The Zargonic Effect
Thursday’s post reminds TOTD of it’s little run-in with the wikipolice. Not everything remains on the web once it’s posted. Thursday reported on something pulled by those who’d created it, our encounter demonstrates that Wikipedia isn’t the free for all that everything thinks it is.
We’ve used the ‘Zargonic effect’ in a project we’ve worked on for pre-entry students. (You can read about the project here: http://www.istudies.net/ojs/index.php/journal/article/view/71/59 ).
You’ve probably seen the Zargonic effect in other places – ipod advertising used silhouettes of figures a lot, Southampton Solent University used it when they became a university. It’s not uncommon in advertising. TOTD thought it might be helpful to create a Wikipedia article on the subject for those who were interested and went to some trouble to reference BBC documentaries which mentioned it, the researcher who coined the term, examples (such as those given above).
But just three weeks later one of the Wikipedia editors saw fit to remove the article on the grounds that it was a ‘neologism’ (that was the one word reason given – no further discussion until we probed into why it had been pulled) and therefore not worthy of an entry.
Unsettling though this was, it did show that you can’t just write ‘anything’ without someone taking notice.
Anyway, use the expression and perhaps one day it will be ‘allowed’; ignore this and it can die the death that the editor obviously thought it deserved. Of course, arguably the article itself has now become a kind of zargonic effect of it’s own with it’s absence like a silhouette in the midst of four conference presentations TOTD has delivered this summer!