Talk:Edinburgh/Archive 4

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Archers' Hall, Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh

I'm curious as to why there is no mention of this building, particularly since what is now divided into three public parks used to be The Meadow adjacent to it. Nor is there any mention of archery in the sports section although it seems to have been one of the oldest sports participated in in Scotland, with perhaps Europe's oldest continuous competition and awarded prize. I would not mind some images of the building and the East Meadow Park archery range for the Queen's Bodyguard For Scotland article I'm expanding--Koakhtzvigad (talk) 21:50, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Edinburgh/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    The prose is overall readable, but is choppy in places. It could use a good copyedit by someone experienced with the manual of style. The lead section, while it does cover several of the main points included in later sections, seems very fragmented, and not put together very well -- in other words, it looks like it was assembled piecemeal by many different editors, and could use someone to weave it together to provide a good introduction to the article. See WP:LEAD for tips on improving this section.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    The article simply doesn't pass this criterion. While there are good, well-formatted citations used in the article, many sections (e.g. culture, hospitals, religious communities, sports) are under-cited or have no citations whatsoever (which is why it also fails 2c, since it's impossible to determine if there's original research in these sections). There's also several 'citation needed' tags sprinkled throughout the article, which must be addressed before this article becomes a GA.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    I think most of the core information is here, but it's not organized very well. Although there are some significant issues with completeness, such as the fact that the history section more or less stops with the 19th century, and there's nothing about the 20th century, or modern history and development. I would also change the 'nicknames' section to 'etymology', and include more about how Edinburgh received its name in the first place (and you can still keep the nicknames here, too). Combine 'areas' with 'geography and climate' -- change that to 'geography', and have two main subsections (cityscape and areas). The first six main sections in the article (after the lead) should be etymology, history, geography, demography, economy, culture. You could also combine 'religious communities' with 'demography', including it as a 'religion' subsection within there. Overall, I'd review the WikiProject Cities guideline for WP:UKCITIES, which will provide substantial guidance into how to better organize the article. There's also a well-established US city guideline as well, which may help in some areas.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    While there are no critical WP:NPOV violations in the article, the lack of organization makes this difficult to judge whether the article is really neutral or not. Much of the culture section seems to be written more from the point of view of a tourist brochure than an encyclopedia article, and is not backed up by reliable sources, either. The article also seems to have too many little, obscure facts, such as the YouGov poll mentioned in the lead (how important is this really? A poll of only 10,000?); or this uncited sentence: "There are two dedicated gay clubs in Edinburgh, CC Blooms and GHQ; several other club venues have LGBT nights." Also, why does the Edinburgh Zoo have its own main subsection under 'culture'?
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    Can't really see any major stability issues, so the article passes on this criterion. Watch for an overuse of panoramic images -- while these are nice to have, they're also very large, and sometimes can interfere with text display in some browsers. I've also noticed that some of the image captions are somewhat longer than they need to be. Image captions should describe the image itself -- they should also be connected to article text. If an image caption is too long, it might be an indication that information is missing from the article text.
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    The images all appear to be tagged appropriately.
  7. Overall:
    While I'd really love to be able to put this article on hold while editors fix up the issues, I just think that there are too many issues with organization to be able to do that within the on hold timeframe (I usually reserve on hold for articles that are mostly there in terms of organization and content, and just need a few things fixed up, like a reference or two here, or to clean up the lead section). Rather, I think it would help this article to go back, review the suggested guidelines, revamp the organization, the lead, find additional reference citations as needed, and then renominate at WP:GAN once the article better meets the six GA criteria. Cheers! Dr. Cash (talk) 17:24, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Auld Reekie

--Archestrategos (talk) 02:50, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

That the Old Town of Edinburgh had open sewers and thus awful stench, can be found in #11 citation reference in the article itself, which links to an online Scottish dictionary. Input "reek", and the dictionary gives this explanation for the "Auld Reekie" nickname.

That the citizens of the Old Town disposed of their dirty water wastes straight from the first storey window onto the streets back then, I had from the best authority, no less than a native of Edinburgh when I went there on September 2009.

Yes, and there's a very good reason for that - the people lived in the highest buildings in Europe, called 'lands'; and if you were desperate for a crap during the night in particular, and you had to pass all manner of individuals as you descended the hundreds of stairs, including the dregs of humanity (who lived on the lowest floors of these tower blocks), you would have followed their lead by disposing of your excrement in the same way if that was the custom. And the reason Edinburgh was unique in having such huge tenements is that the citizens had to build upwards in order to keep within the safety of the city walls - built to keep the English raiders out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

--Archestrategos (talk) 02:43, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I would contend that the dictionary you reference, which "welcomes suggestions for new words" via an online form, is not a reliable source; nor is your unnamed "native of Edinburgh" the "best authority" for Wikipedia's purposes. Kevin Forsyth (talk) 04:22, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Who would know better the meaning of "Auld Reekie" than an Edinburgh citizen? What citation do you want, his name and address?

This is just fact. Do you want me to provide citation the next time I say that the Earth is round?

--Archestrategos (talk) 06:12, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Also, why did you delete the link to the online Scottish dictionary?

--Archestrategos (talk) 06:16, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Please read the policy on verifiability, to which other editors have already directed you. "This is just fact" is not justification for inclusion in Wikipedia, and as I said before, that online dictionary is not a reliable source. Kevin Forsyth (talk) 12:54, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

That online dictionary appears to be for modern Scottish vernacular, rather than old Scots. I would need a better source to convince me that "reek" meant "smell" rather than "smoke". -- Ian Dalziel (talk) 13:01, 22 January 2010 (UTC) (native of Ayrshire, if that gets me OR brownie points!)

If you are saying that the online Scottish vernacular dictionary is not reliable, then why do you keep reference #11? It links to that very same online Scottish vernacular dictionary you find unreliable.

Also, you haven't answered my question. How do you provide citation for common knowledge?

--Archestrategos (talk) 05:44, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I've left reference #11 — so far — because I haven't yet found a good, reliable source with which to replace it. As far as its claim that Edinburgh is called "Auld Reekie", that's not in dispute, so I've left it alone. That's not to say I endorse that dictionary, and if it would alleviate what you see as a contradiction in my editing, I'd gladly replace it with another "citation needed" tag, even though that might not be preferable.

With regard to citing "common knowledge", it's all too easy to find an online source that specifically states that reekie is not a reference to its smell. Thus my suspicion that you might be unwittingly perpetuating a common misconception. Surely there's a scholarly, third-party-published reference out there that addresses this subject. Kevin Forsyth (talk) 20:19, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Not so. Reference #11 is used in this article to claim that "reek" means "smoke". Nevertheless, what I am trying to say is that there are two explanations for "Auld Reekie", and whether both are correct, or whether one is right and the other is wrong, or whether both are wrong, is inconsequential. Wikipedia records that there are two explanations current.

Reference #11 itself actually explains "Auld Reekie" as "Old Smelly".

However, deal with the section as you wish.

The dictionary at is a self published site, with entries submitted by anyone who cares to. It may be amusing and diverting but is riddled with errors and dubious entries and is not in any way a reliable source. The Dictionary of the Scots Language is a scholarly and reliable source and the extensive entries for reek at its website put to rest any misconception that it means smell. Mutt Lunker (talk) 20:05, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Mutt Lunker, I had a revision reverted today before I read this and after doing some research it seems that when Edinburgh was given this nickname it meant smoke, coming from the old English "rek" but the term has evolved over time to mean smell. However, surely there should be a note to say that it can also mean this in modern usage since this is also verifiable and relevant? -ross616- (talk) 12:21, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

for now I have changed the section to say "old Scots for Old Smokey" as opposed to just scots as this is more accurate, as the word is very rarely used to mean smoke now EDIT: after some more research I have amended this to Middle Scots-ross616- (talk) 12:33, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

and here is a reference which lists both meanings of the word -ross616- (talk) 12:55, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

"Reeking" also means "steaming". It's an ambiguous word and in using it as an affectionate nickname for Edinburgh, we capture the fact that Edinburgh, smokes, steams and smells. There is no need to emphasis one of these meanings at the expense of the others because "Auld Reekie" covers them all. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:12, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Reek is entirely cognate with the terms for smoke in other north western Germanic languages of which Scots is one. E.g. Norwegian-røyk; Swedish-rök; German-rauch; Dutch-rook; Frisian-reek, rikje. And then you have the Icelandic- reykja, a people who similarly named their capital Reykjavik, Smokey bay. Brendandh (talk) 15:43, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
@Derek Ross, fair point but shouldn't this be mentioned? and @Brendandh yes but the article simply said "Scots for Old Smokey" which is technically incorrect as the word has evolved in Scottish language to mean other things as well as smoke, and if it is verifiable then I don't see how it isn't worth a mention seeing as reek almost exclusively means smell in modern Scottish usage (except possibly for fag (cigarette) reek, though that could be referring to both)-ross616- (talk) 16:31, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

how about we completely remove the "scots for old smokey" bit and after 'chimneys would spew thick columns of smoke into the air." we simply add "It is a common misconception that this nickname referred to the smell in days gone by, when actually at the time the name was coined "reekie" meant smokey, though the word has evolved over the years to encompass "smelly" and "steaming" as well' and cite it with the wordnetweb link since this gives all 3 definitions? as far as I can see this addresses everybody's objections but remains NPOV -ross616- (talk) 17:25, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

D'ye ken what steaming means in Modern Scots? A wee walk on Lothian road on a Saturday would apprise you of the common usage! However, Auld Reekie was a term coined in the 18thc. when there was no double meaning, and as it is then that the term was coined it should be left at that, and leave the neologisms behind. Brendandh (talk) 01:36, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes I am quite aware of what steaming means in modern scottish usage (I live in Livingston) but I think because the misconception is so widespread it more than merits a mention to avoid arguments like this one -ross616- (talk) 05:24, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

The references to 'modern' Scots usage are irrelevant. When the term 'Auld Reekie' was coined, 'reek' in Scots meant 'smoke' or 'vapour' and nothing else. 'Lang may your lum reek' refers to the chimney smoke, not the smell. Also, those who consign this meaning to 'Old Scots' need to listen more to the vernacular: 'reek' meaning 'smoke' is still more widespread in Scots than some contributors may be aware. In any case, I would contend that 'reek' meaning 'smell' is not originally, or exclusively, Scots, modern or otherwise, and that this alternative meaning of the word with reference to 'smell' has spread from English usage. Ceartas 15:59, 13 February 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceartas (talkcontribs)

This is a completely pointless debate. The word 'reek' in Scots can mean either 'smoke' or 'stench' (or as one contributor has pointed out, both). You can't rule out the possibility of either being the root of the town's nickname. Almost every traveller visiting Edinburgh in the pre-industrial past commented on the stink of the place, and similar comments were still being made well into the Victorian period. Surely Robert Fergusson, one of Scotland's great poets made the point clear in his poem 'Auld Reikie' in 1773,

"On stair wi tub, or pat in hand,
The barefoot housemaids loo to stand,
That antrin fock may ken how snell
Auld Reikie will at morning smell:
Then, with an inundation big as
The burn that ’neath the Nore Loch brig is,
They kindly shower Edina’s roses,
To quicken and regale our noses."

