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Several Uncyclopedia pages are long lists of slang used in one-or-another branch of the US Armed Forces (which survive not only on hermetically sealed rations but on a continuous supply of gallows humor). Others are essentially dictionaries of foreign languages or dialects of language. Some of the stuff on these pages is funny; on the other hand, the list format, as always, encourages contributions by writers who can't write complete paragraphs, which contributions are not always funny.

In any case, however, these pages are not original comedy writing but catalogs of humor devised offsite. I do not believe we are a central storehouse of everything that is funny — notably, I do not believe we should be an index to funny YouTubes — but instead a creative writing wiki.

A VFD ballot where we discussed these issues is below; and I request your comments below that. Spıke Ѧ 14:52 20-Mar-14

🔒 Air Force Slang H Tag Oldvfd

Score: 1 • voting closed
Elapsed Time: 37624 hours
Delete (2)
  • Symbol wtf vote Nominate and abstain. This is the listiest of the several articles I think are attempts to catalog offsite humor rather than write original humor — in this case, to document the gallows humor of servicepeople in the U.S. Air Force — in other cases, on foreign-language phrases and swears. Voters: Do you believe this is what we are here for? Spıke Ѧ 17:07 7-Mar-14
  1. Symbol delete vote Delete. A normal article would look a lot better than this. Anton (talk) 21:56, March 8, 2014 (UTC)
  2. Nuclear Explosion Seal Obliterate. Too listy (duuh) and absolutely humorless! I mean, it's literally an article on Air Force Slang but one that you'd expect to find on Wikipedia. --Mimo&Maxus (Talk) 16:59, March 10, 2014 (UTC)
Keep (1)
  1. I don't think we should AGM this puppy. Aleister 20:21 8-3-14
  • Unless someone could format the article to make it encyclopedic looking and potentially a lot more funny I would vote delete. I don't want to discriminate against a style of humour (military humour) by voting delete because only some will understand it. We, as a website, do niche humour so let's not disappoint half of the USAAF by removing the article. Sir ScottPat (converse) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 07:23, March 8, 2014 (UTC)
  • Clearly a lot of effort gone into this, but then this isn't Listopedia. Can it dwell elsewhere on the site? GUN   SIR  MAC  BOSWELL  Knightssword   [†]  13:08, March 10, 2014 (UTC)
    The problem is independent of the namespace in which we put it. Spıke Ѧ 00:44 16-Mar-14
  • One for RAF Packington? --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 13:15, March 12, 2014 (UTC)
    I think the only thing more unfocused than a list of humor trends inside the US Air Force would be a list of trends inside anyone's Air Force. Spıke Ѧ 13:31 12-Mar-14

Your comments below

If there is material worth saving on these lists then just cut the cruf out and leave what's left. If it's an outright awful list...then it should really just go to --ShabiDOO 13:58, March 21, 2014 (UTC)

No, established articles can't be QVFD'd based on one person's or Admin's opinion that they are awful. I agree with the process of cutting out cruft. But what about the case that what is left is not original comedy writing but, for example, an unoriginal report on how they talk in the Air Force? Spıke Ѧ 14:06 21-Mar-14
As for your view on original content I disagree. While I respect your votes regarding articles per unoriginal content and not being encyclopaedic, I don't see any reason to make any policy of it. The voters can decide per article on VFD and VFH. --ShabiDOO 14:22, March 21, 2014 (UTC)
We already have policy that addresses what this website should be; first, of course, that stuff should be funny; then, in 2012, that we are not a disk farm on which to keep elimination scorecards for TV shows, not even on one's user page. My claim is simply that we ought not be a catalog of other people's humor either--and that this should not be decided case-by-case. Spıke Ѧ 14:32 21-Mar-14
No. That is a gross misinterpretation of policy. Unoriginal content can be very funny. And these policies were not written to outright ban unoriginal content. --ShabiDOO 14:41, March 21, 2014 (UTC)
It is not a misinterpretation of policy; it (and this Forum) is a proposal for a policy. Spıke Ѧ 14:45 21-Mar-14
I see no proposal of a policy but just a rant against either a VFD vote or something else bugging you when you could just as easily let people be. Aleister 14:58 21-3-14
SPIKE could you tell us exactly how you would word this policy if you were to write it? --ShabiDOO 15:04, March 21, 2014 (UTC)
I'm struggling to see how unoriginal comedy can be any funnier than it was first time round and therefore why this site should host it. Maybe our definitions aren't the same as I would regard unoriginal comedy that is taken and applied differently or in a different scenario as original comedy. Sir ScottPat (converse) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 19:40, March 22, 2014 (UTC)
It is important to make a difference between "unoriginal" and "inspired". I don't know if the Air Force Slang page was inspired by the Air Force Slang or if its jokes are taken from somewhere else. Anton (talk) 19:48, March 22, 2014 (UTC)

