The Mountweazel.

A mountweazel is a spurious entry deliberately included in a dictionary or encyclopedia in order to trap plagiarists. The name comes from a fictitious entry for Lillian Virginia Mountweazel, supposedly a famous photographer of rural mailboxes, who was included in the 1975 edition of The Columbia Encyclopaedia.

via Colganology

tagged by lipfused which made my tiny shrew heart beat so fast.

1. why write:  I tried not to write for a really long time and it didn’t do me any good. Also, it’s a good thing to do if you just lost your job and have no idea what you’re doing with your life. Also, also you can meet some cool people who are also self-deprecating and probably funnier than you are. See what I just did there. 

2. aesthetic: “conversation in mid-day with a stranger from a Murakami novel” or “anime trash” depending on how you wanna spin it

3. the process: as much isolation and as little interruption as possible, picking out just the right music and then changing my mind about it the second before I start writing, a document full of links and references and notes that I don’t end up using, notebooks that my sister buys for me when she’s abroad that I feel too unworthy of actually writing in so I use cheap knock-off moleskins until I can work up the courage, a lot of trying to get my brain to run on auto-pilot

4. the moment right now: I’m listening to this mix and checking my phone for texts from my best friend who works the night shift at Wal-Mart and trying to decide if I should stay up another hour to micro-manage a virtual army or read comics on the internet. I think my roommate’s cat is puking. Again.

5. shortcomings: poetry, not going with my gut instinct, fussing with shit when it was better before I fussed with shit, sustaining narratives for longer pieces and in general, falling into present tense and second person as my default, sentence variety, working reaaally slooowly and getting distracted easily

6. a writer is: probably not working really hard on filling out a tumblr ask meme at almost 1am in the morning.

Idk who has and hasn’t been tagged with this business but solipsistbaby, mountweazel, briannahopealbers, thunderbirdsinstead, autodidactics, if u wanna


Nihilartikel- a deliberately fake entry into a reference work used to catch copyright infringements. In the 1975 New Columbia Encyclopedia there is a biography of Lillian Virginia Mountweazel (1942-1973) An American fountain designer and photographer best known for Flags Up!, a collection of photos of rural mailboxes. Mountweazel died at 31 in an explosion while on assignment for Combustibles magazine  This is an entirely fictitious biography.

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Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925

This has likely already been discovered by nerdfighters much more dedicated than I, but in perusing the wikipedia page for paper towns (the term, not the John Green book itself), I came across this comment:

Which lead me to discover that Margo Roth Spiegelmen’s dog is also named after a fictitious entry, similar to the one after which the book named. You probably all know, but it’s a big moment for me. 



En la edición de 1975 de la New Columbia Encyclopedia se incluye una entrada con la biografía de una mujer llamada Lillian Virginia Mountweazel (1942-1973). Según esta entrada de la enciclopedia, Virginia fue una fotógrafa de éxito y diseñadora de fuentes, nacida en Ohio, que se hizo famosa por retratar buzones en zonas rurales de Estados Unidos. Lillian murió trágicamente a los 31 años en una explosión cuando llevaba a cabo un reportaje para la revista “Combustibles”.

A simple vista podríamos decir que la señora Mountweazel tuvo una vida muy peculiar. Pero lo que resulta aún más interesante sobre ella es que realmente nunca existió.

Es lo que se denomina una “entrada ficticia”. Las editoriales de obras de referencia (como enciclopedias o diccionarios) a menudo introducen este tipo de entradas falsas en sus trabajos. Esto les permite protegerse de plagios y violaciones de derechos de autor, ya que en caso de que otras editoriales les copien, además del resto de entradas, también incluirán estas falsas entradas.

En la actualidad, el término inglés “Mountweazel” se utiliza para hacer referencia a una entrada ficticia en la enciclopedia.

Otro ejemplo de entrada falsa se encuentra en la Wikipedia en alemán con el término “Leuchtschnabelbeutelschabe” que designa a un insecto inexistente. La palabra alemana para referirse a este tipo de entradas ficticias es “Nihilartikel”, formada por el sustantivo “Nihil” (del latín: nada) y la palabra alemana “Artikel” (artículo). Artículos de nada o nada en los artículos.

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If we did make it to the most beautiful libraries in the world, the first thing we would have to do is search for wild mountweazels.