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December 2016

9 December: Susie Dent publishes her Words of the Year, which as usual are protologisms she invented yesterday while skim-reading twelve months of Guardian headlines. They include such gems as:

  • NuKular, adj. ("relating to North Korean nuclear testing")
  • Trumpelstiltskin, n. ("a Trump supporter who refuses to give their name to the interviewer")
  • Auxit, n. ("Australia opting out of the Eurovision Song Contest")
  • bye-dro, n. ("the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons as part of the Montreal Protocol")

The new Dentian vocabulary is added to Wiktionary by well-meaning IPs six times in a day. We call Susie to rant at her, but she refuses to pick up, since it's the festive season and she is Chrignoring her phone in order to familize.

16 December: Wikipedia is putting up a twelve-foot Christmas tree representing peace and harmony. This naturally gets mired in committees and bureaucracy, and the tree is eventually confiscated and burned by Arbcom. Our own little tree, erected in three minutes by Hippietrail and auto-decorated with bells, baubles and tinsel by Kennybot, is much nicer. Daniel Carrero promptly makes individual entries for all 62 of the ornaments, except for the star at the top, which he sensibly gives an additional sense at *.

23 December: MewBot and DPMaid are caught doing some heavy petting under the mistletoe. CodeCat and Dan Polansky are horrified and disgusted, and instantly block their misbehaved bots from seeing each other. MewBot accesses a disused subroutine and overwrites its user page with "Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die."

25 December: Editors gather for the official Wiktionary Christmas dinner. To general outrage, there is no turkey available: it seems that Wonderfool has deleted the main course – again. Dixtosa writes a fiendishly complex template that accepts an array of potatoes, sprouts, cranberry sauce, newbies and sawdust, and outputs a gelatinous mass. We chew in stolid silence.

30 December: Somebody from the OED calls and tells us that, in a spirit of Christmas generosity, they are releasing their entire dictionary under a Creative Commons (Attribution) licence. By the time we catch Wonderfool coming out of the bathroom with a burner phone and a big grin, Rukhabot has already illegally imported everything from aardwolves to buttock crevice.

January 2017

1 January: Happy new year! Equinox, Talking Point and ObsequiousNewt have collapsed in the same armchair, under an almost visible cloud of ethanol fumes. Cloudcuckoolander tiptoes past and has the germ of an idea for an enthralling work of fan fiction, which fortunately nobody involved will ever read – until sexually frustrated teen girls on Tumblr start "shipping" us, and Equinewt becomes attestable in early 2018.

3 January: Ruakh can't be bothered to revert all those OED entries his bot made, and thinks there might be a legal loophole whereby the bot, as creator, has to clean up on its own. BD2412 refuses to serve as counsel in this matter because it would be a conflict of interest, and he's washing his hair, and, omg just leave me alone will you.

6 January: Ungoliant deletes Daniel's Christmas-decoration entries on the grounds that it's unlucky to keep decorations up after Twelfth Night.

17 January: Wonderfool has self-published three books on Lulu, under different pen names, in order to use the word fartmeister three times so that it meets CFI. The trilogy is a pulp sci-fi masterpiece that has us all demanding more. What did happen to Kellis after her ship crashed on Quarlek Prime, and was she able to escape the noxious fumes of the Fartmeister-General? The number of citations required to pass RFV is hastily increased to four.

22 January: Four adorable girl scouts come to Wiktionary selling cookies. SemperBlotto notices that little Emily's beret is slightly crooked, and blocks the lot of them.

27 January: The last Friday of every other month is Wiktionary game night! Tonight's game is a wild and wacky variant of Scrabble where words found in Wiktionary count as words. -sche manages a triple-word stunner with FUCCBOI and IDAE, but Renard Migrant fights back with QEWL and ASSOCIONISTIC. Romanophile's MELÆNÆ scores a remarkable 74. Everybody is too polite to ask where he got the Æ tiles, which appear to be made of cardboard and have their point value of 14 scrawled in blue marker.

