Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/The Beatles

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The poll about whether to use "the Beatles" or "The Beatles" in mid-sentence closed at 15 October 00:00 2012 (UTC). The result has been announced below, and there are also some follow-up questions that people can read. The poll itself is archived at Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/The Beatles/Archive 3. Following the poll there was also a Q&A session at Mr. Stradivarius's talk page in which Newyorkbrad answered questions about his closure of the RfC.

Closure[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

To begin with, my thanks to everyone who participated in the mediation and the poll, and especially to the mediators. Having carefully reviewed all the input, I am impressed by the amount of effort that has obviously gone into locating sources, honing arguments, and presenting evidence on both sides of the issue.

The supporters of both "The Beatles" (uppercase) and "the Beatles" (lowercase) as the name for the group have advanced legitimate, well-thought-out, policy-based and entirely reasonable arguments. This is not a closure where one side's arguments and evidence are far superior, and the closing administrator's role is to identify that side. There is no "correct" answer, based on policy or on the evidence, to the question asked in the poll. The evidence demonstrates that T/he Beatles were themselves inconsistent about whether to capitalize the "T", and t/The Beatles' record companies were and are inconsistent about whether to capitalize the "t", and T/he Beatles' biographers were and are inconsistent about whether to capitalize the "T", and so on and so forth. The trademark argument may point somewhat in one direction; the readability argument, arguably, in the other; again, and so on.

In other words, it is not the case that "'The Beatles' is right, and 'the Beatles' is wrong". Equally, it is not the case that "'the Beatles' is right, and 'The Beatles' is wrong." Both sides have valid arguments and evidence; neither side wins the day by disproving the other's position, which is precisely why this disagreement has gone on for so long. Which brings us to the numerical results of the poll.

About 93 editors supported "the Beatles" (lowercase) and about 47 editors supported "The Beatles" (uppercase). Review of the comments and !votes reflects well-informed participation on both sides. There is no indication that any significant number of !votes need to be discounted or disregarded based on sockpuppetry, organized bloc voting, patently frivolous or spurious rationales, or any similar consideration (the limited number of tagged SPA IP comments that were posted toward the end do not affect the result), and the poll was amply publicized. I find the numerical results to be a reliable indicator of the views of that portion of the community with an informed opinion on the issue presented.

With sound arguments on both sides, the poll results dictate the closure. Even if "voting is evil" as a method of settling content disputes, a vote is sometimes in order when nothing else has worked. I am not saying that if the result of the poll had been 52% to 48%, the close would necessarily go to the 52% side; I was asked to close this as Newyorkbrad, not as Newyorkbradbot. But where, as here, the result is about 65% to 35%, it would require a compelling case to close in favor of the 34%. Certainly no circumstances that could justify such a result are present here.

Accordingly, the poll (and hence the mediation) are closed in favor of using "the Beatles" with a lowercase "t" as the name of the band in mid-sentence usage.

To avoid future contention, however, the following caveats are added:

  • The result here applies to the name of the band and not to (for example) the name of the album.
  • Needless to say, "The Beatles" should continue to appear in quotations from sources using the capital "T".
  • The suggestion that editors should try to structure sentences to avoid unnecessary mid-sentence use of "the Beatles" remains a valid one. This is particularly true where mid-sentence use of the "t" might be especially jarring.
  • Although I anticipate that there will now be an effort made to make the usage uniform across Beatles-related articles, this should not be done to the exclusion of getting other work done on these articles.
  • Editors who disagree with the poll result or the closure are strongly urged not to retire, threaten to retire, withdraw from WikiProject (the/The) Beatles, or in any way reduce their level of Wikibeatlemania as a result of the result of this poll.

I also have three follow-up questions:

  1. Would it be desirable to develop a standard notice—to appear perhaps in a footnote in major Beatles-related articles (but not every time the Beatles are casually mentioned in passing somewhere), or in a talkpage note—observing that Wikipedia style favors "the Beatles" and that this usage should be employed for consistency, but that we acknowledge other sources favor "The Beatles"? The purpose of this would be to try to reduce ongoing disputes triggered by (for example) new editors who change the usage not realizing that the issue has been settled on Wikipedia.
  2. Should an effort be made not to lose the scholarship reflected in the evidence and argumentation on this page, as this mediation talk page eventually fades into wikimemory? Is there enough real-world sourcing regarding the controversy that we should have a mainspace article called "Name of t/The Beatles"? (If so, I direct that the article title will be "Name of the Beatles" in odd-numbered years and "Name of The Beatles" in even-numbered years.) Alternatively, should there be a Wikipedia page called "Wikipedia:Name of T/he Beatles" to which editors wondering about the arguments on both sides should be pointed?
  3. On which Beatles-related article will the editors who have led the discussion on both sides collaborate to bring to FA status by Christmas, with the same degree of enthusiasm and scholarship that they have brought to this dispute and this mediation? I will be glad to participate with you in improving and adding to that article.

Comments on these questions, and any questions about the closure, should be posted during the next ten days (i.e. by November 13th), in the section below.

And this is my view o' the thing to a T. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:15, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

General comments and questions[edit]

