Talk:English

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distinctions of people?[edit]

I'm somewhat bemused by some of these distinctions: 'British English'? I can understand Irish English, Scottish English etc. Likewise 'American English' - beneath it is 'Canadian English', there was me thinking Canada was IN America.

Eh? Canada is in North America, or The Americas - no Canadian would ever agree that Canada is in America, and I suspect most could easily be pushed to violence on the issue WilyD 15:07, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Wouldn't it make more sense to have 'English' - as spoken by the residents of England, then pre-fix with the appropriate country name: Australian English, South African English, U.S.A. English etc. hi my name is emily goddingdfright ad i just whant to teAEEL youthat i am biologiclly smart. BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1700:3940:26A0:756C:9B0F:29CA:2DA (talk) 01:39, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

True or false??[edit]

True or false: there is a good advantage of having this article as it is as opposed to having it be used for the language and having all the other links moved to English (disambiguation). 66.245.115.123 16:00, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

To the user above YOU MISS THE POINT!

For English people, you put "English People", and for English languages, you put "English language", you don't call the French spoken in France "French French" or "Gallic French" or anything else,

all francophone dialects outside France have the prefix.

Same should obviously apply to English. You can have all the others under one category "English Dialects". American-English is a dialect of English; English is the language of England.

There is no such thing as "British English", it simply doesn't exist.

In fact, I'd like to complain about the use of the word "English" used to describe the language that most Wikipedia articles are available in. The language is actually "American English", and that's what it should be called.

The only language that can justifiable and correctly be called English is the language of the nation of England. It is frankly offensive for American English to be called English, and for English to be called "British English". There is no such thing as "British English". There is English English, (and as mentioned) Scots English, Hiberno-English etc... but there is no such thing as "British English", or even the absurd appellation of "English English". American English is, like the many others, a dialect of English. The use of the term "British English" disingenuously implies that the opposite is true: which is a lie.

It is apparently in the spirit of concepts such as Wikipedia (and Google as it goes) to provide information in real languages of the users, and in the case of Wikipedia, to aim to act as a resource of truthful and accurate information, as best it can.

It is misinformation to call American English, English, and to call English "British English", and I implore Wikipedia to make this amendment: on the language selection page and in the code, make "EN" mean only English, the Americans can have "AM-EN", that's the way it should be; it's disgrace that html will not accept tags in English like "<centre>" as it was invented by someone from England! Likewise, this page address whould perhaps read: http://AM-EN.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Talk:English&action=edit Otherwise, someone should correct the spelling and grammar in order to make sure that it can truthfully be called English.

Call your language whatever you like, but don't call it English - that is theft of the truth.

For those who are interested visit SIL for some factual data about languages.

1. Common usage - English is understood to mean the language as a whole. Americans, Irish, British, Australians etc speak a mutually intelligible language. Which is very convenient.
2. Split up Wikipedia into different varieties of English?! What a loss of functionality and increase in work for editors, for the sake of language purity (that most users of the language don't care about anyway).
3. Languages naturally evolve over time. Also, changes can be deliberately made to make an official language easier to use (as was done, twice, with [Indonesian], and as with [George Bernard Shaw]'s push to simplify English spelling.)
Here endeth the rant.
Singkong2005 11:02, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
I would say 'false,' myself, and I think Singkong2005 misunderstands the question. See [[1]] --Etaonsh 22:12, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation for the English language[edit]

"Keep in mind that the primary purpose of the disambiguation page is to help people find the page they want quickly and easily." - from Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)

So I am changing the entry for English language from "a West Germanic language" to "spoken mainly in the United States, the UK as well as its former colonies."

Also, "Unlike a regular article page, don't wikilink any other words in the line, unless they may be essential to help the reader determine which page they are looking for", so I am removing excess wikilinks as well.