29 January: PseudoSkull changes her user name for the 16th time, which overflows an internal software buffer and briefly causes red links to turn blue and blue links to turn red – a situation of which Wonderfool takes full advantage. PseudoSkull is now permanently stuck with a user name containing a backspace and half a translation table. Her signature is fantastically obnoxious.


2 February: There is a serious vote about whether people should be allowed to create more than four votes in a day. Well, there was going to be, but it gets postponed because Daniel Carrero has already created four votes this morning. These are: (i) should we remove a comma from the third paragraph of CFI?; (ii) should we add a comma to the ninth paragraph of CFI?; (iii) can we create an entry for Kagura Sohma from the manga Fruits Basket?; and (iv) assuming that (iii) passes, can we define her as being "brown-haired" (as in the original manga and second anime) or should we just not mention the hair at all?

4 February: Donnanz arrives from New Zealand with chocolate Easter eggs for everybody. It is established that there might be a bug in the MediaWiki time-zone arithmetic. Developers are alerted to the bug and promise to have it fixed by the end of March, which, because of the time-zone bug, means September. We aren't sure which year.

19 February: SemperBlotto dies from dative sickness exacerbated by hypotaxis and a broken plural – but his withered old face bears the smile of a lexicographical job well done. Embarrassingly, the permablocked Luciferwildcat is one of the ambulance crew who attend the scene.

20 February: Wiktionary declares two days of official mourning for SemperBlotto, during which the wiki stylesheet will be modified to give all entries a black background. Since nobody can work out how to change the font colour, there may be a short-term impact on readability.

22 February: The thanks feature is extended with no thanks, allowing editors to tell other editors that their changes are really dumb.

28 February: BD2412 calls everyone into the drawing-room (just next to the Beer Parlour; what, you never noticed that door?) to read the last will of SemperBlotto. It turns out that he has left us £400,000 to write up "all words in all languages", under the proviso that the entire community first formally agrees on what a word is. An awkward silence descends.


4 March: Battle of the 89s! While grinding up some peppercorns for a delicious linguini, Purplebackpack89 has a sneezing fit near his iPhone 4S, inadvertently triggering Siri's voice recognition and generating a Translingual entry for kchzzackchu. Six hours later, Wikitiki89 notices and RFVs it. Since Purple is genetically incapable of backing down, he complains about being perpetually hounded and, challenged as to whether he thinks kchzzackchu is actually an attestable word, sidesteps into a tiresome rant about free speech and the American way. Wikitiki finally confesses to being a sneeze-hating communist, and receives a two-week block suspended for six months. Будьте осторожны, товарищ!

9 March: It's 3 a.m. and a bored IP has vandalised 80 entries in an hour without admin attention. A disturbed SemperBlotto rises from his grave and enacts a ghostly block. Terrifyingly, there is nothing in the logs.

11 March: Smuconlaw's proposal to include a picture on every page is passed by a two-thirds majority – after which it is pointed out that not all pages belong to the mainspace. Some of the uglier editors launch a panicky counter-vote.

22 March: That new emoji U+F29D7 CONDESCENDING SNEER is turning up in a lot of discussions and making everybody silently fucking livid. Its inventor is said to be in line for the Nobel Prize for bringing the last facet of real-world human arguments into the cybersphere. The balance will not be restored until October, when Unicode 12 introduces the animated U+F3FF6 TWO FISTS PUNCHING A NERD.

31 March: Wiktionary game night! In tonight's slightly modified version of Cluedo, the usual mystery of "who killed Mr Boddy?" is replaced by "which suspiciously untalkative new editor is secretly Liliana?". Halfway through the game, the lights unexpectedly go out, and by the time we have groped around for candles and matches, the envelope containing the answer card has been mysteriously stolen. Inspectors Lmaltier and JackPotte arrive to question everybody, muttering about the p'tites cellules grises.


1 April: Tedius Zanarukando adds some words that weren't specifically invented to promulgate personal ideologies about women's hairstyles, reality-show contestants, or the Fire Emblem video game series. ...Just kidding! April fool! Gotcha!

