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Revision as of 10:51, 6 September 2013 by Technopat (talk | contribs) (Pros & cons: twk)

Linking refers to the practice of surrounding a word, term or phrase with double square brackets ([[text]] for internal links and single square brackets ([http:// & url & text]) for external links. It is one of the cooler features of wikis, and most interactive web pages, these days, as it offers the possibility of incorporating links to other pages within a text, be they internal, i.e. within the same website or external, i.e. at another website. Links will be blue if they link to a page with content or red if they link to a page not yet created.

Here at teflpedia, external links are only acceptable in the dedicated section (==External links==), that is, not within the body text itself. Please bear in mind also that while external links to interesting web pages that provide an authoritative insight on the subject are, in many cases, extremely useful, teflpedia is not a directory of links, and these should be kept to a minimum.

Like any other community which brings together professionals, teflpedia is not without its own jargon. An example is "blink", a portmanteau of "blue link", as opposed to "redlink", used as both verb and noun.

Pros & cons

Some people object to what is termed "overlinking". There are at least two reasons for this objection: first, what may be perceived as a patronising attitude, in that it isn't really necessary to link every noun, verb and what-have-ye because most people will actually know the meaning. The other gripe is purely aesthetic: a sentence with every other word marked blue makes for a whole line of blue, which can make it difficult, in some cases, to discern exactly which term is being linked.

Regarding the latter consideration, actually quite closely related to the aforementioned patronising aspect, sentences with links to every single proper noun, plural form, collective noun, verb, be they lexical verbs, irregulars or auxiliaries, or adjective will be very tiresome and readers, whether old hands, backpackers, or newbies, are likely to resort to their wide-ranging lexis of taboo words. That said, the fact that a word at teflpedia is linked, suggests that there is meaningful content to be found there, and which might be of direct or indirect interest to different kinds of users. In short, links should only be used for meaningful content. Thus, while every self-respecting English-language teacher should know what a noun is, the dedicated page should - hopefully - offer some interesting insights and or links to further reading material and/or exercises that may be of use to all, experienced teachers, newbies and even to students.

On the othe rhand, care should be taken to avoid a variation of overlinking, "overkill", i.e., more than one link to the same page within an article, text or even sentence. This is a typical phenomenon of wikis, as several editors add things they consider relevant to an existing text which they may not have read at source, which is where the actual link appears, rather than the article page, which may show a link under a different title and resulting in two links to the same page. So what we see as ... the "Pages of interest" section to your User page (article) is actually ... the "[[Help:User page|Pages of interest]]" section to your [[Help:User page|User page]] (source).

See also