Talk:British Isles/Archive 39

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Archive 35 Archive 37 Archive 38 Archive 39 Archive 40

Informal Vote: Official Status of Welsh

Please see Talk:United_Kingdom#Informal_Vote:_Official_Status_of_Welsh where an informal vote is taking place on displaying the Welsh translation of "United Kingdom" at the top of the United Kingdom infobox. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 17:36, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

NUTS 1 and NUTS 3 Regions on map

As the article to which it is linked now makes clear, like is not being compared with like on the population density map. The regions shown for England are top-level, NUTS 1 Regions, whereas those for Ireland, Scotland and Wales are NUTS 3 Regions, which in England correspond to counties. ðarkuncoll 12:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Caching of changes

Is there an issue with caching or moderation of changes to this article. I ask because my recent change (which is the latest change) is not showing in the current version being presented to me? Any suggestions anyone? Fmph (talk) 10:41, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

OK, it is now. Just ignore. Fmph (talk) 10:42, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

British Isles and Ireland

Is there still an article on Wiki called "British Isles" that includes the explicitly non-British sovereign country of Ireland? I don't believe it. Sarah777 (talk) 02:22, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

When Scotland becomes independent, and there is no longer a British state, will you feel less bad about the name? ðarkuncoll 10:17, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Isn't this section title a breach of WP:CIVIL? It appears to be. Please AGF. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 11:06, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
For the avoidance of doubt, the word British here refers to the Pritani or Cruthin, called Britanni by the Romans. In modern parlance it effectively means Welsh. AJRG (talk) 19:45, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Or at least, the lands the Welsh once ruled. From my vantage point in Mercia, I would suggest that we are all deeply inter-related anyway, since the genetic evidence tilts strongly in that direction, regardless of modern nationalist affiliations. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:54, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Struth, is all of Wikipedia like this? Poitically charged I mean. I'm witnessing a totally pathetic attempt to place a Hiberno English language template on this page. There's also a debate where a number of users are trying to get rid of the union flag off the British Eglish template. What goes on? People in Ireland use British English, I found out, so these attempts, and about flags I've recently found, must be politically motivated. WizOfOz (talk) 21:02, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
If, as you say, people in Ireland (and places other than the UK) use British English, there can be no justification for using the UK flag on the template. Daicaregos (talk) 22:17, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
British English, hence British flag. Same as this:

You know as well as I do it's a buch of editors trying to make a point. WizOfOz (talk) 22:20, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Then we are in agreement. Adding the template with the UK flag is a bunch of editors trying to make a point. It it unnecessarily provocative. Do you know if they use the American English template on Candian articles? Not quite the same history, but I still wonder. Daicaregos (talk) 22:30, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
The use of the flag on the British English template is being discussed. Let's keep that discussion in one place. Thanks. ~Asarlaí 22:32, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
What's an uber-alles? GoodDay (talk) 23:10, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not a thing. It's German for above all. And is part of their national anthem. I'm surprised you have never heard it before. Read this article here: Deutschlandlied for a fuller explanation.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 06:19, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I've altered the section title to a more neutral and less inflammatory title per the guidelines on section titles. Sarah777 does seem intent on stirring the hornets nest up with their disparaging comments as of late. Mabuska (talk) 10:30, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Why are flags placed in language templates? I don't see the reason for it. GoodDay (talk) 15:04, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Hiberno English

Fmph, if you can show me the bits written in Hiberno English, and how they differ from British English, I'll put the template back myself. In the mean time you need consensus for it. Just a thought, but you wouldn't be trying to make some political point or other? WizOfOz (talk) 21:56, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

There is no differences hence why both apply, especially as Ireland is part of the British Isles. I think the inclusion of the Hiberno-English tag is great progress as it looks like a somewhat acceptance of the reality that British Isles is simply the name for the group of islands. Mabuska (talk) 22:47, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
But it's a lie, because the article is written in British English. Is there any text anywhere in the world written in Hiberno English? WizOfOz (talk) 22:54, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd safely bet that books written in Ireland are most likely written in Hiberno-Irish - and in regards to that probably only with the inclusion of a few Ireland specific terms. Though must say as Mid-Ulster English which is spoken in Northern Ireland is a dialect of Hiberno-Irish - the flag of the RoI is irrelevant to the template and so should be replaced with a flag that can represent the whole island - St. Paddy's. Mabuska (talk) 22:56, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
This is getting silly. I just noticed someone has now put the Flag of St Patrick on the banner. Also, why compare Hiberno English to American English? This whole episode does nothing to enhance the Wikipedia. It is just an attempt to pander to a minority view of some editors. It also adds confusion for editors coming here who may be unaware of this stupidity. Thye'll see something like the HE template and maybe wonder what they should be writing. It is daft. WizOfOz (talk) 23:00, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
If you read my previous post you should get the impression i changed it, and i stated why. Though unless Sarah777 can prove part of the article is written with Hiberno-English terms etc. then the tag should be removed which i shall do on the basis of WP:BRD. If Sarah777 feels it should be included then they can discuss what part of the article is written with Hiberno-English terms to merit the tag. Mabuska (talk) 23:09, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't know you changed it. My edit seemed to appear before yours to start with. If there's going to be such a banner the St Pats flag is better, but I still don't think there's a need for it at all. As said elsewhere. If the British English banner appears on articles wholly related to Eire then remove it. That'd sort it. WizOfOz (talk) 23:15, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The term "Hiberno-English" is seriously ill-defined. Linguists use it in all sorts of different ways (see survey in R. Hickey (2006), Irish English: History and Present-Day Forms, ch.1.2), but in most usage it refers specifically to vernacular, spoken varieties of English in Ireland. Whatever the present article is, it is certainly not written in any of those. The Irish version of formal, written Standard English (whatever the differences between that and British Standard English may be) is not usually called Hiberno-English. Fut.Perf. 05:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Actually wouldn't calling it "Standard English" instead of "British English" not be a better and mroe neutral idea? Mabuska (talk) 10:26, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
It'd be a brilliant idea! Yet, I think calling it the Standard would elicit some complaints from others. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I for one would complain because I was taught Standard American English in school.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 10:34, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
For some reason recent comments are not showing up for me except in edit or revision history mode...Anyway, I doubt our American, Canadian or Australian readers would agree to the use of "Standard English" as a more appropriate term for "British English", as they would surely regard their own variety of English as "standard". Would something like "European English" (inclusive of the varieties of English as spoken in Britain, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltar, IoM etc.) be suitable or is that venturing a step too far? Personally I don't see a problem with using the term "British English" as that is exactly what it is - the usage of English as dictated by the likes of the Oxford dictionary - a British linguistic institute. The use of the word "British" here is not in any way meant to show that the UK owns the variety of English used in this article. The flag though could be done away with though, as it 1) is offensive to those of an Irish nationalist perspective, 2) adds nothing to the encyclopaedia as it is solely used on the talk pages and readers won't see it and if they do see it it is because thew are already aware of the issue(s) involved by coming to the talk page in the first place, and 3) is the term given, without any dispute or argument, to the variety of English spoken in e.g. the Isle of Man which uses the triskellion as their symbol and not the Union Flag. --MacTire02 (talk) 10:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Don't y'all think the Texan English is standard? AgadaUrbanit (talk) 10:56, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Just who are these people who find the word British and the Union Jack offensive? Why are we tollerating such bigotry, if it actually exists here, which I'm not sure it does. LevenBoy (talk) 11:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm just glad that Kate Middleton now wears Queen's tiara. So both British Isles share basically the same language, but yeah as you go west it changes and gets hard on my Texan ears. Anyway, as talk page flags go, this is really a minor issue, but I guess either (a) both or (b) none would be acceptable. Any thoughts? AgadaUrbanit (talk) 15:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm still struggling to come to terms with the fact wikipedia has an article on y'all. Anyway, as far as I can tell, in terms of formal writing theres only two types of english, nominally British and American. There's the confused child which is Canadian, and a couple of other versions such as Australian which have adopted some American words (such as truck), but besides that the local variations are just British/American+loanwords, which usually can be replaced under WP:COMMONALITY anyway. So yes, let's remove the flags; the (b) none option. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:00, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
No flags. The use of so-called "British English" extends beyond the boundaries of the UK. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:01, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I have a suggestion. It's a wee bit unconventional, but how about replacing the Union Jack with a picture of William Shakespeare and the Stars and Stripes with a picture of Mark Twain? This way geo-political controversies are avoided.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 16:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
That is, indeed, unconventional. I suggest mentioning that at Template talk:British English#Flag and Template talk:American English#Flag, where discussions are currently ongoing in regards to flags. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:24, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I fail to see what the problem with the flag is, I wish someone would tell me. On the point of the use of a Hiberno-English banner at this page, don't forget that the good old Manual of Style states that only one language variation should be used within an article, so what't it to be here - Hiberno-English? Em, perhaps not. LevenBoy (talk) 16:40, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

If we are going to talk about replacement pictures, why not a simple regional map showing the countries that that written language is used in? Or would that and the term "British English" only further try to somehow claim sovereignty over the Republic of Ireland for some editors? Mabuska (talk) 22:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Please try to keep the discussion on the template talk pages. This isn't the place for it. ~Asarlaí 22:30, 9 May 2011 (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.

Change "British Isles" to "Britain and Ireland"

Why is Wikipedia still referring to the Island of Ireland and the Island of Britain as the "British Isles". Ireland is not British, it never was British and never will be British so to call it British is, one, and insult to Ireland and it's people and two, politically incorrect. Neither the British government nor the Irish government refer to it officially as the "British Isles". David Cameron and other state officials of the UK often refer to them as "these Islands". This simple change will go unnoticed by the vast majority of people who read the article, but not the Irish. I'm sure they would be grateful, I know I will. It sickens me that Wikipedia refers to Ireland as British. Ireland is a sovereign country. It must be changed. Skyifictionable (talk) 15:53, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Yawn...this has been discussed ad nauseam. The word "British" in British Isles does not mean that Ireland is politically, culturally or otherwise British. It is a simple geographic term which takes the name of the largest island and uses its adjectival form to describe the island group. Should we get rid of the term Caribbean Islands? Remember the Carib people do not and did not occupy all the Caribbean Islands? How about Solar System - taken from Sol, the largest body in the system? It must remain at British Isles simply because that is the grouping's common name. Mac Tíre Cowag 16:03, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand, you're Irish and you want this article to remain "British Isles"? Many who may not know much about Europe read the article and will think that Ireland is British, something which angers me. Why can't it be changed to the British and Irish Islands, or just Britain and Ireland? Like I said, the term "British Isles" is not an official term, but "Solar System" and Carribbean are recognised as official terms by most heads of governments. It's a simple change and is a lot more logical. Skyifictionable (talk) 16:48, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
No Solar System is not an official term. And if someone reads the article and still thinks all of Ireland is British then they obviously didn't read this article. Your anger does not belong here. No one mentioned "offical terminology". Very few articles are listed under official terms. e.g. we don't have an article under "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", nor do we have one under the term "The Most Serene Republic of San Marino". In WP we use common naming. I don't view the name "British" in "British Isles" as problematic because I don't view everything as an insult - I do not have an inferiority complex. Mac Tíre Cowag 17:03, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Then what is the official term of the Solar System because I'm certain government's throughout the World use it. You expect people to read a full wikipedia article? Most use it for quick references. The term "British Isles" causes confusion, here is an example from yahooanswers: http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110111114305AAXrys7 I don't expect articles like the ones you listed to have their full name, that's understandable, but to have a country under something which it is not is ludicrous. You my friend are not an Irishman, you may have been born here but you are far from Irish. No Irishman would EVER associate Ireland with British is such a way. And to consider Ireland a part of the BRITISH Isles is an insult to the tens of thousands of people who died to free our beautiful land. How dare you. Skyifictionable (talk) 17:22, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
No one is suggesting, or even thinking, that Ireland is part of UK. That is the reason that there is a separate term British Isles, because we all know its not the same thing as United Kingdom, or Great Britain. Just like North America is different to USA, and East Indies is separate from India.IdreamofJeanie (talk) 17:32, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
The term "British Isles" does suggest that Ireland is British and therefore "belongs" to the British. Just like the link I gave earlier shows. If we MUST name Ireland and Britain with a group name, why not name it something less controversial, like "West European Isles". Skyifictionable (talk) 17:44, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
It's not the business of Wikipedia to prescribe "correct" usage; as a matter of fact the term "British Isles" is being used for Britain and Ireland. (That the term is controversial in Ireland is already mentioned in the article, with references.) - Mike Rosoft (talk) 17:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Because that is not the common name. This has been discussed over and over again. Read the relevant sections. Mac Tíre Cowag 17:53, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
@Mike, what makes you think that the readers of the article will read that far? Surely it should be in bold at the top to show that the term is controversial or why not just change it to "Britain and Ireland".
@MacTire "Britain and Ireland" is common name though. Skyifictionable (talk) 18:21, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

No, it's not the common name; the common name (albeit controversial to some) is "British Isles". (British Isles include not just Britain and Ireland, but also the Isle of Man and a number of other islands.) - Mike Rosoft (talk) 18:33, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Okay, here I am making the same mistake. While the term "Britain and Ireland" would seem to exclude the smaller islands, as a matter of fact it is being used. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 18:42, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
So if the name of the article were to change to Britain and Ireland, you would support the change? Or at least not oppose it? Like I have said before the term "British Isles" is so controversial that it is not used by governments, not even the US government dares to use it. I doubt the average American uses it either as most Americans cannot tell the difference between England and Britain. It is only common name in Britain, which means, on a World scale, it's not actually common name at all. Skyifictionable (talk) 18:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
No - I was only correcting myself. Worldwide, "British Isles" (or equivalents) is the prevailing term. In Ireland, it is largely unused and the preferred terms are "Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór" ("Ireland and Great Britain") or "Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa" ("Western European Isles"). In English-speaking countries - I am going to make a guess, since I am Czech - "British Isles" is the traditional term, and other terms, while not as commonly used by the general public, are preferred by some organizations due to the connotations of the traditional name. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 20:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
You seem so sure it's not a common name. Prove it. Where are your sources and references that back that claim up? The term "British Isles" is common, not just in Britain, but in Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, etc. References for those have been provided countless times. The term "Britain and Ireland" also excludes the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey which are not part of Britain or the UK. But then this has already been discussed, but then you obviously don't want to read back over those discussions.Mac Tíre Cowag 20:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh stop going out of your way to be offened. "I don't understand, you're Irish and you want this article to remain "British Isles"? Many who may not know much about Europe read the article and will think that Ireland is British, something which angers me." - this whole statement by Skyifictionable just exudes political motivations and assumes that once the reader reads the article they won't be any clearer that its on about a group of islands, not a political grouping. Well i'm sorry but the article makes it clear. Mabuska (talk) 21:06, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
In fact the articles first three lines states:

The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles.[7] There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom) and Ireland (also described as the Republic of Ireland).

I'd say that makes it very very clear what the article is on about and what states exist on it. Mabuska (talk) 21:24, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


Please read through the archives for this conversation as it has been had many times over the course of the last several years. If you have any new information to add, with reliable references to back them up, they'll be considered. Until such time lets not have the same conversation that has been had dozens of times that often end badly with insults and the occasional block. Canterbury Tail talk 21:40, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Closing - same old arguments and not moving the article forward. Pedro :  Chat  21:56, 21 June 2011 (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.

Ummm ... what is this?

Ummm... what is this?


British Isles
English: (British English) British Isles
English: (Hiberno English) Ireland and Britain
French: Îles Britanniques
Irish: Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór[1]
or Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa[2]
Manx: Ny h-Ellanyn Goaldagh[3]
Scottish Gaelic: Eileanan Bhreatainn[4]
Welsh: Ynysoedd Prydain[5]
( ... )
Geography

Hiberno-English: Ireland and Britain

"... Ireland and Britain,..."

