Talk:A Boy Was Born

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Talk:A Boy was Born)
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Classical music / Compositions 
WikiProject icon A Boy Was Born is within the scope of WikiProject Classical music, which aims to improve, expand, copy edit, and maintain all articles related to classical music, that are not covered by other classical music related projects. Please read the guidelines for writing and maintaining articles. To participate, you can edit this article or visit the project page for more details.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Compositions task force.

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. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move. It appears we have agreement that "A Boy was Born" is more common, but both stylizations are in use. Considering this, it appears we have consensus to default to Wikipedia's style guidelines, which recommend the proposed title. Cúchullain t/c 15:36, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

A Boy was BornA Boy Was Born – Many sources use both formats. Shall we capitalize "Was" for title formatting, or shall we be in favor of "was"? --Relisted.  — Amakuru (talk) 12:53, 2 December 2013 (UTC) George Ho (talk) 22:56, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose, I checked sources and found more and better sources using "was" than "Was", including a recent performance at the Proms by the BBC Singers, for whom it was composed. I installed a redirect. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:03, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support move to A Boy Was Born per WP:NCCAPS and MOS:CT. Deor (talk) 13:26, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
To my understanding, those are required if we don't know how a title is spelled by the author, for example in this source where it has all caps. But if have a decent published version (see Boosey source), why would we deviate from that? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:39, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Because we have our own Manual of Style, so that we're internally consistent with regard to style matters and not at the mercy of the variety of styles found elsewhere. Deor (talk) 14:09, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I believe that we should first respect the wish of a creator (composer, writer), and should have rules/MOS to reflect it. If they don't, can we change them? A reader who doesn't know about the rules you cite will simply think that we can't copy. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:30, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
The author is dead, so must we abide to wishes of the rightful heirs of the work? George Ho (talk) 01:38, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't abiding wishes when I created the article, but took the name from the publisher and found it in books and articles: that seemed clearly the common name. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:57, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Do we insist to differ in style from the way commonly used? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:59, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes. --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:19, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Who is "we" there? I am not part of that "we" and will ask if we can at least have the option to style as respected sources, in order to not confuse the readers. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:18, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
"We" is Wikipedia, a publication that has an in-house manual of style. What confuses readers (and editors) is when we don't follow our house style, and capitalise "was" in one composition title but not in another. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:31, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
The Spicer source, which you seem to want to follow, calls the work "A Boy was Born op. 3". Why, then, did you capitalize "Op." and set it off with commas when you wrote the first sentence of the article? Capitalized "Op." is what MOS:MUSIC calls for (just as it calls for capitalized "Was"), but it's not what's in the source. Deor (talk) 13:04, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
There is, with due respect, a difference between a piece of generic "cataloguing" (such as is represented by opus numbers), and an individual title: so whatever arguments may be offered, regarding a work-specific title, for going against a published source for reasons of house style, this isn't one of them. Alfietucker (talk) 13:10, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I want to differentiate the name "A Boy was Born" from the catalogue number which is not part of the name. (I personally prefer "op." but got used to "Op." as normal here.) The Sieck source mentions the catalogue number only once, using (of course) the name in the text. I believe that it serves the reader to use that name, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:20, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
The point I was making was merely that the article's creator seemed willing to abide by the MOS with respect to certain stylistic features, while contravening it with respect to another. If the MOS is to be a pick-and-choose set of guidelines, we may as well not have one. (Looking over the Spicer source, I can sort of see a rationale in its titling style—initial-cap-only for works titled by their first lines, cap-and-lowercase for actual titles—but it beats me why the verb is capitalized in "God Save the Queen" but not in "A Boy was Born" and "Whoso dwelleth under the Defence of the Most High". Different house styles of different music publishers?) Deor (talk) 13:39, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I think that a reader is first of all within one article. "Whoso dwelleth under the Defence of the Most High" has no article and will at best be a redirect, because it is part of The Company of Heaven. It makes sort of sense to me that "Born" is capital as the verb, while "was" is only the you-know-what, English is not my first language. - I am willing to abide by the MOS for a number, but feel strongly that a name is a name. Watching how faithfully we take the slightest accent and capitalization of French and German, I wonder why we should not be allowed (!) to do the same for English? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:16, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
"Was" and "born" are both part of the passive verb, "was" being the past participle of "to be", with "born" as the auxiliary verb and thus should be capitalised. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:23, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Per policy WP:TITLEFORMAT, we do not source style. WP:COMMONNAME does not apply here, as there is no question of what the "name" is, just how it should be formatted. Like any other publication, Wikipedia has its house style, and is this that we should defer to, regardless of styling in the sources. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:23, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - What a great article this is (8,040 bytes) mainly contributed by Gerda and Alfietucker. This is what Wikipedia should be about. In ictu oculi (talk) 17:00, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: per MOS:CT. —BarrelProof (talk) 17:11, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per MOS:TM and NCCAPS. --BDD (talk) 17:57, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Red Slash 03:38, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: WP:CT is unequivocal, and we ought to follow that, even if we privately disagree. Sorry, Gerda. Brianboulton (talk) 17:40, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Comment: the MOS is under discussion because of this matter, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:17, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
