Wiki gripping the wrong stick.

Hoist by his own Petard
Wiki is in general a fairly good source of detailed information. But now and again it gets things so wrong it’s downright funny.
A Petar, or more usually petard is a rope or line on a sailing ship. It loops round a block on the peak of the mast.
Here is the wiki page
The truth is we’ve all seen a Petard. It’s the rope used to hoist a flag. On any pole, ship or fortress. It differs from a lanyard or halyard in that it works both ways.
And this comment could well be a case of a ‘hostage to fortune’ where I may be hoist on my own petard. 🙂 🙂

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10 Responses to Wiki gripping the wrong stick.

  1. Kimberly says:

    I always wonder if the errors found on wiki are the case of someone with good intentions making a mistake or if it’s done on purpose by those who find it a real life “Balderdash”.

    • V.H says:

      I had to look up Balderdash, it had a different meaning over here. A bit like Bullshit.

      And yes I do think we have people who mess with the Wiki. But not here, this is just way too researched. It’s not like Osiery and Hosiery, where you are either making baskets with panties or pants with willow. This is just someone who added a few things and went off on a hack. They are also no scholar of either English in general or the plays&syntax of the late 16th century in particular.

      • Ed says:

        Balderdash means the same thing over here but it is also a board game where you make up definitions for words that you’ve never heard. If you fool everyone into picking your definition, you get a point and if you create the correct definition you also get a point. I used to be very good at the game.

        • V.H says:

          Yep, I wikied it when I didn’t get the context. It’s probably a rather neat game. Albeit a training for liars and Lawyers. Pronounced the same way here and in much of the UK, esp Wales and Scotland.

      • Kimberly says:

        When I was a kid, my parents used to play the game with their friends using just a dictionary. Someone would choose a word from the dictionary and write down the definition. The rest of the players would write the made up defs down and then they’d all be read out loud. Points were earned by choosing the correct meaning and/or having your fake meaning chosen. With the alcohol flowing, the fake meanings got better (or worse) as they night went on. I hadn’t realized it was a board game until a few years ago. It is fun, but some are much better BS-ers than others. 🙂 I was never very good at sounding like a dictionary.

        I use wiki all the time because it’s so convenient. I’m always shocked at how, as you mentioned, updated it is. However, due to the chance of errors, it’s blocked by my school district. It’s frustrating, because of its convenience, not to be allowed to access it for research while on campus.

        • V.H says:

          Whatever error the kids are denied on the school network is going to be instantly downloaded via some smart-phone. At least, if teachers see the occurrence they might be able to mitigate the problem. Blocking it entirely is just canutian. In fact I doubt there has been another example of utter pointlessness since that Danish King delivered his about the tide.

  2. Kelly says:

    Wiki is a great place to go to first when looking something up, but I would certainly always check the facts before taking it as gospel. Interesting speculation by Kimberly. It never crossed my mind someone might do it on purpose for fun. I’ve always just assumed it was one of those “know it alls” that really didn’t.

    • V.H says:


      In general though I find it as good as any encyclopaedia. It is remarkably up-to-date too. As to the ‘know it alls’ there are times I’ve been that soldier 😀 .

  3. sage says:

    You have a great vocabulary and I like your comment about being a “know it all” soldier… haven’t we all.

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