What the bloody hell is that? ArmchairVexillologistDonLives! (talk) 16:02, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Reverted. --HighKing (talk) 16:16, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
For information, the change had been made in this edit. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:18, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Why was the Hiberno-English removed? What is the problem? Skyifictionable (talk) 00:27, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Because that is not the term in Hiberno-English. Hiberno-English speakers also include the c. 1,000,000 Unionists who use the term British Isles as well the countless southern Irish speakers of Hiberno-English who also use the term "British Isles" or don't even bother to use any term at all. Perhaps you can get sources which state that the Hiberno-English term is "Ireland and Britain". There is a difference between the linguistic term Hiberno-English and the terminology used in that dialect compared with the political jingo used by governments, organisations, etc. Mac Tíre Cowag 06:32, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
This is a genuine question; "Where is the proof that Hiberno-English speakers use the term "British Isles"?". I'm not trying to be smart, if there is evidence/sources, can you link them to me? ArmchairVexillologistDonLives seemed almost offended that Hiberno-English version was included, why? Skyifictionable (talk) 15:16, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Stay on topic please. This is not a place to discuss editor's motivations. If you have a problem with an editor in question bring it up on his/her talk page. Leave this page to the topic at hand - i.e. how to improve the British Isles article. Mac Tíre Cowag 17:20, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
The language is English. Hiberno-English is just a variant, like Australian English and the rest. How many people speak Hiberno-English anyway? Maybe its existence is one of those urban myths. The Skywatcher and me (talk) 18:48, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Just like English is a variant of Anglo-Frisian, which is itself a variant of Germanic.... Variant is not a useful word in this context - Hiberno-English is a dialect of English, just as standard English, general American English, Australian English, etc. are dialects of English. c. 6.4 million speak it so not really an urban myth. Much, but certainly not most, of the vocabulary has disappeared having been replaced by standard English terms, but the phonological, morphological and syntactic innovations peculiar to Hiberno-English are all alive and well and readily heard in any Irish locality - north or south of the border with Northern Ireland. Mac Tíre Cowag 21:57, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your expert views on the matter. And there was me thinking Glaswegian was a dialect. Maybe in the light of your opinion above you would like to go to Dialect and correct it - especially the statement in the Political factors section (PS, I was joking about the urban myth thing). The Skywatcher and me (talk) 22:49, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Anyhow, sarcasm aside, the suggestion that Hiberno-English has a different word for British Isles is crazy and a clear attempt to impose yet another unwanted POV on this beleaguered article. The Skywatcher and me (talk) 22:57, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not very good at spotting sarcasm in written format. My bad! Anyway, I agree with your comment above regarding the suggestion of a separate word in Hiberno-English for the British Isles. Unless references can be found it should remain out of the equation. As a speaker of Hiberno-English I can assure you the term British Isles is a common term for these islands. "Ireland and Britain" and "Britain and Ireland" are also used, but to what extent they are used, and what geographic extent they cover, well that is up to the individual speaker, and in my experience can be used interchangeably for a) the political entities of the UK and Ireland, b) the main islands of Britain and Ireland, or c) the British Isles as a whole. Mac Tíre Cowag 06:07, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
You ignored my question. Where is your evidence that this term "British Isles" is used in Hiberno-English? (minus Ulster English; even then, the Irish nationals who speak Ulster English would be even more inclined never to use the term due to the political situation in the North.) From my experience, I know no one who would use the term to refer to Ireland and Britain. To associate the term British with Ireland is largely unheard of in Ireland. It baffles me that you use it. How about you give ME evidence to prove otherwise? You don't have to post it here, you don't have to complain that this is not the place for it. Don't argue, just get the evidence and I will gladly shut up. Skyifictionable (talk) 00:26, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Please refer to the talk page archives, there are hundreds of references in there to show how it's used, even by Irish government and broadcasting institutions (though in the Irish government references I have noticed some have been retconned subsequently to remove the term.) Canterbury Tail talk 11:59, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Have you any example of where the term was subsequently removed. I find it hard to believe... --HighKing (talk) 14:07, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Can't recall them off hand, but I remember looking through them again about a year ago and a couple of them, even quoted in the archives, had changed to Britain and Ireland since then. I'll have to dig through again. Canterbury Tail talk 15:29, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Again, avoiding the simple question. Answer it. I have looked at the archives and much of the discussion in there is over the controversy of the term. Skyifictionable (talk) 00:23, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
No one is avoiding the simple question, there are 39 pages of archives, and a lot of references very clearly spelled out. Feel free to go through them. Canterbury Tail talk 00:26, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

"Controversial" now not mentioned until line 20 (paragraph 4)

According to this article's incredible edit history, since it was first created, in the very first edit in October 2001, the controversy has been mentioned in the first paragraph. In the past year some clearly politically-motivated British editors have moved it further and further down the page. The first mention of controversy now resides in the fourth paragraph, down at line 20. What are these people afraid of? Why, other than to fulfil a political agenda, do these people want to pretend that this term is not widely avoided in Ireland, despite the numerous references supporting this? The most important thing about this name is the fact that it is widely avoided and rejected - "Britain and Ireland" is one of the more common alternatives used - in one of the two main countries that supposedly constitute this "British Isles". This article is now easily among the most obscene monuments to a political agenda in the entire Wikipedia project. Richard Tyrrell (talk) 23:17, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

The reasons for the naming of something, and anything surrounding such naming, isn't as important as discussing what it is the subject is about. Can you provide references to support how widely avoided and rejected it is that differs from those discussed previously? If it's so widely avoided and rejected it shouldn't be too difficult. Canterbury Tail talk 23:25, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
The reason for the naming of something most certainly is more important than what is being discussed when the very name is a political statement, and one which is rejected by one of the two major islands in the so-called "British Isles". I trust you would have no problem if we renamed the Northern Ireland article as the Republic of Ireland article (to take one of the more obtuse consequences of your argument)? To attempt to rule the name issue out of bounds is an attempt at framing the debate within a context which suits the editor in question's politics. And a very obvious attempt at that. There is an abundance of evidence testifying to this Irish rejection of the term, from the government of the democratically-elected government of Ireland to numerous academics (many of whom are cited at the top of this page). Indeed, not so long ago there were well-referenced citations that "many" in Ireland objected to it. These references, too, were inexplicably removed. Why? Now, the British political agenda has reduced this "many" to "some" because they didn't like it, while being unable to account for the widespread avoidance of the term across the Irish media (a fact which is also well-referenced in the links connected to this article). In its origins (with the British imperialist John Dee) to its current use (by jingoistic British) the term reeks of a marginal, nationalistic British viewpoint. That the British government itself avoids the term in all its dealings with the government of Ireland, that it is not used in a single agreement between the governments of Ireland and the UK (very odd for a supposedly "common name"), that in the Belfast Agreement a "Council of the Isles" rather than a "Council of the British Isles" was set up, that the British Isles Lions renamed themselves the "British and Irish Lions", that international media outlets such as TV5 in France and National Geographic in America have expressly stopped using the term "British Isles" and to take a very recent example, why have they called it "Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model" rather than the "British Isles's Next Top Model", and so much more - all this is ignored in this most censored, most protected and most political of articles. These have all been cited, but the text in this article reflecting these sources has been removed in the past year. As for this claim that "British Isles" is the most common name, what is the basis for this? Anybody? A Google Fight, for instance, has "Britain and Ireland" as far and away a more common name than "British Isles". This is easily the most common description in Ireland for "the archipelago". Given that the mass of British as well as Irish media outlets use "Britain and Ireland" more than "British Isles" this is not surprising (BBC website search, for instance). Indeed, from start to finish it is the claims made for "British Isles" in this article which are most precarious and indicative of an agenda. It is merely the sheer numerical dominance of British editors of a nationalistic bent which suppresses all of this and can get away with failing to support its own claims. Awful stuff altogether. Richard Tyrrell (talk) 09:05, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Hi Richard. The consensus to move the "controversial" piece lower down the lead wasn't done solely by politically motivated British editors. Most people coming to the article want to find out about the "British Isles", so the lede and article reflect this. --HighKing (talk) 11:56, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
First and foremost it follows the manual of style on lede sections which places controversies last in prominence in the lede. Mabuska (talk) 10:45, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
You have to give the cake to the academia obsessed with political correctnesses. When I first read the term "Atlantic Archipelago" I wasn't sure whether this wasn't a joke so idiotically invented this sounds. These people must be geographical geniuses who would never let the fact that there are actually many other archipelagos in the Atlantic between Greenland and the Falklands get in the way of their provincialist ideology. I agree with Mabuska that people want to read primarily about the British Isles, not about the speech codes of a small group of politicized language manipulators. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 19:46, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Bisles being deleted

User hiking deleting british isles all over the place. Can anything be done — Preceding unsigned comment added by Caiboshtank (talkcontribs) 16:45, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Its a long term problem but there's no point in raising it here. You need to report the editor at one of the forums watched by administrators. And there's no point reverting it. Another editor recently got banned for doing just that (User:Sven the Big Viking). The Skywatcher and me (talk) 18:20, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Briton Isles or North-West Isles

Why not call them Briton Isles or North-West isles. It eliminates any need of nationalism. Negativecharge (talk) 22:32, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I appreciate your sincerity but how would calling the Atlantic Archipelago the "Briton Isles" make it less political than calling it the British Isles? Are you under the impression that the Irish are "Britons"?North-West Isles, on the other hand, approximates closely with the verifiable, historic name in Irish for the archipelago, Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa (Western European Isles/Islands of Western Europe). Richard Tyrrell (talk) 09:05, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Its original research from the looks of it anyways so wouldn't be an acceptable alternative. Mabuska (talk) 10:27, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the Isles are called the British Isles in Wikipedia because that is their actual name, as known throughout the world. It's not even original research, it is invention. The Skywatcher and me (talk) 20:06, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Because that isn't what they're called. Simple enough reason. 109.255.90.107 (talk) 16:43, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Incorrect reference?

Reference 16 is used to support the words "imperialist overtones", but when I looked at the source I couldn't find these words at all (p. 17. ISBN 9780567082800). Is the source not the correct one, or has someone engaged in a bit of interpretation? Either way, this needs correcting. Could someone else confirm that the source doesn't contain these words. Van Speijk (talk) 11:50, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

It supports the phrase "As a result, Britain and Ireland is becoming a preferred description" not sure what you are talking about as I can't see "imperialist overtones" in that paragraph. Am I missing something here? --Snowded TALK 13:25, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
The reference is used twice. It also appears in the Etymology section, 3rd paragraph. Van Speijk (talk) 16:22, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I've changed the sentence to "...cloaking a form of Anglocentrism...". What is actually said in the ref is "...cloaking the idea of a 'greater England', or an extended south-eastern English imperium..." However, those precise words (which are beautiful) would read quite strange out of context. --RA (talk) 16:48, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not reverting, as it should be (and should have been) discussed first. The referenced text does not mean "...cloaking a form of Anglocentrism...". It is refering to English imperialism. And that is what it should say. Daicaregos (talk) 16:56, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I reverted, it was bold but I think that wording is further away from the text which says : "It has been perceived as clouding the idea of a 'greater England', or an extended sourth-eastern English imperium, under a common ~Crown from 1603 onwards" It goes on to talk about "raw English aggrandizement, crude English colonialism". I think from that we can keep the imperialism but maybe qualify it as English? --Snowded TALK 17:01, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Saying: "...cloaking a form of English imperialism..." would be fine by me. Daicaregos (talk) 17:04, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Careful here about the difference between "Inperialism"/"Imperialist" and "Imperium". The point here is what are we trying to say? I think it's that "British Isles" is now sometimes replaced by terms such as "Britain and Ireland" or whatever, and to explain why. I acknowledge this to be the case, but I wonder whether pulling out stuff about SE English Imperium is appropriate. I wouldn't have thought such arcane ideas have anything to do with the apparent decline in the use of British Isles. It's about the fact that some people in Ireland don't want to be associated with things British, so to me, the reference is not a good one; it doesn't explain the "why?" Van Speijk (talk) 17:34, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
The hostility to BI as a term is due to its association not with "things British" (that may be your opinion but its not what the reference says) but with British rule when Ireland was a part of the Empire. The reference does not say in 1603, but from 1603 onwards so its hardly arcane. Further the imperial nature of British power evident through to the early part of the last century. The reference clearly associates a reluctance to use the BI term with English imperialism. --Snowded TALK 17:52, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't see at all how it is controversial since the use of the term British isles predates the people of Great Britain and thus the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain considering themselves British at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.133.81.36 (talk) 10:38, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Not everybody shares that opinon. PS- Who are the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain? GoodDay (talk) 14:40, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Poll on ArbCom resolution - Ireland article names

There is a poll taking place here on whether or not to extend the ArbCom binding resolution, which says there may be no page move discussions for Ireland, Republic of Ireland or Ireland (disambiguation), for a further two years. Scolaire (talk) 11:23, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Culture section needs expanding

Doesn't it? Reducing what's shared between the two countries to a couple of TV shows and sports seems rather silly, it would be like reducing the impact of the United States in the article on Canadian culture to a paragraph saying "Canadians like American TV and some follow the NFL". From my experiences in Ireland, Britain serves a similar role there to the US in Canada or Australia in New Zealand... as a center of business for both states as well as the hub for a largely (but not entirely) shared popular culture. Irish actors and musicians often move to London to further their careers, for example. Many companies operate throughout the Isles, with a lot of retail chains being either entirely or primarily located in just those countries. Some companies unique to Ireland are owned by UK equivalents, and a number of foreign companies operations in the UK and Ireland are consolidated (like Domino's Pizza UK & IRL). McDonalds, for example, makes a big to do about using "British and Irish farms", the logic behind which seems to be an assumption that British and Irish people don't see each other as inherently foreign. I feel like the article doesn't accurately reflect this, I'd love it if somebody could find a way to change that. Knowing this talk page, though, this might turn into a huge debate so I'll have an apology ready on standby in case I've disturbed the hornets nest -- MichiganCharms (talk) 07:36, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure there is anything encyclopaedic to add. Some companies merge their operations for both countries. Some don't. Some HQ their operations in Ireland, some in the UK. Some market their operations as covering Britain and Ireland. Some don't. Some musicians move to London to further their careers. Some don't. If there are references out there that support a shared culture then by all means use them but actually I suspect that there is very little encyclopaedic about it. Fmph (talk) 07:57, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Fmph. Most countries have some elements of shared culture with their neighbours, but there's no need to go into details in a geography-based article like this. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:22, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I'd argue that the degree to which popular culture between the countries is shared is worth mentioning. Like the fact that, say, the Christmas number-one singles in the UK and the Christmas number-one singles in Ireland have been the same song 28 out of 48 times (indeed, the entire concept of a Christmas number-one is unique to those two countries), or the Irish government negotiating a deal in an attempt to ensure that the BBC would be available free to air in Ireland. Ghmyrtle is perhaps correct that this article isn't the place to go into any sort of depth on this article, but the fact remains that nowhere else on this encyclopedia has any overt mentions of cultural similarities as nearly every article on Britain and Ireland focuses in large part on constitutional issues. -- MichiganCharms (talk) 13:31, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with what you say. Actually its more than a shared culture, it's a common culture in many respects. English/Scots/Welsh people by and large don't regard Irish people as foreign and the opposite is also true. The section you mention does need expanding. The people of the British Isles are pretty much of a single ethnicity. Irish ethnicity is no more different from English than is Scots or Welsh or Manx. Culture is within the realm of human geography so it sits well in this article. Van Speijk (talk) 14:15, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Let's not get into "ethnicity" - a contentious and irrelevant question. What concerns me is that we use good sources rather than relying on what we think to be true, or on our own research, and that we don't end up with a hotchpotch of trivia about things that happen to be done in similar ways in both countries. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:19, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
A starting point would be to compare the articles on Culture of Ireland with Culture of the United Kingdom and identify common ground. Such commonality might then be included in this article. Van Speijk (talk) 14:24, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Don't think so - WP:CIRCULAR and WP:SYNTH. We need reliable independent sources that address shared cultural aspects across the islands. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:35, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
You don't? Let's try the currently topical subject of Halloween. Mention of it can be found in both the aforementioned articles (referenced in each case), so it would be reasonable to include this example in the British Isles article. Now I know this has American roots but it's this type of commonality throughtout the islands that could and should be included. Why must we have WP policy cited as the first cut whenever suggestions are made? In fact, looking at the two articles there is much material that could be included - suitably refactored - in this article, even if it's not common between the two major islands in the group. Van Speijk (talk) 15:55, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Pedantic tangential comment: Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain. It has been celebrated in these isles for much longer than the US has existed ;) Wiki-Ed (talk) 20:33, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I omitted the word "modern" in my last post. I think it would be a good one for the culture section though. Van Speijk (talk) 20:36, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
If material is in both articles, there is no point in duplicating it here. We don't set out every possible permutation of common culture between countries in articles. Any new information here should be based on reliable independent sources, not on pulling together a ragbag of information from WP articles, or elsewhere. A more interesting article would be one that set out differences between British and Irish culture. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:18, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I take issue with your final comment there: (a) because it seems to be needlessly divisive - there are many cultural similarities and the article doesn't really address this in a balanced way; and (b) because to highlight the differences would suggest that the similarities are a given, which is not reflected by the current content. To reach a point where we set out the differences we would first have to set the stage to make it clear that culturally England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are culturally homogeneous (assuming that is true) when compared to other parts of the world. Wiki-Ed (talk) 20:40, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
My final comment wasn't necessarily to be taken completely seriously - but there is a balance to be struck. There are differences between aspects of British and Irish culture, just as there are common features. This article should not give undue emphasis to one side of that balance - the common features. I restate the basic point - if this article is to say anything at all about "the culture of the isles" - which I don't think is particularly necessary, or helpful to anyone - it should do so based on reliable, independent sources that consider the issue in the round, rather than on some editors' random observations about trivia like Xmas no. 1 records. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:27, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
In our increasingly small global village, the cultural similarities are certainly not limited to Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Their not even limited ton the English speaking world. You can go to just about any West European city and you will find the same branded clothing, the same music, the same TV and movies, the same (although translated) books, the same Riverdance. And if you want references about the homogeneity of 'modern-western' culture, I'm sure I can find some. But I still don't feel it is either notable or encyclopaedic. But I'm open to persuasion if someone wants to have a go at writing something. So long as it's well referenced.Fmph (talk) 21:02, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
That's a bit of a straw man, don't you think? You can watch Friends in country in the world, but that does not mean that any of those countries are as homogenous culturally with the US as Canada or even, say, Britain. The point I'm trying to make is that it's not just British and Irish people both liking The X-Factor... it's that British and Irish people are often watching the same exact channels with different advertising content. They're reading the same newspapers. They're shopping at the same stores (Tesco, to use a particularly ubiquitous example, has more stores in the UK and Ireland than the rest of the world combined). In many cases they're watching TV shows and films, listening to music or gossiping about celebrities that simply are non-entities anywhere else. And this is just being overly superficial... it doesn't touch on how the local cuisine of both countries are practically identical or the unique phenomena that is pub culture. The idea that we can sum up the common cultural bonds that come from 1000 years of shared history in two paragraphs, disproportionately dealing with sports, strikes me as downright silly. Sources can be easily found, it's just a matter of how far one wants to go with such a section... I'm already on record as saying it should be kept brief so as not to tilt the entire article toward human geography -- MichiganCharms (talk) 01:51, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────BTW, if anyone still believes that the Christmas No. 1 is a solely British or Irish phenomena they should have a look at this.Fmph (talk) 21:04, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

The second sentence on the page renders your point moot... every country with a music chart has a number 1 song on Christmas, but there are only two that make a big deal out of it. -- MichiganCharms (talk) 01:16, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Political or geographical?

