I was editing Wikipedia, as I do, and, while patrolling the Solar System article, I stumbled across this eyebrow-raising new paragraph:
Now as a rule I don't like it when people add nonsese to Wikipedia, largely because most of it involves graceless mention of bodily functions. And of course it's tedious to have to go through the rigamarole of deleting any additional material. So, slightly peeved, as I swept the paragraph away, I added this to the edit summary''''''What is the solar system?
The solar system is a group of planets orbiting the sun these planets consist of ; Mercury, Venus Earth Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto but a telescope has detected what could be the Solar System's 10th planet, Sedna There are many diputes on whether this is true or not.. The first four planets are small and Rocky, but the next four are much larger and more gaseous. Pluto the outer most planet is also small and Rocky.
By Alannah Wood
"Very nice. I give you a B- for the effort. Would have been an A were it not for the gross factual errors."
But now I feel like I spoke out of turn. Of course there were some fairly glaring errors in that little essay, but most of them had to do with the ever-contentious planet definition, which is open to interpretation. According to the IAU's definition, after all, since Sedna is, as far as we know, alone, it is a planet. And Pluto is a planet if you subscribe to Alan Stern's definition. Shame she didn't mention Eris of course, but hey, was that worth a B-? I feel like I may have crushed an incipient astronomical career into a million tinkling, glittering shards of fragile adolescent ego.