If anyone has difficulty in working out the sense of this, I would recommend they use the much disparaged Online Scots Dictionary which I've always found very helpful. (User talk:-Kim Traynor talk) 11:36, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

As a poet, Fergusson throughout this poem uses the "poetic" names 'Auld Reikie' and 'Edina' for Edinburgh. When he says "Auld Reikie will at morning smell" he simply means "Edinburgh will at morning smell" (talk) 11:02, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Nor Loch (where Princes Street Gardens is now) was the collection point of most of the human and animal waste and was therefore very foul smelling. People used to try and commit suicide in it. As native of Edinburgh I was taught a story from School in which a lady tried to throw herself in and her bulbous dress caught the wind and became a sail thus it drove her across the Loch to the other side!

--Quatermass (talk) 08:25, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Urban area population

The infobox says that Edinburgh's urban area has a population of 1,164,611. Is there a source for this? It seems rather unlikely, considering that the population of the City of Edinburgh council region is only 471,650, and that Edinburgh is a city which *doesn't* really have much of a conurbation surrounding it (unlike Glasgow). Benjaminkje (talk) 20:25, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

You're right. The source used referred to Edinburgh's 'City Region', which can mean a number of things. In town planning terms it's the SESplan area (Lothians, Borders and south Fife), whilst the Inspiring Capital website uses the wider definition often cited in terms of economic development and Edinburgh's influence on the surrounding area. In any case, these aren't the same as 'urban area'. No parts of Falkirk or Clackmannanshire, for example, form part of Edinburgh's urban area. Travel to work area perhaps, but that's not the same thing.Dalliance (talk) 22:26, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Concur with the above. The term Greater Edinburgh has no currency and is OR. Such edits are uncited and simply untrue, physically, governmentally, culturally etc.. Tell someone in Livingston or Dunfermline they're in Edinburgh and they'd think you were mental.

Edinburgh's City Region may be worth explaining here but it should be made clear it is a term in specialist use in limited contexts and does not imply that surrounding counties form part of Edinburgh. Mutt Lunker (talk) 09:51, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I left that uncited when I removed the (broken) citation because I was hoping someone else could find a replacement - I did some digging myself but couldn't find anything that referenced the given population, or even anything on the same magnitude. I think the 1,164,611 number's a bit out-of-context at best. -- (talk) 00:39, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I also agree that the information is misleading and that there isn't a greater Edinburgh. If the urban figure isn't know or not relevant then it should be removed. Bjmullan (talk) 10:51, 26 March 2010 (UTC)


The fundamental and deciding issue as to which name for the city of Kiev/Kyiv is used in this article, in the section regarding twin towns, is the spelling that is used in the article of that city. As far as the Edinburgh article is concerned, that should be it.

For those that take issue with the decision that has been reached to use Kiev in the English Wikipedia, please address the issue at Talk:Kiev, not here. There is an existing and copious debate on the issue there.

It's not an issue of respect or otherwise, pro- or anti-Russian or pro- or anti-Ukrainian conspiracies and it isn't actually down to transliteration either as the names are different in the two languages; in Russian Киев (Kiev) and in Ukrainian Київ (Kyiv). Per Ev's edit summary the name simply ought "to reflect common English usage & for consistency with the articles Kiev & Kiev Oblast". It's a simple as that.

Although the name is officially Київ/Kyiv, common usage in English does not (yet) reflect this. Embassies will use official namings, Wikipedia goes by common usage. Mutt Lunker (talk) 17:51, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

High res image

I just uploaded a high res public domain image from arthurs seat over edinburgh please include it if it is suitable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wjh31 (talkcontribs) 16:38, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

History section needs attention

There are a couple of parts of the history section that need correcting or rewording so they are more neutral or clear. The bit about King James in 1603 accomplishing his ambition of creating a united kingdom, needs to be clear they remained separate states, especially as it goes on to mention ruling from London. The sentence on the Acts of union in 1707 is certainly not neutral or clear. Its questionable if such things are needed in this article, and if they are they need to be explained in more detail why its relevant. The abolition of the Scottish parliament and the creation of the devolved Scottish parliament are notable for the history section. The importance of 1603 to Edinburgh as a city is more debatable. Thought id stick a couple of tags on the section and mention it here. See if anyone has any suggestions about changes, if theres no reply/change ill be deleting a couple of bits. BritishWatcher (talk) 21:50, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Um, what is partial here in this section? Brendandh (talk) 13:08, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Nm i have made a couple of changes and removed the tags. I was just concerned about the way a couple of sentences were worded but i didnt have time last night to alter it. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:52, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Confusion over the year Edinburgh became the capital city

In the history section it is stated that the Royal court was moved from Stirling to Edinburgh in 1492, thus Edinburgh became the new capital from that time. Most sources I find state that Edinburgh became the capital city in 1437, though some sources state 1482. I can find no mention of 1492. And wasn't Perth considered the capital before Edinburgh? Can anyone shed some light on this? John Hendo (talk) 05:31, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Define 'capital'? Dunfermline was the seat of the main royal palace until 1436. Even thereafter, Charles I was born there, in 1600. Ceartas 15:19, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

The 1437 date is often given because the French chronicler Froissart referred in that year to Edinburgh as "the Paris of Scotland". That's a fairly good indication that it was regarded by contemporaries as the capital city. There's no point in trying to track down a non-existent year when it was officially declared as such. User:Kim Traynor 11:54, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Presumably this is Jean Froissart but he died c. 1405 so obviously he couldn't have been the source for 1437 being the relevant date. Good point about "the Paris of Scotland", though that would refer to an even earlier date. (talk) 11:20, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

I've only just spotted this. Beg your pardon. The date should be 1365 (when he visited Edinburgh). Kim Traynor 03:27, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

GA standard?

I fear this article needs a bit of work in order to meet the good article criteria. Things that immediately jump out are large sections that are unreferenced as well as references that need more information. For example, some book refs are missing ISBN numbers, or page numbers, or the full name of the author. With regards to the section above this, did you find out the answer, or just remove the information? I can understand if it's not in any reliable sources, but I think when it became capital is quite an important part if the city's history. I've not read the article in any detail, but some of it seems a bit "listy" (eg. the "Music, theatre and film" section) and there are couple of parts where the text is jammed between images, which is not ideal. Particularly bad s the text in "Areas" (shouldn't that section be part of "geography"?) I don't mean to be overly critical; clearly a lot of good work has been done on this article recently. I just think it will need some more work to get to GA. I will try to look into it in more detail and see if I have other suggestions or can help out. --BelovedFreak 20:44, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the input. I agree the article needs some work to get it to GA and I think I maybe jumped the gun before it was ready. I've withdrawn it from the GA review, at least until some more work is done on it. I did indeed remove the information on when Edinburgh became capital as I couldn't find any definitive answer. As I say in the section above, sources on it give two different dates (neither of which were in the original text) but perhaps that should be reflected in the article. It also, as you say, needs more referencing on a couple of the sections. All your points are good ones and I'll see if I can improve the article over the next week or so. Thanks again for your input. John Hendo (talk) 21:59, 19 January 2011 (UTC)


"Celebrities from across the continent would be seen in the city streets, among them famous Scots such as David Hume, Walter Scott, Robert Adam, David Wilkie, Robert Burns, James Hutton and Adam Smith."


Please, we're not talking Paris Hilton or Victoria Beckham here.
In any case, the paragraph is a shot in the foot because it refers to - how can I put it? - "celebrities" from across "the continent" (which continent, by the way?) but then fails to mention any except those from Scotland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:11, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree. "Continent" (but with a capital) means Europe. As far as I know, foreign celebrities did not rush to Edinburgh at the time. Apart from English visitors, the only foreign notable I can think of is Benjamin Franklin. Kim Traynor 20:33, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Changed to "constituent" country

Sovereign state United Kingdom (kept the same) "Constituent" country Scotland (changed to *constituent* country)

I put in "constituent country" because that is what Scotland is, it is part of a large unity making it a constituent country, the UK is still listed as the "sovereign state". I am just stating the oblivious and making it more factual. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

The way it was was better and had been there for a while so I changed it back. --John (talk) 00:09, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Hi john,

just because it looks better does not mean its right and I have been on the London Wikipedia page and they have "constituent" country and not just country! You can not just change something back because it "looks better" you have to be factual on wikipedia. Scotland is a constituent country of the United Kingdom and that is being factual and accurate. Heartskeith (talk) 12:43, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Reverted per endless discussions over several years at Talk:Countries of the United Kingdom, Talk:United Kingdom and Talk:Scotland (among many others). If you want to take up this battle once again (oh lord preserve us!) then please nominate a Move of Countries of the United Kingdom to Constituent countries of the United Kingdom. But don't blame me for the flak that'll come your way. --Mais oui! (talk) 03:06, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

The Scottish kingdom is still a legal entity, separate from the English kingdom but a constituent part of Great Britain, the state created in 1707. The United Kingdom came later in 1801. -- --User:Kim Traynor 15:44, 29 December 2011 (UTC)


Just passing through and wanted to say I think the Panorama of Edinburgh looks just awful and detracts from the article. Like many panoramas it's severely warped and curved and is basically an eyesore (my opinion). I'd remove it, but whoever lovingly created it would just bristle at my audacity and promptly put it back in. So, the next best thing is to mention it here and if ye who tend to this article agree, maybe you can gang up on the keeper of the panorama and it will get removed. On the other hand, if I'm the odd man out and everyone thinks it's a kewl image and "really ties the room together", then nevermind... I'll wander off and go bother someone else. JBarta (talk) 18:23, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Hearing no thoughts one way or another, I removed the offending panorama. The article already has two others... the north elevation of the Old Town being an exceptional image and Edinburgh New Town being not too bad. In my opinion, panoramas look best when taking in a modest arc. Too much of an arc and you end up with an image warped beyond reason (as this one was) and much more suited to a 360° viewer. JBarta (talk) 04:15, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Funny thing is I found this same pano and included it in the article without realising it had been removed. I think it is striking but to each his own. I won't get too fussed it it gets removed again as it isn't mine but I think it illustrates the city well enough. Saffron Blaze (talk) 16:30, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I rather like the panorama; I think it gives a good overall impression of the area. However, it's probably inappropriate to include this on the Edinburgh page as it stands, since it seems to have removed part or all of of David Hume and Appleton Tower from the horizon (c.f. top right corner of similar view). Perhaps there have been more edits, but those stood out. I shan't comment on the aesthetic value of such a decision... but I think that that the edits need to be undone if the image is to stay. --grape (talk) 14:30, 29 September 2012 (UTC)