What is this article supposed to be? People with British nationalist viewpoints are on one hand saying this article is about a "geographical" area and not a political or cultural area, yet on the other hand are advocating that this article include loads of information about political/cultural similarities (i.e. include things which support their jingoistic/nationalistic ideas of Ireland as "British"). They can't have their cake and eat it. Americas is a genuinely geographical article. In sharp contrast, this British Isles article has a clear political agenda. The latest discussion about "expanding" the cultural/political section of this supposedly "geographic" concept is more proof of this. 93.107.125.213 (talk) 00:03, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

There is nothing political in the article, nor was there any proposal to add any political information. And for the record, as the starter of the previous section, I'm hardly a "British Nationalist". I mean, I'm an American. In fact, my view on the section has changed in the past month and I'd now be fine with it being removed. But in the future, you should remember to WP:AGF -- MichiganCharms (talk) 21:39, 7 December 2011 (UTC)


Well I'm not a British Nationalist at all. I'm a Scottish nationalist. However the term British Isles is the far most commonly used one. Shall we include Mann in the name ? Along with the 790 Scottish islands and the various islands of England etc. ? Would be a rather long name would it not ? Many archipelagos are named after the largest island in the group. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.104.198.165 (talk) 01:10, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Incredible, that there's an article with this name in 2012

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Good faith proposals to move this page should go through Wikipedia:Requested moves#Requesting controversial and potentially controversial moves. Additionally, Wikipedia is not a forum. --RA (talk) 00:35, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Have any of the people who support this article name actually spoken with Irish people about this title? Using this title in 2012 has to be designed to score a British nationalist political point against the Irish. 109.76.214.233 (talk) 23:22, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

If you looked in your history books you would see that the term has been around longer than there has been a British state. The name British Isles goes back to the Greco-Roman times. And I think you'll find that the majority of Irish people don't really care what they are called. Apart from anything else, British Isles is by far the preferred term throughout the world, and as Wikipedia uses common names as article titles, then at British Isles it will stay until such a time as some other term becomes favourable. Wikipedia is not about promoting political points of view. Arguably, calling the isles something other than the British Isles could be construed as being "designed to score an Irish nationalist point against the British". Indeed, there is an even stronger case for that as it flies in the face of what the common name for these islands are known as. Mac Tíre Cowag 00:09, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

The British isles as a name is inherently political, and misleading as a description for the islands. It expressly denotes that the islands are British. Also, 'The British isles', as a term, for many living on the islands, particularly, in the Rep. of Ireland carries negative and imperial connotations. Given that the term itself offends and is seriously contentious it should not be used to describe the region. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.97.130.82 (talk) 23:03, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Input requested

Your input is requested at the following discussions:

1RR

Is this article subject to 1RR only policy? Northern Arrow (talk) 19:44, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

I believe it has been lifted but that should not be taken as a license to revert war. --RA (talk) 22:01, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I think that might have been directed at you RA ;). Regarding the bold text - it does look a bit silly there. I'm not going to bother arguing about changing "Britain and Ireland", but could we at least put the "Atlantic Archipelago" back to italics? I don't think anyone disagrees that it is not a significant alternative term. Outside academia that is. Allegedly :| Wiki-Ed (talk) 23:10, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
At least "Atlantic Archipelago", as ridiculous as it is, is geographically sound... JonC 23:37, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, in fairness, all of these terms can be detracted from for being unsound for one reason or another: British Isles; because not all of the isles are British, Britain and Ireland because not all of the islands are Britain or Ireland; Atlantic Archipelago because there are other archipelagos in the Atlantic; etc.
My 2¢ is that if its references and reasonably common (certainly like Britain and Ireland and, even, Atlantic Archipelago at a bit more of a stretch) then it's fair enough to show it in bold. --RA (talk) 23:58, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, good point. Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:19, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure they should be bolded as it gives undue weight to alternate terms that are not exactly synomys. MilborneOne (talk) 16:14, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Agreed they should maybe be in italics, but not bolded. BritishWatcher (talk) 16:36, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Per WP:ITALIC, they should not be in italic. "Italics may also be used where, in the course of using a term in an article, that term is being defined, introduced or distinguished in meaning... If, however, a term is strictly synonymous with the subject of the article, then bold face should be used in place of italics...." In this article, the terms are introduced as being synonymous with the article title, and therefore should be in bold (regardless of whether anyone thinks it looks "a bit silly"). Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:59, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree. What is the big deal here? I know some people don't know about Atlantic archipelago, but it is used frequency in academia - just go to google scholar if you don't believe me.--KarlB (talk) 17:01, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
The reason people dont know about it is because it is a little used term used in academia and is hardly a synonym for British Isles. It really is giving undue prominence and weight in the lead to something that is not that important, I am sure they will be a guideline against it somewhere. MilborneOne (talk) 17:08, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you. Use of Atlantic Archipelago is miniscule, even in academia. The problem with Google Books is that in cases like this, and taken on its own, it gives a distorted picture of the true situation. How many references are there to "British Isles" in Google Books? Compare the two figures; AA about 7,000, BI about 4,600,000. A synonym it is not. Northern Arrow (talk) 17:47, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, so we're talking Google Scholar :) The ratio is comparable there. Northern Arrow (talk) 17:50, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
We have had this discussion before, but to reiterate to newer editors: The problem is that the sources say Atlantic Archipelago is becoming "favoured" in academia, in the same way they say Britain and Ireland is increasingly "preferred" in general. Neither statement is in any way quantitatively examined by those sources but according to WP:V we have to report what they say, not whether we think it is true or not. And as RA has said above, one can argue that all the terms are inaccurate or impossible to consider as synonyms for various reasons. So they either or all stay or they all go. If they stay then they have to go in bold as per the MoS policy. And yes I do think it looks a bit strange, but that's not a reason to change and this issue is not worth stirring up again. I think the reasoning provided by RA is sound. Let sleeping dogs lie. Wiki-Ed (talk) 20:43, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Clearly you can use WP:V to add anything but in reality nobody has heard of Atlantic Archipelago it is not a common name and clearly is against WP:WEIGHT and a lot of other acronym soup on wikipedia. It just is not notable enough for the lead never mind being in bold. I have no problem with it in the article under a - by the way a few academics have used a few different words section but anything else is undue weight. MilborneOne (talk) 22:06, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with acronyms. In terms of weighting you'll see that we have more sources supporting "Atlantic Archipelago" than we do "Britain and Ireland". In reality both terms are given undue weight by being mentioned at all because only a tiny minority of English speaking people use either of them. However, we cannot measure the size of those minorities relative to one-another so we mention both terms on the basis of what the sources tell us. Unless you have sources which counter that you're just expressing an opinion. Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:20, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Largely agreeing with Wiki-Ed's position, but I feel the need to point out that most of the sources telling us that the term was being increasingly used are from the period at the turn of the millennium, when there was a small flood of books in the "new British history". I am not sure how valid they are now in telling us the popularity of the term. While it looks as if more recent works may have gone back to British Isles (or avoiding the term altogether) I have not yet found something that says it has had its day (which is not conclusive - falls are more rarely noted than rises) (This is one of the closest so far [1]). Second, Pocock's formulation was actually "the North Atlantic Archipelago" (see [2]). The cumbersome addition is necessary because of all the other archipelagos in the ocean. Sometimes this is the "East Atlantic" or "North-East Atlantic", but since scholars are aware of this, AA is just a shortened way of saying this (See [3] for example). So if it is going up as an alternative, it probably, and horrendously, needs to be in its full form.--SabreBD (talk) 11:16, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Could we not simply do away with that last sentence. " As a result, Britain and Ireland is becoming a preferred description,[14][17][18] and Atlantic Archipelago is increasingly favoured in academia,[19][20][21][22] although British Isles is still commonly employed." And simply summarise saying as a result alternative terms and names are sometimes used although British Isles is still commonly employed? with a link to a note or something? Rather than naming these and having to bold both or treat one with additional undue weight. As far as im concerned the whole last paragraph is not notable for the introduction, but the biggest problem is the mention of these two names, especially as "Britain and Ireland" just isnt an alternative name for the British Isles, its a completely different term covering a different area than what consists of the British Isles. So fixing that last sentence would be progress at least. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:57, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
No, because some editors feel very strongly that it is an alternative and we've come to a compromise position. Also, please note, this section does have to be included in the introduction (the MoS requires controveries to be highlighted). Once again, can we leave this and move on? The article has been stable for a while. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:29, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
The original usage of the term by J. G. A. Pocock comes from here, I believe: [[4]]; in it, he calls it the Atlantic archipelago. It's unfortunate, because as others have pointed out, it *is* ambiguous, but you have to give him credit for trying. I agree that sometimes people call it North Atlantic isles or North-East atlantic archipelago or any number of other formations, but of all of them Atlantic archipelago, at least among academics of history and politics, seems to be the one that has stuck most (after BI of course). Also it is not just a turn-of-the-century thing; the Atlantic archipelago research project was founded in 2010, with a purpose of studying, well, the Atlantic archipelago. MilbourneOne's assertion that nobody has ever heard of atlantic archipelago is rather silly, considering there have been a number of books and papers published using this term, and wikipedia is certainly full of *lots* of things that nobody has ever heard of, save a few specialists, yet we keep them - and in this case we aren't even talking about an article (like Islands of the North Atlantic), this is just a mention; it is stable; and worth keeping. --KarlB (talk) 13:50, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify my silly statement - "nobody" was meant to mean 99.99999% of the world population who dont read academic or scientific books the main readers of this encyclopedia. I dont have a problem with a mention it was just the undue prominence by bolding in the lead that I objected to. Clearly compromise and stability have not been reached if new editors keep coming up with issues on this page. MilborneOne (talk) 16:40, 20 June 2012 (UTC)


Personally most of this dicussion is moot. The Legal Definition is "British Isles". Has been since the Romans named it after the two main Islands. Britannica Superior, Britannica Inferior. Means big & small britiannica for those not understanding. In all offical documents, it is "HM Britannic Government" for over 1,000 years, until the labour party decided to reinvent the wheel and shape the world after themselves. The people take no notice of course, it's Britian and Ireland, the British Isles, which is the Offical School syballus. Second part. Acdemia always trys to push it's opinion, without any offical want of. The optional names for the british isles currently are politicial niceties. Not fact. And just because 7 books from ticket holders of a left wing organisation write books to support the "atlantic Isles" doesn't make it so. The Offical Legal definition is "British Isles". As I understand it, wiki rules dictate the offical title. Not wishy washy dreaming.

Correction needed here, Britannia (not Britannica) Superior was southern England, with admininistration at Londinium. Britannia Inferior was the northern area with administration at Eboracum (York). Just divisions for the purposes of administration. Nothing to do with the Island of Ireland, which was known to the Romans as "Hibernia", or confusingly "Scotia" (Scotland being Caledonia). Wikipedia is describing the common use, which is declining because it is becoming outdated. Canada and Mexico are in North America, but their people are not known as Americans, as there is no state which is called "America" (i.e. the United States of... distinguishes the nation from the continent) although their people are known as Americans. 194.74.0.10 (talk) 09:15, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

123.3.79.251 (talk) 00:02, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Out of interest, I presume the term Atlantic Archipelago would also include the Faroe Islands? 220.255.1.69 (talk) 07:00, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

"legal definition is British Isles", the "offical [sic] legal definition is British Isles" and it apparently appears in all "offical documents" - and you'll be able to support this utter nonsense from the John Bull school of British politics how, precisely? The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 between the British and Irish governments, where the British state intentionally avoids using it at every turn? Etc, etc. I thought not. Why bother. 79.97.154.238 (talk) 22:13, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Changes made in the interest of modernisation, deleted by another user

I made a number of minor edits to the article on the British Isles yesterday. These changes were reverted by another user:

"3 March 2013 (diff | hist) . . British Isles‎; 14:50 . . (-597)‎ . . ‎Ghmyrtle (talk | contribs)‎ (Revert. This has been much discussed, many times. Raise it on the talk page if you wish to pursue it.)"

No explanation was given for this, no discussion of my evidence, as provided by the underlined references, which included links to official Irish Government correspondence and UK newspapers that had covered the issue in detail.

I'd like to know why it is that this severely outdated and offensive (to some) term is being so staunchly defended in the face of evidence? It is a term coined in the colonial past and no longer in use by either sovereign government. Even geography books in the 21st century will omit the term (again as evidenced by the provided reference for Folens).

Below is a representation of changes I made to the article. I have emboldened the text that I updated:

The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that are sometimes thought to include the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles.[9] However, The term British Isles is politically loaded and has become somewhat dated as a geographical term, especially since the independence of part of the island of Ireland in 1948[10][11][12][13].

The British Isles also include three dependencies of the British Crown: the Isle of Man and, by tradition, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. These latter two Crown Dependencies are not physically a part of the archipelago, which casts doubt as to the credibility of this term as being solely geographical in nature. [15][16]

The term British Isles is controversial in Ireland,[9][18] where there are objections to its usage due to the association of the word British with Ireland.[19] The Government of Ireland does not recognise or use the term[20] and its embassy in London discourages its use.[21] As a result, Britain and Ireland is used as an alternative description,[19][22][23] and Atlantic Archipelago has had limited use among a minority in academia,[24][25][26][27][22].

If there is indeed a mechanism for pursuing this, I would like to know of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcully (talkcontribs) 20:55, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

There are very very long discussions on the talk page archives. Editors have been blocked, sock puppets created found and blocked. etc etc. etc. I suggest you have a look at the archives and then see if you have anything new to offer. On the face of it you edit is no better sourced than previously rejected proposals ----Snowded TALK 21:02, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
And, indeed, we have whole articles on the Terminology of the British Isles and the British Isles naming dispute - articles which themselves have been the subject of lengthy discussion. The consensus position has been to retain the existing wording in this article, while recognising and acknowledging the Irish government's position. My explanation, in a few words in an edit summary, was to encapsulate in a few words the very, very, very large number of bytes that have been expended on this topic in the past (and, incidentally, not to "staunchly defend" anything other than the consensus that emerged from those debates). Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:34, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

-

Thank you for your response Ghmyrtle. It is appreciated. I have read through the lengthy discussion you referred to and you are right that there is a lot in there. However, I would simply contend that consensus amongst large numbers of people who are incorrect, does not make them correct. The point is, the 'British Isles', as a term, is no longer recognised as a physical geographical description. It fails to meet that criterion because it incorporates both cultural (Ireland) and political (Crown Dependencies) elements. The entire article is riddled with semantics that have divisive and partisan meaning. Unless a clear definition can be put forward (and I doubt one can be), I think that because of these multiple factors, the entire article should be rewritten to explicitly state the inherent subjectivity of the term. --Jcully (talk) 23:01, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Just throwing another point into this endless discussion. To start with I agree that the term 'British Isles' has become hopelessly mixed up between geographical and political definitions. The problem is the word 'British' which once neatly covered both the geographic and political meaning but these days has come to be associated with the country generally known as Britain although it is actually 'United Kingdom and Northern Island' (UK for short) and really should not be referred to as British. This being a given we have to reflect reality, common usage for citizens of the UK is British (messy terminology but we are stuck with it). The real problem here is the messy political term British being linked with the accurate geographical term 'British Isles'. I don't think it is Wikipedias role to try and take sides in this tricky and emotionally laden topic but I don't see any reason not to say that the phrase has acquired some political associations such as being unacceptable in the Republic of Ireland. The repeated references to the Anglo Irish agreement are irrelevant, that is a political agreement so there is no reason why it should refer to a geographical term. Mtpaley (talk) 23:32, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
The political implications of the term are set out in the fourth paragraph of the introduction. Giving higher precedence to those statements has been considered previously, but not accepted by a majority of editors. Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:37, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
The term is still used as a physical label [5] [6]. UK weather forecasts frequently refer to the British Isles. I am unaware of any other common term available to English speakers in the UK (or elsewhere, as far as I know) to describe the entire group of islands. It's use as a(n incorrect) political label is no longer common in the UK. Most people I know refer to the UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland or, if clarification is required, southern Ireland or sometimes the republic of Ireland. It's difficult to accommodate the viewpoint from one side of the Celtic Sea together with the other, but the fourth paragraph of the article as it stands seems to do this well and, has been pointed out, there are articles devoted to detailed examination of the name itself and why it causes offence to some people in some parts of the world. The unilateral changes made (and since reverted) could be accused of being politically loaded as much as the term being discussed. Bazza (talk) 11:08, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I read the comment immediately above expecting another pointless rant. Instead I heard the voice of reason. Thank you.
Move to close this thread? --RA (talk) 12:07, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Let's wait a wee moment to give jcully the right to reply. As you've said, everything seems reasonably civilized so far. --HighKing (talk) 13:23, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
A general comment here: I want to point out that the term "British Isles" is almost never used politically or culturally. You'd be hard-pressed to find it outside of the realms of geographical or natural world terms. This is silly fringe-theory pushing at its best...--85.210.107.21 (talk) 16:32, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Dismissing the thoughts and opinions of other contributors as "silly fringe-theory pushing" indicates a low understanding of the issue. Cartographical publications have taken the conscious decision and expense to replace the term with something else; governments have decided to avoid or deprecate the term; journalism style-manuals include guidance on usage: it is obviously something important enough for consideration and note. Bazza (talk) 23:01, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

The far-too-long imo article is a morass of compromises, but such is life. The silliest compromise is in giving such prominent intro-space to the 99.9999999%-unused term "Atlantic archipelago" - it's just the obsession of a single Wikipedia user and his postcard-full of sources that he's scoured the globe for, and proof that 24/7 commitment gets you everywhere on Wikipedia in this area. Still, the article is looking a lot less radical than it once did - mainly because it used to be constantly locked on some variation of extreme. Still problematic are the unsourced "by tradition" (hmmm), and the misleading venn diagram that 'said person' would never allow to be replaced no matter what (even to the point of deleting the older ones that offered choice over the Channel Islands). The place is still a favourite haunt of people who want the UK broken up, and those who are loopy about how 'Great!' Britain is. But what can you do.

'British Isles' is basically a context-relevant term that has a hierarchy of definitions in different encyclopedias. What I found was that 'archipelago-only' is almost always without exception the first definition (ie "can also include the Channel Islands"). It just doesn't suit some people's POV for a vaguely-awkward (and for them utterly unwanted) term to make at least some kind of geographical sense and not be inherently (and oh so unfairly!) politicised. Still, I hear the term every day on TV in a variety of situations (rather like Northern Ireland being a 'country') and I often find I'm reading it too. People seem to be happy with the benign sense or form of 'Britain'. The social expriment that happened here and the rather-unpleasant exaggeration of how much it's actively disliked in Ireland (as if people really give a shite) clearly hasn't (at least to any large degree) worked. It's probably even less than the amount of British 'Northern Irish' people who dislike that particular use of the term 'Irish' in relation to them and the rock they live on. Which is good, because my main beef has always been that it's nothing short of scary that this place is ever used for political motives. Matt Lewis (talk) 00:02, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

On the first version of this page about ten years ago the political loadedness of the phrase was mentioned in the second sentence. Now, the politics, the controversy, attached to this name has been shoved way down the page. Such is the control British rightwing editors have gained over this joke of an article. 89.101.41.216 (talk) 16:36, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Bullshit! The only joke is the fact that the "controversy" is mentioned at all, because guess what, in the real world it doesn't exist. 86.25.28.163 (talk) 17:44, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
There is no *real* controversy over the British Isles naming outside of Ireland. There is clearly no/little "suppression" of the fact the term is controversial in Ireland by right-wing "British Nationalists" here. The positioning of the controversy in the article is something I can't comment on. Btw, Right-Wing British nationalists aren't exactly welcome around here, and they never get their way, trust me. Now excuse me whilst I chastise myself for being born British. lol. <IP Watcher> --85.211.127.116 (talk) 20:30, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh yeah, I created an account, IpWatcher was taken sadly. I wont use my IP any more if I continue here. I strongly dislike the animosity around here. As someone with strong ties to Ireland, North and South, it's distressing to see so much time wasted on discussions which are skewed, one way or another. If you want to see hardcore trolling on Irish-related articles, check out the Derry article, U2 and Eglinton, County Londonderry.--DevonianIpWatcher (talk) 20:41, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

- There can be little doubt that, by the views clearly espoused in these comments, there is no way to remove the politics from the article. The editors have spoken and their decree is final.

