Dear Rick,

Or you can read a book, check libraries, or check bibliographies of peer
reviewed work. I cannot think all the work you outline (as always
extremely thorough, valuable, and serious) is worth the trouble to
discover that one is working with a completely unreliable source. But I
very much appreciate this information, which I shall pass on to my
students as necessary ways to understand how to cite.

It is perfectly clear to me, for example, that the material on
MacDiarmid was not written by anyone who either has really studied his
work or respects it, and is almost certainly not Scottish. It does not
use words like "ideology," but it has a few lines on his poetry--not
even mentioning his first two books of brilliant Scots lyrics, Sangschaw
and Penny Wheep (some of the greatest in the 20th century and at last
beginning to be recognized) but a long paragraph on his communism. He
was both, but his great work was as the major figure in Scottish
literary modernism and a major influence on Scottish culture. No one
would know that from Wikipedia--or even suspect it.

P. S. Though he later renounced religion, his early work includes some
utterly beautiful lyrics about Jesus, like "O Jesu Parvule."

"Followis ane sang of the birth of Christ, with the tune of Baw lu la
law" (Godly Ballatis)

His mither sings tae the bairnie Chirst
Wi the tune o' Baw lu la law.
The bonnie wee craturie lauchs in His crib
And a' the starnies an' he are sib.
Baw, baw, my loonikie, baw, balloo.

"Fa' owre, ma hinny, fa' owre, fa' owre,
A'body's sleepin' binna oorsels."
She's drawn Him in tae the bool o' her breist
But the byspale's nae thocht o' sleep i' the least.
Balloo, wee mannie, balloo, balloo.

(Hugh MacDiarmid)

Words: mither-mother; bairnie--tiny child; craturie--little creature
[Scots uses many diminuitives]; lauchs--laughs; starnies--little stars;
sib--siblings; loonikie---very little boy; fa' owre--fall asleep;
hinny--honey; binna--except; bool--curve; byspale--child of whom
wonderful things are expected, a prodigy, a proverb, also an ilegitimate
child; thocht--thought.

The "God and Godly Ballades" are Medieval Scots, and he uses the tune
and almost ballad form. Like the god of the medieval lyrics and ballads,
MacDiarmid's is very warm and intimate and close.

>>> Rickard Parker 09/13/12 4:46 PM >>> 
On 2012-09-12, at 7:14 AM, Tom Gray wrote: 
> it is common know edge that Wikipedia has problems with editors 
controlling what is written in the articles. Editors or groups of
will seize control of a topic and exclude any idea from it that does not

coincide with their favored viewpoint. 

Another case: Irish republicanism 
Irish republicanism (Irish: Poblachtánachas Éireannach) is an ideology
on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic. 

Twice over a period of months I've seen a small single paragraph about
Republic of Ireland be deleted because it was off topic. The words
of Ireland" are written only twice and used only incidently. The text 
wasn't even wikilinked this morning. I did link it but I'm more than
expecting a revert. 

For articles important to you it pays to check the article's Talk page
to see what infighting may be going on. 

As for citing Wikipedia: 

Sub-topic 1: Should you do it. Wikipedia itself addresses the topic at 

Sub-topic 2: How to do it. 

You can't just use simple URLs since the contents of the webpages
Each edit though is given a unique id and so it is possible 
to retrieve older versions of pages. The page 
Note: Wikipedia has a tool to generate citations for particular
For the cite tool, see Special:Cite, or follow the "Cite this page" link

in the toolbox on the left of the page in the article you wish to cite. 
I don't* Upload file 
* Special pages 
* Permanent link 
a link named "Permanent link". Clicking that I got my browser to visit 
another page identified with an ID number and the URL was shown by the 
browser. The article content was preceded by a note. Example:

This is the current revision of this page, as edited by EmausBot (talk |

contribs) at 22:50, 14 July 2012. The present address (URL) is a
link to this version. 

You can also use Wikipedia's history feature to get to an old version 
of an article. For example you could see the following entry in the 
history listing: 
# (cur | prev) 08:39, 6 October 2009‎ Wordsmith (talk | contribs)‎ . . 
(15,967 bytes) (+7)‎ . . 
(→‎A caution before citing Wikipedia: 1st Paragraph: Replaced 
"uncorroborated" with 
"without corroboration") (undo) 
Clicking on the time-date stamp link you get a URL and article note of:

This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Wordsmith (talk | 
contribs) at 
08:39, 6 October 2009. It may differ significantly from the current 

There is a tool at 
where you can type in the name of an article and it will present a page
citations (MLA, Chicago, bibliographic, etc.) to the current version of
article. For older versions of the article I think you have to hand edit

the IDs and date/times.