The Comedy of Wikipedia

While working on next Monday’s Devenney Research Hub post on Scottish Labour politician Arthur Woodburn, I decided it would be amusing/useful/twee if I linked to pages about some of the authors I have relied upon in my research, one of them being Professor Richard Finlay of the University of Strathclyde, who was on my doctoral dissertation committee. In looking for his web page at the university, I stumbled across a Wikipedia entry for him. And man, it is clearly written by someone having a spot of fun. Partially because I think it will eventually be removed or changed, I’ve decided to save this description for posterity. You can find the Wikipedia entry here, but this is the best part (I have kept the hyperlinks from the original entry):

Professor Richard J. Finlay is the current Head of the History Department at the University of Strathclyde and the author of a number of books, particularly on the recent history of Scotland.[1]

Finlay states that his greatest hobby is “rowing, or more to the point, discussing Victorian Scotland at the Boat Club with my old chum Tom Devine over a sherry or two, and maybe having a fencing match or two and PRETENDING to be interested in Rowing. I’ve never rowed in my life”. He states his dream night is “Having a Sherry or nine in my games lounge, whilst playing with my Train Set, with a Crossword and some Vivaldi on the old Bang and Olufsen”. It is not known whether he is married, but is frequently spotted with a French woman named Camille. Similarly, it is not known whether he has fathered children. University of Stathclyde page for Findlay

He has gained legendary status among Strathclyde students with his incorporation of comedy and unnecessary profanities during lectures. He is noted for his distinctive red scarf.

Remember kids: Wikipedia, while useful as a starting point, is not the be all and end all of knowledge!


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