Yet, if it truly was a geographical term, there would be no discussion.

It was my belief that the article should be rewritten, but I can see now that it will not be. Perhaps Mtpaley is correct in taking the view that Wikipedia is not the place to have this discussion at all, but Wikipedia is often the first stop for many people when searching for basic information. In fact, the link to this Wikipedia article is on the top of the list when one performs a search on Google. There has been much talk of reason and right-wing agendas in the comments, but there was no such right-wing thought or unreason in my suggestions.

Bazza spoke of unilateral changes made and accused them of being also politically loaded. Are these changes so unilateral; indeed are they even unreasonable?

The changes I made were to the following sentences along lines that could have been augmented to fit with the editor’s tone:

1) The British Isles is a term used to describe a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that are sometimes thought to include the islands of ...

2) As a term, the British Isles is politically loaded and has become somewhat dated as a geographical term, especially since the independence of part of the island of Ireland in 1948[10].

3) Referring to the Channel Islands: These latter two Crown Dependencies are not physically a part of the archipelago, which casts doubt as to the credibility of this term being solely geographical in nature[reference removed].

While I have to accept that those who control this page have made their decision, it seems Matt Lewis states that the “British Isles is basically a context-relavent [Sic] term” and that “It just doesn't suit some people's POV” for the term to be geographical. Matt and Bazza might want to appreciate that the UK is not the only English speaking country in the world and that their experience of television and other media within the UK might not pertain to the entire global community. I have no doubt that people in Britain, and in the UK generally, are “happy with the benign sense or form of 'Britain'.” However those outside of Britain, even those on “the rock” next to it, have publicly politically expressed views on the matter – references for which were both provided and deleted. There is little in these comments that could be conceived of as anything but political, indeed as biased and partisan.

Where is the geography in any of this?

Bazza informs us “It's difficult to accommodate the viewpoint from one side of the Celtic Sea together with the other.” Indeed this may be so, but it seems unlikely that those in France or the Iberian Peninsula are weighing in on this article. Perhaps Bazza is confusing the Celtic Sea with the Irish Sea?

While there may indeed be, as DevonianIpWatcher informs us, “no *real* controversy over the British Isles naming outside of Ireland,” the issue within Ireland exists. Perhaps the view amongst the editors is simply that the Irish don’t matter, but the Irish contribution to the modern international tongue, commonly called ‘English’, is no insignificant one and Irish people continue to coin terms that frequently make it into common currency. I am not arguing that ‘Atlantic Archipelago’ will become one of them, merely that as a geographic term, ‘British Isles’ no longer cuts cloth. My initial point was that it is a term, but that this article considers it a description, de facto.

I remain of the view that it is unfortunate that the article will remain in its present form and I hope someday that an amicable rewording of certain sections will be accomplished. Jcully (talk) 22:35, 11 March 2013 (UTC) -

It is very impolite to use '[sic]' when you are quoting someone who is likely to respond. Having said that I don't think I will. Matt Lewis (talk) 00:41, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
@Jcully: And also a bit rude not to assume good faith in what other people write . I should have added Irish Sea to my Celtic Sea reference - they both form the major waters between the UK and republic of Ireland; my apologies for incompleteness. You ask why I called your edit "unilateral": you made it on your own without other consultation: in other words "unilateral". It's not a slur nor negative attribution, simply a statement of the way you did the edit. I did not say they were unreasonable, although I am neither surprised nor alarmed that that they were reverted. You also say I accuse your edits of being politically loaded. I did not. I did say that they could be accused of being as such, and the comments they have elicited could be taken as evidence of my forecast. You state that I do not "appreciate that the UK is not the only English speaking country in the world and that their experience of television and other media within the UK might not pertain to the entire global community". I'm not sure what you base that unwarranted accusation on: my first post included an acknowledgement that there are other views of which I am aware (and which the article's lede already makes clear); and my second reinforced that. Bazza (talk) 13:48, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Oileáin Bhriotanach

I have removed "Oileáin Bhriotanach" from the infobox due to a number of reasons. 1 - Grammar: This term is incorrect as it uses a singular feminine adjective positioned after a plural masculine noun. Secondly, as a toponym without any "definite" quality it should include the Irish definite article "na" (leaving it out would be even more horrendous sounding to an Irish speaker than saying "we live in British Isles" rather than "we live in the British Isles". This itself should also cause the placement of a "h" before the initial consonant in "oileáin". 2 - Usage: The term "oileáin Bhriotanach" or any similar construct is never used in Irish to describe the British Isles. This is not a political point of view or any sort of POV pushing. It simply isn't used by actual speakers (although some L2 speakers may use it). The Irish always had a three-tier view looking East, compared to the two-tier view common in Britain and Europe, and is something which is still visible in the way the Irish, when speaking English, and irrespective of political persuasion, consider Britain (the island) as separate from Ireland, but not as foreign (the rest of Europe and beyond). The most widely used term is Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór (i.e. two out of the three tiers used by Irish people) or, if pushed, when spoken of collectively the term Oileáin Iarthar Eorpa is also used (which is actually the phrase I use personally). Mac Tíre Cowag 01:02, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Except the British Isles isn't just about "the other island" since it includes both the entire archipelago and the Channel Islands off the coast of France. An Irish-speaking botanist wouldn't describe the geographic range of relevant plants as simply "Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór". While I also prefer "Oileáin Iarthar Eorpa" instead of "Oileáin Bhriotanach", there's no evidence or references to show which is more popular or WP:COMMON. If your main argument was that the translation is incorrect, you should have simply corrected it to "Na hOileáin bhriontanacha" for example rather than deleting it altogether. For that reason, I've put the corrected translation back into the article. --HighKing (talk) 13:04, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
You're initial sentence is correct, HighKing, if you are speaking English. Not, however, if you are speaking Irish. The term "The British Isles" means an archipelago off the north west coast of Europe which includes Ireland and Britain as the main islands (even if there are other terms out there depending on political viewpoint). The term "na hOileáin Bhriotanacha" as used by native speakers includes the archipelago off the north west coast of Europe, the British Virgin Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, Bermuda and every single island that is governed in some form by the UK. "Na hOileáin Bhriotanacha" simply means "British Islands" irrespective of location. A more accurate translation, if it were to be used, would be "Oileáin na Breataine", just in the same way that the term "Irish Republic" is translated in Irish as "Poblacht na hÉireann", and not as "An Phoblacht Éireannach". The term "Na hOileáin Bhriotanacha" as a specific toponym in Irish makes no sense. The problem with the translations here is that people are too busy trying to shoehorn an Irish linguistic perspective to fit English language concepts. Language is much more complicated than the vast majority of editors here seem to suppose. Mac Tíre Cowag 21:56, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Makes a lot of sense. Your point about the connection between "language" and "concepts" is important, and often "lost in translation" so to speak. I wasn't aware that "Na hOileáin Bhriotanacha" can include any British island regardless of location. The only point I'd make is that we're trying to find a translation for the English language concept "British Isles". The problem with finding the closest match in Irish language is that it looks like a simple translation of "Great Britain and Ireland" which is something different in English language. Perhaps it's more obvious to native Irish speakers that the concepts match... --HighKing (talk) 12:36, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Conceptualisation in language is a very interesting thing. Very often a concept will exist in one language but not in another, and vice versa. Leaving language aside (virtually impossible considering that we need it not just to communicate but also to visualise and conceptualise), can we definitively say that the islands of the north west coast of Europe constitute a singular archipelago, or do they constitute 2 closely situated archipelagos with vastly dominant singular islands at each archipelago's centre? The English language views it as one, the Irish language views it as 2. Manx, another language I speak fluently, and which is very similar to Irish, views the group as a singular entity (but then, it is centred in the middle of the group). However, Manx also identifies two separate seas where both English and Irish identify only one (the Irish Sea/Muir Meann or Muir Éireann) - according to the Manx language, Dublin City lies not on the Irish Sea, but on the Welsh Sea (Mooir Vretyn). However, Drogheda and Liverpool lie on the Manx Sea (Mooir Vannin). There is no such thing as the Irish Sea in the Manx language (i.e. that piece of sea stretching from Wexford and Pembroke all the way to Larne and Stranraer) - instead there are two! Mac Tíre Cowag 21:07, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
The philosophical question of what could possibly be definitive aside, the article has to follow the English language definition(--s) of course, as this is the English language Wikipedia: that point is always stressed on Wikipedia in these situations. To be fully informative you can then inform people that in the Irish tongue an alternative definition (or even concept) is often used, as oppose to a direct translation, which of course would be different. Wikipedia has no-less than three English-language 'British Isles' articles to fill after all! Remember people that there is something called a comma (and other grammatical devices), all of which are great use when you need to do things like qualify any variation in a definition (eg when including the Channel Islands).
IMO info-boxes always pose far more problems in these kind of areas than they ever offer anything uniquely useful. Prose, as ever, is the key. Listing the language alternatives for this particular term seems a silly thing to do, as MacTire above really highlights imo. The only full-proof way to do it properly is for Wikipedia to compose direct translations for each language - but translations of what? It's too complicated for an infobox - so why bother? Listing languages just makes the British Isles seem a like a political location, and it just isn't I'm afraid. Some people seem so bent on demonstrating how political the term can look, that they keep muddling-in potentially 'political' areas. The more localised definitions you have of any term like this, the more confusing things will get. Matt Lewis (talk) 22:16, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I would have to agree with you Matt. Using a term such as "na hOileáin Bhriotanacha" is simply translating what the words mean, but not the concept. But, in Irish the concept doesn't exist so there is no direct correlation. This leaves us with a problem - do we use the closes analogy which doesn't translate "correctly" into English (i.e. Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór), or do we use a term which is rarely used (and certainly not used by native speakers) and makes little or no sense to an Irish speaker but which does translate correctly (i.e. na hOileáin Bhriotanacha)? Would it not be simpler to just leave "translations" out altogether? Mac Tíre Cowag 22:22, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
There may be enough impetus here to make a change on this. The subject might get a new Euler too. Generally things like this don't get achieved here (eps using 'bold'), but if you don't at least attempt change when the tide seems right things certainly never get done. People at Terminology of BI are re-looking at the Euler diagram, which aparently isn't a logical Euler (best left the diagram people I think, but I've given some advice on the things it should cover to be most accurate - ie the CI's being both in and out). If you have the time and energy perhaps you could poll here on removing the list of languages from the box, using the above arguments: you are well placed to do it given your skills. Perhaps fortunately I don't myself have the time to create and follow one. I don't like Wikipedia articles that are ultimately illogical, it's even worse than them having awkward POV issues in some respects: I mean, source-issues and the like aside, what's the point of building these articles at all if on final analysis they don't logically stack up? It could even be a good case study for this kind of stuff: I imagine that translations are a weak spot for a number of nationality-awkward areas on Wikipedia. I know that the prevailing attitude on WP (from Jimbo down) is to keep .en namespace 'en' unless there is a fair and logical reason to show readers another language: otherwise it's considered OTT at best. I think you've shown that this particular lingo doesn't work as a list in a box. So why don't we do the normal thing on Wikipedia and move to remove it? These other languages can always be better addressed in the article if need be (I can't re-read the article btw, I just haven't the time.). Matt Lewis (talk) 02:37, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

HighKing, do you (and presumably RA) still go around demanding that the British Isles, whatever language it is spoken in, must include the Channel Islands? Surely few botanists, Irish or otherwise, would wish to include the CI's in their definition, as that variation simply isn't the definition that scientists use (I will say "typically" as you people always manage to pull out something), and for very obvious reasons too. I thought that people here accepted that? It would normally makes little sense to include the islands off the coast of France regarding Britain and Ireland's flora and fauna in a scientific context: the geographical archipelago is typically what matters there, though there are always exceptions. You've always tried to mislead people about that fact, including to me before I made a proper analysis of it all years ago: and I was utterly worn-down and forced to work like terrier counter-proving just a couple of people's constant-nonsense thrown towards me whenever I contributed something. I mean, what is the point of having a Euler diagram if it only gives people one of the two very-clear variations on the Channel Islands? A variation-supplying Euler diagram is purpose-built to give the two. Preventing that from happening is just a blatant way of appearing 'conclusive' on a matter (or hiding the issue in effect), and it does nothing but mislead people, or send them down a particular road. Is a Euler really meant to do that? Years ago I made this rather-fancy diagram that even Sarah777 liked (subject to 'Republic of Ireland' becoming 'Ireland' if I remember) (my nearly-realised BI diagram), but ultimately I'd rather see a simpler Euler up there. As I remember the older (and better) version of the diagram the article uses now was deleted at some point. Mine just needed a little work done to it, which of course never got done in the climate: the British Isles article was almost-always completely 'locked' to all editing, and the ROIreland vs Ireland debate kept going on and on. The always-involved Sony-Youth/RA went through much of this period as a 'vanished' IP editor of course, and his edits of the period remain undisclosed. You yourself went from Bardcom to HighKing: namechanging is clearly the flavour with BI. The best diagram I can see around now is this one (Russian (I think) BI Euler diagram) - and it should really be converted into English. If anyone cares to do this, just forget about what's deemed 'offensive' or not - just convert it and stick it in: the idea is simply that it gives people each variation. Sometimes it just takes a new face.

It's been a while for me here since I last contributed (and I'm not planning to return to return to it at all), so I think I'll take this hour or so that I have to recap and explain some useful things. To whoever is interested (and this may not have been said at all for a while here), analysis shows that it's only very-occasional usage that seems to use 'British Isles' in relation to the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, and the crown dependencies (ie the Channel Islands off France) - partly because there's just not that many reasons to do so. But that's the kind of term 'BI' is - one of various and sometimes ambiguous uses. Some uses I found seem to mean Britain and Northern Ireland – not even the whole of Ireland – but they too are comparatively rare. It's often very context-driven I'm afraid. Much of the examples that I found that supposedly include the CI's were fairly ambiguous, as much of the time people were clearly just not that concerned with the concept of 'complete inclusiveness' at all: they just seems to mean Britain and Ireland in a social sense, and not really a geographical one. But it's hardly used much in that way. But that is certainly one of the reasons why pretty-much all encyclopedia's (and I've looked through all of the popular ones in the past to try and settle this) use some variation of "can also include the Channel Islands".. ie as a choice of definition. So yes of course they must include the CI's as one of the definitions they give, as that usage clearly exists in society. Most real-world uses of 'BI' that I found (ie in total) do not include the Channel Islands at all.

You know, I never used to argue this, but there is a valid I think (and occasionally used) use for the term in describing the shared culture of all of us (old Britanic to Ire within the UK, to the close cultural and financial ties we share now). You need to read 'British' in a benign sense though, and such has been the hostility of conflating anything British with Ire on Wikipedia that I just never went there. But ultimately it's an argument that wasn't (and shouldn't be) needed to secure the most-used and most-obvious primary definition: British Isles as principally the geographical archipelago, tending to be non-political (especially in scientific use), but sometimes used socio-politically, and sometimes including the UK-dependent Channel Islands off the coast of France.

As a side note I would also say I found some older and anomalous/colloquial/slack usage of British Isles officially, rather like the use of 'England' to mean the whole UK. But frankly it only highlights the nature and history of these kind of terms. The main thing is that 'British Isles' currently and primarily means the geographical archipelago of Great Britain and Ireland, with a secondary definition of including the 'non-geographical' archipelago that 'culturally' extends to the Channel Island's. To verify this check the main encyclopedia's, and check common usage across the globe. I accept that one of the concise dictionaries includes the CI's within a short and single definition, but such is 'concise', and such is life. Other encyclopedias (esp dedicated ones) always make for a better resource in researching terms like these than general dictionaries I find (esp concise ones).

But on Wikipedia of course, the battle has been won to do nothing-less than demand the Channel Islands' full inclusion in the definition of British Isles no matter what. I still find it seriously problematic that this Wikipedia article suggests that every editor and reader of Wikipedia uses a rather-cumbersome 'British Isles' definition that's been demanded by really only a few deeply-committed people, especially when it just happens to be the one definition that seems to 'politicise' a normally non-political term, rendering it 'even more politically awkward' for those who wish to present it that way. And so goes the 'Don't Use It' argument: Should Wikipedia really use such an offence-inducing and 'clearly political' term, when other alternative terms like The Atlantic Archipelago have been used in its place? Certainly no scientist would come to Wikipedia to be bullied into changing their vocabulary, that's for sure. And no reasonably-sized group of Wikipedians would ever be bullied into a wholesale name-change of a commonly-used term either.

Apart from reducing some needless use of 'British Isles' within Wikipedia (and yes, sometimes removing actually incorrect use too), misdirecting people regarding the inclusion of the Channel Islands is about as far as those couple of super-committed people here have ever got. Well, apart from getting it pretty-much ring-fenced as a no-go area I suppose. Matt Lewis (talk) 23:15, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Pop density map

Population density map

I have a number of concerns with the map (to right) used in the demographics section. These are:

  1. Inconsistent subdivisions. It would be best to use a single consistent level, as opposed to mixing the English regions with the Welsh preserved counties with...
  2. Poor colours. A red/green gradient is bad for accessibility, and the blue for the capitals is arbitrary.
  3. Data quality. When/where is the data from? I'm guessing the UK is using the 2001 census, but is the Irish data consistent with that?
  4. Map quality. Higher quality base maps are available, and SVGs would avoid the issues with unfilled areas (eg in the middle of England).