  • Good job. Thanks for taking the time and effort to work on this. Particularly since you must have been affected by H. Sandy. I hope you and yours made it through OK and are doing well. Your closure statement was very well written and eminently sensible. Although I was on the uppercase side of the argument, I'll certainly abide by the agreements at the beginning of the process and do my best to make appropriate corrections when necessary. Thanks again and best wishes to you. Jburlinson (talk) 00:29, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Well put Jburlinson, ditto. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:40, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, many thanks to NYB for such a pleasing summary. Kudos to Jburlinson also. And thanks to Gabe, of course. Rothorpe (talk) 00:54, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
My sincere thanks to Newyorkbrad as well for a most impressive closure! Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 02:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Newyorkbrad for such a judicious, well-expressed closing statement (& in the midst of a disaster). Mick gold (talk) 14:24, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Exactly! A very fair close. Binksternet (talk) 14:38, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate your making time for this, Brad, given what's going on all around us in NY. With two trees crashed into my roof and lots of house damage, I can't say more here now, other than that I hope the implicit meaning of your close gets through, which is that this is not some kind of obvious, one-side-is-right matter, or that better arguments were made on the side that prevailed: it all came down to how many people came over to express their views, and that's why counting heads is always problematic, if not evil, as it is never clear that we're getting a true view of the sense of the community. But, so be it. I also hope that the "minimizing mid-sentence use" concept is heeded - it worked before. Perhaps with your imprimatur on it as a valid suggestion, it will work again - I hope so. thanks again, and cheers to all. Tvoz/talk 21:12, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I thank you also, especially considering the tragic, traumatic events in your town in the past week. Your decision is well-considered and well-written. Hopefully the stains and stresses of this matter can be put behind us and we can move on as a unified group of Wikipedians. Jusdafax 21:33, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Allow me to chip in as well. This was a truly exemplary close, and I think it will go a long way toward helping editors in this area to put aside their differences and start working together again. Thank you Newyorkbrad! — Mr. Stradivarius on tour (have a chat) 03:49, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Question: Does this set a precedent for how we should capitalize other band names? GoingBatty (talk) 13:39, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Since the MOS recommendations – based on the same empirical findings about usage and the same external style guide prescriptions as cited here – had already been saying lowercase for a long while, the default assumption is that that recommendation would go for other band names too, not because of this mediation, but because it's been the standard rule all along. If individual band articles have gone for a different solution, I would assume this should be justified by some individual, well discussed circumstances (e.g. in the case of the linguistically irregular "The Who" and the likes.) Where such special considerations obtain, they obviously continue to be valid. Where not, a case for standardizing towards MOS-conformant lowercase can obviously be made. This should be done on a case-by-case basis. Fut.Perf. 13:56, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanation. GoingBatty (talk) 14:07, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comments. - With all due respect and thanks to NYB, I think his third caveat reveals a slight misunderstanding of the issue at hand. Per: "The suggestion that editors should try to structure sentences to avoid unnecessary mid-sentence use of "the Beatles" remains a valid one. This is particularly true where mid-sentence use of the "t" might be especially jarring." 1) The very first mediation decision made by Feezo and Strad was to exclude this as a valid option, indeed, the only note posted by the mediators at the top of the poll was intended to explain why this is not a workable option and why it was excluded from the poll as such. This approach should not be encouraged IMO, as it will only serve as a new platform for the dispute, and as a new basis for edit-warring related to this issue. Indeed, that is exactly where we where four months ago, before I filed the request for mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. 2) Mid-sentence use of a lowercase "t" would never be jarring, the jarring only occurrs with an uppercase "t" mid-sentence. So, I may be incorrect to assume this, but I think NYB confused the two, perhaps not, but why would standard English text formatting in regard to the word "the" ever be jarring? The only purpose of this mediation was resolve this dispute so that we could all move on with the task of improving the project, so to leave an open door to the previously failed "non-solution" that lead us here in the first place is ill-advised IMO. When taken to the extreme, this approach leads to inferior prose, in the least, it opens up the possibility for a new way to edit-war "t" out of mid-sentence. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:17, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
There is no reason, or suggestion, that anything be taken to an extreme - no one wants inferior prose. I understand that to your eyes the lower case "the Beatles" is not jarring, but to others' eyes it is. The point of Brad's decision, it seems to me, is that neither position is more correct. Avoiding unnecessary use of the band's name - especially when it is self-evident who we are talking about - is and always was a sensible approach. Why assume that there will be edit warring? I can speak for myself - I am not going to edit war about this or anything else here. Are you? If there are places where the prose is improved by reducing the use of the name, surely there is no objection to making that change - if what we're interested in is good prose. Tvoz/talk 04:21, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Tvoz, Feezo and Strad summarily dismissed the "avoid-dance" as an unviable option right-off. Then, when they gave everyone two weeks to argue for and defend its inclusion as a third option in the poll, not one single person supported adding it, so we didn't. It was not an option in the poll or the mediation and at least to my knowledge, Brad does not hold any type of authority to overrule what the mediators and involved parties agreed to before his participation began based on one or two !votes out of more than 130. With respect, I view this as a slight error on his part that may have more than slight repercussions. Had the "avoid-dance" option been included in the poll at least now we would know how many people support it, we didn't include it, so we don't know, and taking us right back to where we started in early July is not progress. The whole point of this mediation was to make a choice, stick to it, and let the community move on, not to shift the strategy of those jarred by "the" so they have a backdoor way to avoid it mid-sentence. Perhaps Feezo's archiving of our discussion into the nether didn't help, as Brad should have read over our discussion on the matter prior to his close, and he would have learned that no parties to the mediation supported it, and indeed the mediators dismissed it as unworkable.

"During mediation, it was concluded that this would place an excessive restriction of language on a large number of articles. Such a restriction would necessitate far-reaching changes to Wikipedia's manual of style that are outside the scope of this poll."

Brad's remit was not to suggest an option explicitly dismissed by the mediators and all the involved parties, nor should he have endorsed an option which maybe two !voters mentioned in their rationales, and only one !voter supported in the previous polls leading up to this mediation. We asked Brad to close a poll that had two options, not three. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:48, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
You have your facts wrong, and you totally miss the spirit of Brad's close. I am not going to spend the time to go through all of this again, but I will post two diffs of mine expressing my preference for the compromise solution that had been in place for a year: here and here. Plus several other editors (Patthedog and HotStop come to mind) back in August expressed similar disappointment that this viable solution was being dismissed. Plus I said so in my email to the mediator when responding to this mediation - a method of reply we were directed to use if we wished. So you're flat out wrong that no one supported the eminently logical method - that Brad wisely endorsed - of minimizing the mid-sentence use of the proper name, and improving the prose in the process. Further, I note that the mediation project page clearly says that this mediation is regarding three articles: The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's, and Paul McCartney. Yet you are not objecting to Brad going beyond what he was initially asked to review and talking about the decision being applied across the board to other Beatles articles, and indeed to beyond them to other "The" articles. So apparently according to you the basis of the decision is ok to be changed when it suits you, but not when it doesn't? Brad was asked to review this, and he came up with a reasoned conclusion that took into account whatever he chose to take into account, and of whatever scope he felt was necessary. I have absolutely no problem with that and appreciate his taking this on and giving his experienced view. While I don't agree with his decision to go with the count, I understand it, and I have already accepted it by saying "so be it". But I am glad to see that he took a more nuanced approach regarding the mid-sentence matter than you seem to be willing to allow, dictating what his "remit" is or what "authority" you think he has in this. It is disappointing, but not surprising, that you have no willingness to allow anything short of your own narrow position. That is why this whole mediation happened in the first place, and it's a damn shame that you've learned nothing about compromise through this laborious process. Tvoz/talk 01:45, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
On 17 August, Feezo made this comment, asking any and all editors who support the "neither" option to make their case, publicly, for all to see and within the confines of the mediation. Three days later Feezo said "If there's no support for 'Neither' in the next few days, I'll go ahead and implement Jburlinson's suggestion", which was to remove it from the poll as unsupported and unworkable. Seven days after the initial call for discussion, with not one single party to the mediation publicly supporting the "neither" option, Feezo removed it from the poll as an unworkable and unsupported position. So no, my facts weren't wrong, I was speaking about public comments made during mediation. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:24, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
  • In regard to the 2nd caveat, according to MOS:QUOTE: "Trivial spelling or typographical errors should be silently corrected ... a few purely typographical elements of quoted text should be adapted to English Wikipedia's conventions without comment. This practice of conforming typographical styling to a publication's own 'house style' is universal." So one could argue that even when quoting sources that use uppercase, editors should be encouraged to [adapt the prose] to English Wikipedia's house style conventions", and lowercase the article per the Wikipedia MoS. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:17, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Brad's 2nd caveat is correct. The upper case T in quotes are not typographical errors, nor are they spelling errors - as evidenced by this mediation. Viewing the name of the band as "The Beatles" was not invented by the participants in this mediation - there are, as has been shown, many sources that do so. If they are quoted, it's standard practice to not change them. Tvoz/talk 04:27, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
GabeMc, why not put a [sic] after uppercase "The" in a quotation? Jburlinson (talk) 06:16, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
No, just leave quotations as they are. Silently changing them to lowercase is out of the question, and adding "sic" would only draw readers' attention to a non-issue unnecessarily, and also come across as if we were saying the flagged upper-case usage was incorrect. Fut.Perf. 07:20, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree with that. Tvoz/talk 07:54, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Per our MoS: "This practice of conforming typographical styling to a publication's own 'house style' is universal". Notice it says styling, and not just error? For an example of this type of styling alteration, see The Beatles Anthology, where every Lennon quote is taken from other publishers, mostly from Rolling Stone, which uses a lowercase definite article throughout. In the Anthology book, every single instance of a lowercase "t" in every single Lennon quote was uppercased, without [sic] or comment, in an effort to conform to an internal consistency, so that quotes from Lennon don't use lowercase while quotes from Macca use upper. So as far as this being "out of the question", on what grounds can that statement be supported Fut.Perf? Is this your personal opinion, or is this backed by reliable sources, e.g. style guides? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:10, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Why don't you start a thread at WT:MOS to find out whether this is an acceptable typographical/stylistic change or not? The list of examples on the MOSQUOTE page you linked to say nothing of capitalisation, only extremely minor typographical things like dashes and "straight, not curly or slanted" quotation marks.—indopug (talk) 23:28, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. - Brad's RfC closure does not overrule all known style guides on all style points; he was not even asked to comment on this specific point, nor was it discussed at any length during mediation. According to the CMOS (16th edition), this type of change is acceptable. The point of "minimal change" is to retain the wording, not the syntax or typography. According to the CMOS: "Although in a direct quotation the wording should be reproduced exactly ... changes are generally permissable to make a passage fit into the syntax and typography of the surrounding text." (p.621), "the initial letter can be changed to a capital or a lowercase letter" (p.622), "words in full capitals can be set in lowercase, if that is the preferred style for the surrounding text" (p.622). ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:09, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Can't check the CMOS from where I am right now, but I should be extremely surprised if any of the statements you cited were applicable here. Without seeing more of their context, I must assume that the first ("the initial letter...") is speaking of the initial letter of an entire quotation (e.g. a sentence fragment being moved from the beginning of a sentence into a quoted context where it is in the middle of a sentence), and the second is clearly speaking only of all-capitals typesetting, not of orthographic capitalization of proper names. A decision to treat a word orthographically as a proper name and capitalize it is not one of those purely superficial typographical things that can be adapted. Fut.Perf. 01:06, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
      • From page 624 of the CMOS: "Changing capitalisation to suit syntax: Aside from proper nouns and some of the words derived from them, words in English publications are normally lowercased unless they begin a sentence. To suit this requirement, the first word in a quoted passage must often be adjusted to conform to the surrounding text." "Initial capital or lowercase: "When a quotation introduced midsentence forms a syntatical part of the sentence, it begins with a lowercase even if the original begins with a capital." For example, "In 1965, the band was honoured by the Queen, NME reports: "The Beatles were awarded MBEs from the Queen today." The CMOS clearly states that we could drop the "T" into a "t" silently and without comment here. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:36, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
        • I have the 15th edition of CMOS, and it says in section 11.8, pages 445–446:

