Flickr Widget

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Are you kiddin' me?

Last night I ran across an article about mid-century furniture on one of those post-it-yourself sites that is meant to resemble a professionally-written online encyclopedia. Of course, professionally-written online encyclopedia may, in and of itself, be a contradiction in terms we can discuss at a later date.

You know the kind of site I mean. The "research optional" type that allows anybody with a computer to contribute information, which is henceforth purported to be ironclad fact. At the risk of sounding like a fussy old retired teacher (which has been a topic of some discussion lately and which I'm really not...the fussy part, I mean), I had to share a quote with you. The sentence was so bad that at first I thought it was a joke...but no.

Those who earn the credit of defining these streamlined lines are designers like Charles Eames, Euro Saarinen, Anne Jacobsen, and Miles van der Rone. (Note: Italics are mine.)

Nothing like getting three names out of four wrong to inspire confidence in the rest of the article...but then who wants to write for a site with a bunch of demanding editors? They can be such killjoys, expecting you to know something about a topic and come up with all those facts!

Only moments before, I had told someone that I'd thrown away all my red pens from my teaching days...but Miles van der Rone?   Really?   That was enough to make me want to go out and buy new ones!

It also made me realize how glad I am that I found you fellow mid-century bloggers, whose posts I read with such great pleasure every day. You are spectacularly knowledgeable and put hours of creative effort into your writing and your photography. Thanks for inspiring me.


  1. Oh gosh, that is brutal! I'm a teaching assistant at a University (I'm doing my PhD) and I read some brutal essays, lifted right from these online encylcopedias. Whole chunks. That is why your blog is so great. I always trust that what I am reading is correct (and interesting!)

  2. P.S. My mom has started reading your blog too! She's not an official "follower," but she checks it out every day. We live in different cities, so we chat on the phone at night and she'll say, "did you see today's post about . . ." She's super impressed!

  3. Hahaha!! Oh my, that IS bad. Of course if it's the "encikipedia" I am thinking of, anyone else can sign up and edit info. Or make it "wrong".

    I was once reading about Albert Einstein and suddenly there were a couple lines of some VERY naughty language that, well, should not have been there. Funny stuff in a ribald kind of way, but um, not for serious reading lol.

    A day later and it was edited back out. Huh.

    Anyways, I personally take everything with a big grain of salt on the internet, and only believe 1/2 of what our news sources ever tell us. ;)

  4. @Tanya and 1950sarh: I was a librarian the last three years of my career, so I was always talking to students about authoritative sources. Wiki software...argh! The site I found that entry on was obviously worse than most.

    I have to admit that I would have laughed about the Einstein thing though.

  5. @Tanya's mother: Hi, and thanks for frequenting the blog. I hope you keep coming back and start commenting too. I'd love to get to know you.