Talk:Buff (colour)

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British spelling?[edit]

I'm curious why this should be written in BE. All of the subjects (apart from the White Star Line) are American. Besides that, the source of the name "buff" is clearly American, there aren't Bison in the UK. Also, I can't find another color that uses BE in the article.

Sumergocognito (talk) 23:52, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

There are a few other articles that use the colour spelling. For example Orange (colour). See WP:ENGVAR for the policy on this. PaleAqua (talk) 05:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree that this article pertains to American subjects and its spelling should reflect that. (talk) 15:01, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I've just changed a couple of spellings of the word "color" into "colour" in order to make them consistent with the article title. I understand the guidance on this sort of matter is that, unless the article's topic is specifically British or American, the type of English used should be determined by the article's first usage, however I am now unsure if this is the best approach here, seeing as a few of the article subsections deal specifically with American topics, and it seemed incongruous to have the British spelling there. (Although conversely there is a 'British' subsection, in which the American spelling would be incongruous....). Any suggestions for a neat solution? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 07:36, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
When talking about the really old European things, I think I figured they are a bit closer to Portugal and Germany and so on than we are, I left it British spelling or spelled it British myself. When it came to speaking of American things, I went with "color". I can't talk about General Washington wearing a "colour"; it looked wrong. And when talking about the British spellings, of course I went with "colour". Actually, that's just what I tried to do. I may have messed it up, in which case feel free to edit. I wasn't sure what to do sometimes and got confused. The naturally occurring stuff I went with things as they stood or tried to use the traditional, old-fashioned, or British spelling for some reason. Maybe it was consistency with the title that made me go with that. It was titled "Buff (colour)" before I got here. Let's just do it so it looks good, and not foolishly consistent. Oh, and also, I may have just tried to avoid the word at times if it wasn't too awkard. If it is too awkward to avoid the word in some part(s), please be WP:BOLD and edit. Chrisrus (talk) 00:54, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

American Whig Party[edit]

Buff and Blue were the colors of the American Whig party in the 1800s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

And of the British Whig Party. --Joshua Issac (talk) 13:12, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, how does it look?[edit]

I'm surprised that this doesn't have the actual color shown. I mean, its a color. You can see it. Therefore, there should be a picture! ...Erm, how to add one...? (talk) 08:34, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Agreed, although the top of the infobox does use the buff color that is not readily apparent. I went ahead and added a swath of the color buff beneath the infobox. --AerobicFox (talk) 02:23, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
That looks ugly; the color infobox is usually enough. I plan to revert. Dicklyon (talk) 04:05, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The color infobox box isn't that clear about it representing the color. Is there something you could do to clarify that the header is the color? --AerobicFox (talk) 08:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Discussion moved from Chrisrus's talk page[edit]

Buff Colour[edit]

An editor wishes to have two different styles of English in the article, Br Eng generally and Am Eng for the US subjects. Is this a sensible course of action, or too far removed from WP:ENGVAR and WP:CONSISTENCY? - SchroCat (^@) 21:37, 27 July 2012 (UTC)