          Permissible changes
          Syntactic and typographical considerations. Although in a direct quotation the wording, spelling, capitalization, and internal punctuation of the original should be reproduced exactly, the following changes are generally permissible to make the passage fit into the syntax and typography of the surrounding text. See also 11.13–14
          1. ...
          2. The initial letter may be changed to a capital or a lowercase letter (see 11.16–18, 11.63).


The meaning is clearly not about "the Beatles" vs "The Beatles" in running prose, but about a quote in running prose which was originally the beginning of a sentence, or vice versa. The bit about changing "full capitals" has nothing to do with this RfC. Binksternet (talk) 01:46, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
          • From the New York Times Style guide: "The Times does adjust spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, and abbreviations within a quotation for consistent style." (p.281) ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:52, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
          • From New Hart's Rules (Oxford): 9.1 General Principles: "While the wording of the quoted text should be faithfully reproduced, the extent to which the precise form of the original source is replicated will vary with context and editorial preference." (p.152) Further, 9.3.4 Typography states: "A quotation is not a facsimile, and in most contexts it is not necessary to reproduce the exact typography of the original." (p.160) ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:11, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
            • Gabe, you are now in "WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT" disruption mode. You are obviously misreading those guides. Do not attempt to change the capitalization in quoted written sources; if you do that you'll be blocked, period. End of discussion. Fut.Perf. 07:21, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
              • No, I hear it/you, I just disagree, and would like to discuss the issue before the mediation closes. As far as your comment: "End of discussion", per NYB: "Comments on these questions, and any questions about the closure, should be posted during the next ten days (i.e. by November 13th), in the section below." So why do you think you have the authority to arbitrarily end the discussion one week early? Fut.Perf., I resent your threats of admin sanctions when you haven't provided a single piece of evidence to prove that I am incorrect ("Silently changing them to lowercase is out of the question"), nor has Brad weighed-in confirming your opinion over mine. We asked Brad to evaluate whether the community prefers "the" or "The" mid-sentence, the question of the alteration of quotations to fit our "house style" was not discussed during this mediation, nor did we ask Brad to comment on it. So I'm really not sure what authority he has to rule on an unrelated MoS issue not even considered or discussed during the mediation process, or what authority you think you might have to decide that this discussion is now over. Go look at what our MoS says in regard to typographical conformity, you will see that my assertion is correct and yours is incorrect. Your inappropriate threats of admin sanctions to silence me in an effort to end this discussion earlier than Brad outlined above amount to an abuse of your admin authority IMO. Please, next time do some research before you go around bullying people with your bit. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:52, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
                • Do you think it might be a good idea to file an RfC to settle this issue? Jburlinson (talk) 04:19, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                  • Its already been settled Burlinson, I'm right, and Fut.Perf. is wrong. Just look here. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:26, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                    • But, Mc, what about here ? It seems, based on the, admittedly, limited discussion so far, that your interpretation has not been endorsed by the community. An RfC may be the only way to find out for sure. Jburlinson (talk) 04:47, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                      • Then you go ahead and do that JB. I already wasted my precious time for four months affirming the validity of the Wikipedia MoS (and every other MoS known to humankind) for something that was painfully obvious. If you think the MoS is wrong, the onus is on you to go there and change it. Its not on me (nor should it ever have been) to prove that our MoS is not wrong. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:54, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                        • No, GM, I'm perfectly happy following the MOS and faithfully reproducing the original language of a quotation. I just thought you might find it to be the most expedient way to marshal support for your interpretation, which seems, at the moment, to be a distinctly minority opinion. Jburlinson (talk) 05:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                          • The Wikipedia MoS allows for typographic changes to quotes to maintain an article's internal consistency. No one is talking about changing the "original language of a quotation", or the wording. Follow the above link, read our MoS, then come back here and explain to me how you can both disagree with me now on this point yet state above: "I'm perfectly happy following the MOS". ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 05:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                            • But, as has been pointed out earlier, your link deals with a capital letter that originally started a quoted sentence that is now being used in mid-sentence. It doesn't address a situation where the original author deliberately used a capital letter in mid-sentence. Jburlinson (talk) 05:43, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                              • Re-read it JB, that's exactly what the link says, its called Typographical conformity, and it states, "A quotation is not a facsimile, and in most cases it is not desirable to duplicate the original formatting ... Allowable typographical alterations include: "Changing capitalization so that sentences ... do not have unnecessary capitals in the middle." ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 06:00, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                                • But, GM, look at the example used to illustrate the point. "(It turned out to be true that 'a penny saved is a penny earned')." The original would have been "A penny saved is a penny earned". Uppercase "A" starts the sentence, but can be safely lowercased if the quotation which it begins is used in mid-sentence. That's very different from intervening to lowercase a letter that was deliberately used in mid sentence in its original context. For example, two sentences earlier, I, myself, used the capital letter A in mid sentence; in fact, I just did it again. If you were to quote me, and lowercase the letter "A", it would completely change my meaning. Jburlinson (talk) 06:24, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
                                  • They are not different; in both cases an article of speech is preceding a noun. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 06:31, 8 November 2012 (UTC)


