UnNews:Style

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{{HowTo}}
 
{{HowTo}}
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Everybody wants to write [[UnNews]]. They read an article and think, "Wow! I can do that!" Then they do it. Unfortunately, few actually know how to ''really'' create an UnNews article.
   
Everybody wants to make an [[UnNews]] article. They look at it, and think, "Wow! I can make news stories!" Then they do it. Unfortunately, few actually know how to ''really'' create an UnNews article.
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The method of writing an article by patterning it after another article is 90% unreliable, half the time. UnNews is not monkey see, monkey do. We are '''professionals'''--apart from the troubling, minor detail of not getting paid. And UnNews is about satire: taking true stories and making them funny. Alternatively, you may write an article that is partially or completely made up. In this case, the trick is to make it ''appear'' to be news.
   
So what do they do? They briefly look at other UnNews articles and attempt to figure out how to write one. This method is 100% unreliable almost 100% of the time. UnNews is not monkey see, monkey do. We are professionals (or like to think so). UnNews is about satire: taking true stories and making them funny. Alternatively, you may write an article which is partially or completely made up. In this case, the trick to this is to make it ''appear'' to be news.
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==Ignorable policy==
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This article is like any of Uncyclopedia's "Ignorable policies." We are looking for '''funny articles''', not for compliance with rules; and the purpose of this article is to '''help you write some''', not to provide section and verse with which to delete your work and ban you. (Only bad faith would guarantee that.) Gifted users of the English language can use puns, references to funny things, and clever turns of phrases to make even a concept pulled from a bodily orifice fun to read; and flagrantly violating any of these rules, deliberately and for a clear comic effect, can be successful. In which case: What rule book?
   
== Make An Article ==
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==Edit an existing article==
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This is a wiki, which means that any user, with or without a user name, is entitled to edit articles. With rare exceptions,<ref>If an article has extensive errors, they may be the joke. Check to see if the article is in [[:Category:Articles containing intentional misspellings or grammatical errors]]. Articles that UnNews editors want to preserve in their current, ridiculous state, are in [[:Category:Articles containing unintentional misspellings or grammatical errors and should be left that way because it makes it more better]]. These exceptions are consistent with the point in the main text, that you understand the comedic purpose of an article before you change it.</ref> we eagerly hope you will correct spelling and grammar mistakes wherever you find them.
   
Before we go in-depth about how to actually format an article, we'll look at some things you should/shouldn't make an article about:
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However, do not edit an existing article until you understand not just what the creator is saying but why he wrote it. It is not enough that your contribution be funny! It must support the intended comedy effect of the original article.
   
=== You Should... ===
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===Examples===
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In an UnNews article that claims that politicians of one party are playing a manipulative trick--but politicians of the other party are falling for it--your contribution that this or that politician looks funny will not be welcome. It might be a good joke, but it will detract from the theme of the article.
   
 
{{factoid|That you can ruin any article by mentioning "[[Michael Jackson]]"?}}
 
{{factoid|That you can ruin any article by mentioning "[[Michael Jackson]]"?}}
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Rather than pull a funny article in a different humor direction, write your own UnNews article (see below). As elsewhere in Uncyclopedia, we welcome multiple UnNews articles on the same news, even articles with contradictory facts. We are not creating an alternate universe with a "canon" that all writers must follow consistently.
   
#Make an article about a real event that occurred, yet twist some of it around and fake some quotes. Great places to find real stories would be news websites. Just find the most interesting article and rewrite it in a humorous fashion.
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When golfer Tiger Woods gave a public apology for adultery, one author wrote an UnNews based on the mistaken impression that the golfer was Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Another author wrote an UnNews to suggest that the apology was insincere. You can't pull this in both directions in the same news story, and multiple articles was the solution.
#Create your own story, but make it sound realistic. "'''Alien hotdogs go on rampage and start eating people!'''" is not a good title or subject for an article. It may be creative, but it's far from believable or funny.
 
#Link to other UnNews stories, or use them as sources. Expand on other UnNews stories.
 
   
=== You Shouldn't... ===
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==Create a new article==
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===New articles based on real news===
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Check a news web site or a newspaper. Find the most interesting article and rewrite it in a humorous fashion. Cite your sources, as explained [[#Sources|below]]. (You can find the news on radio or TV, but it's harder to cite your sources.)
   
#Write a [[racist]], [[sexist]], homophobic, or generally hateful story. This violates Uncyclopedia policies.
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How do you rewrite the news to be funny? There are hundreds of ways; here are a few:
#Have an extremely politically-biased article. Don't favor anyone or anything in an article. This is '''not''' Fox News. Personal agendas should not be promoted.
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*Mash together two news events. The legislature is deadlocked on the budget? A gorilla escaped from the zoo? Geez--maybe there's a connection!
#Make articles to simply insult celebrities, politicians, or anyone else that you disagree with. Calling [[George W. Bush]] a monkey may be nice for political cartoons, but it hardly makes an interesting news story.
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*Extend real-world events to absurdity. One article was based on a basketball team owner's actual promise to increase attendance, and "reported" some absurd promotions that resulted.
#Create stories that don't appeal to most. Inside jokes, memes, and names of your friends should never be included in an article. Ever.
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*Illustrate hypocrisy. Did a public figure make a promise? Perhaps he doesn't mean it. Perhaps he is breaking his promise as he speaks. Perhaps he would obviously benefit if the opposite happens.
#Finally, if you're still unsure about whether or not the news story your about to writer violates the above guidelines, then simply just don't write it and try something else.
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*Politics makes strange bedfellows, which means there are often alliances of convenience in which people support things they don't really believe in. Again, you can have some fun showing their lukewarm commitment to their alliance, or imagine how it is breaking into pieces in the cloakroom.
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*When something completely obvious and predictable happens, you can portrary public figures as incredulous.
   
