Template talk:Citation needed/Archive 11

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Edit protected

I have nominated the template for merging, so could someone place {{Tfm-inline|Citation needed|Reference necessary}} please? ~~Ebe123~~ on the go! 13:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm hesitant to do this, as {{citation needed}} has 253,359 transclusions at the last count, and this would take up a heavy load on the servers and be very visible for our readers. But then again, I haven't dealt with this kind of case at TfD before. I think I'll start a discussion on the TfD talk page and see if people think this is a good idea. — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 14:39, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I've added the {{tfm}} tag with "noinclude" tags for now, instead of adding {{tfm-inline}}. Hopefully this way will cause less disruption. Best — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 14:53, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Tracking of first unnamed parameter

I implemented tracking of first positional (unnamed) parameter of {{citation needed}} in the sandbox. The proposed category is Category:Pages containing citation needed template with deprecated parameters, which is named after Category:Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters and should be created with the similar content before the changed to the templates are implemented.  Done

As such syntax is unsupported and even serves a basis for the !votes in TFDs, I believe this change is not controversial. Though I believe that the second step (outputting error) is required after the maintenance category is populated and emptied, this is subject to further discussion. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 20:49, 7 September 2012 (UTC) updated 11:36, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Does anyone know where the cutoff for bug 37731http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=37731 is? Anomie 02:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done (without the duplicated word) — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:17, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Show reason in tooltip

Currently the template documentation suggests to use |reason= for a comment about requested citation, but this reason is not displayed. I prepared a version (in sandbox) which replaces the standard text ("This claim needs references to reliable sources") with the content of |reason= if it is specified. As far as this change doesn't break anything and facilitates finding information about the particular request (currently one may learn that any comment was left only if edits the article), I consider it to be non-controversial.

Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 21:23, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. Previous discussion on the talk pages of related templates has centred around the concept of |reason= being a dummy parameter - one that is documented but purposely not recognised. The idea was that a short reason would be visible in the wikicode, whereas if a lengthy explanation were necessary, a talk page thread would be the better choice. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:08, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I support the change. It doesn't seem to break anything, and long explanations can still be done on the talk page. --Nouniquenames 17:41, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I support the change as well, per above. St John Chrysostom Δόξατω Θεώ 05:19, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support – and change the default text to something less weird than the current "This claim needs references to reliable sources from <month> <year>", e.g. "This claim needs references to reliable sources (noted since <month> <year>)". Changing the default text might be a bit tricky, as that seems to come from {{Fix}}. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:26, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I think the title text still needs an explanation of what “citation needed” means. The link still points to Wikipedia:Citation needed, so it would be confusing if the title text said nothing about where the link was taking you. It might be nice to also include the reason in the title text, after the explanation, but I’m not sure if there’s space. If the reason were included, the whole title text would be “This claim needs references to reliable sources (noted since <month> <year>, for this reason: Bogart was a famous actor, and his major biographies don't mention snooker.)”. (I’m using Michael Bednarek’s proposed rewording of the default text here – separately from the reason-inclusion issue, I definitely support that rewording. Maybe that should be a separate discussion on this talk page?) – Rory O'Kane (talk) 21:08, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
    • I thought over this, but as long as the caption "citation needed" is self-documenting, I'm not sure such long comment is necessary. That said, some browsers trim tooltips' content, so probably being that wordy is not desperately needed. As a compromise I would propose to implement the proposed version and wait for any signs of confusion. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 18:06, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg implemented, although I suspect it would make more sense to add this functionality to the meta-template {{fix}} so that other in-line templates can also benefit. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:10, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

