Talk:British Isles

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RfC: Is the disputed but referenced, "most favoured", alternative relevant?[edit]

As stated in the talk section above, should this article include the reliably sourced, "most favoured", alternative expression for the contentious term "British Isles" in the introduction? (talk) 08:54, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

As a side note, I have concerns about frequent editors of this page, as they appear to be engaged in some kind of bizarre collaborative effort to promote((WP:BRITISHISLES) the use of this contentious term in every possible setting and article, like Gunpowder. (talk) 09:07, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Ah yes, users Snowded and Highking, those infamous British nationalists. We've been having trouble with them for years. ;) Wiki-Ed (talk) 22:25, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Also see above as to the problems with this IPs suggestion. Also isn't it a bit early for calling an RfC? Also quite curious as to how an IP got from above to here so quickly. Mabuska (talk) 15:39, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment The term 'British Isles' is WP:COMMONNAME. It is the term used internationally, especially in the Commonwealth nations and the English speaking world. In-fact this article even mentions the term was first used around 300 BC! The problem here is that a small group of editors are trying to 'politicise' a geography article. Keep petty nationalism to yourself, it doesn't belong here on Wikipedia. However I see no issue with the addition of the National Geographic citation, its a reliable source and of academic/encyclopedic value. Antiochus the Great (talk) 16:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment As mentioned above there is no issue with the citation, it's just the undue weighting of it in the lead that people are reverting against. No reason it can't go in the section on the name and dispute. Canterbury Tail talk 17:54, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment My inclination would be to say that the form as at 0234GMT on the 7th Feb is pretty solid. It mentions in the lead the fact a number of alternative names. I don't think we need the NatGeo reference, but having the names seems to be a good call. The only potential change I'd suggest would be to put '(though this name is conroversial)' after the first use of the term 'British Isles' because the term is controversial, and the reason that it's controversial is that it's widely seen (accurately or not) as political because of the historic intertwining of politics and geography in this case. But I'd broadly be inclined to leave it as it is. Interestingly, this is only the second RFC that I've been notified of by FRS, and the first that I've felt able to comment on, and in both cases Antiochus has also been FRSed. Thom 02:43, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
    I'm not sure if as the person who requested the RFC, if it is the right etiquette to comment in this section, but just so we're all on the same page, I'd like to make everyone aware that there is a discussion going on above this talk page RFC which is important to read in concert with this, most recent, RFC section. Secondly, to lay to rest a few things that User:Antiochus the Great implied - In regard to WP:COMMONNAME, I've never disputed that on the contrary, what I have been trying to do was include the "most preferred official usage" in the introduction, not change the title of the entire article. The majority of the official/academic community has essentially abandoned "British Isles" and increasingly taken to using "Britain and Ireland", and that is now the most favoured official term for the area, this should, I thought, have been a straightforward piece of information to include in the article's introduction, considering the wealth of references to support this fact.
    (3)To call this page a "geography article" is factually incorrect, the article may try to pull that feat off but the Channel Islands, which are "traditionally" included in the term British Isles, have little to no common geography with the other islands, being geographically French Isles, indeed the Channel Islands are considered geographically, "culturally and historically" part of Normandy and are thus highlighted on the map of that page. Perhaps this lack of being a geographic entity needs to be more explicitly stated in the article as it's seemingly a very common misnomer? (4) Judging by the context of your comment, I am glad that you think that the Nat Geo citation should be in the introduction. (talk) 06:26, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: The phrase already appears in the lead at the end of the last paragraph: As a result, "Britain and Ireland" is used as an alternative description, and "Atlantic Archipelago" has had limited use among a minority in academia, although British Isles is still commonly employed. Within them, they are also sometimes referred to as "these islands".
    I'm satisifed with this except that it needs could of small changes: 1) the scare quotes need to be removed; 2. Alternative names (i.e. Britain and Ireland and Atlantic Archipelago) should be bolded per MOS:BOLD.
    As a side note, I also think, "As a result, ...", is misleading in the exact context because it implies that these alternatives are used because of objections from the Irish embassy. But that's a trivial correction. I'd just remove it altogether. --Tóraí (talk) 11:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: The MoS states: "The lead should... define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies." The paragraphs in the introduction are arranged to correspond with this, i.e. definition, context, notability, key points, then controversies. Also, there is a footnote that states: Do not violate Wikipedia:Neutral point of view by giving undue attention to less important controversies in the lead section. While some may feel this is a massively controversial issue, in reality it is not and gets very little attention in the media or in academia. For that reason we do not bold the supposed alternatives as it gives them undue prominence. It took many years to get this article to a stable state; aside from removing "as a result", which has been orphaned from the sentence it linked to, there is no need to change it just because yet another 'new' IP has come along to push a POV. Wiki-Ed (talk) 00:50, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Just to note Wiki-Ed: "Ah yes, users Snowded and Highking, those infamous British nationalists. We've been having trouble with them for years." this sarcasm is not helpful as HighKing has not been involved in this as they are currently prohibited and Snowded actually reverted the IP twice telling them to seek consensus for this addition. I agree with the rest of your comments other than that sentence as it is wrong. Mabuska (talk) 01:28, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
It was a joke. The IP referred to a project page where Snowded was listed as a member, then accused him of being "engaged in some kind of bizarre collaborative effort to promote((WP:BRITISHISLES)", which I'm sure you'll agree, is highly improbable. The fact his sweeping statement also included Highking, who has a reputation for doing exactly the opposite, was highly amusing (at least to me).Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:19, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
The problem with text-based conversations - you can never tell the tone and context something is being written in, even with a winky face. Mabuska (talk) 21:38, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Comment: For years the controversy of this "British Isles" term was in the first paragraph, and for a long time it was in the first sentence. As the page history shows, in recent years a dedicated coterie of editors with a similar rightwing British outlook has moved it way down the page, and in the process deleted a huge number of references which confirmed international moves away from "British Isles" - e.g. the French TV station which stopped using it. Rationality, NPOV and objectivity has long ago abandoned this political project of an article. It's an embarrassment to Wikipedia. (talk) 21:49, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, for a long time this article was absurd because the controversy was placed in the first sentence and it suffered from continuous edit wars. It's still listed under "Lamest edit wars", although it has been stable for some years as a result of the changes you refer to (which I've explained above). Those edit wars led to topic (or total) bans, mainly for Irish nationalist editors, not the supposed "dedicated coterie of editors with a similar rightwing British outlook". I believe the reason for this is illustrated by your conflation of "rationality" with NPOV; they are not the same thing. Your "rationality" is my swivel-eyed lunacy and presumably vice versa. Fortunately Wikipedia uses "verifiability" as its standard, not opinions. In this case, while there are sources supporting the fact that there is a controversy, they do not have sufficient weight to merit including this in the first sentence. The reason we have stability is because both parties compromised: British editors/readers tend not to recognise the controversy at all so including it is POV; for many Irish editors it is very important so not including it is POV. The middle ground is... where it is. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:22, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I think it's very interesting that you say above that it was mainly "Irish" nationalist editors that ended up with topic or total bans. Can you provide a list please? Or perhaps you spoke in haste? Also, just for the record, I supported moving the "controversy" stuff out of the lede. The term "British Isles" is in COMMON use, to refer to a geographic area. No drama or controversy, just fact. -- HighKing++ 13:54, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Vintagekits? Sarah777? Rasherstierney? DunlavinGreen? (There were others, although iirc some of them were socks). Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:13, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Ah right, I get it. You're listing Irish editors that were banned or blocked for overly nationalistic editing in various topics and articles, and not just British Isles related ones. In fairness, I think there's as much nationalistic editing from one side as the other - I certainly wouldn't say it was "mainly" one or the other. And socks? Don't get me started on socks (still some on here too...) -- HighKing++ 17:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, most of the nationalistic editing these days seems to be from short term editors and IPs that appear, edit for a few weeks, get bored and move on. Canterbury Tail talk 17:32, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
The short-term IP editors that appear simply to push things has been on a steady increase this past while. Mabuska (talk) 19:38, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
My request for comment was so that non-British and non-Irish editors could weigh in to give an objective decision on this matter. As presently it has a number of British editors pushing their view. Secondly, Wiki-Ed, I didn't insert anything into the first sentence, I added it to the last sentence of the introduction. Thus I'm having a hard time understanding how your diatribe is applicable to this RFC? Thirdly we have a number of verifiability references that state "Britain and Ireland" has now become the defacto official term for the region, even the British Ornithology society now uses the term, just see the talk page section above this RFC. That you dispute this is bizarre. I understand that you do not like this, and hey, personally I'm not jumping up and down about it either, but our opinions has nothing to do with our job as editors to include what reliable sources state and changes in usage. I would also tend to agree with the other IP editor - Failure to communicate the international, and even British, swing away from the term in the introduction of this article is an embarrassment to Wikipedia. (talk) 08:30, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Tellingly non-British and non-Irish editors generally don't care. I didn't say you wanted to add something to the first sentence (although another IP did), but that was the cause of the edit wars. And as I said, there might be a few sources, but not enough to lend sufficient weight to the opinion you are expressing regarding usage. Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:13, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The "British POV pusher" argument is a hallmark of anti-British POV pushers, so less with the ill-thought out and ill-founded claims. The fact you keep making these claims, that your IPs geo-locate to County Louth in the Republic of Ireland, and your eagerness to jump straight into an RfC after only one response in your previous section (by an administrator no less), only gives credence to a counter-claim. Just to add that the other IP locates to Ireland as well, so no real surprise they back this IP.