The MoS is always under discussion because some editors cannot get their head around the importance of a house style. Look at how All's Well That Ends Well is styled in the First Folio. Should we be following this? --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:46, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
No, we should follow all the modern editions, as we do. "House style" doesn't enter into it. A complete red herring. Johnbod (talk) 14:33, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Here and in the other discussion, I said that I don't vote for any "should" but would like to have the option (!) to name an article as the work is easily recognised. So far I worked mostly with German and some French titles, where we faithfully copy capitalisation, umlauts and accents. The topic of house style never came up, and now that it does, you are right, I don't believe it's of prime importance, common name seems more important in case of a difference, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:14, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Having an option is absolutely barmy! The amount of move wars this would lead to! Any professional publication needs consistency. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:25, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per common name and catalogue conventions per all above. Montanabw(talk) 18:41, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support the move from "was" to "Was". If a work's original author leaves a well-reasoned treatise delineating all the specific arguments why, in this unique instance, a verb within the title of a work, in the English-speaking world, should have the initial letter in the lowercase form, then we would at least have something substantial to discuss. As it is, the inexplicably arbitrary nature of the lowercase "w" leads to the conclusion that it is there for no discernible reason. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 06:50, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Let me understand why the simple fact that a work was published in a certain way during the composer's life (so I would assume with his consent or even following his wish) is not enough for you, but you ask for a "well-reasoned treatise" by that composer? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:46, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
History and literature are replete with stylistic peculiarities and the further back we go, the more common such individualistic stylizations become. Orthography was not the primary thought in the minds of some (many?) creative geniuses. Punctuation and capitalization in the handwritings of James Joyce have been the subject of considerable discussion. If there is a deeply felt, specified reason (religious, philosophical) for deviating from standard orthography, we would at least have a topic for intellectual exchange, such as the uppercase/lowercase name discussions on the talk pages of E. E. Cummings, not ee cummings, or bell hooks, not Bell Hooks. All we have here is an assumption "with his consent or even following his wish", in other words, if he had an objection, he would have said something. Such reverse-negative justification by faith, and not even in its theological meaning, obscures the simple possibility that originally the lowercase "w" may have been a self-perpetuating misprint with which no one bothered to raise an issue. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 16:22, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Let's assume for a moment the lowercase "w" was what you call a misprint: it would still be the version that piece came to be known. However, it was published in the 1930s, the composer lived for about four decades after, - don't you think he might have intervened if he didn't like it, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:42, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
At the end of the day as well as a few decades, all we have is silence on the matter. Silence from the composer, from the publishers, from any proofreaders who might have taken part in any possible discussions, and no input from anyone else who might throw any additional light on the subject. The composer, apparently, did not consider this "peculiarity" important enough to devote time for a note to be attached to this work, thus offering some explanation for the verb within the title rendered with a lowercase "w", but ultimately, what possible explanation could there be? Taking into account that English Wikipedia is a key information source for the English-speaking world and beyond, and we, its editors who are present here, do consider the matter important enough to devote the time we are now spending on it, we can set the standard for future uses of this title by indicating its main header in proper orthographic form with, perhaps, a mention in the lead paragraph that the word "Was" in the title had frequently or traditionally appeared in catalogs and other references with a lowercase "w". —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 02:53, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Talking about the devotion of time: all could have been silent on this page, taking the lowercase "w" as an acceptable common name, instead of "a peculiarity" that needs to be changed, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:49, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Those who devote their time on Wikipedia to correcting orthographic errors, without necessarily being professional proofreaders, know how frequently corrective moves have to be made when editors create articles in which they render proper names (within main title header) using lowercase letters or, almost as frequently, use uppercase letters for common words. For whatever reason, the verbs "Is" and "Was", when used as part of the name of a work of art, are particularly susceptible, with some editors laboring under the miscomprehension that these require lowercase usage akin to conjunctions and prepositions. Earlier this year, for example, an editor specifically requested that the title of the 1969–71 television series, This Is Tom Jones, which appears on-screen in all-caps, should be moved to This is Tom Jones and the request was approved without a discussion. Benjamin Britten was a genius who, for all we know, may have had little interest in, or patience for, orthography, but for those of us who consider proper capitalization and adherence to the agreed-upon elements of the Manual of Style, a matter of principle, time is never squandered when it is devoted to a worthy goal. Foolish consistency may be known as the hobgoblin of little minds, but intelligent consistency is the way to grow and maintain an encyclopedia. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 18:47, 8 December 2013 (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 or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Is there a bit more? The third para is about 50% quote and therefore the length is borderline for DYK Victuallers (talk) 21:03, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

There will be. Planned for Christmas, help promised, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:13, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm happy to have a look and see if I might add something. Alfietucker (talk) 21:31, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Go ahead, there's more in the Spicer source, for example, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:04, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

"A Boy was Born" vs "A Boy Was Born" in the text[edit]

So now we have had a consensus move of the title to "A Boy Was Born" but the article uses a mixture of "was" and "Was". In the lead, "A Boy was Born" has been placed in bold text on the basis that it is a redirect to this page and the title on first performance. Instead of various people (including me) editing capital letters in or out, let's discuss whether the reasons for having the title at "Was" apply to using "Was" in the text (and in the navbox of BB's works, which uses "Was" but uses a piped link to display "was").