4 April: A few of us go out for food. Tooironic and WikiWinters insist on ordering in Chinese. The restaurant owner's grandson, born and bred in Detroit, gives us a blank stare and invites us to point at numbers on the menu. Jakeybean follows up the incident by humorously ordering in Greenlandic. He is aghast when he is understood perfectly well and receives a platter of decomposing whale blubber.

5 April: The Chinese restaurant hires DCDuring as a fortune-cookie consultant. They like his expertise in making gnomic pronouncements, and it's a nice little side-earner when he isn't correcting the italics in sloppy zoological publications. DCDuring eventually gets lazy and starts reusing fortunes from Wang-Tsu 1913.

11 April: Wikipedia holds a glamorous celebrity event attended by Edward Snowden and Jude Law. Wiktionary users complain that we never get any of this high-profile stuff. The Wikimedia Foundation pushes the boat out and arranges a tiny party for us at the King's Arms, fuelled by fish-paste sandwiches and warm Bovril, and attended by such up-and-coming glitterati as Chesney Hawkes, Alana from The Girl from Tomorrow, and Mzajac in a Polkaroo suit. We sort of wish we hadn't asked.

25 April: Oh God, another logo vote. Everybody hates all of the proposed logos, and we all separately decide to cast protest votes for Goatse. Naturally, it wins. Jimbo Wales calls a special school assembly where he tells us that he takes a "dim view" and expected better from the Wiktionary community. Assembly ends with a diatribe about the litter on the playing field, and a reminder that anybody wanting to go on the 'List of artifacts significant to archaeoastronomy' trip needs to bring in their money by Friday. Metaknowledge does the farting noise with his elbow and gets detention for a week.


2 May: DCDuring has found a user! Everyone wants to take selfies with this mythical beast. The user is quickly strapped into a chair and asked, under glaring eyes and blinding lights, whether Etymology should precede or follow the Pronunciation section. The user shits himself. A few hours later, the user sobs that what he really wants is a slightly different ordering of parameters in the en-noun template. CodeCat, who has been doing a bad job of concealing a cattle-prod, looks very pleased.

11 May: Stephen G. Brown has just finished learning the last language he didn't know: Ongota, from southwest Ethiopia. He is now also the only remaining speaker of Chulym, Xinca, Bullom So, and Voynichese, the last of which he deciphered on his own but refuses to document because he knows it would get deleted at RFV. Sadly, even Stephen cannot speak COBOL-61, which died in February with SemperBlotto.

17 May: Overnight, Min Nan has changed to My Nan, and all the entries have suddenly got pictures of Wonderfool's grandmother, a worthy old dame in a rocking-chair. Atelaes gives Wonderfool a half-hearted block, and he courteously refrains from setting up a new account for four hours.

26 May: Wiktionary game night! Tonight we're playing everybody's favourite coding challenge, Templation!, which Isomorphyc ultimately wins with a recursive obfuscated 600-line Lua monster that creates and executes a Python script, somehow hooks into the Windows API, and makes the browser window bounce around the screen to the musical accompaniment of tada.wav.

29 May: Encouraged by other extra-linguistic successes like Appendix:Gestures, Daniel Carrero launches a centralised index of antonyms known as Appendix:Sarcasm. Yeah, I bet that's going to be really useful. The attendant Beer Parlour discussion devolves into an argument about the difference between sarcasm and irony, which rages for hours. Amgine phones Alanis Morissette for a definitive answer, but she is sick of his calls and it's over between us, Amgine, over, don't you get it?


2 June: Hekaheka forgets the ---- between the English and Finnish language sections, triggering a bug that results in English suddenly having a comitative case. Fortunately, this doesn't cause any major problems morp the project, and it is soon fixed by the combined efforts of Ivan Štambuk morp Ultimateria. Morp.

7 June: The entire Tea Room has been taken over by a heated discussion about whether "Shaq Fu" is a legitimate martial art. It's getting really ugly in there.