No editors objected to having the thing put into the controversy section where it belongs. We only objected to it in the lede where it violates Wiki policies of WP:WEIGHT and WP:UNDUE considering the lede already touches upon the controversy. Mabuska (talk) 12:28, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment "British Isles" is a common name, suitable for the title of this article. Although The Guardian may no longer use it, it appears to still be in use by mainstream secondary sources, like the New York Times. --Precision123 (talk) 05:15, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
And in plenty of Irish sources, such as RTE 1, 2, with Irish companies, and many others. The archives are full of such references. Canterbury Tail talk 12:43, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
As an observation, I'd say that the term "British Isles" is relatively straight-forward for some (mainly British people) in any context and for any subject matter. Others tend to avoid the term these days unless it's within a particular geographic or scientific context. Sure - the term is used less today. That's an observable trend. But who knows - it might be used more tomorrow, generating another trend. And *of course* nobody but some Irish cares - who else would give a hoot? It doesn't mean it's not a real issue though. So we'll always get editors (probably Irish) popping up here to question/query/object/argue/etc for all the same reasons we've heard before. It doesn't mean that those editors are necessarily trying to cause trouble, or are evil, or are anti-British, or have read the history of this page to understand how consensus works and how it was achieved. I don't go in for the "POV pusher" arguments on either side - we've entrenched views by some editors, but they're entitled to their views, and those views (and everyone elses too) help establish consensus.
This discussion, I believe, has reached its natural conclusion. Consensus remains as it was, no changes agreed. ---- HighKing++ 13:10, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
The request for comment will remain open until a substantial number of impartial outside editors comment. Not the usual suspects, such as yourself, who is a member of WP:BRITISHISLES. Secondly, again, vernacular and common name usage is NOT up for debate. What this request for comment is about, is giving the due weight to the term Britain and Ireland and clearly stating that, this term has become the "most preferred official usage" etc. to which the references in the introduction already state, but bizarrely the introduction itself is completely quiet on this. Thirdly, this is not some recent trend in naming but is well established for well over a decade in the scientific and even lay literature. I will ask once again, for you to provide a few substantial modern scientific works that uses the phrase "British Isles" in their title and uses that term to include Ireland. As you will find, it is quite evident that "Britain and Ireland" has become the "most favoured expression".[1] That this article does not state this obvious fact, that it has become the most favoured expression in the introduction, is to fail to give the term the due weight it deserves.
Here's some modern scientific titles with "Britain and Ireland" in the title, in case any of you are unsure whether "Britain and Ireland" has become the "most favoured expression" and has become the "preferred official usage".
19:21, 14 February 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Are you differentiating the entries where Britain and Ireland is used to mean the islands of Britain and Ireland from the ones where it is used to mean the governments of the UK and Ireland from the ones that mean all the islands included in the British Isles? Britain and Ireland as a straight term is not equal to British Isles as it's missing many islands. For instance if those sources don't cover the Isle of Man they're not using Britain and Ireland as an alternative for British Isles, one isn't always equal to the other.
Additionally, who decides what is official? You keep mentioning the term official but there is no possible body to determine an official name for a geographical area that spans national governments.
Incidentally you've just been blocked for block evasion as you're a blocked from editing for a period of 2 weeks due to your edit warring. Canterbury Tail talk 21:13, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Clearly British Isles is the common name used historically and still used today, the dislike of the term in Ireland is well covered in the lead so I cant see any need to change the emphasis of the current article lead. Not sure you can actually keep open an RfC until you get the answer you want or restrict comments to certain groups by the way. MilborneOne (talk) 19:46, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Agree with @MilborneOne: and others. "British Isles" is commonly used in most of the English-speaking world, and generally uncontroversially so. It may not be popular in Ireland, but I think an explanation for that should be given its due part in the body of the article. --Precision123 (talk) 23:28, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Comment: First, I note nobody is foolish enough to claim that "British Isles" has been the most common term, a claim which would avoid the fact that famous British writers like Francis Bacon never used it, instead opting for "Britain and Ireland". Moreover, "Negro" was also "commonly used" and "generally uncontroversially so" in the Anglophone world until the people so-called decided to fight its use. Similarly, the Irish refuse to have their country labelled part of the "British Isles", and its implicit connotations that the Irish are "British". It will take the troglodytes over in the metropolis a while to get with the whole respect thing, but I note that liberals in Britain are already avoiding using this intentionally offensive term. (talk) 11:43, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

