Talk:Dorothy Tarrant

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We have some dissent about the usage professor emeritus. I have no strong feelings about this but note that issue of Latin grammar is debated at the Chicago Manual of Style. Andrew D. (talk) 14:45, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

I don't particularly have strong feelings about it either but would tend to prefer emerita; if we're sticking to English (the objection raised) then emerita is in any case better according to the style guide (thanks for the link). I have reverted it.

(talk) 12:49, 2 February 2018 (UTC)Claire 75 (talk · contribs)

I would prefer that we went with what the sources say. The ODNB says emeritus, the National Portrait Gallery says emeritus, the National Archives say emeritus. I would also point out that NONE of the "emerita" editors have respected WP:BRD. It stood as emeritus, and was boldly changed to emerita by an anonymous editor in January. I reverted this, on the basis of the sources. Since then there has been a series of reversions contrary to BRD by partisans of "something we like is preferable to what the sources say". I am reverting to the accurate version. DuncanHill (talk) 12:58, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
I would also note that contrary to what Claire 75 claims above, the linked article from the Chicago guide 'does not say that "emerita is better". It says "But in this case of grammatical correctness coming up against political correctness, there is no clear winner". Misrepresentation of sources is a cardinal sin on Wikipedia. DuncanHill (talk) 13:11, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Re. sources, please note that I have now added a citation where the subject is referred to as emerita - hopefully this will assuage DuncanHill's concern about misrepresentation of sources. Lysimache (talk · contribs) undated comment added 15:28, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

That source was checked by me prior to my comment above, and said neither emeritus nor emerita. I also not the remarkable similarity between the way Lysimache (talk · contribs) and Claire 75 (talk · contribs) have signed here today omitting their usernames. DuncanHill (talk) 15:31, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

I used my username. I've been a Wikipedian for a long time but don't very often engage on discussion pages. I don't like it being insinuated that a slip like that means anything other than a slip like that.

The source Lysimache uses seems fine to me. I'm happy for it to be referred to someone else to decide- continual reverting of an edit isn't good practice on Wikipedia and I suggest that DuncanHill cease from doing so. I lose track of the number of times he has reverted other editors changes on this edit.

Claire 75 (talk) 15:40, 2 February 2018 (UTC) Claire 75 (talk) 13:11, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

When two editors, supporting each other, make exactly the same "mistake" in their signatures within a short time of each other, it raises suspicions. As to the sources, we have three good soures saying emeritus, and one, changed today after the other sources were alluded to, saying emerita. And as to the reversions, see the page history and my comment above about WP:BRD. DuncanHill (talk) 15:43, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
I will not revert, the emerita partisans have ignored BRD, have ignored sources, have ignored attempts to communicate with them on talk pages, and have misrepresented what the Chicago link above says. DuncanHill (talk) 15:51, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I will now post a formal warning on DuncanHill's talk page. All concerned should please read WP:EDITWAR and reflect. Andrew D. (talk) 16:04, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • As the warning was reverted, the issue has now been logged at WP:AN3. Andrew D. (talk) 16:31, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Royal Holloway call her "Professor Emeritus" here. As that is the institution at which she held the post, I think it is reasonable to assume that they might have some idea what her title there was. DuncanHill (talk) 16:00, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • There are sources for both Professor Emeritus and Professor Emerita for Dorothy Tarrant. As the fact that two institutions that are equally relevant to Dorothy Tarrant show - Bedford College no longer exists but was always a part of UoL and was subsumed into Royal Holloway long after Tarrant had left the institution (i.e. she was UoL but never Royal Holloway). There are also differing sources both ways for the use of professor emeritus/a, e.g., here that says "Emerita is correct for use by a woman. Emeritus/emerita are the masculine and feminine forms of the adjective. Of course, some women use emeritus like some women use chairman without thinking about gender agreement." I'm not sure what there is to be gained from calling her an emeritus? I'm uncomfortable too with the constant reverting by one editor when three others have suggested he leave it. And with the incivility. Over to someone else, hopefully.

