Open main menu

Because I am jealous of User:PseudoSkull/Wiktionary hotline dream, and because I religiously kept a diary of my dreams up until early 2014, here are some Wiktionary dreams. Naturally I have censored all the good, personally identifying stuff. Sucks to be you!



I went into an office block that represented Wiktionary and performed witty vandalism on a large number of entries. The admins soon began to chase me through the offices, which was exhilarating. Somehow, even after fixing my vandalism, they didn't ban me.

Then I was at university. The next time I tried to find the Wiktionary block, I got lost and decided I must be in Archaeology, but I soon saw a chapel with a service taking place — organ music and all — and a nearby priest confirmed that I was in the Theology block. He seemed eager to recruit me into his religion. "I was just looking for Wiktionary!" I hastily explained. [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


[This is a dream about Wikipedia but it took place during a contentious vote over my Wiktionary admin rights.]

I was in what was supposed to be the local library, where a number of the more celebrated figures from Encyclopedia Dramatica were holding a sort of undercover convention. I was part of this. Going through the library was like playing a side-scrolling Super Mario game with a chiptune rendition of one of the Mario themes, though it was a little more complex in that certain aspects of the library were present and I could interact and converse with people I passed. I knew that "finishing the level" involved revealing an awkward hidden block, but after several passes through the library I still hadn't managed to hit it.

Just inside the library foyer was a big, dark old wardrobe, and I recalled a secret associated with it. I slipped inside and nudged a little wooden switch in the back of one of its doors, which (rather like the switches in the game Hudson Hawk) would make a route available for a short time. I finally completed the level and was automatically rewarded with the chance to fill in an online form and become a Wikipedia administrator at the local library level. Knowing that the Dramatica crowd would appreciate my antics if I caused trouble in the library's systems, I eagerly signed up. Girlvinyl and two senior female librarians were watching me sign up, and unfortunately Girlvinyl messed things up by hinting at the trolling to come, which made the librarians tell me that they were revoking my admin rights immediately. "Borderline!" I exclaimed (for some reason) and handed the slip with my password on it to Girlvinyl so she could do some damage before the librarians got it back.

Later, I mentioned to a few of the Dramatica people that the library could lock us out anyway by changing the password. What we really needed to do, I said, was to edit the binary executable that checked passwords, adding a back door that would always let us get in. Girlvinyl seemed interested but ignorant, failing to understand the difference between assembler (a way that I said we could view and modify the executable) and ASCII.


[Removed a bunch of stuff about being at the Goth club.] Throughout all of this, I was coming across new words in writing or conversation and making mental notes to add them to Wiktionary. [My cat] was around, too, but even he shunned me and was more receptive to petting from [my ex-wife and her boyfriend], his apparent owners. I hadn't given up asking questions, and [ex-wife] eventually let her guard down enough to admit angrily that she was acting like this on purpose because she still had emotional wounds from our relationship and refused to reopen them. Her actual statement was couched in a metaphor about the heart.

The three of us, and some of their friends, went to a local carnival. It was a great confusion of noise and colour, and I was still dizzily picking up new words and trying to fit definitions to them. There was a wonderful word, something like spinspatulator, for the trainer who coached a wrestling strongman, and I speculated to myself on its derivation from spine.


[Removed a bunch of stuff about programming an old-fashioned computer.] The TV started to show a Channel Four documentary about the [computer] demoscene, including a long clip from [a certain demo]. Greatly surprised, I mentioned it on the Wiktionary IRC channel, but they scornfully dismissed it as lies. Indeed, for whatever reason, it wasn't currently showing on their televisions. Confused, I wondered whether I was watching a pre-recorded video without knowing it.


I was in the playground at secondary school. I had recently come across a French word for bedroom, something like ortolète, and I was wondering how on Earth I hadn't heard it before and whether it implied anything that chambre didn't. I walked with [school friend] along the path bordering the field, and we soon reached the entrance of the central block where I occasionally had maths and physics lessons. [In reality, its entrance is on the other side, facing the playground.] Glancing in, I saw that Mrs H's classroom had been enlarged and transformed into a girl's bedroom, all pink bedsheets and ornate furniture in dark wood. This, I thought, was my chance to find out about that French word.