You say it may not be popular in Ireland, but I wonder about this. The average Irishman is not really interested and wouldn't object to "British Isles". I think it's just the chattering classes, who can't help forcing their opinion on others, via the media and even Wikipedia, and who are a really small minority. (talk) 12:26, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
How nice of you to tell the Irish what "the average Irishman" is not really interested in. The fact that this politically jingoistic term is universally avoided in Ireland by anybody who is not trying to make a pro-British political point tells a different story. The fact that you will find records of complaints about the term being used decades ago testifies to a battle against it having happened a long time ago and the term consequently being avoided. What next? The Irish would love to be ruled by the British again and it's only these "chattering classes" who are preventing it? (talk) 11:28, 20 February 2014 (UTC)7
For those of you who don't like accepting the fact of Irish resistance to this term, here's a section of views on an Irish website regarding the term "British Isles": (talk) 11:49, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
That link is actually priceless. They've only lead with one of my old Wikipedia diagrams (link), and the whole article is based on the dedicated work of you and Sony Youth/Ranpahnid Ariacnid/RA/Torai - whatever he's called now. This is exactly why so many people think Wikipedia is potentially madness, and a destroyer of all that is sane. You cannot cite a reference that only exists because of this place! The world would turn into gloop. But this is eventually what happens after years and years of this bullshit, and it's the Holy Grail of that tiny handful of crazy people who have given their lives to this insanity.
The funny thing is that I still hear the term used every day, but never any of the WP-promoted "alternative" terms instead. The ITV Welsh news called yesterday's earthquake in Swansea "The fifth biggest earthquake to hit the British Isles this century". I can't imagine most Irish giving two hoots if they said that about Cork. My only problem has always been that I've never seen any popular evidence of any offense or disdain, only the semi-useful polemics that have been painstakingly unearthed over the past 10 years. You frankly have to be Indiana Jones to find anything near the evidence for the 'outrage' you claim there is. The Irish are just more adult and sensible than that. The sad joke is that you are actually demeaning your own people. Matt Lewis (talk) 21:18, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I have a fantastic idea. Why don't you take your fiery nationalist rhetoric AWAY from this page? This is fucking nauseating to read. Somchai Sun (talk) 09:33, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I have an even more "fantastic" one: why don't you and your fellow British nationalists remove your jingoistic terms from land masses and people who reject your proclaimed hegemony over them? It's persistently nauseating to see articles with titles like "British Isles" at a time when you Brits are supposed to have got beyond your imperialist past to display a modicum of respect for the identities of peoples over whom your vile imperialist polity once dominated. (talk) 19:47, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Um, excuse me? Me a British nationalist? You are mistaken as I am nothing of the sort. Where the fuck did you get that idea from? Have you seen my user space, my edit history? Think not. I didn't even comment about the subject in hand, and you're the one failing to look at WP policy by the way. And believe me, keep this up and I'll take you to WP:ANI and have you blocked. You're just an unpleasant person. Good day. --Somchai Sun (talk) 12:47, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Can we have a little Civility please? I think the British Isles is most commonly used and this seems more a political debate. I'm going to start a poll and see where we can go from there.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:04, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Poll for the above RFC[edit]

Closed due to lack of clear explanation of the question. See new discussion below. Rob (talk | contribs) 18:07, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Quick and simple poll. Do you support "most favoured" Expression as outlined above? Please just a brief description of your reason and just a simple support or oppose. Let's guage the consensus on that and the move from there.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:04, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

A poll on what? If you're proposing a move, then do that. Or, if you're proposing an alternative wording, do that instead. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:07, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Read the above RFC.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:12, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