Claire 75 (talk) 17.31, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

  • As you see, the result has been that the page is now locked for editing completely. This is often what happens and so one has to be prepared for a long haul - "Rome wasn't built in a day". Another page I started was Festina lente and that's good counsel. More anon. Andrew D. (talk) 17:41, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
So far, we have Royal Holloway, the ODNB, the NPG and the National Archives saying emeritus. And we have the ICS website edited today to say emerita. We can also look at the article history. Emeritus was first introduced in this edit on 15th March 2017 by Andrew Davidson. Emerita was first introduced on 11th January 2016 by an IP here. This was reverted within an hour, with mention of the ODNB source. On the 18th of January Srsval ignored BRD and reverted me, I reverted her within the hour. I also commented on her talk page User_talk:Srsval#Dorothy_Tarrant. To date she has not replied. Srsval subsequently (on the 22nd January) edited the page here, introducing some new material, but respecting the emeritus wording. After that the emeritus wording stayed constant until the 1st February when Lysimache changed it to emeritus. I reverted the same day. Then today, the 2nd February, Claire 75 and Lysimache (neither of whom have any history of editing this article) took it in turns to revert as a tag team. I tried to engage in the discussion here, and have pointed out multiple sources for emeritus including the college which holds her papers. In response, a fellow member of the Claire and Lysimache's project decided to try to get me blocked. DuncanHill (talk) 17:47, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Claire 75 (talk) 22:07, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Please learn to indent your replies properly! And don't put your signature on a line below your comments, it makes it much harder for others to follow. Yes, anyone is free to edit any article. Your only edits to this article have been to revert me, in pursuit of your personal preference, and in contravention of WP:BRD. DuncanHill (talk) 23:47, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Please take a look at WP:THREAD to see how to indent properly, and WP:SIGHOW for guidance on signing your posts. DuncanHill (talk) 23:53, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

RfC about Emeritus/Emerita[edit]

By the count of noses, use of "Emerita" for this article passes (10-6-1). Now while I personally am in favor of using the feminine forms of titles whenever applicable (e.g. executrix, poetess, comedienne, etc.), it is accepted practice to use the masculine form to apply to both sexes. Since no decisive argument was presented for using the feminine form over the masculine/neutral form to refer to a woman holding the title, I'd say for other articles this issue of gender would need to be decided case by case in the foreseeable future. -- llywrch (talk) 05:08, 3 April 2018 (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.

Should the subject be described as a "professor emerita"? Andrew D. (talk) 00:01, 3 February 2018 (UTC)