  • Example. Try this hypothetical paragraph:

In 1964, the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. The press coverage was mixed; the Times commented: "The rock group called The Beatles played last night and they did not impress." However, the Chicago Tribune disagreed stating: "Those four guys called the Beatles rocked the house last night, it was awesome!" After two more shows in Florida, they flew back to London; NME wrote "Yesterday afternoon, The Beatles landed at Heathrow Airport to great fanfare." This would be one of more than a hundred such receptions for the band.

If Wikipedia does not encourage a consistent style throughout then our prose will look amateurish and it will confuse new users. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:14, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

No such section would be added to any article by anyone with a modicum of writing talent, so it is just a strawman set up by you to shoot it down. And I wouldn't worry about new users being confused - there are enough eyes on these articles that any error would be caught and explained, thus rescuing them from this imagined state of confusion. Tvoz/talk 01:45, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Contradictions in the caveats[edit]

This caveat:

  • "Needless to say, 'The Beatles' should continue to appear in quotations from sources using the capital 'T'."

Would seem to render this MoS prescription (the subject of a recent RfC) impractical if not nearly impossible: "Style and formatting choices should be consistent within an article". Also, the caveat would seem to directly contravene this MoS prescription: "A quotation is not a facsimile, and in most cases it is not desirable to duplicate the original formatting. Formatting and other purely typographical elements of quoted text should be adapted to English Wikipedia's conventions without comment; this practice is universal among publishers. Allowable typographical alterations include: Changing capitalization so that sentences begin with capital letters and do not have unnecessary capitals in the middle." ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:46, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Grab any Beatles source at random and check to see if the "t"s in the quoted material match the "t"s in the surrounding prose. They will. I researched over 250 books during the mediation and not one of them had a mixed usage. So, either publishers alter the capitalisation in quotes to fit their "house style", or they only quote sources that agree with their capitalisation method. Which brings me back to this, from the WP:MOS: "Style and formatting choices should be consistent within an article", but how could we maintain consistency within an article while not altering quotes unless we ban the use of quotes from Big "T" sources that also contain the band name mid-sentence? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs)

This caveat:

  • "The suggestion that editors should try to structure sentences to avoid unnecessary mid-sentence use of "the Beatles" remains a valid one. This is particularly true where mid-sentence use of the "t" might be especially jarring."

Would seem to contradict the mediators position: "During mediation, it was concluded that this would place an excessive restriction of language on a large number of articles. Such a restriction would necessitate far-reaching changes to Wikipedia's manual of style that are outside the scope of this poll." ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:46, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

GabeMc, didn't you agree to abide by NYB's decision as poll judge? Check it out here. Are you intimating now that you don't intend to follow through with your pledge? Jburlinson (talk) 01:27, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Jburlinson, I agreed to abide by either "the" or "The", not a mix and not "neither", which were, for extremely valid reasons, not options in the poll. Remember that our agreement hinged on all parties agreeing to the poll options? Brad stepped a bit outside his remit here by casually endorsing an option explicitly excluded by the mediators and the parties to the mediation after extended discussion (remember, it was your idea to remove "neither" from the poll). ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:02, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
All Brad said was that avoiding "unnecessary mid-sentence use" is a valid suggestion. He didn't say it was compulsory to do so. Editor's choice. Are you suggesting that editors have to engage in "unnecessary mid-sentence use"? If it's unnecessary, it's better not to do it. That's just good prose. What are you so concerned about? Jburlinson (talk) 02:37, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
The good prose issue goes without saying and there is no need for a specific suggestion for all Beatles articles. What am I concerned about? Thanks for asking. I quote Tvoz, from her first mediation comment after the close: "I also hope that the "minimizing mid-sentence use" concept is heeded - it worked before. Perhaps with your imprimatur on it as a valid suggestion, it will work again - I hope so." (emphasis mine) Her edit summary: "Thank you Brad, and what we should get from this". From that I infer that she intends to support further minimisation of "the" versus letting this all end, indeed, the very next day, she found time while dealing with "Sandy" to make an edit to this effect. No offense Jburlinson, but you don't seem to realise that is not that far from where we were four months ago, before I filed the mediation, as if no progress has been made. Honestly, I would sooner support "The" than the "avoid-dance". I want this to be over, long-term, so we can all move on to improving the project, not debating/arguing/reverting on a case by case basis whether or not we can use it mid-sentence. We asked Brad for the RfC closure not because he holds any particular authority over the mediation process, the mediators or the parties to the mediation. We chose him because he was an uninvolved third party, that's it. If you remember, the only reason we even needed him to close the RfC was because Feezo and Strad had previously and publicly dismissed the "avoid-dance" option as their first act as mediators. I quote: "This is why the compromise must be addressed first, before considering the arguments for capitalized vs. lowercase. It will otherwise be an attractive refuge for a faction that sees itself in danger of losing." Bottom line: this was dismissed as an unworkable non-solution, so to abide by Brad's closure under duress would be to not abide by the mediation. Also, since maybe three people out of 130 poll participants mentioned it in their !vote rationales, and only one !voted for it in the previous polls, it is quite safe to say that there is no obvious prima facie evidence that the Wikipedia community even supports the imprimatur in the first place, making it all the more unneeded and potentially damaging to the lasting resolution of the dispute. Can open, worms everywhere. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:19, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