== Format ==
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Of course, on your way in the door you read [[UN:HTBFANJS|Uncyclopedia's guide]] about humor in general. Didn't you?
   
Now that you know what is acceptable and what isn't, the UnNews format is fairly simple. The most confusing part for some may be the "Sources" section, but we'll get into that later.
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===New articles '''not''' based on real news===
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You are free to make up your own news, but effective humor requires that your result look like real news. '''"Alien hot dogs go on rampage and start eating people!"''' is not a good title or subject for an article. It may be creative, but it's far from believable or funny.
   
=== Title ===
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Ah, but what if a government issued health regulations for hot dogs? Shouldn't UnNews have an article about the hot dogs' reaction? The difference between random crap and a good article is this '''link to reality.''' A totally random article is not as funny as it could be. Fans of UnNews are fans of the news, and they follow current events.
It is generally accepted that titles should be lower-cased (except for proper nouns, etc.).
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*If you quote a public figure, he should be saying something he says all the time, or that he would be likely to say.
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*You are free to create your own quotes, but it's especially funny if you can use an exact quote in a situation where it would be perverse.
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*You are free to create your own people and put words in their mouth, but it should illustrate something, such as a public misconception.
   
=== Location, Location, Location ===
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It is hard to make a good article on made-up news. There is a place for articles with ''non sequitur'' titles, meanderings in the style of Monty Python, and writing nonsense in a serious tone as though it were reality. The '''link to reality''' ensures that the result '''relates to the reader''' for some reason other than that it occurred to your glorious, gifted mind.
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{{Original}}
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Articles based on made-up news should include the {{tl|Original}} template, which creates a legend (right) declaring the article to be [[Lies|first-hand journalism]]. (In the business, this is known as ''putting a shine on a sneaker.'')
   
UnNews articles start with the location in which the event took place (this falls upon the "who, what, '''where''', when, and why? of journalism). Below is an example:
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===UnNews editorials===
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'''Proceed with extreme caution!''' We sincerely do not want to know your political opinion, nor to read your own editorial, no matter how clever. UnNews residents are all over the political map, and we work together better when we keep our more intractable views to ourselves. We will not have UnNews used as a tool of political or religious persuasion.
   
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That said, UnNews, as elsewhere in Uncyclopedia, tolerates articles written from points of view other than the neutral but befuddled reporter. It is not automatic that readers will understand the alternate-point-of-view theme, and your editorial should make very clear in whose voice you are writing. Make it clear that your article is an editorial and not a news article by doing three things:
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*Start the article with the {{tl|UnNews Editorial}} template instead of the {{tl|News}} template.
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*Use the {{tl|Title}} template to change the page heading to begin with '''UnNews Editorial:'''
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*Use the {{tl|Original}} template, illustrated above, as you would for a made-up news story.
   
'''CHERNOBYL, Ukraine''' Ten-legged reindeer were spotted by touring nuclear scientists today after...
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We understand that you may bring your own biases to the job, both in what you say and in what you choose to write an article about. The guy you voted for seems less apt for ridicule than his opponent. Nevertheless, take care. Writing an editorial in the voice of a famous politician?
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*You may use his quotes or positions to illustrate inconsistencies, or even to mock his mannerisms.
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*You should not use the article either to espouse or to attack his point of view.
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*You should not use his voice as a cover to state your own opinions.
   
----
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===Other sources for ideas for articles===
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*A past UnNews article might need to be brought up to date. Don't tell the exact same story, but you might make the same funny point using more recent events.
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*On the UnNews main page, there is a section '''Stories being reviewed by Minitrue'''. These are headlines some other user thought would be funny. That user didn't write a story but left the headline there in case you want to do the work. What a guy.
   
Note that the more precise of the two (the city in this case) is capitalized, possibly emphasizing accuracy. Also, the entire location is bolded, and then followed up with a dash, after which the news story begins.
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===General rules for choice of article===
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#Don't write an article that reflects hatred for any race, sex, or group of people. This violates Uncyclopedia policies. Gentle ridicule of the '''behavior''' of a group is not necessarily hateful--but any such talk should clearly contribute to the humor, and should not itself be the subject or the joke of an article.
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#Don't write an article that is politically biased, favors one side, or pursues a personal agenda. If you want to write about politics, choose a situation in which all sides are acting equally foolish. (This happens almost all the time.) Writing an article belittling a particular politician or party invites others to write articles to get even with you, and the result is neither funny nor fun.
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#Don't write an article to simply insult celebrities, politicians, or anyone else that you disagree with.
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#Write articles with broad appeal. UnNews articles based on real news should be based on world or national news, or at least on news of cities that most everyone knows about. If there are ridiculous shenanigans on the Palm Beach City Council, most readers won't be able to appreciate your rendition of them unless you describe them in a way that is funny in its own right.
   
