Template talk:British Isles

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Title[edit]

The use of 'British Isles' is virtually unknown in the Republic, the State never uses it, etc; the problem is a political one, and if the use of the term remains it is due to in part to a historical leftover in 'maps of the empire' and part to the reluctance from some quarters to recognise the changed circumstance. The following comment ignores the restricted use of the term. I'm of the opinion that the accepted usage of the inhabitants of the island take precedence over that of old, whiskery anachronisms. Any statement along the lines of British Isles is a politically neutral, geographic term such as the Azores or Oceania is entirely mistaken - it always was used to reflect the situation when the island was (wholly) under British rule. Modern Atlases do not use the term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.76.165.60 (talk) 19:43, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Like it or not these islands are called the British isles and using a parameter to hide it and show either a name that is not the WP:COMMONNAME and is possibly WP:OR shouldn't happen Gnevin (talk) 00:04, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

The title of this template is shown differently on some pages. If you believe that those pages are in breach of original research or any other policy or guideline, you should bring it up on those pages. Please don't simply break the template from afar without gaining consensus on those talk pages first.
Bear in mind that this template has included this functionality since its inception in 2006. --RA (talk) 00:56, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I am aware of how this template works . However removing the title parameter doesn't break the template it just removes some functionality . This is a template issue and should be discussed here and not the individual pages. Gnevin (talk) 01:13, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Removing functionality break that functionality. Discuss it first with the pages that use it and get consensus. --RA (talk) 06:53, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Keep as is. Can Gnevin backs up claim of OR with actual evidence? Snappy (talk)
It's is not my job too prove there is no teapot in orbit around the sun rather it is the job of those claiming there is to prove it's excistance. Same here the common name is clear and I see no reason other than peoples pov to hide it Gnevin (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Any examples of what the problem is? --HighKing (talk) 00:04, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Well the Ireland / Republic of Ireland simply saying "Britain and Ireland" was a problem. If it is possible to remove the ability to alter the title of this template that appears in the text i agree with that. There is no need to hide "British Isles", in the British Isles template. BritishWatcher (talk) 00:15, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes there is a naming dispute but we should us the WP:COMMONNAME not some name made up or some work about name which seems to have no evidence of usage British_Isles_naming_dispute#.28Great.29_Britain_and_Ireland Gnevin (talk) 00:37, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
At WT:BISE I had earlier proposed an alternative: Wikipedia talk:BISE#Proposed guidelines for islands that seeks to avoid "surprises" caused by pipe-linking. Short version: use the parameter to pipe-link to a phrase that includes both the local variant (e.g. "Britain and Ireland") and a short explanation that includes the term "British Isles", for example "Britain and Ireland (also called "the British Isles")". TFOWR 09:24, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I've notified the pages you've listed above of this discussion.
Here's the original discussion from 2006 that settled on piping the heading of this template for use on some of these articles.
WP:COMMONNAME refers to the title of articles. This is a case of pipe linking the heading of a template. (Many of the other templates on these pages also pipe link their headings in different ways.) WP:COMMONNAME does not apply. It does not prescribe usage for words, sub-headings, etc. used in articles. Individual articles are free to use whatever terminology is useful or practical for their particular topic. I cannot think of any policy or guidelines that would prohibit piping in this manner. The heading of the template doesn't need to be uniform across all articles because articles don't need to be uniform.
My 2 euro cent is that piping the heading of this template is a practical way to facilitate the information in this template to appear in an uncontroversial way on articles where the term British Isles is otherwise problematic (for whatever reason, the reasons are different depending on the article). For example, the British-Irish Council goes to lengths to avoid the term (and the question of avoiding the term was a notable element in the negotiations to set it up and continued reporting of it). Using the term in that article would be incongruous with the topic. "British Irish Council area" is a prosaic way of saying the same thing, as used for example by the BBC, the Jersey Government and the Welsh Assembly.
Removing the ability to pipe the heading of this template would probably sit well with those who have a limited perspective on these articles and a black-and-white view on how we should refer to these islands. In reality, these topics are nuanced and the question of what the call these islands is one that depends greatly on context. The ability to pipe link should remain to enable individual articles to decide what is best with respect to the topic that they discuss. A one-size-fits-all approach is narrow sighted.
The wider-picture approach, that enables individual article to use a heading most appropriate to them, has worked well with respect to this template since 2006. If it ain't broke, don't "fix". --RA (talk) 09:31, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It seems crazy to me that the British Isles template does not say British Isles anywhere in the template when the title is pipelinked with Britain and Ireland. Its an even more laughable situation because the term "Islands of the North Atlantic (IONA)" which almost no one knows or uses does get a mention. This issue does need to be addressed. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:17, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Id be prepared to support "British Isles (traditionally)" or "British Isles (geographical location)" or "British Isles (Archipelago)", But British Isles should be mentioned in the title even if it is watered down with extra text. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:19, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
British Isles Archipelago would be an interesting renaming proposition, it might even remove some conflict. Otherwise Britain and Ireland is used as a synonym for British Isles in some cases so pipe linking then is legitimate. None of the terms in this arena of confusing and highly symbolic nomenclature is ever used precisely anyway. --Snowded TALK 10:43, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

To me this looks like an unacceptable case of forum shopping: an attempt to change content on several articles without discussion on either the pages themselves or WP:BITERM. It appears disruptive to me to make such a proposal in an inappropriate forum and even argue for it with obviously bogus reasons such as a silly accusation of "original research". Switching between obviously equivalent formulations has never been regarded as original research. Our ability to do that is at the heart of our mission to build a free encyclopedia. Without it we would at most be able to build an encyclopedia full of copyright violations. WP:NOR is a tool against crackpots, not against rephrasing. Hans Adler 10:49, 13 September 2010 (UTC) Partially withdrawing this comment, see below. Hans Adler 11:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Forum shop is when you ask the same question to multiple talk pages if you don't get the anwser you like. This is clearly a template issue so this is the logical place to have the discussion. As for OR ,for me it has always been about making stuff up of the 50 + pages using this template only a small minoirity feel the need to avoid the common name Gnevin (talk) 11:03, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Gnevin actually did make a post at WP:BISE (which is where active discussions take place) linking to here, so its not like hes trying to avoid attention or anything. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:05, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Also I only became aware of WP:BISE after an editor link me to it at WT:IE Gnevin (talk) 11:08, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, sorry, then I am taking back much of what I said. But still, this isn't the right place for this content discussion. Hans Adler 11:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree with RA in that WP:COMMONNAME does not apply in this case, and agree with TFOWR when he says pipe linking should not lead to a surprise. As for "Britain and Ireland" as this template is about more than just Britain and Ireland I don't think it should ever be pipe linked in that way. Codf1977 (talk) 14:40, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

"more than just Britain and Ireland" – I guess you are referring to Isle of Man? I don't think that's a particularly good argument. The British Isles are dominated by Great Britain and Ireland, and this distinction is a bit pedantic. Hans Adler 14:54, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
"Britain and Ireland" can mean "Great Britain and Ireland" or "The United Kingdom and Ireland", so without context it's sometimes tricky to ascertain its meaning. As for pedantics, I'm sure some editors here feel the whole idea of pipelinking the term British Isles is pedantic ;) Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:56, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Your first point is certainly a good one. Since this template is about geography, it needs to be "Great Britain and Ireland", certainly not "Britain and Ireland". I missed that. Hans Adler 15:01, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Well if we are going to talk about what things "can mean", "British Isles" can mean "Isles that Belong to the UK" ;-) WRT "Britain and Ireland" specifically - although it appears to get peoples backs up (just as British Isles gets others') - it is a common idiom that refers to the exact same things as "British Isles".
The ins-and-outs of what terms are used though are IMHO better dealt with on individual talk pages. Is there general agreement that piping (whatever term is used) is broadly OK in principle? The British-Irish Council example ("British-Irish Council area") is a good example of where it is useful, for example. --RA (talk) 16:14, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Ignoring your main point for the moment: My point was that use of "Britain and Ireland" seems to have strong connotations of a political, rather than geographical, context, and would therefore exclude certain islands. Hans Adler 16:28, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
United Kingdom and Ireland are the political units. --Snowded TALK 16:31, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, "Ireland" is ambiguous, so it's important not to use an ambiguous term for the other island as well. Hans Adler 16:43, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
You might want to read up on that in the various histories. Ireland is the official name of the state and I pipelinked it per convention where the meaning is unambiguous (as it is when linked with the UK as its countries). If it is ambiguous then Republic of Ireland can be used. Otherwise I am not sure what point you are making. Britain and ireland is used frequently and cited, there is nothing wrong with its use. --Snowded TALK 16:46, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Depends on who you ask and the time you ask them. Both terms are ethereal. For example, consensus here is that Great Britain refers to the island on Wikipedia. Fine. However, the Oxford English Dictionary puts it the the political emphasis on Great Britain and distinguishes Britain (an island) from Great Britain (a England, Scotland and Wales considered as a unit). While both are synonymous, "the longer form [Great Britain] is more usual for the political unit", it says. Great Britain, it says, is also a synonym for the United Kingdom. The 2-letter ISO code for the UK is thus GB rather than UK (and to hammer home the fact the 3-letter code is GBR).
"Ireland" is an equally ethereal concept. Like, Snowded says, "None of the terms in this arena of confusing and highly symbolic nomenclature is ever used precisely anyway." --RA (talk) 16:54, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Great Britain and Ireland means the two major islands so its not really BI. However we do now see "Britain and Ireland" being used as an alternative to British Isles in Atlases for example (and yes they do include Isle of Man). An Atlas was geographical last time I looked so you can't say "certainly not". --Snowded TALK 16:30, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Which atlas and when ? As far as I can see there are not references for this Gnevin (talk) 20:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Have a look at the British Isles article and you will find them --Snowded TALK 20:29, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Which atlas? It's been a while since I've looked at an atlas but I have a children's atlas from when I was four that gives the archipelago as "Britain and Ireland" :-) Certainly though there are maps a-plenty that use it (just walk into a petrol station and pick up an example). The National Geographic Atlas of the World apparently gives the archipelago as "Britain and Ireland" (although I haven't never seen it myself). Their wall maps verifiably do (example1, example 2) - and yes, they include the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and (explicitly, by showing it as an inset) Shetland. Reference 14 on British Isles (the Guardian Style Guide) supports this assertions: "The plate in the National Geographic Atlas of the World once titled British Isles now reads Britain and Ireland." --RA (talk) 22:57, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Example 2 also shows France. Its title being Britain and Ireland does not mean it is a title of the archipelago, even if there are maps / other sources covering the same areas. These are used instead of talking about the British Isles, rather than a second name for the British Isles. "Britain and Ireland is an archipelago in North west Europe still does not sound accurate to me. BritishWatcher (talk) 23:44, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────What about: "Britain and Ireland are part of an archipelago known as the British Isles."Malke 2010 (talk) 02:15, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