JBurlinson is right, the only determinant is the quality of the prose, and I have said or done nothing to suggest that I would do anything other than work to improve the prose. The mediators tried to narrow the focus of the discussion which was in their purview, but no one said or agreed to being constrained from removing the name of the band mid-sentence if it reads better without it. And that's what Brad said. Same for not changing quotes. Four months ago I no longer had much to do with these articles, when I was invited into this mediation and made the mistake of accepting it, in an effort to help end this stupid dispute that is so important to you. As for your comment here: From that I infer that she intends to support further minimisation of "the" versus letting this all end, indeed, the very next day, she found time while dealing with "Sandy" to make an edit to this effect - you really are beneath contempt. Your snide remark about what I am dealing with regarding a hurricane that has ravaged the region I live in, left my family in cold, dark houses and apartments for 10 days and counting, and damaged my home in significant ways shows you for what you are. Tvoz/talk 04:07, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Wow Tvoz, "you really are beneath contempt" is one of the worst personal attacks I've ever seen on Wikipedia that did not also include excessive profanity. Why are you still making this a personal issue with me? I wasn't trying to minimise your hurricane experience, and I resent the implication, and your continuing smear tactics. Quite the opposite is true in fact. I was merely illustrating that even in the face of a national disaster you still found the time to revert me and remove a mid-sentence use of the band name, that's all I intended; to demonstrate just how motivated you really are to continue this dispute (you reverted me just two days after Brad's closure). You, and everyone affected by "Sandy" have my deepest concerns. I've been through a couple similar natural disasters myself, so I do know how horrible the situation can be. I sincerely hope that all is well with you and yours. All I want now, indeed all I ever wanted, was this issue to be resolved long-term. After more than four months of effort (6+ years for you), we all deserve a closure that doesn't leave a can of worms on the table, and an open invitation for lasting conflict related to this issue. Is a little clarification really that innappropriate at this point? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:00, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
The caveat to not minimally alter quotes directly contradicts MOS:QUOTE and the caveat that avoiding the band name mid-sentence is valid and acceptable creates a situation where, while we no longer have to argue about every "t" or "T", now we can argue about each and every "they", "them", "the band", "the group", etcetera, as shown by your recent revert. The WP:MOS says: "Style and formatting choices should be consistent within an article". Per the second FAC criteria: "It follows the style guidelines". As far as I can tell, the only way we could honour Brads's caveat, and the MoS guideline (an FAC requirement) is to avoid using quotes that contain the band's name mid-sentence while quoting sources that use "T". That is not the simple, workable solution that we were all striving for over the past 4+ months. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:00, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
GabeMc, I ask you in the name of simple editorial decency to quote accurately such sources as Ian MacDonald (author of one of the most highly regarded critical studies of the band) and Tony Barrow (press officer for the group during its heyday) among many, many others. These writers do not require our "corrections", silent or otherwise, as they have done nothing incorrect by using uppercase "The". Silently tinkering with their prose is disrespectful. As for the FAC requirements, the very first one is that the article must be "well-written: its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard". Littering an article with redundant repetitions of the band's name is not good prose. You have agreed to abide by NewYorkBrad's judgment; so have I. I will honor my agreement. You need to do the same. The curtain on this five-act melodrama has come down. There is no need for an epilogue. Jburlinson (talk) 00:06, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, JBurlinson, that is a perfect summary. I agree completely with all of it. Tvoz/talk 08:13, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Okay, so you "agree completely", that "Littering an article with redundant repetitions of the band's name is not good prose". I agree as well. However, does that explain your recent revert that removed the only instance of "the Beatles" from the entire lead section two days after it was placed there? P.S. JB, dropping a "T" to a "t" in an effort to adapt the typography to a publisher's "house style" isn't misquoting someone. Misquoting someone is when you change the wording and/or the meaning, not when you adapt the unpronouced typography for internal consistency and a professional look. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 08:27, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Since you insist on personalizing this to me - as you did above at length in your 03:19, 9 November 2012 (UTC) comment and then again just now, I will answer this once. There was no reason for you to have added the name of the group in that sentence hours after this close other than to seize an opportunity to make your point about using the lower case "the". In fact the prose was better without it - and had been just fine for quite a while without repeating the band's name there. Read JBurlinson's point again: "Littering an article with redundant repetitions of the band's name is not good prose." "The Beatles" is the name of the article - it is clear who is being discussed, and the band name appears several times within the lead - adding it in that sentence is gratuitous and does not improve the prose, so it calls into question why you rushed over there right after the close of this mediation to add it. This had nothing to do with the capitalization or lack of - it had to do with whether the name of the band needed to be added all of a sudden. Tvoz/talk 09:53, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Note that I have commented at WT:MOS [1] on GabeMc's use of distorted quotations from style guides in support of his attempt at enforcing changes even to quoted text. Gabe's use of sources has been systematically misleading and distorting. He needs to stop. I renew and uphold my block warning, should he persist in this campaign. Fut.Perf. 12:30, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

I havn't made a contentious change in more than a week! So please stop threatening me with your admin bit. We are having a sanctioned discussion and I will stop when its over, not when you tell me to stop, understand? Also, please attempt to WP:AGF, just because we disagree on these issues does not mean I am intentionally trying to manipulate or mislead the community with evil intentions. Your behaviour is not setting a good example for admins. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Comments on follow-up question 1[edit]

  • I suggest we use a standard notice at Beatles related articles such as this one currently at the Beatles talk page:

~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:23, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Great idea, done. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:29, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Nice notice. Rothorpe (talk) 01:50, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I was thinking of using a FAQ template for the talk page, but this works too. -- FutureTrillionaire (talk) 03:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Comments on follow-up question 2[edit]

  • I like Newyorkbrad's recommendation to develop a mainspace article for "Name of t/The Beatles". Alternating between "the" and "The" in the title of the article is also a good idea; but, since the vote was roughly 2/3s vs. 1/3, would it be better to put it on a cycle of "the" for two years and then "The" for one? Maybe in leap years we could have the name in all caps. Perhaps a bot could help keep all of this straight. Jburlinson (talk) 06:32, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think a mainspace article is warranted. The media coverage is limited to 'ain't Wikipedia quirky' type articles that media like to run every now and then, that will have no real significance in a month's time, let alone a few years. I don't think the dispute is unique enough to warrant its own WP-namespace page either but I wouldn't object to it like I would with a mainspace article. NULL talk
    edits
    22:50, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
  • With the link in the infobox at Talk:The Beatles, I don't think this is likely to be lost. If a WP space article is created, I'd suggest it be at "Wikipedia:The Beatles". Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 12:07, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
We already have WP:LAME Hot Stop (Edits) 13:31, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Many apologies - I did not intend to revert the last comment, and did not realize it happened until just now. It must have been an inadvertent click when the cursor was unintentionally at "undo". Total accident. Tvoz/talk 18:03, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Comments on follow-up question 3[edit]

  • This note will be quick since I am posting from my phone, but I intend to take the George Harrison article through FAC during the first half of December. Any help with that is appreciated! My thanks to the mediators, Newyorkbrad, and everyone who has put time and effort into bringing this dispute to a conclusion, on both sides. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 04:12, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Comments on follow-up question 4[edit]

While I agree entirely with the use of the lower case t in midsentence, how can anything that is part of the discussion on this page justify using the lower case to when the group's name is used in the infobox for the member of the band in the "associated acts" field. It isn't midsentence and it looks like a WP:POINT is being made when it sits right next to The Quarrymen. MarnetteD | Talk 03:52, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Per the Wikipedia MoS capping in lists is optional, as far as who is being pointy, that's subjective. The definite article in the Quarrymen is capped in the infobox at George Harrison because it is the first item in the list. If we moved them out of chronological order, and swapped it with the Beatles, the reverse would be true, but then that might also seem pointy depending on your relative position. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:59, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)You were posting while I was typing. All I wanted to do was apologize for the needless confrontational implication in my post. I have read this page two or three times over the last week and I did not see anything about changing to the lower case t in the infobox. Again my apolgies for causing any offense. MarnetteD | Talk 04:05, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
No worries, no offense taken. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:13, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Have to say I think upper case is right for the infobox: lower case is obtrusive. As the MoS says, "preferred when listing". Rothorpe (talk) 13:27, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree, Rothorpe - I also find it jarring to see the lower case in these infobox lists, regardless of the order - lists are difference from running prose which this mediation was specifically about. Tvoz/talk 21:16, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
The MOS says "may be preferred when listing" (emphasis mine). The sentence is just indicating that it's an option when writing lists and that in some circumstances it may be preferable, not that there's a general preference toward capitalising the T in all lists. In my opinion, for comma-separated lists, normal punctuation should apply with the exception of a trailing period: "Apples, oranges, bananas, watermelons", not "Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Watermelons". In structured lists (bullet-point or numbered), however, I think the T should always be capitalised when it appears next to the bullet. NULL talk
edits
23:23, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. I agree with NULL. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:57, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

