Talk:Black Isle

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Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. 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.

This was moved from Black Isle without discussion a few months ago. Reason for moving is to be compatible with usual naming policy for places which are preceeded by 'the'. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Avoid the definite article ("the") and the indefinite article ("a"/"an") at the beginning of the page name, also recent move discussion on Talk:Mainland, Orkney. You won't find a map using 'The Black Isle'.--JBellis 18:39, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Strong support; The Black Isle directly violates the article naming conventions, though it should exists as a redirect to Black Isle. The article already makes the point that "the" is almost always included in the name when the place is referred to, so the article title does not need to beat us over the head with that fact. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:08, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:MOS as noted above [1] by JBellis. People need to know which form of the title to expect, and standardizing throughout WP on the form without the definite article is reasonable. EdJohnston 00:56, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If the commonly used name of a place, person, or thing always includes the, then the article title should reflect that. See The Mocker (comics), The Lovin' Spoonful, and The 13th Duke of Wybourne (to name a few). Redirects will take care of a search without the.●DanMSTalk 03:49, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. The general naming conventions support the inclusion of the article in this case, but the specific convention on articles is unclear. If it could be shown that The Black Isle is an official name for the area, then this would strengthen my opposition to the removal of the article, see discussion. Andrewa 13:51, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Support (change of vote). It appears that the article is not part of the name in normal speech, see examples below. Andrewa 21:43, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Support per the points made below by Andrewa concerning capitalization in running text. Dekimasuよ! 02:34, 31 July 2007 (UTC)


It seems to me that, contrary to the claims made above, the naming conventions support the use of the definite article in this case. At Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Avoid the definite article ("the") and the indefinite article ("a"/"an") at the beginning of the page name I read If the definite or indefinite article would be capitalized in running text, then include it at the beginning of the page name. This supports the use of the article here IMO. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name) doesn't seem to be quite as clear, in fact it doesn't seem to be quite consistent with the former reference or itself. But if The Black Isle is an official name, this convention would also support the inclusion of the article. Andrewa 13:51, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

The official name doesn't include 'The'. See [2] on the local council website.
Thank you! As noted above, that makes one of the two conventions unclear, but that one is not self-consistent anyway.
As for the general issue, the point I'm trying to make is about the use of 'The' in the titles of 'placenames not things in general. The English grammar is rather inconsistent in that there are places that are normally preceded by 'the' but 'The' isn't considered part of the name, e.g. The United States, The United Kingdom are re-redirects. Looking in the index of my world atlas and a road atlas of the UK , show only a tiny handful of places listed as 'The xxxx'.--JBellis 17:09, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but if you were to be talking about either of the examples you give you wouldn't capitalise the article... Winston Churchill already had connections with both the United States and the United Kingdom is what you'd write, no capital T. So the examples you give IMO support the guidelines, and are consistent with using the capital T in this instance.
We can't fix English grammar here, nor should we try to promote any particular solutions. We accept it as it is, warts and all. Andrewa 21:48, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Of more interest, and this Google search both seem to indicate that in normal speech, there's no capital on the T, i.e. it's not part of the name. This is not what I'd have expected, but I'm an Aussie, and I think the Scottish usage is far more important. That's why I'm changing my vote. Andrewa 21:48, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Andrewa, just so I'm clear, you're saying you'd favor 'The Black Isle' if you saw most people writing it that way in running text. Since the examples that you found in running text are like 'the Black Isle', which is similar to 'the United Kingdom', and our article on the latter is not called 'The United Kingdom', you are supporting the proposed move, which omits the 'The' from the article title. EdJohnston 17:14, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. 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.

This article has been renamed from The Black Isle to Black Isle as the result of a move request. --Stemonitis 07:09, 1 August 2007 (UTC)


We're often holding discussions about placenames at a Gaelic speakers group that I frequent, and The Black Isle is one that comes up quite a bit.

Callum Cameron (old singer from Glasgow/Skye) points out that Tain is Baile Dhubhthaich, and given that Tain is upstream from the Black Isle, it may be that the Black Isle was named originally An Eilean Dubhthaich, not An Eilean Dubh. This could have been named directly for the same Saint Duthus/Duthac or for the River Tain/Afainn Dhubhthaich that forms one of its three sides.

The Gaelic name could have mutated either due to natural change over time, or the English equivalent could have been a mistranslation that was back-translated into the modern Gaelic one.

This is just speculative discussion, but has anyone seen any academic statements to that effect?

It seems to me to be a very compelling argument.... Prof Wrong (talk) 12:06, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

The name almost certainly comes from the tribe who used to inhabit the area, and eastern Ross Shire - the Ducante. Their name means "black headland/promontory". Lianachan (talk) 11:41, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

And why all the talk about Norsemen coming to the Black Isle and telling them it was an island when the reason is far more likely to be the one mentioned earlier in the article, ie "Gaelic uses the same word, eilean, for both island and peninsula"? (talk) 12:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

History section[edit]

The claim in the History section that nobody knows why it is called an isle is contradicted by the claim earlier in the article. I'll remove that.

Second, there is history outside the History section, so I've consolidated it.

Also, the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica has more history; it's usually a good source so I've moved it in. David Brooks (talk) 22:22, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

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