Talk:Mrs Macquarie's Chair

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Photo needed[edit]

It'd be nice to have a photo of the view from the chair, seeings as that's the reason it was carved in the first place. Any Syndey editors able to oblige? I'm curious to see the view! (talk) 13:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Also could someone clarify if referring to her as Lady Macquarie is correct or not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 23:58, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Mrs Macquarie's ChairMrs Macquaries Chair – The Botanic Gardens website, and all signs and plaques at the Gardens/Domain do not have the apostrophe in the name. An existing redirect from Mrs Macquaries Chair exists, but I believe the article and redirect should be swapped. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:27, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Removal of the apostrophe was proposed at WP:RMTR, but moved here for discussion. EdJohnston (talk) 15:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but just because park management can't spell isn't a good reason for us to do so. Sydney Opera House and Botanic Gardens - A Self-Guided Walk 2010 "It is hard to imagine anyone not being captivated by Sydney Harbour and Mrs Macquarie was no exception, but she had privileges not granted to most of us. ... Our walk ends here on Mrs Macquarie's Point right at Mrs Macquarie's Chair." In ictu oculi (talk) 11:49, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Generally I am a fan of correct punctuation, but the issue is not about spelling/punctuation/grammar so much as what is the "official" name of the chair.
  • The Botanic Gardens website (eg article refs [1][2]) and signs do not include the apostrophe.
    • This is consistent - in principle - with place naming conventions in Australia. I know the chair is not a geographic feature, hence "in principle", but also consider Mrs Macquaries Point and Mrs Macquaries Road.
    • A Self-Guided Walk ... is not published by the Botanic Gardens. (I found this by using Google to search for the quote; I assume it is the same source.)
  • MOS:POSS explicitly says "Official names (of companies, organizations, or places) should not be altered"
Mitch Ames (talk) 02:52, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Ignorance of correct spelling by an agency (sadly all too common) is not a reason to change our spelling. MOS:POSS refers to the way a possessive is constructed where an apostrophe is already used (since there are several possible legitimate alternatives), not to the omission of the apostrophe in the first place (which is just plain wrong). -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:09, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
MOS:POSS states explicitly "Official names (of companies, organizations, or places) should not be altered." The parenthetical sentence of POSS is an example, not a limiting clause. This raises several questions, which I would like those opposing the rename to answer explicitly, because to do so will help clarify the reasoning.
  1. Is MOS:POSS limited to only "companies, organizations, or places? If so, the brackets should probably be removed from that sentence. (I've raised the matter at WT:Manual of Style#Apostrophes in official names.)
  2. What is the "official name" of the chair? Does it even have one? I assert that the official name does not have an apostrophe, and have provided what I consider definitive references (the Botanic Gardens' web site, and the signs/plaques in the garden, including near the chair).
  3. If we apply include the apostrophe because it is correct punctuation, then why capitalise "chair"? Normal English use, and thus MOS:CAPS says that it should be lower case "chair", because "chair" is not a proper noun. The only way to justify capitalising "chair" is if it part of a proper noun - in which case the correct name, per the refs, does not include an apostrophe and we should not add one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mitch Ames (talkcontribs)
(1) Not true at all. WP:POSS only deals with correct use of apostrophes, not with no use of apostrophes at all. Which is, as I said, just plain wrong. Where in the guideline does it mention construction of a possessive without an apostrophe? It doesn't. (2) Maybe it doesn't have an official name. Not everything does. It can have a commonly-used name. (3) As a monument, it clearly is a proper name, even if unofficial. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:29, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose – "Chair" remains a common noun, even when it forms part of a noun phrase that is itself a proper name. Please read Proper name (as it should be called, though that is still a redirect to Proper noun). I do favour the apostrophe. Tony (talk) 09:28, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
    • I'm happy to accept that "chair" is a common noun when it forms part of a noun phrase that is a proper name. The fact that it is "part of a noun phrase that is itself a proper name" supports my claim that the entire phrase "Mrs Macquarie[']s Chair" is a proper name and thus ought to be used without modification from the "official" form (per my refs) - ie without addition of the apostrophe. Again, I ask for explicit answers to my numbered questions above - I hope that the explicit answers to the questions will cause at least one of us to change our opinion, and/or highlight the error in the reasoning that we are using to form our opinions. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:51, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - Official usage (regardless of grammatical correctness) should come first. If we're going to base spelling and grammar off of what it should be as opposed to what is official used, then someone ought to tell k.d. lang she needs to capitalize her name. clpo13(talk) 09:40, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per Mitch Ames' comments. MOS:POSS applies: I think its application includes geographical features such as this and do not think it is limited to cases where the official name already has an apostrophe (it says "Official names... should not be altered"; not "Apostrophes in official names should not be moved"). Use the official name. sroc 💬 11:32, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose per Dicklyon's Ngram, assuming that WP:COMMONNAME ("Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it prefers to use the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources") trumps MOS:POSS ("Official names... should not be altered") for the purpose of the title. However, both variations should be given in the lead (e.g., Mrs Macquarie's Chair (sometimes rendered Mrs Macquaries Chair; also known as Lady Macquarie's Chair[1])...). sroc 💬 10:17, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Usage in books suggests that dropping the hyphen is a relatively recent affectation that has not really caught on in common usage. Stick with the common and grammatically sensible name that others mostly use. Dicklyon (talk) 07:01, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Again, I remind those opposing the move that arguments should be based on policy, and I ask those opposing the move to explicitly state which part of this (to me) straightforward chain of reasoning is wrong:

  1. The official name - as listed in the Botanic Gardens website [3][4] and the signs/plaques at the Gardens, including the one describing the chair - does not have an apostrophe. (If you think the official name does have an apostrophe, please provide a reference that you think carries more weight than those I've mentioned.)
  2. MOS:POSS explicitly says "Official names (of companies, organizations, or places) should not be altered". (See also WT:Manual of Style#Apostrophes in official names, and feel free to comment there on proposed changes to the wording of POSS.)
  3. Therefore - per policy - we ought not add an apostrophe where none exists in the official name.

Mitch Ames (talk) 10:12, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

I do normally prefer to follow the MOS, but it is not policy. There are other relevant guidelines, too, such as WP:COMMONNAME, which states that we do not necessarily use the official name. In this case, it is not that we are modifying the official name, but rather that we are selecting a more normal and common form of the name. And even the official site that you link doesn't always drop the hyphen; see this article. Dicklyon (talk) 06:28, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Ahem. Apostrophe, not hyphen, surely. sroc 💬 10:27, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per User:Dicklyon. WP:POSS says that "Official names (of companies, organizations, or places) should not be altered". But we are not using the official name here, we are using the common name (which also happens to be a close variant of the official name). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amakuru (talkcontribs)

Withdraw - OK, you've convinced me; WP:COMMONNAME takes precedence over "Official names ... should not be altered" in this this case. (My thanks to sroc and Dicklyon for explicitly pointing this out.) I withdraw my move request. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:06, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Mrs Macquaries Point, Mrs Macquaries Road[edit]

Now that we've agreed (per #Requested move above) that Mrs Macquarie's Chair is the common name and correctly punctuated, what of Mrs Macquaries Point and Mrs Macquaries Road? Ought they have apostrophes for the same reasons? Are we using common or official names here?

  • The point might be a geographical feature, whose official name might have the apostrophe removed, per place naming conventions in Australia, and suggests that this is the case.
  • The road is a little more complicated. Current maps show the current road without an apostrophe (per convention) but the current road is not the original road - see, section 3.1 - which followed a different route for at least some of the way (eg along her Wall). That document refers to Lady Macquarie's Road, but the inscription on the chair itself says Mrs Macquaries Road. The photo of the inscription on the chair has a very small dot that may or may not be an apostrophe! The convention of dropping the apostrophe didn't start until well after the original road was built.

Some rewording re the Road might be required in any case. The Chair was at the end of the original Road, but it is not at the end of the existing Road - it is halfway along a loop road. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:32, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

"Mr's Macquarie's Road, 1816" is engraven in stone, according to sources. I'd stick with the apostrophe, and discount the so-called "official" renderings. Dicklyon (talk) 02:22, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
@Dicklyon, Google Books' Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society doesn't show me the relevant text, so I can't tell from that, but it may be worth your stating explicitly whether the reference purports to refer to the engraving on Mrs Macquarie's Chair - which we can see in File:Mrs Macquarie's Chair 2013.jpg. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:36, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Probably that's the stone referred to; it says "It may have escaped the notice of many persons that another inscription is in this locality—"Mrs. Macquarie's Road, 1816,” will be found engraven deeply on the chiselled face of the first large rock on the eastern carriage drive as you turn to the look-out." The image clearly shows extra space and a tiny apostrophe before the final "s". Dicklyon (talk) 06:41, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Does anybody have - and can they post - photographs (the higher the resolution the better) of the "Mrs Macquarie's Road, 1816" (without or without punctuation) engraving? Presumably it is not File:Mrs Macquarie's Chair 2013.jpg, which has a lot more than that, ie "... Called Mrs Macquaries Road ... Completed on the 13th Day of June 1816" (again, punctuation is debable). Mitch Ames (talk) 02:34, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

While we're at it, when/why did it become fashionable to drop the period from "Mrs."? Using book search, I find that before 1940 the period was always present in "Mrs. Macquarie's", but then it started to change. After 1970, it seems to be mostly gone. What's up with that? Dicklyon (talk) 06:41, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

I've updated the article to consistently use apostrophes when referring to the Point and the Road. I've also added a bit more information about the original road. Mitch Ames (talk) 07:54, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Just when I thought the matter was settled, it's raised its ugly head again! See: Talk:Macquarie Culvert#Apostrophe Mitch Ames (talk) 09:02, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
The official name of the point, as entered in the official NSW Geographical Names Register, excludes the apostrophe.[5] --AussieLegend () 10:07, 27 December 2013 (UTC)