2782: Wikipedia Article Titles

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Wikipedia Article Titles
I would never stoop to vandalism, but I'm not above discreetly deleting the occasional 'this article contains excessive amounts of detail' tag.
Title text: I would never stoop to vandalism, but I'm not above discreetly deleting the occasional 'this article contains excessive amounts of detail' tag.


This comic is a chart reflecting where various Wikipedia articles (real or imagined) might rank in how effectively they would act as clickbait for Randall.

Meryl Streep is a famous and widely acclaimed American actor. Randall apparently has little interest in reading about her, comparatively speaking, placing her article on the first tick of eleven, with more interest indicated further down the chart. Randall appears to have slightly more interest in reading about seagulls, on the next tick, which on Wikipedia redirect to the Gull article, because "seagull" is a common colloquial synonym. Two more ticks down from "seagull" on the scale indicating his increasing interest level, he suggests that a hypothetical Wikipedia link to "Meryl Streep (seagull)", which according to Wikipedia article title conventions could likely refer to a notable seagull also named Meryl Streep, would be more interesting to him.

A further three ticks beyond on Randall's interestingness scale is a hypothetical link to an article about a "Meryl Streep Seagull incident", which while possibly not conforming to Wikipedia's current requirements for sufficiently descriptive article titles, might refer to a notable event that occurred during the 2001 production of Anton Chekhov's play, The Seagull, at the Delacorte Theatre in which Streep was a lead actor (see "The Seagull Opens its Wings in Central Park.") According to an August 27, 2001 article in Salon, "a 40-ish man was found dead in the bushes from a single gunshot wound near the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, just yards away from where [Streep's co-star] Philip Seymour Hoffman offs himself with a single gunshot wound every night as Konstantin Gavrilovich in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull." It is more likely that such an article would be about an incident in which a seagull notably caused Meryl Streep problems, or vice-versa, as in the Jimmy Carter rabbit incident, the subject of 204: America, and also referenced in 1688: Map Age Guide and 2086: History Department.

The final imagined Wikipedia page is a disambiguation page, depicted as four ticks further down and thus even more likely to be quickly clicked. Disambiguation pages are only necessary when there are multiple notable articles of sufficiently similar names which must be listed with clarifying details to avoid confusion. In this case, it may indicate that other variations of the aforementioned situations occurred in multiple incidents. A disambiguation page might also be needed to distinguish such an incident from one or more (possibly unrelated) films, books, rock bands, notable pets, or other entities which happen to be named Meryl Streep Seagull Incident. A musical group of that name could conceivably produce a self-titled album and song, further expanding the list of items on the disambiguation page. (The consequences of such a group having some unfortunate run-in with Meryl Streep and/or a seagull are left as an exercise for the reader.) Note, however, that the titles of disambiguation pages (i.e. with the "(disambiguation)" portion visible as it is in the comic) rarely appear in links, as you usually reach them as a result of a search for an ambiguous term such as "go". Note also that disambiguation pages are not articles. The disambiguation page title is depicted as the greatest interest to Randall on the chart; presumably he would wonder how there can be more than one incident in which Meryl Streep and a seagull had some kind of noteworthy interaction.

The title text suggests that Randall is an inclusionist wikipedian, and as such is not above occasionally deleting editorial message boxes claiming that their article contains too much detail.


[A chart is shown with a vertical axis with eleven evenly spaced ticks. There is no arrow on the line but a divided arrow is to the left of the axis pointing down. In the division there is a label. There are five ticks that have labels. Above the chart there is a title in two lines with the top line in larger font:]
Hypothetical Wikipedia Article Titles
Ranked by how quickly I would click on them
Arrow label: More quickly
1st tick: Meryl Streep
2nd tick: Seagull
4th tick: Meryl Streep (seagull)
7th tick: Meryl Streep seagull incident
11th tick: Meryl Streep seagull incident (disambiguation)

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Of course, I had to search for those keywords and found this: Playbill: Bulletin: Meryl Streep in Talks to Do Seagull in Central Park. Couldn't find anything about a Seagull *incident*, however. We may have to wait until the production has completed. Shamino (talk) 13:44, 29 May 2023 (UTC)

Or doesn't happen at all. The incident might be a fight between Streep and someone involved in the production. Barmar (talk) 14:07, 29 May 2023 (UTC)
Whatever happens we need to somehow inject the name "Meyrl Street seagull incident" into the news coverage so that the Wikipedia article can be created. 14:24, 29 May 2023 (UTC)

Ah-HAH! https://www.salon.com/2001/08/27/seagull/ "a 40-ish man was found dead in the bushes from a single gunshot wound near the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, just yards away from where Philip Seymour Hoffman offs himself with a single gunshot wound every night as Konstantin Gavrilovich in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull." (in which Streep was his co-star.) Thanks to ChatGPT-4's WebPilot plug-in, by the way. 17:24, 29 May 2023 (UTC)

Re the transcript: I don't think they're called checkmarks. Tick marks, maybe. 18:00, 29 May 2023 (UTC)