Most UnNews articles use a double dash ("--") or dash ("-" or "—") to lead from the location to the article itself. It is also acceptable to use a colon (":"), but anything else is prohibited and could get you shot.
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These rules are still subordinate to the fact that this entire Guide is an [[#Ignorable policy|ignorable policy]]. [[User:Zim ulator|The Reverend]] asserts that an anti-Semitic rant in the name of a white supremacist, or a rant against [[Barack Obama|Obama]] from [[Glenn Beck]]--or even [[Miley Cyrus]]--could be pulled off skillfully and result in successful humor. On the other hand, as one of your first handful of UnNews stories, it's unwise to pick such a challenge with which to introduce yourself to us. Before pushing the established boundaries so early in your career, perhaps you might run it by someone in charge.
   
=== Picture(s) ===
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===Still unsure?===
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If you're unsure about whether an article would violate these guidelines, there are two solutions:
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*Contact other editors, which you can do by bringing up the '''History''' of a well-written article and clicking on '''Talk''' for its author. Far from viewing it as an imposition, most authors are honored by a request for their opinion.
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*Or just abandon the idea and write about something else.
   
{{tip|right|A picture really isn't worth 1,000 words. It's closer to somewhere around 357 words.}}
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==Content==
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Unless you are writing an [[#UnNews editorials|UnNews editorial]], the most important rule is to '''keep yourself out of the article'''. We all know that you have fantasized about being a reporter, and the first thing you would say is, "Hey, everyone! Look at me! I'm reporting the news!" Not good.
   
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Many articles begin by stating, "UnNews has learned...." Rip it out! The fact that something has happened to UnNews is not the news! Just jump in to the story--leave yourself out. This is an important part of making your article look like a real news story. Likewise, what the UnNews reporter believes, or thinks will happen next, detracts from the believability of an article.
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Some people tend to interpret the facts before they state the facts. This too is bad news reporting. Don't write, "In a shocking development today...." Report the news (as you see--or misinterpret--it). The job of deciding whether the news is shocking belongs to your reader, although you may certainly invent quotes from people who were shocked.
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Inside jokes and memes are rarely permissible. Names of private citizens (such as your friends) should never be included in an article.
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Obscenity occasionally appears in UnNews articles, but, similar to ridiculing the behavior of groups of people, your use of obscenity should have a point in making the article funny. And euphemisms (such as ''bleeping'' or ''fricking'') usually make the point equally well.
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===Who? What? When? Where? Why?===
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A tenet of conventional journalism is to be sure to answer these five questions. You are setting out to write a funny story--but it wants to look like a news article, and so, it should still answer these five questions.
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===Paragraphs===
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Again to make your story superficially resemble a news article: Unless you have some other, deliberate scheme, such as describing a sequence of events in the order in which they occurred, follow the rule that journalists follow:
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*The first paragraph (the '''lead''') should simply summarize what happened, in a way that tells the reader why it is of interest, and with no details at all. The lead will appear on the UnNews main page for a short time.
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*The next paragraph should give the most important details. Subsequent paragraphs should give less and less important details, and late in the story, you can provide supplementary information, quotes, and background.
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*News stories do not finish with a moral, happy hopes for the future, or the UnNews reporter's reaction, interpretation, or whether his pants are soiled. You are writing news, not a script for a pep rally and not a fairy tale!
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== Format ==
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More so than Uncyclopedia in general, UnNews has a few absolute rules of formatting. Our articles are all in the same place and we look more like a real news source if our news stories have a similar appearance.
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===Title===
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The title of your article starts with a capital letter, but otherwise uses all lower case except where grammar dictates the use of capitals (such as names and other proper nouns). Some newspapers capitalize nearly every word; we don't.
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===Location===
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All UnNews articles start with a two-part location in which the event took place. If the second part is a state of the U.S. or a province of Canada, you need not give the country name as a third part. (Adding more parts until you specify which universe the news occurred in, is sometimes seen, but is trite.) The first part of the two-part location is capitalized, and both parts are in boldface. Below is an example:
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'''CHERNOBYL, Ukraine''' — Ten-legged reindeer were spotted by touring nuclear scientists today after...
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Between the location and the start of the story, type a dash ("-"), a double dash ("--") or an em-dash ("&mdash;"), separated by spaces; or a colon followed by a space.
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=== Picture(s) ===
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{{tip|right|A picture really isn't worth 1,000 words. It's closer to somewhere around 357 words.}}
 
At least one picture should be in your article. Most pictures should range from 180-300px in size. Additionally, if your picture is longer than your article, lengthen your article.
 
At least one picture should be in your article. Most pictures should range from 180-300px in size. Additionally, if your picture is longer than your article, lengthen your article.
   