The starting point surely is that the consensus above was to use "Was" in the title, and it would be disruptive to work against that. I would have thought that the reasons behind having "Was" in the title of the page apply with equal reason when the title of the piece is being used in the text, for consistency. I think that adding a variant capitalisation in bold because it's a redirect is a waste of bold ink anyway - and if "Was" is used throughout then the problem disappears. Thoughts? BencherliteTalk 07:36, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

My thoughts (repeating): A Boy was Born is the name which was published, appears in the list of the Britten-Pears Foundation, was performed in 2013 at the Proms, broadcast by the BBC, mentioned in the publisher's commentary and other serious sources. That made me use it, with respect to history and the sources. Now I am told that house style requests a different name. Every sentence using the different name is wrong when you open the sources which I used. I find that unacceptable but am told that consensus rules here, not the Common name and the sources. - Please compare to Nocturnal after John Dowland, where the name was kept. It's not even consistent between two works by Britten. - Easy solution: Move back and use "was" throughout. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:29, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
You can repeat your arguments about the title of the article if you want but this is not an invitation or opportunity to re-open the move discussion. This is a discussion about the implementation of the title (with "Was") in the body of the article - is it to be done or are both "Was" and "was" acceptable in the text? I just don't want to get involved in attempting to improve an article any further if there is going to be a continuing low-level skirmish about whether it should be "was" or "Was" in the text, hence me bringing it to the talk page. Just because a source uses "was" does not mean that the article has to use "was" in a sentence or paragraph using that source, surely? You and I know that there are serious sources that use "Was" e.g. Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Britten, so what happens if I write a paragraph drawing from sources using both "Was" and "was" - do I have to use both forms, or pick one, and if so which? As to your reference to the Britten-Pears Foundation, which I think is a reference to the Britten Thematic Catalogue [1] - that calls it "A BOY WAS BORN" so that's not an argument in favour of "was", is it? Pinging those involved in the move discussion: George Ho, Deor, Robsinden, Alfietucker, Johnbod, BarrelProof, BDD, Red Slash, Brianboulton, Montanabw, Roman Spinner - hopefully one or more of them will have some experience in the usual practice (if there is one, that is) for reflecting article titles in text. BencherliteTalk 09:36, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Easy, we follow MOS:CT and use the capital "Was" throughout. Internal consistency is paramount. --Rob Sinden (talk) 09:38, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Except in quotations using "was" of course. Johnbod (talk) 13:37, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Quotations are not really a justified exception in this case – please see MOS:QUOTE as quoted below. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:24, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Without waiting for this discussion, you changed. Now we have "In 2013, celebrating Britten's centenary, A Boy Was Born was performed by the BBC Singers and the Temple Church Choir as part of The Proms, conducted by David Hill." It is wrong, just look up a source. This is one example of many. There's actually no line that I wrote in the whole article where "Was" is supported by a source. The Britten-Pears Foundation ref is this. - Which way can you offer to help the reader to understand that A Boy was Born is a valid title and a redirect? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:15, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately it seems you don't understand the need for consistency within an article, and the importance of our MOS. You are incorrect to label this as "wrong" - it isn't. --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:39, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Teach me, please, you know that English is not my first language. If it is not "wrong" what is it? "A Boy Was Born was published", - no, it wasn't. How would you call that? - Repeating: which way can you offer to help the reader to understand that A Boy was Born is a valid title and a redirect? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:51, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
In English, and in our MOS, verbs in composition titles are capitalised. If anything, the source is "wrong". --Rob Sinden (talk) 10:53, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Do you suggest that the composer is wrong? The publisher? We have to correct them? - I imagine that you are not a musician. If you read the title as music, three capitalised words in a row mean three stressed syllables, lowercase in between reduces the accent, giving more accent to "Born" than to "was". - Whatever (!) the reason for Britten and his publisher not to follow standard capitalisation: I would like to show that version of the creator. See below, the voice of the other editor of the article. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:45, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Please stop. We have a Manual of Style. We follow it. End of story. --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:48, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Stop what? Respect for the composer? No. I regret that I wrote the article and guess better unwatch what is left, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:58, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Come on, Gerda, you're a better musician than that, or so I thought. In the opening bars of the piece, the word "was" receives less stress than "boy" or "born" because the latter two fall on the first beat of a bar, and "was" does not - capital letters just don't come into it. Capitalisation of an article title is not a question of (lack of) respect for the composer. BencherliteTalk 13:01, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
You are right about the bars, but how would that show in writing? - Please read again that I said whatever (!) the reason, - I would keep the creator's title - or at least show it once and point out that there IS a difference. I asked twice, and now I'm out. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:12, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
We don't use capital letters in print or in article titles to show bar line stresses in music, otherwise we would have "reMember not, Lord, our oFFences". So "how would that show in writing?" is entirely irrelevant. BencherliteTalk 13:23, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)This whole debate rather reminds me of the White Knight's explanation of the difference between the name of the song and what the song is called. I think A Boy was Born was almost certainly Britten's preferred title, as this is how it is presented in the score (when not presented in full caps), and aesthetically it gives emphasis to the alliterative 'B' words (certainly that makes sense to me, and it is how I most often see the title). However (perhaps unfortunately) house style on Wikipedia is not concerned with such aesthetics but with consistency, and - as has been pointed out - a number of publications on Britten by Faber (including Journeying Boy: The Diaries of the Young Benjamin Britten) use capital 'W' for this title. Though I personally would prefer to see the title as Britten had it published, I don't think it's worth the aggravation of pushing the issue, so I'm happy to go along with Wiki's MOS on this and concentrate on relatively more important matters. Alfietucker (talk) 11:05, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Please, Gerda. This is pedantry at its worst. It's wrong to say the BBC performed A Boy Was Born because they actually performed A Boy was Born? You're still falling prey to the specialist style fallacy and perhaps not grasping the concept of a manual of style. Usage in the article should follow the title and the MOS, of course. --BDD (talk) 17:07, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
It may be helpful to point out a specific Wikipedia guideline relevant to this discussion – from MOS:QUOTE: "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. These are alterations which make no difference when the text is read aloud, ..." This surely applies to the minor capitalization adjustment we are discussing. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
There is a distinction between a title, which is governed by one set of wiki guidelines, and use of the ACTUAL title -- as Britten wanted it -- in the text. Even the move result is ambiguous: "It appears we have agreement that "A Boy was Born" is more common, but both stylizations are in use." There is no consensus here on use in the text, only people who are engaging in personal attacks with words like "pedantry" and accusing certain people of being too stupid to grasp the concept. That is inappropriate and it's time to stick to the topic. The titling is clearly done both ways in the non-wiki world, and even the wiki MOS is ambiguous on this point. Deference should be given to the author of the work. Montanabw(talk) 20:02, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
How is the Wiki MOS ambiguous? MOS:CT is quite clear. --Rob Sinden (talk) 12:27, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Capitalize Was in the text per MOS:CT. I don't see any uses of the title in direct quotations in the article, but if such should occur, follow the source for capitalization. Deor (talk) 23:05, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Apparently if the Britten-Pears Foundation, the composer who wrote the piece, titles in format that MOS disagrees with, MOS trumps (really?) Befehl ist Befehl, obey the MOS at all costs! Facts and history be damned! Employ WP:IDHT and appropriate dickishness to thwart facts and history!! At Wikipedia, we double down on wrong. Apparently a collection of 12-year olds citing MOS know better than Benjamin Britten how he titled is piece or how it should be titled. Presumptuous audacity all around.--ColonelHenry (talk) 17:14, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Should the lead sentence include the phrase "(correctly titled A Boy was Born)"?[edit]

