User talk:Eleanor1944

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Thanks! Eleanor1944 (talk) 15:20, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Welcome[edit]

Hello, Eleanor1944! Welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. You may benefit from following some of the links below, which will help you get the most out of Wikipedia. If you have any questions you can ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. Please remember to sign your name on talk pages by clicking or by typing four tildes "~~~~"; this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you are already excited about Wikipedia, you might want to consider being "adopted" by a more experienced editor or joining a WikiProject to collaborate with others in creating and improving articles of your interest. Click here for a directory of all the WikiProjects. Finally, please do your best to always fill in the edit summary field when making edits to pages. Happy editing! Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 04:46, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
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Appalachian English[edit]

Welcome to Wikipedia. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the encyclopedia, but when you add or change content, as you did to the article Appalachian English, please cite a reliable source for your addition. This helps maintain our policy of verifiability. See Wikipedia:Citing sources for how to cite sources, and the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you. Eastcote (talk) 13:27, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I have discovered that there are no reliable published sources on "Appalachian English. My contribution on this topic is based on my personal knowledge of this dialect. This was my first language, and I eagerly noted the various usages from childhood on. I learned the International Phonetic Alphabet in high school and for a long time transcribed speech in it. In my late teens, I wanted to compile a dictionary and grammar of the dialect, but my academic specialization turned in different directions. I realized that this was not, as I had been taught, just bad English and that it had its own rules, although nobody had ever articulated them. Only later did I discover that students of linguistics agreed with me. I used to consciously go back and forth between Standard English and this dialect. I noted the way certain usages were limited to old people as Standard English forms were replacing them. I saw this in even better perspective when I studied some German in college and was told about the way Germans go back and forth between their Low German dialects and High German. I studied Arabic extensively later on, and this gave me a better perspective of the differences between local dialects and the Classical language. I know that you have to be skeptical of what I contribute on this topic, but I am a primary source. It is the published works that, although they sometimes make good points, are defective. Thanks for including some of my corrections so far, although understandably what an anonymous person such as I has to say has to be questioned. I hope eventually to get to other topics that I am specialized in. I will cite written sources on these topics, but on the subject of Appalachian Dialect I am correcting the published materials.

You might consider putting the material on the talk page, and on the article pages putting a "Dubious" within double "{" and "}" by anything that your experience says is wrong. It's very likely to just get removed if it's on the article page without an outside source, I'm afraid. Allens (talk) 04:24, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Please do not add original research or novel syntheses of published material to articles as you apparently did to Appalachian English. Please cite a reliable source for all of your contributions. Thank you. Eastcote (talk) 04:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Eleanor, I appreciate your enthusiasm for the topic of Appalachian English, but I have to repeat what Eastcote recommended: Do not add your original ideas, or conclusions drawn from your own experience, to a Wikipedia article.

I'm not saying that your experience is invalid, or that what you have to say is not true. But the purpose of Wikipedia is not to arbitrate between truth and falsehood. This is an encyclopedia, and like any encyclopedia, it is going to lag a few steps behind the latest and most daring insights. Original research does not appear here first, nor should it. If the published materials need correcting, this is not where it will happen. You write, "I am a primary source." But primary sources have almost nothing to contribute to an encyclopedia. When you work on a Wikipedia article, you must set aside this aspect of yourself.

A concise way to get at this is through the article What Wikipedia is not. I found it helpful when I started contributing. — ℜob C. alias ÀLAROB 19:10, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Many thanks! And my apologies! As a productive scholar (in a very different field, one who sometimes angers editors at, say, Oxford UP when I don't have time to accept an invitation), I appreciate your high standards. I really think my combination of background, persistent observation, and scholarship uniquely qualifies me. I will try to find the discussion page, etc. If I were willing to desert my current academic activities for this personal passion, I am sure that I could have a prestigious press publish my work. Then my work could be cited, I assume. In the meantime, all the misinformation mixed with some good information will have to be left alone. Actually, I could probably find some written sources--by picking and choosing--to back up about all of the particular pieces of information I have tried to provide. I might do that whenever I have some time between other writing deadlines. For now, though, I'll try to be a good boy (and maybe contribute something to Wikipedia on very different topics). Eleanor1944 (talk) 21:13, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

I do appreciate your sincerity, and your points are well-taken and have created good discussion on the Talk page. However, please do not insert substantive edits without citing reliable secondary sources. Although you may have knowledge in the subject area (which I think many of the participating editors do) you can not rely on your own knowledge as a primary source, and must provide secondary sourcees. Thanks. Eastcote (talk) 14:01, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Please respect others' comments[edit]

Eleanor, the discussion page ("talk page") for Appalachian English now consists mostly of your statements. There is nothing implicitly wrong with this. Unfortunately, many of your statements, dated November 2011, are spliced in the middle of conversations that took place five or six years ago, as the dates at the end of each comment indicate. By inserting your remarks, you have interrupted the flow of prior conversations.

