User talk:Ian Spackman

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Ian Spackman


Tremezzo, giardini pubblici (Ian Spackman 2007-007-0-).jpg
Ian Spackman is unlikely to read or edit Wikipedia for a few weeks.
But expect him back for real when he least expects it.



 


Comune[edit]

Hi, Ian! I believe our paths may have crossed before, as I think that you, like me, sometimes edit articles on Italian topics. I noticed the change you made at Val Taleggio, replacing comuni with "communes", and it piqued my curiosity. I don't think "commune" is any longer the English word, though I'm sure it was in the past. My personal experience counts for nothing, but to me a commune is either a bunch of hippies in a Welsh sheep-farm, or something in French history; I would no more think of referring to the administrative district I live in as a commune than I would talk of going to Leghorn or The Marches. More to the point, I notice that our article here is at Comune; that comuni are listed in our List of comuni of Italy, which is actually a list of lists, each entitled Comuni of the Province of Foo. Those have between them been edited by a rather large number of editors; it looks as if there might be a sort of local consensus that we use comune as we do frazione, and as we do not use provincia or regione. Of course at the level of a single article it matters disappearingly little. Best regards, Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:53, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Indeed our paths crossed yesterday on the article List of Italian cattle breeds—we must be among the few who watch that page! (I think I started the article on the piemontese breed, though it is the little Alpine ones—usually covered with flies, poor things—which I most enjoy meeting.) As to the comune issue I am really not sure what to think. I dislike leaving it in Italian because hardly any of our readers will know what it means. I don’t much like ‘municipality’ because as an Englishman I find it archaic—it reminds me of the municipal baths where I learnt to swim—and over technical. (It may be more readily understood by speakers of other English dialects, of course.) Overall I prefer ‘commune’ on the basis that that is the word which the dictionaries I possess (both English and Italian-English) recommend. Still, I accept that it too is problematic, for the reasons that you give. But using the word ‘commune’ does have a couple of minor advantages: it reminds people that these entities are related to the medieval communes, and also to the the French commune (in the general municipal sense, rather than to the Paris commune of 1870[-ish] and its communards) which provided, via the Napoleonic occupation, the model for local government in the restored Kingdom of Sardinia and (with modifications made by the Rattazzi decree) for united Italy. Anyway, I have only one clear rule on this: the Italian word comune must be italicized while the English word commune is set in Roman. Cheers, Ian Spackman (talk) 04:42, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
P.S. Don’t get me going on condottiero vs. condottiere.
Justlettersandnumbers, that "sort of local consensus" is simply called "law" :) Of course, the facts can change, and they are changing, since the comuni can be, and many are actually being abolished. Now, in the crisis time, even many provinces are in danger of being abolished. But, comune is not just an "administrative district"; it's local self-government. The provinces, not comuni, are meant as the state representations at the local level (i.e. "administrative districts"); it is the level where The State of Italy is acting directly. A comune usually corresponds to a city, or a town (or a village, although the Italians usually see any village as a town), unless it's too small to maintain the all administration on its own, since it would be too expensive. In such a case, at some point they have to agree to be added to some larger neighboring comune, as a "frazione" (fraction). The places in the areas considered as disadvantaged have some big benefactions, but, there're frequent abuses (there're "mountain communities" at the see level and similar), so there is a pressure to abolish most of them. The regions (the biggest divisions) should become a kind of federal units (in fact, they do have some competences), so, they are also a type of self-government (at the macro level).
Ian, "comune" and "municipio" are basically synonyms in the Italian and are rather equally used. Although "municipio" refers more to the administrative side (administration itself and its buildings) and "comune" more to the whole entity, the words are interchangeable.
Speaking about the Paris Commune... of course, the revolution comes in mind first, but, it was nothing else but - the comune of Paris, just like any comune in Italy - the local self-government of the city of Paris. The revolutionary factions had conquered the power in that particular local self-government, then they clashed with the central government, then the clash became an armed clash and then it was regarded as a revolution.
Comuni have existed, continuously, in Piedmont too, long before the Kingdom of Sardinia - since the Middle Ages. Decretto Rattazzi didn't affect them very much. The French model was primarily applied to the next higher levels - the provinces and the "circondari" (the level that doesn't exist any more, between the provinces and the comuni), they should have provided the centralized administration. The comunal self-government can be, and could always have been, since the Middle Ages, suppressed by imposing a "podesta" (and it was a rule in the Austria-governed regions). But, it is an emergency act, not a normal state of order (a podesta is a kind of "acting mayor").
The piemontese breed is not properly "the little ones". They are rather large and very muscular. In fact, they are bread for meat only. Of course the cows can be milked, but, they are not primarily raised for that purpose and the statement in the English Wikipedia (about "dual-purpose") is wrong (see, for example, the Italian Wikipedia article). Kornjaca (talk) 04:48, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, Kornjaca, I seem to have overlooked this message too. I’ve glanced at it quickly and see that you have a good knowledge of Italian local government and its history (better than mine, I am sure): a topic which we cover in a rather confused manner in this Wikipaedia.
I’ll read it prperly tomorrow, but now I have to DASH! Best wishes, Ian Spackman (talk) 08:17, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

The citations are all but clear![edit]

You've reverted my objections on Raeti stating that "the references were perfectly clear".

1. There is a technical issue: the reference's links point to the "Notes"; there is a "References" section below, but, it's merrily a list of the literature used, without a clear connection to the citations themselves. Some of the those items are linked to the respective Wikipedia articles rather to the relevant bibliographical informations. (No item is linked to a bibliographical reference, or to the source itself.) There is an item cited (as a "note") that hasn't been listed below, among "References".
2. All items listed as "References" lack publisher, place and any kind of bibliographical reference. Furthermore, some of them are marked as "(online)". So, why the links haven't been provided!???
3. Is there any official Wikipedia instruction about how to cite ancient authors, maps, encyclopedias etc.? In my view, have the citations been quoted by original text, that is in Latin or Greek, maybe it could be considered acceptable even if they are referenced just as "Livy V.33". But, a meaning of a citation in English depends strongly not only on the original, but also on its interpretation, that is - translation. So, the data like edition, publisher, year etc. and/or an appropriate bibliographical reference should be mandatory for ancient authors too.
4. The citations in Wikipedia should be verifiable. The citations referenced like in this article appear hard to verify, if verifiable at all. Kornjaca (talk) 02:27, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, Kornjaca, I seem to have overlooked your message. I’ll read it tomorrow, have another look at the article and reply. Best wishes, Ian Spackman (talk) 08:07, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

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