I’ve just invented a word – wikimansplaining – this is when someone looks up something online in an attempt to contradict and/or demonstrate, usually to a group, that your powers of recall aren’t quite watertight.
A few weeks ago, a conversation across several people involved me referring to Jeremy Bentham – who died in the 1800s and his body was preserved. It is kept in London somewhere and is brought out on his birthday every year to sit at the head of the table. I wasn’t on Mastermind, so I was flaky on the detail. It didn’t really matter. After the conversation had moved on, one of our number had found out all about him on Wikipedia and was reading out the whole story. I had got some key facts wrong but the whole “vibe” of my story was vague and not at all definitive, peppered with “I thinks” and “possiblies”.
If the gentleman in question had chipped in immediately with – “I happen to know all about this…” and put me right, I would have welcomed that and been impressed. But when someone looks at his phone for a minute, and then reads out the wiki page, as if this was his own knowledge – then I really want to walk into the sea. The wikimansplainer sees nothing wrong with that, as far as he’s concerned this is his own intellect on display and he’s the Best.
This kind of thing happens so frequently that I think I may be part of the last generation of people who enjoys trying to recall things without looking them up.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not being funny or nuffing – if you look up facts on the Internet and say – “ah, according to this…,” then I’m all for that. Round of applause and sky dark with hats. But you and the Internet are not one and the same – what do *you* *think* ?