An editor has changed previously arrived at consensus not to apply WP:CONSISTENCY and WP:TIES to the whole article, but to allow those sections clearly labled "US Culture" in this article to be written in American English. Does this change constitute article improvement, or is it a violation of If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it? Chrisrus (talk) 18:21, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Please note that as per WP:CONSISTENCY (a section of WP:ENGVAR) "Although Wikipedia favors no national variety of English, within a given article the conventions of one particular variety should be followed consistently". It matters not that the section deals with use in the US, it is still on an article that uses BrEng and the consistency of spelling whould be used throughout the article. Thanks - SchroCat (^@) 17:33, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I know. But if you would please note that as per WP:TIES, (a section of WP:ENGVAR which states "...a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation should use the English of that nation." Please look at the rest of the article. Will it really look proper for an article that on balance is basically talking about something American: deeply symbolic of the Continental Army, General Washington, US state flags and universities, and on and on, and just a little bit about British Culture, how will it look to speak of these things using the spelling "colour" of George Washington University or the US Army Heroldry? We can't talk about the "colour" of General Washington's uniform. It looks bad. Please look over the article and read over the sections about this on the talk page where this decision was arrived at in discussion. In this article, we are simply extending WP:TIES to sections. All we care about is that things don't look wrong. There is no problem talking about the "buff-colour'd linings" of the Redcoats and the buff "color" of the Continental Army as long as we do that consistently and smoothly with the flow of the WP:TIES of the referents of the different sections and subsections. Where no WP:TIES exist, we default to the British spelling because of the spelling of the article title's parenthetical. Chrisrus (talk) 17:48, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Not really. Ties says, and I quote: "An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation should use the English of that nation". Not section, article. Furthermore, to say that it is "an article that on balance is basically talking about something American", is nonsense: we in the rest of the world also have buff. I think it's an international thing, rather than just a US thing...". - SchroCat (^@) 18:28, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I know, but that's just a guideline and you know what they say about foolish consistency. The important thing is that the articles look right, and authors of guidelines haven't thought of all possible situations. Please do investigate the particular contexts of this situation. Please read through the whole article. The word "color" is spelled like that in all the American sections. Are you going to change them all to "colour"? Why are you picking on just that subsection? Are you going to make it consistent throughout? Your edit is inconsistent with this article's pattern of spelling it the American way when talking about American things. Please do see that it doesn't look right in an article that otherwise applies WP:TIES to sections. Do spend some time looking at the article, it won't take long for you to give it a good look-over. Do you see? You haven't made it consistent until you change all the "buff in US culture" sections as well. And please do read the corresponding talk page. See how the decision to do it this way came naturally out of the evolution of the article? When you do these things you will see that we should apply WP:TIES to sections in the case of this article.
Second, I think you've misunderstood something I said. I did not mean to imply that the color buff itself was on balance an American thing. I'm saying that the article as written is mostly about American things. There is more in that article as written right now that is specifically about some aspect of American culture than there is about it in any other culture. That of course could change. If you have the means to do so, please do add more information to the article about the buff in other cultures. Maybe some future version of the article will no longer be mostly about American things. At that point, what I said before about the article will no longer be true. I was talking about the state of the article as it stands, not saying that buff is American. As such, if you get your way and apply WP:ENGVAR as that guideline is written, the end result is going to be American English throughout, not UK. I don't want that, no one wants that as far as I know. But on balance the article is more about Buff in American culture than in any other, so a consistant and literal reading of ENGVAR will inevitably result in the article using American spelling throughout, although this would change if you or someone added quite a bit more about buff in UK culture. So your recent edit has not solved the problem that you intended it to solve, namely bringing it in line with ENGVAR
So, I hope now you understand and undo your recent edit or at least not redo your last edit when I undo again as soon as WP:3RR allows. Chrisrus (talk) 19:39, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I've made one final alteration. The word "color" now appears only once - in a quote, where it is correct to do so (although you should provide a citation for it being a quote). The remainder of the article retains the spelling of the title "colour", as per WP:ENGVAR. I have looked at the article as a whole for the balance between the references to the UK and US and see the following:
US references
1) The US Army; 2) U.S. Universites, Fraternaties, and Schools; and 3) U.S. State Flags
UK references
1) The British Army; 2) UK Politics; and 3) UK Ships
All looks pretty even to me and even if it wasn't, it still doesn't matter: the title of page flags up which national usage is applied to the page. There are other colour articles where AmEng is the dominant variant and the UK references all refer to "color". No one complains about this: it's just the way it is because of ENGVAR. In relation to changing the title of the page, please see WP:RETAIN.
As to your final point, you have given notification that you intend to edit war over this matter. I would advise against this: warring over language variants, especially in such a clear cut case where the variant is flagged in the title, would be frowned upon and I will not hesitate to take the appropriate action if you decide on that course. - SchroCat (^@) 20:18, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think you'd better look again, because if all you want is for WP:ENGVAR to be applied, I exect you to support it being moved to Buff (color) in this case and spelled that way throughout, because as anyone can see there is quite a bit more in the article as it stands abotu buff in American culture than there is about it in UK culture. Even if you refuse to admit that, I'm sure that any objective person will notice that this is clearly the case. This again is not what I want, but it's what consistent application of WP:ENGVAR would lead to, and as that's all you say you care about I expect you to do that or explain why not if ENGVAR is the only reason for your edits.
I'm interested in these "other articles" you speak of. Please direct me to them.
I would ask that you read what people say more carefully and not throw around major accusations such as "edit warring" so carelessly. I have announced my intention to put everything back the way it was without edit warring by acting only as WP:3rr allows. That by definition is not edit warring. Chrisrus (talk) 20:44, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I have transferred this from my talk page because this is where it belongs. Chrisrus (talk) 20:54, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure you've read ENGVAR properly. Can I point you once again to WP:RETAIN: "With few exceptions (e.g. when a topic has strong national ties or a term/spelling carries less ambiguity), there is no valid reason for such a change." A colour has no strong national ties: it is international by its very nature. The article refers to the use of buff as a colour by a number of nations and it is not overwhelmingly US-focussed, so I am not sure upon what grounds you could argue for a change.
Please note that Edit Warring is not based on three reversions. As the policy states "it is perfectly possible to edit war without breaking the three revert rule, or even coming close to doing so." In other words if you engage in pointless reversions when you have been warned that you will be in breach of some rather touchyt guidelines, you are edit warring: 3RR is the point at which an administrative procedure kicks in. - SchroCat (^@) 20:55, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
If you read the article carefully, you will see that it has stronger national ties to the US than it does to the UK. Therefore, to apply ENGVAR slavishly as written, it would be written in US English. But that's not what I advocate doing.
All I'm asking is for you to be reasonable. It is silly to force this article to speak of the "colour" of General Washington's uniform or the "colour" of the flag of New Jersey. It's also silly to speak of the "color" of an old extinct UK political party. It look bad and looks wrong to force this foolish consistency where it does not improve the article. As WP:IGNOREALLRULES states, rules (in this case guidelines) exist for a reason. Where that reason does not apply, it's not reasonable to apply the rule. What is the reason behind the guideline WP:CONSISTENCY? The reason is behind the rule is to avoid writing silly things like "this color is different from other colours," which just looks bad. If you look at this article, it looks much better when we speak of the "colour" of the UK Whigs separated into a section dedicated to the discussion of certain UK things, and the "color" of the GW Colonials where we're talking about US educational institutions. It just looks right when the clearly labled UK sections are written in UK English and the US sections are written in US English and let the article do things the way it looks natural. The other two choices would imply speaking either of the "colors" of the UK Whigs and the "colour" of the Continental Army, which just looks wrong. The only rule is that everyone should just be reasonable, these other things are just guidelines only to be applied where the reason for which they were written exists. Chrisrus (talk) 21:21, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
"it just looks wrong" Not really. I'm used to readin book in the UK about America which are in UK spelling and I don't find it wrong. Similarly I read articles on here which are in Am Eng but refer to something British: I don't think it "looks wrong": i think it looks like an American was the first person to write on that particular topic
"to apply ENGVAR slavishly as written, it would be written in US English" No. It would still be written in Br Eng. There is no "strong national tie" to the US either in the subject, or in the article. As you seemed determined to push this to some ridiculous point I'll open an RfC on it, even tho RETAIN counsels that "In general, disputes over which English variety to use in an article are strongly discouraged. Such debates waste time and engender controversy, mostly without accomplishing anything positive." You seem to want to go against the flow, but we shall ask the question to a wider audience... - SchroCat (^@) 21:29, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree; no reason to ignore rules or use inconsistent spelling in an article in this case. I don't think George Washington would mind; after all that's how it was spelled in letters to him and from him. Dicklyon (talk) 21:41, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
That a British book by a British author for a British audience should use British spelling even if it's about America would not look wrong, nor vice-versa. This article has no author or publisher and is neither British nor American. This article shouldn't look like it was written by a Brit nor an American. This article is written and published for and by "everynone"; everyone and no one. Speaking about the buff "color" of a UK thing in a section titled "UK things" is bracing and odd. To speak of the buff "colours" of Washington's uniform looks just as strange, especially when it's in a section about buff in American culture.
There is a strong national tie between the color buff and the culture of the United States. The existence of "The Buffs" and so on shows that there is also a strong national tie between the color and the culture of the UK. Based on only what's present in the article as it stands, the US tie is clearly stronger. There's just more of it in the article, and what there is, is much more central for our culture. We owe our existence to those symbolized by The Buff and Blue. Without those that the Buff and Blue symbolizes, the US would not exist. The color of the funnels of the Titanic symbolized a particular company, and the UK Whigs never caught on over there and are not particularly strongly associated with the identity of UK people. You should re-read the article and understand the deep significance of the Buff and Blue for the culture of the USA. They are the colors in which the Continental Army suffered unimaginable hardship and would surely have surrendered if not for the leadership of the Father of Our Country who somehow managed to convince them not to give in and keep up against all odds and trust in the man known who led them in the Buff and Blue would somehow find a way. So please do not underestimate the historical link between the Buff and Blue and the culture of the USA. If you have some evidence of such deep ties between this color and what it means to be a British, please provide them. If at some time in the future this article contains such profound ties between your culture and the color buff, then maybe it will be true that there are equal or greater ties between the referent of this article and the culture of the UK. As it stands, this article shows deep and important ties between the color buff and the culture of the US, but of the UK? Meh. Not so much.
But let's not get drawn into arguments about such things, as the quotation you selected advises. Please let those sections which speak of the significance of the color in American culture use American English to speak of them in the spirit if not the letter of the guideline WP:TIES, and allow the rest of the sections with no particular ties to American culture or about British culture be written in British English. Let the British things be spoken of in British English and the American things be spoken of in the language of our people as Webster taught us. Those things with no strong ties to a particular culture, you can have those in BE or not, it doesn't matter, just please be consistent within that section. Chrisrus (talk) 23:06, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm sorry, but you are clutching at straws with your arguments. This article is written in UK English. it's even in the title. The various elements of the subject mean nothing: it's an international topic and the article reflects that. Please just accept that arguments around varieties of English really are a pointless waste of time because everything has been said a thousand times before. Buff as a colour is not intrinsically linked to the US. To try and argue otherwise really is a bit silly. - SchroCat (^@) 23:16, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