This breaks stuff. If the reason= parameter contains wikilinks or transcludes other templates that include wikilinks, part of the reason and some other wiki markup is displayed in the article itself. The problem seems to be that the {{{reason}}} parameter is used inside a wikilink, so a wikilink inside the reason results in nested wikilinks, which is not valid wiki markup.
For an example, see Alfred J. Kwak (under section Credits → English Version; the link will take you to an old revision of the page; I fixed the reason in the latest revision). An example on a different page is currently being discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#User id in a ref spoils the page. There are probably many other pages affected by the same thing. – PartTimeGnome (talk | contribs) 22:54, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
We could wrap the title field in <nowiki>...</nowiki>, but this needs to be done in {{fix}}. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 10:36, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think a simple <nowiki> would work... <nowiki>{{{title}}}</nowiki> would just render as "{{{title}}}", rather than outputting the value in the title parameter. I think {{#tag:nowiki|{{{title}}}}} would do what you want, though. – PartTimeGnome (talk | contribs) 16:45, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Neither will work, as it will nowiki the parameters. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:00, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Drat, you're right. Any other ideas? (All I can think of is reverting the change, or getting a bot to go over all existing uses and add <nowiki> to them if they contain a link or transclusion.) – PartTimeGnome (talk | contribs) 23:15, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Implementation in other language WPs

In the German WP I cannot find an equivalent to this template; its omission makes it difficult for editors to tag unreferenced information. (If it does exist, would someone please place a link to it in this article - thanks). Assuming that it doesn't exist, how much work would be involved in implementing this template in another language? Would it be feasible for an utter newbie to undertake this task? Thanks. --TraceyR (talk) 10:48, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

I share your astonishment about the reluctance of our German colleagues to implement this template in their language, but they are quite adamant about it; see de:Wikipedia:Löschkandidaten/21. März 2012#Vorlage:Quelle benötigt (gelöscht) (March 2012). Unsurprisingly, I find that an extraordinary number of their articles are extremely poorly sourced, which makes it difficult to use them to create their equivalents here. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:25, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick (if somewhat depressing) response. I agree that the articles there are frequently poorly sourced (and the reaction to criticism is sometimes 'intemperate'). The only template that I could find was 'Beleg', which adds a two or three line banner across the whole screen, making the affected article very hard to read. --TraceyR (talk) 12:46, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
I take it that you mean de:Vorlage:Belege fehlen; that's the German equivalent to our {{Unreferenced}}, a cleanup banner. If it's an inline template that you require, what I have done before is to go through our Category:Inline citation and verifiability dispute templates to find a close equivalent, go to the template page, and look in the left margin for the link Deutsch - if there is one, click that to see the German equivalent. Unfortunately, doing this I found only one - our {{Citation needed span}} - but that was linked to the German de:Vorlage:Belege fehlen in error, so I've delinked it. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:56, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. I have been pointed to an active discussion as to whether an inline "citation needed" tag would be useful. There used to be one, but it was deleted. The (imho ugly and disruptive) banner "Belege fehlen" seems to be all that there is at the moment.--TraceyR (talk) 07:07, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Clarification needed between templates

{{Citation needed}} defines itself as "template used to identify questionable claims that lack a citation to a reliable source". Compare to {{Reference necessary}}, which describes citation needed as, "Unlike the template {{Citation needed}}, this template attaches explicitly to one or more specific sentences of text, by surrounding the text with the template.". While they don't contradict one another, take a look at the first paragraph of Joanna Lumley as of current revision, the entire first paragraph is unsourced. While I didn't know anything about her involvement with Survival International, knowing what I do of her it doesn't seem questionable. Should there not be a way to indicate the first paragraph needs to cite it's sources to be verifiable? I'm sure (nearly) everyone in the UK has heard of her involvement with the Gurkhas, but people from abroad might not have, shouldn't that be sourced so it can be verified by everyone?

And shouldn't there be a way to indicate this, in case it's a topic less easy to research as Joanna Lumley? It's just for your consideration, I won't be back to check for replies. Thanks.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:07, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Gondwana formation

This article says that gondwana formed around 500Ma however, Pangea didnt form until the early permian ~270Ma. I have researched and everywhere i have looked I have seen that gondwana formed ~200Ma. Please tell me if i have made a mistake? I just dont see how a continent can form 230 million years before the continent that broke up to form it was formed! Excuse grammar and spelling, i am trying to do some coursework and was looking for dates and found this!!!! :S — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

You're in the wrong place, you probably meant to place this on Talk:Gondwana. But read the article: Gondwana formed before Pangaea, became part of Pangaea, split again from Pangaea, and then finally broke up itself. If you want to discuss that further, please copy this to Talk:Gondwana before replying. Anomie 01:28, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Protected shortcut redirects