With regards to the first point, ISO 3166-2, NUTS 3 or LAU 1 are possible options. Unfortunately, the counties aren't really viable - they are different admin levels in each country, or have no admin function at all. The level to chooose depends on how much detail is wanted really.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:53, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree completely, Nilf. Not entirely sure how to take this forward though. WaggersTALK 11:11, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
I also agree. Information on the United Kingdom Census 2011 and the Census of Ireland 2011 should be compatible, but I don't know if totals have been published for NUTS regions yet. If they have, then a request to Wikipedia:Graphics Lab/Map workshop should get the job done. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:17, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Both UK and Irish data is available down to LAU1 (districts) or lower, its easy enough to recombine back up to higher levels. This ONS map gives a rough idea of output at that level.
Not sure what level is optimal to show the overall trends, like "England is most densely populated country". Too fine a detail may only show where the cities are and lose overall trends, while too broad gives the impression that the Lake District is as densely populated as SE England(!) NUTS 3 appeals as a starting point.--Nilfanion (talk) 12:56, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
@Nilfanion and Ghmyrtle: I think I prefer the more granular level of detail (as shown in that OS map) to the English region level used in the current map - it still shows (for example) that South East England is more densely populated than the North East, but also gives that extra level of detail - it just feels more accurate without being over the top. Completely subjective opinion of course. WaggersTALK 18:54, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
I think we should bear in mind that this article is not supposed to give geographical detail that is better set out in the articles on specific countries - England, Scotland, Ireland, etc. Detailed pop density maps would be more appropriate in those articles, rather than this one. This article should take more of an overview, and so, in my view, a coarser regional map would be more appropriate for this article. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:02, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
@Nilfanion and Ghmyrtle: That makes sense. WaggersTALK 20:35, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree a coarser map is what is wanted. Given the existing prose, NUTS 1 (the English regions and the other countries) might be enough. My chief concern is that the map should be consistent and show areas of the same level. So if we want to show any sub-national details outside England, we need to show that same level within England - (about) county-level.
I'll prep blank maps for the whole of the British Isles at NUTS 1, 2 and 3.--Nilfanion (talk) 21:31, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

OK, I've uploaded the above 4 images to Commons, showing the variation in baseline areas. These maps also address the other points in original post.

As for choice of map: I think using countries-only or NUTS 3 best reflect the prose. Countries only shows England is by far most densely populated, NUTS 3 shows all the conurbations mentioned. Both NUTS 1 and NUTS 2 seem insuffienct as nothing worthwhile can be seen outside England at those levels. No real opinion between the two extremes though; both are viable.--Nilfanion (talk) 23:40, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

@Nilfanion and Ghmyrtle: Excellent work. What would be great is for one of these to be shown by default but to include links to the others in the caption. I also have no strong views as to which should be the defualt! WaggersTALK 09:14, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

(Great) Britain/UK and Ireland

We currently have a disambiguation page at Great Britain and Ireland and an article at UK & Ireland that have virtually identical content. Several similar terms redirect to either one of those targets or to this page. At Talk:Great Britain and Ireland#Merge proposal I have proposed merging the article and dab page (with no preference to direction) and retargetting all the redirects to the merged page. Your comments on the proposal would be welcome. Thryduulf (talk) 18:48, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

The UK & Ireland is the modern political situation present in what is, and always will be, a political term with no basis in geography nor ecology, that is the anachronism of British Isles.
This British Isles article makes as much sense as an article on the Japanese isles that includes Taiwan. As Taiwan was previously under the control of Japan years ago.
In sum we should refer to the British Isles as an antiquated political term not based in geography, ecology nor in modern law. However like Taiwan, the term British Isles is still erroneously used to refer to Ireland, in much the same way Taiwan is regarded as part of China by the Peoples Republic of China.
Boundarylayer (talk)
That's a very politically charged view and neither reflects general usage worldwide nor the plethora of reliable sources on the matter. I advise you to look at the achives of this talk page to see how many times we've had this discussion previously and how the current consensus was obtained. No new substantial evidence has been forthcoming since that position was established. WaggersTALK 21:53, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Offensive term

User:Setanta Saki has added a statement in the middle of the bit about the term being controversial in Ireland, none of the references support the statement and the original text clearly mention Irish objections and that British and Ireland are used as an alternative, the challenged text doesnt really add anything to that paragraph so it should not be added with gaining a consensus, thanks. MilborneOne (talk) 17:51, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Agreed.--SabreBD (talk) 18:20, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Strange that you chose that title it is a little misleading the point of the addition was the use of the term of "British Isles and Ireland" which the sources did show and there are plenty of others if needed, the term offensive is not at issue it may be removed if necessary, however any logically person knows that the entire reason for the usage of new terms is of course just that, but as I have said its not the substance of the addition Setanta Saki (talk) 21:19, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
(a) The section title above is entirely appropriate: you have asserted that a particular form of words is utilised to avoid causing offense, but none of the sources you've quoted actually says this. (b) The sources are not reliable sources for a geography article - a holiday website, two articles on rugby players, and the title of a map of Scottish clans. (c) We already have a number of alternatives listed which are supported by reliable sources; we don't need every variation - the dispute is covered in more detail in the article on that subject. Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:44, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
In my last post I pointedly said that anyone with an ounce of common sense accepts that one of the reasons behind the usage of the new terms is of course to avoid causing offense, it is previously stated in the paragraph that the government of the people of Ireland does not recognize the articles title to include Ireland actively discourages its use, this is not because they and their citizens have fondness for the term but once again it was not the premise of the addition. Granted the article is a geographical one but the section in question deals with controversy regarding the term. I propose the inclusion of a very commonly used term especially in the sports media arena aswell as historical/geographical which makes it a small but appropriate addition to the lead, also many other sources available [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13].Setanta Saki (talk) 23:05, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
The government of Ireland has an official policy to not recognise the title of a Wikipedia article? Hey, that's penetration and recognition right there. You know you've made it when governments issue statements about pages on private websites. Also check the Irish government archives. For a term they don't use and don't recognize, they sure use it a lot. Even RTE uses it. There used to be more but lots of the archives have actually been changed over the years, but online archival services show the original forms of those documents. There's plenty also documented in the talk page archives for this article. Canterbury Tail talk 01:30, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

That's really nothing to do with my suggested sourced term addition, as for the merits of the use of "not to cause offense", its common sense and obviously logically gels with previous statements in the paragraph. You have an amazing insight into the actual thinking of a foreign government and I dont think im required to defend previously factual sourced additions. However I would say that whatever "old" Irish governmental archives you are referring to and felt strongly enough to try and locate (very odd for a foreigner) today it means nothing, one can find reference to never used again defunct names etc in historical records, its only current day government of Ireland (which represents the people ) policy that matters, which is very clear and should be respected. The rte comment is very odd, personally as a citizen I have never heard it but you may be right and it has occurred on occasion from journalists/producers of varying backgrounds but rte as a "state organization" can not and does not endorse its use. So all your points are really moot.Setanta Saki (talk) 09:04, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

I think he was being facetious about the phrasing of your previous post and its implications. The point, however, is that the material you want to insert is synthesis. We don't make assumptions about what is logical. Also, as I said previously, the article already discusses the fact that there are lots of variations and provides some properly sourced examples. It does not need to cover them all because the naming dispute is a separate topic for which there is a separate article. Wiki-Ed (talk) 11:03, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Ya I got the facetious slant, a little un-administrator like I thought , I also took on board the numerous variations point and know that to be the case, I was simply making the the point that the particular variation i included was because of personal experience with hearing its usage in the media arena outside of Ireland, for example especially during the British and Irish Lions series , that in conjunction with its use in the historical and geographical sources would put quite high on the variation list and imo possibly merit inclusion in the short synopsis in the lead of this article. Setanta Saki (talk) 11:50, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Because you heard someone using an incorrect term once is insufficient grounds for special inclusion. This has been talked to death (check the archives) and the article is currently stable. Let's leave it that way. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 13:21, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
"British Isles" is controversial in Ireland. There were many references in this article showing that, and also that it was "offensive", but like so much else which doesn't fit into the British nationalist narrative which dominates this article, they have been deleted. The controversy section was in the first sentence of the first edit to this article (in October 2001). For most of the past ten years it remained in the first paragraph. Now, thanks to a sustained rightwing British campaign the "controversy" section is so far down the page it's risible, which is ironic given that this "British Isles" article has 39 archives because it is a deeply controversial and offensive term and it is so far down the page because British nationalists insist upon it. In Ireland, this term, like "Londonderry", is only used by people of pro-British/unionist leanings who want to make a political point. 79.97.64.240 (talk) 23:22, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
The article is only "stable" because there are more rightwing British editors here than Irish editors. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the legitimacy and acceptance in Ireland of the archaic and jingoistic British term "British Isles". Nothing at all. 79.97.64.240 (talk) 23:22, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I keep track of British nationalist activity and I can assure you that most of them aren't aware of the "British Isles" controversy. --Somchai Sun (talk) 07:39, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
That's because it's an imaginary controversy. If it existed there would be pressure groups putting forward arguments for and against, an anti-British Isles website and so on. But there's nothing, apart from a bunch of loudmouths using Wikipedia to push a point of view that the man in the street in England, Ireland or anywhere else for that matter doesn't give a toss about. Shadwell Munch (talk) 13:07, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Maybe thats what would happen with a term which offended British sensibilities. The Irish, having bigger fish to fry, do things their own way. Atlas-maker (talk) 14:12, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Rubbish. They're both as bad as each other when it comes to this nationalistic crap. If you think Ireland is this Xenophobic/racist-free paradise where people don't get offended by words then you're laughably mistaken. And there are plenty of right-wing British nut-cases who go out of their way to be offended, it's all the same pointless crap. This isn't aimed at anyone really... Somchai Sun (talk) 14:19, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Most favoured alternative and changes to world atlas

The following edit was removed twice, why?

The National Geographic Atlas of the World, which once titled the area as the British Isles now reads: Britain and Ireland.[14] This has become the most favoured expression.[15]

  1. What an American magazine calls it is undue weight for the lead of the article, as has been explained several times so stop saying there's been no explanation for its removal
  2. Even that source says that term has problems and has no consensus
  3. It's been removed several times by several editors
  4. Read what vandalism is
  5. If you continue to edit war, which is what you are doing, you'll only result in getting blocked or getting the article locked
  6. You've decided to bring it to the talk page, so give it the consensus of the talk page and stop reverting. See WP:BRD. Canterbury Tail talk 03:00, 6 February 2014 (UTC)


  1. What an established Atlas of the World printer calls it is very relevant. On your second claim, it was not explained in any of the reverts that the reason this sentence should not be in the article is because some editors, like yourself don't like American Atlas printers. Thanks for clearing that up!
  2. The very same source that says the term has problems with it, is presently the same source that is used to support the notion that the "British Isles" term is still in common use. So what you're arguing is that the source is OK when used the way you like it but not OK when the very next sentence in the source, which states that the now "most favoured expression is Britain and Ireland", is including in the article. Oh no, can't have that in the article, can we? That's utter hypocrisy. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
  3. Read what needs to be in the WP:LEDE.
  4. I'm not going to wait around for a load of British nationalists to arrive here, to cook up some manufactured consensus. I think it's about time to take this nonsense to the dispute resolution page.
83.71.30.126 (talk) 03:13, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
No one is disputing the inclusion in the article, just in the lead. The naming issues are already there, the National Geographic one specifically is putting undue weight on that particular case in the lead. Why should it be in the lead and not just in the appropriate section of the article when this article is not primarily about the name? Canterbury Tail talk 14:02, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Canterbury Tail's assessment of the issue. It is giving undue weight to one source and entirely in the wrong place in the article. Mabuska (talk) 15:38, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
We presently have 3 references in the introduction that each state Britain and Ireland - "is becoming [the] preferred official usage...", "Nowadays" it is the "most favoured expression..." and that the term "British Isles" - "should best be avoided". The last quoted reference according to the Guardian newspaper. So it's not your mere "one source" as claimed. Despite these 3 references however, bizarrely, none of these well referenced facts are to be seen in the introduction of this article. Canterbury Tail's, you ask - "Why should it be in the lead...?" - because it is now the most favoured and preferred official alternative term.
Lastly, on a practical standpoint, say for example you were looking for a new book on the types of birds/wildlife in general for the region, you'd be hard pressed to find any such modern books with "British Isles" in the title. Why? Because "Britain and Ireland" has become the "preferred official usage". See ->
Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland (The Crossley ID Guides) (published 2013)
Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland (British Trust for Ornithology) etc.
86.41.228.39 (talk) 05:20, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Depends on how you define "official". How can you define what is official usage? Sources that use one or the other does not make anything like this official. Mabuska (talk) 01:20, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
I do not personally define it as "official", how I or you define something is neither here nor there. What does matter is that reliable sources do state it as the preferred official term. The following reference, which is 14 years old, is used in the article, but again bizarrely, what it states is not reflected in the body of the introduction.
Davies, Alistair; Sinfield, Alan (2000), British Culture of the Postwar: An Introduction to Literature and Society, 1945–1999, Routledge, p. 9, ISBN 0-415-12811-0, "Some of the Irish dislike the 'British' in 'British Isles', while a minority of the Welsh and Scottish are not keen on 'Great Britain'. … In response to these difficulties, 'Britain and Ireland' is becoming preferred official usage if not in the vernacular,
86.45.205.129 (talk) 08:15, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
How does Mr Davis define official? Who states that he has the authority to define anything as official? It is a neither here nor there argument and utterly pointless. Mabuska (talk) 13:44, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Calm down, I think the only thing that is obviously pointless is you arguing with reliable sources and the myriad of publications which add overwhelming weight to Davis' statement. That you don't like all this, is what is truly, neither here nor there. You've also not at all given a single reasonable explanation for excluding the statement - Britain and Ireland has become the "preferred official usage" & "This has become the most favoured expression".[15]
19:27, 14 February 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.41.147.102 (talk)

Reference being misused?

In the Etymology section we have this statement; Owing to political and national associations with the word British, the Government of Ireland does not use the term British Isles, but if you look at the supporting reference and read it carefully you might agree that it doesn't actually back up the assertion. 86.31.183.49 (talk) 21:43, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

It's not being misused, it just doesn't support the entire statement. Rob (talk | contribs) 17:34, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
The reference text is Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if there is an official Government or Department of Foreign Affairs position on the use of the term British Isles when referring to Ireland and Britain; if the use of this term by Government agencies and the media in Britain is discouraged in any way by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24442/05]
Mr. D. Ahern: 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.
Our officials in the Embassy of Ireland, London, continue to monitor the media in Britain for any abuse of the official terms as set out in the [406] Constitution of Ireland and in legislation. These include the name of the State, the President, Taoiseach and others.
Mr Ahern simply states what we alreay know, and the fact that the government don't use the term is irrelevant. The British Government probably don't use it either, not because it's apparently controversial but because it's never relevant in the contexts of government discussions and publications. The final statement is about abuse of official terms. This has nothing to do with using British Isles.
I think the reference is being misused and unless a proper reference is provided we should delete it and remove the assertion to which it's attached. 86.31.183.49 (talk) 22:15, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
You don't monitor for abuse unless you are concerned about something and it is very clear that it is not used. You are I think, clutching at straws. Also this has been done to death before, I half suspect with a previous manifestation ----Snowded TALK 22:42, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Give me an example of the type of abuse you think they are concerned about. 86.31.183.49 (talk) 22:51, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
The portion of the statement that states the Irish government doesn't use the term, "Owing to political and national associations with the word British", appears to me to be unsupported by the reference.
If it is unsupported (or can only be evidenced through a synthesis of sources) then the statement may be removed by any editor. There is no need to seek consensus here before removing unsupported material (the relevant consensus is in policy). However, community practice is to reach out to others to varying degrees before doing so. The burden is on those who wish the statement to remain to provide a reliable source that supports it. --Tóraí (talk) 23:41, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
In the quotation above it says "to monitor the media in Britain for any abuse of the official terms" given the context the reference is very clear. If you want something on the political and national associations there are multiple other references that do that. You also owe it to other editors to check the archives, this was done to death over a year or so ----Snowded TALK 05:53, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
"abuse of the official terms" != "political and national associations". I do not event know what "official terms" they could be referring to.
There are plenty of sources that support "political and national associations", but that particular one doesn't state that the Irish government doesn't use the term, "Owing to political and national associations with the word British". Maybe a rephrasing and a breaking up of the sentence to more accurately portray the content of references, rather than pulling the thing altogether, is what is needed. --Tóraí (talk) 17:53, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
In the context of the total quote I can't see how it could be otherwise interpreted. Didn't we go through all this before when you were an IP? ----Snowded TALK 18:35, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
First the reference says British Isles is not an official term, and then it says the government monitors British media for abuse of offcial terms. I'm not saying the government avoids the term British Isles. As I said, I'm sure it does. The issue here is that the reference used to support the assertion is absolutely useless. Put another way, it is not a reference; it is masquerading as one. If a proper reference can't be found (I'm sure one could be) then the sentence to which it relates should be removed, or at the very least have a citation requirement attached to it. 86.31.183.49 (talk) 20:07, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
This article states '...the Government of Ireland does not use the term British Isles', the source states 'The Government [of Ireland], including the Department of Foreign Affairs, does not use this term [British Isles]'. The citation doesn't support the entire statement, but it's not being misused. You can remove the preceding assertion, although it is fairly obvious. Rob (talk | contribs) 20:28, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
The statement in the article says the government does not use or recognise the term. This is definitely not backed up by the ref. There's no mention of the term not being recognised. More to the point though, in the context of the point trying to be made (that the term is controversial and so the government of Ireland doesn't use it), the ref does not support that. It merely says the government does not use the term. No reason is given for this non use, but as I said above, it could be because the term doesn't lend itself to political discussion; we don't know. 86.31.183.49 (talk) 20:43, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Remove the preceding original research then. It's pretty obvious, but nonetheless, policy's clear. Bear in mind however, much of Wikipaedia is uncontested original research, and we're not obligated to remove such content. Personally, removing obvious statements isn't something I endorse. Rob (talk | contribs) 21:37, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Whatever happened to using a good old [citation needed] tag? Mabuska (talk) 21:57, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Ethnic groups

I've reverted Rob's "calculations" of the proportions of the total population of the islands in various ethnic groups. It is blatant original research and synthesis; there is absolutely no good reason to aggregate figures for separate sovereign states and administrations in this way; and there is no evidence even that the different administrations use compatible definitions. No, no, no, and no. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:57, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. --Somchai Sun (talk) 19:32, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
The Republic of Ireland, England/Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland don't give any definition to what 'White', 'Black' or 'Asian' is, the individual completing the census decides this. I don't see how the 'definitions' could be incompatible?
The point of aggregating the figures is to give the reader information on, what is, a very culturally integrated region. The Republic of Ireland and the UK are not just any two 'separate sovereign states and administrations'.
Additionally, the current list of ethnic groups is a joke. No such ethic distinctions exist. The censuses' data is far more informative.
Rob (talk | contribs) 20:06, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
The view that the isles are "a very culturally integrated region" is contentious. I'd strongly favour completely removing the "ethnic groups" list from the infobox in this article. Much better information is available in each of the separate articles. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:28, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Um, yeah, as is "Republic of Ireland and the UK are not just any two 'separate sovereign states and administrations'." - how else are you going to describe them? --Somchai Sun (talk) 20:41, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I would describe them as two separate sovereign states and administrations that are very culturally integrated, obviously. Rob (talk | contribs) 21:10, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm fine with removing them. Rob (talk | contribs) 21:10, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Done. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:26, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Is the disputed but referenced, "most favoured", alternative relevant?