Singkong2005 12:18, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Come to think of it, just having "the English language", with no description is probably clearest of all. Nice and uncluttered. What think ye? Singkong2005 12:34, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
I think you're right, it is better as just "the English language". For one thing, we have just "the English people", and if that's good enough without going into detail then so too should the language stand on its own. (Warning: now that I've answered the question, it's time to rant...)
Furthermore, the current phrasing, splitting as it does the English-speaking world (occasionally referred to by the bloody stupid neologism "the anglosphere") into "the US" and "the UK and former colonies" is frankly offensive, so any move to get rid of it is very welcome. I don't mean to sound like our oversensitive ranting friend higher up the page, but what makes my homeland a "former colony" but that other notorious prison a fully-fledged nation in its own right? What is it about the USA that makes it special in a way that the other "former colonies" are not? And what gets me, what absolutely maddens me (and many others who embarrass themselves on talkpages such as this complaining about systemic bias) is that it never even occurs to you lot that this sort of thing could be a problem! Gah!! --fuddlemark (fuddle me!) 15:03, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
On behalf of my fellow inmates, I apologize most sincerely.Petershank 21:29, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Protected?[edit]

Should this page be protected since anonymous IPs mainly deteriorate it? 16@r 11:50, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Requesting an addition to the English chess opening. Mokru 18:38, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cheers. --MZMcBride 19:52, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Polite notice[edit]

Please could people avoid placing upon the page unproven assertions without any evidence to support them - such as "English is the most flexible and easiest language in the world".

Thank you

Human@home 22:16, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

"English" may additionally refer to...[edit]

When I hear the word "English", the first thing that comes to my mind after the language is English Horn, a double-reed woodwind musical instrument. Can this be added to the list of disambiguations? Harmonyseven 00:55, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. (long ago, and not by me). --Mike Schwartz (talk) 22:05, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

No primary topic[edit]

The word "English" refers to the English language as much as, if not more than, the English people. As English people is not a primary topic for the word, I have reverted RexImperium's move of the disambiguation to English (disambiguation) and redirection of 'English' to English people. -- Cyrius| 11:53, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I have done so again, for the same reasons. Acroterion (talk) 12:18, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
It appears that Reximperium is re-working the various English/English people, etc. relationships, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I would suggest that if a redirect is used for English, it go to English (disambiguation) rather than English people, since the latter does not reflect a broad usage (and there's nothing wrong with a little disambiguation). Acroterion (talk) 12:24, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
it is a bad thing if he's doing it against consensus. Fwiiw, the historically primary meaning is "English people", but "English" in isolation more often refers to the language, or to England, and is rarely used in an ethnic sense. To make clear you mean the people, the definite article is necessary. --dab (𒁳) 17:32, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

english literature[edit]

