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.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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