What about WP:MOSTM?[edit]

Since 2004 the WP:MosTM stated to capitalize trademarks (and still does today) and has never been successfully contested. The Beatles is clearly a trademark and capitaization applies. Many attempts to point this out, here and other pages, have resulted in people indeffed, comments deleted, closed and vanishing, by admins and others. Does anybody really think this mediation will be respected by editors when the main opposing contenders were muzzled in one of many ways? 72.136.50.42 (talk) 02:06, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

See [here] for the first revision of WP:MOSTM 72.136.50.42 (talk) 02:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • While both "BEATLES" and "THE BEATLES" are registered trademarks of Apple Corps Ltd, using "Beatles" mid-sentence as a noun requires a preceding definite article ("the") for the sake of grammar, but does not infringe on the trademarked names because Wikipedia is not using them for the purpose of advertising or soliciting purchases of goods or services. As such, trademark law, and Apple's protected trademarks, do not in any way whatsoever affect Wikipedia's freedom to use whichever format of the band's name we prefer. Please see the following citation for clarification: "... The TPRPA “does not prohibit all unauthorized uses of another's name or likeness.” Apple Corps., 843 F. Supp. at 347.(emphasis in original). Rather, the statute is “narrowly drawn,” id., “proscribing only the unauthorized use of another’s name or likeness in advertising.” Id. at 347 n.2. The limited Case scope of uses prohibited by the statute was explained in Apple Corps. In a Beatles look-alike performance case, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment, finding that, while the defendants’ advertisements for their performances did violate the TPRPA, the performances themselves did not. Id. at 347-49. Even though the defendants engaged in the performances as a commercial endeavor, the court reasoned that defendants’ use of the Beatles’ personas during the performances and the Beatles logo on the group’s bass drum did not violate the TPRPA because the statute only forbids use of name or likeness for the purpose of “advertising” or “soliciting” purchases of goods or services. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Could you point out which dissenting editors have been indefinitely blocked, and which comments have been deleted, closed or vanished? I trust if you're going to make accusations of that nature that you'd have evidence to support them. To point, MOSTM says to 'follow standard English text formatting and capitalization rules, even if the trademark owner considers nonstandard formatting "official"', and standard English formatting as established by outside sources (particularly style guides) indicates the definite article should not be specially capitalised. NULL talk
    edits
    05:10, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Indeed. This silly canard about trademarks has been discussed ad nauseam. I'm closing this thread, it's clearly just trolling. Fut.Perf. 09:56, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Recent edits by GabeMc[edit]

Is NYB going to discuss the closure with us?[edit]

Will Brad be dropping by to discuss the closure with us before the stated "deadline" of 13 November? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:52, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Per my talkpage, I was out of the country this week. I returned home today, and will try to comment on this page tomorrow. Panic at my absence, while flattering, is not necessary. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:08, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Brad. I am glad to know you are well! ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:30, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

A little sub-section for Brad and Gabe[edit]

Tvoz, Jburlinson et al, please allow me to discuss these issues here with Brad without the burden of the same old arguments between us bogging down the discussion. I am of course referring to this sub-section only. Thanks much. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:38, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Brad, please bear with me here, I think we are quite close to a lasting resolution. Below, I will attempt to simpify the arguments above (though I hope and assume you will have read through them as well).

  • Special exception/MoS Contradiction. - 2nd Caveat: "Needless to say, 'The Beatles' should continue to appear in quotations from sources using the capital 'T'."
If this caveat is upheld, then we would be establishing a project-wide special exception related to "the Beatles" in regard to how our MoS says we should/can deal with typographical conformity. Can of worms: Would this also apply to articles not about the Beatles. Say, at the Rolling Stones article, if editors there wanted a consistent style throughout yet also wanted to quote a sources that uses "The Beatles" mid-sentence? Should this be avoided project-wide, despite its contradiction of the Wikipedia MoS, or only in articles within the scope of the Beatles project? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:38, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • A dangerous precedent in language restriction . - 3rd Caveat: "The suggestion that editors should try to structure sentences to avoid unnecessary mid-sentence use of 'the Beatles' remains a valid one. This is particularly true where mid-sentence use of the "t" might be especially jarring."
1) Why endorse an option intentionally not included in the poll that was the exact preceeding state which resulted in this epic dispute and 4-month long mediation, an option that was immediately and summarily dismissed by our mediators Feezo and Strad as an unworkable non-solution that actually led to this conflict? 2) "Jarring" is a very subjective thing relative to an editor's own eccentricities. To set a precendent that if less than 50 people say they find a particular text string "jarring", that the entire Wikipedia community must abide whenever they decide to avoid it mid-sentence sets a nasty precedent. Can of worms: Would this also apply to references to "the Beatles" in articles about the Who or the Rolling Stones, or Jimi Hendrix? I personally find the word "but" jarring; however, I don't expect every Wikipedia editor to avoid it while editing, and I am pretty sure I could get 50+ people to agree with me on that one. Should we apply this to any and all articles that frequently use "jarring" terms? How about at Vagina, or Penis, or Rectum for examples, what if editors there wanted to avoid the term as much as possible because it bothered them? To ask the entire project to accept the "avoid-dance" (without any community support) and all the potential edit warring that goes along with it because 45 people don't like to see "the Beatles" mid-sentence is not an elegant solution to a definitive closure. It leaves the parties to the dispute a backdoor to avoiding "the"s, and further conflict, e.g. please look here, and indeed I was reverted in this way less than two days after your close. IME, in actual practice, this results in every single paragraph beginning with "The Beatles" or "they", and Beatles articles that contains virtually no instances of "the Beatles", which is exactly where we were pre-mediation. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:38, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Above all else I want this dispute to end, long-term; I hope and assume that most parties to it would agree with me on at least that point. Quite honestly, I would have sooner supported and !voted for "The", rather than the "avoid-dance", which creates a potentially infinite cycle of reversions and edit wars, some subtle, some not, e.g. this mediation, which arose from a situation where your third caveat was the so-called "working solution", which in actuality resulted in articles with all uppercase "The"s beginning sentences and paragraphs, the lowercase ones having been replaced with "they", "them", "the band", "the group", etcetera. IMO, the "avoid-dance" is a complete non-solution that in practice only exacerbated the problem, hence the edit-war, AN/I report, mediation, RfC poll, and now this closure discussion. Indeed, had someone simply flipped a coin 18 months ago and decided it, instead of implementing the "infinite avoid-dance non-solution", we would not need to spend our precious time on this now. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 05:16, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

