Forgive me father for I have sinned…
Way back in the dark ages of the internet (about 2001) I created a page on Wyrmworld about the Caproni CA 60 – one of the most ridiculous aircraft ever constructed. It’s still up there if you know where to look. On this page I noted that the plane was “mysteriously” destroyed in a fire after crashing and going in for repairs.
Now, the CA 60 was certainly destroyed in a fire, but the suggestion that there was anything “mysterious” about it was a humorous supposition on my part. I had absolutely no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the fire was anything but an accident, but I thought it concluded the page quite nicely to suggest that Count Caproni decided to cut his loses and run.
Now, ten years later what do I find when I do some research on the CA 60? References all over the place to it being “mysteriously” destroyed in a fire. I can’t swear that this is all down to me, but it certainly worries me when I’m lying awake at 3:00am unable to sleep.
verb. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.]
The thing is, I made that up. It’s not as bad as the previous example because I made it up on a website devoted to the creation of new words (the now pretty much defunct langmaker.com), but it’s a bit of a surprise nonetheless. The Wikipedia page in particular needs some fixing, as it seems to suggest that Heyerdhal named his book after my definition of the phrase, which is completely arse-backwards and downright dangerous to history.
Even worse, I actually kinda-sorta lied in my initial definition. Although Heyerdahl did eventually theorise that the Easter Island statues were moved in such a fashion, the book Aku-Aku makes no mention of it whatsoever. Apparently no one has ever bothered to go back and check, which is of course the leading cause of 90% of popular historical inaccuracies.
Who ever knew that this internet thing could be so dangerous? ;D