I removed this sentence from the start of the second paragraph "Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Parliament." as it did not fit in with the rest of the paragraph. You can not just add something to the start of a paragraph and then lead into an entirely different subject. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 11 February 2012 (UTC)


you cant add "Edinburgh is the Seat of the Scottish parliament" to the start when there is more than one seat for Edinburgh. Also when the person added that sentence to the start they also deleted other information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 16 February 2012 (UTC)


Is Embro ever used as a Scots name for Edinburgh in Scotland? I've found it used in Ulster-Scots, but this article lists the Scots name as being the same as the English. Can anyone shed any light? JonC 14:47, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

As far as I am aware no, Edinburgh has never been called Embro. Unless you can actually find a source. NotMiserable (talk) 16:50, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
The Online Scots Dictionary lists it as "colloquial", along with "Edinburrae". I think these two variants should be added, too. Jon C. 13:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Good effort there! A month of solid research to find a source? Feel free to add them but I would suggest that it is added to the 'nicknames' section as they are rarely if not ever used. I've also switched the order of your most recent edit as Edinburgh is used more often so I feel that is a better way to order it, feel free to revert it if you think differently.NotMiserable (talk) 16:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Not sure of the need for the sarc, I forgot about this and only just stumbled across it again today. And putting Scots first is fine with me, I didn't switch them around, merely italicised the non-English names (both of them). Jon C. 16:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, was not trying to offend or annoy, or be sarcastic actually...I just thought it had been forgotten about and was surprised to see you found a source! NotMiserable (talk) 16:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Why not just check Nicknames of Edinburgh. (talk) 17:33, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
My mistake, NM, was clearly having a bad morning! Jon C. 08:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Embro and Edinburrae appear to represent colloquial pronunciations of what is usually spelt Edinburgh. (talk) 16:54, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
M'bro is the nickname and shortened version of Middlesbrough (which incidently used to be called Mydilsburgh) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I've lived in the city for over half a century and have never heard anyone call it 'Embro' and have never seen that in print. Kim Traynor 02:49, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

No mention of Edinburgh being a UK city

by looking at the article you would not even think Edinburgh was a city of the United Kingdom, Scottish nationalists has too much influence on wikipedia... Get a balanced view on this article, or it just makes it look so unworthy.

I think it is fairly obvious that Edinburgh is in the UK the info box and articles shows that Edinburgh is in Scotland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. NotMiserable (talk) 22:03, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
How and why would one make more of the fact that the Scottish capital is in the UK other than by stating that in the infobox? By comparing its size relative to other UK towns, perhaps? Apart from that, I honestly can't see why the point would have to be laboured. Kim Traynor 02:45, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

'Welcome To Edinburgh' video from Edinburgh Video Guide

Does anyone think that the addition of the following video URL to the external links section would be appropriate? It's an HD documentary short about the city, including history, interesting facts and some stunning images of Edinburgh. It was filmed in 2012 so it's very up-to-date as well: Cheers! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Edinburghvideoguide (talkcontribs) 21:45, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Edinburgh/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tomobe03 (talk · contribs) 00:55, 7 February 2013 (UTC) Hi! I'll review this nomination over the next few days.--Tomobe03 (talk) 00:55, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Has an appropriate reference section:
    B. Citation to reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
    Since much of the prose is unreferenced it is impossible to assess this item at this point.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:00, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content:
    B. Images are provided if possible and are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions:
    There is a problem regarding overlapping images described below.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
  • The article contains substantial portions of prose without any references. Is there any chance to back up relevant claims with citations in a reasonably short period of time - say a week or so?--Tomobe03 (talk) 20:24, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • The article also employs a mix of citation styles. Even though that is not a problem for GA review, it would be preferable to have a uniform citation style. See WP:CITE for more information, as that will become an issue if the article is aimed at FA at some point.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:34, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Regarding prose and MoS compliance:

  • In ...some scholars have concluded that the town came into official existence..., "some scholars" sounds like a weasel expression. It would be better to clarify who are those, and if that is a prevailing opinion or not. As it stands now, I'm not clear if this opinion is based on anything better than conjecture or if the opinion is a fringe theory.--Tomobe03 (talk) 20:46, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • ...likely to be a Latin version of the name they called themselves. sounds like editorializing and is entirely unnecessary because the first part of the sentence clearly establishes that the name was recorded by Romans and therefore had to be Latinized. The article would benefit from removal of that and any other instances of editorializing.--Tomobe03 (talk) 20:49, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Writing c.1130, and copying from earlier texts... - {{circa}} may be used instead of simple "c." for better comprehension by casual readers.--Tomobe03 (talk) 20:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done
  • Proper names such as "Edwinesburch" should not be italicized per MOS:ITALIC unless they are named vehicles or works of art and artifice.--Tomobe03 (talk) 20:56, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd use double quotation marks for titles such as "oppidum Eden" per MOS:QUOTEMARK. The same applies for "tail" in Due to space restrictions imposed by the narrowness of the "tail",...--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:04, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done
  • The History section, although concise, would probably benefit from introduction of subsections, providing greater reading comfort.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:12, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done
  • In "...minor streets (called closes or wynds)", italics probably should not be used. Use of italics for individual words is warranted when writing about words as words - according to MOS:WORDSASWORDS, and I don't think MOS:FOREIGN use applies here. However, I suggest you check those MoS sections just to make sure.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:27, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done
  • Consider using fewer parentheses in the prose as they make reading more difficult than necessary. There is no reason not to use them at all, but I trust the article would benefit from some copyediting in that respect.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:37, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • According to WP:EL, wiki articles should not normally contain any external links in the prose. One such example exists in "On a side note on the nightlife, Edinburgh is the Top UK city for male single travelers, according to a recent Excite EU study." The external link should be replaced with a reference (possibly to the same source), or included in the "External links" section if not needed in the prose. Go for the former here.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:51, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done
  • Why not wikilink names of countries appearing in the "twinning" section, provided they appear for the first time in the article?--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:53, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done
  • The most significant issue regarding MoS compliance is that the article lead does not summarize the article properly. It should not exceed four paragraphs, and given the size of the article fixing this will be no easy task. See what can be moved out of the current incarnation of the lead and add other material per WP:LEAD.--Tomobe03 (talk) 21:58, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Single digit numbers (in the prose) should be spelled out per WP:ORDINAL - for instance in The Monarchs have won the Premier League 3 times...--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:48, 7 February 2013 (UTC) Done

Regarding images:

  • The article is beautifully illustrated, but I'm afraid there are two potential problems. The first one is that numerous images sandwich text in between them horizontally, making reading difficult at some points, where lots of images are grouped, e.g. in "Old Town" subsection. Further information on possible improvements to image placing may be found at MOS:IMAGELOCATION, although this issue is not so critical.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:15, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done
  • The second problem in this area is that at least once (for me at least) images overlap. This occurs with "Edinburgh today" and "A panorama of Edinburgh, seen from the Scott Monument". Please reconsider if all the images are needed.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:15, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done

General remarks:

  • There are two links in the article pointing back to the same (via redirects): Coat of arms of Edinburgh, and Geography of Edinburgh. Those should be removed.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:26, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • There are 10 dead links ([1]). Even though I assume they contained what is reported, I expect most or all of them could be repaired.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:28, 7 February 2013 (UTC)  Done - the dead links have been fixed, the others are in the demography section which needs to be revised anyway due to new data being available.Jamesx12345 (talk) 17:20, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Obviously a huge amount of work went into this article. It has several shortcomings when checked against the GA criteria and the most significant one is referencing. Consequently, I'll place the article on hold for a week or so for now to allow time for improvements.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:36, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with the recommendation to add section headings to the History section. This has produced several absurdities such as the 1707 Union appearing under "Union of the Crowns" or Jacobite rebellions appearing under "Coat of Arms". To add further headings would make the entire former section disintegrate into short, isolated statements under their own headings. This section was a sweeping view of history using broad brushstrokes. Its assertions, though factual, are difficult to reference. Try finding a book which states that "Cromwell occupied Edinburgh in 1650" or that "Edinburgh was at the centre of the Scottish Reformation", to give only two examples. (I've now just spotted that a 'bed & breakfast' ad is being used to support that last statement.) I even found myself adding a reference to 'prove' that England and Scotland united in 1707. It's absurd. Kim Traynor 21:48, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps there's a published source itself giving an overview of a relevant piece of history or whatever other area might be in question to support entire paragraphs. No matter how absurd that may seem, WP:V verifiability standard is crucial to a GA review. In response to the examples you cited above, the 1650 bit may be referenced using this and the Reformation may use this source. And I really doubt that a 'bed & breakfast' is an acceptable secondary source per WP:RS.--Tomobe03 (talk) 22:07, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
B+B fixed to a referenceJamesx12345 (talk) 22:15, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Well done to Tomobe03 for coming up with a better reference for Cromwell occupying Edinburgh, while I am sitting with all the classic works on the subject, none of which state the fact unequivocally. I've tried to copy and paste the reference, but it hasn't worked, as the link is looping back to showing the Edinburgh page, thus showing me up again as a Wikipedia novice. (I don't think the second example re the Reformation will do, however.) Kim Traynor 22:53, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Right. How about this one then? Which ref did you have problem with copy-pasting?--Tomobe03 (talk) 23:07, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
That's a fairly general passage about Knox rather than a specific statement about Edinburgh's role. I've found an authoritative text with a passage about the Reformation reaching Edinburgh and Knox being installed at St. Giles, so that would be preferable. In fact, the pivotal event that puts Edinburgh at the centre of the Reformation is the Siege of Leith, but I haven't found a good reference for that yet. The change I was unable to effect was from the Scott Spurlock reference to the reference work you found. Kim Traynor 23:26, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Also, working on this article is proving doubly frustrating because of the technical difficulties being experienced by the new servers (so I assume). The average save time at present seems to be between 20 and 30 seconds and often results in an error message. Repeating a save then leads to an edit conflict, requiring another attempt; also linespaces between paragraphs are appearing and disappearing for no apparent reason. It might be better to diary this exercise forward to a time when the servers settle down and start to work properly. Kim Traynor 16:25, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I reckon the massive size of the article has an effect - edits to small articles go through fine, whereas this has 130k of wikimarup that needs to be transcribed to html, and gets 5000 hits a day. It is a bit annoying, but editing a section at a time seem to help at least a bit. Jamesx12345 (talk) 16:34, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Can't say I've found editing a single section any faster, and that has the disadvantage that the preview doesn't show how the reference note will display; so I take it on trust and frequently find I have not formatted correctly. So, apologies for the pain caused by my not formatting the references in the required style. Please feel free to point me in the direction of an appropriate tutorial. I have been using the simple ref. format I've been presented with when creating a new article. Right now I'm trying to reference the gap I've attempted to fill on 20thC developments and am lost in a labyrinth of detail concerning Edinburgh's urban history, again not finding conveniently summarising comments I can use as references. I'm also looking at Travel Guides in the hope of supporting the statement on the city's geographical location, but no joy so far. One thing I'd like to add to the article would be a couple of lines on the Abercrombie Plan of the 1940s, and the fact that it was stopped (so I believe) in the courts, but I can't find supporting references in print for that. It's the classic example of how the Edinburgh of today was almost lost as a result of misguided plans for urban regeneration. I suppose we got off lightly with the changes that did go through in the Wilson era. Mind you, I read somewhere that over two-thirds of the Old Town were destroyed between 1840 and 1900; and then there's the radical changes to Princes Street in the 1960s. It's all too much for one little article, really. Kim Traynor 18:21, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I found this regarding the distance from the sea] (halfway down, final column) - bit old, but a possibility. The more recent changes/ proposed changes could be interesting, especially proposals like the building of a flyover through the meadows. For citations, I copy-paste the templates at Template:Cite book and Template:Cite web with a pair of "ref" tags around them (typing them out confuses the markup). That confused my a lot initially... Good job with what you have done, though. The history section is much improved. Jamesx12345 (talk) 18:49, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouraging comment. Unfortunately, I seem to be mentally challenged when attempting to fill out the appropriate reference template as I am still incurring incorrect displays; and the server error message appearing every time is driving me slowly batty. Perhaps I should just continue gathering references before thinking of posting them. The location reference looks a bit odd, but will do meantime. You'd think that reference works like the Shell Guide to Scotland or Lowland and Borders of Scotland would contain this information, but they don't. The fact that Edinburgh lies inland is a crucial determinant of its climate, so I'd be loath to discard that fact. The straightest line to the coast from the city centre to Dunbar can be measured using googlemaps (it's an extra 3 miles by road). Kim Traynor 22:10, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Just put them in clean (hyperlink or formatted as they were before) an I can quickly brush them up as my computer is coping a bit better. You are the one with the books and skills, I'm just a glorified bot:) Jamesx12345 (talk) 22:24, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
OK, I've done that for the ref to essay within a book with two editors (couldn;t find a precise template), but think I'll manage with more straightforward single author works. I have some references lined up but am failing to post because I am getting up to three or four error messages and edit conflicts each time. I'm working on a draft for a new article on Scottish royal burghs at present, but will be suspending that operation until Wikipedia get their system sorted out. It's too much hard work at present. Kim Traynor 12:31, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
This has been a real uphill struggle because of Wikipedia's current gremlins. I'm still having to post each edit several times before it registers. I appreciate the desire to shorten the intro, but I feel an important point has been lost regarding the high number of listed buildings in the city. Perhaps this could be reinstated in shortened forms such as ", a higher proportion in relation to area than any other city in the United Kingdom". That seems to be a significant fact worth stating. The reference that supported the original statement may have to be retrieved. Good that you found a reference for situation in relation to North Berwick (though the more direct line of latitude meets the coast at Dunbar), but I'm not sure of the wisdom of locating it west of relatively unknown Portobello rather than inland from Leith with which it has had a long historical relationship. I think a link to Leith would be preferable to one to Portobello. Also, I'm not sure why there's any need to support these distances with references, since anyone can consult a map if they wish to confirm their veracity. I don't see that they need a link to a statement of proof . Kim Traynor 23:21, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Actually, references are needed wherever information may be challenged or may possibly be challenged, but you can also use a map as a reference - see {{Cite map}} for details.

The article has definitely improved since ten days ago, but I'm afraid it still falls short of GA criteria. This specifically pertains to unreferenced claims in the article - At this point there are still a few paragraphs with no references in Geography, Economy and History sections, but substantial chunks of the prose are still unreferenced (added some inline tags, with further such instances elsewhere, e.g. Old Town, Leith subsections). The issue of WP:LEAD compliance (the lead section does not summarize the article properly) raised above has not been addressed yet. I understand that it is the best option to iron out the main body prose to a reasonable degree and then tackle the lead, but this issue only illustrates that the article still needs work.

Ten days ago, I placed the article on hold for a week to fix substantial problems (mostly in terms of referencing) found in the article. I appreciate that the progress made is great, but further efforts are needed. Since the changes introduced in the article in the past ten days are definitely leading development of the article in the right direction I am confident that the results desired by the nominator and other significant contributors to the article will be achieved. However, the GAN review hold should not exceed a week or so, and I will fail this nomination at this time. Please do continue to improve the article on the points raised in this review and renominate - I'll be more than happy to revisit the article once it's ready for GAN. Cheers,--Tomobe03 (talk) 14:41, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

The History of Edinburgh

May I alert seasoned editors with an interest in Edinburgh to the fact that a new page has appeared under the above title. The originator has created a summary of information taken from the 'Edinburgh' article. While the intention is no doubt noble, I'm of the opinion that the result has not been particularly successful. The attempt to condense content has resulted in a distorted version of the original content appearing in the first two paragraphs. There is also a paragraph on the burgh arms which appears to me to be a trivial digression, more worthy of a footnote. I have made several amendments to eradicate what I know to be misleading factual errors, but I believe more work is needed to raise this new article to the same quality as existing information on Edinburgh - I feel it currently lets the side down. I have left a note on the article's TalkPage expressing my dismay. Are any volunteers willing to tackle a rewrite of the new article's first two paragraphs? Kim Traynor 02:37, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I now realise that the new article is more or less a reduced extract taken wholesale from the 'Edinburgh' page with some dubious additions such as an anachronistic mention of south east Scotland once being part of England and an Irish throne as being part of the 1603 Union. I've removed these, where spotted, done some further work on the opening paragraphs and tried to bring both articles into line with the same text. I now think the accuracy of most of the information is acceptable, but probably still in need of further improvement. Any changes made should really be applied to both articles, which raises the question, why create a separate article on the History of Edinburgh in the first place, rather than just a redirect from that term? Kim Traynor 02:12, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I should have left a note here to report that the "History of Edinburgh" page has been created anew and a slimmed-down version of its content now appears on the "Edinburgh" page. Both will now go their own ways. Kim Traynor | Talk 18:04, 11 March 2013 (UTC)


John Witherspoon was from East Lothian/Haddingtonshire rather than Edinburgh, only being in the city for study 1739-1745. I don't think that Edinburgh really qualifies as his 'home-town'. Brendandh (talk) 13:26, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree and think you should delete him from the article. Kim Traynor 16:05, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Done. And a bit. Brendandh (talk) 12:03, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi Brendanh. I've taken the liberty of reinstating Blair, but rewording the entry. I don't think the fact that he was born in Edinburgh is particularly significant (he left while an infant), but the nature of his schooling there must have helped form his character. I think that might be of interest to anyone reading the page. Kim Traynor 15:16, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Also, I'm the one who suggested in the text that Greyfriars Bobby is probably Edinburgh's best known resident internationally. Mary, Queen of Scots might be known to adults schooled in the English-speaking world and in Europe, but every family and child with a pet dog from Vanuatu to Vladivostok will probably see a film or hear the story of Greyfriars Bobby at some point in their lives. I've been stopped a couple of times in Edinburgh by visitors asking me where the statue is. No-one has yet stopped me to ask about Mary, Queen of Scots. She isn't as visible a presence as he is. Kim Traynor 15:25, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Census data

The new census data needs to be incorporated into this article, which will take some doing.Jamesx12345 (talk) 16:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Videos of Edinburgh

I subscribe to a Youtube travel channel with some beautiful videos of Edinburgh. Is there any official tourist board video links for the city that are as high quality as this one?: — Preceding unsigned comment added by MozartsMother (talkcontribs) 09:28, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Edinburgh/GA3. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: John (talk · contribs) 13:42, 16 March 2013 (UTC) At first glance, there appear to be some major problems with prose. I corrected some of the worst examples, but I feel sure there will be more. I will give a more detailed review later. For now, I oppose promoting this article.

