739: Malamanteau

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| title    = Malamanteau
 
| title    = Malamanteau
 
| image    = malamanteau.png
 
| image    = malamanteau.png
| imagesize =
 
 
| titletext = The article has twenty-three citations, one of which is an obscure manuscript from the 1490s and the other twenty-two are arguments on LanguageLog.
 
| titletext = The article has twenty-three citations, one of which is an obscure manuscript from the 1490s and the other twenty-two are arguments on LanguageLog.
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
==Explanation==
 
==Explanation==
{{w|Malamanteau}} when in language, someone combines two words to create another different word.  Perhaps, the most famous example of this is "misunderestimate" which was used by former US President George W. Bush.
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A {{w|malapropism}} is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical utteranceAn example of a {{w|malapropism}} is {{w|Yogi Berra}}'s statement: "Texas has a lot of electrical votes," rather than "electoral votes". A {{w|portmanteau}} is a word made-up of two or more combined words and their definitions. For example, motel is a portmanteau, from the words motor and hotel. A {{w|neologism}} is simply a newly coined word that is not yet in common use.  
  
However, "misunderestimate" might be more of a {{w|malapropism}} as it references in the comic because it was said as a mistake rather than a purposeful combination of two words. At least I hope it was a mistake...
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Here, Randall shows a hypothetical Wikipedia page of the word "malamanteau" which is both a portmanteau of "malapropism" and "portmanteau" and a malapropism of "portmanteau". Finally, "malamanteau" is itself a neologism because Randall invented the word when he wrote this comic. The methods used to create this new word are the very words used in the process. This is called a [[917|meta]] or "self-referential" joke.
  
Neologism is also defined as a new word that is created by combining two different words.
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"Malamanteau" was originally coined in 2007, when it was proposed by user [http://www.metafilter.com/user/17900 ludwig_van] on [http://www.metafilter.com Metafilter] as a term for language errors like "flustrated" (flustered & frustrated) and "misconscrewed" (misconstrued & screwed).  
  
However, the word Malamanteau is itself a malamanteau because it is a {{w|neologism}} and a {{w|portmanteau}}.  Which points then to the extreme confusion in the supposed Wikipedia article that this comic is showing.
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The bottom line of the comic (Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it ''really'' likes?) is a reference to the large number of Wikipedia pages that start by labeling their subject matter as a malapropism, a portmanteau, or a neologism.  
  
[[Randall]] was not the first to invent the term "Malamaneau", but this comment spurred the controversial creation of an actual Wikipedia page with the text as shown in this comic. Curiously, the argument over the legitimacy and notoriety of the word by Wikipedia editors drew enough interest from non-Wikipedians that enough articles were written about the word (and examples of malamanteaux were identified and noted as such by linguists) it actually gained the notoriety necessary to get included in Wikipedia.
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In response to this comic, editors at Wikipedia created a {{w|malamanteau}} page. It was deleted multiple times and eventually turned into a redirect to the Wikipedia page for {{w|xkcd}}. Malamanteau and the controversy at Wikipedia got coverage at ''The Economist'' and ''The Boston Globe''.
  
Contrary to the image text, as of August 27, 2012, the Wikipedia page has just 21 citations, the oldest of which is 2007, and only 4 of which are from [http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/ Language Log].  
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The title text refers to Wikipedia's requirements of citations for a page on there to exist. It also refers to the wide range of places citations can be obtained from, showing a direct opposition due to the use of very different citations (The Language Log arguments are modern and informal, whereas the obscure manuscript is formal and much older). [http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/ Language Log] is a blog that posts content relating to language and linguistics, including things like malapropisms and portmanteaus. While an informal source, it has produced new linguistic terms before, such as {{w|eggcorn}}. Its comments sections frequently contain discussions and arguments about English, whose participants are probably the same people who write Wikipedia articles about linguistic phenomena like malamanteaux. The fact that no modern citation could be found outside of Language Log comments implies that the malamanteau is not a widely recognized or studied concept, but one invented by amateur linguists. [http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2758 Malamanteau] did not appear on Language Log until after this strip. Malamanteau has since been referenced on the Language Log website, with a link to the comic in question. Language Log has referenced XKCD many times before, reposting the comics and linking to the XKCD website.
 +
 
 +
The citation of a document from the 1490s is a reference to the fact that linguists, like those who post on Language Log, often use old documents as evidence, possibly to prove that a construction is a longstanding feature of the language. However, if such an archaic citation is the only evidence of the term's use, then it is unlikely to be a notable feature worthy of a Wikipedia article.
 +
 
 +
Further, the title text implies that the fictional article isn't exactly the most stable inside the fictional Wikipedia's userbase, or otherwise is being subject to some severe favoritism, since "malamanteau" hasn't been used at any time since the feudal ages and its most recent citations are a borderline flame war on another website. Most articles that are only cited by a single website tend to get deleted unless the subject has achieved significant coverage in outside news media.
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==
 
:[The strip is set up as the top of a Wikipedia page.]
 
