Wikipedia Logo Gets It Wrong
I’m pretty good at spotting spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but this is something that I wouldn’t ever have noticed: Wikipedia’s logo contains two goofs.
“In postings on internal mailing groups, users of Wikipedia have described obvious mistakes in the design, a globelike jigsaw puzzle with characters from various languages on the pieces,” reports Noam Cohen for the New York Times. “Two of the characters – one in Japanese and one in Devanagari, the script used in Sanskrit and several modern Indian languages – are meaningless because of minor slips.”
This is likely going to become yet another embarrassing incident for Wikipedia – it’s been noted in the NYT, after all – though it may not be as bad as the fake expert or the frisky elephants. Still . . . not good.
In addition to highlighting the existence of errors in Wikipedia, the situation has shown the mettle of (some of) the site’s user base; hold on for a slightly long explanation.
When the basic design was first introduced in 2003, David Friedland “set out to improve the design,” begins Cohen. “But in the process, Mr. Friedland, who has a degree in computer science and linguistics, introduced the errors. . . . The Devanagari error was caused by a computer glitch, he said, which swapped the order of two parts of the character; the Japanese error was simply carelessness.”
All right – mistakes happen. The real problem, however, is that “[t]hough the errors have been discussed among cognoscenti for more than two years, they have not been fixed, mainly because Mr. Friedland says he lost the original computer file and is too busy to start from scratch.”
Right. I like Wikipedia as much as (or more than) the next person, but again . . . not good.