User:Peter Isotalo moved a lot of material out of the disambiguation main section into a "see also", commenting "("English literature" is *not* a disambiguation of either the language or the people; use the talkpage if you wish to autorevert)" (diff). I'm really not sure what this comment is supposed to mean, but "English" is commonly used in primary schools in the States to refer simply to literature studies. Accordingly, I have moved "English literature" into the "Other" section. I also moved the "Other" section out from underneath the "See also" section, since it is its own subsection that properly belongs in the main disambiguation. --Lquilter (talk) 20:48, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Actually, "English" is normally used in the U.S. to refer to English studies; the literature portion of an English studies class, if it deals with U.K. literature, is referred to informally as "English lit" ("American lit," obviously, if it deals with U.S. literature). --Tkynerd (talk) 03:23, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
"English" can not be used to mean "English literature". It's a adjective+noun cominbation, just like "English cuisine", "English architecture", "English music", etc.
Peter Isotalo 07:15, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
That's not a persuasive argument. As I posted above, "English" can indeed refer to English studies, which is also an adjective+noun combination; it can also refer to English language and English people, to name two more adjective+noun combinations. --Tkynerd (talk) 23:39, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
It would seem as if it could refer to English studies only under rather special circumstances. English people/language, however, are not regular adjective+noun combos, but necessary disambiguations of terms that are most commonly referred to as just "English". "English literature" and similar topics, though, can't really be refered to as just "English".
Peter Isotalo 08:16, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't seem that way to anybody who is sufficiently familiar with the English language. It's actually the term English studies that is relatively restricted in use; the most common term for that subject area is simply English. --Tkynerd (talk) 14:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Again, in a rather specific context. Namely that of people who deal with English studies. Anyone not sufficiently familiarity with the English language would hardly find such a reference useful in the first place.
Peter Isotalo 07:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
What? Obviously only people who are talking about English studies will refer to it as anything. Most of those people will, in fact, refer to it as English. (As far as I know, the term "English studies" is only used above the bachelor's degree level of study; since English is a required subject all the way through elementary school, junior high, high school and college in the U.S., and people refer to it just as English at those levels, it's safe to say that most people use just the term English when referring to it.) --Tkynerd (talk) 15:30, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
First off, I'd say that "English studies" refers to an academic discipline, not just English classes of any kind. And secondly, a language does not need to be directly disambiguated from the discipline that studies that language. That goes for just about any topic, I might add.
Peter Isotalo 08:54, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
And you'd be quite wrong on both counts. "English" is used to refer to the discipline of English studies as it is taught at lower levels (through the baccalaureate level at least), and the discipline involves more than just the study of the language. --Tkynerd (talk) 16:35, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Baccalaureate is an academic level of study. High school is not, and what you study in high school isn't "everything generally related to English language and culture". Again, though, topic XXX does not need to be disambiguated from the discipline that studies XXX, whether it encompasses several topics or not. For example, gender isn't on the same level as gender studies. You may study "gender", but no one would define "gender" as a valid synonym to "gender studies" in an encyclopedic context.
Peter Isotalo 07:22, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
You don't know what you're talking about. English studies at the baccalaureate level and below generally consists only of the study of the English language and English-language literature because those are the portions of the discipline considered appropriate for those levels. (For the same reason, the study of literature is not generally introduced into English classes until the junior-high level in the U.S.) The reason "no one would define 'gender' as a valid synonym for 'gender studies' in an encyclopedic context" is simply that gender is not a valid synonym for gender studies in English, whereas English is frequently used to refer to English studies. --Tkynerd (talk) 19:26, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

13:08, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems odd that Peter has continued this discussion for so long, considering English is his second or third language. I speak it as a first language and have never heard the phrase "English Studies" -- the subject is almost universally known as English (including the study of both the language and literature) and is properly included on this page. calr (talk) 13:45, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

England as target or in See also?[edit]

A revision just made by User:Ordosingularis wikilinked England in the first item on the page. This raises two issues:

  • Do we need to include England both as an item in the disambiguations and in the See also section?
  • Which link should we keep in that first item? (Per WP:MOSDAB#Individual entries, except in very special circumstances each disambiguation item should have exactly one bluelink.)

My own preference would be to remove England from the See also section and to delink United Kingdom in the first item on the page, leaving England wikilinked there. Opinions? --Tkynerd (talk) 17:03, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

As no opinions have been forthcoming, I'm going to follow my own suggestion above. --Tkynerd (talk) 13:40, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

but i do not see your point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.185.195.129 (talk) 17:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved: no concensus in 33 days; majority for oppose. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:55, 12 November 2010 (UTC)


EnglishEnglish (disambiguation)

  1. The language is unquestionably the primary topic for English, therefore the article about the language, not the dab page, should be at English. Per page views alone --878,877 views for English language in Sep 2010 v.s. only 55,635 views for English people -- this is obvious.

    Also, if you google for "English", the first hit is the English language page, and there is no sign of the people page or any other Wikipedia article for pages of results.

    All this means readers entering English in the search box are "much more likely [to be searching for the language] than any other [subject], and more likely than all the [other topics] combined", which is the criteria for determining primary topic, and yet these readers are currently incorrectly taken to the dab page.

