Russian Roulette

Created by Steven Baltakatei Sandoval on 2019-07-18T05:04Z under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and last updated on 2020-12-23T00:52Z.


I took it upon myself to review a {{citation needed}} tag on the Russian roulette page on Wikipedia.

I found a reference that cited the Oxford English Dictionary which itself cited a 1937-01-30 issue of Collier's, a magazine containing short stories. The issue conatined a short story named "Russian Roulette" by a person named Georges Surdez. I found a source for the document here and here.

It's interesting to me that a the Oxford English Dictionary cites a document that is rather obscure. It makes me wonder what a library filled with every source that the Oxford English Dictionary cites would look like. It seems like an ambitious project that would be necessary to preserve the english language's history in a technically satisfying manner. Something to think about.

Wikipedia edit

The wikipedia article containing the updated information as of 2019-07-16T22:54:07 is here:

I had removed usage of "Russian Poker" from a description of a 2019-01 incident in which a police officer shot another police officer in what the New York Times describes as "Russian Roulette" but which no source (which I could find) reporting on the incident described as "Russian Poker". I think using that particular phrase to describe an incident that no source describes as such would be creating information out of nothing ("original research"). In this case, the information created is the strengthening of the link between the phrase "Russian Poker" and the concept of pulling the trigger on a possibly-loaded firearm while aimed at another person. I said as much in my descriptions of the edits.

I confirmed that the Collier's quote is partially referenced in a printed copy of the OED2 (page 295) in my local library. The relevant sections are:

> `REVOLUTION` *sb*. `I I`; **Russian roulette**, an act of
bravado in which a person loads (usu.) one
chamber of a revolver, spins the cylinder, holds
the barrel to his head, and pulls the trigger; also

> Revolution had never taken place. **1937** `G. SURDEZ` in
*Collier's* 30 Jan. 16 ‘Did you ever hear of Russian roulette?’
…With the Russian army in Rumania, around 1917,…some
officer would suddenly pull out his revolver,…remove a
cartridge from the cylinder, spin the cylinder, snap it back in
place, put it to his head and pull the trigger.

Citation Hunt

I had originally found this page to edit via a Citation Hunt webpage that looks up random {{citation needed}} tags in Wikipedia articles and presents them to the user for consideration. URL is here.

I'm also considering using markdown to format text but it hurts legibility if I'm using vanilla emacs. (edit(2020-12-22T19:22Z): I rewrote this article in markdown.)

This work by Steven Baltakatei Sandoval is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0