Friday, 13 April 2007


Opinions differ on the meaning of this word.

Wikipedia, written collaboratively by volunteers and with over two million articles, defines fnord as “the typographic representation of disinformation or irrelevant information intending to misdirect, with the implication of a conspiracy; the word was coined as a nonsensical term with religious undertones in the Principia Discordia by Kerry Thornley and Greg Hill, but was popularized by The Illuminatus! trilogy of books by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson”. The entry goes on to explain in more detail what the word means.

Conservapedia, a “conservative encyclopedia you can trust” has over 7,200 “educational, clean, and concise entries” and claims to have no controversial ideas at all while being based on good Christian values; it is supportive of conservative Christianity and Biblical literalism (including Young Earth Creationism).

Its educational, clean, and concise entry for fnord is simply: an inlet of water. At least, that is how the entry stands this week; perhaps one of their editors will soon find out that this is not quite right, and delete it. Shame on the wicked prankster who slipped it in.
[That was yesterday. Today, the entry has been marked Deleted due to vandalism. Difficult to see why anyone would want to vandalise anything so perfect in its idiocy.]

Fnord illustrates something else about online information: much of it is merely gibberish. Google finds 837,000 web sites containing the word: most of them are of no use or interest to anybody.

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