  2. The most common name used to refer to the language is English, not English language.
  3. Consistency in naming with other similar articles (in this case other language articles) should not trump principle naming criteria like WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and WP:COMMONNAME that applies to all article titles. The convention for adding "language" to the title should only apply when disambiguation is necessary; when the name of the language is not the primary topic for that term. That is clearly not the case here.
  4. Personal preference, including the preference to have similar articles look the same, should not be a valid reason for naming articles contrary to what principle naming criteria that applies to all articles clearly indicates. Born2cycle (talk) 16:57, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose not all those language hits about English actually mean "English language", some of them mean "American English" others mean "British English". In popular culture, there are many instances where an American asks a Brit if they speak English, when they use non-US terminology. So even when English is referring to the English language, it is not always "English language" that is meant, rather a dialect of it. Or "plain English", when technical jargon abounds. 76.66.200.95 (talk) 05:25, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
    • But if someone is looking for a variety of English like "American English" or "British English" they are likely to enter that in the search box, not just "English". Recall the definition of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC: "much more likely than any other [subject that uses that name], and more likely than all the [other subjects that use that name] combined – to be the subject being sought when a reader enters that term in the Search box." Do you seriously doubt that when someone types in just English in the Search box, that it is much more likely that they are looking for the English language than any other topic, and that it is more likely that they are looking for the English language than for all of the other topics on the dab page combined? Regardless, that's the issue here. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:41, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree with Born2cycle that if someone was looking for American or British English they would put the qualifier in the search term. If they just put English and were looking for either of those, it's a single click to go to the English disambig page anyway. Considering the statistics indicate that a vast majority of people are looking for English language, I think the less click for those people far outweighs the extra click incurred in the case you describe. Starwrath (talk) 23:28, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

What is the status regarding other languages in terms of primary topic? For example, is this the same case in French/German/Chinese? If so, for consistency, either all the articles should be changed or none of them. On the basis of his argument though, in accordance with Wikipedia policy, I have to Support. Starwrath (talk) 23:28, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I would support moving the others too, but often change can only occur incrementally, the price of which means a period of inconsistency in between. The reason wholesale change often does not work is because changes to the relevant guideline is resisted on the grounds that, as-is, it reflects current practice, and changing the articles is opposed on grounds that that would contradict the guideline. This is why the argument that "it follows article-specific guidelines" cannot be given much weight in these discussions and decisions, because the guideline/convention itself is what is at issue. But if we can establish there is consensus to move (when discounting opposition that is entirely based on just following existing guideline/convention) one or two articles contrary to article-specific conventions, then we can show that consensus is changing, and get the whole thing fixed. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:48, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Well... there was a large argument at Cantonese, Yue Chinese about what is a language, which deserved to be at the primary location, and why the dab page (Cantonese (disambiguation) isn't at the primary since there is so much acrimony about things, and why the primary usage in English (Cantonese food) didn't count... So, things are already a mess regarding atleast one of these names. Recently Swiss (disambiguation) came up for renaming... to move the dab page to primary, the opposite of the request here. 76.66.200.95 (talk) 04:06, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
It should be noted that the article at Cantonese is the language and of course there is no Swiss language, and the issue there was about whether the people or the country is the primary topic for "Swiss". --Born2cycle (talk) 00:14, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Cantonese is the dialect of the language article Yue Chinese. 76.66.203.138 (talk) 05:12, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Point taken. In any case I don't see how any of that is relevant to the issues that need to be resolved here. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:27, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The language may indeed be the main topic that people are looking for when they write "English," but because there are plenty of situations where "English" is used as an adjective related to England, the language cannot be considered the primary topic for English. From a practical standpoint, it is frequent for new internal links to point to English when the meaning is something other than the language; keeping it as a disambiguation page increases the likelihood that those links will be discovered and disambiguated. Finally, maintaining this as a disambiguation page is consistent with widespread Wikipedia practice seen at pages such as French and German. --Orlady (talk) 01:08, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
    • With respect to primary topic determination, all that matters is whether this is the topic usually being searched for when people enter "English" in the Search box. That editors might use the link incorrectly is a) something that can be fixed, and b) not really that big of a deal when broken, especially considering this article will have a hatnote redirecting to the article about the country as well as the dab page when moved to English, and so anyone getting here instead of the dab page will be just as far (one click) from their intended destination. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:22, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose this must be requested in many languages since are as common as English, (e.g. Portuguese and Chinese). TbhotchTalk C. 02:44, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    • I suggest we determine here whether there is consensus that the English language is primary for "English". Whether other articles are misplaced is a separate though possibly related issue. At any rate, "all or none" does not normally amount to a strong and serious opposition in a discussion about whether one particular article should be moved per primary topic. --17:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the current set-up is just fine, exactly the way I would expect it to be under our MOS, etc. --Orange Mike | Talk 02:49, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    • Please explain how MOS indicates the current set-up. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment from nom - This is quite disappointing so far because this seemed like a very clear case of primary topic, and I thought I explained this well in the proposal. Yet everyone (except Starwrath who seems to be the only to have read the nominating argument) so far is opposing, and pretty much ignoring the argument presented. No one is arguing that the language is not the primary topic, they just apparently don't care.