This makes the page difficult for others to read. The etiquette of talk pages is to add one's own comments at the end of a "thread," which is identified by a heading. The most recent comments are found at the bottom of the page, not the top or middle.

You are doing better about signing each of your comments, but there are things you could still stand to learn. This page may be helpful. — ℜob C. alias ÀLAROB 05:33, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Many thanks for your good advice. I was aware of how odd it seems to insert comments the way I did. I mainly wanted to correct matters for the record, perhaps hoping somebody with formal credentials and enough time would use some of my analysis. One of my major points has been that diversity in AE is largely a result of uneven adoption of outside usage (both SE and other vernaculars, as well as some "overcorrection," "miscorrection," etc). This dialect is dying slowly (probably for the better???), and later generations will have a distorted understanding. But I won't insert material in the middle again (should I go ahead and rearrange my comments as I have time?). I did try to put my comments on other people's old comments in brackets, but that is not good enough to prevent confusion. In fact, I'm not sure that I will be able to continue my contributions very much. I had only a moment for this while waiting for a draft manuscript on a very different topic to come back from a co-author. In some cases, I forgot to sign and thought the material was lost, causing me to repeat some points. In any case, I invite you or others to use my lifetime analysis and generational persective (e.g., I was born in the house of people born in the 1870s who learnt their English to some extent from those born in the 1820s in the same exact space). Much of what I have said has been noted by others, and if you or somebody else wants to find those secondary sources, that will be fine with me. My apologies again, but use of my material would radically improve the article.Eleanor1944 (talk) 15:21, 18 November 2011 (UTC) Unintentionally, I apparently committed the same sin again. So I have moved the above comment from where I mistakenly placed it. Eleanor1944 (talk) 15:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree that your comments are thoughtful and interesting, and your ideas could be useful in revising what is a perpetually troubled article. As I'm sure you've noticed, people often seem to expect that an article on Appalachian English must resemble in every respect the English spoken in their own childhood home; otherwise the article is completely invalid, if not an insulting liberty taken by know-it-all metropolitan eggheads. ;-) So there has been a lot of editing that merely inserts remembered personal experience, which then contradicts other equally qualified readers' personal experience — and they blame the metropolitan eggheads for the errors. It's no wonder that professional linguists keep well away.
It would be very helpful if you could collect and edit your comments on the talk page, although I realize this could be tedious. However if you are willing to shape them into a briefer, more organized essay, I think that would be the most helpful form. It might also raise the level of discourse on the talk page. (Well, one can always hope.)
What's more, if you are interested in contributing to a rewrite of the article, many editors like to begin a draft within their own "userspace," as it's called. For example, I created a "Workspace" page to keep track of the dozens of articles I'm interested in improving, or that do not yet exist. It's at User:Alarob/Workspace. Here's how I started it:
1. Go to your own userpage (User:Eleanor1944}.
2. The address bar in your web browser should now read "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Eleanor1944". Put your cursor in the address bar, after the last "4".
3. Type a slash ("/") and the name of the new page you want to create. To create a page called "Appalachian English," type "/Appalachian_English". (You may not use spaces, because it confuses the web browser, but you may use underscores ("_") instead, and Wikipedia will interpret these as spaces.)
4. The address bar should now read "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Eleanor1944/Appalachian_English" (without the quote marks of course). Press the Return key.
5. You will be taken to a page with a warning: Wikipedia does not have a user page with this exact name. Don't worry. Click the link beside the first bullet: Start the User:Eleanor1944/Appalachian_English page.
6. Congratulations. You are now in the editing screen for your new page.
To make sure you don't lose track of the page, I recommend creating a wikilink to the new page on your home page.
Well, I've just given you a bunch of tasks that you may not want to do. That's OK; Wikipedia is a volunteer effort, so it's not as if someone will cut your pay if you don't come to work. ;-) All I'm saying is that I think it would be great if Wikipedia becomes a habit with you as it has with me. I sometimes stay away for weeks, but I always return and find rewarding and, I think, significant work to do.
I've griped about thoughtless additions to Appalachian English, but in general I'm delighted with how well Wikipedia works, and how it seems to bring out the curious, thoughtful and inquisitive sides of people who are bold enough to edit. The few aggravations are well worth the benefits, in my view. OK, the lecture's over. — ℜob C. alias ÀLAROB 21:13, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments and advice. I may take all or many of your suggestions, though perhaps not immediately. I too have pointed to some variations, as in the case of people in at least one area of Appalachia pronouncing "bush" as "boosh." And I have mentined the phenomenon of occasional personal eccentricity of the sort that evokes amusement from other speakers of AE (or any dialect). But I have compared usage in various areas (not just my own), and I have seen that most of the variation has to do with how much of the old usage has been peeled off over the decades as a result of education, travel, mass media, etc. If there had not been a relatively uniform type of speech when Europeans first settled the region (I suspect that there were certain local variations, though, that soon wore away under the impact of general AE), there would be nothing one could identify as AE, as very different dialects would have emerged. (People in, say, Southeast KY, were never "isolated." In my own family, I could cite forebears who migrated from the adjacent county or, in two cases, from two counties away during the latter half of the 19th century (Civil War veterans in both instances), but this was fairly uncommon. However, few parts of the region were so remote that they did not have considerable contact with bigger cities, e.g., Lexington (KY) or Knoxville (TN). Some men went off to war, as in 1812 and 1861-62, and many came back, and troops from North and South came through some areas. There were teachers from the outside, and some kids from remote places went off to a 3-month normal school to become teachers back at home. A few went off to the university and then came back. I am saying that there were many outside influences that peeled off more and more of the old grammar and pronounciation. (By my time, only a few of the older people spoke of "p'intin' ye finger" at someone, fewer of my generation said they had "clum" a tree, and today many of the new generation no longer pronounce that part of their hands with an "ay" sound. Some of them have copied the "yuh" pronounciation they heard in Wisconsin or New York for "ye." ETC. Another point relevant to uniformity: These patterns extend far beyond Appalachia, although in many/most other areas there was likely more erosion of the most "outrageous" forms at an earier time. In my early teens, I was a bit confused by the vernacular found in, say, James Russel Lowell's The Courting or, for that matter, in Moby Dick. I thought those forms were Mountain Dialect (i.e., AE), but New Englanders etc. were using them too! Even the rhotic feature that distinguishes AE from other Southern American English, I have noticed, extends in the South far beyond Appalachia (and the Ozarks). I don't remember hearing anyone from any part of KY (and not all that many from any part of TN), including the non-Mountain parts, who spoke in a non-rhotic way. As for the "know-it-all metropolitan eggheads. ;-)," I might be the one some would want to label that way. While I am fully capable of being wrong, a sophisticated linguist would want to take into account the kind of insight I am providing (as you do)--and perhaps the way I have codified certain rules of AE grammar (as in the use of "is" with compound pronouns, e.g., "him and you is," but NEVER simply "you is)." Again, thanks for your comments and encouragement. Eleanor1944 (talk) 23:15, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Arab people[edit]