It shows common use of Britain and Ireland as an alternative to British Isles. The fact that part of Frances is there as well is a product of the general use of rectangles in an Atlas (as I suspect BW you know well). As we have established many times before meaning is not precise on any terms here and the Atlas references are a geographical use. It is perfectly legitimate to write Britain and Ireland and indeed at some stage in the future (but not now) the weight of references may justify a name change. There are no absolutes here and we need more flexibility. In several cases on other controversies that formulation would also reduce conflict and fully inform readers --Snowded TALK 05:33, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


Apologies for repeating the point I made earlier, but there does seem to be a perfectly workable compromise here that is largely getting ignored. Don't use "British Isles". Don't use "Britain and Ireland". Use both. I don't like the situation where a reader clicks on "Britain and Ireland" and ends up at something called British Isles" (and the reverse, should that ever apply). We're not necessarily writing for British or Irish editors - we're writing, too, for readers elsewhere, readers who naively think that "Britain and Ireland" might refer to two states (and not an archipelago consisting of several states). Readers, in other words, who are unfamiliar with the topic and who are reading an encyclopaedia page to learn more. Let's helps them, not hinder them. Telling them that "Britain and Ireland" and "British Isles" are broadly equivalent terms seems to me to be helping them. TFOWR 08:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Fully agree with your last statement. Just to get radical, how about removing the redirect on Britain and Ireland to create a disambig page with says that and has links the the island and country articles as well as British Isles?--Snowded TALK 08:44, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) BW, that's a desperate argument. Of course the maps (both of them) show a part of France. The Channel Islands are a part of Britain and Ireland. They are shown in situ just off the French shore down at the bottom of the map. An otherwise unnecessarily long portion of the French shoreline is included to show them (just as Shetland is shown as an inset).
In any case, there are the prose references that explicitly state the two ("British Isles" and "Britain and Ireland") are alternative terms for the same thing and that "Britain and Ireland" is becoming the "preferred" term. (See some referenced at British Isles.) On that basis, I agree with Snowded in speculating that at some time in future the balance will tip to the point where a move from British IslesBritain and Ireland will be justified. But not now.
To repeat myself though, the ins-and-outs of what terms are used though are IMHO better dealt with on individual talk pages. Is there general agreement that piping (whatever term is used) is broadly OK in principle? The British-Irish Council example ("British-Irish Council area") is a good example of where it is useful, for instance. --RA (talk) 08:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Aha! It was you to made the earlier request for views on piping. I've looked for policy on this, and can't find anything explicit either way. However, WP:EASTEREGG says to keep piped links as intuitive as possible. To my mind that suggests two good ways to use pipes, and a whole host of bad ways to use pipes. The good ways are:
  • [[British Isles|an archipelago]] - we're not overloading the reader with detail, if they want to know more about the specific archipelago they can click the link.
  • [[British Isles|Britain and Ireland (also known as "the British Isles")]] - the more pertinent example for this template. No "Easter egg" here - the reader is shown exactly what to expect when they follow the link, and learn something even if they don't follow the link.
Beyond that, no, I don't think piping is good - if it's used to "hide" "British Isles" I regard it as bad. And this holds true for the future, too: I'm sure you can all imagine a hypothetical future where "Britain and Ireland" has overtaken "British Isles" as the usual term, and yet we're still having this discussion, just in reverse.
Oh, and while I'm opining - the "atlas" example is very silly. (1) Does "Britain and Ireland" really mean "an alternative term for the British Isles", or does it mean "this atlas primarily looks at the UK and Ireland (state) (though it also has several smaller states for the well-seasoned traveller)". (2) Atlases have a fondness for rectangles: inclusion of France, say, follows from that. In other words: the arguments of both sides appear a little desperate. TFOWR 08:49, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Well yes and no. Remember the Atlas titles have changed. Ones that used to say British Isles now say Britain and Ireland and in one case (Folley from memory) in part as a result of political pressure. It's clear evidence of equivalence--Snowded TALK 08:56, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
"Aha!" - ? Please check your tone.
I think you need to re-read WP:EASTEREGG. In the case of [[British Isles|Britain and Ireland]], we are simply bypassing a disambiguation page via a pipe link. (Britain and Ireland dabs to British Isles.) The two terms ("British Isles" and "Britain and Ireland") are equivalent. There is no more of a "surprise" than for a reader who thought "British Isles" referred to the UK and its dependencies (another common misconception). That British Isles and Britain and Ireland are equivalent terms is made clear in the introduction to the British Isles article.
The link to maps was in response to an editor who asked to see use of the term "Britain and Ireland" in an atlas. It doesn't suffice as a reference to say the two terms are equivalent. For that, I suggest you consult the references at British Isles that explicitly state the two terms are alternatives for each other. There are others, should you wish to request them. The number of references in that article supporting the assertion was trimmed because an editors thought the number previously used as "excessive".
WTR the substantive issue of piping on this template, see my post of 09:31, 13 September 2010 (UTC). --RA (talk) 09:10, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, the "aha" was a "I've finally remembered who it was I wanted to reply to earlier", not anything else (I'm struggling, to be honest, to think what the something else might be but it's early for me and coffee isn't working).
I get what's happening with the DAB page - my point is that it is not obvious that "Britain and Ireland" and "British Isles" are equivalent to non-British/Irish editors. I don't need to consult anything - I know that already. But we're not writing for me - we're writing for readers who know very little about the topic. Again: what is wrong with stating both usages? Your post of 09:31 13 Sept doesn't seem to address that, simply that piping is useful. I agree that piping has it's uses. I agree that the heading of the template doesn't need to be uniform. My concern is to avoid surprises, easter eggs. Your earlier point, and your point above, don't appear to address that. Remember that we're not primarily writing for readers with British or Irish sensibilities: we're writing for readers with limited knowledge of the topic. TFOWR 09:20, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
What surprise? Your premise appears to be that "Britain and Ireland" is an obscure term, unknown to many. Yet, references say that it is not only a term that means the same thing but is "increasingly preferred" over the other.
In response to an editor's request, I posted links to maps (from a internationally renowned publisher based in the USA) that use the term. Do you seriously think readers of the National Geographic stand aghast before their wall maps of "Britain and Ireland" and scratch their heads? (Incidentally, the 1974 edition of the same maps were entitled, "British Isles".)
Now, I'm not going to say that one term is more exact or more correct than the other (neither are "correct" for a variety of reasons) but there is certainly no "surprise". A reader clicks on "Britain and Ireland" and is taken to the article on that subject, with "Britain and Ireland" bolded in the lede. There is no Easter Egg.
TBH, the template has worked this way since 2006 and no reader has ever raised a concern over the matter.
Ain't broke. Don't fix. --RA (talk) 10:58, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
National Geographic also added "East Sea" to their publications right before they opened a branch in South Korea... Just saying ;) Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:08, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth. I have never said that "Britain and Ireland" is an obscure term. My point is that readers who are not familiar with Britain, Ireland, etc should not have to scratch their heads when they click on "Britain and Ireland" and end up at "British Isles". Yes, the lead - eventually - mentions "Britain and Ireland" - at the end of four lengthy paragraphs. Again: we are writing not just for British and Irish editors, but for editors who know very little about Britain and Ireland. To them, both the terms - B&I and BI - are unknowns. Again: we are not writing exclusively for readers who know about the topics.
I've already stated my opinion on the atlas arguments. No, I don't believe NG readers scratch their heads. But a map showing Great Britain and Ireland (and several far smaller islands), is very different to a template listing many different things.
You are incorrect that no reader has ever expressed a concern over the matter. If that were the case we wouldn't be here, and I wouldn't have pissed off BW by removing the template in its entirety at Ireland ;-) But that's by-the-by - we know nothing of the number of readers who said nothing, but left confused. Our job is to improve the project, not settle for something that is kind-of-OK, kind-of-contentious, could-be-better.
Again: what is the problem with including both terms? That's a robust solution, both in the short-term (satisfying both sides' needs) and in the long-term (adapting to a world in which "Britain and Ireland" has wider adoption than "British Isles"). TFOWR 11:15, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


I do not accept that Britain and Ireland is an archipelago in north west europe. Just because "Britain and Ireland" is used instead of talking about the British Isles archipelago, does not mean it is the same thing. To me Britain + Ireland means either the two islands or the two countries. The Isle of Man and Channel islands are not part of any of those. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:07, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Please alow me to deploy the clue-hammer on all your heads[edit]

The template is called British Isles, because it contains all the articles related to the article named British Isles. If nobody here is proposing to change those two basic facts, or indeed the basic purpose of navigation templates, then the piping is clearly not justified. No amount of tedious BI dispute rehashing here will change this. For navigation templates, using code to presenting a different world view to readers based simply on what article they happen to be reading at the time, is not how you adhere to the NPOV. Infact, it is manifestly a POV violation, as it is a form of bias through intentional internal inconsistency. It was not the community accepted solution for the high profile NPOV disputes like Gdansk or Derry, and it is not the solution here. If you don't believe me, then go and ask User:Jimbo and he will set you straight. Frankly, if you can't get Jimbo to back you up on a core interpretation of NPOV like this, well, you have no case at all as far as any right minded Wikipedian will be concerned. MickMacNee (talk) 15:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I tend to agree with your view. It's called the British Isles, and pipelinking from other terms leading to "British Isles" may confuse (I'm less convinced about the argument of "surprised"). But - and here's something that editors may not have considered - local consensus on individual articles may result in the template being removed from articles (and I'm thinking Ireland-heavy articles here). I'm sure this will set off another round of debates i.e. "censorship" and NPOV, but you may all just be poking a hornets nest with a large honey-stick... --HighKing (talk) 10:24, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Dammit, don't make me agree with both of you ;-) My view (above) is that "British Isles" should be used, but that the param can be used to provide additional terms. I can't see why that shouldn't keep "both sides" happy. TFOWR 10:32, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Hans' suggestions[edit]

I don't agree with MickMacNee, and I don't appreciate huge, bold hammers on my head, at least when they are broken.