This REDIRECT to {{Citation needed}} needs Rcats (redirect category templates). Please modify it in the following manner:
from this:

#REDIRECT [[Template:Citation needed]] 

to this:

#REDIRECT [[Template:Citation needed]]
{{This is a redirect|from template shortcut|protected}}

These Rcats also need to be added to this REDIRECT. Please check the apparent conflict, as the page appears to allow users to edit it. (It does not specify "View source" instead of "Edit" at the top of the page. Then when "Edit" is clicked, it says it's a protected page.) Thank you very much! – Paine (Climax!)  00:05, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Done. The apparent conflict you mention is because {{cn}} was fully-protected manually, but {{CN}} is cascade-protected. It would seem a bit bureaucratic to go round manually protecting every page that was cascade-protected, so I don't think there's anything we can do about that here. If it's going to be fixed, it will have to be at the software level. Does anyone know if there's a bug filed about this? — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 10:44, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
bug 11700http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11700 has been closed as WONTFIX. Anomie 15:04, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, Mr. Stradivarius for completing these edits! Some kind of fix is needed. If you check the CN REDIRECT, you'll find that adding the "R protected" Rcat placed that redirect into Category:Wikipedia pages with incorrect protection templates, and adding that same Rcat in the other shortcut (the Cn REDIRECT) placed that one in Category:Protected redirects, where they are both supposed to be categorized. That's not a good thing, is it? – Paine (Climax!)  17:18, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Doc Humes

Wiki says about Doc's fantasies:"F.I.D.O. computer system (a supposed underground maze of interconnected computers, run by the Government)" I knew Doc & listened to his spiel for many hours starting in 1969 when he was giving out $100 bills at Columbia Univ. & for several years after. My recollection was that FIDO (Not an acronym)was not hardware, but a program at large in the power grid (Pre-Internet of course), create by the atomic bomb scientists to prevent war; & not "run by the government" but autonomous & self directed. Needless to say, documenting the ideas of a schizophrenic genius is not an exact science... Revjimk (talk) 07:07, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the template {{Citation needed}}. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:35, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

German cn-Template vote

If you are a German WP User, feel free to join the vote and discussion about the possible-but-not-yet German version of [citation needed].

A majority of German users is still against this template, so German Wikipedia remains alone among the larger projects in not having this available. The opponents seem to believe that articles will be disfigured by too many 'cn' entries, which, they think, would render the affected article somewhat hard to read. Since this doesn't happen to any great degree here, this fear would seem to be unfounded, but that argument carried no weight there.--TraceyR (talk) 17:33, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Editing Template talk: Citation needed (new section)

Content that violates any copyrights will be deleted. Encyclopaedic content must be verifiable. Work submitted to Wikipedia can be edited,used, and redistributed-by anyone -sub — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:21, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Request for fixing categorization

Could someone please figure out why there are a few articles are in Category:Articles with unsourced statements from December 2,012 and Category:Articles with unsourced statements from January 2,013? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 04:31, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Certain parameters in {{infobox settlement}} are intolerant of unexpected data. These include some of those for population and elevation, where the expected data must be a pure number, optionally with commas to separate the thousands. Separate parameters exist for the references relating to those figures, and that is where {{citation needed}} should be placed.
The technical explanation is that it is desirable to perform calculations on these figures, to determine population density or convert feet to metres, but the expression evaluator can't handle the commas. Therefore these are stripped off by pushing the parameter values through the {{formatnum:|R}} parser function; and after the calculation, they are again pushed through {{formatnum:}} in order to add commas to get consistent display. When such parameters contain a dated maintenance template like {{citation needed|date=December 2012}}, this has the effect of inserting a comma into the year with the results you noticed. These edits should have fixed the problem. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:15, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, thank you! GoingBatty (talk) 00:44, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 March 2013 `Coastline of Bangladesh is not 580 km it is officially 710 km'

It is given in Bangladesh part that coastline of Bangladesh is 580 km .But it is officially recorded as 710 km coastline of BangladeshCite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). . (talk) 15:29, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the template {{Citation needed/Archive 11}}. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:47, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Change tooltip text from "from Month Year" to " (Month Year)"


The current way is flubbed depending on whether the user uses ending punctuation on the "reason" parameter, which people do a lot. For instance, the text can look like this:

Here is my fake reason why this needed citation. from March 2013

Perhaps even better would be to test if the reason parameter is used and dispense with the parenthesis if not. Jason Quinn (talk) 03:41, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

This appears to be a larger problem with the {{Fix}} template. I'm not sure of the consequences of changing that. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:51, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Pursuant to this discussion, I have changed this in the {{Fix}} template. It is now much better. Jason Quinn (talk) 01:32, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

This has been raised several times, at least since May 2012; finally, it has been fixed. Thank you. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:19, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Double quote marks break "reason=" parameter

I noticed that double quote marks in the "reason=" parameter causes the tooltip to be the default rather than the supplied reason. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:52, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, this is because the |reason= parameter is placed into the title= attribute of a <span> tag, and HTML attributes, being delimited by double quotes, cannot contain double quotes. Use single quotes. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

"reason" must not be capitalised

Many Wikipedia templates and parameters ignore the case of the leading letter; I think a capital is often preferred. In Citation needed if the parameter is capitalised as "Reason" the tooltip is not displayed. I have added a comment to that effect in the documentation, but would suggest that the template be modified, capitalisation should be acceptable. Pol098 (talk) 13:39, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

No, this is normal behaviour for the vast majority of templates - it's only the first letter of the template name - in this case Citation needed - that is case-insensitive. Parameter names are usually case-sensitive on all letters - a template needs special code to allow variations, and this increases complexity, makes maintenance more difficult, and impacts performance.
In the specific case of {{citation needed}}, the documentation states to use |reason=, and gives no indication that other forms are acceptable. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:49, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
I've just re-added a briefer mention that capitalisation is not acceptable - if this is considered wrong it could be reverted. I think it should be stated—the point of documentation is to help users (except for some manufacturers who bury important information where nobody will see it but they can point out that it was there—as happened in this case). I've spent far too much time using "Reason", which generates the normal [citation needed] with no indication of any problem, eventually noticing the lack of tooltip, experimenting with formats, and eventually getting it right; all would have been saved with better documentation. Pol098 (talk) 16:40, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
The parameter |reason= was added to the template just over six months ago although it had been in the documentation for longer than I can remember; AFAIK it was never described as |Reason=. It is a general principle with all templates that you should use the parameters exactly as described and not assume that variations will necessarily work the same way, or even work at all. If you can indicate where you saw it suggested that |Reason= was valid, we can look either at fixing those descriptions, or at adding it to the template as a recognised alias. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:32, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
The predicted response (see end of http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Pol098/sandbox&oldid=555970245). We're speaking of adding 3 words to the documentation "(without leading capital)" which will protect users from themselves (yes, it is a user mistake, and yes, users should know better). Unlike many other places an error here is silent; "Date=" will eventually result in the correct date being filled in, but "Reason=" will generate no error message, no obviously wrong behaviour, no automatic compensation. It would be useful to have more opinions here, to see if there's a consensus. Pol098 (talk) 20:48, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
There are at least three reasons why date is fixed but reason isn't: (i) |date= is mandatory whilst |reason= is optional; (ii) somebody put a formal request on the bot operators to add/fix a date, which was approved, but no such request has been made about a reason; (iii) it's easy to determine automatically what a missing date should be, but damn-near impossible to divine the intent of a {{cn}} which lacks a reason. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:29, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Obviously true, but irrelevant, that there are reasons why an incorrect date is handled. From the user's perspective (which is what a user interface is about) a date entered incorrectly is handled and not a problem; a user error in "reason" is silent. Pol098 (talk) 01:40, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Templates cannot detect invalid parameters, they just fail silently. If {{fix}} (the meta-template this is based on) is ever converted to Lua, then we can whitelist the parameters. --  Gadget850 talk 01:53, 21 May 2013 (UTC)


I know this isn't a forum for general discussion, but IDK the correct forum to do so. According to the template documentation, the CN tag should not be overused to overtag articles, as it has happened at this article. Is it valid to overtag articles in this way rather than use simple tags like {{Refimprove section}}? Tbhotch. Grammatically incorrect? Correct it! See terms and conditions. 21:21, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Looks like a reasonable solution. One appropriate forum would be Talk:LGBT rights in Mexico, or just be bold and make the change. GoingBatty (talk) 23:16, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Ok, thank you. Tbhotch. Grammatically incorrect? Correct it! See terms and conditions. 22:43, 26 May 2013 (UTC)