It is preferred that you find a picture already on [[Uncyclopedia]] as oppose to uploading a completely new one (we call this "[[recycling]]"). If you absolutely must upload a new picture, please make sure that it is relevant to your article and helps add visual representation to the article. A humorous caption would also be nice.
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Look for a picture already on [[Uncyclopedia]] as oppose to uploading a completely new one. (We call this "[[recycling]].") If you must upload a new picture, make sure that it is relevant to your article and helps the article visually. It helps if the picture is inherently funny, and if you write a caption for it that is funny.
   
=== Sources ===
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===Highlighting===
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UnNews articles use highlighting above and beyond other Uncyclopedia articles:
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*Quotations are enclosed in double-quotes, and '''the entire thing''' is rendered in Italic. ''"That strikes me as crazy, but it's the way it's done here,"'' is an example.
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*Names of institutions or organizations are rendered in '''boldface'''.
   
Many may be confused about the "Sources" section. First of all, you don't have to have two sources or even ''one'' source, so don't think that just because there are two sources tables that you have to have two sources.
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===Citations of your sources ===
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The template for a new article provides tables for you to describe two sources. This doesn't mean that you have to provide two, or even one. However, in an UnNews article based on real news, citations help a reader enjoy your joke, because the reader can click on the link and read the actual news you are making fun of.
   
If you made your article about a real event, find a real news article online about that story, and copy and paste the URL address to where it says "url=". Basically, here's what to put:
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Therefore, find a real news article online about that story, and copy and paste the URL address to where it says "url=". Basically, here's what to put:
   
 
'''url'''= [put the URL of a real news article here] <br>
 
'''url'''= [put the URL of a real news article here] <br>
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'''title'''= [put the title of a real news article here] <br>
 
'''author'''= [put the author of the news story] <br>
 
'''author'''= [put the author of the news story] <br>
 
'''pub'''= [put the publisher of the URL above (CNN, MSN, BBC, etc.) <br>
 
'''pub'''= [put the publisher of the URL above (CNN, MSN, BBC, etc.) <br>
 
'''date'''= [date the article was published]
 
'''date'''= [date the article was published]
   
=== Spell-checking ===
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In made-up news, there can be no citation of a real news story that prompted the UnNews version. You could provide a made-up citation, either (1) to further the illusion that this is real news, or (2) to have the citation be funny in its own right. You could cite an Uncyclopedia article that takes the same misconception further.
[[Image:Screen110.JPG|thumb|right|200px|Indeed, you must copy it from an edit box (click to enlarge).]]
 
   
Nothing pisses us off more than typos and grammatical errors, especially if we decide to add an audio to your story. It's almost effortless to simply copy and paste an article and run it through a spell-check or [[Uncyclopedia:Proofreading Service|submit it here]]. Here's how to do your own spell-checking if you're a [[you|moron]]:
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===Links===
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UnNews articles contain many links to Uncyclopedia articles. Like Uncyclopedia articles, only code a word as a link on its first use. If you have written an article with few words that correspond to Uncyclopedia articles, pick some important words or phrases and use a two-part link (with pipe) to direct them to any suitable Uncyclopedia article. Perhaps even an unsuitable one. (See also [[#Red links|red links]], below.)
   
#Click the "edit" tab at the top of the page, or if you're already editing it, skip this step. This is essential, because copied work from anywhere else other than an edit box cannot be read by some spell-checks.
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==Quality assurance==
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===Best practices===
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If it's going to take many revisions to develop your article, do it in your own userspace before saving it into the <code>UnNews:</code> space. During an edit, you can always click on the '''Preview''' button to see how your article will look without completing your edit. Don't contribute a rough draft to <code>UnNews:</code> and then edit it a dozen times in this space. Avoiding numerous revisions in the public change history is a recommendation throughout Uncyclopedia.
   
#Find an online spell-check, or use a word processing program to spell-check your work after you paste it. Remember: copy, don't cut. Cutting can cause you to lose your article.
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===Spell-checking===
#Correct any misspelled words.
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[[Image:Screen110.JPG|thumb|right|200px|Indeed, you must copy it from an edit box (click to enlarge).]]
#Copy and paste the work back into the edit box over the old work.
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Leaving typoes and grammatical errors in a "finished" story means we have to fix them, especially if we decide to add an audio to your story. It's almost effortless to spell-check your article; or [[Uncyclopedia:Proofreading Service|call on other Uncyclopedians]] for proofreading help.
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Here's how to do your own spell-checking:
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*While editing your article, make a local copy of the entire text.
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**On Windows, Ctrl-A selects the entire text, and Alt-E C copies it to the Clipboard.
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**Copy, don't "cut," which removes the text from the original document.
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**Copy from an edit window (see the illustration at right). If you copy from the finished article or a preview, the formatting characters you use to cause boldfacing, italics, section headings, and links are not copied. If you pasted the spell-checked result back into Uncyclopedia, your formatting would be lost for good.
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*Paste that text into an online spell-checker, or into a new window of a local word processor such as Microsoft Word that has a spell-checker function.
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*Correct any misspelled words, either by further editing the article on Uncyclopedia, or by editing the local copy and then copying and pasting it back into the Uncyclopedia edit box, replacing the old text.
   
