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 with...how 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..."

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,

Lori

7 comments:

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.

Deena & Eric Down Under 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........

raincoaster said...

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

Lori said...

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

@raincoaster
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...

@Joshua
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!