I'm special so my comments get a special header all their own

I don't think a policy is necessary for this at all. VFD should work as it always has done, if a consensus of users believe that the work is worth saving then they should vote to preserve it, if they do not then they should vote to delete it. The will of the community should be borne out by what happens. I appreciate your concerns about these articles existing SPIKE and we should do our best to introduce people to our featured content early on as well as our FAQ's for beginners to try and give people some idea of what is desirable and what is not.

I am wary about instituting too many policies regarding writing, especially if it is going to discourage people from having a go. I had a bit of a war with various people on the now deleted international baccalaureate page, this page had a list 400 entries strong (and still does if you look it up on the mirror uncyc) and was eventually VFD'd, however a lot of people really liked it and visited the wiki specifically to read it, it was shared on social networking and brought new users to the site.

My point is this, even if this article on the air force is not amusing to us will it be amusing to people who are familiar with the subject matter and will it encourage those people to visit the wiki and contribute? If it will then surely our focus should be on trying to scale back the long lists and improve the rest of the article. For the air force article, we could put some more prose into it and, with a bit of research and work look at merging it into Air Force.

I'm not saying that every page like this should be preserved but that there must be a middle ground between preserving all articles like this and banning them outright. --ChiefjusticePS3 16:27, March 21, 2014 (UTC)

I totally agree with the Chief as stated on my comment in the VFD nomination. Sir ScottPat (converse) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 19:41, March 22, 2014 (UTC)

I'm special enough only to get a subheader, but there you go

I must admit that over the years I've become increasingly disillusioned with the "rules n regulations" that many have sought to have added to the site, but I hold a special place aside for the entire "deletionist" mentality that is pushed by some sections of our users. I've said before, and guess what, I'm gonna say it again, if people put as much effort into improving and augmenting existing articles as they do into cataloging and offering articles up to VFD the site would be improved massively. I'm not for a second suggesting that everything should be saved, there IS a line of quality (somewhere) but how many people do you think leave after seeing their work disappear? What message are we putting out to even regular contributors? I remain unsure as to whether for some its a matter of power-madness rather than genuinely believing in the idea of "cleaning up the site".

From what I can see it takes real commitment and talent and working together to create genuinely funny, good quality articles and in the process help to form a thriving community. It takes a couple of seconds and a nice little clique of likeminded folk to delete an entire bunch of work. Whilst some have noisily pushed for regular "forest fire month" others seem to just quietly get on with trying to improve articles, connect with others in a genuine way and seek to draw people in to the site. I'd sooner see a "disable VFD and actually work on improving articles instead month". -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)