The Redirects section has been modified to use the automated "What links here" page that lists the redirects that come back to the Citation needed template. The benefit is that when editors come along and create new redirects, or if admins feel there are too many and delete some of the redirects, that Wlh list changes automatically with those edits, and the documentation page will not have to be updated everytime it happens. This may have a few drawbacks; however, the automated aspect can save involved contributors a good deal of time, which can be spent on other important editing areas. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 14:53, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Origin Theories of Columbus page needs review

On the page entitled "Origin Theories of Columbus" I noticed that there is a discrepancy in Wikipedia's pages. Under the sections related to his geographic origins, it is stated that there are Genoese documents listing him as a "Ligur, a citizen of the Ligurian Republic." The Ligurian Republic, as I understand, was established by Napoleon in 1797. Thus, it is impossible for Christopher Columbus to have been listed as a Ligur, a citizen of the Ligurian Republic, unless I do not know of a preexisting Ligurian Republic of the 15th century. Please look into this and verify the accuracy of facts listed on the page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:58, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Your comment is misplaced; please discuss on the article talk page. --  Gadget850 talk 05:26, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Abbreviating the template

I notice Wikipedia needs donations kind of often, and I think one way to lower this reliability is to minimize the resources used by commonly referenced resources. The citation needed template is one such common resource and should read [c.n.] to improve page flow as well as send a few less bytes per page load, which I imagine should add up pretty quickly on Wikipedia. "Citation needed" is a running gag on the Internet by now so I doubt it will cause any confusion as to what it means. (talk) 12:48, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

There was a suggestion to change the wording just over a year ago. I think that the comments about [citation needed] being established, widely recognised and understood still stand. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:01, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I understand the sentiment about being judicious with resources but I concur with User talk:Redrose64 and the others on the previous discussion. Plus, going from a semi-self-explanatory phrase ("citation needed") to a non-standard compound abbreviation ("c. n.") decreases the clarity of the project and puts extra burden on new readers and editors. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:29, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

How to respond

The rules allow citation requests to be added liberally. The guidelines also state cases where citations are not needed. And this document has a section on how to respond. But it doesn't go into how to respond when a citation is not needed. If an article states that the moon orbits the earth, or that there's no fixed recipe for minestrone soup, should/could an editor respond by deleting the citation request? I gave the latter example because there are thousands of recipes for minestrone, so the claim is self evident. Anybody who picks up two cans in the supermarket will find it obvious. But unlike the claim for the moon, it's unlikely that there would be a readily available source that "verifies" that there's no fixed recipe for minestrone since it's self evident.

Another problem is that although there are clear guidelines saying when citations are not needed, there's no prohibition against asking for one anyway. So that leaves a situation where there's no clear method of resolution. Hagrinas (talk) 20:42, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I would think that WP:BRD would apply - the requester boldly adds the request, someone else reverts the request with a good edit summary, and then they discuss on the article's talk page. GoingBatty (talk) 00:55, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
... where the requester keeps quoting the policy Wikipedia:Verifiability and its subsection WP:BURDEN, especially "any material challenged or likely to be challenged" to justify the request. Their act of placing a citation request is taken as proof of the material's challenged status. Looks like a circular argument to me, but impossible to counter – appealing to common sense never succeeds. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:55, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Worst-case scenario: provide a source and negate the argument, or don't provide one and accept that the material may be removed. If it's really something as obvious as "the moon orbits the earth", then sources should be plentiful. For the minestrone example, I would think there must be a source out there that makes that claim, and if not, then maybe we shouldn't be making it either. What's "obvious" to one may not be obvious to all, and we should be wary of engaging in original research, a trademark indicator of which is "This is true because I know it is." It may also be valid to ask why it's important for a Wikipedia article to state something which is apparently so obvious that no reliable source has discussed it. DonIago (talk) 14:42, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
One solution would be to provide enough different examples of minestrone recipes, to point the fact that there really are many. So, if someone then wants to remove the claim "there's no fixed recipe for minestrone soup", it looks like someone just shortened the article by removing an introduction to what follows. That could be interpreted as deletion vandalism. I am not sure if this would be good enough as a solution but it may be better than nothing. Nikolas Ojala (talk) 10:48, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
The essays Wikipedia:When to cite and Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue may be of assistance, as may WP:DRIVEBY. But also see Wikipedia:You do need to cite that the sky is blue for a counterview. As long as there's good faith on the part of the other party and it's possible to understand their point of view, I would tend to respect their right to add a {{citation needed}} tag and at least try to engage them in discussion to resolve the dispute. The need to remove or keep a tag also is best considered to depend on the article's current condition. If the article is not very good, leave it in... no harm done. I would also personally shy away from just removing tags in articles that I don't personally care enough about to watch. If my only interest in the article is removing the tags, I see potentially more harm arising from removing them than it's worth. The only case were I might get picky about these tags enough to swabble is for articles that are GA or FA. Also, if a user adds a BUNCH of tags to an article, it is best to turn it into a {{morerefs}} banner or something similar. Jason Quinn (talk) 20:52, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