A little sub-section for everyone[edit]

GabeMc, you're welcome to comment here along with anyone else, even if it means bogging down the discussion with the same old arguments. Jburlinson (talk) 21:01, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Agree. Tvoz/talk 22:58, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

I've now spent some time reading through the post-closure threads on this page. I have to say I frankly don't see the urgency of the concerns that GabeMc is flagging. I closed the poll, in line with the weight of the comments and voting, in favor of "the Beatles" rather than "The Beatles", but with a couple of what struck me as obvious common-sense caveats. In particular:

  • We know from the intensity of this dispute that seeing "the Beatles" rather than "The Beatles" bothers some people. To a significant extent, that is something that those people will have to live with, based on the result of the poll, but I don't see any harm to reducing the number of such uses when we reasonably can. "When we reasonably can" is the relevant qualifier; I don't expect to see any good-faith user spending his or her next year on the project going through articles and re-wording sentences and saying "we reasonably can re-word this"; and that side comment of mine certainly doesn't override the result of the poll.
  • I think that allowing "The Beatles" to be kept in direct quotes makes sense, since "The Beatles" isn't wrong and doesn't need to be corrected. I think, or thought, that noting this caveat might help the "The Beatles" supporters live with the result of the poll, since at least "their sources" wouldn't be edited from what they perceive as the better usage to what they perceive an inferior one. I don't feel terribly strongly about this, and I certainly don't consider it to be of undue importance. Let's try it this way and see if there's a problem. I don't think there will be. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Brad, both points makes sense to me. Tvoz/talk 22:58, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
No, it will make Wikipedia look like it knows how to treat a quotation in an accurate and professional way. The only confusion the reader of your example might experience is why it was necessary to state the information that the Queen awarded them MBE's twice in the same sentence and why the "T" in "Today" is capitalized. Jburlinson (talk) 01:29, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Its a hypothetical sentence not intended to demonstrate "brilliant prose". I'd be careful if I were you, your inner troll is showing. What if "Today" was capped in the original source? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
This isn't the first time you've called me a troll. I'd appreciate a retraction. Also, changing the capitalization of the first word of a quoted sentence is precisely what the MOS is prescribing in the section on "Typographical conformity." Jburlinson (talk) 01:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry JB, I should have said, "I am feeling trolled by you", don't expect a redaction, you won't get it from me. Have you ever edited a Beatles article? Why are you the number 2 contributor to this mediation? Drama, prose, power, attention? Have you devoted 5,000+ edits the to the Beatles project, or do you just like hindering those of us who have? So you do agree that in this example: "In 1965, the Beatles were awarded MBEs by the Queen, NME stated "The Beatles received an honour at Buckingham Palace today", one could lowercase "The"? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:14, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I've edited some Beatles articles. I presume that's why you, yourself, invited me to participate in this circus way back in July. As to the extent of my participation, that's probably because one of the mediators asked for people to try to provide evidence for the uppercase side of the controversy in preparation for the poll. No, I can't say I've made 5,000 edits to Beatles articles, but I wasn't aware that participation in the mediation needed to be in proportion to the quantity of edits. Sounds like somebody may be having some owneship issues. I am the top contributor to the article on the song Goodbye; does that help? Jburlinson (talk) 02:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I was just curious why you are so passionate about running as much interference as possible when you don't seem to even be interested in the Beatles articles, but no, that's certaintly not a mediation requirement. As I said before, if not for you, uppercase would have had virtually no "evidence" at all. So while I didn't agree with everything you added, overall you did a fine job in that regard, thanks. I'm glad you participated, really, its the continuing resistance to a lasting resolution that baffles me. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:43, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
The odd thing, Gabe, is that I'm perfectly fine with Brad's closure of the mediation. As far as I'm concerned, the community has reached a lasting resolution. You seem to be the one who has a problem with it. It appears to me that you do not intend to comply, even though lowercase won the day. That's what baffles me. Jburlinson (talk) 03:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
That's a very fair question Jburlinson, but difficult to answer without sounding arrogant, which is really not my intent here I promise. Its not that I think I am smarter than Brad or you, but having worked on the Beatles project for more than three years now (5,000+ edits), I know slightly better which aspects of Brad's closure are most likely to cause problems in the future. Remember, this dispute goes back 8+ years, and Tvoz was reverting/edit-warring with me for mid-sentence use within two days of the closure, the only instance of it mid-sentence in the lead. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
To clarify, I would endorse Brad's closure 100% if he redacted (1st choice),altered (2nd choice) or clarified (3rd choice) the 2nd and 3rd caveats, which I predict will inevitably lead to further conflict. I'll even play Nostradamus here and say that the edit-warring will begin again in earnest sometime around late July to early August 2013, give or take a month or two, and assuming the "peace" lasts that long. Then Wikipedia will be forced to revisit this whole time wasting mess yet again, or some people will be strongly sanctioned. I'd rather those people weren't set-up to fail, we need them to help us improve the project. That's why I advocate for an either/or system, not an avenue for further dispute. Does that clarify things for you? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Once again, you bring me into your comments - your obsession with me is tedious. I was not edit warring with you. I edited one sentence out of a long series of unnecessary changes that you had made, where you changed "the band" or "the group" or "they" to "the Beatles" for no reason. I made one edit one time - to the way I thought it read better, using "the group" instead of your hasty, and unnecessary, replacement of "they " with "the Beatles". In fact you made that change for no reason at all - your edit summary said "use proper name". Why exactly? The sentence was fine the way it was. You later - the day after I made my one edit - made further changes when you reverted my change (there's the edit warring - yours) and trumped up a reason for it about how the paragraphs started. As for your so-called 5,000 edits - you have no special ownership or position of authority on this or any article merely because you repeatedly choose to make multiple edits to make one point. You've yourself acknowledged that you do this, and when I suggested that you use the sandbox to make it easier for other editors, you attacked me. This carrying on is ridiculous - Brad made a decision that I didn't agree with, but have said several times I accept. His caveats, and his reiteration of them, make sense to me and were appreciated - and they do help. You are the only one carrying on about them. Your "predictions" are insulting and in your imagination. Drop it already - this is over - stop second guessing the decision here and elsewhere, making problems where none exist. Let this mediation be closed. Tvoz/talk 06:47, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

FTR, I am fine with it ending when Brad said it would end, on 13 November. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 07:32, 12 November 2012 (UTC)


  • Question. - Jburlinson, I've been wanting to ask you, what was this edit of yours all about anyway? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:20, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
It looks to me like some sort of odd edit conflict or technical glitch. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm sure you're right about that Brad. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Quotation alteration in the sources[edit]

Since Jburlinson has declared: "GabeMc, I ask you in the name of simple editorial decency to quote accurately such sources as Ian MacDonald (author of one of the most highly regarded critical studies of the band) and Tony Barrow (press officer for the group during its heyday) among many, many others. These writers do not require our "corrections", silent or otherwise, as they have done nothing incorrect by using uppercase "The". Silently tinkering with their prose is disrespectful."

