who is paid to be a credible source of government policy guidance turn to Wikipedia for a definition of a word?

This is wrong in so many ways, I don't know where to begin...except to want to shout "Buy a dictionary!"

In frustration,



The Nag said...

Went through something similar in a previous job. A person hired to draft the curriculum for a new academic program lifted it almost verbatim from Wikipedia and wasn't ashamed to say so.

Lori said...

Wow. You win. That would have had me quitting in disgust.

Anonymous said...

As far as using Wikipedia goes to simply find the definition of a word - oh, well....... There are worse resources (yes, there are BETTER resources but lazy is as lazy does).

Now; if we are talking about using Wikipedia to glean an understanding of a concept - them's fighting words lady........

Anonymous said...

Dictionaries are an expression and tool of the bourgeois hegemony of the Authority-Industrial Complex!

Lori said...

It's just that I don't want proof that the people I'm to turn to for guidance on policy are lazy!

Sure, but that's why I like 'em -- not ever prole can add his/her two cents worth!

Joshua said...

Actually, using Wikipedia for a word definition (assuming the relevant article is stable) isn't so unreasonable. Word definitions are to some extent decided by popular consensus and Wikipedia may do a decent job reflecting that consensus.

Lori said...

Thanks for the comment...I'm a linguist by study (not trade), so I'm with you -- all dictionary definitions are based on actual usage...but I would draw the line at referencing Wikipedia, which is notoriously inaccurate (at times) in official government or business policy. I don't care where you got your definition, but if the source isn't credible, don't cite it. I know that's hypocritical -- but geez, think a little of your audience!