18 June: In line with big brother Wikipedia, Wiktionary introduces trigger warnings. Entries glossed vulgar or offensive, and loanwords cultural appropriations, are now only visible if you are signed in. A new discussion page, the Creche, is set up as a safe space, with links enclosed in cuddly round brackets instead of those nasty square brackets. Taking a discussion to WT:CRE, where disagreement is forbidden, proves a convenient way to paralyse debate combat systemic oppression.

21 June: EncycloPetey accidentally deletes himself and has to be restored from a three-month-old backup, with no memory of intervening events. He is allowed a second vote on anything he had already voted on, and thereby becomes the first editor ever to simultaneously support and oppose a proposal – other than Equinox, who has done that a few times while drunk.

23 June: Pass a Method and Verbo/Fastifex join together and form a massive unstoppable robot, a bit like in Transformers. The new robot is 14 feet tall and mostly interested in creating poorly formatted, underresearched entries about incest, Islam, and spanking, such as Inceslam, Islanking, and ispank. We are still wondering what to do about this steaming heap of crapola when an Apple lawyer conveniently spots the last one and gets a heavy-handed injunction against the whole scatopolis.


4 July: CodeCat breaks something. Nobody knew what it did anyway, but it doesn't seem to do it any more. The documentation is deleted accordingly.

11 July: The discovery of a fossilised navel means that Brontosaurus parvus (a.k.a. Elosaurus, a.k.a. Apatosaurus) is to be reclassified yet again. DCDuring irritably renounces reptile taxonomy and starts focusing on insects instead. His detailed list of 399,817 beetles lacking entries immediately becomes the largest page on Wiktionary, beating water, fuck, and even User talk:Connel MacKenzie. The Wikimedia Foundation responds by reducing the frequency of our database backup dumps, which will now only take place in months with k or v in the name.

14 July: At 3:40 a.m. UTC, the Unix timestamp reaches the magical figure of 1,500,000,000. Some dull fucking epoch bug revives a long-forgotten bot, which stirs from its digital dustheap and immediately sets about its task of reformatting every Korean entry. Unfortunately, it is using outdated templates that are almost four days old and hence totally incompatible with everything.

25 July: The famous mention of "some asshole called Equinox" has been deleted from Encyclopedia Dramatica as non-notable. Even worse, Vahag accidentally deleted Eq's NetHack saved game, the one where he had got to DLvl 25 with blessed +2 crystal plate mail and a pet iron golem. A sulking Equinox shuts himself in his userspace with that bottle of horrible banana gin that Icqgirl sent us from the Philippines, and plays Mortal Love's While Everything Dies on a deafening loop for two hours, until Chuck Entz bravely enters the room and points out that there are other ways to gain Internet fame. Eq ponders whether to wet his diapers at a furry convention, or shoot up a school.

28 July: Wiktionary game night! In tonight's Charades, Conrad.Irwin repeatedly strikes his own face with his fist and index finger, but nobody susses out "head hit, Con flicked". On the contrary, Jamesjiao's "reed I wrecked" is praised by all – except for Krun, who now has to buy a new clarinet. Eirikr's "catboiler" charade is too graphic for most of us.


3 August: Water now has translations in 7,022 languages, some 17% more than the 6,000 that David Crystal estimated to exist at the turn of the millennium – though inexplicably we are still missing Greek and Tagalog. On closer inspection, we have translations in Martian, 'African', Furbish, half a dozen abandoned Internet conlangs, Tolkien's Black Speech of Mordor, 'poop' (twice), and a language spoken only by Wonderfool, about which he is uncharacteristically reticent.

9 August: A speculative discussion about removing unattestable inflections of lemmas, as with Shakespeare's verb congree, spirals out of control and leads to the removal of all the phrasebook phrases nobody has ever used, like "I need a tealight", "I'm dead", and "the drinks are on me tonight, lads". Fortunately, a British phrasebook from the 1920s has recently fallen out of copyright, so we are able to add genuinely useful phrases such as "my shaving-water is tepid", "I am expecting a marconigram", and "inform Sir Hubert that I demand satisfaction".