Well, on page 1 of MacDonald (2005. 3rd edition) the following quote appears: "If you want to know about the Sixties, play the music of The Beatles." (Aaron Copland) MacDonald uses an uppercase "The", but did the original quote? On page 263 Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook for Social Research (2000), the same quote is reproduced using a "the". Derek Taylor, the Beatles' press agent (1964-1970) used the Copland quote in his 1987 book, using a lowercase "the". So was MacDonald "silently tinkering with their prose"? Was he being "disrespectful" to Copland, who "ha[s] done nothing incorrect by using [lowercase] "[t]he"? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:04, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

  • So, it would appear that McDonald has altered quotes in his book to fit his preferred style, so why couldn't Wikipedia do the same to quotes from him? Also, while we are on MacDonald being "author of one of the most highly regarded critical studies of the band", look at page 43. He misquotes the Beatles, "Where are we going fellas? To the top Jimmy ..." To the top Jimmy? I am sure he means "Johnny", though this error still hasn't been corrected over the course of 18 years and three editions, despite being the on the first page of Part 1 of his book. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:13, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
So, where is that quote originally from? Funnily, not a single one of the dozens of people who reproduce this quote in various publications provide its ultimate source. If these people were quoting a spoken utterance by Copland, then of course each of them is free to render it in whatever orthography they consider correct – as would we. If Copland originally wrote the sentence, then either the one or the other group of editors were being sloppy. But even if that was the case, what is it to us? Just because some people do things wrong doesn't stop us from doing them right. Fut.Perf. 00:26, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
All sources do it this way Fut.Perf. Come back when you find a source with mixed usage as you suggest Wikipedia should do. Grab any printed source at random and see if the quoted "t"s match the surrounding text, they will. I researched more than 250 books for this mediation and 'not one had "t"s in quotes that did not match the "t"s in the surrounding text. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:41, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Take the Beatles Anthology for example. Every single quote from Lennon is from a different source than the book, mostly Rolling Stone, which uses "the". However, every "the" in quotes from Lennon from RS use an uppercase in the Anthology book, despite the fact that they were all lowercase from RS. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Again: if these are meant to be renderings of originally spoken utterances from Lennon, there is no problem at all – anybody is free to spell them in whichever way they like. If, however, their original source was Lennon's published writings, then either of the two publications is wrong. Common knowledge about academic writing is that you don't do it. The style guides that you yourself quoted explicitly tell us not to do it (your distorted quotations from them notwithstanding), so we won't do it either. Fut.Perf. 00:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Fut.Perf., are you asserting that if a quote is directly quoting something a person said that is fine to change the "t" to adapt to our house style and "there is no problem at all"? Kinda like this quote: "People were just thinking The Beatles were like public domain", said Harrison. "You can't just go around pilfering The Beatles' material."(Ingham, 2006, p.66-67) ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:40, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
How about the Official Beatles web site, which, as you well know, mixes usages? The "house style" of Apple Corps., if you want to call it that, is overwhelmingly on the side of uppercase "The", but exceptions are made for quotes. Jburlinson (talk) 00:55, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Right, and I think the website looks confused and amateurish for that reason. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:58, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Just as I think "the Beatles" looks pedantic and lopsided. But that doesn't cut any ice with the WP community, so I've reconciled myself to getting used to it. I suggest you do the same. Jburlinson (talk) 01:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
The difference is that we could avoid the jarring inconsistency, as could EMI, who BTW, does not overwhelmingly favour uppercase despite your continuing repetition of the obvious half-truth (not that it even matters). See: the official Lennon website hosted by EMI. Also, at least 1/2 of the "t"s at www.thebeatles.com are lowercase. Of course, you already knew this, and you are now taking the overly familiar position: "whatever I say is true despite all evidence". ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:31, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
BTW, when I say "McDonald's preferred house style" there is some proof of this. MacDonald's 2005 edition, published by Chicago Review Press uses "The", however; Lewisohn's 2010 edition, also published by Chicago Review Press uses "the". So I think it's likely safe to assume that the only reason MacDonald's book uses "The" was due to his own personal preference, even to the point of altering previously printed quotes to achieve internal consistency. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Q&A session at User talk:Mr. Stradivarius[edit]

Newyorkbrad will be answering questions related to implementing of his closure at User talk:Mr. Stradivarius#RfC closure questions. Please note that the discussion there is strictly related to the RfC and is not part of the mediation case. For the mediators — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 11:48, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I have resigned[edit]

I hearby resign from The Beatles project and will no longer contribute to any articles in Wikipedia regarding The Beatles. Steelbeard1 (talk) 13:40, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Please don't be rash Steelbeard1, you are a good editor with much to offer the project. You might ... just maybe find that, over time, it will be less and less jarring for you to see it lowercased. E.g., how do you conduct research for Beatles articles now, when 85%+ of all sources use lowercase? Do you really avoid reading Lewisohn, Spitz, Harry, Miles, Davies, Norman, Everett, Gould, Martin, Epstein, Emery, Taylor, allmusic, Rolling Stone, Billboard and many, many others when you research material for Beatles articles? Please just give it a chance for the sake of the project. We don't want to lose you over this trivial issue that is (I hope) quite close to being resolved long-term. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:20, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I, too, hope you will reconsider. --Lukobe (talk) 01:01, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
You're overreacting, Steelbeard. I don't understand why this whole uppercase/lowercase issue is a reason to simply leave the Beatles area of Wikipedia. If it bothers you to the point where you cringe in agony at seeing the correct lowercase, then you really shouldn't be researching the Beatles. Also, you can't just avoid the Beatles on Wikipedia. As far off as the Uruguay article have I found Beatles references. RedSoxFan2434 (talk) 01:35, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
I thought it was a bit drastic myself; retiring over this. I'm sure the proverbial "straw" plays a role. It's always a solemn thing; to say goodbye and thank you; and bidding adieu. I have these for Steelbeard, and other well wishes. For others here, season's best as well. Regarding the background conversation, having much to say is a good reason to skip the lot of it. I did however, during the main RfC, make a statement about the very things that define your current predicament; that's another long story I'm not posting. The conclusion of all the long stories missed is that things are in full SNAFU, and it will probably take a full RfC, just like the last one, to answer. Cheers,  --My76Strat (talk) 07:05, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Allow me to also ask that you reconsider resigning. I additionally wish you and all editors here my best wishes of the season. Regardless of your final decision, Steelbeard, I thank you for your contributions. Jusdafax 07:59, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I just want to say that I don't think anyone should quit over this. We've lost enough editors over this nonsense already, and I don't want to see anyone else go. I quit for a while because I wanted consensus, not because I wanted "my side" to win. Had the RfC gone the other way, I would still be back. What we need to do is work together to make this project better, because it is bigger than all of us and more important than our personal preferences. While I have disagreed with you before, a loss is still a loss, and I hope you'll reconsider. Either way, best wishes from me. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 01:27, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Well said. It's a good thing they didn't call themselves "the–Beatles". Then the whole hyphen/dash dispute could be tied-in, and we would really have had something to bicker about. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:21, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

Three cheers for Brad, Strad & Feezo! Rothorpe (talk) 19:29, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Thanks much for all your time and effort during this long and difficult process. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:20, 1 January 2013 (UTC)