@Dick Lyon, General Washington is not going to be reading this. It looks wrong to write "the colours of George Washington's uniform were Buff and Blue" to modern audiences, because of the strong ties between Washington, the Continental Army, and so on with the existence of such things as American English. It will look wrong to speak of the UK regiment known as the "The Buffs" as wearing a particular "color" just because there's a greater tie between the color and US culture than there is to UK based on what we have here, just as it looks bad to speak of the "colour" of the Flag of New Jersey to modern readers. As long as the transitions between cultures are clear and not sudden or jarring, switching as the referent switches between cultural topics looks just fine and is well in the spirit if not the letter of the guidelines in question. Chrisrus (talk) 23:21, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
@Schrodinger, :That's funny, I see you as the straw-clutcher here. The article is only written in only in UK English right now because you just did that just now; it hadn't been that way before. It's you who are making the change to the established way it was based on consensus of authors. You can't use the fact that it's written in UK English right now as a reason that it should have been written in UK English before and should be so written in the future. I want to keep it the way it was, I'm not the change agent here.
As anyone can see, this is an international topic in parts, and also in parts it deals with the color in specific cultures, and of those most are US, and those are clearly stronger. If arguments around varieties of English are a pointless waste of time, just allow us to have the sentences such as "Buff is the color of certain US universities in honor of the color of George Washington's uniform" instead of unnaturally forcing " honour of the colour of the Continental Army." It's the obvious way it should be when and where the ties are there. Forget about your crusade for consistency in all things for it's own sake no matter what. Consistency is only a guideline to be used where not being consistent would look strange or bad. It is not important for it's own sake. It is only important if it makes things look better and not illogical or worse. That's why they say what they do about foolish consistency, and why we have rules like WP:IGNOREALLRULES. This is a classic case why ignore all rules was written.
Buff as a color is not intrinsically linked to the US, no, I never said it was and you to depict my argument in that way seems to be a straw man argument and I'm asking you to stop doing that. Please read more carefully and understand that I am saying that there are in the article stronger cultural ties between the color buff and American culture and there are between it and UK culture based on what is found in this article to date, and so if, if this article must be written for some unthinking reason in only one variety, all else be damned, it would be US English. (And we could easily move it to Buff (color) so the fact that the title is Buff (colour) is no reason that the US culture sections must be written in UK English, so that's another weak arguement). What I am saying is let's not force this article to unreasonably and unnaturally use only one type of English throughout either way, let the UK parts be in UK English and the US parts in US English so it doesn't look to US readers as wrong as would speaking of the "color" of UK things would look to UK readers in an article that on balance much about UK than to any other culture, as the article is written. Chrisrus (talk) 00:19, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support using one version consistently through the article. WP:CONSISTENCY and MOS:TIES do not contradict each other here. CONSISTENCY states that one variety should be used throughout the article, and TIES is a guideline for selecting the relevant version. Clearly a color does not have national ties; just because the US or UK military may use it in their uniforms does not invoke TIES either way, because the topic of the article is the color not the uniform. The version of spelling that should be used consistently and entirely throughout the article (except in the case of quotes and reference titles) is the version of English that was originally selected by the author of the article. Betty Logan (talk) 02:36, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

