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Wikipedia:Don't stuff beans up your nose

This page contains material which is considered humorous. It may also contain advice.
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Do NOT click on the big red button.

As an old story goes:

The little boy's mother was going off to the market. She worried about her son, who was always up to some mischief. She sternly admonished him, "Be good. Don't get into trouble. Don't eat all the chocolate. Don't spill all the milk. Don't throw stones at the cow. Don't fall down the well." The boy had done all of these things on previous market days. Hoping to head off new trouble, she added, "And don't stuff beans up your nose!" This was a new idea for the boy, who promptly tried it out.

In our zeal to head off others' unwise actions, we may put forth ideas they have not entertained before. It may be wise not to caution against such possibilities. Prophylactic admonition may trigger novel mischief. As the popular saying goes, "don't give 'em any ideas". In other words, don't give examples of how to cause disruption (e.g., don't go to this link or you will crash Wikipedia) because this may will actually tempt people to do it.[Note 1] So, the boy's mother could have considered saying the following instead:

Keep your nose clean![Note 2]

Modern essay usage[edit]

Throughout the 19 years this essay has existed, it has adopted a different meaning than the above text suggests. There are many areas of the encyclopedia that rely on, or benefit from, some level of security through obscurity, such as WP:SPI. For this reason — citing this essay — details of cases and abuse mitigation are often left undiscussed on-wiki. An essay explaining this more in-depth is Wikipedia:There's a reason you don't know.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ The truth of this proposition is evidenced by the controversy of Monty Python's Life of Brian and the impact of this at the box-office. To quote Michael Palin: "There is not a great deal of religious satire in Brian, although there is some comment on organised religion. The religious critics in America told people not to go and see it, which was wonderful for the box office."[1]
  2. ^ And don't mention the war.


  1. ^ Luck, Richard (26 September 2016). "The Making Of Monty Python's Life Of Brian". Sabotage Times. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011.