The regular voters at VFD are not a clique and all put massive effort into improving and augmenting existing articles when possible. Everyone's Unfunny Sandbox is not a formula for success, especially as there are several competing wikis with that exact niche; nor is the pursuit of higher quality either rulebound or "power-madness." Spıke Ѧ 20:41 22-Mar-14
But they ARE a clique, just as VFH is a clique, and who posts on forums is a clique. Please pop over to VFD right now and find me a vote that has more than any number of five regular users? There is one I think that has more than the same regular three/four voters. If I'm wrong on this I'll hold my hand up... -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you in some places there Mhaille. Of the articles that make it to VFD, we save quite a few. Any with potential and any with titles that the voters can relate to are usually improved on. Recently only really crappy, memey articles have gotten through. Spike in particular saves a lot of VFD. We should be deleting the crap on this site and improving what we can. A mixture of both is essential but at least I think we can all agree that the thing that puts people off reading this site is that only every 1 in 10 article is likely to be funny so there's no point in using the site. We need to improve on that. Sir ScottPat (converse) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 20:50, March 22, 2014 (UTC)
I'm not against deletion, and I've deleted my fair share of dross. But the point (I'm sure there is one) I'm trying to make is highlighted by your statement that only "every 1 in 10 articles is likely to be funny". What evidence do you have that this fact is the main reason that puts people off using the site? Out of all of the people that I've spoken to who no longer use the site they never cited that as even a passing reason.
My comments weren't aimed at anyone btw (current or former contributors to the site) the point about "cliques" is that they form naturally, we don't recognise when we're part of one and frequently doesn't have negative connotations, just to make the point that a certain self-defined autocracy occurs when decisions are in the hands of a small number of people. Of course the argument is that if you feel strongly enough to save something you should get involved in doing so, but many users in the past have argued that their work was deleted without them knowing it was up for deletion in the first place. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
The last time this complaint came up, we adopted the colorful clock on each ballot and the requirement to use it to wait 24 hours before making any decision. We (meaning not just me but Anton199 and new Poopsmith Nick123) religiously reset this clock any time we find that the {{VFD}} template has not been put on an article, with which to advise the author that his work is at risk. The assumption that authors would check in daily seemed reasonable at the time.
Frequent VFD voters share the interest in quality but are not a "clique" in the sense either of coordinating off-line or in angling to repel other voters. I accept your statement that this is nothing personal; still, the intent of this Forum was to discuss the role of this website and not to evaluate its personalities. (Nor, Shabidoo, to propose specific wording to make the rulebook longer; perhaps only to give clearer guidance in advising newbies and taking articles to VFD.) I say again: This should be a website for original comedy creations, not a catalog of funny YouTubes or of slang used in the military. Spıke Ѧ 22:14 22-Mar-14
Interest in quality aside, "frequent VFD voters" = the same 3 Users (occasionally 2 others in passing), I wasn't implying anything co-ordinated, but we all know that behaviour is often influenced by other factors within groups. But back to the original discussion, the original "purpose" of Uncyclopedia was to create humour within the context of "encyclopedic" style articles. Other things, for example the Current Events section, were added later because there was a demand for them, as have various other sections to the site. With regards to the Air Force Slang article it looks pretty much like a great number of similar articles which can be found on wikipedia, indeed like many of the other similar articles that are collectively listed within the Lists category. Needs more funny adding, but that in and of itself wouldn't be grounds for deletion. We have BOTH kinds of humour here, Country AND Western.... -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
And I was wondering why there aren't more vending machines around here that sell those small cereal boxes. Have you even been so hungry that you could eat 25 boxes of Sugar Crisp without the milk, straight from the box while ripping the skin off the roof of your mouth? --ShabiDOO 23:56, March 22, 2014 (UTC)
My 1 in 10 article comment wasn't to do with putting off old users, it was to do with the general public's perspection of Uncyclopedia. You just have to type in "views on Uncyclopedia" into google to find many blogs on how "Uncyclopedia is mainly full of crap and if any good articles exist they're very hard to find. I'd rather read the Onion." Even notable other wikis always lay off Uncyclopedia as mostly vandalism. The reason is these comments were written a few years ago and they haven't come back since. If they came back now they'd probably still find crap but less of it. We're working to sift through it and by either improving or deleting terrible articles just display the best of Uncyclopedia, so that then we can be judged fairly. Sir ScottPat (converse) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 06:45, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
Followed your suggestion and did a search for "views on Uncyclopedia" on Google and the one single blog I found was something about and edit to the Gordon Ramsey article. Other than that nothing. Did a Google search on "Uncyclopedia is mainly full of crap and if any good articles exist they're very hard to find. I'd rather read the Onion" for good measure and that came up with nada too. Even if the latter comment is true that doesn't indicate that 9/10ths of the content is crap. Indeed as most people are going to arrive on the site via the home page it would indicate that the quality of even our featured and front-spaced articles isn't up to the standard of the Onion. Again I'd like to see some evidence of something used to measure the "public's perception" of Uncyclopedia. Without that data we'd be in danger of making arbitrary decisions based on nothing more than our own opinions. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
I would like to suggest that we give some consideration to something that myself and RabbiTechno came up with a while ago. We had a look at articles about towns (The towns in England category as I recall) and for a few weeks we went through them and tried to clear out the vanity/just plain stupid stuff that gives our site such a poor reputation. These are articles that people tend to read first when they come to uncyclopedia and it is important that where they exist they are of a reasonable standard. I think I may even have put this idea into a forum before, but that it had very limited community participation at the time. I suggest we might run such an event again (perhaps considering a different set of articles), this event would not along the lines of conservation week, though rewrites would be welcome, but simply to try and raise the overall standards of some of our high traffic pages. Thoughts? Comments? Fresh fruit? --ChiefjusticePS3 07:04, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
Unless we purge the wiki wholesale of bad writing and reduce uncyclopedia to the 5,000 articles worth saving, there will always be too much crap. :( --ShabiDOO 07:15, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
But I'm afraid purging is probably the best option (and by purging I don't mean forest fire, I mean improving and democratically deleting). It will take years but better to reduce the crap than to keep it. Good idea Chief. By the way are you permanently back or inside during a spell of bad weather? Sir ScottPat (converse) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 07:53, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
The fine effort to clean up English towncruft still relied on a vision for the website: that the English reader looking up his own town would encounter something funnier than that it was full of chavs, drunks, and immigrants. While more joint projects will make improving Uncyclopedia a more social experience, which is all to the good, they do assume a joint vision. Spıke Ѧ 11:08 23-Mar-14