We went in, and I somehow entered the word into the pink pillows. It showed up in the style of an adjective entry on Wiktionary, with green links for the missing inflections — but the word I had entered was not the bed word but fille rangee [sic]. I pondered this in confusion, then (under the real-life impression that rangée meant scatterbrained, which it apparently doesn't) told [school friend] that the word must refer to a ditz or bimbo. [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


I lived in a large ground-floor flat, nicely furnished, with many leafy green plants. The other residents were old retired people. Since my flat was the last one on the corridor before a blank wall, I rarely saw or interacted with them. I was watching television when a Skype-style message popped up from a co-worker (whose Japanese name, the surname in all capitals, was that of a regular Wiktionary contributor). The message included a diagram and a request for help, but the English was so bad I couldn't make any sense of what he was saying. I tersely replied "what??" and he apologised for being unable to explain any better. [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


[Removed a bunch of stuff about being Steerpike from the Gormenghast novels.] User:Logomaniac [whom at this time I wrongly assumed to be male] was up on a rocky red mountaintop near a sort of well or shaft that led down to the kitchens and other parts of the castle Gormenghast, and I saw a mental image of him there as he sent me a message requesting that I use normal e-mail rather than some sort of eccentric alternative I had proposed.


[Removed a bunch of stuff about living in the Victorian era.] On the up side, I had formed a relationship with a quiet, sweet-natured girl who looked like [girl] from the mental hospital or User:Logomaniac from Wiktionary. We really adored each other, and despite the other people in the back room I was hugging her and planting many small kisses on her face. I did think to myself, "This is probably a bit risqué in public among Victorians!", but nobody seemed offended.

The girl needed a minor medical operation, like having stitches, which was about to take place. A stuffy, middle-aged doctor/scientist type was in charge, and he stood next to an unpainted metal box, tall as a wardrobe, which was the machine he would be using. It had a sort of sewing action and was loaded with yarns of various colours. I helped out by tying a heavy paperweight-like object to one of the yarns to keep it in place, joking that to call the scientist a physicist would be an insult. Obviously, to me this Victorian operation seemed primitive and risky, and I started thinking about the complexities of twenty-first-century science and all the words from biology and genetics that didn't even mean anything here. Feeling lost and out of place, I began to cry. [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


I was working on Wiktionary when I heard the front door being unlocked. "My brother's cousin used to live here," I heard an old lady saying to somebody as they entered the house. The high-pitched voice reminded me of my father's sister, and despite the fact that I was his son and not his cousin I wondered whether she had come over from Canada for some reason and was referring to me. The room I was in was a rather fussy, chintzy living-room with antimacassars on the chairs and a mantel full of ornaments. I walked to one balcony-like end of the room and glanced downstairs: the old lady didn't look much like [father's sister]. Her unseen companion, I thought, was an estate agent. It was as though I had died or gone away and my family was here to collect my things — but of course I hadn't. [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


[Removed a bunch of stuff about a class of children.] The kids had been editing Wiktionary, badly. [Former friend] showed me an entry one of them had made under the headword ___ butterlike syndrome [the name of a disease; I forget the first word]. It was defined as an illness whose sufferers had button-like spots — i.e. the headword clearly contained a typo, butter for button — but [friend] failed to notice this and earnestly stated that the etymology must be complicated.


[Old school friend] chatted to me through an open window about an old Internet project of mine, like the [ancient Internet slang site I once made], that I had recently resurrected. It was something humorous, and I had added nostalgic notes about its origins. Something in the document exaggerated my programming abilities (just as I used to pretend to know more assembly language than I really did), and User:DCDuring left a friendly but embarrassing note on my talk page stating that he'd seen my source code from the time — it was something in C — and wasn't sure why I'd bragged about it. He said, correctly, that it looked like unexceptional code.