:[The strip is set up as the top of a Wikipedia page.]
:((The Wikipedia logo.))
+
:[The Wikipedia logo.]
 
:Wikipedia
 
:Wikipedia
 
:The free encyclopedia
 
:The free encyclopedia
:((Side navigation options.))
+
:[Side navigation options.]
 
:Navigation
 
:Navigation
:- Main Page
+
:-Main Page
:- Contents
+
:-Contents
:- Featured Content
+
:-Featured Content
:- Current Events
+
:-Current Events
:((Wikipedia header options.))
+
:[Wikipedia header options.]
 
:Article  Discussion  Edit this page  History
 
:Article  Discussion  Edit this page  History
:((The article itself.))
+
:[The article itself.]
 
:Malamanteau
 
:Malamanteau
 
:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
:A malamanteau is a neologism for a portmanteau created by incorrectly combining a malapropism with a neologism. It is itself a portmanteau of ((... the article cuts off.))
+
:A malamanteau is a neologism for a portmanteau created by incorrectly combining a malapropism with a neologism. It is itself a portmanteau of [...the article cuts off.]
:((Below the panel.))
+
:[Below the panel.]
:Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it *really* likes?
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:Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it ''really'' likes?
 +
 
 +
==External links==
 +
*[http://wiki.xkcd.com/irc/Malamanteau Malamanteau] at the official xkcd wiki
 +
*[http://malamanteaus.blogspot.com/ Malamanteaus], a blog dedicated to the creation and proliferation of malamanteaux
 +
*[http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Malamanteau Malamanteau] at urbandictionary.com
 +
*[http://wordsquirt.com/Word/View/Malamanteau/dbb34d48-e565-4012-bcc8-56718f351712 Malamanteau] at wordsquirt.com
 +
*[http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/index.php?s=malamanteau Entries referencing "malamanteau"] at LanguageLog.com
 +
*Malamanteau Talk Page Archives {{w|Talk:Malamanteau/Archive 1|1}} and {{w|Talk:Malamanteau/Archive 2|2}} at Wikipedia.com
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*{{w|Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Malamanteau}}
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*{{w|File:Malamanteau page history.jpg|Screen capture}} of the deleted history for the "Malamanteau" page from Wikipedia
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*[//en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&page=Malamanteau Wikipedia Log for "Malamanteau"]
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*Beutler, William (May 5, 2010) "[http://thewikipedian.net/2010/05/18/much-ado-about-malamanteau/ Much Ado About Malamanteau]". ''The Wikipedian''
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*McKean, Erin (May 30, 2010) "[http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/05/30/one_day_wonder/ One Day Wonder]". ''The Boston Globe''
 +
*R.L.G (Nov 4th 2010) "[http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2010/11/neologisms Eggcorn, mashup, malamanteau or other?]". ''The Economonist''
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*July 17, 2007 "[http://ask.metafilter.com/67192/How-to-define-this-language-mistake How to define this language mistake?]" - MetaFilter thread with the first usage
  
 
{{comic discussion}}
 
{{comic discussion}}
 
[[Category:Wikipedia]]
 
[[Category:Wikipedia]]
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[[Category:CC-BY-SA comics]]
 +
[[Category:Portmanteau‏‎]]

Latest revision as of 14:10, 23 August 2017

Malamanteau
The article has twenty-three citations, one of which is an obscure manuscript from the 1490s and the other twenty-two are arguments on LanguageLog.
Title text: The article has twenty-three citations, one of which is an obscure manuscript from the 1490s and the other twenty-two are arguments on LanguageLog.

[edit] Explanation

A malapropism is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical utterance. An example of a malapropism is Yogi Berra's statement: "Texas has a lot of electrical votes," rather than "electoral votes". A portmanteau is a word made-up of two or more combined words and their definitions. For example, motel is a portmanteau, from the words motor and hotel. A neologism is simply a newly coined word that is not yet in common use.

Here, Randall shows a hypothetical Wikipedia page of the word "malamanteau" which is both a portmanteau of "malapropism" and "portmanteau" and a malapropism of "portmanteau". Finally, "malamanteau" is itself a neologism because Randall invented the word when he wrote this comic. The methods used to create this new word are the very words used in the process. This is called a meta or "self-referential" joke.

"Malamanteau" was originally coined in 2007, when it was proposed by user ludwig_van on Metafilter as a term for language errors like "flustrated" (flustered & frustrated) and "misconscrewed" (misconstrued & screwed).

