Talk:British Isles

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Former good articleBritish Isles was one of the Geography and places good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
August 26, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
March 5, 2007Good article nomineeListed
October 16, 2008Good article reassessmentDelisted
July 5, 2010Peer reviewReviewed
Current status: Delisted good article


'British Island' term not recognised by Ireland[edit]

Ireland dose not recognise this term please note this in your opening paragraph explaining the Irish Governments official stand Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said "The British Isles is not an officially recognised term in any legal or inter-governmental sense. It is without any official status. The Government, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, does not use this term."[42][43] Please also cite page to provide readers a comprehensive knowledge of this term — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scamallach (talkcontribs) 23:35, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

If you read all of the article's lede you will see that the information you requested already has a paragraph all to itself. Bazza (talk) 13:07, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

I doubt if the opinion of a government is relevant to an article on geography. Dimadick (talk) 18:48, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

The term 'British Isles' is not geographic, its political - that's what drives Irish opposition to its use. Fergananim (talk) 17:33, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Except it's not: it's a geographical term that has been co-opted for parochial political purposes. Wikipedia isn't that battleground. Acroterion (talk) 17:51, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Agree in its entirety. Geography not politics. Mabuska (talk) 18:04, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Then explain how the island of Ireland is British? And why the phrase was not in common use till after 1801? Fergananim (talk) 17:11, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Of course "British Isles" is political, as it has been since its first recorded use in the English language by John Dee in a tract in 1577 claiming Ireland for the English imperialist monarch. The contention that Britain and the British can invade Ireland, dispossess the natives for centuries, impose their language and culture upon the Irish and rule over them for centuries and that after all this the term "British Isles" does not have massive political connotations for the Irish is simply preposterous. You can't just deny that past explicitly political British colonisation of Ireland and claim in 2017 that the term "British Isles" is merely a harmless geographical term when it claims Ireland. It's nothing of the sort, and you don't need a PhD in Irish history to understand why the term is resisted by the Irish, including by their democratically elected government. But sure what could be more British than imposing something else on the Irish people against their will. Roll on Brexit! (talk) 22:47, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
The term has a political side to it but it is still a geographical term. Of course politics, geography and history often all get mixed up over the centuries. I'll put it this way - The UK is a part of Europe insofar as it is part of the European continent. The British largely don't see themselevs as Europeans, they have voted to leave the EU, but ultimately they can't change geography; whether an indepenent nation or in the EU, the UK is in Europe as far as georgraphy goes. And the same applies here. Ireland is a aprt of the British Isles as far as geography goes. Nothing the Irish PM or any politican says can change that any more than Nigel Farage can change that Britain is part of Europe. So yes there are political arguments but ultimately they are irrelevant. If anything I feel we have given them too much prominence by putting them in the opening paragraphs - the political arguments are of very minor interest and of absoltuely zero relevance to the term as a term of geography and I would favour them being moved to a less prominent part of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:23C5:2385:9400:7820:C482:C062:F697 (talk) 22:01, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
The Indian Subcontinent includes Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Malayan Archipelago includes Indonesia and the Philippines. The region known as de Nederlanden includes Belgium, Luxembourg and parts of France and Germany. All are considered largely uncontroversial terms today, despite their imperialistic past, and despite tensions between all these countries and their neighbours. Nobody thinks that the use of such terms implies any territorial claims on the part of the country which they're named after, so why would it be different with British Isles?
Moreover, the term British Isles was in use long before the Irish, or the English, or the Scots or Welsh existed as identifiable nations, let alone before the modern states existed. I would say that's enough to qualify it as a purely geographical term, with no political significance implied. (talk) 22:24, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 November 2017[edit]

In the third sentence, change the phrase "Ireland (which covers roughly five-sixths of the island with the same name)" to "the Republic of Ireland (which covers roughly five-sixths of the island of Ireland)". As it stands, this sentence is factually incorrect. The country is officially called the Republic of Ireland, not Ireland. Ireland describes the geographical island. Bojo Skankins (talk) 17:03, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

