Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelines → Patent nonsense
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines.
Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

Patent nonsense is, quite simply, text that has no practical meaning whatsoever. However, even if it might have some apparent meaning, it is still so completely confusing and disorganized that no one can possibly make sense out of it.

One should not confuse patent nonsense with:

  • Very poorly written articles. Poorly written articles may need a lot of work to bring them up to Memory Alpha's standards, but they are not patent nonsense. Allow them to stay in the database, list them on pages needing attention.
  • Immature fragments or stubs. Sometimes, someone might write a stub that covers the subject very poorly and seems to make little or no sense. However, it is most likely not patent nonsense.
  • Trolling. Occasionally, a Trek-hating "troll" will visit Memory Alpha and write insulting messages to the members. Although this is not desirable, it is not patent nonsense.

Patent nonsense is generally:

  • Vandalism. Examples of vandalism generally includes what the vandal thinks are humorous messages or partially on-topic article fragments that distort the meaning of the subject.
  • Non-wikified articles. A good sign of patent nonsense is an article that is completely unformatted and contains no links to other pages.
  • Childish entries. Articles that are completely disorganized, are of an immature writing level, and say a lot without covering more than the basics of the subject are probably patent nonsense.
  • Completely off-topic articles. If the article has absolutely nothing to do with the title's subject, it's probably patent nonsense. (Be careful, though – sometimes this might be an innocent mistake on the author's part!)

How to deal with patent nonsense

If you see a page that you believe is patent nonsense (and think that it is irrecoverably bad), add the template {{delete}} to the page. If you are an administrator, you may just delete the article straight away.

However, if you think the article is worth saving, try at least wikifying it first, to bring the article into the web, and list the page on pages needing attention. After that, if some people think the page still doesn't belong, the matter can be discussed on pages for deletion.