 Done 18:14, 29 May 2023 (UTC)
Well, given that Check mark and (redirected there, anyway) Tick mark don't actually refer to those things, I changed the transcript to use the Graduation (scale) terminology as the best(?) of various such terms that I'd more happily use. Which probably is going to annoy someone else, so maybe expect it to change again... 20:36, 29 May 2023 (UTC)
I did not do this transcript, but I have used the tick marks in numerous transcripts using charts like this. I'm not native English speaker, and there have never been anyone changing it before, and seems like another user also believed tick mark could be used... So it would be nice to find out of it is actually normal to use tick marks for the "ticks" on a graph axis, else there will be 100 of transcripts to fix (as I have been involved in writing most of them). I have never head of the graduation scale terminology...--Kynde (talk) 07:55, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
Quick serach came up with this page using tick marks as I have always done, first after the wiki article on check marks which I have never heard called tick marks before. I will correct back to tick marks --Kynde (talk) 07:56, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
Microsoft refers to them as Tick Marks - don't know whether or not that counts as supporting evidence. 15:39, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
(...not sure MS is an authority, but...) Personally, I read "tick" as a ✓. And "check" is either such a tick or a cross (there's also one with a tick/cross ambiguity, prompting much speculation here about positive/nevative meaning, but I can't recall which that one is right now).
I might accept a "tally" marker (vertically, across x-axis, it 'counts' similarly to "five-barred" tally-marks, without the barring). "Graduation" (Graduierung?) does mean both this and the event of graduating (or undertaking the Eksamen?), but has less semantic overlap than a two-stroke diagonal and a single-stroke perpendicular (both of which feature in various comics). I think I'd ignore/change prior "graph axis 'check/tick' marks", depending on context, but it would be better to be unambiguously a scale-marking and not a confirmatory "this exists" indicator. If the right word can be found. (Grad-mark? Unit-mark?) 10:33, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
just look at Hatch mark (which is what these are), first line claims they are also called Tick marks. The existing redirect is incorrect. 10:49, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
Looks like that page also suffers from arguments about what means what, which I'm not at all inclined to get involved with myself. Hatching, to me is more strictly pen/pencil-line shading across an area, but that's just my understanding and it takes all sorts. (Also, you shaved off the datetime signature of the comment you replied to. Repairing that.) 11:45, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
Hatching, Hash Marks and Hatch Marks, to me, are what the yanks call a "pound" symbol, and we call a hatch or hash mark. # (our "pound" is £, as it used to be our money before we moved on to Aussie dollars) the hatch mark does, I agree, look like pencil shading across an area. Thisfox (talk) 22:23, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
The pound (#) is a different usage to the pound (£), as it refers to weight, not money, having evolved from a stylised 'lb', from the Latin for 'pound weight'. 08:19, 1 June 2023 (UTC)
Although with UK version of ASCII putting £ where # sat upon the 'international' standard, it remained a long-standing replacement for many years. e.g. had to set the dip-switches just right on my Epson FX-80 printer to get it to print an actual £ from my BBC Microcomputer, instead of #, and other 7-bit electronic communications often just assumed the non-UK codepage or equivalent.
Lasting well into the era where some systems 'changed' "&"s into "&"s then others rendered those as "&" as web-coded text was badly 'reconverted'/treated as literal... some aggregating job-advertising websites ending up suggesting something like "#20k/year & bonus", or similar, for UK web-programmers/whatever, not even anything like "GB£20k/year"!).
Even if we knew that #=="lb" (librum, pl. libra) and once saw it in common use on market-stalls (before/alongside metrification), it was so common to see it representing "£" (originally derived from a 'pound' of silver, so actually not so different, but clearly differentiated in prices such as "two pounds a pound", i.e "£2/- per #") and we quickly learnt that Americans would refer to the hash-key on a keypad phone as the pound-key (usually, perhaps just coincidentally, the key we might suggest to "pound" (...push hard and often) when frustrated with an automated system and trying to get the call-handling system to go through to a 'real' person).
None of this helps anybody (not intending to jump in a time-machine) but as we're talking of these things... 10:28, 1 June 2023 (UTC)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Check_mark specifically says that "tick" and "tickmark" for "checkmark" are regionalisms. And from direct experience tickmark is also a Britishism. By all means try to accommodate non-standard English, but be aware some of these are shibboleths and there are many situations where you can't win. 14:51, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
And of course that page states "… is a mark (✓, ✔, etc.) …", in amongst a lot of very similar descriptions, with seemingly no mention of graphs/charts at all. 15:15, 2 June 2023 (UTC)

"User disambiguation pages" also exist. See http:/ /esolangs.org/wiki/User_talk:XKCD_Wrong_Times_Table and http://esolangs.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/XKCD_Wrong_Times_Table_(disambiguation) . 02:07, 30 May 2023 (UTC)

Those pages are not on Explain xkcd, is this spam? --Kynde (talk) 07:55, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
The first link looks like perhaps unintentional spam. I'm delinking it. In any case, the message is unclear. 08:34, 30 May 2023 (UTC)

I think that an important addition to the possible "incident" would be one where a seagull named Meryl Streep caused or was the victim of it. I'll let you work out how to word it. 14:52, 30 May 2023 (UTC)

I suppose it could also be some incident between a mononymous Meryl and a streep seagull, whatever that is, but it feels like we're stretching. 21:15, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
It could also reference an incident involving some (non-seagull) entity named 'Meryl Streep Seagull'. 08:21, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

This is probably a reference to Jimmy Carter rabbit incident which has been previously referenced by xkcd. 14:32, 31 May 2023 (UTC)

There is a new article on Unencyclopedia: http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/Meryl_Streep_Seagull_Incident_(Disambiguation) -- Solav (talk) 16:00, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

Someone made a draft page on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft:Meryl_Streep_Seagull_Incident_(Disambiguation) 07:21, 8 June 2023 (UTC)