The title of the comic uses an old (read, "pre-Internet") meme, possibly of Yiddish origin, known as shm-reduplication. The speaker replaces the initial consonant cluster (have it 0, 1 or even 2+ consonants) with the cluster "schm", read /ʃm/, and says the new word after the unadulterated word, as in the title where it is "N" that has been replaced. This denotes an active apathy or an intentional disregard of the authority (for it is usually an authority or someone in a similar position) being mocked. In this case, Black Hat is disregarding Wikipedia's neutrality doctrine with his word count dependent donation rule.
The title text is an imagined statement from a Wikipedia contributor attempting to assert the neutrality of their submission, claiming no word count was performed before posting. However, it is nearly impossible to trust that anyone editing such an article would not make an attempt to shift the result in their side's favor, since it is impossible to know whether someone performed a word count.
What if instead of word count, it was determined by letter count. so insert a word with multiple spellings like “colour/color” and people will repeatedly edit and re-edit the word over and over until the servers crashed ? --ParadoX (talk) 09:01, 26 June 2013 (UTC)ParadoX
- Yea, it doesn’t matter either way; let the sheeple have fun herding cats while I camp in the banquet for the last snipe.Pacerier (talk) 12:54, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I think that the idea is that the edit and re-editing would overload the servers without it being a change to a single word. Theo (talk) 21:06, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
- If Wikipedia’s aim is to take a neutral stance, and Wikipedia is being exploited to determine which of two opposing sides receives a donation, Wikipedia’s correct action would be to prevent the article from being written, thus enforcing Wikipedia’s stance on neutrality. Thokling (talk) 20:17, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
- If there is no article, the word count is 0, which is an even number, so it goes to pro-choice activists. :) 220.127.116.11 13:03, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
- No: if there is no article, the word count is undefined. You cannot determine anything about something that doesn’t exist. rvighne (talk) 04:50, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
- if the article existed, it would be deleted as not notable. Chess (talk) 00:42, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Lock the article mid-edit leaving a single word unfinished. That becomes a fraction of a word which is neit- 18.104.22.168 16:02, 2 December 2013 (UTC)BK
What the hell is Schmeutrality? Schmeu… looks very German to me, but I still have no idea about its meaning on this portmanteau. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:39, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
- An old (read “pre-internet”) meme, probably Yiddish, is to say a word, then replace the initial consonant cluster of the word with “schm” (read “shm”) and say the altered word. This denotes an active apathy toward the subject, that is, the speaker is deliberately disregarding the authority (for that is usually what is “regarded”) and doing their own thing, as Black Hat is doing here, disregarding the authority of Wikipedia’s stance on neutrality. If you were skipping school, and wanted to justify, you would say “School, Schmool”. If you were disobeying you’re Aunt Josephine, you would justify, to a confidant, “Aunt Josephine, Schmaunt Josephine”. Other examples include “God, Schmod”, “Copyrights, Schmopyrights” and “Feds, Schmeds”.
- While I was familiar with this before him, Lemony Snicket’s third book of a Series of Unfortunate Events, The Wide Window’', explains it better than I do.
- Anonymous 04:56, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Easily fixed. Lock the article just before the deadline, flip a coin in a meeting of lots of Wikipedians, broadcast live. 22.214.171.124 14:36, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Another idea. Include a fragment of a word at the end of the article and full-protect it indefinitley. Jake (talk) 13:46, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Also, what about hyphenated compound words where it can be debated whether or not they’re a single word? Just some random derp 23:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Maybe Black Hat is avoiding donating the money because he knows there will be a constant edit war. I am not quite sure enough to put it in the explanation. Jacky720 (talk) 10:39, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
What if another speaker at the event (or afterwards) were to donate $1,000,000 at the same time as Black Hat, but the other way round based on the word count? 126.96.36.199 12:04, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
…and 0’s an even number 😆SilverMagpie (talk) 04:02, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
Even if the article wasn’t created or was deleted, it would remain true that Wikipedia couldn’t cover it neutrally, because it wouldn’t be covered. 188.8.131.52 19:22, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
There is a way to circumvent notability: If the article’s wordcount is neither odd nor even (i.e. zero, i.e. the article does not exist) then the money will be given to a terrorist group or neo-nazis or some other concievably evil group. 184.108.40.206 09:22, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
0 is even 220.127.116.11 19:53, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
This is actually unclear, since word counts may count or not the title of the article, subsection titles, infoboxes. I’d go with paragraph count. 18.104.22.168 20:49, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia could just create two articles for the event, one for each side. That’d be neutral. 22.214.171.124 20:51, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Word count in the comic
The title text & black hat's speech word counts are both even, which could reflect Randall's opinion on the topic (pro-choice), considering self-reference is a common theme.
Of course, this could be just a coincidence.
--Iyhuvgug61 (talk) 08:25, 1 August 2019 (UTC)