From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Chairman vs. Chair[edit]

There has been a long discussion about the proper and most suitable title of this article, particularly about the use of "chair" vs. "chairman." The result of the discussion repeatedly comes out in favor of "chairman." The history of this discussion is in the archived talk page, which probably should be reinstated here. It's not a good thing to archive the discussions, then to change all the "chairman" references to "chair." Lou Sander (talk) 03:00, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

In academia, government and non-profits (but especially in academia), "chair" is used. In business, it is "chairman" even if the person is a woman. Hanxu9 (talk) 04:54, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Disputed etymology[edit]

I restored properly cited material about "chair" and "man." If editors dispute it, the solution is not to remove it, but to cite different material and mention the difference between the two. This was also discussed in the newly-archived material from this page. The bottom line is that if you want to assert that chairman is somehow not gender-neutral, you need to cite some sources for your claim, and juxtapose them with the properly-cited sources that say that it is gender-neutral. Lou Sander (talk) 03:19, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I removed this again, because multiple dictionaries give the etymology as exactly what you would expect - i.e. that "man" derives from "man" meaning male person. In the face of these official etymologies I dispute that a book on rules of procedure is a reliable source for etymology. DJ Clayworth (talk) 14:58, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia's policy on Verifiability states "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true." The material you removed is eminently verifiable. I understand (but disagree with) your strongly-held personal point of view that the cited material is "wrong," and that an authoritative book in the field somehow isn't a reliable source. Unfortunately, strongly-held personal points of view are disallowed from appearing in Wikipedia. If you want to include material on etymology, PLEASE provide some references, and PLEASE do not remove properly-sourced material just because you disagree with it. There is quite a bit of discussion on this in the Archive, right at the end. Lou Sander (talk) 01:31, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
As I stated above, it is not clear to me that a book on parliamentary procedure is a reliable source for etymology. Can you offer any evidence that it is, such as perhaps the etymology reference cited by the book?
Your edit gave the 'manus' etymology as if it were the 'correct' etymology, whereas in fact a large number of dictionaries (which unquestionably ARE reliable as etymology sources) give the etymology of chairman as being the same as the suffix "man". I would be happy with listing the 'manus' etymology as an alternative if it can be shown that it is a view held by etymologists and not merely a parliamentary procedure author. DJ Clayworth (talk) 17:19, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I also looked at the archive, which completely backs up my view. DJ Clayworth (talk) 17:30, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Just saying, it may help if you actually cite these large number of dictionaries. Just as a start. -Andrew c [talk] 18:19, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Certainly. Try The American Heritage Dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, the online edition of the current Merriam-Webster dictionary, Word Origins by Anatoly Liberman (page 88), Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (page 235), and I've more if you need them. DJ Clayworth (talk) 18:25, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I think that Andrew c might be suggesting that you provide some proper inline references to support your claims. I also think that all of us realize that from your point of view, the Riddick book isn't a reliable source. But it certainly IS a reliable source according to Wikipedia's content guidelines. IMHO it's not a good practice to substitute one's personal feelings for good, hard, references that conform to WP:RS. Lou Sander (talk) 22:39, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Again, please stop telling me what my personal feelings are. They irrelevant to the discussion and to you.
My "point of view" is also not relevant to the reliability of Riddick. Riddick is outside his area of expertise when talking about etymology, and given the huge number of references that disagree with him from people with etymological expertise his opinion has to be considered a minority one. I have already added inline references. I assume that means you no longer have any objections to the content as it stands? DJ Clayworth (talk) 22:48, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Riddick and Zimmerman are reliable sources, regardless of DJ's unsubstantiated personal opinions. DJ has removed the clear, informative, plainly stated material from them, and replaced it with a paraphrase that has the flavor of original research. This is not proper editing. He/she has added a Wikilink to the Riddick book. This is good editing and improves the article. The strength of the claim about "etymologists" is weak. The citation is an opinionated blog with a questionable reference to OED, and hardly a reliable source. I intend to restore the Riddick and Zimmerman material, leave the Wikilink to Riddick, and delete the poorly sourced stuff. I'll first leave some time for comment, of course. (I will disregard further opinions that Riddick and Zimmerman are not reliable sources. This stuff is discussed to death in the archive.) Good Cop (talk) 04:03, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but which of the dictionaries I quoted do you consider to be an "unreliable source"? DJ Clayworth (talk) 14:58, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
He might be talking about the wordorigins blog. Also, you very much need to stop removing well-cited material from this article. Also, your pronouncement about "the real etymology" is original research by you. Please stop. Cleome (talk) 17:13, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the blog, I think it is a WP:RS, due to Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. , as Dave Wilton is author of Oxford University Press publication Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends.-Andrew c [talk] 21:04, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I removed nothing from the article. Riddick's view of the etymology is given at the bottom of the section. The real etymology is cited in the article, and is not original research. DJ Clayworth (talk) 17:42, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Support Good Cop's proposal. Cleome (talk) 17:13, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Support. Well reasoned proposal. Lou Sander (talk) 22:07, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