Because spell-checks aren't flawless, read over the article yourself to make sure everything is in order. Make sure things sound right, because inconsistency is one of the number one causes of premature article death on [[Uncyclopedia]]. We cut this one guy's fingers off for writing a really horrible article one time.
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An article passed by an automatic spell-checker is not necessarily correct. A spell-checker simply verifies that your words are words, not that they are the right words. (For example, ''see'' versus ''sea.'') Spell-checking doesn't relieve you of the job of re-reading your article to make sure everything is in order and consistent.
   
 
For more on spelling and grammar, go [[Beginner's Guide/GRAMMOR|here]].
 
For more on spelling and grammar, go [[Beginner's Guide/GRAMMOR|here]].
   
=== Red Links ===
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===Red links===
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[[asdfasdf|Red links]] mean you have [[asdfadf|pointed]] the reader to an [[asdfasdf|Uncyclopedia]] article that [[asdfasdf|doesn't exist]]. With very few exceptions,<ref>Red-links might be intentional: (1) if the author is using them, knowing that the destination article doesn't exist, as a sort of request for someone to create it, or (2) if the author is using a great many red-links to illustrate something. Unintentional red-links might be present in a thoroughly bad article that people have decided to preserve in its thoroughly bad state. Be sure none of these is the case before you go "correcting" an article.</ref> a finished UnNews article should have no red links. Whenever you use double-brackets to specify a link, it should be to an Uncyclopedia article that exists. Here are three ways to determine whether an article exists for you to link to:
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*Open a new browser window and [[search]] Uncyclopedia for the word you want to turn into a link.
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*You can set your User Preferences so that, any time you type <nowiki>[[</nowiki> followed by text, a pop-up window suggests the names of articles starting with that text.
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*When you preview your article, there should be [[asdfasdf|no red]] in it. If you [[asdfasdf|see red]], continue editing rather than saving it. Otherwise, you will make us [[asdfasdf|see red]].
   
It [[cannot]] be [[stressed]] enough [[fdasd|that]] red links are [[%$#@ing]] annoying. [[fejlwal|Red]] links [[fdsaf|are]] links that [[heradfs|go]] nowhere. [[fads|To]] avoid red links, do a [[search]] on Uncyclopedia [[fdafsd|to]] actually see if the article you're [[having]] the [[article link]] to [[fdafsdfd|even]] exists. [[faffdsa|Of]] [[course]], [[do]] this in a [[uuuufasfd|new]] window to make sure you don't lose [[fadsj|any]] work. Or [[youuuuuuuu|you]] could just [[fsssper|press]] preview and [[Micaddfa|check]] to see if [[akserf|there]] are [[qp3oieri|any]] red links [[prior]] to saving.
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===Epic fails===
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Some excellent stand-up comics deliver jokes that are duds, and Uncyclopedia's best writers sometimes write articles that just aren't funny to anyone else. The UnNews proprietors make small changes in the <code>UnNews:</code> to "tidy up" an article according to the style rules presented here. However, in an article that obviously hasn't been proofread well or has major conceptual problems, the proprietors may "mercy move" your article from <code>UnNews:</code> into your personal userspace. This will always be accompanied by a note on your talk page, or your article's talk page, explaining what points you need to correct.
   
== See also ==
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Don't take it personally, and deal with the proprietor in good faith to produce a high-quality article.
   
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==Footnotes==
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<references/>
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== See also ==
 
*[[Help:How to write an UnNews article|How to write an UnNews article]]
 
*[[Help:How to write an UnNews article|How to write an UnNews article]]
 
*[[HowTo:Tune up an article]]
 
*[[HowTo:Tune up an article]]

Revision as of 01:53, March 9, 2010

Blue check This page is considered an ignorable policy on Uncyclopedia.

It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone should follow, unless they don't want to, in which case they are free to ignore it, in which case nobody will care. Please make use of the standing on one knee position to propose to this policy.

Gorillatrans HowTo 
This article is part of Uncyclopedia's HowTo series.
See more HowTos

Everybody wants to write UnNews. They read an article and think, "Wow! I can do that!" Then they do it. Unfortunately, few actually know how to really create an UnNews article.

The method of writing an article by patterning it after another article is 90% unreliable, half the time. UnNews is not monkey see, monkey do. We are professionals--apart from the troubling, minor detail of not getting paid. And UnNews is about satire: taking true stories and making them funny. Alternatively, you may write an article that is partially or completely made up. In this case, the trick is to make it appear to be news.

Ignorable policy

This article is like any of Uncyclopedia's "Ignorable policies." We are looking for funny articles, not for compliance with rules; and the purpose of this article is to help you write some, not to provide section and verse with which to delete your work and ban you. (Only bad faith would guarantee that.) Gifted users of the English language can use puns, references to funny things, and clever turns of phrases to make even a concept pulled from a bodily orifice fun to read; and flagrantly violating any of these rules, deliberately and for a clear comic effect, can be successful. In which case: What rule book?