I found an old Web site that used to collect cryptic crosswords designed by the participants in a newsgroup. I was told that its long-time owner had let the site decay, permanently losing most of the puzzles, in the belief that nobody visited or cared about it on the modern Internet. Seeing a puzzle with a very poor grid (several words having three or four "unchecked" letters together), I was reminded of my own early puzzles and their equally bad layouts. I also recalled the silly idea I'd had of putting together a crossword whose cryptic clues were all convincing nonsense and bore no relation to the words in the solution, just to make people scratch their heads.


The mirror in the bathroom had been replaced by a large whiteboard. User:Conrad.Irwin from Wiktionary was talking to a Wikipedia administrator there. The administrator had written various accusations on the board about some other user. By doing this he had stepped outside Wikipedia's stated goals of civility and openness, but he was relying on the fact that what he had written would be automatically purged from the board, and from Wikipedia's history, in the near future. I threatened to take a photograph.


Wonderfool had abducted a number of the administrators by means of Star Trek-style teleportation. They now found themselves in his lair, a large dim room with stone walls, something like a church but for its home-like furnishings. Wonderfool challenged the admins to a game of chess, hoping to defeat them once and for all, but it was a quirky version of chess with his own silly rules. Props included a flying duck, which could drop a plastic egg onto the board, and a trick die of some sort, guaranteed to roll a certain number (or perhaps having the same number on every one of its sides). A Goth concert had taken place in the same large room, and hundreds of Goths were still sitting there in rows, chatting after the concert.

I started fiddling with a computer, trying to open Winamp's File Info dialogue so that I could add ID3 tags to one of the songs that had been played, but the Alt+3 keypress wasn't working, and neither was the mouse. One of the Goths pointed out that it wasn't Winamp at all but a physical solid object, a portable music player like a Walkman, and I wondered how I could have been so obtuse.


[Removed a bunch of stuff about God knows what: crime and urination apparently.] Apparently, public pissing in itself was nothing to be embarrassed about. When [former friend] had to go, I shifted the funnel end into the next bidet to avert the intended mess (though some still spilled). I asked her who the prankster was, and something about why the funnel was there at all, but either she failed to hear me or I didn't properly take in her answer.

"Thanks, headmate," [former friend] said. This was usually a term for a friend who would hold your long hair back while you vomited. I went to my father's bedroom window overlooking the street, which functioned as a Wiktionary terminal, and looked up headmate. It suggested head picker, with the given definition and several more that were vague and redundant. I wanted to delete them, but I knew that as an anonymous IP address I would have my changes reverted, or else the same junk would be reinserted by somebody else later.


I was in the long living area on the middle floor of my house, but it was furnished differently. Primarily, there was a big bed in lieu of a sofa (and at the other end), where I lay alongside about a dozen people from the crossword newsgroup. Most of us were composing or solving clues, but one mischievous fellow — nobody knew which of us it was — kept introducing fart-related clues at the same time as releasing silent farts in the general vicinity. Some people were annoyed by this, but it made me almost cry with laughter. [I think he represented the cheeky troublemaker Wonderfool from Wiktionary.] [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


[Removed a bunch of stuff about visiting a little village and watching a puppet show.] The whole performance consisted only of this unimpressive bookmark shadow, and it soon became tedious. After about ten minutes, [ex-girlfriend] rose to leave. I whispered that it would be rude to leave in mid-show — I felt a little sorry for the untalented performer — but she insisted and so we eventually slipped outside. As we left the village and began walking back the way we had come, I thought about the local Shetland dialect and wondered whether I knew enough about it to add a few dialectal words to Wiktionary.


I was traversing a narrow, reedy watercourse fringed with tall rushes. There was no pavement or track around it, so I had to make my way by clambering over boats and through or over the occasional floating structure for boat users. Nobody else was present. Around the outside of the watercourse, beyond the long grass, there were occasional entrances to meadows, mostly marked with a two-word phrase (one of the words was County) which appeared to have some legal meaning, indicating that the land could not be used for building houses or keeping cattle — though some of the fields did contain cows. I made a mental note to look up the term later and add it to Wiktionary. I imagined that User:SemperBlotto would know about it and edit my entry. [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


I was in some kind of club. It was daytime, and the place had the atmosphere of a nice family pub. Many people were present, and I might have been there as part of a group. The previous artwork on the walls had been replaced with black-and-white [redacted] drawings. I found this a rather intriguing thing to be up on the walls, but felt too embarrassed to study them as closely as I might have liked.