    So, should we just delete WP:PRIMARYTOPIC from WP:DISAMBIGUATION? If this discussion is closed without moving apparently not even a good reason is required to ignore what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC clearly says.. if so, then what's the point of having it? Maybe we should just forget about all naming policies and guidelines and just have a vote and count how many like or don't like one name vs. another? --Born2cycle (talk) 10:15, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

    • reply - sorry to disappoint, but you've not made any kind of a very good case that the language is in fact the primary topic. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:56, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
      • If Point 1 in the proposal argument (which has not been addressed much less refuted) does not constitute as making a case for primary topic, I suggest no case has ever been made for primary topic for any article. I mean, that's about as good as it gets. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:52, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
        • You've made an assertion; but the arguments are in my opinion not strong enough to constitute much of a case. Nonetheless, I have stricken part of my prior statement as being over-strong. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:56, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

British English and English English removed[edit]

Someone has just removed the link to British English from this page. I did the same for English English and wanted to explain why I thought these removals were appropriate.

British English and English English are both essentially subsets of the English language, which, appropriately, is included on this page. To the extent that the term English can refer to either British English or English English, it can also refer to U.S. English, Canadian English, South African English, Australian English, New Zealand English, Indian English...and the list goes on. There is no particular reason to represent British English and English English on this page as meanings of the word English any more than there is a particular reason to represent, say, New Zealand English in that manner. Either we need to list all the varieties of the English language, which would be such a long list that it would make the page difficult to use for no real benefit, or we don't need to list any of them. --Tkynerd (talk) 00:50, 8 December 2011 (UTC) praveen kumar is good — Preceding unsigned comment added by 119.235.54.81 (talk) 15:21, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

b bke;'[edit]

ģ — Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.69.188.96 (talk) 09:22, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

hi peeps just saying this because I feel like it James Coleman — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.143.19.163 (talk) 19:31, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 January 2017#REDIREC]][edit]

180.191.159.9 (talk) 03:25, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Sir Joseph (talk) 03:34, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 December 2017[edit]

"English Language" should link to "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language" 170.12.232.233 (talk) 19:39, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Done JTP (talkcontribs) 21:21, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
I concur. The purpose of a disambiguation page ought to be to get readers to the correct article, not to make them search or type again. It seems incredible not to link one of the two clear primary topics. - BilCat (talk) 23:35, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 January 2018[edit]

I wanted to improve this article about the english language, pretty please with a cherry on top ;) Blazetheonly1 (talk) 14:29, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. @Blazetheonly1: Unless you make a specific suggestion, we can't update the article. —C.Fred (talk) 14:31, 26 January 2018 (UTC)