I did. There seem to me to be various proposals. If you want a straw poll, you need to be precise on what the !vote is about. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:14, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Ya sorry about that. Brain fart for a moment.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:19, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Predominately because out of Wikipedia, the issue really isn't very prevalent. Additionally because 'Britain and Ireland' is controversial also. The purpose of including the term is because it avoids associating the Irish state with the term 'British', however instead it associates the UK's dependent territories in the archipelago with the term 'Britain'. These territories aren't part of the UK, nor Great Britain, and barely regard themselves as 'British'. I'd rather only have one controversial term in the lead, which really, isn't that controversial. Rob (talk | contribs) 13:22, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. 'British Isles' has been the common name for ages and this has shown no sign of changing. Martin Hogbin (talk) 13:50, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I, for one, have never heard the archipelago referred to as anything other than the 'British Isles', and don't see any real source of controversy here.  — TORTOISEWRATH 03:51, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Hang on a sec. If you are Opposing, does that not mean you are opposing the idea that it is the "most favoured" term??? I don't agree. It's not a black and white answer. For me, there's definitely a trend towards not using the term. But it all depends on context. I'm sure it's used a lot more in the UK than in Ireland or other places. In certain topic/subject contexts, it is the sole/only term used. For example, geographically related subjects such as where rocks are found in Europe, or where a storm hits. In other contexts, it is hardly used, such as political reporting referring to "UK and Ireland" or "Britain and Ireland". The only grey area is geopolitical reporting. Again in some contexts it is a common term - "music of the British Isles" is commonly used in the USA when referring to folk music from all of the British Isles including Ireland, obviously (although Music of the British Isles is redirected... go figure). But for the most part, no, it's not the most favoured term. Someone did a chart of Google search terms sometime - it would be interesting to see these terms charted similarly. -- HighKing++ 11:57, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Query What exactly is the question we're trying to answer? Let's see the proposal set out in black and white. Without that this poll is meaningless. WaggersTALK 12:57, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - I agree that clarity is needed. Write the question out in black and white so we all know exactly what we are answering. Atlas-maker (talk) 17:16, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Poll regarding 'Britain and Ireland' in the introduction[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this article include 'Britain and Ireland', as an alternative name in the introduction? Rob (talk | contribs) 18:07, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose Predominately because out of Wikipedia, the issue really isn't very prevalent. Additionally because 'Britain and Ireland' is controversial also. The purpose of including the term is because it avoids associating the Irish state with the term 'British', however instead it associates the UK's dependent territories in the archipelago with the term 'Britain'. These territories aren't part of the UK, nor Great Britain, and barely regard themselves as 'British'. I'd rather only have one controversial term in the lead, which really, isn't that controversial. Rob (talk | contribs) 18:07, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree The original RFC is above, it seems pretty darned straightforward. Rob, it is the place of an encyclopedia to report on the world, and reliable refs on it, your entire argument is therefore WP:POV. User:HighKing above appears to get it, what particular aspect of it do you find as requiring clarity Atlas-maker? The argument in the RFC is, in a nut shell - should we not include that "Britain and Ireland" has become the most favoured official term for the area? There are, what looks like two WP:RSs that clearly elucidate that "Britain and Ireland" has become the most favoured and official alt expression, along with numerous modern WP:RS books with "Britain and Ireland" in their titles, where they once may have had "British Isles" instead. The edit to the 4th paragraph of the intro/lede that was removed from the article; and which seems to have spurred the original RFC instigator to request for comment was. ---> The National Geographic Atlas of the World which once titled the area as the British Isles now reads Britain and Ireland.[3] This has become the most favoured expression.[1][4] I suppose we could indeed then include all the recent reliable scientific books, listed above, with "Britain and Ireland" in their title, to add a truck load of bullet proof refs to this, you know, for those reading the article who for whatever reason, just don't believe "Britain and Ireland" has become the most favoured term.Boundarylayer (talk) 18:18, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose One reference uses the term "most favoured". Most favoured by who? The person who wrote the reference obviously. For everyone else it's just an alternative term, and a bad one at that, because what precisely does "Britain" mean? Answers please. Shadwell Munch (talk) 19:16, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
You latter point seems really significant. What is 'Britain' and 'Ireland'? Are we refering to the UK and Ireland, or Great Britain and Ireland? If the latter then this is entirely inappropriate as there's 6000 other islands in the archipelago. If the former, then the UK's dependent territories are still excluded. Rob (talk | contribs) 15:15, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Can we make it a requirement that everyone who takes in part in this !vote first reads through all the talk page archives, and understands all the arguments that have been previously debated countless times on this page? No? Perhaps we should. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:18, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
That would take about 10 years, even for a speed reader. Shadwell Munch (talk) 19:19, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I think there should indeed be a reading requirement for registered users who want to contribute. IPs forcing us to revisit the same old discussions should just be ignored and blocked. Wiki-Ed (talk) 11:32, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree Britain and Ireland as shown with references is definitely a widely used alternative inoffensive name, its inclusion as such in the introduction may help alleviate some of the continual opposition to the article as it stands although I personally would favour the also widely used inoffensive term "British Isles and Ireland" as shown [1] [2] Setanta Saki (talk) 19:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
You seems to be suggesting that "British Isles" is offensive. "Fuck off!" is offensive; "British Isles" isn't. Shadwell Munch (talk) 20:25, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually its more offensive to me when used with reference to my country by an outlet such as an encyclopedia, far more so than any uneducated clown simply using bad language. Setanta Saki (talk) 20:52, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I think people from the UK's dependent territories in the archipelago would find the term 'Britain and Ireland' offensive also. They're 'British', but they're not part of Great Britain or the UK. Rob (talk | contribs) 15:15, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
That may be correct the small UK dependent territories that you refer to may not approve on that technicality, however comparing it to the Ireland issue is fanciful when as you say they are british as opposed to Ireland a large sovereign EU member state whose citizens are not british and who in the past fought a large number of bloody wars in order to regain its independence from Britian. That along with it having many historical atrocities perpetrated upon it during that time such as those committed by Cromwell etc etc along with discriminatory penal laws etc etc. Despite these vast vast differences your point is valid on the surface and that is why I put forth the used term "Britsh Isles and Ireland" as the alternative.Setanta Saki (talk) 00:33, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
