Thursday, February 11, 2010

White noise on the internet

This article is for all those wikipedia-fans that still believe that the internet will sort out the correct information automatically. I'll give a quick hint: it won't in many cases.

My wife posts regularly lyric snippets on She always links to the full lyrics online. But it's sometimes hard to find a website with the correct lyrics. And that was the problem with "All of my life". Everywhere she looked she got the same error over and over again: "star and flair". But if she listens to the song, she hears "style and flair".

It seems like one website website or service spreaded the wrong lyric and everybody copied it. Because that's what we all do: copy. Sadly we don't have the time to check the data we receive. In this case it's a small benign error, but it's easy to see that such errors easily end up in the history books. It then will take a researcher to find out that something isn't true just because everybody repeats each other.

Lyrics websites are a nuisance anyhow, by the way. Many times I find content that's just dead wrong and full of incorrect spelling. I say: tear those sites down!