The second use is every bit as correct as the first. And internal inconsistency of Wikipedia does not violate POV when it is done for a reason. With that argument every single article on English and Irish geography would violate POV because unlike most of the site they are not written in American English. Come to think of it, WP:TIES seems to apply here:

An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation uses the English of that nation.

It's obvious that the article on Ireland needs to use Irish English, with compromises in case of any differences between the two parts. And in my opinion that includes preferences for certain choices of words. (Otherwise, at articles using British English the Americans could push through typical American formulations that exist in British English but are uncommon.)

That's not to say that the template shouldn't be used without the pipe. I am not sure what is correct here because I haven't made enough research in Irish sources. But this is a content question and can't be decided by removing a template feature that is in active use. The places to discuss this are the talk pages of the articles in question and WP:BISLES. Hans Adler 10:54, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm broadly happy with that second version. My concern is "Britain and Ireland" - a version which is clear to Irish readers, but far less clear to readers outside Ireland - does it mean "United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland"? Does it mean "Great Britain and Ireland"? Your second version, Hans, makes clear that the template is about more than just two islands. TFOWR 10:59, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The hornet's nest is the genuine concern. (I allude to it above @09:31 13/09/2010.) The original reason for the pipe linking (here's the link again) was to facilitate the template on pages where it was not welcome in a way that minimised controversy. That's worked since 2006.
Now, consensus can change. But, we are all in agreement that these are (at least broadly speaking) synonymous terms. So why go poking at this sore? Is the "win" really that great just to have one turn-of-phrase replace another? It is really worth opening this hornets nest when the status quo has worked nicely since the template's inception? Is the benefit of having it say "British Isles" over "Britain and Ireland" (no-one seems to be complaining about the other variants) really that substantial? --RA (talk) 11:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
[after edit conflict] Han's second suggestion is very good. It achieves the same end and is clear to those "unfamiliar". I think the ho-ha over "Britain and Ireland" is unfounded (or at least over-stated) but a prosaic solution is a good idea.
I assume that we will keep "British-Irish Council area" for the institutional articles (through similar reasoning). --RA (talk) 11:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

As I said, I'm more than happy to see anybody try and convince Jimbo of the validity of any these arguments put forward against the hammer, i.e. that local consensus on articles can over-ride site wide consensus on what nav templates are for (who ever heard of a navigation template ever being removed from an article it actually included? I certainly never have), or that use of the most prevalent spellings of English is a violation of NPOV (seriously?), or that we can ignore the non-negotiable policy (Jimbo's view) of NPOV because the issue has been wrong for so long and it's not worth the drama correcting it. I would infact pay to see any of those put forward on his talk page. And if nobody is proposing to rename the BI article to Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands (and the UK has a great number of related islands that are in no way part of the BI), that has all the hallmarks of a non starter aswell, as it is easily more confusing than even the innaccurate B&I, which no, is not widely accepted as being broadly equivalent at all. MickMacNee (talk) 21:59, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Can anyone detect a logical argument in the above comment? Even here at Wikipedia I am used to somewhat higher standards of debate. Hans Adler 22:25, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
What's not to understand in that post? I think it's logic is crystal clear. MickMacNee (talk) 23:36, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sympathetic Hans and when people start to invoke the name of Jimbo I start to worry. Alternate names can be pipelinked by Wikipedia policy (one could argue this is what is happening to Ireland. "Britain and Ireland" is established by citation and practice as an alternative name, so no issues. Mick's argument is based on the premise that he doesn't agree with said citation --Snowded TALK 05:50, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should extend Godwin's law to include Jimbo? --HighKing (talk) 10:23, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

It is simply unacceptable to have a British Isles template that intentionally forgets to mention the British Isles anywhere in it. I can not support such an attempt to hide the term British Isles to appease the anti British Isles brigade. We have this stupid "· Islands of the North Atlantic (IONA)" mentioned in it still which is not commonly used, but NO British Isles? BritishWatcher (talk) 09:19, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

BW, I fully accept that this is your political position. Unfortunately (or fortunately) depending on one POV, there is citation support for "Britain and Ireland" as an emerging alternative to British Isles. It is not enough to justify renaming the article, but it does make it legitimate to pipelink in some contexts. I don't like IONA much either, but it is in a source so deserves a mention. Please lay off the "appeasement" comments and address the evidence. You are jumping back to commenting on editors not content again, and worse making sweeping and general accusations--Snowded TALK 09:45, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
"Britain and Ireland" is an alternative term to use instead of talking about the archipelago in North west europe known as the British Isles. This template is about the archipelago. Piping Britain and Ireland here is totally wrong. Until i see reliable sources actually stating Britain and Ireland is an archipelago in North West Europe, i cant change my view on this term. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Just think of it as a description that avoids the term. That's why I proposed adding "related islands" – to make it clear that it's a description, and to make the description slightly more precise. Descriptions in natural language are almost never 100% precise, and they don't have to be. On my search for literature about the naming problem I have found enough scholarly articles which are using the new term North-East Atlantic archipelago that we would probably be justified to use that term. But I don't think it's better. Hans Adler 10:42, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose a compromise may be if its technically possible.. put British Isles next to the IONA thing on the articles where we have to use this watered down title for the template (if its something like Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands, i dont support just GB+I or B+I). My primary concern on this issue is not what the title of the template is on those articles, but that at present British Isles completely fails to be mentioned whilst an unknown IONA gets stated. Although such a compromise should not be seen as support for renaming this template, British Isles is clearly the common name for the archipelago and this template is about it. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:40, 18 September 2010 (UTC)


I haven't seen any new arguments or points made - just a rehashing of older ones. I also believe if we tested consensus, there's no consensus to change. So.....moving on. --HighKing (talk) 10:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

"British Isles" is the common name in English in general but contentious in Ireland. The scholarly literature appears to be increasingly using the term "Atlantic Archipelago". Also, there is a lot of wasted space in the template on all but the tiniest screens. It appears to me that all the concerns that have been mentioned so far could be accommodated by using the following consistently, on all articles, with no pipes.
Let me completely open: I am proposing this not so much because I think it has a chance of being adopted, but to give everybody the chance to think about what they really want, and why, and to maybe realise that the "other" side has equally valid concerns. Nevertheless, let's have a serious discussion about this proposal. After all, if nobody disagrees with it there will be a consensus for it. Hans Adler 10:50, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Support in principle, though I'd want to see more evidence of NEAA usage. As I've stated above, I have absolutely no problem with using the template's parameter to expand on "British Isles" (or whatever the template is called), i.e. by providing alternative terms. If we could get consensus to use the same template header across all usages that would be great. I'd settle for less, however...! TFOWR 11:10, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for changing my post after you replied. I had misremembered the sources and have now dropped the "North-East". Hans Adler 11:19, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

The term was coined around 1986, so obviously it doesn't appear in older references. It seems to have taken about 10 year for it to become relatively widespread. It's mentioned on a BBC journalist's blog here. Some recent book titles:

  • The Atlantic Archipelago: Political History of the British Isles (1986)
  • The British Problem, C1534-1707: State Formation in the Atlantic Archipelago (1996)
  • Across the Margins: Cultural Identity and Change in the Atlantic Archipelago (2002)
  • Archipelagic Identities: Literature and Identity in the Atlantic Archipelago, 1550-1800 (2004)
  • Shakespeare,Spenser and the Contours of Britain: Reshaping the Atlantic Archipelago (2004) [1]

Other sources also use the term, but not in the title. This source extensively motivates and on p. 78 defines it precisely (as including the Channel Islands but not the Faroes). This book has a map of the "Atlantic Archipelago". This source, says that in Britain and Ireland the term is increasingly used by historians, but opts for "British archipelago" instead to be understood by Americans.