The geographical Ireland is what is being described in that sentence, so no. -Roxy, Zalophus californianus. barcus 17:09, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
@Bojo Skankins and Roxy the dog: Now there's a fun edit conflict. I just fulfilled this edit request and added a link to the island to differentiate, mostly because the use of the nine-word phrase "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in that sentence means stylistically, this prefers full names. By using the country of Ireland's full name, we're also clearly differentiating between the country and the island. I'm open to discussion on this, though. CityOfSilver 17:15, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
The country of Ireland's full name is Ireland. "The Republic of Ireland" is the official description of the state, but is not its name. Please revert. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 17:19, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
@Bastun: I don't dispute this but am I wrong to worry that just using "Ireland" to refer to the state isn't helping a reader differentiate between the island and the country, which of course are two separate entities? CityOfSilver 17:31, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Having looked again at the Wiki article for ROI and a couple of other sources, I realise that I may be wrong about the country not being officially called Ireland, but there will be much less confusion if the term Republic of Ireland is used. I stand by my initial edit request. My motivitations were out of a concern for clarity and I was not politically motivated.
I agree with all of CityOfSilver's remarks. Bojo Skankins (talk) 18:37, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Also note that the sentence was describing the island before partition. so yes, please revert. -Roxy, Zalophus californianus. barcus 17:21, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Actually, I've misread all this. I withdraw my comments. -Roxy, Zalophus californianus. barcus 17:24, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Well WP:IRE-IRL applies here. Normally we'd use Republic of Ireland to avoid the confusion, but the name of the state and the state are very significant in this sentence so Ireland should be used. Canterbury Tail talk 17:49, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
The first bullet point in that article you linked seems to imply that "Republic of Ireland" should be used in this instance. I quote:
"Use "Ireland" for the state except where the island of Ireland or Northern Ireland is being discussed in the same context. In such circumstances use "Republic of Ireland" (e.g. "Strabane is at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland")."
Since both the island of Ireland and Northern Ireland are being discussed in the same context as the state in this sentence, it seems that using ROI would be the correct thing to do according to the guidelines. Bojo Skankins (talk) 18:37, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
More appropriate is the next line. "An exception is where the state forms a major component of the topic (e.g. on articles relating to states, politics or governance) where "Ireland" should be preferred and the island should be referred to as the "island of Ireland" or similar (e.g. "Ireland is a state in Europe occupying most of the island of Ireland")." Canterbury Tail talk 20:45, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with the guidelines in this instance, then. I think that the third sentence of the British Isles article needs to say ROI for clarity. The article does refer to the state as Ireland further down the article (in the Politics section), where it elaborates about this topic (it says "Ireland, sometimes called the Republic of Ireland"), which I think is fine to be left as it is since it goes into more detail. Since at the top of the article it is mentioning the state in passing, in my opinion it should be referred to in that instance as the Republic of Ireland, to eliminate any uncertainty about what is being referred to. I must add, I find it ironic that the use of "Ireland" is enforced (in this instance) when the article for the state is itself called Republic of Ireland. Maybe then that article should be called Ireland, and the article for the island should be called Ireland (island), since Ireland is the official* (and colloquial) name for the state?
*According to the constitution. And yes, I have changed my view on this since I filed the edit request. But if it's according to the constitution, it must surely be the correct title? Bojo Skankins (talk) 23:08, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
The name of the country is at Republic of Ireland because Ireland as an island is the primary subject and existed way longer than the state. Anyway the place for that discussion is on the Republic of Ireland talk page, but it's been done kinda to death. Canterbury Tail talk 01:58, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Ireland is Not Part Of The British Isles[edit]

I am so tired of making this correction. By implying that Ireland is part of the British Isles, is implying that Ireland belongs to Britain, Well I have news for you. Ireland is an Independent state, and an sovereign member of the UN, and the E.U. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Itsmeletschatnow (talkcontribs) 09:08, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

That isn't news. We know that Ireland is an Independent state, and an sovereign member of the UN, and the E.U., but the last time I checked on Google Earth, five minutes ago, the island of Ireland was still there, amongst the British Isles and RTE has not reported any significant geographical changes in the location. Where would it go? -Roxy, the dog. barcus 09:35, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
Multiple previous discussions have concluded that the "British Isles" is a geographical, not a political term. See the box at the top of this page, and see also British Columbia - equally, not a part of Britain. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:46, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
The Irish Sea should have its name changed too, seeing as it mostly washes onto the shores of Great Britain. GoodDay (talk) 09:52, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Nor are New Hampshire, New Britain, New Caledonia, New York, New Jersey, New England, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, New South Wales, and Queensland associated with the UK. It may be news that New Ireland is not related to Ireland, nor is New Mexico part of Mexico. Baja California isn't part of California. Virginia is not composed entirely of virgins. Acroterion (talk) 14:53, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, there goes my vacation plans. Canterbury Tail talk 17:33, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
There's always the British Virgin Isles. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 17:43, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but each of those places could change their name if they so choose. Ireland, despite overwhelmingly disfavouring the term 'British Isles', would appear unable to do anything about it as the Irish are continually told they belong to the 'British' Isles - effectively a form of cultural imperialism. The fact that it is contentious makes it a political term, or at the very least discredited as a geographical term. RKernan (talk) 14:14, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I've not been able to find anything which says that the Irish belong to the British Isles. Nor have I been able to find anything which says that the English, Scots, or Welsh (or indeed anyone else who lives on the island of Great Britain) belong to the British Isles. Bazza (talk) 14:49, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
There isn't an island of Great Britain, and the Irish belong to themselves. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 16:36, 15 March 2018 (UTC) -Roxy, the dog. barcus 16:35, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Great Britain, also known as Britain, is a large island in the north Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. Bazza (talk) 17:10, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

Are the Shetlands geographically a part of this contentiously named archipelago?[edit]

I'm finding it difficult to find clear definitions of why any particular island or group of islands should be considered a part of an archipelago or not. If the Channel Islands are not a part of the archipelago, then why are the similarly isolated Shetlands? If the Shetlands are a part of it, then why not the Faroes or Iceland? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7F:DC08:9000:81A9:1467:5DB4:F57C (talk) 08:14, 6 July 2018 (UTC)