The bottom line of the comic (Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it really likes?) is a reference to the large number of Wikipedia pages that start by labeling their subject matter as a malapropism, a portmanteau, or a neologism.

In response to this comic, editors at Wikipedia created a malamanteau page. It was deleted multiple times and eventually turned into a redirect to the Wikipedia page for xkcd. Malamanteau and the controversy at Wikipedia got coverage at The Economist and The Boston Globe.

The title text refers to Wikipedia's requirements of citations for a page on there to exist. It also refers to the wide range of places citations can be obtained from, showing a direct opposition due to the use of very different citations (The Language Log arguments are modern and informal, whereas the obscure manuscript is formal and much older). Language Log is a blog that posts content relating to language and linguistics, including things like malapropisms and portmanteaus. While an informal source, it has produced new linguistic terms before, such as eggcorn. Its comments sections frequently contain discussions and arguments about English, whose participants are probably the same people who write Wikipedia articles about linguistic phenomena like malamanteaux. The fact that no modern citation could be found outside of Language Log comments implies that the malamanteau is not a widely recognized or studied concept, but one invented by amateur linguists. Malamanteau did not appear on Language Log until after this strip. Malamanteau has since been referenced on the Language Log website, with a link to the comic in question. Language Log has referenced XKCD many times before, reposting the comics and linking to the XKCD website.

The citation of a document from the 1490s is a reference to the fact that linguists, like those who post on Language Log, often use old documents as evidence, possibly to prove that a construction is a longstanding feature of the language. However, if such an archaic citation is the only evidence of the term's use, then it is unlikely to be a notable feature worthy of a Wikipedia article.

Further, the title text implies that the fictional article isn't exactly the most stable inside the fictional Wikipedia's userbase, or otherwise is being subject to some severe favoritism, since "malamanteau" hasn't been used at any time since the feudal ages and its most recent citations are a borderline flame war on another website. Most articles that are only cited by a single website tend to get deleted unless the subject has achieved significant coverage in outside news media.

[edit] Transcript

[The strip is set up as the top of a Wikipedia page.]
[The Wikipedia logo.]
Wikipedia
The free encyclopedia
[Side navigation options.]
Navigation
-Main Page
-Contents
-Featured Content
-Current Events
[Wikipedia header options.]
Article Discussion Edit this page History
[The article itself.]
Malamanteau
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A malamanteau is a neologism for a portmanteau created by incorrectly combining a malapropism with a neologism. It is itself a portmanteau of [...the article cuts off.]
[Below the panel.]
Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it really likes?

[edit] External links


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Discussion

Neologism isn't properly defined in the explanation. A neologism can be any new word; it doesn't have to be made through a combination of other words. Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malamanteau redirects to xkcd's page last I checked. Wiktionary's page on it was deleted almost 3 years ago. Additionally, the description is missing an explanation for the image text (and maybe the word "portmanteau" should get a definition included). 76.106.251.87 22:03, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Now that you mention that the page redirects to xkcd, it's interesting to see the Revision history on it (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Malamanteau&action=history&year=2013) Saibot84 (talk) 03:24, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
  • <12:44, 26 April 2013>‎ Amalthea (Protected Malamanteau: Repeatedly recreated ([Edit=Block all non-admin users] (indefinite) [Move=Block all non-admin users] (indefinite)))
  • <12:43, 26 April 2013>‎ Amalthea (-130) (Revert to revision by Amalthea)
  • <11:34, 26 April 2013>‎ IP_77... (+130) (Undid revision by Amalthea, restored the content)
  • <13:25, 20 April 2013‎> Amalthea‎ (-130) (In the absence of new reliable sources that can bring this beyond a dictionary entry, I think the consensus from Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Malamanteau still holds.)
  • <13:07, 20 April 2013‎> IP_87... (+130) (restored the content from the comic)
  • <22:07, 27 September 2012‎ Scottywong (+18) (redirect to xkcd)
  • <unknown date> Page Deleted


I have a feeling that the main point of this comic was that the words "portmanteau" and "neologism" (and maybe even "malapropism") appear disproportionately more on Wikipedia than other references. I certainly would agree with that sentiment. --Quicksilver (talk) 02:19, 20 August 2013 (UTC)


The page is still redirecting to the wikipedia page on xkcd, how long do you think it will be before the original content is restored? Whiskey07 (talk) 11:37, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Never. The page has now been fully, indefinitely protected. Good thing too. NealCruco (talk) 21:45, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Quicksilver's comment: not only is the comic poking fun at Wikipedia's propensity for using these words, but Randall's comic has created a page relying on almost no content _except_ these sorts of words. 141.101.81.216 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

"and a malapropism of "portmanteau"." I'm a little confused on how that is a malapropism.--172.68.132.35 09:42, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

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