None of these addresses the point. Please read carefully and reply to the arguement actually being made and reply to that instead of some other arguement not being made.

Forcing the article Buff (color) to write either such things as “The colour Buff is a symbol for certain things in American Culture, or “the color Buff is a symbol for certain things in British Culture” does not constitute article improvement even if consistent with the guideline “WP:Consistency” because they just look wrong. The reason behind the rule (actually a guideline) WP:Consistency is article improvement and that is not served by the slavish following of this rule in this particular case, because writing “The color Buff is symbolic of certain things in British culture” or “The colour Buff is symbolic of certain things in American culture” is not an improvement over doing the opposite. Therefore, the application of WP:consistency in this case is not a valid argument because the resulting edits do not improve the article, see WP:IAR? which states; among other pertinent things, “Don't follow written instructions mindlessly, but rather, consider how the encyclopedia is improved or damaged by each edit” and “The spirit of the rule trumps the letter of the rule”. This means, unless you think such edits as “the color Buff means certain things in British culture” is an improvement on “The colour Buff means certain things in British culture”, WP:Consistency is trumped by “Always improve the articles” in this case. There is no clear reason why this article should be written only in British English as opposed to only in American English yet given. The “title parenthetical argument” is not valid. The reason it is called Buff (colour) instead of Buff (color) has nothing to do with this topic or article, is not based on WP:TIES and has nothing to do with this article or it’s referent. The title has to be either “color” or “colour”, and up until yesterday there was no particular reason to change it. But if following the letter of WP:ENGVAR and whole article consistency trumps article improvement, it should be moved to Buff (color) as there are clearly much greater WP:Ties as there are more WP:TIES to US culture evident in the article as written than to any other, so if the article must be consistent, it should be consistently American English instead of British English just because of the title parenthetical. Greater ties to American Culture are found in the article than any other, so if consitency with WP:ENGVAR is to be followed, the title would then be have to be changed to American English if the previously agreed upon compromise, to allow American sections to be written in American English, cannot be allowed because of the title parenthetical, then this article would have to be moved to Buff (color) and the talk page header replaced with an American English one.

But let's not move it to American English Only either, because doing so would be imposing the same awkward stilted wrong-looking foolish consistency for the sections on the meaning of Buff in UK culture that whole article consistency is now imposing on the US culture sections. The solution is for whole article WP:Consistency to be waived in this case (although section consistency should be maintained). But the point is this: the spelling of the article title’s parenthetical is not a valid reason to declare that this article shall be forever %100 British English. I will be changing it as soon as it is appropriate unless my actual arguement is addressed by someone. Does anyone know of a coherent valid reason why this article should be written in British English? Is there any particular reason to do so?

It was changed to British English, under a somewhat coherent argument at first, but my counterarguments of the supremacy of article improvement over mere consistency have not been addressed. The lack of any important reason why British English should be the language of this aritle have not been addressed. I’m written enough and well enough about why the American sections should be left the way they were, so I’m changing them back as soon as it is appropriate. I’ve more fulfilled my obligation to “take it to the talk page” so let there be no more loose talk of “edit warring” until you address my arguments squarely. Either explain how writing such things as either “The colour buff has important meanings in American Culture” or “the color buff has important meanings in British culture” would constitute article improvement as opposed to leaving them the opposite way, as they were. Or explain how even though it does not constitute article improvement, why WP:Consistency trumps Article improvement.