Just search for the term with Google Books. There are lots of hits, and only a tiny minority is related to Atlantis, Iceland, Svalbard or the Azores. Hans Adler 11:41, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

"British archipelago" is a new one to me. I assume its a step backwards in terms of the Irish issue. I also think that Hans suggestion seems like a workable idea. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:49, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, "British archipelago" made me laugh. It sounds as if the author wanted to be cool like the others and use the new term, but didn't understand its purpose. Hans Adler 12:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
So is the suggestion to put "British Isles / Atlantic Archipelago" on the pages that use the template which currently says Great Britain and Ireland? or is it to change this template title to say British Isles / Atlantic Archipelago so it appears on ALL places this template is used?
If its just to say it on the template on articles like Ireland i will accept this compromise. If this suggestion is to change the title so all uses of this say "British Isles / Atlantic Archipelago" i strongly oppose. AA has no where near the recognition British Isles has, British Isles is the common name. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:32, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
The proposal is explicitly to use the construction on all pages that use the template. I am trying to find out how serious the argument is that pipes must not be used and the heading has to be the same everywhere. It sounds like an attempt to shove terminology into articles where it is politically incorrect, and my proposal is an attempt to find out whether the same editors who have so far been insisting on consistency still value it when it means that the PC neologism appears on "their" articles. Hans Adler 13:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Is the current proposal to change the heading of the template on all pages? I don't think that's either necessary nor desirable. There are only a handful of topics that this template is included on where the term British Isles is problematic. For the the vast majority it is just fine.
Also, adding slashed titles (to any or all pages) makes a bigger deal out of the "dispute" that needs to be. The "dispute" doesn't need to be voiced at the top of every or any instance of this template, which adding slashed titles does. (An exception being the current Terminology of the British Isles page, where a dual heading is appropriate to the topic - and a good example of creative use of this function in the template.)
Finally, what are the arguments that have been given against "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands" on the Ireland-related topics? It seems very appropriate to List of islands of Ireland and to the article on the island of Ireland. The article on the Republic of Ireland, arguably not. (Again, I presume the "political" articles are fine as "British-Irish Council area", and that could be usable on Republic of Ireland.) Is it simply that it is "intolerable" not to mention "British Isles" in instances of this template? It is not intolerable. Neither is it appropriate in all cases. It is never necessary to use this term and the choice of words we use on any article should be judged with respect to what is appropriate to the topic of that article, not for any other reason. --— RA (talk) 12:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I am prepared to support "Great Britain, Ireland and related Islands" as the title for Ireland related articles that use it on the condition British Isles appears separate in the list next to IONA. My concern is that at the moment the British Isles template makes no mention of the British Isles anywhere in the template if the title gets piped, this is problematic when we include a name like IONA. And on the condition this is simply a compromise for those few articles that demand piping the title, this should not result in this templates title being changed or it being done on articles which have no problem with it like Great Britain. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:55, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Certainly open to ideas like this. And, yes, I think everyone is agreed that the articles where British Isles is problematic is very limited. What you suggest would be useful on all aritlces. It could link to Britain (name) or a new article on British Isles (name), or a subsection of "Britain (name)".
Maybe a step too far, but a new "terminology" section in the article could also link to articles such as Éire and Names of the Irish state. --— RA (talk) 13:02, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Can someone explain to me why a template about The British Isles should not have those words, and only those words, as the heading? LevenBoy (talk) 13:07, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
No clue. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:14, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Given that it can't have escaped your notice that no longer all of the British Isles are British isles, I doubt that you are serious. Hans Adler 13:50, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Umm im not suggesting any new article. All i mean is, at present we have British Isles in the title bar of the template. On specific cases like Ireland, putting "Great Britain, Ireland and related islands" id be prepared to accept, on the condition that British Isles is added to this line "Terminology · Naming dispute · Islands of the North Atlantic (IONA)"
So it would look like.. .
"Great Britain, Ireland and related islands"
"British Isles · Terminology · naming dispute · Islands of the North Atlantic"
like that, but ONLY on Ireland articles where there is concern about using British Isles. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:14, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Concern? Who's concerned? Oh yes, a very samll band of Irish editors. Are the people across the world who view the template concerned? Maybe 0.000001% of them are. Is there a POV issue here or something? LevenBoy (talk) 13:19, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
True, its only concers or bothers a tiny number of people. But id certain rather GB+Ireland+related islands as the title with British Isles in the second line as shown above, than the current method which just has Britain and Ireland linking to the British Isles. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:24, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
No, it's not just the Irish editors. There has been a real dispute about this among real politicians, and scholars are beginning to change their terminology because of it, to be PC. The Ireland articles of course have a large percentage of Irish readers. Hans Adler 13:26, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Nothing to do with being 'PC' - the term reflected a political reality which no longer exists - the 'British' bit was only ever used to denote Britain as it is undertood in the term 'Great Britain'; formerly the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and, as it was used in the term 'British Isles' denoted ownership - without disputing the obvious fact that there is little ethnic difference between the historical populations of the two islands, 'Briton' or any other term deriving from the same root was never used of the people, culture or geographic region of Ireland: except to denote the popular understanding of the islands as the area under British rule; a use which still persists in some quarters both in Great Britain and Internationally. The term is totally redundant. I'm sure there are several terms used of other areas around the globe that reflect defunct political situations. But you can't use them in describing the here and now. I think you'll find that in this instance, the 'Irish Mafia,' as they were described elsewhere on wikipedia, are more au fait with the situation than angsty imperialist throwbacks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.76.165.60 (talkcontribs) 21:15, 28 September 2010

In my opinion Islands of the North Atlantic shouldn't even exist as a stand-alone article, much less be linked from this template. In fact, I am planning to start a merge discussion on that. Would removing it from the template and not adding British Isles also work as a compromise? The heading would read "British Isles / Atlantic Archipelago", and the following line would read "Terminology · Naming dispute". Hans Adler 13:26, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Atlantic Archipelago! Where has that come from? Just more stupidity in an attempt to appease the small but voiciferous number of objectors. And as for there has been a real dispute about this .. no there hasn't. The only dispute about this is at Wikipedia. Some people don't use the term but, as many editors have noted before, the whole idea of a dispute has been manufactured here at Wikpedia. LevenBoy (talk) 13:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Id be prepared to support that on the Ireland articles, but it should continue to just say British Isles on all other articles where there is no problem at all. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:33, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that Islands of North Atlantic should be merged into British Isles terminology, then clearly there would be no need to list it. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:34, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
As the Irish government officially objects to the term, and the irish blogosphere also hates it, I doubt a dispute was created in wikipedia. North Atlantic should definitely be merged, though whether the redirect should go to British Isles or British Isles terminology is debatable. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:43, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

The title of this Template (British Isles) is acceptable. Just like the title of the article British Isles is acceptable. The title is (atleast) historical, therefore stick with it. GoodDay (talk) 14:14, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

WP:BOLD suggestion[edit]

I boldly edited the template to demonstrate a combined approach. What the edit does is alter the "Terminology" subheading to give links to relevant terminology-related articles. Ordinarily the link to the naming dispute shows up as "Naming dispute". However, if the template is pipe-linked then that link will show up as "British Isles" (see for examples on Ireland). The intention with these links is that they link to pages that explain the complex terminology of this region. In this way, the word "British Isles" will always appear in the template.

Following from the discussion above, it seems there is at least agreement in principle that pipe-linking (as has always been the case with this template) is OK on a limited number of articles. However, the terms used are a problem (particularly 'Britain and Ireland'). I suggest we are close to agreement on appropriate alternatives to the current situation and the following prosaic descriptions seems sensible to me:

  1. British-Irish Council area (currently in use)
  2. Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands (suggested by Hans)
  3. British Isles — or Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands (a variant on one currently in use)

I don't think any of these are suitable for each and every article (and Number 3 would ordinarily be overkill IMO). Rather, I think each is particularly suited to a specific context. Number 1 would be suited to politics, Number 2 to geography/islands and Number 3 to terminology.

I don't suggest we add any more pages right now (if ever) to the set that are already piped therefore I suggest the following:

Irish people, I'm not really sure of. So, I suggest Number 2.

— RA (talk) 08:27, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Umm i strongly oppose "British Isles" only appearing when it links to the article on the naming dispute. I dont agree with the changes that have been made. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:35, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
"(Britain and Éire" do not belong in that row. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:37, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Id support something like the template below on the pages like Ireland where some editors object to British Isles (and only on those pages). Then only those who click show on the template would see British Isles mentioned in the second row, along with the terminology/naming dispute clearly being about the British Isles. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:45, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I object to this. The template title should state "British Isles" and that's all, although I agree with get riod of IONA. LevenBoy (talk) 11:57, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree it should be titled British Isles on all articles, however id rather a compromise to change Britain + Ireland to Great Britain, Ireland and related islands" and clearly mention British Isles in the second row.. than it not be mentioned at all like at present. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:02, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, it's a step in the right direction. LevenBoy (talk) 12:09, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm an idiot, so can someone explain how this exactly works? Does it mean that the title Great Britain, Ireland, and surrounding islands will be piped to British Isles, whereas the British Isles in the box will direct to the naming dispute? I'm not sure that makes sense to me, but I do like the idea in principle Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:02, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I think thats the proposal, but i cant support that. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:04, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure now exactly what's being proposed. One thing's for sure, this construction; British Isles is totally unacceptable. LevenBoy (talk) 12:11, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not thrilled by [[British Isles naming dispute|British Isles]]. I'd suggest piping it to "naming dispute" is far, far better (i.e. [[British Isles naming dispute|Naming dispute]]). "British Isles" is somewhat redundant in as much as we're talking about a naming dispute that affects the area covered by the template, so I can see why piping would be useful, but piping it to "British Isles" is... unclear at best. TFOWR 12:19, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
My suggestion above, with no link in the title just saying Great Britain, Ireland and related islands" would avoid any confusing or misleading pipelinks. Then we just need to say British Isles in the second row, and it will be clear the articles on terminology/naming dispute is related to the British Isles. At present that is not clear. Its a compromise that addresses some of the problems, unless the problem or intention is simply not wanting "British Isles" displayed anywhere in the template, which is presently the case on articles that pipelink with GB+I. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:24, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Sure, my thinking was that that is an article that discusses the term "British Isles" as a term (or comes close to it). I'm reverting since it is clear that this isn't going to fly.
Am I right in thinking that where we are now is simply at a stage where we want to brainstorm ideas about where we can fit the word "British Isles" into the template (if it doesn't appear in the title)? TBH my first thoughts about that is that it is wanton insertion of a term for no good reason except to simply have it in there; but before others talk about what it "intollerable" or "unacceptable", please consider that my suggestion above was in the spirit of trying to work out how that desire on the part of others can be realised. — RA (talk) 12:37, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
[after edit conflict] BW, when I revert my suggestion form this morning, I'll put in yours. — RA (talk) 12:37, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I've done another edit along the lines of BW's suggestion. If the title is not set to something else then the template appears as normal. If the title is set to something else then the title of the template is not pipe linked and [[British Isles]] is added to the first row.
I've added the following in parenthesis after the terminology link: [[Britain (name)|Britain]] {{·}}[[Éire]] {{·}}[[Names of the Irish state|Ireland]]. I think they are the most frequent "difficult" terminology (although "England" could also be added). The link to the Names of the Irish state article should remain as it is a notable "weird" one (as we well know). --— RA (talk) 12:46, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I think it works as they are in the terminology bracket. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:30, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I disagree, i think that second line should be about the group of islands, not terminology in general about the name of Britain etc. British Isles, BI Naming dispute, BI terminology, and possible IONA if it is going to remain an article although id merge it into the BI terminology page or naming page. BritishWatcher (talk) 14:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