As stated in the talk section above, should this article include the reliably sourced, "most favoured", alternative expression for the contentious term "British Isles" in the introduction? 83.71.30.126 (talk) 08:54, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

As a side note, I have concerns about frequent editors of this page, as they appear to be engaged in some kind of bizarre collaborative effort to promote((WP:BRITISHISLES) the use of this contentious term in every possible setting and article, like Gunpowder. 83.71.30.126 (talk) 09:07, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Ah yes, users Snowded and Highking, those infamous British nationalists. We've been having trouble with them for years. ;) Wiki-Ed (talk) 22:25, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Also see above as to the problems with this IPs suggestion. Also isn't it a bit early for calling an RfC? Also quite curious as to how an IP got from above to here so quickly. Mabuska (talk) 15:39, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment The term 'British Isles' is WP:COMMONNAME. It is the term used internationally, especially in the Commonwealth nations and the English speaking world. In-fact this article even mentions the term was first used around 300 BC! The problem here is that a small group of editors are trying to 'politicise' a geography article. Keep petty nationalism to yourself, it doesn't belong here on Wikipedia. However I see no issue with the addition of the National Geographic citation, its a reliable source and of academic/encyclopedic value. Antiochus the Great (talk) 16:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment As mentioned above there is no issue with the citation, it's just the undue weighting of it in the lead that people are reverting against. No reason it can't go in the section on the name and dispute. Canterbury Tail talk 17:54, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment My inclination would be to say that the form as at 0234GMT on the 7th Feb is pretty solid. It mentions in the lead the fact a number of alternative names. I don't think we need the NatGeo reference, but having the names seems to be a good call. The only potential change I'd suggest would be to put '(though this name is conroversial)' after the first use of the term 'British Isles' because the term is controversial, and the reason that it's controversial is that it's widely seen (accurately or not) as political because of the historic intertwining of politics and geography in this case. But I'd broadly be inclined to leave it as it is. Interestingly, this is only the second RFC that I've been notified of by FRS, and the first that I've felt able to comment on, and in both cases Antiochus has also been FRSed. Thom 02:43, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
    I'm not sure if as the person who requested the RFC, if it is the right etiquette to comment in this section, but just so we're all on the same page, I'd like to make everyone aware that there is a discussion going on above this talk page RFC which is important to read in concert with this, most recent, RFC section. Secondly, to lay to rest a few things that User:Antiochus the Great implied - In regard to WP:COMMONNAME, I've never disputed that on the contrary, what I have been trying to do was include the "most preferred official usage" in the introduction, not change the title of the entire article. The majority of the official/academic community has essentially abandoned "British Isles" and increasingly taken to using "Britain and Ireland", and that is now the most favoured official term for the area, this should, I thought, have been a straightforward piece of information to include in the article's introduction, considering the wealth of references to support this fact.
    (3)To call this page a "geography article" is factually incorrect, the article may try to pull that feat off but the Channel Islands, which are "traditionally" included in the term British Isles, have little to no common geography with the other islands, being geographically French Isles, indeed the Channel Islands are considered geographically, "culturally and historically" part of Normandy and are thus highlighted on the map of that page. Perhaps this lack of being a geographic entity needs to be more explicitly stated in the article as it's seemingly a very common misnomer? (4) Judging by the context of your comment, I am glad that you think that the Nat Geo citation should be in the introduction.
86.41.228.39 (talk) 06:26, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: The phrase already appears in the lead at the end of the last paragraph: As a result, "Britain and Ireland" is used as an alternative description, and "Atlantic Archipelago" has had limited use among a minority in academia, although British Isles is still commonly employed. Within them, they are also sometimes referred to as "these islands".
    I'm satisifed with this except that it needs could of small changes: 1) the scare quotes need to be removed; 2. Alternative names (i.e. Britain and Ireland and Atlantic Archipelago) should be bolded per MOS:BOLD.
    As a side note, I also think, "As a result, ...", is misleading in the exact context because it implies that these alternatives are used because of objections from the Irish embassy. But that's a trivial correction. I'd just remove it altogether. --Tóraí (talk) 11:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: The MoS states: "The lead should... define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies." The paragraphs in the introduction are arranged to correspond with this, i.e. definition, context, notability, key points, then controversies. Also, there is a footnote that states: Do not violate Wikipedia:Neutral point of view by giving undue attention to less important controversies in the lead section. While some may feel this is a massively controversial issue, in reality it is not and gets very little attention in the media or in academia. For that reason we do not bold the supposed alternatives as it gives them undue prominence. It took many years to get this article to a stable state; aside from removing "as a result", which has been orphaned from the sentence it linked to, there is no need to change it just because yet another 'new' IP has come along to push a POV. Wiki-Ed (talk) 00:50, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Just to note Wiki-Ed: "Ah yes, users Snowded and Highking, those infamous British nationalists. We've been having trouble with them for years." this sarcasm is not helpful as HighKing has not been involved in this as they are currently prohibited and Snowded actually reverted the IP twice telling them to seek consensus for this addition. I agree with the rest of your comments other than that sentence as it is wrong. Mabuska (talk) 01:28, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
It was a joke. The IP referred to a project page where Snowded was listed as a member, then accused him of being "engaged in some kind of bizarre collaborative effort to promote((WP:BRITISHISLES)", which I'm sure you'll agree, is highly improbable. The fact his sweeping statement also included Highking, who has a reputation for doing exactly the opposite, was highly amusing (at least to me).Wiki-Ed (talk) 10:19, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
The problem with text-based conversations - you can never tell the tone and context something is being written in, even with a winky face. Mabuska (talk) 21:38, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Comment: For years the controversy of this "British Isles" term was in the first paragraph, and for a long time it was in the first sentence. As the page history shows, in recent years a dedicated coterie of editors with a similar rightwing British outlook has moved it way down the page, and in the process deleted a huge number of references which confirmed international moves away from "British Isles" - e.g. the French TV station which stopped using it. Rationality, NPOV and objectivity has long ago abandoned this political project of an article. It's an embarrassment to Wikipedia. 79.97.64.240 (talk) 21:49, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, for a long time this article was absurd because the controversy was placed in the first sentence and it suffered from continuous edit wars. It's still listed under "Lamest edit wars", although it has been stable for some years as a result of the changes you refer to (which I've explained above). Those edit wars led to topic (or total) bans, mainly for Irish nationalist editors, not the supposed "dedicated coterie of editors with a similar rightwing British outlook". I believe the reason for this is illustrated by your conflation of "rationality" with NPOV; they are not the same thing. Your "rationality" is my swivel-eyed lunacy and presumably vice versa. Fortunately Wikipedia uses "verifiability" as its standard, not opinions. In this case, while there are sources supporting the fact that there is a controversy, they do not have sufficient weight to merit including this in the first sentence. The reason we have stability is because both parties compromised: British editors/readers tend not to recognise the controversy at all so including it is POV; for many Irish editors it is very important so not including it is POV. The middle ground is... where it is. Wiki-Ed (talk) 12:22, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I think it's very interesting that you say above that it was mainly "Irish" nationalist editors that ended up with topic or total bans. Can you provide a list please? Or perhaps you spoke in haste? Also, just for the record, I supported moving the "controversy" stuff out of the lede. The term "British Isles" is in COMMON use, to refer to a geographic area. No drama or controversy, just fact. -- HighKing++ 13:54, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Vintagekits? Sarah777? Rasherstierney? DunlavinGreen? (There were others, although iirc some of them were socks). Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:13, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Ah right, I get it. You're listing Irish editors that were banned or blocked for overly nationalistic editing in various topics and articles, and not just British Isles related ones. In fairness, I think there's as much nationalistic editing from one side as the other - I certainly wouldn't say it was "mainly" one or the other. And socks? Don't get me started on socks (still some on here too...) -- HighKing++ 17:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, most of the nationalistic editing these days seems to be from short term editors and IPs that appear, edit for a few weeks, get bored and move on. Canterbury Tail talk 17:32, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
The short-term IP editors that appear simply to push things has been on a steady increase this past while. Mabuska (talk) 19:38, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
My request for comment was so that non-British and non-Irish editors could weigh in to give an objective decision on this matter. As presently it has a number of British editors pushing their view. Secondly, Wiki-Ed, I didn't insert anything into the first sentence, I added it to the last sentence of the introduction. Thus I'm having a hard time understanding how your diatribe is applicable to this RFC? Thirdly we have a number of verifiability references that state "Britain and Ireland" has now become the defacto official term for the region, even the British Ornithology society now uses the term, just see the talk page section above this RFC. That you dispute this is bizarre. I understand that you do not like this, and hey, personally I'm not jumping up and down about it either, but our opinions has nothing to do with our job as editors to include what reliable sources state and changes in usage. I would also tend to agree with the other IP editor - Failure to communicate the international, and even British, swing away from the term in the introduction of this article is an embarrassment to Wikipedia.
86.45.205.129 (talk) 08:30, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Tellingly non-British and non-Irish editors generally don't care. I didn't say you wanted to add something to the first sentence (although another IP did), but that was the cause of the edit wars. And as I said, there might be a few sources, but not enough to lend sufficient weight to the opinion you are expressing regarding usage. Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:13, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The "British POV pusher" argument is a hallmark of anti-British POV pushers, so less with the ill-thought out and ill-founded claims. The fact you keep making these claims, that your IPs geo-locate to County Louth in the Republic of Ireland, and your eagerness to jump straight into an RfC after only one response in your previous section (by an administrator no less), only gives credence to a counter-claim. Just to add that the other IP locates to Ireland as well, so no real surprise they back this IP.

No editors objected to having the thing put into the controversy section where it belongs. We only objected to it in the lede where it violates Wiki policies of WP:WEIGHT and WP:UNDUE considering the lede already touches upon the controversy. Mabuska (talk) 12:28, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment "British Isles" is a common name, suitable for the title of this article. Although The Guardian may no longer use it, it appears to still be in use by mainstream secondary sources, like the New York Times. --Precision123 (talk) 05:15, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
And in plenty of Irish sources, such as RTE 1, 2, with Irish companies, and many others. The archives are full of such references. Canterbury Tail talk 12:43, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
As an observation, I'd say that the term "British Isles" is relatively straight-forward for some (mainly British people) in any context and for any subject matter. Others tend to avoid the term these days unless it's within a particular geographic or scientific context. Sure - the term is used less today. That's an observable trend. But who knows - it might be used more tomorrow, generating another trend. And *of course* nobody but some Irish cares - who else would give a hoot? It doesn't mean it's not a real issue though. So we'll always get editors (probably Irish) popping up here to question/query/object/argue/etc for all the same reasons we've heard before. It doesn't mean that those editors are necessarily trying to cause trouble, or are evil, or are anti-British, or have read the history of this page to understand how consensus works and how it was achieved. I don't go in for the "POV pusher" arguments on either side - we've entrenched views by some editors, but they're entitled to their views, and those views (and everyone elses too) help establish consensus.
This discussion, I believe, has reached its natural conclusion. Consensus remains as it was, no changes agreed. ---- HighKing++ 13:10, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
The request for comment will remain open until a substantial number of impartial outside editors comment. Not the usual suspects, such as yourself, who is a member of WP:BRITISHISLES. Secondly, again, vernacular and common name usage is NOT up for debate. What this request for comment is about, is giving the due weight to the term Britain and Ireland and clearly stating that, this term has become the "most preferred official usage" etc. to which the references in the introduction already state, but bizarrely the introduction itself is completely quiet on this. Thirdly, this is not some recent trend in naming but is well established for well over a decade in the scientific and even lay literature. I will ask once again, for you to provide a few substantial modern scientific works that uses the phrase "British Isles" in their title and uses that term to include Ireland. As you will find, it is quite evident that "Britain and Ireland" has become the "most favoured expression".[15] That this article does not state this obvious fact, that it has become the most favoured expression in the introduction, is to fail to give the term the due weight it deserves.
Here's some modern scientific titles with "Britain and Ireland" in the title, in case any of you are unsure whether "Britain and Ireland" has become the "most favoured expression" and has become the "preferred official usage".
19:21, 14 February 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.41.147.102 (talk)
Are you differentiating the entries where Britain and Ireland is used to mean the islands of Britain and Ireland from the ones where it is used to mean the governments of the UK and Ireland from the ones that mean all the islands included in the British Isles? Britain and Ireland as a straight term is not equal to British Isles as it's missing many islands. For instance if those sources don't cover the Isle of Man they're not using Britain and Ireland as an alternative for British Isles, one isn't always equal to the other.
Additionally, who decides what is official? You keep mentioning the term official but there is no possible body to determine an official name for a geographical area that spans national governments.
Incidentally you've just been blocked for block evasion as you're a blocked from editing for a period of 2 weeks due to your edit warring. Canterbury Tail talk 21:13, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Clearly British Isles is the common name used historically and still used today, the dislike of the term in Ireland is well covered in the lead so I cant see any need to change the emphasis of the current article lead. Not sure you can actually keep open an RfC until you get the answer you want or restrict comments to certain groups by the way. MilborneOne (talk) 19:46, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Agree with @MilborneOne: and others. "British Isles" is commonly used in most of the English-speaking world, and generally uncontroversially so. It may not be popular in Ireland, but I think an explanation for that should be given its due part in the body of the article. --Precision123 (talk) 23:28, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Comment: First, I note nobody is foolish enough to claim that "British Isles" has been the most common term, a claim which would avoid the fact that famous British writers like Francis Bacon never used it, instead opting for "Britain and Ireland". Moreover, "Negro" was also "commonly used" and "generally uncontroversially so" in the Anglophone world until the people so-called decided to fight its use. Similarly, the Irish refuse to have their country labelled part of the "British Isles", and its implicit connotations that the Irish are "British". It will take the troglodytes over in the metropolis a while to get with the whole respect thing, but I note that liberals in Britain are already avoiding using this intentionally offensive term. 79.97.64.240 (talk) 11:43, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

You say it may not be popular in Ireland, but I wonder about this. The average Irishman is not really interested and wouldn't object to "British Isles". I think it's just the chattering classes, who can't help forcing their opinion on others, via the media and even Wikipedia, and who are a really small minority. 86.25.23.3 (talk) 12:26, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
How nice of you to tell the Irish what "the average Irishman" is not really interested in. The fact that this politically jingoistic term is universally avoided in Ireland by anybody who is not trying to make a pro-British political point tells a different story. The fact that you will find records of complaints about the term being used decades ago testifies to a battle against it having happened a long time ago and the term consequently being avoided. What next? The Irish would love to be ruled by the British again and it's only these "chattering classes" who are preventing it? 79.97.64.240 (talk) 11:28, 20 February 2014 (UTC)7
For those of you who don't like accepting the fact of Irish resistance to this term, here's a section of views on an Irish website regarding the term "British Isles": http://www.thejournal.ie/is-ireland-british-isles-northern-ireland-europe-islands-1140112-Oct2013/ 79.97.64.240 (talk) 11:49, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
That link is actually priceless. They've only lead with one of my old Wikipedia diagrams (link), and the whole article is based on the dedicated work of you and Sony Youth/Ranpahnid Ariacnid/RA/Torai - whatever he's called now. This is exactly why so many people think Wikipedia is potentially madness, and a destroyer of all that is sane. You cannot cite a reference that only exists because of this place! The world would turn into gloop. But this is eventually what happens after years and years of this bullshit, and it's the Holy Grail of that tiny handful of crazy people who have given their lives to this insanity.
The funny thing is that I still hear the term used every day, but never any of the WP-promoted "alternative" terms instead. The ITV Welsh news called yesterday's earthquake in Swansea "The fifth biggest earthquake to hit the British Isles this century". I can't imagine most Irish giving two hoots if they said that about Cork. My only problem has always been that I've never seen any popular evidence of any offense or disdain, only the semi-useful polemics that have been painstakingly unearthed over the past 10 years. You frankly have to be Indiana Jones to find anything near the evidence for the 'outrage' you claim there is. The Irish are just more adult and sensible than that. The sad joke is that you are actually demeaning your own people. Matt Lewis (talk) 21:18, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I have a fantastic idea. Why don't you take your fiery nationalist rhetoric AWAY from this page? This is fucking nauseating to read. Somchai Sun (talk) 09:33, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I have an even more "fantastic" one: why don't you and your fellow British nationalists remove your jingoistic terms from land masses and people who reject your proclaimed hegemony over them? It's persistently nauseating to see articles with titles like "British Isles" at a time when you Brits are supposed to have got beyond your imperialist past to display a modicum of respect for the identities of peoples over whom your vile imperialist polity once dominated. 79.97.64.240 (talk) 19:47, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Um, excuse me? Me a British nationalist? You are mistaken as I am nothing of the sort. Where the fuck did you get that idea from? Have you seen my user space, my edit history? Think not. I didn't even comment about the subject in hand, and you're the one failing to look at WP policy by the way. And believe me, keep this up and I'll take you to WP:ANI and have you blocked. You're just an unpleasant person. Good day. --Somchai Sun (talk) 12:47, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Can we have a little Civility please? I think the British Isles is most commonly used and this seems more a political debate. I'm going to start a poll and see where we can go from there.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:04, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Poll for the above RFC

Closed due to lack of clear explanation of the question. See new discussion below. Rob (talk | contribs) 18:07, 7 March 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.