A mistake in the documentation?

The documentation for this template presently says:

Wikipedia's verifiability policy does not require reliable sources for common well-known facts (e.g., "The Moon orbits the Earth")

Unless I am mistaken, the Moon does not orbit the Earth. The Moon and the Earth orbit their common centre of gravity ("barycentre"). See eg page 116 of this. James500 (talk) 20:40, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

If you're saying we should replace the example with a different one, perhaps we could use, "The Earth orbits the Sun"? Or is that also not exactly accurate? I definitely would not recommend "The sky is blue". DonIago (talk) 13:03, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
You are using the word "orbits" in its narrow technical sense while forgetting to allow some leeway for a more colloquial definition of "orbits" that just means something like "goes around". There's a time and place for precision and the context helps determine its necessity. Here it's clear that the context is not demanding any rigorous precision and our intuitive notion of "orbits" suffices. We can always look for better ways of stating things, however. There's already existing essays Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue so perhaps "The sky is blue" is less problematic. Jason Quinn (talk) 21:09, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Except Wikipedia:You do need to cite that the sky is blue. :p DonIago (talk) 22:52, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 24 October 2013

(slightly expanded) text of Andrew Irvine's lecture on Hellenistic Philosophy (Sep. 24, 1998). It also includes some pieces from 1997 TA Mike Bone's lecture on the same topic.] Hellenism (or Hellenization): the official and unofficial promotion of supposed Greek ideals in the organization of personal life and civic accomplishment.

Hellenistic philosophy is a name for a variety of philosophical options which flourished in the period from the life of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) to the late 2nd century CE. Even before Alexander began his conquest of the known world in 336 BCE, Greek culture had spread through the Mediterranean region. Indeed, Alexander was Macedonian, a nationality related to but self-consciously distinct from the Greeks. He was himself a Hellenized person, not least thanks to his tutor, Aristotle. Alexander saw Hellenization as a desirable imperial policy, firstly because he believed Greek culture to be the best available and, secondly to build cohesion in his rapidly expanding dominion. To this end, he established a number of conquered cities as ‘Greek’ cities. These cities were intended as centers of colonial settlement and transformation into the image of Greek cultural and political order.

Note that they were images of the Greek model—not the thing itself, if we may recall a Platonic attitude. At Alexander’s death, colonization was far from settled. Economic and social divisions were immense. The Hellenistic culture of the empire did not capture the idealized former splendor of Greece. Hellenistic culture accentuated lowest common denominators among its many diverse citizens and subjects, in a bid to maintain some peace and facilitate day to day life. So, for instance, the educational ideals of Greek paideia were adopted but most Hellenized folk spoke only koine Greek, a simplified language (and the language of the New Testament)—if they spoke Greek at all. Political crisis was usual, creating an environment of insecurity for ordinary people, people whose parochial cultures were already under threat from the homogenizing influence of colonial rule. It was a culture that ran on patronage, on ‘who knew whom.’ Secret societies, professional clubs and mystery cults were popular means of creating communities where people shamed by their deep sense of dislocation and anonymity could receive a measure of honorable recognition.