Chrisrus (talk) 03:08, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Leave it as is. I've reverted many changes of articles where someone has tried to change American spellings to British spellings. This one was British first, so leave it.JSR (talk) 06:56, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Chrisrus, I'm happy to let others comment as they will and so far those that have joined in have all pointed towards leaving the article and its contents under the BrEng spelling. You seemed determined to push this further, especially around the curious alignment of the colour buff with the United States. A brief skim over the various wiki articles does not seem to really confirm that:
It's not really a convincing argument for a "strong national tie" really.
I'll point out again that writing statements "I’m written enough and well enough about why the American sections should be left the way they were, so I’m changing them back as soon as it is appropriate" does seem to point towards you reverting the spelling, against the WP:ENGVAR guidelines and against the consensus that is building against such a move. I will forewarn you that to do so would not be a wise move and would be interpreted as edit warring with all the appropriate ramifications of that action. - SchroCat (^@) 09:35, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Did you find any references to chili dogs in any of those articles? Please. We see the WP:TIES even in articles which are orphans. Ties are seen by reading the articles in question, not looking for references in other articles about the country in question. Chrisrus (talk) 07:26, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
But there is STILL not a sufficient national national tie between the colour buff and the US! Not in itself, and certainly not with reference to WP:RETAIN. - SchroCat (^@) 07:30, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I've re-added the information relating to John Bull and his wearing of buff and I'm not sure why you removed it, unless it was to try and force the US issue? There is a connection, it was adequately sourced at the time you deleted it. - SchroCat (^@) 07:51, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to say this even though I feel like I know it's going to fall on deaf ears. This has nothing to with that whatsoever. I said at the time], and as everyone probably already knows, John Bull's waistcoat is a Union Jack print, not buff. Yes, it may be true that the first fellow who drew him had him in a buff one, but I looked into that and couldn't find any evidence that he is at all known or famous for wearing one. It might be a nice thing to add to an article about John Bull that he originally wore differnt clothes for like, two seconds, and ever since then he's been wearing the same Union Jack and that's what he's quite surely going to continue to wear forever because everyone knows that that's what John Bull wears. If John Bull had been the least somewhat notable for wearing buff, I promise you, please believe me, I would have left it in. John Bull just isn't a notable wearer of buff waistcoats or buff anything. The fact that in something like the first drawing of him (which I challenge you to find anywhere, because I really tried) he happened to have been wearing an ordinary common man's buff waistcoat and not his normal Union Jack waistcoat like he always wears is a minor detail that might have a place somewhere on Wikipedia but isn't a notable thing about the color buff. Here we should include only notable things about the color buff and not obscure details like the fact that the man who orignally drew John Bull didn't have him wearing his usual getup but rather a buff waistcoat. At the time I did that there was no conflict between UK and US English in the article or any question, anyway. We all just decided (see above) that it would look so much nicer if the US sections were written the US way and the rest could be in British English and everyone was fine with that because it looked natural and nice that way and respected everyone and no one felt bad about it. So that was the furtherst thing from my mind when I removed that bit about John Bull being a notable wearer of buff stuff. I'm more English myself, much more so, than the Queen, by ancestry, and at that time was trying to do all the UK sections in my best British English spellings, just as I tried to do tonight when I wrote that an organization do something instead of does something, in the White Star section, which looks so wrong to us but not to you. I'm respectful of such things and not anti-British at all and my removal of the John Bull thing was just because he's plain not famous for wearing a buff waistcoat, he is a symbol of the UK and always wears a Union Jack waistcoat, sorry for saying "vest" before. With this in mind, please undo your re-adding of him to the article as it does not seem to improve the article, the only thing, go back and see what I've been saying all along, that I care about. Chrisrus (talk) 08:40, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Bull will stay: there is sufficient justification - ironically from a US source, although I could find English ones if you wanted. As to your comment that "which I challenge you to find anywhere, because I really tried". I'm not entirely sure how you tried - you should try the internet:
Secondly, "We all just decided" is slightly misleading. One editor posed a question, you answered it and made the revisiosns based on that. Hardly a great consensus for going against WP:ENGVAR. Similarly, "it would look so much nicer if..." is again hardly a basis for going against a rather sensistive and oft fought-over issue. - SchroCat (^@) 11:04, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Please scroll back up and read it again more carefully and see that this "one editor....on that" is not what happened. Also the History tab would help you understand how we arrived at this and how many editors were involved. Second, there was no sign of sensitivity or fighting till you undid our decision to apply the reasons behind the rule WP:TIES to sections clearly labled "US" and "UK" in this case.
You are surely not invoking a couple of people asking the same question back in 2008-9 to justify your reversion of this long-standing question?! - SchroCat (^@) 18:27, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I see nothing wrong with speaking of the "colour" of George Washington's uniform. That's how it would appear if, say, The Guardian ran an article on Revolutionary War history. -- DanielKlotz (talk · contribs) 15:21, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
    • You are right about how a British newspaper should say such a thing. But this is not the Guardian. Chrisrus (talk) 18:21, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
  • No, it's wiki, whose guidelines on language use can be found—still—at WP:ENGVAR. - SchroCat (^@) 18:27, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Been watching this debate for a while. Seems pretty clear to me that it's fine just continuing to just use British English for this article, especially considering the various policies already linked above. Switching dialects mid article seems like it would be more distracting than any concern of parts talking about "colour" worn by George Washington or talking about the "color" of the Royal East Kent Regiment's waistcoat linings. With a consistent article any unfamiliarity with the spelling colour or the like only happen at the start of the article instead of suddenly switching back and forth. PaleAqua (talk) 21:09, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Very well. That's not the way everyone had been looking at it before nor the way we had been doing it the way we had, but if everyone wants to do it that way I can't stand alone in this. I just want everything to look right, that's all, and we'd agreed it didn't look right to do the US Culture sections this way. I stand down on this issue. Chrisrus (talk) 00:14, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Thank you. It is appreciated. - SchroCat (^@) 07:50, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral (RFC bot on my talk page) on the spelling (subject to WP:ENGVAR). Oppose different spellings within the one article, per WP:CONSISTENCY. -- Trevj (talk) 12:22, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Responding to the RfC, it seems to me that switching from one spelling system to another mid-article, even if it's between sections, is really not desirable, and is actually rather more distracting than the alternative. That's why we have the consistency rule, and I don't see any compelling reason to ignore it here (or anywhere else, for that matter). I really don't care which spelling is used, although it's surely easier to stick with what we already have, but, in my view, we should use the same one throughout. Anaxial (talk) 19:38, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