I too oppose promoting the article. In fact, it deserves to be relegated to C-class status. I can hardly believe that after a severe pruning at the time of the recent review, the introductory section has been needlessly expanded yet again to an over-inflated length. For a start, the paragraph on education should be moved out and reconstituted as its own separate section on the subject. In my opinion, only Edinburgh University, because of its international status, merits a mention in a general introduction. I also question the accuracy of some of the introductory content. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Kingdom of the Picts was not called "Scotland" (nor did it exist in the 10th century!), and "Alba" was the kingdom that resulted from the merger of the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada with the Pictish kingdom (for which we have no name beyond the Roman term "Caledonia"). Also, how can it be said that the Votadini culture originated with a hill-top fort (presumably meaning the Castle Rock, for which there is no hard archaeological evidence of a fortress), when Traprain Law is generally regarded as its centre? And what is "Scotland's cultural heart"? I hope that is not being claimed for Edinburgh. And why is there a European Renaissance link? Stirling has more claim to being Scotland's link to the Renaissance than anything in Edinburgh. Who ceded political power to London? The "fall" of the British Empire?? Is this new history in the making? What were the "economic struggles throughout the UK" after the Second World War? These phrases are far too crude and carry a distinct whiff of a Scottish nationalist agenda, e.g. "the prospect of becoming an international capital once again.". Who, apart from a small minority, is generally aware of "the Scottish Renaissance"? This whole section should be deleted or rewritten, but I can't be bothered attempting the latter, as I've already tried to prune this introduction twice to no avail. This is now a very bad introduction to the article. It doesn't even mention the salient fact that Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish government. Who on earth deleted that? Finally, can someone tell me what "Edinburghese" means, where it comes from and on which planet it is used? Kim Traynor | Talk 14:00, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
It is a shame that the intro lets down what is otherwise a good article. I personally propose removing all contentious material from the introduction, especially anything referring to Edinburgh's role in culture or politics, which basically constitutes the 2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraphs. A note in the geography section about how it has sprawled up around the Castle Rock would suffice for history, and its role as capital and tourism/ culture are covered elsewhere. Jamesx12345 (talk) 16:38, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Hear! hear! Kim Traynor | Talk 16:31, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
The section about educated populations and dynamic (I love that word) economies could also be cropped. I don't personally think it is especially true, and the sources are a bit dodgy. Jamesx12345 (talk) 16:38, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Whether It is close to the sea, with a temperate climate, despite being on the same latitude as Moscow. should be added is also up for debate. (commented out in current version). Jamesx12345 (talk) 16:40, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I'd feel 50/50 on that one. It's not so much an essential fact as an observation which might add interest for anyone reading the article. Bit harsh on Moscow, however, and, having lived through the cold spell we've had recently, I think the difference might be overstated! Kim Traynor | Talk 16:57, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm ambivalent as well - that's why I never put it in. I'll remove it from the markup. Jamesx12345 (talk) 17:05, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I was sad to see the buses go, because they are the most obvious form of transport (and I thought the picture well above the standard of so many boring bus shots). Clearly, it didn't work for you. If anything, it's the airport pic that isn't needed because the link suffices to take the reader to the airport's own page which features the same impressive photo. Kim Traynor | Talk 17:16, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Lothian Buses buses on Princes Street, June 2006.jpg
So kind of you to reinstate the buses. Any particular reason for the one you chose? The previous shot featured a rather symbolic No.1 and explained the traditional livery. I like it because it shows a little bit of the city centre. This one is also good for that but unfortunately fuzzy; so I'd like to restore the original pic. Kim Traynor | Talk 17:55, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
On a few more points, over which I'm not prepared to enter into edit wars, I thought that the previous statement ranking the size of the city in relation to other Scottish cities (though it hadn't been ranked within a UK framework) was more appropriate than the present statement regarding a wider urban area with a population of 850,000, which seems to me quite meaningless. Also, listing the names of seven hills in the intro seems a matter of local interest. If I was someone abroad reading the article, I couldn't give two hoots about what the hills are called. In any case, the list is given later in the geography section where it belongs. And again I think the education paragraph is not needed in an introduction to the city, except perhaps to mention its universities. Who cares if three colleges have merged to become one? We're not even given its name. These parochial statements should be removed, leaving in place the statements of more international significance. Kim Traynor | Talk 22:36, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  • What is the status of this review? It's been three weeks since it was begun, and the promised detailed review has not yet materialized. There appears to have been a great deal of work on the article in the interim. Please be sure that the review specifically addresses the good article criteria; it's unusual to see a bold "oppose" like a !vote in a GA review. BlueMoonset (talk) 15:14, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

The motto on the coat of arms is incorrect showing "domunus" rather than "dominus"

That puzzled me too. It looks like an obvious mistake, so I was wondering if it was an artist's way of copying the arms but avoiding breach of copyright by altering a detail to show it's not the genuine thing? Also, I wonder why the female figure appears sometimes as a blonde, and at other times as a brunette? Answers on a postcard please... Kim Traynor | Talk 00:16, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I have been asked to complete my review.
  • On reflection I have some doubts about the ethics of my reviewing it; I have 104 edits to the article. Nevertheless, I've started so I'll finish.

A good article should be:

  • Well-written: No. Examples include: "villages such as Juniper Green and Balerno sit on green belt land"; why "sit"? "Edinburgh Castle, perched atop the extinct volcanic crag" is tourist-agency speak. "Other notable places nearby include Greyfriars Kirkyard and the Grassmarket"; if it was not notable we would not note it here. This word should generally be avoided on a good article.
  • Verifiable with no original research: No. While progress has been made, there are large swathes of unreferenced material. Examples include: "The loss of traditional industries and commerce—the last shipyard closed in 1983—has resulted in economic decline over the years." and "Known in the 19th century for brewing, biscuits and books, Edinburgh's modern economy is largely centred around financial services, scientific research, higher education, and tourism." (the latter is particularly horrible writing as well!)
  • Broad in its coverage: Yes, no comments there.
  • Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each. Seems ok.
  • Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. No. A lot of back-and-forth editing recently.
  • Illustrated, if possible, by images: Yes. If anything, there are too many images and they slightly overwhelm the article.
  • Overall assessment: Fail.

--John (talk) 10:19, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Points noted. I've tried to improve upon offending phrases. The recent edit wars which affected the introduction were unexpected and, I think, untypical. Only point I feel I can't agree with is the number of images - usually one, sometimes two or even three per section - given the richness of the subject. Kim Traynor | Talk 23:02, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

QMU location

Should this be included as an Edinburgh university? There are valid points on either side.

For - 1. QMU brands itself as 'QMU Edinburgh'. 2. It's very close to Edinburgh, which is clearly a major pull for students. 3. The website's 'location' section focuses on Edinburgh.

Against - 1. It's physically located in East Lothian. 2. Its only urban border is with Musselburgh, with fields on the other three sides. 3. The QMU website lists Musselburgh and East Lothian as the 'campus locality'.

The above points are in no way comprehensive. I'd welcome your thoughts. Dalliance (talk) 23:56, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I'd say that QMU is not, strictly speaking, in Edinburgh but in all practical respects does count as part of the city's educational provision. That said, it has been given undue prominence by being mentioned in the intro paragraph ahead of Heriot-Watt and Napier. Indeed, I wonder what is so special about the city's education sector that details need to be included in what should be (but no longer is) a general introduction. Kim Traynor | Talk 13:46, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Manual of Style

Decades are written in the format the 1980s, with no apostrophe. Use the two-digit form ('80s) only with an established social or cultural meaning. Avoid forms such as the 1700s that could refer to 10 or 100 years.

Saffron Blaze (talk) 01:26, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough. The edit I didn't agree with doesn't bother me at all. I just thought it was an odd change, not realising Wikipedia's style manual endorses that oddity. Similarly, I've never known until now that anyone interprets 1700s as meaning 1700-1710. That must be a cultural difference. People have been using the 2000s in recent years, but with the passage of time and less proximity to that decade I expect it will become 2000-2010 in print. Kim Traynor | Talk 02:04, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't always agree with the MoS either, but I try to respect it for the sake of harmony:-) Saffron Blaze (talk) 12:03, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

"Kay painting"?

A contributor identified only by an IP address repeatedly changes the caption to the painting shown alongside the paragraph on the 18th century. This, despite the fact that I have already explained that I am following information provided in printed sources. If these sources are wrong, then, of course, I am wrong. George Scott-Moncrieff, Edinburgh, Batsford 1948 captions the painting thus: "Figures by Sir David Wilkie, Alexander Fraser and William Kidd; architecture by David Roberts, John Wilson et al.", and this is what I (and another more recently printed source - see Commons image caption) have repeated. However, the auction house Bonhams captions it as "by John Kay", as does a BBC website and an Edinburgh City Council website. I can't of course tell who is repeating whom. I am inclined to believe that Scott-Moncrieff would have researched his book properly and certainly would not have invented the involvement of the artists he mentions out of thin air. I assume he must have seen such an attribution either on the original work, or in an art gallery or in a printed source. Also, this looks to my untrained eye to be a Victorian painting, which, if true, would rule out Kay’s direct personal involvement. I notice none of the sources I have mentioned above actually give a date for the painting, but there is an engraving of the same subject from 1844, some twenty years after Kay’s death. The RCAHMS online archive Scran gives the following explanation of it: "Engraving entitled Parliament Close and public characters of Edinburgh fifty years since, by Thomas Dobbie, 1844 Cf ID 1161. This engraving arose from a collaboration of artists; David Roberts and John Wilson drew St Giles and the luckenbooths, and David Wilkie, with others, added the figures of famous people based on Kay's portraits." This is sufficient for me to believe that the painting is NOT by Kay but by a combination of artists as explained. Besides, I can find no comparable paintings by Kay, but judging from the theatrical-style townscape populated by small figures David Roberts' involvement comes as no surprise. I have written to the BBC and Edinburgh City Council querying their captions, so until they have responded, could the person who keeps changing the existing caption on the page please refrain from doing so. Kim Traynor | Talk 10:05, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

The building to the left of the painting is the Goldsmiths Hall which was burnt down in 1796. It seems to me that the scene is likely to be by an artist from that time rather than 1844, the date of the engraving or, even less likely, 1864, the purported date of the painting. Whatever may be said about the engraving, there is an oil painting of the subject and that remains to be explained. More important than any mere conjectures that may be put forward, the citation given by me was not to just some anonymous Edinburgh City Council website but, rather, to the Capital Collections website of Edinburgh Libraries and Museums and Galleries and relates to an oil painting, in the City Art Centre, which they state is by John Kay. I am inclined to believe Edinburgh Libraries and Museums and Galleries would know best. I seem to be wrong in believing that citations are important to Wikipedia. (talk) 15:33, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
The scene is an imagined historical scene from around the 1780s (I'm guessing), so the date for the disappearance of the Goldsmiths Hall is really neither here nor there. If the date of the painting is 1864—a full forty years after Kay's death—it rules him out as the painter. (From the title, that would set the the scene in 1814, which was how I originally captioned the image on the page, but that cannot be, and that's where the Goldsmiths' Hall demolition date is indeed relevant; not to mention the costumes and the presence of Kay's contemporaries). I think you are placing too much trust in the belief that the Capital Collections website cannot display erroneous information. Even RCAHMS staff are capable of mistakes, but in general their information is well-researched, cautiously expressed and therefore reliable. Why would they invent a caption listing several well-known artists if they had no documentary evidence to support this? I am not indulging in conjecture by weighing up the merits of conflicting attributions. I am favouring RCAHMS (and those who repeat their information) as an authoritative and detailed, hence more reliable source, over others who repeat a vague and an inherently implausible version (at least the BBC, to give them their due, state "Kay, style of"). You are suggesting that Kay painted his own figures onto a canvas, whereas I think that is improbable. It seems more like a tribute to his work. Where, tell me, are there any other surviving Kay paintings? Why does this seem to be the only one of its kind? And what about the striking similarity between this painting and David Roberts's style? Citations are indeed important to Wikipedia, which is why the image is appropriately referenced at Commons to show the publication from which it was taken. It was you who chose to challenge the information that was provided. Kim Traynor | Talk 18:43, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I've now trawled the net and am none the wiser. Two pages state that the painting is held by the City Art Centre: one is Bonhams who call it an "original oil painting by John Kay"—well they would, wouldn't they?— and the other is the BBC Your Paintings website, This latter site has a slide show of "John Kay paintings" where three of the four captions seem dodgy to say the least, e.g. ("Kay, style of", "after Kay"; "attributed to Kay"). Bizarrely, I have come across a new attribution on two commercial sites to "Wilkie, Naysmith & Stanfield Roberts". Googling suggests that the last name is a conflation of Clarkson Frederick Stanfield and Roberts, who collaborated while working as scene painters in London. I shall now ask the City Art Centre if they can clear up this ludicrous confusion. Kim Traynor | Talk 19:43, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
City Art Centre investigating and will report later. Council not answering inquiries until end of April (!). Kim Traynor | Talk 22:45, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Visited City Art Centre, but exhibition space currently empty despite many tourists around. Still waiting to hear from them. Kim Traynor | Talk 12:04, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
The provenance of the painting has been investigated and the conclusion is as follows. While the attribution to several artists appears tenuous, the time-gap between Kay's death and the appearance of the aquatint engraving remains unexplained. Published catalogues use the phrase "style of John Kay". The Museum of Edinburgh caption attributes the painting to "John Kay and others", but the frame attribution describes it as "the joint production of Sir D. Wilkie, RA, Alex.r Nasmyth, RSA, D. Roberts RA and Clarkson Stanfield RA". The Museum caption and the description on the Capital Collections website will be looked at again in order to clarify the question of authorship. Kim Traynor | Talk 10:15, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
The Capital Collections website now states that the Artist/Maker is unknown and that; "The painting is in the style of John Kay. It has been thought that the painting may be the result of a collaboration. The frame of the painting, which was added long after the painting was completed, states it is the joint production of Sir David Wilkie, Alexander Nasmyth, David Roberts and Clarkson Stanfield, and yet many of the characters in the foreground are similar in style to John Kay's engravings of Edinburgh people. The exact identity of the artist remains unclear." (talk) 21:03, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Other versions of this "painting" can be seen at (click on Incorporation of Goldsmiths) and at (talk) 21:14, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
This has been an interesting exercise, though one point still baffles me regarding dates. Website sources mention an aquatint engraving from 1844 and a painting from 1864. Given the tile of the subject, the 1844 date makes perfect sense, because that places the scene in 1794, i.e. before the disappearance of Goldsmiths Hall in 1796. The title makes no sense in a painting from 1864 unless the spectator is aware of the earlier engraving and its date. I've asked for the image to be renamed without dates at Wikimedia Commons. Incidentally, I've just been to the McManus Galleries in Dundee and came across a painting of Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket by David Roberts. It had the same colour palette as the painting we've been discussing with similar little figures in the foreground. I'm more convinced than ever that Roberts had a hand in the 1864 painting. Kim Traynor | Talk 23:50, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
For anyone who recalls this discussion, I have found the Edinburgh Public Libraries Committee Catalogue of Prints and Drawings for the Edinburgh Room of the Central Library from 1951 which attributes authorship of the painting to Sir David Wilkie and collaborators, confirming the details given on its Wikimedia Commons description page. Kim Traynor | Talk 16:07, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