Well, this was fun. I'm glad no one saw fit to edit-war over the matter. I'm joking. I think there is consensus that the "correctly titled" bit is a bit overblown, and BarrelProof's point, that there are no reliable sources that argue the correctness of the one and the incorrectness of the other, is well taken. The current version has the apparent compromise, if such is possible, of "published as", and given that the discussion is pretty much evenly divided I am going to close this RfC as "maintain current status". "Published as" has the value of being true, of course, though it's precisely the value of that value that is at stake here.

Both sides have some arguments, but basically it boils down to this: the wassers say "it was published this way" and the Wassers say "such little matters of capitalization don't really count for anything". In the particular phrase, where the capital at stake is for a word that itself carries no meaning except for indicating pastness, one can hardly argue that a capital is in itself meaningful. Many style guides, including the god-given (God-Given) MLA, suggest quietly adapting capitalization according to a particular format, in this case the one followed above for the title. I have a personal opinion too, and that's that the "published as" is redundant and that cutting it is in line with the "liberal" reading of UNDUE--but this has gone on long enough, and it's time to cut this Gordian knot. So while Bencherlite makes a very, very valid point, one supported by common sense, there is no consensus to enforce this, and I close this, essentially as "no consensus for anything". Drmies (talk) 04:10, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

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.

(1) The consensus is that the title of the article should be "A Boy Was Born". (2) The consensus is that the article should use "Was" in the text. So why on earth should we say that the "correct title" is "A Boy was Born"? Why on earth do we have to go through all this again? Weren't the previous two discussions sufficient to establish the approach to take here? BencherliteTalk 14:58, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Are there any reliable sources that discuss the capitalization of the title and say that "A Boy was Born" is correct and "A Boy Was Born" is incorrect? If not, then the article should not say that either. —BarrelProof (talk) 16:56, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Saying "correctly" violates original research, so let's change the word to "originally" or "alternately". --George Ho (talk) 01:12, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Unless there are reliable sources that specifically say that it matters whether the 'w' is capitalized or not, there is no reason for the article to contain any alternatives. In the absence of such sources, the article should just follow Wikipedia styling. —BarrelProof (talk) 01:25, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
"published as", as a compromise, is fine by me. "originally" or "alternatively" are not. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 01:32, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
That would do, unless you don't mind "originally published". George Ho (talk) 01:53, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I'll stick with what I said before. If there are no sources that say that it matters, we shouldn't decide for ourselves that it matters and insert self-generated comments to highlight the issue. —BarrelProof (talk) 02:09, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Wanna remove it then? Hopefully, this whole thing should be resolved in a speedy time. George Ho (talk) 04:35, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Remove it on what grounds? There are no reasons to do so in BarrelProof's comment, which spuriously implies that we need sources to say that a cited fact "matters" (whatever that might mean) before we may insert it into an article. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:10, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
It should be removed on the grounds of being original research by bringing up a topic that no sources discuss, and by giving undue weight to that topic. It is "original research" (WP:OR) to include a statement in the article about a differing capitalization, when no sources include such statements and when it is clear that capitalization is routinely adjusted without comment to follow the house style of individual authors and publishers in many publications (including Wikipedia in particular). Regarding whether things matter or not, I suggest reviewing WP:UNDUE. If no source exists to say that something is important, it gives undue weight to that aspect to add our own new self-generated commentary. —BarrelProof (talk) 15:34, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
"Original research"? It has two citations. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:21, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
It's original research to deem it important enough to mention in the lead. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:44, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
The lead is the normal and correct place for variant names. Johnbod (talk) 15:21, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
It's not a variant name, it's a minor typographical issue. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:36, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Funny, I can't see anything on WP:OR about decisions on what to include in the lede. Please can you point me to the bit I've missed? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:55, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
To suggest that any typographical variant is important is WP:OR, as there is no evidence for this. To include it at a prominent position gives it importance per WP:UNDUE. It's the same title, just with a minor capitalisation difference that doesn't need to be singled out. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:58, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I see no statement in the article about the importance of the original title only a twice-cited statement of what it was. So instead of addressing situations that do not exist, perhaps you could kindly reply to my question about the contents of WP:OR? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:07, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it should; because it is; and no, they did not. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 01:32, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Who did not do what? —BarrelProof (talk) 02:09, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
We should remove that part of the lede. It's just a typographical issue, it's inconsequential, and puts too much emphasis on the styling of the title per WP:UNDUE. We wouldn't say "Measure for Measure (originally published as MEASVRE, For Meaſure)", because that's how the First Folio has it. --Rob Sinden (talk) 13:33, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
As noted elsewhere, "if you look at the lede of the three Henry VI plays, you'll see all three include "often written as "X Henry VI" right in the first sentence". You appear to be wrong, even by your own arguemnt. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:49, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Completely different situation - that's a variation on the names of the plays, not a minor capitalisation issue. --Rob Sinden (talk) 18:11, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Sinden has reverted my change to the neutral "A Boy Was Born, often A Boy was Born...", absurdly claiming WP:UNDUE and consensus here on the matter. If he had more experience writing articles he would not make such silly assertions. Time for the self-appointed style police to take an Xmas break. I have restored it. Johnbod (talk) 15:16, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Stop edit warring. You can see from the edit history that repeated attempts to add a variation on this wording have been removed by various editors (also citing WP:UNDUE), per the consensus on this talk page. Before you or I joined in, there was only one out of four editors in favour of adding it. We're now in the discussion stage of WP:BRD. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:34, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
And I shouldn't need to remind you of WP:CIVIL either. --Rob Sinden (talk) 15:42, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You do indeed appear to be under the mistaken impression that there is prior "consensus on this talk page" not to include the cited fact "published as A Boy was Born". It's clear that there was no such consensus, the inclusion in the article of the fact in that form not having been discussed. Perhaps you could indicate where you thought that consensus was reached, so someone may clarify? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:02, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Your additions have been removed by three separate editors now. Yet you still insist on adding. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:04, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and others have supported them; so until the matter is resolved, you and they should stop removing them and stop falsely claiming consensus. Now, please answer the question which you seem to have missed, and: "indicate where you thought that consensus was reached, so someone may clarify". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:10, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Per WP:BRD, your bold edits were removed, but you insist on re-adding them despite three editors removing them. I'd call that at least a temporary consensus while we discuss. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:15, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You also seem to be under the false impression that BRD is a rule, rather than an essay. Meanwhile you have again missed this: "indicate where you thought that consensus was reached, so someone may clarify" Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:21, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
FFS. Until about half an hour ago, you were the only one in favour of inclusion, and the wording you were persistently adding was removed by various editors for the reasons given above. Rather than keep saying there isn't consensus not to include, show me where there is consensus to include this text. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:24, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Your claim is (or was; though you don't yet seem to have withdrawn it) ""attempts to add a variation on this wording have been removed [...] per the consensus on this talk page."" (my emphasis). I'm asking you to show why you believe that to be the case. Please don't "FFS" me, when it is you who is dodging questions and failing to substantiate your claims. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:39, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
See the conversation above. Bencherlite and BarrelProof were both against it (and had both removed your text), George was seemingly on the fence, but seemed to fall marginally in favour of removal towards the end. But still you insisted on adding. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:54, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You're now citing a discussion that came after removal as justification for removal. That won't wash - and in any case is not a demonstration of consensus. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:40, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Screaming WP:UNDUE for an alternate title that was its original title as used by the subject's creator...really? That's novel and so utterly ridiculous. --ColonelHenry (talk) 16:12, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You seem to be confusing title and orthography again. It's hardly an "alternate title"! --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:15, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I really think Robsinden needs to find another hobby than complaining about orthography based on an arbitrary guideline that is having the habit of promoting inaccuracy in the name of "compliance". His insistence on disseminating inaccurate information is harming the credibility of articles. Per WP:IAR...we're here to improve the encyclopaedia...which is improved with and benefits from the inclusion of accurate information. If compliance with an arbitrary MOS guideline perpetrates the spread of inaccurate information, the MOS a guideline should be ignored in favour of accuracy in our efforts to improve the encyclopaedia. Per the five pillars, guidelines and policies are not written in stone, despite what those who would adhere steadfast to the MOS would want us to believe (and submit to). I think he really should focus on real contribution instead of a form of nitpicking that I consider a latent, insidious form of vandalism. --ColonelHenry (talk) 16:07, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