The issue with 'British Isles and Ireland' or 'British and Irish Isles' is that a significant proportion of Irish people regard themselves, and there part of Ireland as British, which these phrases dispute. All these phrases are contentious, however one is by far predominately used, hence why it should be the only phrase used. In regards to this discussion, I couldn't care less about how horrendous the British have been towards Irish nationalists. Both sides have made tragic mistakes. If there was a term such as 'Anglo-Celtic Isles' which was widely used, I'd support it entirely. I don't like that the adjective for my people is used erroneously to refer to include your country either, but there's no alternative that's widely used and not contentious. Rob (talk | contribs) 01:15, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I was only referring to "Ireland" the state and its citizens . I think the divided 6 counties region is a irrelevant matter it is only a small "region" of a sovereign state and its small population is split down the middle on the matters to which you refer. It can not be put in anyway on the same footing with respect to the government/population of another Sovereign EU member State that is Ireland which covers five-sixths of the Island. Despite the irrelevance of that region, I can see no significant problem with "British Isles and Ireland" or "British and Irish Isles" alternative as each segment in it can relate to whichever aspect of the name they prefer. The two large EU member states are then equally represented. That is surely far more equitable and correct than the current geographical article title which can only be deleterious to relations. I would also support your suggestion of Anglo-Celtic isles if shown to be in use. I only highlighted some less than pleasant historical aspects in order point out the difference in comparison not to tug at anyone's heart strings.Setanta Saki (talk) 21:01, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
1/6 of the people living on Ireland regard themselves as British. The island overall only makes up 1/11 of the population of the British Isles. If Irish Brits are insignificant in comparison to all of Ireland, then the island is surely insignificant in relation to the British Isles? That you're a sovereign state doesn't make your people's views any more important. Rob (talk | contribs) 21:24, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Great refute. I don't see why we would even add remotely heard of neologisms such as "British and Irish Isles" or "British Isles and Ireland" as the former sounds like islands shared between the two states whilst the second is a mash-up of a geographical entity and a state. British Isles is not a political term - it is a geographical term. Mabuska (talk) 21:43, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Im sorry but that argument is utterly preposterous and illogical of course it matters, in fact it is the most overriding factor, Ireland (the sovereign EU state not the Island once more) does not currently accept or use the article title, all its citizens are Irish and nothing else. UK citizens can refer to themselves as whatever they wish it matters not a jot to Ireland. The article refers to an area that encompasses only two sovereign states Ireland and the UK that is the crucial point, the greater population of the UK is an irrelevance both are entitled to equal regard and importance as they are afforded in the EU. The small region to which you keep poorly referencing is simply a region no more relevant than a province of burgendy in france with regard to international relations ( also the one segment of that divided society that you are referencing mostly would not even refer to themselves as Irish). Setanta Saki (talk) 22:10, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
No. Being a sovereign state makes a region no more important. All people in Northern Ireland recognise that they live on Ireland (hence why the region is called Northern Ireland) and many would be offended at a term that claims that there part of the island is not British. Rob (talk | contribs) 22:33, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry but utterly disagree. British Isles can amply cover all those people in the UK state and other territories (which was your first problem), the term "Ireland" can cover the people of the "state" of the same name present in the archipelago. Obviously all international relations, boundaries of territorial waters agreements etc etc occurs between Independent sovereign states, claims that simple regions such as burgundy are the same category as states such as France or Ireland is clearly unsustainable as an argument.I think we can leave the discussion, I don't see any further progression occurring and I have made my vote and reasoning clear.Setanta Saki (talk) 23:22, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are many "alternative names". To select some over others would lead to accusations of bias and undue weighting; to list them all would make the first sentence utterly unwieldy. With this proposal in particular I would suggest that "Great Britain and Ireland" is a more common and more accepted alternative - although of course it is not synonymous with "British Isles". Anyone interested in the name of the islands would read the etymology section, which clearly talks about the alternative names and links to the appropriate articles. Anyone searching for "Britain and Ireland" would find what they need via that disambiguation page. The current consensus took years to painstakingly build and having done that, this is one can of worms we should now leave closed for a few more years at least. WaggersTALK 11:53, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the argument given by Waggers. Would also add that "Britain and Ireland" is not a clearly defined term - does it refer to geo-political entities or purely geographical entities (i.e. 2 islands). Mabuska (talk) 17:18, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: Here we have a verified, referenced observation that "Britain and Ireland" is a common alternative for "British Isles" used in Ireland and the usual 'John Bull' suspects want to remove it from the introduction because it doesn't tie in with the "British Isles" politics which they are proselytizing here (and in so many other Wikipedia articles). Just because you don't like the fact of Irish resistance to "British Isles", and the use of "Britain and Ireland" instead, doesn't make that resistance, or that alternative use, untrue. Like the British removal from the opening paragraph of the longstanding reference to the term being controversial in Ireland, the whole purpose of the British editors here (with, perhaps, a single exception) is to censor all mention of Irish resistance to their imperialist "British Isles" term claiming Ireland. The political agenda permeating this article ensures it remains a joke of an article. (talk) 18:01, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Whatever the outcome it must be recognized that the British Isles (or whatever you want to call it) consists of more than 2 islands. Calling it "Britain and Ireland" is tricky for Anglesey, the Shetlands, Isle of Man, Arranmore etc. Semi independent islands like the Isle of Man and Guernsey are especially messy. "Britain and Ireland" does not even work as a political term because as this debate acknowledges "British Isles" is not a country, to be political it would have to be "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland plus associated Crown Dependencies and the Republic of Ireland". it Scotland goes independent then it gets even worse. I was originally going to vote support but the more I got into the details of the alternative name "Britain and Ireland" the more issues appeared (verging on WP:OR but this is a talk page) - it just does not work as either a political or geographical alternative. I vote to keep politics out of this and just stick with the official name but I would support redirects from all plausible alternative names plus a section to say that the name is politically sensitive. The politicians of the day can say whatever is voter friendly but it is not the job of a encyclopedia to pander to them. Mtpaley (talk) 21:38, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree (with caveats). At the risk of being a new contributor to this discussion I would like to make a number of points that seem to me, keep on being missed. The main point is that many contributors to this discussion and the overall naming and content of the