[British Isles naming dispute|Naming dispute], is acceptable as a pipe-link. GoodDay (talk) 14:49, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

28th September[edit]

The following comments were preceeded by this edit. --RA (talk) 00:03, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

"The following phrases were agreed for use as pipe-linked text in different circumstances: British-Irish Council area (political articles) Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands(geographic/general articles) British Isles—or Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands (terminology articles)"

I must of missed all of that! BritishWatcher (talk) 22:40, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

"BOLD suggestion" above. I assumed silence was consensus. Maybe I could have made it clearer in the summary that this concerned a very limited set of articles. --RA (talk) 22:53, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
But since that suggestion, wed also discussed the second line. As i said before i am prepared to support "Great Britain, Ireland and related islands" as the title of the infobox on certain articles (Ireland related). But it would need in the second line to include British Isles first in the second row, coming before naming dispute and terminology. BritishWatcher (talk) 00:08, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
That's what happens. If the template is pipe-linked in any way, [[British Isles]] appears in the second row before the other links. If the template is not pipe-linked [[British Isles|The British Isles]] appears as the heading (and there is no need for duplication on the second row). Compare Great Britain and Ireland for example uses. --RA (talk) 09:07, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Ahhh, i am fine with that yes sorry, thats not how i read the consensus box lol. Thats all ok, provided the title is only changed on specific articles where there is an issue (Ireland specific articles). BritishWatcher (talk) 09:18, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
No bother :-) --RA (talk) 11:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • This 'solution' is a complete abortion, a totally incomprehensible mess. It is of no use to any ordinary reader, who is, thanks to the whole point behind the nav templates system, totaly familiar to the normal way that these things are presented ans d related across 99% of pages. And it is of no use to any normal non-Irish dispute interested editors either, who are understandably also similarly familiar with the nav-template norms and standards that are used on every single other page and topic on the pedia, but who are going to have no idea wtf has gone on here to achieve this 'solution', which is the flawed product of the same few faces and the same usual wrongheaded ideas about NPOV. This mess is not how you present the neutral point of view in any way, shape or form. But I see in my absence, nobody had the confidence of their own abilities to have their interpretation of the policy in this particular situation actualy checked by the one person who knows. It would have been better to delete the whole thing tbh. MickMacNee (talk) 23:34, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I have just become aware of this discussion and I can't see any point in the existence of a template that contains Ireland, Guernsey, and Cornish. We don't have templates yoking Switzerland and Denmark together. It's bizarre. --O'Dea (talk) 20:02, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Yeah we do: Template:Countries of Europe --Joowwww (talk) 12:35, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Hibernia etc[edit]

I am sorry, it is really not clear where this section is going adding Etymologies for Albion, Hibernia etc. Are we going for a complete list of historical kingdoms, all and any previous names, myth and legend or what? Why not Mercia and Wessex or Pretannia, why exclude Wales and Cornwall etc. It could be one but it could become huge.

I intended just a simple list of the geographic terms relating to the disputes. As a compromise for the meanwhile, I just removed it. --LevenBoy (talk) 15:13, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

The section is on terminology of the region. Why remove articles on etymologies of major terms used (Britain, Ireland, etc.)? Your original edit included some of these. They had also been on the template before then. I added three more: (a) two classical terms for the major islands: Albion, Hibernia and (b) Scotland. --RA (talk) 19:33, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I've asked Jimbo[edit]

Seeing as the edit warring has resumed, and seeing how the last attempts at justifying this anomolous solution were hardly persuasive or even well participated in by actual outsiders, I've done what I asked others who were insisting they know NPOV to do long ago, and gone directly to Jimbo for an answer as to whether morphing this template is how we do NPOV or not. See User talk:Jimbo Wales#NPOV and navigation templates. Permalink MickMacNee (talk) 01:24, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Just to note the response was pretty swift, and I think pretty clear [2]. MickMacNee (talk) 03:16, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I saw that discussion. Just out of curiosity, would people accept Pliny's term "the Britanniae" to include Ireland? Wnt (talk) 09:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

The name of the Template is British Isles & the name of the linking article is British Isles. It's irrevelant as to whether anybody (Irish or not) are offended. GoodDay (talk) 15:51, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

It's a simple solution to complex problem. I can't understand why it was removed. Snappy (talk) 20:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
What problem? The template is called British Isles, not The British Isles. The linked article is called British Isles, not The British Isles. GoodDay (talk) 20:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Its allowing the title to be substituted is the issue. Snappy (talk) 20:19, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Substitued for what? GoodDay (talk) 20:20, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
See its use in Republic of Ireland. Snappy (talk) 20:22, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
This is the seventh time I've checked that article for its usage of this template & for the seventh time, I can't find it. GoodDay (talk) 20:28, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
After eight attempts, I've found it. The template says British Isles at the RoI article, so what's the problem? GoodDay (talk) 20:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Well done! Please re-read the lengthy section above #Title, to get an idea of the issues involved. Snappy (talk) 20:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Some editors are offended by the name British Isles, big deal. GoodDay (talk) 20:56, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Clarifiction required[edit]

Would somebody please explain to me, why it's necessary to have the word -The- placed infront of British Isles? GoodDay (talk) 20:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Removed it. Snappy (talk) 20:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. The showing of The, was my concern. GoodDay (talk) 20:58, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I thought the above link to Jimbo's page was clear enough, but Snappy still doesn't seem to get it and wants more discussion. Changing the way this template displays depending on what page it is on, is NOT how NPOV works. I pointed this out months ago, and nobody had any answer or even explanation as to how it was. The functionality was removed, and nobody noticed for four months - that's pretty conclusive use that the justification for the next round of edit warring to restore it, as it was 'in use', was completely false. To make it crystal clear, I asked Jimbo for clarification, he gave it. Now, is there anything else to discuss here really, or is this request that we have to discuss this further before the edit warring will stop, simply a tendentious delaying tactic of ensuring it remains? MickMacNee (talk) 23:45, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I still don't understand what Snappy is complaining about. I don't understand these 'display' arguments. GoodDay (talk) 00:13, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

And this isn't me invoking the word of Jimbo tbw, this is me just finding a definitive way to prove once and for all that everyone who had said this before in those discussions but were ignored, were infact right, and it's going to take a better argument than 'it's OK to present a different viewpoint on the ROI page because that's an 'Irish' page' is somehow how we implement NPOV. It is, and always has been, an utterly absurd argument. I'm all ears if the counter-argument is going to be tried again. But I'm not interested in further 'requests' to discuss it, when this is not actually happening. MickMacNee (talk) 23:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I checked the template at Republic of Ireland, when it was in both forms (Mick's edit & RA's edit) here & encountered no problems - the display was the same there. So what's all this functionality stuff? GoodDay (talk) 00:30, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Protected[edit]

