Here and elsewhere, there’s been much discussion about the emerging authority of Wikipedia. As it turns out, even the venerated Encyclopaedia Britannica is hardly error-free. A 12-year-old English kid demonstrates:
Lucian George, 12, a pupil at Highgate Junior School in North London, was delving into the volumes on Poland and wildlife in Central Europe when he noted the mistakes. The first was the assertion by the internationally acclaimed reference book that the small town of Chochim, in which two battles were fought between the Poles and the Ottoman Empire, now lies in Moldova.
What’s remarkable is that he didn’t detect these errors using the Internet or another reference book. It’s apparently because his grandfather fought in World War II, and he spends a month in Poland each summer.
I still have a great fondness for Encyclopaedia Britannica. When I was young, I’d take a volume with me when we’d go on car trips. Once my brother and I got in a fight, and ripped the title page of the ‘K’ edition.
Hang on, now that I think about it, we actually had World Book encyclopedias. Well, the anecdote still applies.