If you care to look above, you will see that consensus has already been reached regarding the correct capitalisation of the article title. There seem to be two factors here. The people who value the importance of the MOS, and those that don't. I note that those that don't value the MOS also don't seem to value manners. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:11, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
This isn't a consensus. It's your attempt to dictate and demand the compliance with an arbitrary standard (the MOS) as if it were hard and fast, set in stone--which it isn't. And your attacks (on other's "manners," etc., for disagreeing with your misinterpretation and insistence upon "rules") are diversionary ad hominems. If it's between accuracy and MOS, MOS takes the back seat, per the five pillars, WP:V and WP:IAR.--ColonelHenry (talk) 16:16, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
The above move request was closed with consensus. The article title has already been decided. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:17, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Consensus for the wrong reasons is not a respectable consensus--lynch mobs are a consensus, Dred Scott was a consensus. Your insistence upon MOS and this fraudulent excuse for consensus is damaging because it promotes incorrectness. Befehl ist Befehl, I guess...screw the facts. Sorry, but on this one WP:IAR trumps should trump.--ColonelHenry (talk) 16:37, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you could have the good manners to answer the questions I've put to you? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:19, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You're not wrong, but no-one, not even Robsinden, has claimed (unless I've missed it) that the MoS prevents us from including a cited statement about the original title. They couldn't substantiate such a claim, because the Mos - rightly - does not. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:19, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Of course the MOS doesn't prevent this. It's not the "fact" that is in dispute, but its importance and WP:UNDUE WEIGHT. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:21, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
That is a ridiculous, contorted misinterpretation of WP:UNDUE and you should know better. Your insistence upon abiding by an arbitrary MOS standard that leads to inaccuracy is not an act that improves the encyclopaedia. Wikipedia has enough problems without nitpicking and insisting on wrong information and then claiming the mantle of misinterpreted rules to do it.--ColonelHenry (talk) 16:31, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You do realise that this isn't a move discussion and that consensus was already found for the capitalised "Was" don't you? Or are you just looking for more excuses for personal attacks? That you don't like the MOS isn't a reason to hate on me. I'm not the only one mentioning WP:UNDUE but you're making this personal. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:34, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
And I'm not sure what you hope to achieve with this horrible attempt at a smear campaign. I may have to look for administrator assistance after this and your other outbursts. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:40, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Hey, if you want to keep insisting on inserting inaccuracy because of your misinterpretation and insistence upon rules that promote inaccuracy, I'll say "go ahead, and remember WP:BOOMERANG". Make my day.--ColonelHenry (talk) 16:43, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
You really are an objectionable individual. Merry Christmas. --Rob Sinden (talk) 16:45, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, pot calls the kettle black. Over the holiday, maybe you should ask yourself if, when the reliable sources say a name was X, what business per WP:V should consensus dictate it "wasn't or isn't X". The sky is naturally blue, all whales are mammals, and Britten named and published his piece (and his legacy/creative rights organ still calls) his piece "A Boy was Born" despite what your consensus says and despite what you think the rules should make it say. I only care about accuracy, and WP:IAR, accuracy trumps rules. The truth shall set you free--and MOS has nothing to say about that...entirely disregarding whether you alone interpret it otherwise.--ColonelHenry (talk) 16:51, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Rob, I wasn't leaning toward removing it. I just want this dispute to end, regardless of outcome. Alas, to end it, we must include "A Boy was Born" just once, so the rest shall say numerous times, "A Boy Was Born". But we must avoid "original research" and overbalance/undue weight. George Ho (talk) 20:16, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately, if all of us, I mean US, are not able to resolve this, let's take it to Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard/request instead. --George Ho (talk) 20:33, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