Quick and simple poll. Do you support "most favoured" Expression as outlined above? Please just a brief description of your reason and just a simple support or oppose. Let's guage the consensus on that and the move from there.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:04, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

A poll on what? If you're proposing a move, then do that. Or, if you're proposing an alternative wording, do that instead. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:07, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Read the above RFC.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:12, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

I did. There seem to me to be various proposals. If you want a straw poll, you need to be precise on what the !vote is about. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:14, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Ya sorry about that. Brain fart for a moment.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 10:19, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Predominately because out of Wikipedia, the issue really isn't very prevalent. Additionally because 'Britain and Ireland' is controversial also. The purpose of including the term is because it avoids associating the Irish state with the term 'British', however instead it associates the UK's dependent territories in the archipelago with the term 'Britain'. These territories aren't part of the UK, nor Great Britain, and barely regard themselves as 'British'. I'd rather only have one controversial term in the lead, which really, isn't that controversial. Rob (talk | contribs) 13:22, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. 'British Isles' has been the common name for ages and this has shown no sign of changing. Martin Hogbin (talk) 13:50, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I, for one, have never heard the archipelago referred to as anything other than the 'British Isles', and don't see any real source of controversy here.  — TORTOISEWRATH 03:51, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Hang on a sec. If you are Opposing, does that not mean you are opposing the idea that it is the "most favoured" term??? I don't agree. It's not a black and white answer. For me, there's definitely a trend towards not using the term. But it all depends on context. I'm sure it's used a lot more in the UK than in Ireland or other places. In certain topic/subject contexts, it is the sole/only term used. For example, geographically related subjects such as where rocks are found in Europe, or where a storm hits. In other contexts, it is hardly used, such as political reporting referring to "UK and Ireland" or "Britain and Ireland". The only grey area is geopolitical reporting. Again in some contexts it is a common term - "music of the British Isles" is commonly used in the USA when referring to folk music from all of the British Isles including Ireland, obviously (although Music of the British Isles is redirected... go figure). But for the most part, no, it's not the most favoured term. Someone did a chart of Google search terms sometime - it would be interesting to see these terms charted similarly. -- HighKing++ 11:57, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Query What exactly is the question we're trying to answer? Let's see the proposal set out in black and white. Without that this poll is meaningless. WaggersTALK 12:57, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - I agree that clarity is needed. Write the question out in black and white so we all know exactly what we are answering. Atlas-maker (talk) 17:16, 7 March 2014 (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.

Poll regarding 'Britain and Ireland' in the introduction

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.

Should this article include 'Britain and Ireland', as an alternative name in the introduction? Rob (talk | contribs) 18:07, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose Predominately because out of Wikipedia, the issue really isn't very prevalent. Additionally because 'Britain and Ireland' is controversial also. The purpose of including the term is because it avoids associating the Irish state with the term 'British', however instead it associates the UK's dependent territories in the archipelago with the term 'Britain'. These territories aren't part of the UK, nor Great Britain, and barely regard themselves as 'British'. I'd rather only have one controversial term in the lead, which really, isn't that controversial. Rob (talk | contribs) 18:07, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree The original RFC is above, it seems pretty darned straightforward. Rob, it is the place of an encyclopedia to report on the world, and reliable refs on it, your entire argument is therefore WP:POV. User:HighKing above appears to get it, what particular aspect of it do you find as requiring clarity Atlas-maker? The argument in the RFC is, in a nut shell - should we not include that "Britain and Ireland" has become the most favoured official term for the area? There are, what looks like two WP:RSs that clearly elucidate that "Britain and Ireland" has become the most favoured and official alt expression, along with numerous modern WP:RS books with "Britain and Ireland" in their titles, where they once may have had "British Isles" instead. The edit to the 4th paragraph of the intro/lede that was removed from the article; and which seems to have spurred the original RFC instigator to request for comment was. ---> The National Geographic Atlas of the World which once titled the area as the British Isles now reads Britain and Ireland.[17] This has become the most favoured expression.[15][18] I suppose we could indeed then include all the recent reliable scientific books, listed above, with "Britain and Ireland" in their title, to add a truck load of bullet proof refs to this, you know, for those reading the article who for whatever reason, just don't believe "Britain and Ireland" has become the most favoured term.Boundarylayer (talk) 18:18, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose One reference uses the term "most favoured". Most favoured by who? The person who wrote the reference obviously. For everyone else it's just an alternative term, and a bad one at that, because what precisely does "Britain" mean? Answers please. Shadwell Munch (talk) 19:16, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
You latter point seems really significant. What is 'Britain' and 'Ireland'? Are we refering to the UK and Ireland, or Great Britain and Ireland? If the latter then this is entirely inappropriate as there's 6000 other islands in the archipelago. If the former, then the UK's dependent territories are still excluded. Rob (talk | contribs) 15:15, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Can we make it a requirement that everyone who takes in part in this !vote first reads through all the talk page archives, and understands all the arguments that have been previously debated countless times on this page? No? Perhaps we should. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:18, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
That would take about 10 years, even for a speed reader. Shadwell Munch (talk) 19:19, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I think there should indeed be a reading requirement for registered users who want to contribute. IPs forcing us to revisit the same old discussions should just be ignored and blocked. Wiki-Ed (talk) 11:32, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree Britain and Ireland as shown with references is definitely a widely used alternative inoffensive name, its inclusion as such in the introduction may help alleviate some of the continual opposition to the article as it stands although I personally would favour the also widely used inoffensive term "British Isles and Ireland" as shown [7] [8] Setanta Saki (talk) 19:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
You seems to be suggesting that "British Isles" is offensive. "Fuck off!" is offensive; "British Isles" isn't. Shadwell Munch (talk) 20:25, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Off-topic exchange

Comment: Just who, who, are you to say what is and what isn't offensive to Irish people? I'm Irish and the idea that I could be called British, or my country "British", because your preferred crowd of mass murderers occupied and brutalised Ireland for centuries, ramming English ways into each of us is, well, ineffably more offensive than somebody telling me to go fúck myself in 100 different ways. Irish people have died to assert their Irishness against Britishness being imposed upon us. Your comment sums up the abject ignorance of Ireland and Irish people that personifies those here who insist loudest that Ireland is in their "British Isles". 79.97.64.240 (talk) 18:19, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Ha, ha, ha, ha, hahahaha. What a fucking tosser you are. You belong in a different century; the 18th I would guess. Shadwell Munch (talk) 19:06, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually its more offensive to me when used with reference to my country by an outlet such as an encyclopedia, far more so than any uneducated clown simply using bad language. Setanta Saki (talk) 20:52, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I think people from the UK's dependent territories in the archipelago would find the term 'Britain and Ireland' offensive also. They're 'British', but they're not part of Great Britain or the UK. Rob (talk | contribs) 15:15, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
That may be correct the small UK dependent territories that you refer to may not approve on that technicality, however comparing it to the Ireland issue is fanciful when as you say they are british as opposed to Ireland a large sovereign EU member state whose citizens are not british and who in the past fought a large number of bloody wars in order to regain its independence from Britian. That along with it having many historical atrocities perpetrated upon it during that time such as those committed by Cromwell etc etc along with discriminatory penal laws etc etc. Despite these vast vast differences your point is valid on the surface and that is why I put forth the used term "Britsh Isles and Ireland" as the alternative.Setanta Saki (talk) 00:33, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
The issue with 'British Isles and Ireland' or 'British and Irish Isles' is that a significant proportion of Irish people regard themselves, and there part of Ireland as British, which these phrases dispute. All these phrases are contentious, however one is by far predominately used, hence why it should be the only phrase used. In regards to this discussion, I couldn't care less about how horrendous the British have been towards Irish nationalists. Both sides have made tragic mistakes. If there was a term such as 'Anglo-Celtic Isles' which was widely used, I'd support it entirely. I don't like that the adjective for my people is used erroneously to refer to include your country either, but there's no alternative that's widely used and not contentious. Rob (talk | contribs) 01:15, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I was only referring to "Ireland" the state and its citizens . I think the divided 6 counties region is a irrelevant matter it is only a small "region" of a sovereign state and its small population is split down the middle on the matters to which you refer. It can not be put in anyway on the same footing with respect to the government/population of another Sovereign EU member State that is Ireland which covers five-sixths of the Island. Despite the irrelevance of that region, I can see no significant problem with "British Isles and Ireland" or "British and Irish Isles" alternative as each segment in it can relate to whichever aspect of the name they prefer. The two large EU member states are then equally represented. That is surely far more equitable and correct than the current geographical article title which can only be deleterious to relations. I would also support your suggestion of Anglo-Celtic isles if shown to be in use. I only highlighted some less than pleasant historical aspects in order point out the difference in comparison not to tug at anyone's heart strings.Setanta Saki (talk) 21:01, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
1/6 of the people living on Ireland regard themselves as British. The island overall only makes up 1/11 of the population of the British Isles. If Irish Brits are insignificant in comparison to all of Ireland, then the island is surely insignificant in relation to the British Isles? That you're a sovereign state doesn't make your people's views any more important. Rob (talk | contribs) 21:24, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Great refute. I don't see why we would even add remotely heard of neologisms such as "British and Irish Isles" or "British Isles and Ireland" as the former sounds like islands shared between the two states whilst the second is a mash-up of a geographical entity and a state. British Isles is not a political term - it is a geographical term. Mabuska (talk) 21:43, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Im sorry but that argument is utterly preposterous and illogical of course it matters, in fact it is the most overriding factor, Ireland (the sovereign EU state not the Island once more) does not currently accept or use the article title, all its citizens are Irish and nothing else. UK citizens can refer to themselves as whatever they wish it matters not a jot to Ireland. The article refers to an area that encompasses only two sovereign states Ireland and the UK that is the crucial point, the greater population of the UK is an irrelevance both are entitled to equal regard and importance as they are afforded in the EU. The small region to which you keep poorly referencing is simply a region no more relevant than a province of burgendy in france with regard to international relations ( also the one segment of that divided society that you are referencing mostly would not even refer to themselves as Irish). Setanta Saki (talk) 22:10, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
No. Being a sovereign state makes a region no more important. All people in Northern Ireland recognise that they live on Ireland (hence why the region is called Northern Ireland) and many would be offended at a term that claims that there part of the island is not British. Rob (talk | contribs) 22:33, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry but utterly disagree. British Isles can amply cover all those people in the UK state and other territories (which was your first problem), the term "Ireland" can cover the people of the "state" of the same name present in the archipelago. Obviously all international relations, boundaries of territorial waters agreements etc etc occurs between Independent sovereign states, claims that simple regions such as burgundy are the same category as states such as France or Ireland is clearly unsustainable as an argument.I think we can leave the discussion, I don't see any further progression occurring and I have made my vote and reasoning clear.Setanta Saki (talk) 23:22, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are many "alternative names". To select some over others would lead to accusations of bias and undue weighting; to list them all would make the first sentence utterly unwieldy. With this proposal in particular I would suggest that "Great Britain and Ireland" is a more common and more accepted alternative - although of course it is not synonymous with "British Isles". Anyone interested in the name of the islands would read the etymology section, which clearly talks about the alternative names and links to the appropriate articles. Anyone searching for "Britain and Ireland" would find what they need via that disambiguation page. The current consensus took years to painstakingly build and having done that, this is one can of worms we should now leave closed for a few more years at least. WaggersTALK 11:53, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the argument given by Waggers. Would also add that "Britain and Ireland" is not a clearly defined term - does it refer to geo-political entities or purely geographical entities (i.e. 2 islands). Mabuska (talk) 17:18, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: Here we have a verified, referenced observation that "Britain and Ireland" is a common alternative for "British Isles" used in Ireland and the usual 'John Bull' suspects want to remove it from the introduction because it doesn't tie in with the "British Isles" politics which they are proselytizing here (and in so many other Wikipedia articles). Just because you don't like the fact of Irish resistance to "British Isles", and the use of "Britain and Ireland" instead, doesn't make that resistance, or that alternative use, untrue. Like the British removal from the opening paragraph of the longstanding reference to the term being controversial in Ireland, the whole purpose of the British editors here (with, perhaps, a single exception) is to censor all mention of Irish resistance to their imperialist "British Isles" term claiming Ireland. The political agenda permeating this article ensures it remains a joke of an article. 79.97.64.240 (talk) 18:01, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Whatever the outcome it must be recognized that the British Isles (or whatever you want to call it) consists of more than 2 islands. Calling it "Britain and Ireland" is tricky for Anglesey, the Shetlands, Isle of Man, Arranmore etc. Semi independent islands like the Isle of Man and Guernsey are especially messy. "Britain and Ireland" does not even work as a political term because as this debate acknowledges "British Isles" is not a country, to be political it would have to be "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland plus associated Crown Dependencies and the Republic of Ireland". it Scotland goes independent then it gets even worse. I was originally going to vote support but the more I got into the details of the alternative name "Britain and Ireland" the more issues appeared (verging on WP:OR but this is a talk page) - it just does not work as either a political or geographical alternative. I vote to keep politics out of this and just stick with the official name but I would support redirects from all plausible alternative names plus a section to say that the name is politically sensitive. The politicians of the day can say whatever is voter friendly but it is not the job of a encyclopedia to pander to them. Mtpaley (talk) 21:38, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree (with caveats). At the risk of being a new contributor to this discussion I would like to make a number of points that seem to me, keep on being missed. The main point is that many contributors to this discussion and the overall naming and content of the article keep ignoring the fact that it is the purpose of an encyclopedia to report, summarise and edit other sources and NOT argue the validity of original research or personal opinions. For example the term Britain and Ireland may not be accurate or fit for purpose for reasons already stated by some contributors. However unless these reasons can be referenced from reliable sources it does not matter for the purposes of Wikipedia. Britain and Ireland is a term used by (it seems) a significant number of sources (I am at the moment looking at a map of these isles I have from Phillips, a respected map publisher, hanging on my wall that is titled 'Britain and Ireland') therefore it should be used with due weight given to it in comparison to the term 'British Isles'. Again the term 'British Isles' should continue to be used in the article for the same reasons. It may be objectionable to some people (and clearly some contributors are vehemently opposed to its use)but an encyclopedia's use of the term should be one of reporting current and historical usage and, where appropriate, reporting controversy. I haven't read all the discussion contributions but I have speed read lots as well as reading through the article and some references. My suggestion would be to move the last paragraph of the introduction which talks of the controversy to become part of the first paragraph. The current arrangement of paragraphs are 'description', 'geography' and 'history' with the controversy in naming these isles tacked on the end of the introduction. Logically the controversy should be part of the first paragraph. By doing this the article would also inform the reader of the controversy immediately but then allow then to scan the page to sections relevant to them. Just a suggestion, I know feelings run high, but it seems that some contributors have lost perspective and the purpose of Wikipedia - to inform the reader (not be a battleground for editors) as impartially as possible. Robynthehode (talk) 08:12, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Just a reminder to people. There was very extensive discussion over all this in 2010 (and previously), including a peer review, as a result of which the lede was expanded here with the insertion of the second and third paras. A lot of the debate is at Talk:British Isles/Archive 36#Britain and Ireland et seq. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:17, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Well with this discussion split down the middle 5-4 against as far as I can count, there is no consensus and no amount of additional editors giving a view in favour (or against) is going to matter as Wikipedia does not do democracy. As Ghmyrtle said, its already done the mill. It is holding fine despite the never-ending grumble of a few Irish editors such as the above IP. Mabuska (talk) 10:50, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Just to point out to User:Robynthehode: yes Wikipedia is meant to inform and the article does inform readers of alternate forms in the British_Isles#Etymology section, where it also links to the naming dispute article. Nothing is being hidden from readers, this discussion is simply a couple of editors trying to give as much undue weight to one alternate phrase as possible despite the fact there are various others and it would be wrong to give prominence to one over the others. In fact the fifth paragraph of the introduction already contains the alternate name so it is already in the intro and this discussion is absolutely pointless. Then add in the fact controversies are meant to be touched upon at the end of ledes, then there is nothing that needs changed in this article. Mabuska (talk) 10:57, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
A slightly different point - I think the current "lede" is practically an entire article in of itself. It's far too long and I've no doubt could do the job of summarizing the article a lot better. But back on point, I do think that there's a strong case for including "Britain and Ireland" as an alternate name in the introduction. I've not really contributed to the discussions here because of their habit of dissolving into editors turning it into a nationalistic argument. This discussion isn't about whether "British Isles" is right or wrong, or controversial or whatever other side-bar discussion that has taken place in the past, but rather if "Britain and Ireland" is used in the real-world, verifiably, as an alternate name. Checking out Britain and Ireland, which leads to Great Britain and Ireland, states "Great Britain and Ireland, Ireland and the United Kingdom and similar phrases may refer to .... The British Isles, an archipelago made up of Great Britain, Ireland and a number of other smaller islands". So there seems to be support in other articles that it is a term that can mean, and is used to mean, British Isles. -- HighKing++ 11:42, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
It is deliberately long so as to keep the focus on the fact it is a geography article, not a political football. The term "Britain and Ireland" is already included in the introduction, along with a number of others. I assume that the IPs are angling to give it more prominence within the introduction. However, the sources for each of the listed terms assert that they are the most popular so none of them have more weight than any of the others. We've had this discussion before. It is getting very tiresome. The article is stable and there isn't a new argument here - nothing has changed - time to close the vote. Wiki-Ed (talk) 23:10, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
I get that it's deliberately long - can't imaging how it possible for it to be 'accidently' long :-) Doesn't make my point invalid though. IMO it's too long, with far too much detail, and not enough summarizing by a long shot. The paragraph on the oldest rocks doesn't belong for example - it's not even summarizing another section. As for the sources for each of the listed terms - which article are you referring to? I don't see any list of alternative names in this article's lede? There not listed as alternative names at all, and phrased to make it seem that these names are only used because the Irish find the term "British Isles" controversial. Hardly a fair and NPOV paragraph. I can see why some editors don't want it discussed all right... -- HighKing++ 11:10, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
So you don't see the sourced list of alternative names in the fifth paragraph of the introduction, but you do see a problem with a way that said list is presented? Okay, that makes sense. As for why the there is a controversy - I've never read anything suggesting that there is any other reason apart from Irish objections to the connotations - do you have sources suggesting other reasons? And rocks... the article is about geography so it is entirely appropriate to start by describing how the landscape was formed. That said, the following paragraph is more history or anthropology than human geography - there could be scope for rewriting that section to focus on population distribution and land use. Wiki-Ed (talk) 21:04, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose a.The largest island is "Great Britain", not just "Britain" (Ireland being "Small or Little Britain") and b. there are more islands included, however small.
    P.S. As a sidenote -a bit humorous, nevertheless based on history, etc- the name controversy (Irish side) might get resolved the day the Irish realise that in a way they are more British than the English and the rest of the invader Germanics (as are the Welsh and the Scots all being Celts); in fact, if a group were to be excluded from the ethnonym, it's the English that shouldn't be called British-Britons... ;-) Thanatos|talk|contributions 00:10, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually it's Brittany that's Little Britain or Lesser Britain, not Ireland. Shadwell Munch (talk) 09:00, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually I'm going by ancient sources, etc and by islands; these have, take precedence of a few thousand years or so over other conventions... :D
P.S. Reunited the PS to the main body of my comment.Thanatos|talk|contributions 03:04, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Seems reasonable to list alternative names, just like every other article. -- HighKing++ 11:10, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As others have pointed out, there are more than two British Isles. And it's "Great Britain," not plain "Britain." Hot Stop talk-contribs 04:27, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Closure

