For years, the first sentence of the Wikipedia article "Pizza party" was unsurprising: "A pizza party is a social gathering at which pizza is served." But over the past month, editors have been subtly changing it. Here are some highlights of the slow-moving saga.
On August 11: "A pizza party is a social gathering at which people wolf down pizza."
On August 16: "A pizza party is a social gathering at which people binge on pizza."
On September 20: "A pizza party is a social gathering at which people shovel pizza right down the hatch."
Yesterday, September 23, an editor with a strong commitment to encyclopedic tone changed it back.
I'm very passionate about maintaining the integrity of Wikipedia and I don't condone ill-intentioned vandalism, but I have to admit that these subtle violations of encyclopedic tone are very funny. Some incidents, like this one, seem to exist in a gray area: they don't follow the rules, but they also don't really hurt anything. It reminds me of the page for economist Guy Standing that once contained a photo captioned "Guy Standing sitting." Wikipedia doesn't approve of vandalism incidents, but at times, it's humble enough to appreciate humor that comes with them. Check out Deleted articles with freaky titles.