The Internet


I finally wrote Wikipedia a love letter.

And then I took a picture of proof, “Say Anything”-style:

I went onto the site today, to look for something, as usual, random and obscure and there was a banner at the top of the page, an appeal from the founder for funds. It was a very simple banner, and there was a person’s face, the founder, making a plea. I realized that this one website has provided me with more entertainment and joy and information than many things I regularly pay for. I think I’ve actually gotten a lot more use out of Wikipedia over the years than occasional manicures and a new pair of earrings.

So I clicked on the banner, and -I am very embarrassed to admit I had actually never thought of doing this before-I donated. Because I love the site. Because I use it every day. Because it makes me happy.

And then…they did something they shouldn’t have done.

They asked me if I could tell my story.

So I did.

I”m officially a huge, huge, huge supernerd. I finally wrote Wikipedia a love letter I’ve been meaning to write them forever. I went to look for something and there was a donation button at the top, and I donated!

And then…they did something they shouldn’t have done.

They asked me if I could tell my story.

So I did.

This is what I wrote to them:

I have had many special moments with Wikipedia over the years.   From learning about D.B. Cooper, to reading about ODESSA (the freaky purported Nazi submarine escape route to South America).   I also answered simple questions, like how many people live in Congo? and What year was that Muhammad Ali fight?  

This past weekend, Wikipedia literally answered the exact question I had been asking myself for 20 years: What does Aretha Franklin mean by “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Take out, TCP” ??? 

I got onto Wikipedia, and some freaking GENIUS had this section written out, especially for me, I am convinced of this:  

[ Franklin’s version of the song contains the famous lines (as printed in the lyrics included in the 1985 compilation album Atlantic Soul Classics):  R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me R-E-S-P-E-C-T Take care … TCB  The last line is often misquoted as “Take out, TCP”, or something similar, and indeed most published music sheets which include the lyrics have this incorrect line in them. “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and “T-C-B” are not present in Redding’s original song but were included in some of his later performances with the Bar-Kays.   There seems to be some confusion over who first used “T-C-B” in the song.  “TCB” is an abbreviation that was commonly used in the 1960s and 1970s, meaning Taking Care (of) Business, and it was particularly widely used in African-American culture.  However, it was somewhat less well-known outside of that culture, yielding a possible explanation as to why it was not recognized by those who transcribed Franklin’s words for music sheets. Nevertheless, “TCB in a flash” later became Elvis Presley’s motto and signature, from his necklace to his private jet plane.  Franklin’s lyrics most probably influenced hip-hop’s later use of both the word “proper” and “props” in the context of proper respect. She proclaims that she’s about to give him all her money, and that all she’s asking is for him to give her “her propers” when he gets home. ]

Anyway. All that to say that, yes.   My contribution is overdue.   And anyone, I mean ANYONE who has ever had this experience with Wikipedia should donate.  

Because how many of us have paid $10 for a movie that truly sucked?   Wikipedia is that free gift that keeps on giving, it’s worth at least as much as someone paid to see “Puss in Boots” in the movie theaters.  

With sincere love and nerdy addiction,   

Violetta from Altadena.





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