We need to try to keep this discussion constructive. Here are some quotes from WP:UNDUE: 1) "Keep in mind that, in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors ...", and 2) "Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all...". As far as I know, the only interest in including the alternative capitalization is from a couple of Wikipedia editors – there seems to be no comments about capitalization of the title in any reliable sources. As best I am aware, Wikipedia routinely adjusts the capitalization of titles per MOS:CT without comment, and I don't really see any evidence that this article should be an exception to that. Is there anything more to it than that? Is there evidence that the capitalization deserves special attention in this particular article? —BarrelProof (talk) 17:14, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
I see several editors pressing for something at the top, several willing to accept it, and only a couple (you and Sinden) fiercely resisting ANYTHING AT ALL. WP:UNDUE deals with "viewpoint", and if pov language is avoided, as in my version with "often", this is not a "viewpoint", except as to the internal matter of interpreting MOS etc. Variant names are supposed to be recorded, and this is a sufficiently significant difference. There is no question of "special attention". From WP:BEGIN: "When the page title is used as the subject of the first sentence, it may appear in a slightly different form, and it may include variations, including synonyms." Johnbod (talk) 20:15, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
That doesn't exactly match my count. In this discussion section, I see three opposed to mentioning the alternative capitalization (Bencherlite, Robsinden, and myself) and three in favor (Pigsonthewing, Johnbod, and ColonelHenry) – and one who seems on the fence but somewhat in favor of it (George Ho). I think Bencherlite should be counted as opposed. (Bencherlite actually removed the mention, so I think it's fair to say Bencherlite is opposed to it.) I think the question is mostly a matter of whether just changing the capitalization of one letter should reasonably be considered a variant, in view of the routine application of house styles to title capitalization (and the fact that no reliable sources seem to discuss the capitalization as being significant and probably none of them point out that two capitalization variations exist). That's a bit less support than your characterization, but it's a bit more than I thought (or expected) to find. Anyhow, at this point I think I'm willing to admit that (with some of the recent wordings that don't say the MOS:CT version is incorrect) I think it's a pretty minor issue and I don't plan on continuing to argue about it. —BarrelProof (talk) 16:27, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand your counting. You are missing Alfietucker and myself, the authors of this article, who would like to mention "A Boy was Born", Britten's title, not only once but throughout the article, - once is better than not at all. The view that mentioning the composer's title or not is "a minor issue" comes as a surprise, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:33, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
As I said, I was only counting those who had commented "in this discussion section" here on the Talk page (capitalization changed slightly in that quote, which I ordinarily would not bother to mention, but ...). —BarrelProof (talk) 01:15, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
"WP:UNDUE" is a shortcut for "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#Due and undue weight". Which neutrality issue do you assert is involved here? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:23, 24 December 2013 (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.

Who owns this article?[edit]

I'm tired of the "was" vs. "Was" on this article. Everybody wanted "Was", but someone here is trying to act like an owner of this article just because s/he created the article. Look, probably just let this issue slide, and then let us change "was" to "Was" without issues. Okay? --George Ho (talk) 08:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Actually, MOS:CAPS never encourages to use "was" in case of titles. However, the work published the word as "was". Nevertheless, the consensus favors "Was", and we must abide to the consensus. We did do the compromise by adding "(published as A Boy was Born)" beside "A Boy Was Born", yet I see a revert on one of my edits recently. Perhaps someone here, who may have also created this article, should reconsider ownership on this article before it would be taken to WP:DRN or WP:3O. --George Ho (talk) 08:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Though I personally prefer lower case "was", I feel bound to point out that we've gone with "Was" not just as a matter of consensus, but as per MOS:CT: n.b. "The following words should be capitalized: [...] Every verb, including forms of to be (Be, Am, Is, Are, Was, Were, Been)". Until that is changed, I see no legitimate grounds to change the format of the title used in the article. Alfietucker (talk) 12:47, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I should be more specific, but I was changing part of an image caption. It was then reverted, indicating that a person may not let go this issue slide. --George Ho (talk) 16:11, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the consensus is clear, and I suggest that the editor who made that revert is just WP:NOTGETTINGIT. Wikipedia has a house style (as expressed in MOS:CT), and there are no reliable sources that say that there is something exceptional about this work that makes it matter whether that word is capitalized or not in its title. In fact, I suggest that the "(published as A Boy was Born)" remark that is presently in the article already gives WP:UNDUE weight to this trivial matter and is only there because of the forcefulness of the personal subjective opinion of a minority of the involved editors. I think the proper thing to do is remove that phrase. —BarrelProof (talk) 22:27, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Pinging Gerda Arendt. --George Ho (talk) 03:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Nobody owns this article, but an image caption of an image of "A Boy was Born", as it was published, can't say anything but that, if it is supposed to make any sense. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Your revert was reverted, so quotation from the title page of the work itself is enough to preserve "A Boy was Born" within a quotation. No need to try to preserve the "published" title. Phrase on lede and quotation are enough to preserve it in your favor. Inserting commentary from sources about "was" vs "Was" is recommended as long as no original research is done. --George Ho (talk) 16:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not very good at simplifying words. Here goes: always treat "A Boy was Born" like part of a quotation. Just simply change was → Was, unless it is part of a quotation, like "To my Father – A Boy was Born – Benjamin Britten – Op. 3". That's sufficient enough, right? If you want to preserve the original format of the title, why not add commentary in the article? --George Ho (talk) 16:50, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You may remember that there was commentary in the article, also this image is the lead image, as saying something about the piece itself, - all reverted. To say the same thing in the caption as on the image seems pointless, but to say something different seems a strange contradiction. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Were these "commentaries" original researches? If so, probably that's the reason for removal. --Gh87 in the public computer (talk) 17:35, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
See the article history. No reason to spend more comments on if this piece should be listed as the composer called it or as the house rules prescribe. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I continue to note, aside from MOS:CT, that MOS:QUOTE has a section entitled "Typographic conformity" that says "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 provided that doing so will not change or obscure the meaning of the text; this practice is universal among publishers." (emphasis added) I do not see a good reason that this article should be considered different from all the others to which those guidelines are applied. I particularly note that it says "without comment", which seems directly applicable to the phrase "(published as A Boy was Born)" in this article, as well as to the article title and the image caption. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:41, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
MOS:QUOTE is hardly pertinent, since the issue here is a title rather than a quote, and in any case none of the examples given in "Typographic conformity" in that section is concerned with whether the verb "was" should or should not have an initial capital (which is in any case is simply a matter of house style, not really about formatting). What is pertinent is MOS:CT, as I've noted earlier: and there is no suggestion there that all changes to capitalisation etc. should be done "without comment". In the instance of "A Boy was Born/A Boy Was Born", I think it is fair to point out such a change since the original published title is not a quotation but presumably a carefully considered or at least checked presentation for publication. Alfietucker (talk) 07:16, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand that remark. Are you saying that we should add special notes when we apply the house style to a composition title because that is not a quotation situation? I think we would generally apply less adaptation to house style in a quote than outside of a quote. We have uncounted thousands of articles in which the house style has been applied to some composition title in a way that differs from the author's original typography. In the absence of any reliable source saying that the capitalization is especially important for this particular work, it is not clear that this article needs a special note when we generally don't put such notes in other articles. —BarrelProof (talk) 22:51, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I am not saying "we should add special notes when we apply the house style to a composition title"; but I believe the option is there to explain that such a change has been made, particularly if pertinent to understanding either the work or its title. In the case of "A Boy was Born", I seem to remember - for instance - reading the suggestion that Britten intended the two Bs of the title to stand out, which would of course have a resonance given the work's dedication to his father. Of course I would need to find that in a reliable source before placing it into the article. But in any case, a distinction should be borne in mind between a spoken quotation (and how it is represented in text), and a published title. Alfietucker (talk) 10:56, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. I agree; if we had some reliable source that commented on the capitalization, I would be supportive of including a comment about that in the article. The problem is that we currently have no such source, yet we currently do have, for little obvious reason other than to push this notion of special meaning, all of the following: 1) this phrase "(published as A Boy was Born)", 2) a close-up photo of the author's inscription with the other capitalization (e.g., rather than just a remark that the work was dedicated to his father), and 3) a repeat of the inscription in the caption of that figure, using the capitalization "A Boy was Born". I plan to remove the quote from the caption, since it just repeats what is readable in the photo (with different typography/styling, such as using dashes instead of line breaks). —BarrelProof (talk) 16:08, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


