The English Wikipedia is one of the two editions of Wikipedia that are available in the English language. It was founded on 15 January 2001. It was the first edition of the site. Since then, it has grown into a resource for researchers, writers, and students of English. Among its features are simple language and articles with strong ties to specific varieties of the language.
Simple English Wikipedia
The Simple English Wikipedia is a simplified version of Wikipedia. The articles are written in Basic English or “Learning English.” This is one of seven Wikipedias that are written in a non-Anglic language or English-based pidgin or creole. The goal is to make Wikipedia as accessible as possible.
Simple English Wikipedia is an easy-to-use resource that makes Wikipedia more accessible to students with limited English skills. It uses simpler word structures and simpler syntax, making articles easier to read and understand. It is not a replacement for an English Wikipedia, but a complement to it. This resource also includes helpful links to other Wikipedias.
Simple English Wikipedia uses the Ogden Basic English 2000 word list and the Voice of America’s Special English 1500 word list as its dictionary. To form plurals, you add -s, -er, or -ing to a noun. The same process works for adjectives and adverbs. In addition to adding -s or -ing, you can use -ed or -ly to make them more specific.
Simple English Wikipedia accepts original articles, but articles should not be too complex. Most articles should be 2,000 words long. However, articles that are more advanced may be longer than this.
Articles with strong ties to a given variety of English
Wikipedia’s neutral position towards varieties of English means that articles about such varieties are unlikely to have strong ties to it. For example, an article about “American English” is far more likely to be rooted in American English than a similar article about British English. This is because Wikipedia editors are largely based in the US.
Nevertheless, some articles about a given variety of English need citations. In these cases, it’s best to use the variety associated with the nation. The Manual of style lists the specific situations in which national varieties matter. These include proper names, verbatim quotations, and comparisons.
Academics and students are increasingly using Wikipedia, especially when articles are written in a specific variety of English. The site has also been used for collaborative learning projects. One such project was a project created by Matt Barton, an assistant professor of English at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, with the help of his students.
Before 2013, interlanguage links were the only way to generate sidebar links. These links appeared in the text of a page and were centrally stored in Wikidata. The downside to this method was that it required each language to maintain separate lists. Additionally, the language-specific links had to be updated every time a change occurred on English Wikipedia.
Articles with a strong ties to a given variety of English
When writing articles in English Wikipedia, it is important to follow a consistent style. While there is no single standard variety of English, articles tend to conform to the variety that was used to write the article. However, writers of different varieties of English should strive to match one another’s style as much as possible.
One way to determine if an article is influenced by the variety of English that is used in the community is to look at statistics. For example, Wikipedia has statistics on the number of different editors, which can give an idea of how well a particular article has been edited by a particular group. If an article has few edits, it is likely that the editors are not sharing the same vision.
Another way to measure the consistency of national varieties in Wikipedia articles is to compare the consistency of their spelling. Articles with strong ties to a given variety of the English language tend to follow BrE and AmE usage norms. It’s not surprising that the UK English style of Wikipedia has a higher proportion of articles that use BrE spellings.
These findings are consistent with what we have seen in computational linguistic studies. However, there are few corpus-based studies examining the language used in Wikipedia. Using Wikipedia corpus data collected by Westbury Lab, we find that articles tend to be more closely influenced by American English usage norms than British ones. However, British English does hold its own in articles with strong ties to the UK.
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