I have just reverted your edits at Arab people and explained my reasoning at the talk page. I am aware you are an expert on the subject, and I don't want to play the part of Randy in Boise, but even experts should present reliable sources for the content they add - being an expert means you probably know better where to look for such sources than I do. I also felt that some of your changes made the article harder to read, for example the overly long wikilink to Egyptian identity. Yours, Huon (talk) 02:46, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! Instead of trying to change that one paragraph (definition 3 of "Arab people"), I should have proposed simply eliminating it. It goes totally against the meaning of the word to define an Arab as anyone who lives in an Arab state, including non-Arabs such as Kurds. I have heard of at least one case in pre-2003Iraq of a Kurdish family being pressured to classify itself as Arab, but everybody accepted the ethnic division between Kurds, Arabs, Turkomen, etc. (brutal suppression of Kurdish rebels was not to force them to call themselves Arabs). Only in non-Arab Turkey have Kurds been classified as ethnic Turks against their will. Or to define Arabs as including anyone in a country in which Arabic is an official language. This definition would exclude Arab minorities living in non-Arab states (e.g., in Turkey or Iran). It would exclude almost all Arabs during past centuries when they were in the Ottoman Empire. ETC. I have so many sources I could cite that one of my colleagues envisaged that my death would come from an avalanche of such books on my head (which later almost happened!). I am not sure how I can cite sources for a definition of the word that us purely hypothetical and goes completely against common sense. I can try, though. Eleanor1944 (talk) 03:34, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Obviously you need not provide sources for an incorrect definition (or to get rid of it) - if someone wanted to have that definition included, the burden of proof would be on him. I doubt we'll see anybody try, though. Huon (talk) 03:54, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks again.Eleanor1944 (talk) 04:12, 20 November 2011 (UTC)