Wikipedia responds to Encyclopaedia Britannica ending its print edition

As of 9:56 a.m., there have been 51 edits to Wikipedia’s Encyclopaedia Britannica entry since Tuesday, when the encyclopedia announced it would cease producing its print edition. “One Less Thing to Burn for Warmth at the End of Days,” Caity Weaver writes, including a short list of items that, like Britannica’s most recent print edition, weigh 129 pounds: “Kathie Lee Gifford in September of 2010″; “Two relatively large male Irish Water Spaniels.” Former editor Charlie Madigan tells Jim Romenesko that toward the end of his tenure at Britannica, he felt like “an ancient fart raised on a mixture of Roman Catholicism, H.L. Mencken and a daily reading of The New York Times, which dated me, of course, but kept me very well informed.”

On Twitter: A lot of jokes in the vein of “it was still being printed???” and many misspellings of the encyclopedia’s first name. British spelling is standard at Britannica, which began in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is now run from Chicago. Allan Massie pokes at Britannica’s roots: From a close (“alley” is an inexact translation, but it’ll do) in Edinburgh to a product sold door-to-door in America to its current reduced state. “I would guess that the vast majority of articles in the Britannica remain authoritative; and this indeed is true of earlier editions such as the ninth, known as ‘the scholars’ edition’ and the eleventh, the last to be published in Britain (though already American-owned).”

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled Britannica.

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  • Anonymous

    How are kids going to be able to press tree leaves for school projects?

    I really didn’t think it was still being published.

  • Anonymous

    Phew…I’m glad that its online entry for Ludwig van  Beethoven still begins with “Widely regarded as the greatest composer who ever lived…”  The NY Times recently blew it by designating Johann Sebastian Bach as rhe world’s greatest composer.  Immediately thereafter, Frank Rich and Bob Herbert left the paper, obviously not wishing to be associated with a publication that got something this wrong. 

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Unbelievable! My fault entirely. I’ll fix that right now. 

  • Leslie Hoffecker

    speaking of misspellings: it’s one t and 2 n’s (Britannica)