13 August: Domino's offers us free pizza for a month if we add blatantly promotional entries for such technical culinary terms as meatilicious, chick 'n' mix, and pepperoni passion. Atitarev directs them to the online Merriam-Webster, who happily accept $3.29 to replace their front page with "Fourteen weird Domino's pizzas that aren't in the dictionary, discovered by a mom. You won't believe #9!".

20 August: Scientology sues the Wikimedia Foundation over the sceptical "attempt to diagnose" in our definition of E-meter. Renard Migrant countersues for lost earnings over that time he played DIANETICS in a Scrabble tournament sixteen years ago without knowing it had just been removed from the word list. The volcano-botherers back off in a fucking hurry, after poisoning Martin's cat.

26 August: Can we cite Clan of Xymox lyrics as attestation towards Gothic? 28a1:4bb7:0701:99b3:7ac4:bdb0:116f:4b3e certainly thinks so, and is almost too keen to contribute!


4 September: Wonderfool admits that most of his Catalan entries were made up by going through the French and Spanish lemmas and randomly inserting z or x. Five of them turn out to be coincidentally correct.

11 September: English Wiktionary welcomes its six-millionth entry, which is short-haul air transportation system. Dmol gets a sad little plexiglass award shaped like a userbox.

20 September: Is disaster narrowly averted, or narrowly everted? Romanophile solves the dilemma by marking each word as a misspelling of the other. Now everyone is happy, especially 2.5 million English-learners trying to pass their IELTS exams.

22 September: A godawful revert war over the precise definition of objectivism pulls in a contingent of smart-alecky Redditors, who are also clamouring for us to delete the ungentlemanly slurs libertardian and neckbeard. Yair Rand ingeniously settles the objectivism dispute by pretending to be Ayn Rand's great-grandchild, whose ears were bequeathed her flinty philosophies from the death-bed.

29 September: Wiktionary game night! The cards come out for a rousing game of Hearts. The stakes are high, as tonight's loser is tasked with closing and archiving all of the RFVs and RFDs since the beginning of time – more a case of the mother of all trowels than the queen of spades. Embryomystic is later found to have had the queen of spades on his watchlist and is blocked for "unacceptable conduct".


8 October: While working on "radical 118 bamboo", Bumm13 somehow adds an entry for a character that isn't in Unicode. Nobody knows what it is, we can't even work out how he typed it, and he doesn't remember creating the page, which intriguingly defines the symbol as "hellpuppet". Deletion is impossible because the software doesn't recognise the page title as valid. Those who have viewed the entry report hearing Lovecraftian knockings and rumblings within the walls of their homes. The Chinese government is contacted, but as always they refuse to have anything to do with radicals.

9 October: A word goes missing from Category:English entries that don't exist. Nobody notices until a routine Truth Integrity Check in the year 2131, at which point the error is swiftly rectified by Holy Mother Siri and Holy Mother Cortana, who also track down and "rectify" the editor who removed it. May the bots protect us, amen.

14 October: Okay, I'm not saying that French Wiktionary's LexiSessions are starting to run out of steam, but last month's theme was albatrosses, and this month's is underwater basket weaving.

28 October: A passing archaeologist trips over a burin and accidentally carbon-dates Leasnam. The latter is determined to be a time-traveller from ye olde Anglo-Saxon tymes, which explains entries like to-bread, forgnide and behue, and the fact that he lives in a wychert roundhouse. Actually, we start to wonder why we never suspected anything before. Combined with the time-zone bug, this means that Leasnam and Wonderfool are each other's grandfathers. The reason why a lot of English place names end in sex is suddenly tediously apparent. We suspect that Wonderfool's mediaeval time-trolling also had something to do with the otherwise inexplicable surnames of major historical figures like William Shakesqueer, Andy Rawhole, and singer CeCe Peniston.


2 November: The Latin and Ladin languages officially merge, after discussions between the Pope and the Istitut Ladin Micurà de Rü. It's just less bloody hassle, honestly. Under the new agreement, the Vatican will have the final say on the words for chalices, roods, priests, and wafers, while the Istitut gets to name things that any normal human being gives one tenth of a fuck about. Pig Latin will remain valid for six months, after which pigs will no longer accept it.