John Bull[edit]

John Bull, the traditional symbol of England as created by John Arbuthnot in 1712, was depicted in a buff coloured waistcoat or topcost.[1] Initially he was almost always depicted in a buff-coloured waistcoat and a simple frock coat (in the past Navy blue, but more recently with the Union Jack colours).[1] During the Georgian period his waistcoat changed to being red and/or his tailcoat is royal blue which, together with his buff or white breeches, can thus refer to a greater or lesser extent to the 'blue and buff' scheme.[1] [2]

Text talk[edit]

Like most new text, this could probably use some tightening up. In this article, we'd been going for as few words if possible, as it's basically just pictures and captions. So the less verbiage the better if we can combine some of these sentences without losing clarity or remove any extra information not truely necessary. There may be a problem with clarity at the end. I personally don't understand the last part. I hesitate to do much more at the moment. I just fixed one typo in it tonight, ("ws" -> "was").

Thoughts? Chrisrus (talk) 08:00, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Color pictures of John Bull that we have now[edit]

Gallery Talk[edit]

Pictures two, three,and five might be useful for showing him in buff pants.

In picture four, he seems to be wearing buff boot uppers or boot linings.

It looks like the natural side of the leather is showing in number four.

Number one seems "right out", as Bull might say, if only because he doesn't seem to be wearing buff to my eye.

Number two isn't as buff as five, but five is quite ugly, you'll agree.

Number three is the buffest of all, and very nice to look at, but not very useful because the subject is just as much Uncle Sam as John Bull.

Number six is the one we are using. It, too, might be useful for buff pants, but they are hardly visible and not a very good example of the color, as all pictures in this article are should do.

Thoughts? Chrisrus (talk) 07:22, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

External links talk[edit]

Both of these are great, but could we get them?

Number one shows the only thing that this article used to talk about as being buff: the Buff waistcoat, and it's a very buff one, indeed! But the pants and boot uppers don't match exactly and are look less buff to me, if they are truely buff at all. A very handsome picture, though, and it'd be great if we could use it.

Number two shows matching buff waistcoat and boot upper and is quite nice. I don't like it as much as #1, but it's nice and would certainly do the trick.

Thoughts? Chrisrus (talk) 07:39, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Number one is doubtful we could get it free - there is no date, but it looks like a more modern one. This would suggest it is still under copyright.
Number two looks more appropriate, but again is undated.
Shame - it would have been good to use either of them. An ideal would be to get one of Arbuthnot's images. They are way out of copyright and so will be free to use. I'll have a little dig later, but I'm snowed under at the moment. Cheers - SchroCat (^@) 07:51, 31 July 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion," Metropolitan Museum of Art (2006), exhibition brochure, p. 2.
  2. ^ Matthews, Stella (2000). "The Search for John Bull". "Best of British" Magazine. Retrieved 7 September 2012. “… while the figure with which we’re most familiar, the portly one resplendent in top hat, top boots, buff-coloured trousers, swallow-tailed coat, and sporting the British flag on his waistcoat, was the work of Sir Carruthers Gould as depicted in the ‘’Westminster Gazette in the late 1800s and early 1900s.”  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
References talk[edit]
  1. "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion," Metropolitan Museum of Art (2006), exhibition brochure, p. 2. This was a bit difficult to google, as there is also a companion book to the exhibition by the same name. This is a brochure, which I tried twice but could not find. Does anyone have access to it? Chrisrus (talk) 06:48, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Add to Project USA[edit]

As this article contributes so much information about the role of the color buff in US culture, I've added the US project. It was reverted, but the reasons given were not accurate or legitimate. Please feel free to add UK project if you feel there's enough about the role of this color in UK culture to justify it. Chrisrus (talk) 06:14, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

I reverted you because I felt it was perpetuating the dispute above, by artificially creating a national tie to the topic. Articles are claimed by projects when they are generally regarded as being of interest to project members that may wish to develop them. I didn't feel this was the reason in this case, since you only became a project member after adding the article to the project category. However, although I disagree with your actions and question your motivations, it's between you and the US project. Betty Logan (talk) 06:57, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
I've added the UK project, but you may want to change it to an English one if you think it too broad. Also, there are several other projects that could be added. In this way, we increase the chances for article improvement. Chrisrus (talk) 05:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Experts direct us to a pictue of White Star Buff[edit]

Please re-read the section and understand why "...while directing their readers to "see pp. 54, 60-61, and 67 of the new book Art of Titanic" is needed in context. We are directing the reader to a picture of the color the experts are talking about. No one is advertising anything. These experts can talk all day about the color, but they really just want to show us. This is their, our, way of showing it. Chrisrus (talk) 05:43, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