Mhaille, I think that the decisions at VFD are made fairly objectively and as Scott said if any voter sees that some article has potential, he usually tries to save it. If you think that that small "VFD clique" has too much control over Uncyclopedia, you are more than welcome to vote there yourself. It is not supposed to be a clique, but a place where all the Uncyclopedians vote for articles they find bad. Anton (talk) 11:43, March 23, 2014 (UTC)

Anton, I have voted on VFD many time, indeed the last time I did my vote was removed and discounted because it lacked a datestamp (for the record in 9 years I and numerous other people haven't bothered using one, as the details are stored in the edit history in any case, but that's another matter, I'm sure), but let me ask this, we want more users to contribute, to improve the levels of funny throughout the site, to help form a collaborative community, are you suggesting that they should put aside editing/creating articles each time they visit the site and focus instead on whatever has been added to VFD first?
Taking Chief's suggestion above, which to me seems a valid idea, we have the data to show which are high traffic pages, lets work on improving those pages as they would instantly reveal and showcase the quality of writing the site has to offer. The responses to that so far have been "Unless we purge the wiki wholesale of bad writing and reduce uncyclopedia to the 5,000 articles worth saving, there will always be too much crap" and "But I'm afraid purging is probably the best option (and by purging I don't mean forest fire, I mean improving and democratically deleting). It will take years but better to reduce the crap than to keep it", two responses that again push the idea that deletion is the best option. I'm not looking to make this an issue of hawks versus doves, or even a choice between the opposite ends of a duality, nor am I looking to diminish the necessity for, and importance of, janitorial duties on the site, but if your starting point is "we need to delete most of what's here" seriously what is the point? If that is your starting point I'm surprised nobody has suggested wiping the entire database and starting again. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
I am sorry for your previous votes getting removed, but maybe you could retry with or without the timestamp? Your contributions will never be unwanted. Nobody should ever sacrifice funny writing to that kind of stuff, but what I am saying is that it would be great if this page would be visited by the majority of Uncyclopedians, even if not regularly, just so there won't be one small group determining what should be deleted. Anton (talk) 13:38, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
With all due respect Mhaille, what I am saying is to get rid of the crap on this site (whatever portion of the site that may be and you can't deny there is any really can you?) is to put it through a process of VFD where half of the articles we go "no prospect" and flush the article down the drain (most of them being memes no one will look up) and half of them we save as has been done many times before and recently with Accountant. I don't want to reduce the site to 5,000 good articles but instead have 10,000 good articles because we saved as many as we could off VFD. There is no point in them lounging around and putting off voters, if no one is willing to save them.
I'm gonna be honest with you I can't remember all the names of the blogs where I read tonnes of comments about how our comedy was offensive or immature or almost vandalised so you can choose to believe otherwise if you want but then why have we dropped out of media attention? Why have none of my friends heard of us? Why aren't we well spoken of and known about? I think it's pretty obvious that Uncyclopedia is seen as a "dead meme" that according to the outside world is barely active anymore. The only way we can restore our reputation is to rid ourselves of the shit by either re-writing or deleting (not just deleting!!!) and at the same time add to it with good quality stuff. I am not against the Chief's idea and nor am I against the idea of deleting the air force slang (in my comment on the VFD page at the top I suggested that it should be re-written rather than deleted as some people obviously might find it funny). Sir ScottPat (converse) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 15:45, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for going back to the topic; now, at the risk of going back off-topic, our decline, like the decline of the storefront on the High Street that used to be where you went to buy paper towels, is not totally anything we did or anything others did to us, but that the universe is expanding exponentially (in this case, the universe of social and humor websites). And like any storefront or the town sports team, patronage is not automatic and usually requires a sales job. Spıke Ѧ 16:01 23-Mar-14

I just put my elbow in a blob of ice cream

I'm going to interpret the above as saying "What a splendid idea Chief, let us run your clean-up idea in the very near future". I will create a separate forum in the coming days for the article clean-up thing, I'll call it something snappy and cool like "Irrigating the colon of literature" or "The enema of Uncyclopedia". --ChiefjusticePS3 20:12, March 23, 2014 (UTC)

As always a man of action....a quiet dignified man, a man of the Chief Justice today...he's not a cunt he cares.... -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
Something else He cares. --ShabiDOO 05:57, March 24, 2014 (UTC)