  • Neutral I don't mind either way. Andrew D. (talk) 00:01, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Multiple reliable sources, including her own institution, call her Professor Emeritus. This is well documented above. The wording "professor emeritus" was stable until the last day or two, as can be seen from the article history and was that chosen by the article creator. Emerita is at best an affectation, showing off the author's supposed superiority in knowledge of a dead language, at worst an outdated form of Gender marking in job titles. DuncanHill (talk) 00:16, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per DuncanHill. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 10:03, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Neutral, as I can see this going either way. Emerita would be technically correct, and it could be argued that insisting on Emeritus irrespective of the subject's gender is itself a form of gender marking — which, as a professor of Greek, the subject might not have appreciated. However, following the practice of academic institutions associated with the subject suggests that either option is acceptable in this instance. I suggest that the above editor may wish to review WP:NPA before accusing other editors of affectation or sexism. P Aculeius (talk) 13:28, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Emeritus. All the gender specifics are going bye the bye. The dreadful poetess, actress and now Emerita are being consigned to the dustbin of history, although I never heard it as a term. It would have been based the latin or greek root of the work, but now it is irrelavant. scope_creep (talk) 20:32, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Approve Emerita. This is more accurate; subject is not male and their gender should not be elided through a title. Srsval (talk) 13:40, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Approve Emerita. Usage of 'emeritus', as a specifically masculine term, works in the same way as, e.g., the use of 'man' when 'humans' is meant - I would therefore prefer to use 'emerita' in recognition of the subject's gender (in keeping with efforts elsewhere on Wikipedia to improve the visibility and accurate representation of women here). Lysimache (talk) 14:26, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Approve Emerita. As per reasons given already. I wrote Oppose per DuncanHill above, simply as I was knackered, haven't done a Wikipedia survey above and was meaning to oppose the edit suggested by DuncanHill. Claire 75 (talk) 15:49, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Use her title as she would have used it I suspect she would have used capital letters for "Professor Emeritus" as a title, and not as a descriptive adjective (for which "retired professor" is perfectly adequate.) For example, Nefertiti is not called a "Pharaohess" in order to conform to "gender rules" anywhere I can find. "Professor" is a genderless title - though we could call her "professoress emerita" I suppose (yes - normal English word) - but I doubt that she ever used that title. But if we wish to use "emerita" then we ought also use the correct noun - professoress. Collect (talk) 16:08, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Approve (Summoned by bot) To a certain extent I don't care what RS say, because this isn't a RS thing. It's grammar. I do disagree with Collect on "professoress", I have never heard that word before and it going to far. Actress is basically the only adjective that I approve of, because it doesn't tack an extra syllable on. L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 14:09, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support "Emerita" I am exceptionally uncomfortable with the masculine term being considered the "default" gender-neutral term - the point of gender-neutral terminology is not to rewrite the history of gendered altogether. "Professoress" is not a word in commonu usage, and someone would probably look at you funny if you used it, because "Professor" is widely understood to be gender-neutral. "Emerita" also widely understood to refer to retired Professors who are women - Professoresses, if you really must. Alternatively, if we can't find consensus for either Emeritus or Emerita, I would strongly support "Retired Professor" which carries a similar meaning whilst not rolling off the tongue nearly as pleasantly. -- Thanks, Alfie. talk to me | contribs 04:59, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is, imho, a matter of house style, and more universities have used "emeritus" historically, but there is movement now towards "emerita". The question is, has this progressed far enough to merit Wikipedia using "emerita" in this case, or not? As someone who still has their copy of De Bello Gallico from public school on my bookshelf, I'm well aware of how it works in Latin. Recall that 'professor' in Latin is masculine, so it could only be professor emeritus in Latin regardless of the sex of the person concerned. (Just as is still the case now in French, where if you refer to a personne who is male and add an adjective after personne, that adjective will be feminine, referring to the man.) Now that 'professor' has been assimilated into English, it doesn't have gender anymore, so ruling on the emeritus/emerita question on the basis of how Latin does it, is completely moot; but here it is, returning in the mind of some, with a sort of fake-Latin-noun-adjective agreement, where the antecedent is somehow no longer 'professor' as it logically must be, but has magically shifted to the person. So, in my view, people saying it has to be 'emerita' with a woman because that's how Latin does it, have no idea what they are talking about. A little bit of Latin is a dangerous thing, and thinking that Latin usage trumps what we do in English after the word has been borrowed, is mistaken. The *real* answer is (just like all usage questions here), is it depends how reliable English sources do it, and Latin can go hang. How it works when such phrases get borrowed by English is wholly dependent on usage on a case-by-case basis. So the question comes down to, not "How does Latin do it?" but, "How does English do it?" And that is changing, with some institutions mandating 'emeritus', and others 'emerita' for women professors. We could either follow local style, i.e., follow the style in her university, or, follow references about her more generally, irrespective of source, including how other instutions have it, e.g.: (Rochester, W Mich, Ediburgh, and so on). This cannot be decided merely on the basis of the subject's gender (see WP:RIGHTINGGREATWRONGS) but only on the basis of English usage, which appears to be changing. In my judgment, it has not clearly resolved yet in favor of emerita (although I believe it will be, one day) and since Wikipedia follows usage it does not lead, we must choose emeritus for now, and then come back in five or ten years and try this again. Mathglot (talk) 06:50, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Since it has been raised, I have started to noticed the term being used in a number of articles, so it could fairly common. scope_creep (talk) 12:43, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Emerita, the female form, is preferred by many females. Do we know if that's the case here? I'd default to the appropriate gender if we don't know for sure. Dicklyon (talk) 05:29, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Changing to approve. If we don't have consensus yet, it's certainly building, and I feel I have a better handle on the issue after reading the above comments and thinking about it for a few days. We don't know for sure what the subject would prefer, because she's been dead for some years. But she was a classics professor, and would almost certainly have preferred to observe grammatical gender, within the rules of English. In English, "professor" is used equally of men and women; but emeritus and emerita, like alumnus and alumna, typically observe grammatical gender. You can use the masculine term as a "default", but that's the opposite of reaching for gender equality. I don't find the arguments for emeritus persuasive if academics of both genders approve of emerita, and recognition of the grammatical feminine is becoming mainstream.
Recognizing that feminine inflections have equal validity with masculine ones is not a form of discrimination against women, as some have suggested; and arguing that if we allow emerita then it must be paired with professoress is a fallacious reductio ad absurdum... setting up a straw woman, as it were. We don't regularly use that term in English, and never have; at best it's antiquated and at worst patronizing, but since its chief use came before women were commonly professors of anything, it was never in regular use—note this ngram: professoress, lady professor, woman professor. A similar search reveals that while "professor emeritus" is far more common—due largely to familiarity, I think—"professor emerita" has become increasingly common in recent years, with substantially all use coming since 1970; unlike "professoress" it's clearly not a remnant of patriarchy—and "professoress emerita" does not seem to exist at all. It's not even a potential alternative. Here those with progressive attitudes and fuddy-duddy classicists are in wholesome agreement. Why stand in the way? P Aculeius (talk) 14:34, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Female academics are increasingly using emerita. The Institute of Classical Studies uses that for Tarrant: "after her retirement in 1950 she was appointed professor emerita." [1]
  • Support. Emerita, as per Srsval's comment: subject is not male and their gender should not be elided through a title.Zakhx150 (talk) 09:44, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Emerita as it is being used by female academics and I, like those commenting before me, prefer that we don't ignore someone's gender by using the male-default emeritus. I recognize that reliable sources have used the emeritus title but this was before emerita was commonly used. Because both titles can be used, my preference is to default to the one corresponding to her gender. Ca2james (talk) 15:45, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose the grammatical or 'political' correctness of either term seems largely irrelevant. Was she appointed as, and did she use the 'emerita' form, if not then this is not only WP:OR, it is imposing modern (US?) norms on an historical figure living and working in a different continent at a different time. I see no evidence for historical use of 'emerita' either by or about her and clear evidence that her own employers referred - and refer- to her using the traditional form, which was presumably the actual title she was given. Pincrete (talk) 10:41, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