Right. After the edit warring was yet again re-ignited on the basis of 'no consensus', I've requested, and been granted, a 5 day protection. I suggest the people reverting based on 'no consensus' use this time to lay out where they divine the support for their ideas that go directly against that found in the links above, as stated by many people with no axe to grind in the dispute, and not least the Founder, the guy who practically invented the principle for the site, and with the rest referring to the actual policy rather than personal assertions of fact or interpretations of policy. It was suggested at the unrelated ANI thread which drew attention to and sparked the latest round, that that attempt at resolution on Jimbo's talk page was wiki-lawyering. Well, I don't see how. I have done everything possible to solicit non-Irish & non-British opinions. If that's not good enough to convince people of their erroneous positions, the only thing I can suggest is that if those people want the right to claim that NPOV allows templates to automatically change their appearance based on what page they are on, on the flawed assumption that Irish articles must be written for Irish readers, and vice versa for British articles, they do it through a proper Rfc on the principle, not to try and circumvent site policy with a local, tag teamed, false consensus. It's not remotely acceptable to have people with known political views on the matter appearing out of the ether and acting as obvious meat puppets, or for people to turn up out of the blue and reignite the edit wars on the basis of 'no consensus', while having not raised a single new point since the last time it was debated & appeared settled. I'm nearly all out of good faith on both those scores tbh, and am well in the mood to start filing some test cases, in light of there finally seeming to be some long term admin effort in this area. MickMacNee (talk) 15:29, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you asked for protection when it became clear that you were running out of reverts.
It's all very simple: You have removed a feature of this template only to impose a certain text version on the articles where it's used. Some templates have parameters that tell them whether to use British or American spelling. In the same way, we can use "British Isles" in an international or British context, but there is reasonable opposition to using it in an Irish context. What term to use for "British Isles" is a question of NPOV and depends on context. It cannot be decided centrally at this template any more than we can decide centrally which variant of English to use. Hans Adler 16:41, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, take that interpretation of NPOV out to the community and make the case. The idea that this is remotely similar to just implementing differences in spelling is ridiculous, that has nothing whatsoever to do with NPOV, but we're well and truly covering old ground here. You can assign whatever nefarious motive you like to my position, I've explained it more than enough times in terms of policy and logic than is ever reasonable to expect in a good faith disagreement, and have received plenty of agreement for my position from outsiders and neutrals alike. I have always said that if you or anyone else cannot reconcile yourselves with a very basic tenet of NPOV - namely that Wikipedia is internally consistent and does not assign any assumption on readers of the kind you want to, then you can try what I have already tried, and remove the issue altogether from the template arena, by trying to have it deleted. Failing NPOV is after all one of the stated valid reasons to delete a template. MickMacNee (talk) 17:22, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
If internal consistency of Wikipedia (whatever that means) is a "very basic tenet of NPOV", then surely you can provide a link to the pertinent subsection of WP:NPOV where I can get educated about the fact. Hans Adler 18:21, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Internal consistency means not presenting one POV on one article, and another on another. From NPOV nutshell: Editors must write articles from a neutral point of view, representing all significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias. And further on:policy is non-negotiable and all editors and articles must follow it. I think this is pretty clear. You are welcome to bring to the table any example you can find of any properly peer reviewed work here, which goes against these basic principles, and for example, in one page describes some controversial issue from the Irish perspective in an 'Irish article', and elsewhere describes the same from the British perspective in a 'British article'. It's the whole terrorist/freedom fighter thing basically, but it applies everywhere else too. That's the idea of a core principle. Because if you really don't think that telling an Irish editor that it would be OK to start presenting articles like the UDA to suit a British perspective, because it's a British article, explaining that that's fine under NPOV because he can do the same to the IRA article, wouldn't lead to World War III, you're flat wrong. That's not to say this lack of internal consistency doesn't happen of course, but it's only on poor articles, and often achieved through healthy doses of involved editting, POV pushing, and general meat puppetry. And that's generally accepted as not how you ensure NPOV. Or at least I hope it is by you, as you don't seem to have this same sort of difficulty grasping the basic core principle on policies like BLP. MickMacNee (talk) 20:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
We are not supposed to present any POV about the British Isles. However, as this is one of the usual terminological minefields (I wonder if there is any political or geographical term related to the UK and/or Ireland that is not a minefield), that's almost impossible. In most contexts we must use the term British Isles because not doing so would be eccentric, would draw attention to the matter, and would therefore be POV. For Ireland-related articles the reverse is true. Nowadays people go out of their way to avoid using the term in connection to Ireland, and if we don't follow this trend, then we are making a political statement. The only reason the situation has not exploded yet is that the template is so well hidden on the main Ireland pages that it's almost impossible to find even when you know it must be there.
I am seeing this simplistic black and white thinking everywhere, so I guess that may you really just don't get it. But that doesn't change the fact that you are wrong because the world, and language, is much more complicated. Hans Adler 20:44, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
You are again making the basic mistake of believing that the Ireland article is meant to be presented from the Irish perspective, and that on the rest of the pedia we are choosing to make the political statement that we support the British POV, and taken together, that's somehow presenting the NPOV to the world or the reader, who may be Irish, British or Martian. This is so wrong. Wikipedia is no more beholden to present an Irish POV of the world in the Ireland article as it is to present an Iranian POV of the world in the Iran article. Iran rejects the terminology surrounding Isreal, and no doubt people dealing with them avoid use of it to. And that's not an emerging trend, that's been true for decades. It's every bit a 'complex' situation for Wikipedia as BI terminology is. Yet the Middle East template does not contain code to change the presented name of Israel when used on the Iran article. I'm sure there are some Iranian editors, just like some Irish editors, who will argue until the cows come home that the correct NPOV approach on 'their' article would be to not only have it appear under a different name, but also to not have it in the countries section at all. The NPOV approach on Wikipedia however is not to change the link or even move the link, it is to acknowledge that whatever the Iranian POV, Israel is the widely used term elsewhere, and the only political statement made here by that template is that even if Iran or Iranian readers don't choose to use it or even find it offensive, they know it exists and they know what it means. Are the Irish editors here so arrogant as to believe that the BI dispute is so much more controversial that it somehow needs different treatment than even the Middle East? Of course not, the answer is that those arguments have been fought and won, using the simple facts that NPOV merely demands that we make clear in both the Iran article and the Israel article, and wherever else its relevant, that these different perspectives exist. NPOV has not, and never will, prevent Wikipedia from making the decision to use one term consistently. Following NPOV correctly is precisely what makes that not appear to be a 'political statement', and the mere fact that it will always be seen as one by some readers, doesn't change the fact that this is simply an issue of their inability to see other perspectives at all. This is similar to the inability of some to realise that the Ireland article is written for non-Irish perspectives just as much as Irish ones, or that Wikipedia is not writing for Ireland or as part of a relationship with Ireland, it is writing about Ireland, from a position of complete ambivolence over whatever might be the 'emerging trends' for the people in those positions of obligation. The only trend which is remotely relevant is if the rest of the world also decides that the Irish perspective really is the neutral perspective. That's frankly not even close to happening yet, in the same way that the rest of the world hasn't adopted the Iranian view of Isreal. Rather than Wikipedia, which strives to be truly neutral, these people would probably be better off reading some political blog, which they can be assured will be written soley to suit their perspectives. MickMacNee (talk) 00:58, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Hans, disengage from this user. Nothing useful will come of it. For others, see recent edit history to get a picture of what is the consensus position and what is the not the consensus position:

Date User Version A Version B
20:40, 13 March 2011 Rannpháirtí anaithnid
20:54, 13 March 2011 MickMacNee
22:06, 24 March 2011 Snappy
23:30, 25 March 2011 MickMacNee
00:25, 26 March 2011 Rannpháirtí anaithnid
15:53, 26 March 2011 MickMacNee
12:06, 10 May 2011 Hans Adler
12:18, 10 May 2011 MickMacNee
12:46, 10 May 2011 Hans Adler
14:10, 10 May 2011 MickMacNee
14:27, 10 May 2011 Mo ainm
14:36, 10 May 2011 MickMacNee

15:20, 10 May 2011, MickMacNee requests page protection saying, "Another user is reverting me claiming there's 'no consensus' for [his preferred version]."

See also the extensive discussion above.

--RA (talk) 19:26, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

So, your argument is, if you're not reverting, you're not part of the consensus? And if you are reverting, and you've pretty clearly identifiable views on whether 'Irish pages' should present an 'Irish POV', and are doing so in concert with others who are the same, then there's no issue? Are you still planning on running for admin RA? 'cos this sort of viewpoint is pretty much what I was talking about. MickMacNee (talk) 20:01, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
No, Mick, that's not my argument.
There has been extensive discussion of this matter since 2006. Your position is clear but please, disengage and respect the consensus that exists. Or, if you are serious about finding a consensus that you can agree with, offer another solution to the issue. It is clear that your preferred version has been rejected by the community (at least those who contribute here). --RA (talk) 20:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Those who contribute here don't reflect the community. That's why the discussion on Jimbo's page went pretty differently, and which when you declined to pursue any further, led me to believe this issue was indeed settled. It's not me who's looking to find a consensus, it's clear it exists to me already. I've given my suggested solution above, the same as it's always been - those who claim to be speaking for the NPOV yet will not listen to the outside opinion that has come in, even from Jimbo, will if they are correct, have absolutely no trouble proving it in a site wide Rfc outlining the aims and objectives of this fudge and how it caters for NPOV. And we need no more of this utter bullshit that you need to understand 'Irish issues' before you'll be listened to, that's not Wikipedia, full stop. I said all this already on Jimbo's page and here, many times, and I'm getting pretty pissed at having to keep repeating it tbh. MickMacNee (talk) 20:35, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
It's repetitious, alright. --RA (talk) 20:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I've invited outside opinion from WikiProject Ireland, United Kingdom and Neutrality as well as notifying editors who recently contributed to this discussion. --RA (talk) 21:08, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Alternative proposals[edit]

In the area below here, can editors please list (without comment) potential alternative solutions to the issue of title of this template. Please do not list either of the two versions being reverted between. The purpose of this exercise is solely to see the range of possible other solutions that exist. Later we can discuss which may be acceptable. --RA (talk) 20:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Title as "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands", British Isles linked within the template
  • On politics-related (aside from those dealing with jurisdictions) use "British-Irish Council area" on others use "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands". Link British Isles directly from within the template.
  • On politics-related (aside from those dealing with jurisdictions) use "British-Irish Council area" on others use "British Isles — or Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands". Link British Isles directly from within the template.
  • Use "British Isles — or Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands" as the title

--RA (talk) 20:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

That something might be offensive, is irrelevant to me. We should not alter the appearance of British Isles on any article. GoodDay (talk) 22:37, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
The question here is should it be added, where it's absence appears to cause offense? --RA (talk) 22:44, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Clarify with an example. GoodDay (talk) 22:46, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
When this template was added to pages in 2006 it was done so on the understanding that the title could be changed on a page-by-page basis as appropriate to the topic (not for it's "offensiveness" but because it is widely acknowledge to be problematic in certain circumstances). Mick edits remove that functionality and add "British Isles" as the title of the template on all pages.
Agreement on a common title — or set of common titles that don't divide pages between "Irish" and "British", which I agree we should try to avoid — is not impossible. However, it takes more engagement in the issue than we have seen from Mick thus far. In the mean time, the term should not be added to pages where it is known to be problematic by breaking the functionality of the template. --RA (talk) 23:03, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Is there a way to have one Template title to fit all articles? GoodDay (talk) 23:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I've made two such suggestions above and am inviting others to propose alternatives approaches also. --RA (talk) 23:31, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
TBH, British Isles is alright. I fail to understand what the complaints are. GoodDay (talk) 23:33, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
GoodDay is right. Kittybrewster 09:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What is wrong with Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands? Mo ainm~Talk 09:34, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Why invent a long name when a short name already exists? Kittybrewster 13:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Because as even our own dear Wiktionary points out its usage to include Ireland is likely to cause offence in Ireland. Silent Billy (talk) 06:37, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Misquotation. It does not say "likely to". Furthermore it is wholly unreferenced. Kittybrewster 11:06, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Largely unresolvable[edit]