This poll opened 10 days ago and it's fairly clear there's no consensus for the change. Any objections to closing it? WaggersTALK 08:54, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm puzzled, maybe I'm being slow. Many of the Oppose !votes above (correctly) point out that "Britain and Ireland" does not the same exact meaning as "British Isles". But that doesn't address the main point of the poll, which is that "Britain and Ireland" (and "Great Britain and Ireland") are common alternative terms used, and as such, there's a case for including these terms as alternative names in the lede. Just for clarity, are the Oppose !votes arguing that they are not alternative terms in use, or is the argument that they are, but that they simply shouldn't be included in the lede (bolded at the start)? The article itself states they are alternative terms, so what exactly is the reasoning for not including them in the lede? What am I missing? -- HighKing++ 13:00, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I think the point is that while Britain and Ireland is used, there isn't necessarily evidence that it's being used as an alternative for British Isles due to the fact they don't mean or encompass the same thing. It's hard to say if the users of Britain and Ireland actually are intending the same thing as what is included in British Isles or if they're just using it to mean Ireland and Great Britain. This is assuming it's not being used in a political sense to mean the two governments of the UK and Ireland. Canterbury Tail talk 13:08, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
If that's the case, and TBH it makes sense, should we rethink the way we're redirecting Britain and Ireland to Great Britain and Ireland, and listing at that page that it is an alternative term for "British Isles"? If we're saying here that we've no way of proving that users are intending "Britain and Ireland" to mean "British Isles", then we shouldn't be saying it on any page. Again, maybe I'm missing something. Just seems inconsistent to me. -- HighKing++ 11:15, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
You may have a point there. Canterbury Tail talk 19:37, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Ok, couple of things. First, this section is meant to be a discussion on whether or not to close the poll, not a continuation of the discussion around the subject the poll raises. Can we agree there's no consensus? Secondly, we simply don't know what any user searching for "Britain and Ireland" is actually looking for with any degree of certainty; therefore directing them to a disambiguation page that includes the British Isles article among other possibilities (as we currently do) is the best option in my opinion. What we direct Britain and Ireland to and what should constitute the first sentence of this article are two separate questions as far as I'm concerned. WaggersTALK 12:53, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
You're very keen to close the poll and stop discussion. What's the hurry? From what I've read above, it seems most editors seems to have missed the point of the poll because most of the editors provided responses that I can't see as being relevant.
Secondly, using the logic prevalent here to date, why is the "British Isles" even appearing on the "Britain and Ireland" disambig page is you're saying it's a possibility? Using the logic above, where are the refs that say people use "Britain and Ireland" as an alternative to "British Isles"? And of course, if we have refs, we're back to the question and poll here... I don't think this concluding part of the discussion is a waste of time, not do I think we need to hurry to close the poll. There's a logical conundrum here that is worth taking the time to understand, and if possible, solve. -- HighKing++ 13:50, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm in no hurry, apart from the common sense approach that is WP:SNOW - it's clear there's no consensus for the change that was proposed and neither is such a consensus likely to emerge within the next few days, weeks or perhaps months. If I'm in a hurry it's to see people getting back to building an encyclopaedia instead of chatting about it. There is a logical reason why British Isles is included on the Great Britain and Ireland page - but the place to discuss the content of that page is at Talk:Great Britain and Ireland, not here. WaggersTALK 14:04, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, I agree there's no consensus to make a change, just to make clear I'm not trying to keep the poll running. But the poll appears to have failed because editors said 2 things. The First, that "Britain and Ireland" is not the same thing as "British Isles"; Second, there are no "alternative terms" to "British Isles" that can be referenced as such. I've simply pointed out a logical inconsistency. Back in May 2008, you voted to redirect "Great Britain and Ireland" to "British Isles" - yes here you're arguing that it's not an alternative term and doesn't belong in the lead. You can see why some editors, me included, are a little confused. -- HighKing++ 14:17, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I think the point I made above is pretty clear; there are lots of alternative names and to list them all in the first sentence would be unwieldy and would distract attention from the primary topic. To select some over others would give them undue weight. There's no logical inconsistency there; at no point in those two sentences have I suggested "Great Britain and Ireland" or "Britain and Ireland" are not sometimes used as alternative names, along with hordes of other words and phrases. WaggersTALK 13:13, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Lots of alternative names? Like what? I would have thought that GB&I and B&I are the most popular by a significant margin, what have I missed? I'm certainly not suggesting other names outside of those have a case to be included, but maybe I'm missing something from what you're saying. Just to be clear, you've confirmed that those two names are indeed used as alternatives. We're on the same page. You're now saying that there's "hordes" of others as well, and to include them all would make the article unwieldy. I agree - if there are, as you say, "hordes" of others. But. If it's primarily just these two?? What's your objection? -- HighKing++ 18:33, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Yet again with the "I really do not see the signal"? It's getting tiresome. You can see the alternatives listed; you can see they are sourced; you can see what the sources say about which of those alternatives are most popular. "I would have thought that GB&I and B&I are the most popular by a significant margin" is your opinion. It's not supported by the source so it has no place here. Wiki-Ed (talk) 19:39, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
It's illogical to have Britain and Ireland redirected to Great Britain and Ireland where it says that it is used as a phrase to mean British Isles (unsourced there, some sources at this article), and then here, on this page, to say that it shouldn't be included (bolded) as an alternative phrase in the opening sentence. If that's tiresome to you, maybe it's because you have the answer(s)? If there's an actual explanation (that makes sense), I'm struggling to see it. The closest we've had to an explanation (above) from Waggers is that there are "hordes" of alternative names, and the reason they're not bolded in the opening sentence is that it would be unwieldy. There's nothing in other articles like Terminology of the British Isles or British Isles naming dispute or anywhere else for that matter that lists hordes of alternatives, but they all list B&I or GB&I as the main alternative. Are we in denial on this article or what? I was/am making a simple point. If there's no appetite to address it, just close the poll. Nobody will lose sleep, and it'll just be one more oddity, no big deal. -- HighKing++ 11:48, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
There's the whole "Islands / Isles of the North Atlantic" / "Atlantic Archipelago" suite of names as well as the myriads of different combinations. As has been said, they're already listed and we've been through all this before. Closing the poll now. WaggersTALK 11:53, 1 April 2014 (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.

Ireland Bias?

Why does an article about the British Isles have seventy percent discussion about Ireland, with little about the rest of the land mass. I understand Irish independence is an important subject, but the prevalence of information about it seems to far outweigh its importance in the history of the British Isles let alone its worldwide significance. Surely equal weight should be given to Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English history?

Tiny beets (talk) 16:29, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

@Tiny beets:Having looked through the article I don't recognise the "seventy percent discussion about Ireland, with little about the rest of the land mass" claim. Would you care to indicate any particular instances where you think Ireland has undue weight within the article? WaggersTALK 10:34, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Rockall?

So, from the article, Rockall isn't a part of the "British Isles". However it is claimed by the Westminster government? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.167.232.17 (talk) 21:50, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

@178.167.232.17: Where in the British Isles article does it state Rockall is not a part of the British Isles? WaggersTALK 22:06, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
It isn't geographically part of the British Isles. It's not even on the European continental shelf. It's part of the United Kingdom (and therefore the 'political definition of the British Isles') by a disputed claim. From my understanding, the Irish state regards it as only a marine resource that therefore can't be claimed by the UK as land territory. None of this is relevant here however. Rob (talk | contribs) 18:21, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
So you editors don't have any references in support of Rockall being regarded by the political establishment in Britain as part of the "British Isles"? Curious.
I found a paper that "...seeks to chart the geopolitical background to Rockall’s formal annexation as part of the British Isles"
F. MacDonald / Journal of Historical Geography 32 (2006) 627
So should we not include this new addition in the article?
13:13, 22 May 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.251.173.247 (talk)
This article is about the British Isles, a geographic not political term for a geographic entity. Rockall is not geographically part of the British Isles, therefore it has no place in this article. Since the British Isles is not a political entity it cannot annex anything. The UK or Ireland may be able to do so, but a geographic entity cannot. Canterbury Tail talk 13:23, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Rockall is regarded by the UK under the Island of Rockall Act 1972 as part of Scotland - specifically, part of the Western Isles. However, as there is no formal definition of what constitutes the British Isles, there has been no need for the UK government to make a statement on the matter. And so, we should not make any assumptions about it. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:46, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
It is a important principle of this article established over much much talking that it is a geographical article not a political one so the views of the UK government are not especially important here. We need to find a geological reference to settle this. Mtpaley (talk) 17:53, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
This probably counts as Original Research but a quick look at Google Earth shows that Rockall and the Faroe Islands seem to be geographically distinct from the 'main' British Isles. There is a clear area of shallow sea which looks like a clear geographical unit, personally I would think that this makes a excellent way of defining this area. I must be able to find a reference where someone else has said the same. Mtpaley (talk) 18:01, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
That's not quite correct. The BI cannot be determined purely geographically or geologically for the simple reason that the Isles include the Channel Islands, just off the coast of France. More to the point is the fact that the British Isles is a term much more used in the past than now, and the existence of Rockall - let alone its administration - was a matter of minimal interest to anybody until the last 50 years or so. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:29, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
The Channel Islands seem to be clearly part of the BI. They are part of the same continental shelf as the major islands. Why are the Channel Islands a issue?
The BI must be 'purely geographically or geologically' or we are in a impossible mess of definitions. If it is not geographical then it might be political and the possibility of this has caused chaos for years. The consensus is that the term is geographical so the channel islands are clearly included. Rockall is clearly not. Mtpaley (talk) 20:33, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Of course it's an "impossible mess of definitions". It has kept generations of Wikipedia editors awake at night for years. There are other islands in a geographically similar location to the Channel Islands, like Chausey, which are not part of the British Isles. The Channel Islands are not geographically part of the same archipelago as Great Britain, Ireland, Shetland, etc.. There is clearly a political component to the definition of the BI, not solely a geological one. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:38, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I admit that this is a messy case. Islands 100Km from the coast clearly come under the area of whatever continental shelf they are on. Tiny rocks 10cm out clearly dont but where the boundary is I have no idea. In this case I would be tempted to say that Chausey is a island in the British Isles because it is clearly separated from the mainland by several Km and is on the BI continental shelf. Mtpaley (talk) 20:51, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Islands don't have continental shelf, they have insular shelf (although the insular shelf may also be continental shelf). Rockall is not on Great Britain's insular shelf like all the other islands in the British Isles. Archipelagos aren't limited to one island's insular shelf however in this instance all of the British Isles are on Great Britain's insular shelf so we can assume that islands not on this shelf are probably not part of the British Isles. You can try to find a reliable source that suggests otherwise however. Rob (talk | contribs) 21:31, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Insular shelf and continental shelf is the same thing, just on a spectrum. Continents are just large islands. That said, Rob's logic is sound, and I find it hard to imagine a geologist disagreeing. It's as connected as the Faroes. CMD (talk) 22:30, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Right now, the article doesn't even mention Rockall, so doesn't make a statement either way as to whether or not it's part of the BI. I would suggest that we leave it at that, unless reliable sources are found that specifically refer to Rockall being, or not being, part of the British Isles. It is not for us to decide whether or not Rockall is (or should be) considered part of the British Isles so arguing here about whether or not we think it should be included, or how we think the British Isles should be defined, is a waste of time. Our job is to accurately and articulately portray what reliable sources tell us and nothing more. WaggersTALK 07:34, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:50, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Not arguing - merely discussing. This is a talk page after all. Mtpaley (talk) 17:30, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
The original query therefore still stands, as the following is a WP:RS - I found a paper that "...seeks to chart the geopolitical background to Rockall’s formal annexation as part of the British Isles"
F. MacDonald / Journal of Historical Geography 32 (2006) 627
So should we not include this addition in the article?
178.167.213.197 (talk) 05:17, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
It's certainly a reliable source but it's not very clear exactly what you intend to add to the article (or where in the article you intend to add it). May I suggest you outline the exact wording of your proposed addition here, and tell us where in the article you think it should go? WaggersTALK 07:39, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
The problem, as well, is that the source - whether deemed "reliable" or not in WP terms - is simply wrong in saying that it was "annexed to" the British Isles. It wasn't - it was annexed to the UK. Per WP:VNT: "Even the most reliable sources commit mistakes from time to time, such as misspelling a name or getting some detail wrong. Such mistakes, when found, should be ignored, and not be employed to describe a non-existent dispute." Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:43, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it was annexed to the United Kingdom. Some sources use the term British Isles and United Kingdom interchangeably.
Gibraltar could be annexed to the United Kingdom in the morning. If it was, it wouldn't mean it would start challenging Jersey for the title of sunniest region of the British Isles. --Tóraí (talk) 12:19, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Nicely put. WaggersTALK 07:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Ice age

"Ice covered almost all of what is now Ireland and Great Britain with the exception of most of modern-day Munster and much of modern day England" Would be be cleaner to say something like "Ice covered almost all the British Isles North of X" with a few examples of places of latitude X? Mtpaley (talk) 00:39, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

That form reads much better to me. The use of "Ireland and Great Britain" in the current sentence is particularly strange - I'm sure it affected the other islands too! WaggersTALK 09:21, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
The map here suggests that using a line of latitude would be inappropriate. How about something like: "Ice covered almost all of what is now Scotland, most of Ireland and Wales, and the hills of northern England." Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:51, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Change now made. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:32, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

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Faroe Islands

I believed that they, along with the Orkneys and Shetlands, were geographically a part of the British Isles? RailwayScientist (talk) (formerly Mistoop) —Preceding undated comment added 19:15, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Do you have any sources that support your belief? The phrase "geographically a part of the British Isles" is something of a nonsense. The British Isles are determined by convention and culture, more than pure physical geography - hence, the conventional inclusion of the Channel Islands. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:19, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
PS: This search result shows that the question has been discussed, and hopefully answered, previously. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:20, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
The geographical explanation is pretty simple: there is a significant trough separating the Faroe Plateau from the rest of the European continental shelf. But like Ghmyrtle points out, the "archipelago" isn't really defined geographically anyway as it includes islands that are on France's bank of the English Channel. Rob984 (talk) 22:45, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Illustration: File:BLANK in Europe (relief) (-mini map).svg Rob984 (talk) 22:59, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
I think that the term "British Isles" pre-dates any understanding of the depth of the sea - so, I'm not sure how relevant that point really is. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:08, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Britain and Ireland

Thanks for your message. Of course the Irish are a distinct people. I wasn't questioning that. But at some time they were not a unified people populating what became 'Ireland'. Because of the controversies in this article I am merely asking for you to provide a source about the statement that the 'Irish' as a distinct group populated the islands along with the Anglo Saxons (and many other tribes or peoples) during this period. My understanding is that what became to be called the 'Irish' people were already present in Ireland prior to the Roman occupation of 'England' and therefore prior to the various migrations of people after the Romans left. It will help prevent others reverting your edits if you provide sources when editing controversial articles. It is probably better to take any further discussion or reasons for your edits to the articles talk page rather than each of ours. Robynthehode (talk) 21:07, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Hello Robyn. I'm not claiming the Irish were a unified people at the time (or now!). I did say 'a distinct people' but 'peoples' would have being better, just like the British. Various Irish groups raided, invaded, and settled in Britain before, during, and after the era the various Anglo-Saxon folks came to Britain. The Great Conspiracy of 367-368 included groups the Romans termed, in Latin, as Picti (from Alba - that is, Britain north of the Wall), Scotti (a generic term simply denoting group(s) from Ireland), Attacotti (origin uncertain; possibly from Ireland, but certainly outside Roman Britain), Saxones, and Franci. However, groups from Ireland had being raiding, invading, and settling in Britain since the late 200s. Roman sources identify them as Hiberni in AD 297, and as Scotti in AD 314 (NHI, vol. III, cited in full below). This pre-dates similar Anglo-Saxon activities, but as the Great Conspiracy demonstrated, the Irish sometimes acted with them. Irish settlements were all along the coast of Roman Britain, apparently up the Severn, into the west country, and north of the Wall in Alba (hence Scotland). My sources are A New History of Ireland vol. VIII, 1982 (2002 reprint), p. 15; and Phillip Rance's "Epiphanius of Salamis and the Scotti: new evidence for late Roman-Irish relations", Britannia 43, 2012, p. 228, 229. See also Rance's "Attacotti, Déisi and Magnus Maximus: the Case for Irish Federates in Late Roman Britain", Britannia 32, 2001, pp. 243-270. Both of these articles are available online on Rance's academia.edu page. See also Uí Liatháin, Brychan, etymology of Llŷn Peninsula, Eóganachta, Ogham, Silchester Ogham stone. I am certainly not trying to provoke controversy and I apologise if I gave you that impression; all I am trying to do is add a dimension that is historic yet often under- or unaddressed in this subject. If having read my citations and agree with what I wrote based on them, please do add the information. Is mise, Fergananim (talk) 18:00, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Fergananim I am happy for you to include relevant text supported by reliable sources. My initial revert was based on the fact the text in your edit did not seem to be supported by the quote you provided. And similarly my point above about an 'Irish' people already present in 'Ireland' prior to any other peoples that may be called 'Irish' arriving in Ireland after the Romans left. You just have to be careful that any sources you use DO support the text you write in the article. My comment about controversy was just that the article is often boldly edited by people who do not support their additions to the article with reliable sources or by reaching consensus for change on this talk page. The article should certainly show information supported by reliable sources for all the notable views of the political and social history of the peoples of these islands within the limitations of this articles parameters. I am no expert so maybe others can comment on your sources and your proposed additions Robynthehode (talk) 21:36, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Fair points, Robynthehode. While I base my edits on knowledge of good reliable sources, I don't always link them as well as I should. Can I ask you to clarify what you mean by 'Irish', 'Ireland'? Fergananim (talk) 19:17, 26 February 2016 (UTC)