They don't now because she is dead. Andrew D. (talk) 00:21, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Wrong, they call her Professor Emeritus. See this link, which I gave above but you must have missed. DuncanHill (talk) 00:58, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I am well aware of that material as I included the equivalent entry from the National Archives when I created the article. The point is that, when the classics department at RHC now talk about such women, they use the emerita form of the title, e.g. "Anne Sheppard, Professor Emerita of Ancient Philosophy". There's nothing wrong with it; it's just a matter of style. Andrew D. (talk) 14:32, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
The term that institutions now use seems irrelevant (or maybe they now give the subject a choice - which is often the case in such situations, such as this 'Lord' Mayor). A specific title was given to Tarrant, we cannot say that a different title was given because, perhaps she would have preferred it had she lived in a later time. Pincrete (talk) 11:18, 2 March 2018 (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.

Protected edit request on 22 February 2018[edit]

Add Category:Women Classical Scholars as this has just been created today and is being populated. Zakhx150 (talk) 21:20, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: that ctageory doesn't seem to exist. Is the capitalization incorrect, possibly? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:50, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
@MSGJ: Sorry in my haste I capitalised. It should be: Category:Women classical scholars Zakhx150 (talk) 08:54, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I see this has already been done yesterday — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:44, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
After I'd put my request in too. All's well that ends okay. Zakhx150 (talk) 12:51, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 25 March 2018[edit]

Please can the category "Articles created or improved during Women's Classical Committee Wikipedia events" be added to the page? Many thanks Srsval (talk) 14:48, 26 March 2018 (UTC) Srsval (talk) 14:48, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

Srsval i'm quite sure that category should be added to the talk page, not the main page, similar to wikiproject categories, as being improved during women's classical committee is not a characteristic of Dorothy Tarrant but of the article. Galobtter (pingó mió) 13:53, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
Jayron32 I don't think you meant to fully protect for an year on a first instance of edit warring? Galobtter (pingó mió) 13:53, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
I've meant to protect the article until such time as you the agreed on a consensus version. Have you reached that agreement?

It appears to be-see Ilywrych (?sp.) summation on RfC page.Claire 75 (talk) 02:07, 24 May 2018 (UTC) Claire 75 (talk) 02:07, 24 May 2018 (UTC)