I have been following the whole Sarah777 block soap-opera and must say that I think that this is largely unresolvable in terms of reasoned debate. As far back as grade 5 or 6 in school I was thought the names of places on the globe and these islands were called the British Isles, I am not confused as to the fact that two sovereign states exist in them, and they do not "belong" to either one. It is a name given collectively to the islands, to some that name does symbolise past injustices (I am not making any judgement as to the legitimately of those feelings) however to try an distort the name so as to avoid offending some is just wrong IMO and here I have to agree with Jimbo Wales when he said "that a template that automagically changes when used in different articles, to represent different POVs, is just wrong. It's wrong from an editorial and technical perspective" [3]. Mtking (talk) 00:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

So one POV gets to rule the roost? Therein lies the rub, it is a perfectly legitimate and verifiable POV that the name of the archipelago is "British Isles". It is equally a legitimate and verifiable POV that the islands are currently without a name or that other terms have become more common and "British Isles" is no longer usable. (References for these statements can be seen on the British Isles article.)
The question is not one of "offense" but of NPOV and weight. On Wikipedia, we tend to favour use of "British Isles" because it appears in the dictionary but doing so does not balance the views of reliable sources. (This is not to say the dictionary is lacks neutrality. It's not the business of dictionaries to say how widely used a word still is — or to say that other terms are used more common in practice — but just to define it and leave it at that.)
Mick does raise some good points. Divvying up articles between "Irish" and "British" is not the correct approach. I personally, don't see the issue with deftly renaming the template in certain context. Regardless of that, however, we should aim for higher than simply throwing our hands in the air and settling for one POV at the expense of another. We can do better than that. --RA (talk) 01:02, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The "British Isles" article makes it clear about the naming issue (which I was not aware of until I read it), it appears that the naming issue is not one that consumes anyone other than the highly politicly involved, as others have said this is an encyclopaedia, not an instrument of social or political change nor is it a battleground for such things to fought over. The question is, what are they commonly called globally (in English) and that is "British Isles" and until that has demonstrably changed then renaming a template on one class of pages is just wrong (see Jimbo Wales comment above). Mtking (talk) 01:33, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
British Isles is no more a PoV usage then Irish Sea. GoodDay (talk) 01:19, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

OK. I don't know what is going on here. I have been summoned here, away from my numerous other duties, because I commented on this some time ago - months ago, I think. Look, I'm Irish -- Irish-American. My father was Irish, and my grandfather was Irish (and an Al Smith man), and my great-grandfather was off the boat, and none of us like the British, and all of us were brought up on Irish songs and poetry and lore, and it's British Isles, period, OK? And if you don't stop this nonsense I'll take my shillelagh to the whole heathen lot of ye, OK? You make the sons of the homeland look like idiots insisting on this nonsense. It is absolutely and unequivocally un-Wikipedian to use different names for the same entity depending on context. This is settled. Or d'ya want articles written about English entities to refer to the English Sea or to Cobh as Queenstown? Well, do you? Because that is what you asking for, a balkanization of the Wikipedia that benefits no one in the end. Now stop being a disgrace to the old sod and bothering us with this, accept that it's the British Isles, and get on with writing articles, kthx. Herostratus (talk) 02:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Well said. Mtking (talk) 03:35, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Any editor who complains that placing a template containing the British flag or the word "British" in any article is some kind of attack on their homeland is way too emotionally involved in the topic to edit it in a neutral manner. Putting the British flag or name on an article related to Ireland is not trying to subject the Irish people to "British oppression". The article does not "belong" to Ireland. It doesn't "belong" to anyone. Cla68 (talk) 06:23, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not the point. A lot of terminology regarding the British Isles is extremely fragile and becomes POV when slightly taken out of its standard context. E.g. the UK is generally said to consist of "four countries". That language comes from the time when there was one country of Ireland, consisting of the entire island and being part of the UK. The language was never updated, and now Northern Ireland is regarded to be one of these countries. Yet nobody considers Northern Ireland to be a country. As a result, we can talk freely about the "countries" of Britain in general articles and in the articles on England, Scotland and Wales. But in articles related to Ireland and Northern Ireland we must be extremely careful with the word "country". "The UK consists of four countries. They are England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland." – Fine. "Scotland is one of the countries of the UK." – Fine. "Scotland is a country." – Somewhat borderline. "Northern Ireland is one of the countries of the UK." – Borderline. "Northern Ireland is a country." – Totally wrong.
The situation here is similar. In contexts in which the reader thinks of Ireland as a major feature of the British Isles, as opposed to just the junior partner with no real relevance, we must be more careful than in more general contexts. It's a question of focus and weight. "There is this archipelago dominated by Britain. It's called the British Isles. It also contains Ireland." – Fine. "Britain is part of an archipelago called the British Isles." – Fine. "Ireland is part of an archipelago called the British Isles." – Not fine at all. Hans Adler 06:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
" "Ireland is part of an archipelago called the British Isles." – Not fine at all ". — Sorry but unless someone has towed Ireland out into the Atlantic then that is a factually correct statement, and as Cla68 says if anyone cant accept that is the case then they "too emotionally involved in the topic to edit it in a neutral manner." Mtking (talk) 07:04, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Of course it's a factually correct statement. But it's not PC in this form. There are many other words for which acceptability changes according to context in similar ways, e.g. black, moor, negro, nigger. See Othello and Hip hop music for some related information. Obama isn't the first moorish president of the US, let alone the first n. one. And Othello wasn't a black person. (As he may actually have been Berber or Arabic.) Papist is another word that is more or less acceptable depending on context, although it's not really acceptable in any context nowadays. Language is an incredibly complicated and nuanced thing, and there is no reason why Wikipedia should be dominated by those who don't grasp these nuances and consequently claim that they don't exist. Hans Adler 07:30, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't accept that an encyclopaedia needs to be be PC, because if we are going to do that then what about Christmas do we need to avoid using that word, change the name of the article to avoid offending non-Christians, what about Eid ul-Fitr shall we change that so as to avoid offending non-Muslims. What about the article Human penis, should the imagery be removed because some might find is offensive, what about Vagina. After all Wikipedia not censored and if you read that page you will see it makes it very clear "Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive, even exceedingly so" . Mtking (talk) 07:49, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Wow. Can we please leave the Sarah777 stuff with Sarah777? Nobody here should be interested in her shenanigans and she is not representative of anyone here. I, personally (far more than most people in fact), have been the target of much of her anti-British ire and have been attacked by her many times for purportedly advancing a pro-British and anti-Irish agenda on the encyclopedia.
Please don't bring her or or behavior in here. It is not relevant. --RA (talk) 07:55, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Example alternative[edit]

Wikipedia is not censored. There is no imperative NOT to use British Isles. Neither is there one that we MUST use British Isles. We have choice over our words.

In real life, there are perceived issues with the term. Sources say that use of the term is falling away and other terms are coming into prevalence. Some sources say other turns of phrase are now more common. Clearly too, however, for a large number of people there is nothing wrong with the term and issues raised with it are perceived to be trivial or related solely to political sensitivities.

In that context, deciding that articles MUST use British Isles is as much censorship as deciding that they MUST NOT. We need some kind of balance where both views are represented.

Below is an example template that tries to strike a balance between the perspectives. The title is merely descriptive and article British Isles is linked within. Is it really that much of an ask that a descriptive title be used for the template rather than a nominative one in the interest of striking a balance between views? Or MUST we use British Isles? --RA (talk) 08:11, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Why is "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands" better than "British Isles" ? If the answer is "it is less offensive to some" then it is censorship. - as others have said above, I will say it again - This silliness needs to stop - calling it anything other than "British Isles" is contrived censorship Mtking (talk) 08:30, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree that Wikipedia is not censored and nor should it be, but also there is no need to at all counts use the term British Isles. As RA has stated a balance can be struck and can't see any reason why this is not being implemented. Mo ainm~Talk 08:47, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
"there is no need to at all counts use the term British Isles" - Why is that ? Mtking (talk) 08:54, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The term is not used in Ireland. Mo ainm~Talk 08:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I think what you mean is the term is not used by some people in Ireland. LevenBoy (talk) 11:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
"there is no need to at all counts use the term British Isles" — This should be quite self-evidient. I believe what Mo Ainm means that there is no need to use the term British Isles in all circumstances where it is possible to do so. We don't HAVE TO use the term. To insist that we do is equally censorship as to say that we MUST NOT.
Other turns of phrase and ways of saying that same thing are at least as common, according to reliable sources, and there is a tension between whether to use or not to use the term. We can't just fall down on one side and say that that side is "correct". We need to show balance with regard to the issue. That is a difficult thing to do but we can achieve it if we puts our minds to it. --RA (talk) 09:09, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The answer to your question is certainly not because "it is less offensive to some". Neither should we use the term simply because not to do so would be "offensive to some". What I am attempting is to explore how the conflicting views on the name of the archipelago can be incorporated fairly into the template.
Rather than asking, "What wrong with 'British Isles'?" Could you say what is wrong with the suggestion above? Why would it be better to give the title as "British Isles"? (NB4 "because it's the name of the archipelago" — That is the nub of the question. The name of the archipelago is in contention among reliable sources. Equally, the name of the islands are Great Britain, Ireland, and other islands. There is nothing wrong with describing them as that.)
"...calling it anything other than "British Isles" is contrived censorship..." — First, not contrived. Nobody is making this up. See the sources. Second, is the solution to censorship of one phrase to censor other turns of phrase?
Finally, please assume good faith in others and note that avoidance of the term in certain contexts has been a feature of this template since its inception in 2006. Problems with the term is widely acknowledged and use or non-use of the term is handled on a case-by-case basis in articles. For some time, a task force even worked on resolving specific examples of use and non-use in articles. --RA (talk) 09:09, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I object to the title of this template being anything other than British Isles, and that fits with Jimbo's view on the matter. British Isles is not controversial in Ireland, expect in the minds of a hard-case minority. LevenBoy (talk) 11:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Oh come one now. You know that is hugely disingenuous. For example, with regards to attitudes to the term in Ireland, "The term 'British Isles' is controversial, especially to many people in Ireland. The Irish government actually discourages the use of the term. The preferred description is 'Britain and Ireland', which is more politically correct." - How to Do Everything Genealogy, George G. Morgan (2009)
Hardly "a hard-case minority". Please don't try to paint such a picture. There is disagreement on the continued correctness or otherwise of a term - but there's no need to sling mud. --RA (talk) 11:44, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The view of George G. Morgan, well he's entitled to it. To be honest I've never met anyone in Ireland who is the least bit interested, or has a view on the matter, other than here. As I've said elsewhere this whole controversy thing is pretty much manufactured here on Wikipedia; OR and all that. LevenBoy (talk) 12:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm being very amused here by these arguments, bearing in mind the Republic of Ireland debate from a while back. We have people who are upset by the real name of a state, Ireland, being accomodated, and so the article now resides at Republic of Ireland. People argued that readers may be confused, that the name of the state was extra-territorial, that it was offensive, etc. Now look at the lot of yea! At least RA is being consistent in his position (as I am) but the rest of you should be ashamed. --HighKing (talk) 11:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