I have problems to understand the discussion above, sorry. Let's keep it simple. I will not change the article but suggest the following changes:

  • The image from the published work is the lead image, while the current one - chosen for a Christmas DYK, but not specific to the article - goes to where Britten's historic text sources are mentioned.
  • The caption doesn't repeat what people can (hopefully) read anyway, but something like: The composer dedicated his first major vocal work to his father. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:25, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
    • If this is a discussion of the page heading image, I see no real reason for the page heading image to be included in the article. The lead already has "He dedicated it to his father" and the infobox has "Dedication: "To my Father". Saying it twice seems like enough to establish that the work was dedicated to his father without also including a picture of a page heading that says that a third time. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:06, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Page heading from the score, published by Oxford University Press.
The image was removed from the article, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 19:32, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Remove "published as" part?[edit]

I tried to add similar "published as" part in the other article, but it was reverted. Therefore, I wonder if, in this case, the "published as" part in the lede of this article is necessary. --George Ho (talk) 17:25, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Define necessary. The little bit of respect for the wish of the composer regarding the title left in the article. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:41, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  • The question of "Was" versus "was" for the title of this work, in one form or another, has been under more-or-less continuous discussion for a year, so it's probably pretty easy to predict much of what will be said here, and by whom. As for Gerda's comment, I see no indication that the composer ever gave this question any real thought or whether he would consider the use of "Was" to be disrespectful. In fact, he died before Wikpedia's Manual of Style existed, and I am not aware of any commentary he ever produced about capitalization conventions for composition titles in encyclopedias. If he were here, he might in fact recommend (along with me) that formatting and other purely typographical elements of composition titles should just be adapted to English Wikipedia's conventions without comment. However, I suspect that most of us have better things to do with our time, and suggest that we just give this a rest for a while. —BarrelProof (talk) 21:00, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oh no, not again! Let it drop, guys and gals. Some like it, some don't, but there are bigger issues in the scheme of things than this storm in a teacup. --Stfg (talk) 15:46, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
The general discussion about following sources, and which and how far, and how to implement that in policy and guideline, is not this single article but Wikipedia talk:Article titles#Stylization of the "common name". --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:52, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

A Boy was Born (Was)[edit]

The argument and the question of capitalization of the 'W' to me would be of personal preference. Often when titling a piece of work I question as to capitalize those typical words. Leaving the, 'W', small caps however, does leave the title looking weak, but at the same time it does work. Although when stating that in relation to the word, 'Born', small caps is fitting. I do not understand why you have had to discuss the issue for so long, you may as well have flipped a coin. BarrelProof hits the nail on the head, surely there are more important things to discuss. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueLip tat (talkcontribs) 22:50, 21 December 2014 (UTC)