5 November: Guy Fawkes Night. The past twelve months of deleted and archived pages are heaped into an enormous pile and ignited by a controlled flame war. The bonfire goes a bit too well and has to be doused with tea, beer, and grease. Oh shit – grease is flammable, isn't it? As the blaze rages with renewed intensity, Eq suddenly realises that bonfire rhymes with nonfire, which is an anagram of inferno. The fire crew are very impressed. They suggest that perhaps next year we have a nonfire.

9 November: Punching of the Newbie. IPs line up and are repeatedly punched in the face by admins. The traditional annual ceremony is aborted after three minutes, when it is determined that Wonderfool just made it up. He protests that he's been missing Blotto. Punched IPs are recompensed with a year's free access to Wiktionary and a Jimbo Wales T-shirt (XL size only).

18 November: The 𝖂𝖎𝖐𝖙𝖎𝖔𝖓𝖆𝖗𝖞 𝕮𝖆𝖇𝖆𝖑 convenes regarding ████████████. ObsequiousNewt ██████████████████████ deemed unsuitable ███████████████ and will in future be substituted by ██████████. Leftmostcat ████████████████████ seven whole courgettes ██████████████████ truly disgusting, and is to receive a hearty kick in the █████████████.

24 November: Wiktionary game night! (TheDaveRoss sends his apologies, as he is still only a third of the way through the RFV cleanup.) Tonight, to quote the great Philip Larkin, "it's chess". WritersCramp enjoys a phenomenal early game and is soon in possession of msh210's knight, queen, and both bishops. msh210 finally captures one of WriterCramp's pawns, whereupon WC screams for a rollback and administrator intervention. Informed that j'adoube cannot be declared retroactively, he flips the table and literally bites a merlon off one of the black rooks, earning his thirteenth block from Wiktionary.


9 December: What the fuck is egg nog? JohnC5 has unearthed a bottle of it, but is it alcoholic? Is it made of egg, or nog, or both? And what is nog anyway? Nobody has any idea, because Wiktionary is down and Google's cached page is a vandalised version exhorting readers to assault PewDiePie. Eq bravely downs the bottle anyway, makes a face, and says it tastes like Kristy's socks, which frankly raises more questions than it answers.

10 December: Wiktionary is working again. Daniel Carrero makes up for lost time by creating an entry about Nog from Deep Space Nine, helpfully defined as "a fictional Ferengi" and lumped into the same one-size-fits-all character category as Ebenezer Scrooge, Scarlett O'Hara, and Anansi.

15 December: Suspicions that the OED has been poaching from us come to a head when the OED's December update includes hauntingly familiar definitions for Jewsrael, Cuntingham, duuumb, and cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Since DTLHS only spotted this while perusing their site for words we don't have yet, he wisely keeps his mouth shut.

20 December: Lo Ximiendo comes down to breakfast in an appealing state of terror and undress, saying that she was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present. Luckily she's just confused and it was the Ghost of WikiPedant. But we're still not totally sure how he got into her room.

25 December: British Wiktionarians make a nice hot cup of tea and sit down to listen to the Queen's Speech. Afterwards, Widsith and Smurrayinchester get into an embarrassing fist-fight, not because of any patriotic disagreement over sociopolitics, but because Smurray dared to speculate that Her Majesty's /θ/ was fractionally more fronted than last year's.

28 December: A drunken Wonderfool plays a really horrible seasonal prank with the glögg. Wine/urine is no longer just a Gutenberg scanno.

January 2018

1 January 2018: A pretty little Russian girl flies a kite on a tall hill near a radar station in Mishelevka. Through a hilarious mix-up, Trump panics and hits the nuclear button. The Library of Congress, the British Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale are gone within minutes, but fortunately one dude had a deep cellar, twelve hundred cans of tuna, and Wiktionary on a DVD. The new postnuclear English that emerges four years later is mostly composed of nineteen-letter words for organic compounds, hypothetical Anglo-Saxon verbs invented by Leasnam, and strange, hissing expletives against saltwater finfish.

September 2246

8 September: The developers have fixed that time-zone bug.