Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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.
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.
However, "misunderestimate" might be more of a 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...
Neologism is also defined as a new word that is created by combining two different words.
However, the word Malamanteau is itself a malamanteau because it is a neologism and a portmanteau. Which points then to the extreme confusion in the supposed Wikipedia article that this comic is showing.
Randall was not the first to invent the term "Malamanteau", 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.
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 Language Log.
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- [The strip is set up as the top of a Wikipedia page.]
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- ((The article itself.))
- 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?
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). 126.96.36.199 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. 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)