Edit an existing article

This is a wiki, which means that any user, with or without a user name, is entitled to edit articles. With rare exceptions,[1] we eagerly hope you will correct spelling and grammar mistakes wherever you find them.

However, do not edit an existing article until you understand not just what the creator is saying but why he wrote it. It is not enough that your contribution be funny! It must support the intended comedy effect of the original article.

Examples

In an UnNews article that claims that politicians of one party are playing a manipulative trick--but politicians of the other party are falling for it--your contribution that this or that politician looks funny will not be welcome. It might be a good joke, but it will detract from the theme of the article.

DramaticQuestionMark
Did you know...
That you can ruin any article by mentioning "Michael Jackson"?

Rather than pull a funny article in a different humor direction, write your own UnNews article (see below). As elsewhere in Uncyclopedia, we welcome multiple UnNews articles on the same news, even articles with contradictory facts. We are not creating an alternate universe with a "canon" that all writers must follow consistently.

When golfer Tiger Woods gave a public apology for adultery, one author wrote an UnNews based on the mistaken impression that the golfer was Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Another author wrote an UnNews to suggest that the apology was insincere. You can't pull this in both directions in the same news story, and multiple articles was the solution.

Create a new article

New articles based on real news

Check a news web site or a newspaper. Find the most interesting article and rewrite it in a humorous fashion. Cite your sources, as explained below. (You can find the news on radio or TV, but it's harder to cite your sources.)

How do you rewrite the news to be funny? There are hundreds of ways; here are a few:

  • Mash together two news events. The legislature is deadlocked on the budget? A gorilla escaped from the zoo? Geez--maybe there's a connection!
  • Extend real-world events to absurdity. One article was based on a basketball team owner's actual promise to increase attendance, and "reported" some absurd promotions that resulted.
  • Illustrate hypocrisy. Did a public figure make a promise? Perhaps he doesn't mean it. Perhaps he is breaking his promise as he speaks. Perhaps he would obviously benefit if the opposite happens.
  • Politics makes strange bedfellows, which means there are often alliances of convenience in which people support things they don't really believe in. Again, you can have some fun showing their lukewarm commitment to their alliance, or imagine how it is breaking into pieces in the cloakroom.
  • When something completely obvious and predictable happens, you can portrary public figures as incredulous.

Of course, on your way in the door you read Uncyclopedia's guide about humor in general. Didn't you?

New articles not based on real news

You are free to make up your own news, but effective humor requires that your result look like real news. "Alien hot dogs go on rampage and start eating people!" is not a good title or subject for an article. It may be creative, but it's far from believable or funny.

Ah, but what if a government issued health regulations for hot dogs? Shouldn't UnNews have an article about the hot dogs' reaction? The difference between random crap and a good article is this link to reality. A totally random article is not as funny as it could be. Fans of UnNews are fans of the news, and they follow current events.

  • If you quote a public figure, he should be saying something he says all the time, or that he would be likely to say.
  • You are free to create your own quotes, but it's especially funny if you can use an exact quote in a situation where it would be perverse.
  • You are free to create your own people and put words in their mouth, but it should illustrate something, such as a public misconception.

It is hard to make a good article on made-up news. There is a place for articles with non sequitur titles, meanderings in the style of Monty Python, and writing nonsense in a serious tone as though it were reality. The link to reality ensures that the result relates to the reader for some reason other than that it occurred to your glorious, gifted mind.

UnNews Logo Potato
This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.

Articles based on made-up news should include the {{Original}} template, which creates a legend (right) declaring the article to be first-hand journalism. (In the business, this is known as putting a shine on a sneaker.)

UnNews editorials

Proceed with extreme caution! We sincerely do not want to know your political opinion, nor to read your own editorial, no matter how clever. UnNews residents are all over the political map, and we work together better when we keep our more intractable views to ourselves. We will not have UnNews used as a tool of political or religious persuasion.

That said, UnNews, as elsewhere in Uncyclopedia, tolerates articles written from points of view other than the neutral but befuddled reporter. It is not automatic that readers will understand the alternate-point-of-view theme, and your editorial should make very clear in whose voice you are writing. Make it clear that your article is an editorial and not a news article by doing three things:

  • Start the article with the {{UnNews Editorial}} template instead of the {{News}} template.
  • Use the {{Title}} template to change the page heading to begin with UnNews Editorial:
  • Use the {{Original}} template, illustrated above, as you would for a made-up news story.

We understand that you may bring your own biases to the job, both in what you say and in what you choose to write an article about. The guy you voted for seems less apt for ridicule than his opponent. Nevertheless, take care. Writing an editorial in the voice of a famous politician?

  • You may use his quotes or positions to illustrate inconsistencies, or even to mock his mannerisms.
  • You should not use the article either to espouse or to attack his point of view.
  • You should not use his voice as a cover to state your own opinions.

Other sources for ideas for articles

  • A past UnNews article might need to be brought up to date. Don't tell the exact same story, but you might make the same funny point using more recent events.
  • On the UnNews main page, there is a section Stories being reviewed by Minitrue. These are headlines some other user thought would be funny. That user didn't write a story but left the headline there in case you want to do the work. What a guy.