article keep ignoring the fact that it is the purpose of an encyclopedia to report, summarise and edit other sources and NOT argue the validity of original research or personal opinions. For example the term Britain and Ireland may not be accurate or fit for purpose for reasons already stated by some contributors. However unless these reasons can be referenced from reliable sources it does not matter for the purposes of Wikipedia. Britain and Ireland is a term used by (it seems) a significant number of sources (I am at the moment looking at a map of these isles I have from Phillips, a respected map publisher, hanging on my wall that is titled 'Britain and Ireland') therefore it should be used with due weight given to it in comparison to the term 'British Isles'. Again the term 'British Isles' should continue to be used in the article for the same reasons. It may be objectionable to some people (and clearly some contributors are vehemently opposed to its use)but an encyclopedia's use of the term should be one of reporting current and historical usage and, where appropriate, reporting controversy. I haven't read all the discussion contributions but I have speed read lots as well as reading through the article and some references. My suggestion would be to move the last paragraph of the introduction which talks of the controversy to become part of the first paragraph. The current arrangement of paragraphs are 'description', 'geography' and 'history' with the controversy in naming these isles tacked on the end of the introduction. Logically the controversy should be part of the first paragraph. By doing this the article would also inform the reader of the controversy immediately but then allow then to scan the page to sections relevant to them. Just a suggestion, I know feelings run high, but it seems that some contributors have lost perspective and the purpose of Wikipedia - to inform the reader (not be a battleground for editors) as impartially as possible. Robynthehode (talk) 08:12, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Just a reminder to people. There was very extensive discussion over all this in 2010 (and previously), including a peer review, as a result of which the lede was expanded here with the insertion of the second and third paras. A lot of the debate is at Talk:British Isles/Archive 36#Britain and Ireland et seq. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:17, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Well with this discussion split down the middle 5-4 against as far as I can count, there is no consensus and no amount of additional editors giving a view in favour (or against) is going to matter as Wikipedia does not do democracy. As Ghmyrtle said, its already done the mill. It is holding fine despite the never-ending grumble of a few Irish editors such as the above IP. Mabuska (talk) 10:50, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Just to point out to User:Robynthehode: yes Wikipedia is meant to inform and the article does inform readers of alternate forms in the British_Isles#Etymology section, where it also links to the naming dispute article. Nothing is being hidden from readers, this discussion is simply a couple of editors trying to give as much undue weight to one alternate phrase as possible despite the fact there are various others and it would be wrong to give prominence to one over the others. In fact the fifth paragraph of the introduction already contains the alternate name so it is already in the intro and this discussion is absolutely pointless. Then add in the fact controversies are meant to be touched upon at the end of ledes, then there is nothing that needs changed in this article. Mabuska (talk) 10:57, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
A slightly different point - I think the current "lede" is practically an entire article in of itself. It's far too long and I've no doubt could do the job of summarizing the article a lot better. But back on point, I do think that there's a strong case for including "Britain and Ireland" as an alternate name in the introduction. I've not really contributed to the discussions here because of their habit of dissolving into editors turning it into a nationalistic argument. This discussion isn't about whether "British Isles" is right or wrong, or controversial or whatever other side-bar discussion that has taken place in the past, but rather if "Britain and Ireland" is used in the real-world, verifiably, as an alternate name. Checking out Britain and Ireland, which leads to Great Britain and Ireland, states "Great Britain and Ireland, Ireland and the United Kingdom and similar phrases may refer to .... The British Isles, an archipelago made up of Great Britain, Ireland and a number of other smaller islands". So there seems to be support in other articles that it is a term that can mean, and is used to mean, British Isles. -- HighKing++ 11:42, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
It is deliberately long so as to keep the focus on the fact it is a geography article, not a political football. The term "Britain and Ireland" is already included in the introduction, along with a number of others. I assume that the IPs are angling to give it more prominence within the introduction. However, the sources for each of the listed terms assert that they are the most popular so none of them have more weight than any of the others. We've had this discussion before. It is getting very tiresome. The article is stable and there isn't a new argument here - nothing has changed - time to close the vote. Wiki-Ed (talk) 23:10, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
I get that it's deliberately long - can't imaging how it possible for it to be 'accidently' long :-) Doesn't make my point invalid though. IMO it's too long, with far too much detail, and not enough summarizing by a long shot. The paragraph on the oldest rocks doesn't belong for example - it's not even summarizing another section. As for the sources for each of the listed terms - which article are you referring to? I don't see any list of alternative names in this article's lede? There not listed as alternative names at all, and phrased to make it seem that these names are only used because the Irish find the term "British Isles" controversial. Hardly a fair and NPOV paragraph. I can see why some editors don't want it discussed all right... -- HighKing++ 11:10, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
So you don't see the sourced list of alternative names in the fifth paragraph of the introduction, but you do see a problem with a way that said list is presented? Okay, that makes sense. As for why the there is a controversy - I've never read anything suggesting that there is any other reason apart from Irish objections to the connotations - do you have sources suggesting other reasons? And rocks... the article is about geography so it is entirely appropriate to start by describing how the landscape was formed. That said, the following paragraph is more history or anthropology than human geography - there could be scope for rewriting that section to focus on population distribution and land use. Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:04, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose a.The largest island is "Great Britain", not just "Britain" (Ireland being "Small or Little Britain") and b. there are more islands included, however small.
    P.S. As a sidenote -a bit humorous, nevertheless based on history, etc- the name controversy (Irish side) might get resolved the day the Irish realise that in a way they are more British than the English and the rest of the invader Germanics (as are the Welsh and the Scots all being Celts); in fact, if a group were to be excluded from the ethnonym, it's the English that shouldn't be called British-Britons... ;-) Thanatos|talk|contributions 00:10, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually it's Brittany that's Little Britain or Lesser Britain, not Ireland. Shadwell Munch (talk) 09:00, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually I'm going by ancient sources, etc and by islands; these have, take precedence of a few thousand years or so over other conventions... :D
P.S. Reunited the PS to the main body of my comment.Thanatos|talk|contributions 03:04, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Seems reasonable to list alternative names, just like every other article. -- HighKing++ 11:10, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As others have pointed out, there are more than two British Isles. And it's "Great Britain," not plain "Britain." Hot Stop talk-contribs 04:27, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