At the risk of going off on a tangent, I've never understood what the problem is with RoI versus Ireland. Why not just use Ireland for the RoI and Ireland (island) for what is now Ireland, or is that just too simple? LevenBoy (talk) 12:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
There's a lot written about it, easy to catch up (gulp) and there's a lot of parallels. Perhaps it's slightly tangential, but equally it might serve to hold a mirror up to some editors. --HighKing (talk) 12:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The template is alright with its 'British Isles' usage. Anybody hollering for balance, can be soothed by the Irish Sea. -- GoodDay (talk) 12:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

GoodDay, it's not about scoring points. It's about balance between different views offerend in reliable sources.
LevenBoy, direct quotations from reliables sources are the very opposite of OR. --RA (talk) 12:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
It's best to stick with 'British Isles' usage here. Going into all that 'alterations' isn't an urgent requirement. GoodDay (talk) 12:52, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
None of this is an urgent requirement. Best to just stick with "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands" for now since it is patently uncontroversial ;-) --RA (talk) 13:07, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Controversey concerns are irrelevant. GoodDay (talk) 13:08, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Controversy between editors is irrevelent. Controversey between reliable sources is very relevent. --RA (talk) 14:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
@Laven, you're right however in contasting the issue here on Wikipedia with the issue "in real life". It's not a big deal in real life. It shouldn't be a big deal here on Wikipedia either. That doesn't mean that the issue doesn't exist in real life or that we are exagorating it here on Wikipedia. It is simply that it is dealt with differently in real life.
For one thing, in real life, we don't have to collaboratively agree on the words we use for things. But also, the way that we deal with difference here (by very quickly jump into trenches and drawing hard lines) would be considered very strage behavior in real life. We need to adjust our behavior here and be less suspicious and more accomodating to each other (and the range of vocabalary that we use) as we are in real life. --RA (talk) 13:07, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I can understand the concerns of MickMacNee and I fully support only one template. I also believe the arguments put forward by RA and Hans Adler regarding the fact the the use of the term British Isles is complex. I would therefore support the proposal put forward by RA i.e. Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands. Bjmullan (talk) 15:08, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
This does not adhere to the type of NPOV espoused by "our glorious leader". The template currently uses "British Isles" and I recommend that's how it stays. LevenBoy (talk) 15:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What is not NPOV about it? Does the template not provide navigation links to topic relating to Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands?
The term British Isles also appears within in the template. It links to the article, British Isles. --RA (talk) 15:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I still don't see the urgency or requirement in these proposed alterations. But, if they're adopted, I won't loose any sleep over it. GoodDay (talk) 16:42, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, GoodDay. I appreciate you coming out of the trenches too. Other proposals are welcome too. I only intended the above as an illustration to tease out the issues - but if it was adopted, I wouldn't loose any sleep over it either (which seems like a good reasonable of acceptability). --RA (talk) 17:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Oppose. Tautology. British Isles is the common name. Kittybrewster 17:15, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
For clarity I also oppose this example, for all the reasons already stated many times before (and this solution has been suggested several times) and never addressed. The BI dispute is no more or less complex or important to make this the one navtemplate on the whole project where the notional 'parent' article is not the top bar article, but is relegated to the content area as one of the many that the template exists to link together. Infact, such a relegation challenges the logical existence of the whole template, but we've been there and done that. This top article arrangement is the standard practice everywhere else, and changing it is an example of the accessibility barriers this single issue specific fudging will introduce to Wikipedia that Jimbo refers to. For anything like this to fly, it will not be through the usual local 'compromise' calling of the consensus (by RA himself more often than not), but through at a minimum an agreement at the VPP level that this is indeed needed and should be available for templates that contain disputed terminology (and that's many many templates), to ensure the relevant documentation & guidance about navtemplates is updated. Otherwise, you will only continue to see what's already happened - good faith editors being caught in the bear trap for not unreasonably editing this template to return it to the standard format. MickMacNee (talk) 17:42, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The wider the discussion the better. A general discussion on how to handle disputed terminology would be a good idea. A "meta level" discussion of how to handle disputed terminology in general would allow us all to get our heads out of the termniology itself and onto higher level issues that matter more to the encyclopedia. It would allow us perspective an take us out of the bog of the terminology itself. Thanks, Mick. Good suggestion.
For clarity also - in 2006, it was I who suggested the notion of pipe linking the template title. The inclusion of the template on articles relating to Ireland had been vehimently opposed by editors as a kind of POV pushing. The reasoning is plain enough, templates are not ideologically netural: a template showing a list of countries imples that there are a unifying connection between those countires, a template showing a a list of music recordings implies that there is some unifying connection between those music recordings.
The creation of this template and its addition to articles relating to Ireland was seen as implying that there was some unifying connection between Ireland, the United Kingdom and certain other places. This point of view is at odds with the a common view of the relationship between Britain and Ireland, which is that Ireland is one place, Britain is another and never the twain shall meet. The suggestion to allow individual article to be able to change the template title eased some of the tensions around this template and allowed it to be added to Ireland-related article.
History is a funny thing. Something that can be agreed at one time in a spirit of collegialism and good faith can later come to interpreted as the very opposite. Here, a compromise that originally was entered into in a spirit of friendship is now seen as a symbol of self-evidient emnity. Something that was seen as tieing articles on Ireland and Britain together is seen as dividing articles between "Irish" and "British".
Anyway, a meta-level discussion on disputed terminology would be a good idea. I suggest it not only deal with templates, nor should it simply focus on this dispute, but on wider issues of disputed terminology in general. We could then work from the general to the particular.
This has my agreement. What do others think? --RA (talk) 18:23, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
RA, you suggest a common view is that ...the relationship between Britain and Ireland, which is that Ireland is one place, Britain is another and never the twain shall meet. I don't believe this is common at all. Of course Britain and Ireland are two different places, but they metaphorocally meet all the time and all over the place. The entities have much in common and share a broad history. Like it or not the British Isles is what they are both part of, and this is the common name. It is not POV to use the term, it is fact; alternatives reflect a POV which is unacceptable for an organ (Wikipedia) that purports to deliver facts and not opinion. LevenBoy (talk) 19:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
LB, you would not believe the number of people who insist Ireland stops a few mile north of Dundalk. The idea that Ireland and Britain may be connected is simply unfathomable to them. You may not believe it but you are in a fortunate position where you live to be literally at the juncture of the metaphorical Ireland and Britain. (Or unfortunate.)
You're correct, it's not POV to use the term. What is POV to present one term as more correct or common term than another. Several terms exist for these islands and we don't know which one is more common, never mind which is more "correct".
As your final sentence reveals, words can also carry meaning beyond their simple definition — and can mean different things to different ears. One phrase (that I would say is more common than British Isles) is Britain and Ireland. If I remember correctly, to you this phrase implies the seperateness of Britain and Ireland (or maybe it was HK that said this). To me it implies a union. RA 19:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(For an interesting piece of OR, compare Google trends for "UK and Ireland", "Britain and Ireland" and "British Isles". A very tightly run race, indeed! [Data for "Britain and Ireland" is missing except for one point. That doesn't mean that it was only searched for at that point. It's simply that the data is missing for one reason or another.]) --RA (talk) 20:57, 11 May 2011
No it is not POV to present one term as more common than the other. It may be POV not to mention that there is a POV that this is offensive to some people +RS. Kittybrewster 20:10, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
In the absence of RS stating which is the most common, it's actually mere speculation. However, I don't think anyone would say that British Isles is not one of the most common (and possibly the most common). However, we know from RS that that term is "increasingly less usable" and that another term is "more favored" but that "[t]here is no consensus on the matter" (to quote one). --RA (talk) 20:32, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Interesting.... the above is a good practical explanation of NPOV, thank you RA. I, for one, didn't appreciate some of the finer points until now. It also makes clear to me how some editors jump from NPOV to "Common Term" to "Correct Term" to bolster a favoured term of view. I support representing that other views exist in a NPOV. Also, a Common Term is potentially not "common" to every group of people, so using what is perceived as the "most" common term does not represent NPOV, and imposes a POV on a group of people. The current solution of changing the template seems like a good idea. RA - it might be a good idea to pose this question to Jimbo too - I don't believe a simplistic solution exists, and it highlights a real problem. --HighKing (talk) 10:48, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

WP: Project scopes. The flags[edit]

TBH, this template should also be within the scope of Wikipedia:WikiProject Ireland. Also, the Irish flag belongs too. GoodDay (talk) 01:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Then add the Wikipedia:WikiProject Ireland template (as I have done). Mtking (talk) 01:43, 11 May 2011 (UTC)