Philosophy was one strategy for steadying oneself. When I say ‘philosophy,’ though, don’t think of highly refined systematic achievements linked to a Plato, or Aristotle. The schools of Plato and Aristotle had lost prestige as a result of their increasingly specialized pursuits, seemingly so detached from the everyday concerns that motivated Socrates and their own founders. Many people were impatient with speculation and relied more on what their senses could tell them. People required philosophies that were portable, easily learned, and plainly engaged with the fortunes and misfortunes of everyday life. Eclecticism and syncretism characterize Hellenistic culture as much as Greek domination.

Religion in the Hellenistic world, like philosophy, was a field of mix-and-match. For example, by the time of the birth of Jesus, Hellenization had already reshaped Jewish culture. Small groups like the zealots violently resisted colonization while the Herodian kings, ruling as clients of the emperor, clearly preferred Greek culture to the Jewish heritage. Most Jews lived life as participants in both cultures. Thus the Hellenistic world was the world of the first Christians. To understand this world—at least a few of its philosophical options—is a major step towards understanding the development of Christian thought. This is not to say that Christian thinkers were entirely determined in their thinking by Hellenistic philosophy. However, their expectations, problems and answers are profoundly shaped under the influence of Hellenistic philosophy.

Timeline of the Hellenistic Era Imperial Politics Philosophy & Religion 400 399 Death of Socrates BCE 347 Death of Plato

Alexander the Great 356-323 323 Death of Diogenes the Cynic 322 Death of Aristotle

300 341-270 Epicurus

3rd century Early Stoa (Zeno)

3rd century Roman ascendancy Cynicism

1. Summary

This movement got its name from kuon, ‘dog,’—a reproach denoting shamelessness, audacity. However the word was also often applied to faithful or watchful servants of the gods.

Founded by Diogenes of Sinope (d. 323 BCE). Click here for a picture.

Conceived as philosophy in action: ‘What good is philosophy if it never moves you to criticize your comfortable habits and actually change yourself for the better?’ Cynicism was conceived of as a way of life unbeholden to social convention or political demand, that is, a life lived according to nature. (This phrase is a recurring theme in debates among the Hellenistic philosophies.) For Cynics, nature is the opposite of society’s conventions and norms. All that the ordinary social herd is interested in is getting on in this world. They flatter, they beg, they posture. Such people think that they are better if they can throw a big fancy party! ‘How shallow! How fleeting! How ridiculous!,’ say the Cynics. These people have lost touch with nature. All they’re doing is becoming slaves to notoriously fickle tyche. Nature doesn’t require that we do any of these things. Social conventions, then, are nothing but bad habits, that damage the soul.

In contrast, the good life is lived according to nature, and it is a life of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency can be realized through training (ascesis). By practising to live unfettered by social expectations, a person can discipline the soul to the point that it does not suffer in the face of tyche. (Cf. Hamlet’s ‘slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune.’) This achievement is described as apatheia, ‘indifference to suffering.’

Cynics were noted for their bold speech and ‘shameless’ behavior. (E.g. legend has it that Alexander visited Diogenes to ask him whether he could do anything for him. Diogenes replied, ‘Yes. Get out of the way. You’re blocking the sunlight.’ Some of Diogenes’ successors were even earthier, defecating and urinating in public to demonstrate the hollowness of convention.)

2. Relevance to Christian Theology

Was Jesus a Cynic? Consider the parable concerning where to sit at banquets, or the encouragement not to worry (Matt. 6: 25-34), or the story of the rich fool (Luke 12: 13-21), Jesus’ example of service (Luke 22: 24-27). Well-known scholars including John Dominic Crossan and Burton Mack advocate this view.

Asceticism became an extremely important feature of early Christian piety. Charlenecleoeiben (talk) 16:03, 24 October 2013 (UTC)http://people.bu.edu/WWILDMAN/WeirdWildWeb/courses/wphil/lectures/wphil_theme04.htm#Timeline%20of%20the%20Hellenistic%20Era http://people.bu.edu/WWILDMAN/WeirdWildWeb/courses/wphil/lectures/wphil_theme04.htm#Stoicism

Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the template {{Citation needed}}. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. Jason Quinn (talk) 17:04, 24 October 2013 (UTC)