This poll opened 10 days ago and it's fairly clear there's no consensus for the change. Any objections to closing it? WaggersTALK 08:54, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm puzzled, maybe I'm being slow. Many of the Oppose !votes above (correctly) point out that "Britain and Ireland" does not the same exact meaning as "British Isles". But that doesn't address the main point of the poll, which is that "Britain and Ireland" (and "Great Britain and Ireland") are common alternative terms used, and as such, there's a case for including these terms as alternative names in the lede. Just for clarity, are the Oppose !votes arguing that they are not alternative terms in use, or is the argument that they are, but that they simply shouldn't be included in the lede (bolded at the start)? The article itself states they are alternative terms, so what exactly is the reasoning for not including them in the lede? What am I missing? -- HighKing++ 13:00, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I think the point is that while Britain and Ireland is used, there isn't necessarily evidence that it's being used as an alternative for British Isles due to the fact they don't mean or encompass the same thing. It's hard to say if the users of Britain and Ireland actually are intending the same thing as what is included in British Isles or if they're just using it to mean Ireland and Great Britain. This is assuming it's not being used in a political sense to mean the two governments of the UK and Ireland. Canterbury Tail talk 13:08, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
If that's the case, and TBH it makes sense, should we rethink the way we're redirecting Britain and Ireland to Great Britain and Ireland, and listing at that page that it is an alternative term for "British Isles"? If we're saying here that we've no way of proving that users are intending "Britain and Ireland" to mean "British Isles", then we shouldn't be saying it on any page. Again, maybe I'm missing something. Just seems inconsistent to me. -- HighKing++ 11:15, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
You may have a point there. Canterbury Tail talk 19:37, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Ok, couple of things. First, this section is meant to be a discussion on whether or not to close the poll, not a continuation of the discussion around the subject the poll raises. Can we agree there's no consensus? Secondly, we simply don't know what any user searching for "Britain and Ireland" is actually looking for with any degree of certainty; therefore directing them to a disambiguation page that includes the British Isles article among other possibilities (as we currently do) is the best option in my opinion. What we direct Britain and Ireland to and what should constitute the first sentence of this article are two separate questions as far as I'm concerned. WaggersTALK 12:53, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
You're very keen to close the poll and stop discussion. What's the hurry? From what I've read above, it seems most editors seems to have missed the point of the poll because most of the editors provided responses that I can't see as being relevant.
Secondly, using the logic prevalent here to date, why is the "British Isles" even appearing on the "Britain and Ireland" disambig page is you're saying it's a possibility? Using the logic above, where are the refs that say people use "Britain and Ireland" as an alternative to "British Isles"? And of course, if we have refs, we're back to the question and poll here... I don't think this concluding part of the discussion is a waste of time, not do I think we need to hurry to close the poll. There's a logical conundrum here that is worth taking the time to understand, and if possible, solve. -- HighKing++ 13:50, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm in no hurry, apart from the common sense approach that is WP:SNOW - it's clear there's no consensus for the change that was proposed and neither is such a consensus likely to emerge within the next few days, weeks or perhaps months. If I'm in a hurry it's to see people getting back to building an encyclopaedia instead of chatting about it. There is a logical reason why British Isles is included on the Great Britain and Ireland page - but the place to discuss the content of that page is at Talk:Great Britain and Ireland, not here. WaggersTALK 14:04, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, I agree there's no consensus to make a change, just to make clear I'm not trying to keep the poll running. But the poll appears to have failed because editors said 2 things. The First, that "Britain and Ireland" is not the same thing as "British Isles"; Second, there are no "alternative terms" to "British Isles" that can be referenced as such. I've simply pointed out a logical inconsistency. Back in May 2008, you voted to redirect "Great Britain and Ireland" to "British Isles" - yes here you're arguing that it's not an alternative term and doesn't belong in the lead. You can see why some editors, me included, are a little confused. -- HighKing++ 14:17, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I think the point I made above is pretty clear; there are lots of alternative names and to list them all in the first sentence would be unwieldy and would distract attention from the primary topic. To select some over others would give them undue weight. There's no logical inconsistency there; at no point in those two sentences have I suggested "Great Britain and Ireland" or "Britain and Ireland" are not sometimes used as alternative names, along with hordes of other words and phrases. WaggersTALK 13:13, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Lots of alternative names? Like what? I would have thought that GB&I and B&I are the most popular by a significant margin, what have I missed? I'm certainly not suggesting other names outside of those have a case to be included, but maybe I'm missing something from what you're saying. Just to be clear, you've confirmed that those two names are indeed used as alternatives. We're on the same page. You're now saying that there's "hordes" of others as well, and to include them all would make the article unwieldy. I agree - if there are, as you say, "hordes" of others. But. If it's primarily just these two?? What's your objection? -- HighKing++ 18:33, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Yet again with the "I really do not see the signal"? It's getting tiresome. You can see the alternatives listed; you can see they are sourced; you can see what the sources say about which of those alternatives are most popular. "I would have thought that GB&I and B&I are the most popular by a significant margin" is your opinion. It's not supported by the source so it has no place here. Wiki-Ed (talk) 19:39, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
It's illogical to have Britain and Ireland redirected to Great Britain and Ireland where it says that it is used as a phrase to mean British Isles (unsourced there, some sources at this article), and then here, on this page, to say that it shouldn't be included (bolded) as an alternative phrase in the opening sentence. If that's tiresome to you, maybe it's because you have the answer(s)? If there's an actual explanation (that makes sense), I'm struggling to see it. The closest we've had to an explanation (above) from Waggers is that there are "hordes" of alternative names, and the reason they're not bolded in the opening sentence is that it would be unwieldy. There's nothing in other articles like Terminology of the British Isles or British Isles naming dispute or anywhere else for that matter that lists hordes of alternatives, but they all list B&I or GB&I as the main alternative. Are we in denial on this article or what? I was/am making a simple point. If there's no appetite to address it, just close the poll. Nobody will lose sleep, and it'll just be one more oddity, no big deal. -- HighKing++ 11:48, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
There's the whole "Islands / Isles of the North Atlantic" / "Atlantic Archipelago" suite of names as well as the myriads of different combinations. As has been said, they're already listed and we've been through all this before. Closing the poll now. WaggersTALK 11:53, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Ireland Bias?[edit]