" In his 1992 State of the Union address, then-U.S. President George W. Bush used chairman for men and chair for women. " - either the date or the name is incorrect, and the statement isn't cited so difficult to check, also citing either Bush as an authority on language is questionable, this should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mphilips (talkcontribs) 02:03, 10 November 2012 (UTC)


While I don't doubt the strict correctness of "A vice chairman is sometimes chosen to be subordinate to..." I don't believe it's as clear as it might be. All members of a board are in some sense "subordinate to" the chairman, and the vice-chairman is selected for a specific task. I entered "deputize for" as being more specific. Does the vice-chair have any function other than to execute the functions of a chairman when (s)he is absent? if so then maybe we could be specific about them. DJ Clayworth (talk) 22:51, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Please. The reference says what it says. What you believe about it (a.k.a. your point of view about it) is something different. If you'd like, find a reference for it and put it in. Lou Sander (talk) 02:41, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
What I'm asking is "what does it mean?". Did you put this in as a direct quote without working out what it meant? DJ Clayworth (talk) 04:08, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
DJClayworth: The meaning is perfectly clear, and a reference has been cited. The vice-chair is subordinate to the chair. This is an important point in parliamentary procedure, as are many other matters of precedence and authority. But you say that you don't get the meaning. Then you make edits that change the meaning. You are politely asked to provide a reference to support your changes, but you fail to provide one. When your unsupported, meaining-changing edits are removed, you re-insert them. They are original research, and when challenged, they cannot be allowed to stand. Persistence in making changes is no substitute for providing citations. Good Cop (talk) 22:43, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
In what way is a vice-chairman subordinate to a chairman. A janitor is also subordinate to a chairman, and so is a secretary, so just saying he/she is 'subordinate' tells us nothing. Now you and I actually know the answer - that the vice-chair assists the chairman and substitutes for him/her when absent. Since we know this to be true, why don't we write it? Or are you more concerned with getting a version that you wrote into the article than explaining what a vice-chairman does?
As for 'persistence in making changes' I find that it is often necessary when dealing with people whose approach is to ignore questions and refuse to discuss things. DJ Clayworth (talk) 14:06, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Major changes to "Corporate governance" section[edit]

This section has been problematic for at least three years. In addition to often being poorly constructed, it has contained material only indirectly related to the subject of Chairman. As of yesterday several of the references didn't support the general claims made in the article, but applied only to specific corporations. Also, much of the material in this section has applied to corporate governance in general, and only peripherally to the role of Chairman.

I have been bold and removed all or most of this inappropriate material. The remaining material relates to the two basic types of Chairman in public corporations, and includes citations that directly support the claims made in the article. I've renamed the section "Public corporations" to reflect its current focus.

Most of the stuff that has been removed is valuable in its own right. It just doesn't apply to this article. --Lou Sander (talk) 13:09, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I have no idea why you deleted this. Being "bold" isn't deleting stuff. That's just lazy, especially if you've been watching it for 3 years. Being bold, I'd suggest, means writing something new. Wikidea 08:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)


The reason I have moved this - and yes I know it won't save the history, but there's always backlogs, and perhaps an admin can help - is that Wikipedia should not reflect social stereotypes in common usage of language (unlike modern law, eg in the UK corporate governance code). I understand there may have been previous discussions and one proposal was "chair". I don't really care. Chairman is wrong. If anyone objects to this, I'm just going to write a chairperson page in its own right (and it'll be much better), and then this page can explain why the concept of a "chairman" is distinct from a "chairperson", and perhaps why our language might still be stuck in the 19th century. And that person can also write a "chairwoman" page, and explain why that's different too. Hopefully nobody's so dumb to object though! Cheers, Wikidea 07:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

"Move" reverted, because what you did was not a move, but a copy-and-paste; this is improper because it leaves the article without its history. You say you know this is wrong, but you did it anyway. If you think a move is needed, use the "move" function, and if you think the move is going to be controversial (as your comment above strongly implies you do), then you should put a {{requested move}} template on this talk page and see if there is a consensus in favor of the move. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 10:29, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Groan. Wikidea 20:37, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Public corporations[edit]

I moved this section to the end, since it provides specialized information, rather than the rest of the article's general information about the position and the various aspects of termiology, etymology, etc. Lou Sander (talk) 14:58, 10 January 2014 (UTC)