What belongs in the introduction to this article?

An edit war seems to be developing over the inclusion of information in the introduction to this article. It is probably one that neither party wants. I have objected to what I believe to be incorrect terminology, e.g. use of the name Scotland before it existed, mention of Edinburgh becoming part of the Gaelic-speaking kingdom of Alba, the "fall" of the British Empire as a way of describing a succession of colonies being granted independence over a period of two decades, "economic struggles in the United Kingdom" (which is a new one me), and blatantly nationalistic statements about power being "ceded" to London (meaning the effective loss of power that resulted from the 1707 Union) and the prospect of Edinburgh becoming "an international capital again". Also, the inclusion of detail about independent schools, I would argue, belongs in a section on the city's educational provision and not a general introduction. Why mention independent schools and not the total number of schools including state schools? There seems to be an underlying assumption here that the independent schools matter more and therefore merit a mention which the state schools don't. Why mention schools at all? All cities have them. If the intention is to point out that the number of independents is a distinctive feature of Edinburgh, I edited the addition to make that clear; only that edit has been reverted. Finally, there is no reason to overload the intro with historical detail already covered later in the article and on a separate page on the subject accessed via a link. May I suggest that points be placed in relevant sections rather than the intro? For example, mention of the "Scottish [literary] Renaissance" could be placed alongside the list of authors rather than in the intro. Two contributors have been trying to streamline this introduction for some time, and it is disheartening to see it being blown up once again almost to the size of a separate article. Kim Traynor | Talk 23:37, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Intro has now been recast to include a short history paragraph which improves the whole. Could I plead with future contributors tempted to add further information to the introduction to reflect carefully as to whether they are adding essential facts about the city that cannot be accommodated under an appropriate section heading in the main body of the text? It is time this intro was given a chance to settle. It is being constantly rewritten, often with a deleterious effect on the section. Kim Traynor | Talk 09:22, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

First Glasgow Wiki Meetup

You are invited to the first Glasgow Wiki Meetup which will take place at The Sir John Moore, 260-292 Argyle Street, City of Glasgow G2 8QW on Sunday 12 May 2013 from 1.00 pm. If you have never been to one, this is an opportunity to meet other Wikipedians in an informal atmosphere for Wiki and non-Wiki related chat and for beer or food if you like. Experienced and new contributors are all welcome. This event is definitely not restricted just to discussion of Scottish topics. Bring your laptop if you like and use the free Wifi or just bring yourself. Even better, bring a friend! Click the link for full details. Looking forward to seeing you. Philafrenzy (talk) 21:14, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Castle rock mention in introduction, first paragraph