Why does an article about the British Isles have seventy percent discussion about Ireland, with little about the rest of the land mass. I understand Irish independence is an important subject, but the prevalence of information about it seems to far outweigh its importance in the history of the British Isles let alone its worldwide significance. Surely equal weight should be given to Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English history?

Tiny beets (talk) 16:29, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

@Tiny beets:Having looked through the article I don't recognise the "seventy percent discussion about Ireland, with little about the rest of the land mass" claim. Would you care to indicate any particular instances where you think Ireland has undue weight within the article? WaggersTALK 10:34, 7 April 2014 (UTC)


So, from the article, Rockall isn't a part of the "British Isles". However it is claimed by the Westminster government? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:50, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

@ Where in the British Isles article does it state Rockall is not a part of the British Isles? WaggersTALK 22:06, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
It isn't geographically part of the British Isles. It's not even on the European continental shelf. It's part of the United Kingdom (and therefore the 'political definition of the British Isles') by a disputed claim. From my understanding, the Irish state regards it as only a marine resource that therefore can't be claimed by the UK as land territory. None of this is relevant here however. Rob (talk | contribs) 18:21, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
So you editors don't have any references in support of Rockall being regarded by the political establishment in Britain as part of the "British Isles"? Curious.
I found a paper that "...seeks to chart the geopolitical background to Rockall’s formal annexation as part of the British Isles"
F. MacDonald / Journal of Historical Geography 32 (2006) 627
So should we not include this new addition in the article?
13:13, 22 May 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
This article is about the British Isles, a geographic not political term for a geographic entity. Rockall is not geographically part of the British Isles, therefore it has no place in this article. Since the British Isles is not a political entity it cannot annex anything. The UK or Ireland may be able to do so, but a geographic entity cannot. Canterbury Tail talk 13:23, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Rockall is regarded by the UK under the Island of Rockall Act 1972 as part of Scotland - specifically, part of the Western Isles. However, as there is no formal definition of what constitutes the British Isles, there has been no need for the UK government to make a statement on the matter. And so, we should not make any assumptions about it. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:46, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
It is a important principle of this article established over much much talking that it is a geographical article not a political one so the views of the UK government are not especially important here. We need to find a geological reference to settle this. Mtpaley (talk) 17:53, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
This probably counts as Original Research but a quick look at Google Earth shows that Rockall and the Faroe Islands seem to be geographically distinct from the 'main' British Isles. There is a clear area of shallow sea which looks like a clear geographical unit, personally I would think that this makes a excellent way of defining this area. I must be able to find a reference where someone else has said the same. Mtpaley (talk) 18:01, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
That's not quite correct. The BI cannot be determined purely geographically or geologically for the simple reason that the Isles include the Channel Islands, just off the coast of France. More to the point is the fact that the British Isles is a term much more used in the past than now, and the existence of Rockall - let alone its administration - was a matter of minimal interest to anybody until the last 50 years or so. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:29, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
The Channel Islands seem to be clearly part of the BI. They are part of the same continental shelf as the major islands. Why are the Channel Islands a issue?
The BI must be 'purely geographically or geologically' or we are in a impossible mess of definitions. If it is not geographical then it might be political and the possibility of this has caused chaos for years. The consensus is that the term is geographical so the channel islands are clearly included. Rockall is clearly not. Mtpaley (talk) 20:33, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Of course it's an "impossible mess of definitions". It has kept generations of Wikipedia editors awake at night for years. There are other islands in a geographically similar location to the Channel Islands, like Chausey, which are not part of the British Isles. The Channel Islands are not geographically part of the same archipelago as Great Britain, Ireland, Shetland, etc.. There is clearly a political component to the definition of the BI, not solely a geological one. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:38, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I admit that this is a messy case. Islands 100Km from the coast clearly come under the area of whatever continental shelf they are on. Tiny rocks 10cm out clearly dont but where the boundary is I have no idea. In this case I would be tempted to say that Chausey is a island in the British Isles because it is clearly separated from the mainland by several Km and is on the BI continental shelf. Mtpaley (talk) 20:51, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Islands don't have continental shelf, they have insular shelf (although the insular shelf may also be continental shelf). Rockall is not on Great Britain's insular shelf like all the other islands in the British Isles. Archipelagos aren't limited to one island's insular shelf however in this instance all of the British Isles are on Great Britain's insular shelf so we can assume that islands not on this shelf are probably not part of the British Isles. You can try to find a reliable source that suggests otherwise however. Rob (talk | contribs) 21:31, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Insular shelf and continental shelf is the same thing, just on a spectrum. Continents are just large islands. That said, Rob's logic is sound, and I find it hard to imagine a geologist disagreeing. It's as connected as the Faroes. CMD (talk) 22:30, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Right now, the article doesn't even mention Rockall, so doesn't make a statement either way as to whether or not it's part of the BI. I would suggest that we leave it at that, unless reliable sources are found that specifically refer to Rockall being, or not being, part of the British Isles. It is not for us to decide whether or not Rockall is (or should be) considered part of the British Isles so arguing here about whether or not we think it should be included, or how we think the British Isles should be defined, is a waste of time. Our job is to accurately and articulately portray what reliable sources tell us and nothing more. WaggersTALK 07:34, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:50, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Not arguing - merely discussing. This is a talk page after all. Mtpaley (talk) 17:30, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
The original query therefore still stands, as the following is a WP:RS - I found a paper that "...seeks to chart the geopolitical background to Rockall’s formal annexation as part of the British Isles"
F. MacDonald / Journal of Historical Geography 32 (2006) 627
So should we not include this addition in the article? (talk) 05:17, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
It's certainly a reliable source but it's not very clear exactly what you intend to add to the article (or where in the article you intend to add it). May I suggest you outline the exact wording of your proposed addition here, and tell us where in the article you think it should go? WaggersTALK 07:39, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
The problem, as well, is that the source - whether deemed "reliable" or not in WP terms - is simply wrong in saying that it was "annexed to" the British Isles. It wasn't - it was annexed to the UK. Per WP:VNT: "Even the most reliable sources commit mistakes from time to time, such as misspelling a name or getting some detail wrong. Such mistakes, when found, should be ignored, and not be employed to describe a non-existent dispute." Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:43, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it was annexed to the United Kingdom. Some sources use the term British Isles and United Kingdom interchangeably.
Gibraltar could be annexed to the United Kingdom in the morning. If it was, it wouldn't mean it would start challenging Jersey for the title of sunniest region of the British Isles. --Tóraí (talk) 12:19, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Nicely put. WaggersTALK 07:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Ice age[edit]

"Ice covered almost all of what is now Ireland and Great Britain with the exception of most of modern-day Munster and much of modern day England" Would be be cleaner to say something like "Ice covered almost all the British Isles North of X" with a few examples of places of latitude X? Mtpaley (talk) 00:39, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

That form reads much better to me. The use of "Ireland and Great Britain" in the current sentence is particularly strange - I'm sure it affected the other islands too! WaggersTALK 09:21, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
The map here suggests that using a line of latitude would be inappropriate. How about something like: "Ice covered almost all of what is now Scotland, most of Ireland and Wales, and the hills of northern England." Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:51, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Change now made. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:32, 26 November 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Hazlett, Ian (2003). The Reformation in Britain and Ireland: an introduction. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-567-08280-0. "Since the early twentieth century, that nomenclature has been regarded by some as increasingly less usable. It has been perceived as cloaking the idea of a 'greater England', or an extended south-eastern English imperium, under a common Crown since 1603 onwards. … Nowadays, however, 'Britain and Ireland' is the more favoured expression, though there are problems with that too. … There is no consensus on the matter, inevitably. It is unlikely that the ultimate in non-partisanship that has recently appeared the (East) 'Atlantic Archipelago' will have any appeal beyond captious scholars." 
  2. ^ Guardian Style Guide, Guardian, "A geographical term taken to mean Great Britain, Ireland and some or all of the adjacent islands such as Orkney, Shetland and the Isle of Man. The phrase is best avoided, given its (understandable) unpopularity in the Irish Republic. The National Geographic Atlas of the World which once titled the area as the British Isles now reads Britain and Ireland." 
  3. ^ "National Geographic map of Britain & Ireland". 
  4. ^ Davies, Alistair; Sinfield, Alan (2000), British Culture of the Postwar: An Introduction to Literature and Society, 1945–1999, Routledge, p. 9, ISBN 0-415-12811-0, Some of the Irish dislike the 'British' in 'British Isles', while a minority of the Welsh and Scottish are not keen on 'Great Britain'. … In response to these difficulties, 'Britain and Ireland' is becoming preferred official usage if not in the vernacular.