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date: 30 October 2020


The Oxford Companion to the English Language
Tom McArthurTom McArthur, Jacqueline Lam-McArthurJacqueline Lam-McArthur, Lise FontaineLise Fontaine

Launched in January 2001 by founders Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia ( is a wiki which provides free, online, collaboratively written encyclopaedic content on a very wide range of topics in over 295 different language editions. Of these, 13 have over 1m articles each: English, Swedish, Cebuano, German, Dutch, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Waray-Waray, Polish, Vietnamese and Japanese. The English Wikipedia was the first edition and is the largest. As of May 2017, the English edition includes almost 5.5m articles, which is approximately 12.1% of articles in all editions, whereas this portion of content was over 50% in 2003 (Wikipedia). According to Wikipedia, it is ‘the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet and is ranked among the ten most popular websites’. There have been some controversies related to Wikipedia, for example questions surrounding the reliability or accuracy of the content (e.g. universities generally do not approve of its use as an academic source). The English language edition has faced controversies over the ... ...

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