There are two questions surrounding this last sentence in the opening paragraph of the article. 1. Should the castle rock be described as 'famous'? I think it should be. Anyone wanting to know about Edinburgh will immediately realise this is an important feature of the city and one generally treasured by its citizens. This in itself is part of the description of the city (and its inhabitants). I think we can agree the castle rock is famous at least in and around Edinburgh and I think this simple one word description is actually quite powerful and useful. 2. Should we describe the settlement has having originally formed 'on the (famous) castle rock' or 'on the ridge descending from the castle rock'? I think the first option is sufficient, at least for this opening paragraph. You could argue that the town itself formed along the ridge and that this should be specified. However you could also say that the very first settlement was actually likely to have been atop the rock (or possibly on its 'shoulder' if you like). I think the fact that it is debatable means that the first option remains suitable for the intro and that the detailed description of the formation of the settlement can be addressed in the main body of the article. The first option also seems to me to chime better with the second half of the sentence and the easy comparison with the modern city that is often said to be built on seven hills, i.e. from one hill to seven. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Laird of abbeyhill (talkcontribs) 17:07, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Placing the word "famous" before anything is simply unnecessary. One could say "the famous Old Town", the "famous New Town" etc. throughout the article. Wikipedia should deal with facts in encyclopaedic language, not value judgements. I realise Edinburgh Castle is uncontentiously famous, but I'm not sure about the rock. (I admit that I read that as a historical statement, because it is included in a paragraph about the town's history; and I thought it was no more famous than Dumbarton Rock or the rock on which Stirling Castle stands). As for the position of the town, the historical development was as follows: 1. castle 2. abbey 3. burgh in between. It is simply incorrect to say that the town was built on or around the rock. All classic histories describe the fact that the town grew up on the ridge sloping down from the castle, so I don't see why this article should be any different. The current sentence looks balanced to me, in stating that the original town lies on a ridge, i.e. a hill, and has expanded to cover seven hills. "From its prehistoric roots as a hillfort" covers your point about the very first settlement (for which, incidentally, no hard evidence has ever been found). Much of what you write has been contentious because you seem to put a spin on it. Example: "may yet become an international capital". In my opinion, that formulation implies that you believe this development is overdue. Wikipedia should not be about crystal-gazing - that's for journalists. The fact is that Edinburgh is not an international capital at the present time, which is what I believe this article should be about. I still have a problem with your insistence on mentioning independent schools, which in my opinion should be mentioned in the section dealing with education. I think it is right that the high proportion of such schools should be mentioned as a distinguishing feature of the city, but you reverted my attempt to make that clear, and seem to be implying that it is because of these schools that the city has a college and four universities. That is patent nonsense. Most students attending the college are from state schools, and most students at the universities are from elsewhere in Britain and abroad. In fact, if you speak to anyone currently attending the independent schools, they will be the first to tell you that they are advised not to apply for university places in Edinburgh because of current policies favouring foreign students and home students from disadvantaged backgrounds. I assure you that my primary interest in this article is to strive for factual accuracy and minimal description; whereas your contributions have a flavour of a Scottish nationalist agenda. That's why I think mentioning Robert the Bruce and James IV is unnecessary, whereas you apparently don't. And even when you make an understandable error (as we all do) and that is pointed out, you revert regardless, e.g. giving the false impression, doubtless unintentionally, that the old Scottish Parliament was reinstated. Kim Traynor | Talk 17:29, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I've just seen your latest edit. The reason I changed that one is because a "formative period" contributes to a development. I think the Enlightenment was one for Edinburgh (leading to New Town and "Athens of the North" conceptions); but while the Scottish Reformation was "formative" for Scotland, I'd like you to explain how it assisted Edinburgh's development. Many historians would argue that the accompanying and ensuing period of religious strife arrested it. By choosing a more long-winded sentence you are also unnecessarily increasing the length of the introduction as a whole. I genuinely think the intro has benefited overall by the inclusion of your retained contributions, but you'll notice that the history paragraph is now the longest (but not if we revert to the shortened statement). I am glad, however, that you cut down earlier on the hyberbole regarding Edinburgh as a great place for business. Wikipedia should be about describing Edinburgh, not promoting it. Kim Traynor | Talk 17:42, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Regarding schools and education - I would say one of the main reason's for Edinburgh's success has been the independent schools and like you agree that it is an important feature, specific to the city (though I've no idea why you said I must think they are English?!?). However I think stating there is a 'high proportion' of them already indicates that the high proportion must be relative to most other cities, wherever they are (though the reader might assume Scotland or the UK, which would be correct anyway). I don't think the sentence makes any link between independent schools and the universities and I hope it doesn't. What I am saying is that these excellent educational establishments, at whichever level, help to provide the city with a workforce (and facilities etc) able to effectively drive the city, both economically and culturally. I think the paragraph says that plainly enough. Happy to hear your opinion though. Mentioning education at all I think is very important though. Isn't it at the heart of every modern Western community/city and arguably the primary determinant of how successful it is?
Regarding nationalist agenda - I accept some of your comments but I'm more keen on getting Edinburgh's article right than espousing any other agenda. However Edinburgh's history is entwined with the history of Scotland and mentioning monarch's is an effective way of marking time and events in history. Mentioning these kings specifically links milestones in history with important investments in and influences upon Edinburgh.
Regarding the parliament. I have accepted the changes (I think I actually seemed to reject the change once my accident!) but I would still say that the Scottish parliament was reinstated. Yes it has restricted powers now and is not sovereign but it is still the Scottish parliament, i.e. where the people of Scotland alone come to have their say on the running of the country. Wasn't the phrase used at the time that it was 're-convened' after 300 years? Maybe it was a nationalist said that?!
Finally, I'll let 'famous' go although I disagree. However I still think the settlement originally forming 'on the castle rock' works best and is sufficient in this context, rather than the long-winded 'slope descending from'. Also, isn't changing the term from 'city' to 'settlement' at the start of the sentence significant? As you say above, the first settlement was at the site of the castle so on that basis 'on the castle rock' could stand?
Just saw your last comment. Wasn't the Reformation formative for Edinburgh, whether or not it was formative for Scotland? It determined the way people in the city lived their everyday lives, schooling, riots in the streets, cultural influences. Up to 50years ago most of the people of Edinburgh would have characterised themselves as Scots presbyterians because of it. Surely the influence of Knox and others was huge for the city and the way it developed culturally? And indeed it led to all of the struggles of the following century, the covenant being signed in the city etc, surely a massive part of the city's history and a huge influence on its inhabitants?
You mention Athens of the North in your last post. Two years ago I went to a lecture in the Playfair library at Edinburgh University as part of the tercentenery of the birth of Hume where it was stated that the first mention of 'Athens of the North' with respect to Edinburgh, in the early 1700s, was an allusion to the fact that Edinburgh had lost political power and status to London just as Athens eventually 'lost out' to Rome in classical times. Although that's not how the nickname is understood today it was an interesting aspect of it that I hadn't realised. I don't plan to mention this in the Edinburgh article but perhaps it should be.Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 18:51, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Apologies for misattributing the "English" comment to you. I accept that the schools to universities link was my inference rather than your intention, but don't you see how you are excluding the state schools from their contribution to the highly-educated workforce and dynamic economy? I understand your "milestones" arguments regarding the monarchs and don't object on principle, more on intro length - but you'll notice I gave up on that one. I beg to differ on the Scottish Parliament. What you have at Holyrood at present is a parliament or assembly, until such time as it acquires sovereignty. I agree the Reformation had a profound effect on the character of the city. "Athens of the North" comment is an interesting detail, but not crucial to an article that by necessity has to employ broad brushstrokes. Kim Traynor | Talk 19:23, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Kim. I was careful to insert help to provide...' so as not to assert that these institutions alone provide the educated workforce. What do you think on my latest castle rock suggestion, i.e. "I still think the settlement originally forming 'on the castle rock' works best and is sufficient in this context, rather than the long-winded 'slope descending from'. Also, isn't changing the term from 'city' to 'settlement' at the start of the sentence significant? As you say above, the first settlement was at the site of the castle so on that basis 'on the castle rock' could stand?" Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 19:54, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think "ridge descending from" can be regarded as long-winded if it's an accurate description. "On the castle rock" is not. "Settlement" is the word prehistorians tend to use for small clusters of dwellings. In this context, "town" (i.e. burgh) is in fact more accurate for David I's foundation, hence we had the description "market town" which seemed entirely apt but which you rejected. I'm trying to maintain clarity regarding the castle (on the rock) as separate from the burgh established between it and the abbey in the 12thC. (I don't know if you know that Edinburgh Castle is actually part of the parish of Canongate - honestly! It was technically, and legally still is, not part of Edinburgh.) There has never been firm evidence of a prehistoric fortress on the rock, though that has, for obvious reasons, been universally conjectured. An archaeological dig at the castle in the early nineties came up with some pottery shards, suggesting human habitation but revealing nothing about a defensive site. It's likely that any evidence of that has been obliterated by later building. I really can't keep repeating that the town was NOT built on the castle rock. At the end of the day, it's something you have to take on trust, or check the sources yourself. As for the "narrow gap", that's the reason for the presence of the castle which strategically controlled the east-west corridor through the Central Lowlands. Kim Traynor | Talk 20:32, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
'slope descending from', at three words, is hardly long-winded and as it is factually accurate, it dings any snappier but incorrect phrasing. Mutt Lunker (talk) 20:42, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm aware the town/burgh formed on the ridge, that's fine. I was originally just trying to add a simple short sentence contrasting the '7 hills' of the modern city with the original hillfort settlement on one hill only, which is not incorrect. But happy to go with ridge descending now!
Regarding history in the intro I thought you were agreed that the Reformation was formative for Edinburgh? Also I'd taken speculation about independence referendum out at your suggestion. Plus if we're using your 'to become' rather than 'becoming' then I think the sentence works better the original way around. Finally, initial Celtic influence was from c.800 BC and a reference to the first known culture of the area, the Votadini, rather than a reference to the Picts who came later.Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 21:12, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I said I'd agree that the Reformation changed the character of the place, but I can't see how it assisted its development. The current statement that the town played a central role in these two important periods seems to me sufficient and keeps the wording to a minimum. You'll notice I hadn't objected to the statement regarding the future referendum. I merely gave my opinion that it was speculation about the future rather than present reality, and I'm not sure if that is appropriate in a description. Kim Traynor | Talk 21:15, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Ok so I checked (I know it's not the Oxford but still...) - if formative means 1.Serving to form something, esp. having a profound and lasting influence on a person's development: "his formative years"... do you agree that it can be applied to the development of the character of a city as it applies to a person? I'd say it's a relevant and true statement to include and having removed the referendum speculation I don't think the net effect makes the paragraph longer.Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 21:27, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Sure, I don't doubt we could explore the effect of the Protestant ethic on the burgesses too, if we had space. I suppose I'm really thinking in terms of the rest of the article and the History of Edinburgh page where the underlying thread, or if you prefer, organising principle, is the physical growth of the city over time. If you really feel the term "formative period" must appear, why don't we compromise on the following sentence which adds that to the shortened version? "The city played a central role in the formative periods of the 16th century Scottish Reformation and 18th century Scottish Enlightenment." Kim Traynor | Talk 22:01, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Ok I see. I wasn't thinking that way, that this paragraph should only refer to physical growth. I was thinking it would cover history wholly. Thanks for the offer of a compromise! I'm not sure your sentence explains that these times were formative for Edinburgh specfically though...? Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 22:16, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Give me time to think about that one. I can already see an ambiguity in the sentence I suggested. Meantime, you have me bamboozled. The phrase "grew through the Middle Ages to become Scotland’s biggest merchant town" was one you previously rejected as implying that the town "only became the biggest at the end of the period" (hope I'm not misquoting). I changed it therefore to state that "it grew to become the biggest merchant town in the Middle Ages". That is indeed the case, and the more I look at it the more correct it feels. So the 64-dollar question is why you bothered to change it back to the phrase that possibly carries the wrong implication? Kim Traynor | Talk 22:23, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Also, I've no right to be prescriptive. It's just that tracing the physical growth of the city is the most efficient way (in terms of article length) of supplying someone unfamiliar with the subject with an easy route map. You'll see how on both pages (Edinb. and History of E.) the Reformation and Covenant periods are dealt with by providing links to those subjects rather than adding more detail to the article. On the other point, how about, "The 16th century Scottish Reformation and 18th century Scottish Enlightenment were formative periods in the city's history, in both of which it played a central role." I could live with that, despite my reservations about the Reformation having any appreciable effect on the subsequent development of the city. Kim Traynor | Talk 22:36, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah you have a point on the middle ages sentence! I wasn't entirely happy with the change either. How about, "With burgh charters granted by David I and Robert the Bruce, Edinburgh grew through the Middle Ages as Scotland’s biggest merchant town"?
On the other question, reading the paragraph again, I don't see it as focussed on physical growth in particular, i.e. when it includes comments on cultural influences and political status etc. Don't you agree a short historical summary is appropriate here, rather than a focus on growth alone? That was what I was going for! Also "...were formative periods in the city's history, in both of which it played a central role" doesn't quite read easy does it? You might have guessed, but I still like "The 16th century Reformation and 18th century Scottish Enlightenment were formative periods for the city, with Edinburgh playing a central role in both. While political power shifted to London with the Treaty of Union in 1707, since devolution in 1997 the city has seen the return of a Scottish parliament." the second half of the paragraph. Can I tempt you?! Or possibly, "The 16th century Reformation and 18th century Scottish Enlightenment were formative periods in the history of the city, with Edinburgh playing a central role in both. While political power shifted to London with the Treaty of Union in 1707, since devolution in 1997 the city has seen the return of a Scottish parliament."Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 00:02, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
I keep looking at that sentence I've suggested and find its structure positively ugly. It also occurs to me that the desire to characterise these two periods as "formative" raises the question "how"? And that remains unanswered, at least as far as the Reformation is concerned; so why introduce the concept in the first place? Kim Traynor | Talk 23:10, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Isn't every period formative in the shaping of a city to some extent? It was a different way to start a sentence in order to make the paragraph read well and seems preferable to 'at the heart of' or 'was centre stage' or 'the hub of'. However it does fit particularly well with reference to these two phenomena since it's hard to think of two periods more formative in the development of the character of Edinburgh (though I don't want to over-emphasise the fact by saying 'particularly' for example, since it then starts to overshadow other features). Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 23:23, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
In my opinion, your new Middle Ages sentence is not an improvement on the previous one stating that Edinburgh became the biggest merchant town in the Middle Ages = simple statement. I prefer your second sentence on "formative periods" as smoother, but my point about it begging the question "how" remains. On the parliament, I prefer the first of your two suggestions, though again I'd point out that the "return" of a parliament does place a certain spin on it, albeit one that most people would not find objectionable, even if they spotted the bias. If every period is formative, then logically one has to justify singling out particular periods; and explanations in an introduction are bound to appear excessive. I think "centre stage" or "leading role" are the keywords here. Anything else is likely to be circumlocutionary.Kim Traynor | Talk 23:31, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Kim. On the Middle Ages sentence, I went for my last suggestion because I think the one you had might also imply that it wasn't the biggest town following the Middle Ages. And I think it's simple enough, that Edinburgh grew through the Middle Ages as Scotland's biggest town. Regarding the parliament issue, I take your point on the 'reinstatement' I had before but I don't think there's any bias in saying Scotland has a parliament again (maybe your bias is the other way?! ;-)). On the formative subject, these two periods are highlighted to some extent but the sentence doesn't say that these two are exclusively formative for Edinburgh and other periods are mentioned in the same paragraph and hence are also implied as formative. How these were formative for Edinburgh is that they both shaped the religion of the people, the philosophy of the people, education in the city, the culture of the city, literature in the city, the future of the city, the songs they sang etc. Changing the religion of the city is surely enough? Forming the mother church of Presbyterianism? Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 00:02, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
We'll just have to differ on what is the most effective sentence regarding the town's importance in the Middle Ages. It surprised me that no-one else has joined in on the issue of what should be included in the introduction. No, I don't think I'm biased the other way on the parliament. Scotland has a parliament again, but one should avoid giving the impression that it is in any way a return of the previous parliament rather than a new creation. I have no objection to your elaborating on how you think Protestantism affected Edinburgh; but the point is that there is no room for elaborate explanation in an introduction. So, why can't one mention the city playing a major part in those periods without the need to describe them as formative? Going back to my original reason for changing that sentence, I simply don't know what point you're trying to make by introducing that unexplained concept. Before the recent Review the introduction was the length of an article in its own right until two of us attempted to cut back the content. All I'm really trying to do each time I reword your postings is to prevent the introduction ballooning again because it is not being kept to essentials. Kim Traynor | Talk 00:08, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Ok well looks like we'll have to disagree on the parliament thing too! But hopefully you're still ok with the last wording suggested as you said. I'm with you on keeping the intro efficient and happy to have had the additions I made initially trimmed down. Again, on the 'formative' discussion I just think it's important to note that as well as playing a leading role in these two events, that they were also big influences upon the city and its inhabitants. I agree we don't need to explain how Protestantism or Presbyterianism affected the city, only acknowledge that it did, that it was formative. And I don't think formative as a concept needs to be explained. If anyone is wondering then it is in the dictionary! If I make these couple of changes then I don't think the paragraph will get any bigger, it may even shrink again slightly. Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 00:32, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your patience Kim. I think the intro's looking really good now (and the etymology section) - informative and efficient. Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 01:22, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