General rules for choice of article

  1. Don't write an article that reflects hatred for any race, sex, or group of people. This violates Uncyclopedia policies. Gentle ridicule of the behavior of a group is not necessarily hateful--but any such talk should clearly contribute to the humor, and should not itself be the subject or the joke of an article.
  2. Don't write an article that is politically biased, favors one side, or pursues a personal agenda. If you want to write about politics, choose a situation in which all sides are acting equally foolish. (This happens almost all the time.) Writing an article belittling a particular politician or party invites others to write articles to get even with you, and the result is neither funny nor fun.
  3. Don't write an article to simply insult celebrities, politicians, or anyone else that you disagree with.
  4. Write articles with broad appeal. UnNews articles based on real news should be based on world or national news, or at least on news of cities that most everyone knows about. If there are ridiculous shenanigans on the Palm Beach City Council, most readers won't be able to appreciate your rendition of them unless you describe them in a way that is funny in its own right.

These rules are still subordinate to the fact that this entire Guide is an ignorable policy. The Reverend asserts that an anti-Semitic rant in the name of a white supremacist, or a rant against Obama from Glenn Beck--or even Miley Cyrus--could be pulled off skillfully and result in successful humor. On the other hand, as one of your first handful of UnNews stories, it's unwise to pick such a challenge with which to introduce yourself to us. Before pushing the established boundaries so early in your career, perhaps you might run it by someone in charge.

Still unsure?

If you're unsure about whether an article would violate these guidelines, there are two solutions:

  • Contact other editors, which you can do by bringing up the History of a well-written article and clicking on Talk for its author. Far from viewing it as an imposition, most authors are honored by a request for their opinion.
  • Or just abandon the idea and write about something else.

Content

Unless you are writing an UnNews editorial, the most important rule is to keep yourself out of the article. We all know that you have fantasized about being a reporter, and the first thing you would say is, "Hey, everyone! Look at me! I'm reporting the news!" Not good.

Many articles begin by stating, "UnNews has learned...." Rip it out! The fact that something has happened to UnNews is not the news! Just jump in to the story--leave yourself out. This is an important part of making your article look like a real news story. Likewise, what the UnNews reporter believes, or thinks will happen next, detracts from the believability of an article.

Some people tend to interpret the facts before they state the facts. This too is bad news reporting. Don't write, "In a shocking development today...." Report the news (as you see--or misinterpret--it). The job of deciding whether the news is shocking belongs to your reader, although you may certainly invent quotes from people who were shocked.

Inside jokes and memes are rarely permissible. Names of private citizens (such as your friends) should never be included in an article.

Obscenity occasionally appears in UnNews articles, but, similar to ridiculing the behavior of groups of people, your use of obscenity should have a point in making the article funny. And euphemisms (such as bleeping or fricking) usually make the point equally well.

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

A tenet of conventional journalism is to be sure to answer these five questions. You are setting out to write a funny story--but it wants to look like a news article, and so, it should still answer these five questions.

Paragraphs

Again to make your story superficially resemble a news article: Unless you have some other, deliberate scheme, such as describing a sequence of events in the order in which they occurred, follow the rule that journalists follow:

  • The first paragraph (the lead) should simply summarize what happened, in a way that tells the reader why it is of interest, and with no details at all. The lead will appear on the UnNews main page for a short time.
  • The next paragraph should give the most important details. Subsequent paragraphs should give less and less important details, and late in the story, you can provide supplementary information, quotes, and background.
  • News stories do not finish with a moral, happy hopes for the future, or the UnNews reporter's reaction, interpretation, or whether his pants are soiled. You are writing news, not a script for a pep rally and not a fairy tale!

Format

More so than Uncyclopedia in general, UnNews has a few absolute rules of formatting. Our articles are all in the same place and we look more like a real news source if our news stories have a similar appearance.

Title

The title of your article starts with a capital letter, but otherwise uses all lower case except where grammar dictates the use of capitals (such as names and other proper nouns). Some newspapers capitalize nearly every word; we don't.

Location

All UnNews articles start with a two-part location in which the event took place. If the second part is a state of the U.S. or a province of Canada, you need not give the country name as a third part. (Adding more parts until you specify which universe the news occurred in, is sometimes seen, but is trite.) The first part of the two-part location is capitalized, and both parts are in boldface. Below is an example:


CHERNOBYL, Ukraine — Ten-legged reindeer were spotted by touring nuclear scientists today after...


Between the location and the start of the story, type a dash ("-"), a double dash ("--") or an em-dash ("—"), separated by spaces; or a colon followed by a space.

Picture(s)

Tip

A picture really isn't worth 1,000 words. It's closer to somewhere around 357 words.

At least one picture should be in your article. Most pictures should range from 180-300px in size. Additionally, if your picture is longer than your article, lengthen your article.

Look for a picture already on Uncyclopedia as oppose to uploading a completely new one. (We call this "recycling.") If you must upload a new picture, make sure that it is relevant to your article and helps the article visually. It helps if the picture is inherently funny, and if you write a caption for it that is funny.

