Talk:Americas

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Language Order[edit]

There's been a recent change to the order in which languages appear in the info box. English now appears as the first language in the list when previously it was Spanish. What is the ordering convention being used? It is not alphabetical. If it's based on how much the language is used, then the proper order is to put Spanish first. The Americas page itself states that, "The most widely spoken language in the Americas is Spanish." Pete Angritt (talk) 17:59, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Those silent IP addresses should come here to talk about this because they're fighting with other editors (which should also come here) to change it to Spanish first. Dustin (talk) 15:29, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I don't understand the controversy. It's been proven that Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the Americas. This continuous change in the languages' order is because you don't like these facts? Stop damaging Wikipedia with this childish edition and let Spanish in the 1st place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaestroEditador (talkcontribs) 11:03, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Iceland?[edit]

-I wanted to add this some place else. But why isn't Iceland added to North America. Iceland is closer to Greenland than it is to Europe. Iceland is considered geographical as part of the Americas, while it culturally is part of Europe. But why isn't there any mention of Iceland? Atleast add that there are many people that consider Iceland to be geographical part of Northern America. ~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.99.111.234 (talk) 23:11, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

If you can point to any authorities who've treated Iceland as belonging to the Americas, it might be possible to mention it. I've never seen such a thing, though. WilyD 11:02, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Iceland is smack on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (hence the volcanoes), so geologically it's partly on the North American Plate and partly on the Eurasian Plate. Like WilyD, I've never seen it treated as part of North America, though. Deor (talk) 14:15, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the above comments in that I have never heard Iceland called part of the Americas and we shouldn't say it is unless some strong sources support that view. However, given the geographical and geological ambiguity, some mention of why it is not considered America could be useful. The Iceland article says:

Iceland is closer to continental Europe than to mainland North America; thus, the island is generally included in Europe for historical, political, cultural, and practical reasons. Geologically the island includes parts of both continental plates. The closest body of land is Greenland (290 km, 180 mi). The closest bodies of land in Europe are the Faroe Islands (420 km, 260 mi); Jan Mayen Island (570 km, 350 mi); Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, both about 740 km (460 mi); and the Scottish mainland and Orkney, both about 750 km (470 mi). The mainland of Norway is about 970 km (600 mi) away.

Adding a subset of that (sans many or all of the specific mileages) either here or at North America, or both (no, I haven't checked that article) could helpful. 2600:1006:B12F:7076:14E8:C473:9B00:7111 (talk) 20:57, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Continents are generally defined as being continental crust only, therefore only include islands on their continental shelf (continental islands). Islands on oceanic crust (oceanic islands) are therefore only associated with specific continents. Other examples of oceanic islands include Azores, New Zealand and Hawaii. Continents aren't really defined by plates. East Russia isn't part of North America for example. Even if Iceland was entirely on the North American plate, it would still probably be considered part of Europe if it was closer. This considered, I don't really think there is ambiguity. Rob984 (talk) 21:39, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

"Landmass" vs "Landmasses"[edit]

How is the Americas not a landmass? While yes, North and South America are both individual landmasses, the Americas as a whole is a single landmass also. The North and South are connected by land, therefore they must be single mass of land. See the definition of a landmass:

Landmass, A continent or other large body of land. –Oxford Dictionary

The Americas is definitely a "large body of land".
Rob984 (talk) 11:22, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree. "The New World", "America" and "the Western Hemisphere" all refer to the topic of this article as a single entity (with Western Hemisphere including also the surroundings as well as the continental land), and even "the Americas" consider the combined mass a single topic of discourse. Diego (talk) 11:31, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In the 7-continent model, which is what English WP uses, the Americas are made up of 2 continents. We can cover the other ways of dividing the Americas later, but there's no need to even mention landmass(es) at this point. Keep it simple. - BilCat (talk) 11:35, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
When a term has ambiguous meanings, we "try to make them understandable to as many readers as possible" per WP:JARGON. Continent lists at least seven different continental models used througout the world, only two of which consider North and South America separate. "Continental" has an unambiguous meaning of "the main part of a country or region, as opposed to on one of its islands", which is why the second sentence includes the remark "Along with their associated islands"; that remark doesn't make sense under the new, contested wording; the whole paragraph would need to be revised. Diego (talk) 11:45, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
In addition, plural Americas needs a plural verb. "The Americas ... is" is grammatically incorrect, even if the Americas are considered "a single topic of discourse". Compare "the Americas have several large river basins" in the first sentence under "Hydrology". Deor (talk) 12:06, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The continental model is irrelevant. Continent ≠ landmass. A continent is a landmass. A sub-continent is a landmass. A large body of land made up of continents is a landmass. There is definitely a need to describe what the Americas is. That is the point of the article! And describing it as "the combined continental landmasses" infers it is not a landmass itself, thus not a single body of land. This is misleading. Rob984 (talk) 12:07, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "Continental landmass(es)" is just as ambiguous, as its confusing readers from Spanish speaking countries who feel compelled to add "Central America". At least by using "combined continents of North America and South America", we're making clear what continental model is being used. If we have to revise the rest of the paragraph, then that's what we do. The articles on North and South America both begin with "X America is a continent...", so why should stating they are both continents be a problem here? The truth is, it isn't a problem in English. - BilCat (talk) 12:10, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Like I said, you're not describe what the Americas is. You are describing what is within the Americas. Why don't you want to describe the Americas as what it is: a landmass? That is the purpose of the introduction. Rob984 (talk) 12:19, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
And I would be fine with "...is the landmass comprised of the combined continents of North America and South America". Rob984 (talk) 12:22, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
I do want to describe the Americas as what it is: a grouping of two continents. The Americas also includes the "associated islands", which calling it a "landmass" excludes. - BilCat (talk) 12:26, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
It is more than simply a grouping of two continents. The two continents form a single landmass. "Europe and Africa" is also "a grouping of two continents". Rob984 (talk) 12:32, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
You're not "making it clear what continental model is being used", you're "making it confusing to anyone who uses a different continental model". To achieve what you want and make it clear, you'd have to add a note like "the combined continents of North America and South America in the seven-continent model", which is way undue. Diego (talk) 12:43, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
We don't define what continental model is being used in the Lead sentences of the articles on North and South America, and it isn't necessary here either. - BilCat (talk) 12:50, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Because those articles are not mixing several models. If you want to use the word "continent" in the first sentence, you should use the five continents model, which is the one that match the topic of this article - it's the one unifying the new world as a whole. Diego (talk) 12:58, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
No, it's about the conjoined continents of NA and SA together, and what they have in common. It has nothing to do with the 5-continent model. - BilCat (talk)
The word America, which is right there at the top of the article in the lead sentence, has everything to do with the 5-continent model, as does the concept of the New World (also in the lead). And your brave assertion that "the 7-continent model is what English WP uses" requires a giant [citation needed], as I've never seen a guideline which states such thing. Diego (talk) 13:26, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
The guideline is "Use English". If you check most English dictionaries, they "define" continent as one of the items in a list of 7. --Khajidha (talk) 17:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
In addition, plural Americas needs a plural verb. But America, the Western Hemisphere and the New World need a singular verb, so "America are", "the Western Hemisphere are" and "the New World are" are incorrect as well. That is not a deciding argument either way, but the topic describing a single entity is.
I'd support Rob's wording "...is the landmass comprised of the combined continents of North America and South America" or the original, long-standing "the combined continental landmasses of North America and South America" that we had before today's edit war (though I'd prefer "the combined continental landmass"), which is already consistent with the rest of the paragraph. Diego (talk) 12:40, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
(1) You're wrong about the is/are business. Words coming between the subject and the verb, such as "or America, also known as the Western Hemisphere and the New World" are parenthetical matter that doesn't affect the subject-verb agreement. (2) "Comprised of" is likely to be objected to (particularly by User:Giraffedata). Since Greenland, the Caribbean islands, etc., are included in the Americas but are "landmasses" in themselves (at least according to Land#Etymology and terminology), it may be best to avoid the term entirely here. What about something like "The Americas, or America—also known as the Western Hemisphere and the New World—comprise the totality of the continents of North America and South America, which (including their associated islands) cover 8.3% of the Earth's total surface area and 28.4% of its land area"? Deor (talk) 13:58, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
That looks a nice workaround for the singular/plural issue. If you make it "comprise the total continental land of North America and South America and their associated islands, which cover...", to also avoid the problem with defining "continent", I say we'd have a deal. We could even just say "comprise the total of North America and South America", but the extended form makes it more clear that it's talking about territory. Diego (talk) 15:07, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Etymology and Naming[edit]

I propose that there be a separate article on the Naming of America (or the Americas) and the Richard Amerike article be merged into it.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:06, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Colonization vs. colonisation[edit]