If it's needed it should be in the citation. The article text should state that someone said samething. The footnote tells people where, if they want to look into it further. - SchroCat (^@) 05:45, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I've taken it out again. The material is on the webpage which you have provided a link to. It is not needed in the article text. At the very most it goes into a footnote, but even that would be overkill because it's on the web page. - SchroCat (^@) 05:53, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
We are talking about a color we should be showing. This is what the experts are saying, it's a quote and the only thing we have. If we had a picture of it, we'd use that. If you can get the citaiton you want, do so. We don't have these things, but we have this direction to one, and this is a direct quotation. That's the best we have at the moment, the closest thing we have to a picture of the color. Oh, and sorry about the unintentional revert. Chrisrus (talk) 05:55, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
It may be the closest thing we have, but the fact that someone has said it is the key thing we report. The footnotes are to show where it was said and to provide an indication as to any other pertinant information about its location. If a reader is interested they will click on the link and read the page. It's not encyclopaedic to have the page numbers in the main test of the article. - No probs on the revert. - SchroCat (^@) 06:00, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
It says "Below is a color sample matched as closely as possible to the color in the above-reference illustrations. It also matches well to Ken's description:" and then shows their attempt at a copy of the actual color they're talking about. So it may not be the color they are talking about exactly, the color they are talking about exactly is on those pages in that book. White Star buff is defined by experts as the color on those pages. That's what White Star buff is right now, as best as experts can tell us, the color which is on some pages in some illustrations in a particular book. That's the referent of the section. I can only suppose they worry the internet isn't accurate enough, to say these things in this way. They are clearly not %100 confident that the color we would see at that web site will be as much the real thing as the color on the pages in that book. Do you understand? These people are very exacting about these things, and they can only do their best to show them on the net, but they don't want us to trust that. They want to tell us not to trust the picture they are just doing their best to try to show us under these computerized conditions, apparently. They say that if we want the real thing they are recommending, we have to look at the color in that book, that's what they are talking about. We are trying to tell the reader what the experts say that White Star buff is. Chrisrus (talk) 06:15, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I understand all that you are saying, but an encyclopaedic entry reads as follows:
An expert in the field, Dr Smith, has said that he has proof the earth is flat,[1] although this is doubted by modern science[2]
Smith, His Big Book, pages 4-56.
Jones, His Bigger Book, pages 2-45.
Do you see? We don't say in the text where the evidence is, we just say what someone has said. The footnotes show where. In some circumstances we can add a note to clarify, such as:
Smith, His Big Book, pages 4-56. A summary of the methodology can be found on pages 52-54.
Do you see the difference? You tuck away the minor details because people's reading abilities are imperfect and the article becomes difficult to read if cluttered with the bits they don't need to know. If they really want to find out we show them, but in a different place. - SchroCat (^@) 06:28, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I forgot to answer your edit summary question: yes - the additional infomation is an improvement overall. - SchroCat (^@) 06:41, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
That's not what's happening here. The illustration is the referent of the term "White Star buff". It's not a citation as evidence or proof of anything. It's their way of showing us the color, not of proving anything. There is no evidence of anyone hawking a book or using it as a citation. It's not a citation, it's the thing itself. It's a definition of the term. They are saying "we'll get you as close as we can, but if you really want to know what it is, look here: this is it, see? That's White Star buff on that page." It's like an article on the Mona Lisa saying where it can be found, only she's in a museum and it's in a book. The place in that book is the thing they are talking about, not a citation to support something they are saying or trying to prove or whatever you thought it was. You said you understood but don't show evidence of it. The illustration is white star buff, see? They say, here, this is the thing we are talking about. It's like us showing the picture of the Chamois as a definition of "Buff". We're implicitly saying "here, this is it". That's the way it is with colors; words fail, you have to show them. I'll try re-writing it another way soon so it's clearer soon, you've wiped me out tonight. The illustration is the definition of the referent of the term White Star buff as current expert consensus defines it. Your analogy is so way off it's utterly useless. Please read more carefully and be sure that what you think you see at first glance is actually what is being said. I'll do it again soon so it doesn't look so much like a citation or an ad for a book at a glance. We have to tell the readers that these experts are saying "it's this color here, in this book, not exactly the one on this web page" or some such. We have to tell them what White Star buff is; that color in that picture there. Chrisrus (talk) 07:16, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I do understand what you are saying and perhaps a better footnote would have been:
Smith, Smith refers to the the flatness, upon which he expands in Smith, His Big Book, pages 4-56.
You have to say what you know, not what you think you know, so if you haven't seen the book, you shouldn't quote from it, but point to the place where someone else does - see WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT - SchroCat (^@) 07:22, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

