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Sometimes life is bitter, and the heart is grieving, and the onward path is stony, and a person needs an opportunity to giggle at something really silly; and I want to recommend a glance at the Wikipedia article on toilets. It begins by patiently explaining that a toilet is "a plumbing fixture primarily intended for the disposal of human excreta: urine and fecal matter", and noting that in addition "vomit and menstrual waste are sometimes disposed of in toilets in some societies". And at present there is a box at the top of the article containing the following message:

This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.


I'm sorry; you think I'm just being gross. But trust me: I really needed a belly laugh to cheer me up today, and seeing that message did it for me. Your mileage may differ.

By the way, it is pure coincidence that the current xkcd strip, which I had not yet seen (thanks to Brett Reynolds for pointing me to it), has a mouseover saying:

The Wikipedia page "List of Numbers" opens with "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it."

So that's at least two people who got a laugh out of quirky Wikipedian messages today. There is humor in this world, humor that the grief and pain must not be allowed to snuff out. One just needs to look for it, and to retain the uniquely human ability to see that it deserves a giggle.

[This post may require cleanup to meet Language Log's quality standards. Comments are closed for cleaning.]

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