User:Chuunen Baka

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Wikipedia-logo BW-hires.svg This editor has decided to leave Wikipedia.


I've been editing WP almost daily since 2003, mostly in bird and insect articles. I'm quitting because of the small-minded and ignorant bullying of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds editors by the MOS gang. Below is a statement of my concern about MOS issues.

Capitalisation of common names[edit]

I stopped editing in July 2014 over the issue of capitalisation of common names. I don't intend to start editing again but I wish to make some observations.

I own a very large collection of print reference books on birds, insects and plants. The only wildlife references I own that do not capitalise common names are some (but not all) of my mammal books. The major bird works HBW and BWP use caps as does A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names (Jobling, OUP 91), Oxford Dictionary of British Bird Names (Lockwood, OUP 93), everything from publiishers Helm, Poyser, Collins and more.

WP is supposed to reflect secondary sources, not lead. By not capitalising the common names of birds (or insects or flowers), WP is misleading the reader. The seasoned naturalist knows that bird names should take caps but the busy student or journalist might quickly Google, for example, "Golden Eagle" and will be presented with the WP text "The golden eagle is ...". This is incorrect but will be reproduced in countless essays and articles until it becomes the norm. People won't bother to check because they will have absorbed the incorrect WP style and assumed it is correct.

WP should not be leading a change in style. It should be reflecting the secondary sources.

I doubt if anything can be done about this but I thought I should register my concern. Chuunen Baka (talkcontribs) 16:43, 20 February 2015 (UTC)