I went over to a table where a couple of admins were working on Wiktionary, and fired up my application for importing words from Webster 1913. The words seemed like obscure nonce usages, e.g. quorum had once been something edible, but in the given citation — very possibly the only one — it had an older and different spelling. I felt ignorant and considered asking the others for their opinion.


Wonderfool had written an etymology for zoea (or some similar word), claiming that it came from Aeoea (or similar), a [fictional] language that he habitually messed about in on Wiktionary. The etymology was clearly a prank. It related to a certain cave — I saw its entrance amid lush vegetation — and a supposed superstition that anybody entering this cave would be thrown out in some supernatural fashion by a god. I was certain that the word was actually from Ancient Greek.


I was staying in the old house, but I wasn't part of the family that lived there. Their son was User:Pilcrow; he also had some aspects of [long-ago ex-girlfriend's boyfriend after she broke up with me]. He was always coldly polite, but he had no emotional engagement with anybody, and even his parents were afraid of him. He was clearly a psychopath. I had always acted patronisingly towards this young man, and he hated me deeply. I could sense his disgust when we were in the same room, and I was constantly on edge, expecting a violent attack from him.

The attack finally came one day in the living-room, when, having been calmly talking, he suddenly rushed at me with a knife. [It was the sharp unserrated wooden-handled knife that I use to cut fruit, etc.] "Run! He's got a knife!" I shouted rapidly and repeatedly, as he chased me around the ground floor of the house. I escaped into the front garden by the back door of the kitchen, but then he stabbed me in the heart and I collapsed, certain that I would die.


[Skipped some stuff.] [My sister] and I were in [ex-girlfriend]'s bedroom. [Sister] was lying on the bed, and the computer was on the chest of drawers near the door. I looked up the names Brian and Sheila on Wiktionary and was unimpressed to see that somebody had ignorantly defined them based on puns, e.g. "someone who catches fire" [or similar; in the dream this was a pun on the name, of the kind that might actually work with e.g. "Bernie" for "burn"].

While correcting the entries, I typed the phrase "he spoke", which [due to dream confusion] was spelled "he boke". It looked strange, though. "Is that how you spell boke?" I asked [sister] doubtfully. She burst out laughing at my bemusement over such an everyday word.


[Removed a bunch of stuff about staying at an academic institution to study espionage.] A model train ran around the perimeter of the compound, on top of the wall, and a common idle superstition was to watch the train and other things in the surrounding environment, and thereby determine which person one would see, greet, or be romantically involved with next. There was a phrase for this game, and I added a long descriptive entry to Wiktionary, hesitating over whether to use environment or landscape. [Removed the rest of the dream, which isn't about Wiktionary.]


I was working on Wiktionary. One of the users had a bit of an obsession with the topic of Islam (like User:Pass a Method), and today he had really gone a bit mad and was posting all of these smirking threats about jihad and terrorism, as if he knew something we didn't. Looking at his talk page, I saw that he had made an appeal to administrators to stop me interfering with him, or posting on his talk page, etc.; and he had referred to me by my real birth name. I knew that it wouldn't help much to remove this, since the page history would still be available, but I edited the page anyway and replaced the real name with my user name, Equinox. In the edit summary I included a comment, something like: "it's a bit nasty to use real names".

Now I was in the living-room of the old house, sitting on the chair immediately to the right when entering from the hall. One of the other admins was there, too. He had short hair and an androgynous appearance; knowing the often ambiguous gender and sexuality of Wiktionary admins, I couldn't be sure whether to regard him as male or as female. The two of us were talking about these various crazy users who get carried away with a single issue, like the Islam guy. The other admin was sympathetic to my plight. Eventually, he came over and pressed his lips to mine in a kiss. I felt rather uncomfortable about this, being unsure of his gender/sexuality, but I let it continue anyway.