The article contains 12 instances of "colonization" or "colonize" and 3 of "colonisation" or "colonise". In the spelling of other words, the "-ize" spellings are also dominant in the article (as in "sensationalize", "glamorize", "recognize", "Latinize", "characterize", "organize", "civilization", "organization", "urbanization"). Spelling consistency is obviously desirable. I don't understand how it can be controversial to change the three instances of "colonis-" to "coloniz-" to improve consistency. It seems clear to me that the article is written in American English (note, for example, "glamorize" rather than "glamourize", "neighbor" rather than "neighbour", "labor" rather than "labour", "favor" rather than "favour", "traveled" rather than "travelled"). —BarrelProof (talk) 22:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree. It's ridiculous that the article contains a number of coloniz- spellings, yet people are reverting attempts to make the few instances of colonis- conform. This violates WP:ARTCON. Deor (talk) 22:44, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Thanks for taking this to the talk page. The relevant Wikipedia guidelines are WP:ARTCON, which is a guide to consistency of spelling usage within articles and MOS:RETAIN which is guidance for retaining the usage that has been established in an article. As the previous editor remarked this article has an established Canadian usage which mixes -ize and -ise and other American and British spellings. The case has to be made for change and consensus reached before any change is made in the article. Robynthehode (talk) 22:49, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Canadians as a group may use both -ise and -ize spellings (although one suspects that individual Canadians tend to use one or the other consistently), but that's not a justification for using both in the same article. Deor (talk) 23:17, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Especially for the same word. But really, the article is clearly not in Canadian English. Please see all the counter-examples above, such as the "-or" spellings. It also uses "center" rather than "centre" and "offense" rather than "offence". It also contains an explicit use of "sp=us" to ensure U.S. spelling of "kilometer" in the expression "{{convert|2300|km|mi|-long|sp=us}}" (and another one in the expression "{{convert|1450|mi|km|sp=us}}"). The article is in American English (i.e., U.S. English), except for three uses of "colonis-" and one use of "kilometre" (which is only there because it is the default spelling used by {{convert}} if you don't tell it explicitly to do otherwise). (It also contains one use of "organisation", but that is only there because it is the spelling used in the title of the linked article that is listed in the "See also" section, and may be the official spelling used by the organisation in question—there are ten uses of "organiz-" in the article.) Also, Canadian English generally favours the "z" spellings, per the article on that topic. The article also contains "archaeological", but that is primarily a British English spelling that is seldom used in either U.S. or Canadian English. In the edit summary for the last revert, Robynthehode said "See (MOS:RETAIN)", but MOS:RETAIN clearly recommends against that revert. —BarrelProof (talk) 23:24, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for reverting without consensus. Great to go against the process of Wikipedia. MOS:RETAIN is the correct guideline and does not recommend against my revert. Read the guideline. Here it is 'When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, maintain it in the absence of consensus to the contrary. With few exceptions (e.g., when a topic has strong national ties or a term/spelling carries less ambiguity), there is no valid reason for such a change.' (my emphasis). I was reverting edits because a conflict arose about those edits and merely asked it to be discussed in the talk page before the final edit was made. A process should have been followed but heh let's just ignore Wikipedia guidelines (oh by the way on balance I probably agree with the change but opposers of the change should have been given a chance to voice their reasons here) Robynthehode (talk) 06:47, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I get that an apparently Canadian editor added a lot of material, which he evidently wrote in Canadian English. However, the bulk of the article clearly uses American English now, and possibly before too, and so that's what's being "retained". Also, American English is probably the natural variant for the article, given that, with the execption of readers from Canada and the British-related Caribbean areas, most readers and editors will be more familar with American English. It's also what most editors have been using, in the absence of a clearly stated preference for another variant. - BilCat (talk) 09:07, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
The history is there. Yes, I've written probably the bulk of the text, and typically write in hyper-Canadianised English, but the point is that we co-exist, whatever variety of English first appears is the variety we write in, as long as it's appropriate for the topic (as any variety of English from North America or South America would be). Colony comes from latin, so should be colonise, rather than colonize. WilyD 09:20, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I understand.that Canadian English has a claim on the article, mostly because that's what you wrote in, but as has been proven, the article currently favors American English, so that's what's being retained. - BilCat (talk) 09:31, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I haven't examined the article's history—only its state of a few days ago, which clearly favoured U.S. English over Canadian English, with only four exceptions I could identify (three "colonis-" and one "kilometre")—which is many times fewer than the opposite. If that was because some American-oriented editor recently changed it improperly, then I would be happy to change the article to Canadian English—but I don't hear that being the case. It's interesting to see a claim that "colonize" should be "colonise" due to a Latin root. Oxford English (per the OED) and the Collins Dictionary, which both are U.K. English sources that are that well-known for paying attention to etymology when making such decisions, favour "colonize" over "colonise". That is not one of the exceptions like arise, chastise, disguise, and televise. I waited more than 24 hours for a response to my posted analysis before acting, which I believe exhibits adequate restraint. I have only done two reverts (less than one per day). Having said all that, I believe an argument could also be made on the basis of WP:TIES that an article on the Americas should use American English. There are many more people in the Americas that use American (i.e., U.S.) English than other forms of English—sorry about that, but the Canadian population is not such a big portion.BarrelProof (talk) 15:34, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I also notice five uses of "practiced" as a verb, which I believe would be "practised" in Canadian English, according to the Canadian English article. —BarrelProof (talk) 07:01, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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