Highlighting

UnNews articles use highlighting above and beyond other Uncyclopedia articles:

  • Quotations are enclosed in double-quotes, and the entire thing is rendered in Italic. "That strikes me as crazy, but it's the way it's done here," is an example.
  • Names of institutions or organizations are rendered in boldface.

Citations of your sources

The template for a new article provides tables for you to describe two sources. This doesn't mean that you have to provide two, or even one. However, in an UnNews article based on real news, citations help a reader enjoy your joke, because the reader can click on the link and read the actual news you are making fun of.

Therefore, find a real news article online about that story, and copy and paste the URL address to where it says "url=". Basically, here's what to put:

url= [put the URL of a real news article here]
title= [put the title of a real news article here]
author= [put the author of the news story]
pub= [put the publisher of the URL above (CNN, MSN, BBC, etc.)
date= [date the article was published]

In made-up news, there can be no citation of a real news story that prompted the UnNews version. You could provide a made-up citation, either (1) to further the illusion that this is real news, or (2) to have the citation be funny in its own right. You could cite an Uncyclopedia article that takes the same misconception further.

Links

UnNews articles contain many links to Uncyclopedia articles. Like Uncyclopedia articles, only code a word as a link on its first use. If you have written an article with few words that correspond to Uncyclopedia articles, pick some important words or phrases and use a two-part link (with pipe) to direct them to any suitable Uncyclopedia article. Perhaps even an unsuitable one. (See also red links, below.)

Quality assurance

Best practices

If it's going to take many revisions to develop your article, do it in your own userspace before saving it into the UnNews: space. During an edit, you can always click on the Preview button to see how your article will look without completing your edit. Don't contribute a rough draft to UnNews: and then edit it a dozen times in this space. Avoiding numerous revisions in the public change history is a recommendation throughout Uncyclopedia.

Spell-checking

Screen110

Indeed, you must copy it from an edit box (click to enlarge).

Leaving typoes and grammatical errors in a "finished" story means we have to fix them, especially if we decide to add an audio to your story. It's almost effortless to spell-check your article; or call on other Uncyclopedians for proofreading help.

Here's how to do your own spell-checking:

  • While editing your article, make a local copy of the entire text.
    • On Windows, Ctrl-A selects the entire text, and Alt-E C copies it to the Clipboard.
    • Copy, don't "cut," which removes the text from the original document.
    • Copy from an edit window (see the illustration at right). If you copy from the finished article or a preview, the formatting characters you use to cause boldfacing, italics, section headings, and links are not copied. If you pasted the spell-checked result back into Uncyclopedia, your formatting would be lost for good.
  • Paste that text into an online spell-checker, or into a new window of a local word processor such as Microsoft Word that has a spell-checker function.
  • Correct any misspelled words, either by further editing the article on Uncyclopedia, or by editing the local copy and then copying and pasting it back into the Uncyclopedia edit box, replacing the old text.

An article passed by an automatic spell-checker is not necessarily correct. A spell-checker simply verifies that your words are words, not that they are the right words. (For example, see versus sea.) Spell-checking doesn't relieve you of the job of re-reading your article to make sure everything is in order and consistent.

For more on spelling and grammar, go here.

Red links

Red links mean you have pointed the reader to an Uncyclopedia article that doesn't exist. With very few exceptions,[2] a finished UnNews article should have no red links. Whenever you use double-brackets to specify a link, it should be to an Uncyclopedia article that exists. Here are three ways to determine whether an article exists for you to link to:

  • Open a new browser window and search Uncyclopedia for the word you want to turn into a link.
  • You can set your User Preferences so that, any time you type [[ followed by text, a pop-up window suggests the names of articles starting with that text.
  • When you preview your article, there should be no red in it. If you see red, continue editing rather than saving it. Otherwise, you will make us see red.

Epic fails

Some excellent stand-up comics deliver jokes that are duds, and Uncyclopedia's best writers sometimes write articles that just aren't funny to anyone else. The UnNews proprietors make small changes in the UnNews: to "tidy up" an article according to the style rules presented here. However, in an article that obviously hasn't been proofread well or has major conceptual problems, the proprietors may "mercy move" your article from UnNews: into your personal userspace. This will always be accompanied by a note on your talk page, or your article's talk page, explaining what points you need to correct.

Don't take it personally, and deal with the proprietor in good faith to produce a high-quality article.

Footnotes

  1. If an article has extensive errors, they may be the joke. Check to see if the article is in Category:Articles containing intentional misspellings or grammatical errors. Articles that UnNews editors want to preserve in their current, ridiculous state, are in Category:Articles containing unintentional misspellings or grammatical errors and should be left that way because it makes it more better. These exceptions are consistent with the point in the main text, that you understand the comedic purpose of an article before you change it.
  2. Red-links might be intentional: (1) if the author is using them, knowing that the destination article doesn't exist, as a sort of request for someone to create it, or (2) if the author is using a great many red-links to illustrate something. Unintentional red-links might be present in a thoroughly bad article that people have decided to preserve in its thoroughly bad state. Be sure none of these is the case before you go "correcting" an article.

See also

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