Saturday 20 January 2018

Guess which one? Grammar crusader spends years removing repeated error 47,000 times on Wikipedia

Wikipedia has around 90,000 active contributors
Wikipedia has around 90,000 active contributors

Mark Molloy

A Wikipedia editor is on a one-man mission to eradicate a grammatical error that really gets on his nerves.

Software engineer Bryan Henderson has dedicated years of his life to removing the phrase ‘comprised of’ from the online encyclopaedia.

The pedantic 51-year-old, who is known as Giraffedata online, has made more than 47,000 edits of the phrase to date, reports.

He has explained in this 6,000-word essay why ‘comprised of’ is misused so often, arguing the phrase is a result of "comprised" and "composed of” being wrongly combined.

“There are many other ways to say what the writer means by ‘comprised of’. It adds nothing to the language,” he explains.

He even created a software programme to keep track of Wikipedia pages containing the phrase he finds so annoying.

However, his grammar crusade has angered some users who have complained about his obsessive editing, while others claim that “comprised of” is grammatically correct.

One adversary even started reverting the changes in the same order he made them.

Despite the criticism, the former IBM employee says he finds the editing “fun” and has no immediate plans to quit.

“I really do think I’m doing a public service, but at the same time, I get something out of it myself,” he told the website. 

“I don’t have any plans to quit, but I guess eventually, I’ll have to find a way.

"It’s hard to walk away, especially when I’ve actually accomplished something.”

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