What I know is that this wesite says that when they talk about this color, they mean that color there, in that book. If it were the color of an avocado, they'd tell us to look there. If it were the color of a banana, they'd direct us to the fruit department. Get your head around the fact that the place they are telling us to look happens to be a book. We get this from the website, only, and say so clearly. The website says that for us to know this color we should look here. Who's quoting from a book? We're quoting from a website saying that the color is found in a particular place that just happens to be a book. Why did you say that if I haven't seen the book I shouldn't quote from it? It's like you'd read nothing I'd written. Why did you send me to saywhereyougot it? Who's not saying where they got anything? It really looks like you just don't get it. Say we had a section on shade of Yellow and quoted a book saying that it's the color of a banana, and if we wanted to really see what the color was, it would be best not to look at this swatch on your computer but to go to the supermarket and get a banana and look at it. That's what's happening here. The thing that seems to be throwing you is the fact that the experts are telling us not to go look in the kitchen but to go look at the color in this picture in this book and then we will really see what they mean. They are telling us to look at a picture in a book so you seem to think that the reason they are doing that is to cite something or prove something and not just to tell us where to look to see the color for real instead of at their their best but admittedly imperfect effort at their website. Nothing you are talking about here applies to this case except perhaps to teach me that I'm going to really have to word this extra carefully so that the reader won't misunderstand in the same way that you have. Chrisrus (talk) 07:46, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I still understand what you are saying, and the information still does not belong on in the main article text, but in a foot note, or within the citation. We can't show the reader the image either, so it's pointless telling them about it in the main text: that's what footnotes and citation notes are there to cover. - SchroCat (^@) 07:52, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Very well. Let's see what I can do with the footnote, as they are basically saying "White Star is this color here in this book". Chrisrus (talk) 00:08, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

US army[edit]

Have a look at WP:MILTERMS - "US Army" is not right, it should be "US army", although in the full text it would be "the United States Army", which is the correct title, but it's not a favoured way to do the title. - SchroCat (^@) 06:32, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, good idea. It says:

The general rule is that wherever a military term is an accepted proper noun, as indicated by consistent capitalization in sources, it should be capitalized....Formal names of military units, including armies, navies, air forces, fleets, regiments, battalions, companies, corps, and so forth, are proper nouns and should be capitalized. However, the words for types of military unit (army, navy, fleet, company, etc.) do not require capitalization if they do not appear in a proper name. Thus, the American army, but the United States Army. Unofficial but well-known names should also be capitalized (the Green Berets, the Guard).

I once asked why Wikipedia always uses the dots, because all around me I see it as US, not U.S., it seems, more often, and personally normally just call it "the US". I think maybe it's because the letters U and S spell a common English word, something that's not true of the letters U and K. Chrisrus (talk) 06:48, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I'd say that's slightly misleading: the preference in UK English is not to use the full stop with initials, with US English preferring to use them. It's a preference only in both varieties and it's generally not wrong to use or not use in either. - SchroCat (^@) 07:54, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

User:Jesse V. gives Buff (color) a "start" class rating.[edit]

Thanks to User:Jesse V. of the Wikipedia Color Project for stopping by and rating this article as "Start" class. However, if you will, please do let us know what we have to do to get a higher rating. We are trying to achieve WP:Good article status. Chrisrus (talk) 18:38, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

In the buff[edit]

I came here from seeing the "in the buff" hook for the Children's Museum, Siri Fort, currently in Prep 1. Since I don't see the meaning of the phrase covered anywhere in this article, I was going to add the following, but since the article is soon going to be linked from the main page, I thought I would propose it here first. What do you think of:

"In the buff", today meaning naked, originally applied to English soldiers wearing the buff leather tunic that was their uniform until the 17th century. The "naked" signification is due to the perception that (English) skin is buff-coloured. [1]

to go in the Derived terms section? If this usage isn't covered here, the hook loses its hookiness. A thought. Awien (talk) 23:11, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. I read the link and that's a fair summary. Go ahead, have at it. We can always tighten up the language or whatever later if needed. Chrisrus (talk) 01:46, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Ok, will do. Feel free to tweak as you see fit. Oh, and you'll need to fix the ref. I don't know how to do the new form. Cheers, Awien (talk) 02:06, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Ok but did you notice the "Cite" menu at the top of the edit window? It makes it easy. Chrisrus (talk) 02:54, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
No . . . live and learn! Thanks, Chrisrus. Awien (talk) 11:07, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Arms / armour[edit]

Pong ball in flight.svg Chrisrus: Pong ball in flight.svg Mutt Lunker: If Mutt Lunker is right in saying that the source of the Sir Edmund Verney quote has "arms" not "armour", then keeping "arms" and glossing it in parenthesis as armour is preferable to changing it to "armor" in what purports to be a direct quote. Cheers, Awien (talk) 18:38, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Well, ok, but how do we make it clear that the parenthetical is us speaking, not part of the quote? Say, maybe, using square brackets instead of parentheses? Because we're not supposed to edit direct quotes, even if they have mistakes or problems, because editing direct quotes makes it not be a direct quote anymore. Chrisrus (talk) 19:35, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Substituting "armor" for "arms" is us speaking without indicating the fact in any way, which is still worse. So there are various possibilities. Square brackets as you suggest is one:
noted "he would neither put on arms [armour] or buff coat the day of the battle".
Round brackets alone are reasonably common:
noted "he would neither put on arms (armour) or buff coat the day of the battle".
Round brackets and single quotes are also possible:
noted "he would neither put on arms ('armour') or buff coat the day of the battle".
Victorian editors signed their gloss:
noted "he would neither put on arms (armour - ed.) or buff coat the day of the battle".
Maybe even italics:
noted "he would neither put on arms (armour) or buff coat the day of the battle".
Take your pick! Awien (talk) 22:10, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
I've added a ref which, conveniently, actually spells the matter out in parenthesis. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:14, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
But using square brackets . . . Awien (talk) 22:20, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Right you are. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:30, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Ok so long as we can be reasonably confident that readers get it, I'm fine, but after all these years Wikipedia should probably have settled on a best practice for things like this by now, but I can't find it. If we don't have one we should make one. Chrisrus (talk) 04:16, 31 October 2016 (UTC)