"Celts" piped to Picts, Votadini or Gododdin

There is, as I understand, no actual evidence of settlement dating back to the Votadini period. That they settled it may well be possible but is speculation. We know that the Gododdin built a hill fort. The Picts were neighbours, so any influence would be considerably less. If we are to pipe "Celts" to one of the three, it would seem plain that "Gododdin" is the most pertinent. Mutt Lunker (talk) 20:55, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

I follow that reasoning, but feel the Gododdin may be too specific for the general reader. As it is universally assumed that the earlier inhabitants of the area would have occupied the rock (though the Votadini are more associated with Traprain and Arthur's Seat), Picts seemed more appropriate - most histories see Edinburgh being lost by the Picts to the Angles (though you're right that it was specifically the Gododdin who lost it). The snag with that is that the Picts page dwells on their presence in the north of the country rather than the south. For that reason, I'll leave the judgement of what constitutes the best link to others. Kim Traynor | Talk 21:02, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually maybe Votadini still works. The Votadini article itself explains the link to Edinburgh and refers to the change in name to Gododdin.Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 21:11, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm rather puzzled at the assertion that "most histories see Edinburgh being lost by the Picts...specifically the Gododdin" as the latter were Brythonic not Pictish. Agree that there is a case that "the Gododdin may be too specific", in which case widen it out to Britons (Celtic people) (or further simply to Celts)? Votadini would be equally potentially overly-specific and as there is no evidence of Edinburgh being in existence in their period, plain wrong. Mutt Lunker (talk) 21:22, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I thought you might say that! Let's not get into a discussion about what constitutes Picts (a useless Roman label for "Celts" which covers folks on both sides of the Forth). I'll leave it to you what you deem the best link. It should obviously be the one that makes it easier for the reader to grasp the overall picture. The content of the general Celts link is just too wide in scope to be of much use in shedding light on Edinburgh's history. Kim Traynor | Talk 21:34, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
I think the Britons link with its map and introductory explanations is a good choice. Kim Traynor | Talk 21:47, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Cosmetic tinkering at the expense of accuracy

I'm rather concerned at an aspect of some of the edits of late to this article for ends that seem to be something like perceived neatness of expression or poetic truth but sometimes at the expense of accuracy (e.g. this). There are also some elements of promotional gloss. Encyclopedic accuracy must come first. Mutt Lunker (talk) 19:54, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

This is not an area in which I can claim any expertise, but I am familiar with Old English burh being given as the origin of the word "burgh" in printed sources; therefore I can't see any justification for changing that. Kim Traynor | Talk 23:33, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Hi Mutt Lunker, I think that's my edit you're referring to. I'd dispute your suggestion that my edit was not accurate and not a potentially useful improvement. Although I'm happy to bow to consensus on this occasion. I swopped 'Old English' for 'Germanic' because, as I said, 'Germanic' compares well, at the same level if you like, with 'Celtic' - i.e. both general terms for the influences on or descriptions of these languages. I also mentioned that these terms mirror the terms used in a sentence in the intro which I suggest promotes recall of the facts and furthers understanding, rather than being "poetic". I suggested changing 'burh' to 'burgh' because while spellings historically varied, i.e. of 'burh', we can at least be sure that the Germanic term 'burgh' was ultimately settled upon. This still seems accurate to me and doesn't detract from the previous sentence that specifies that the change in nomenclature reflects changes in the local language from Cumbric to Old English. I also still maintain that you don't need to specify that 'burh' or 'burgh' was added "as a suffix" when it's quite obvious how the city's name was effected. Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 19:19, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I see the point you're trying to make about the apparent equivalence of the terms "Celtic" and "Germanic", but I'm not sure it's valid. "Celtic" is a label from much later in history grafted onto the past. "Germanic" seems geographically and historically one step further back and away from the direct Anglian influence being described, hence it should be their form "burh" that we use. Kim Traynor | Talk 22:19, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Opening paragraph

I suggest this opening paragraph:

Edinburgh (/ˈɛdɪnbʌrə/ (About this sound listen) ED-in-burr-ə) is a city in South East Scotland, situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. It is the capital city of Scotland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom. With a population of 495,360 in 2011 (up 1.9% from 2010),[1] it is the largest settlement in Lothian and lies at the centre of a larger urban zone of approximately 850,000 people.[2] While the town originally formed on the ridge descending from the castle rock, the modern city is often said to be built on seven hills.

Rather than these:

Edinburgh (/ˈɛdɪnbʌrə/ (About this sound listen) ED-in-burr-ə) is the capital of Scotland and the second largest city in the country. Located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt, on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, an estuary which flows into the North Sea.

With a population of 495,360 in 2011 (up 1.9% from 2010),[3] it is the largest settlement in Lothian and lies at the centre of a larger urban zone of approximately 850,000 people.[4] While the town originally formed on the ridge descending from the castle rock, the modern city is often said to be built on seven hills.

...because (a) I don't think second largest is worth mentioning in the intro, whereas largest would be; (b) I don't think we need to mention the North Sea in the intro or the fact that the firth is an estuary since these facts are explained in the geography section below and in the link to 'Firth of Forth', plus if you do know the Firth of Forth then you'd likely know these facts anyway; (c) I thought the consensus was that we would mention Scotland is a constituent country of the UK, plus this fact is relevant to the descriptions that follow; (d) the opening line I've suggested, stating Edinburgh is a city first, allows for the fact that Edinburgh is not just a capital city; (e) the term 'Central Belt' is not obvious to the unacquainted reader, requiring some explanation, and although there is the link and the explanation later, I think it's surplus here and not as important or easy as the Firth of Forth reference; (f) my suggestion is shorter and more efficient, maintaining a reasonable length of intro while retaining sufficient information and providing relevant links. Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 20:18, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

I wonder what it is about this first intro paragraph that makes it so tricky to formulate in a way that achieves a consensus? I'm not too fussed about what shape it eventually takes, but I would like to make a couple of observations that I feel should be taken into account. What is the premier fact that should be known about Edinburgh? If one was asked to provide only one fact about Edinburgh to someone who did not know the place, what would it be? I suggest it would be that it is the capital of Scotland; so that should not come as an afterthought behind a mention of Lothian, which will be a completely new and less important concept to most readers. I also think there should be a reference that ranks the city in term of its size compared with other Scottish and/or UK cities. Most people make the assumption that a capital city is a country's biggest, but Edinburgh is one of those exceptions to the rule - so that should be pointed out. I agree that Central Belt should go and that the North Sea needn't be mentioned here, as it is covered in the geography section. One can't assume that most visitors to the page will know the Firth of Forth, but I'd keep that somewhere in the location description as an obvious indication of where the city is situated. My suggested sequence for this para would be capital-location-population Kim Traynor | Talk 20:54, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking about the order of things as well, since my last comment, but I like the way it is now, i.e. name, location, political status, population and geography, all touched upon in the first paragraph. (We then go on to history, education and economy, culture and city life, and tourism in the following 4 paragraphs.) I agree stating Edinburgh is capital is of primary importance but I maintain that stating Edinburgh is a city is the simple fact that should come first and it opens up into everything else we want to say about the city. The capital statement follows quickly afterwards. I also agree this fact should come before the mention of Lothian which it does. However I disagree that we need to rank the size of the city. Anyone wishing to do so, against their own town or another city of the world, can do so if they wish, but unless Edinburgh is biggest then I don't think it's worth mentioning in an intro when it's ranking/comparison against other cities, in Scotland and the UK, is mentioned in the sections below. Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 21:58, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
My remark about the position of Lothian was misleading, because I think it was based on a previous posting that was amended some time ago. I've looked again at the existing para, and it looks pretty good, even though it doesn't give any sense of the city's size in relation to Glasgow or other UK cities. I still feel that's an omission, but maybe not a crucial one. Kim Traynor | Talk 22:13, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Kim. Yes I did consider your point and have checked out the capitals versus biggest city stats and 18% of capitals are not their country's biggest city so it's not that unusual so I'm keeping to my intial thought that it's not required here. Laird of abbeyhill (talk) 22:25, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

That this is the capital city of Scotland is so flippin fundamental to an understanding of Edinburgh that is beggars belief that it keeps getting erased as the primary introduction; additionally, we have had years of Wikipedia idiocy over "constituent country" vs "country" and it is profoundly unwise to restart one of our tiredest sagas in the intro to such an important article for WikiProject Scotland. Additionally, there is zero need to link extremely common words and terms like countries, so the word 'Scotland' has been de-linked in common with widely recognised good practice. Additionally, the South East Scotland article is a dire little unreferenced OR stub, which is borderline AFD material, and has absolutely no roll as the first link in the capital city's introductory sentence. --Mais oui! (talk) 04:55, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, good idea re the South East Scotland article. Mutt Lunker (talk) 14:13, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
I fully agree about stating at the outset that Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. I was aware of the earlier "constituent country" v "country" debate which struck me as pointless. (One seems to be encyclopaedia jargon and the other normal everyday speech; and I much prefer the latter.) Someone noted that there was no indication that the city was in the UK, so at one point I changed the intro to read "...of Scotland which is part of the United Kingdom", thinking no-one could possibly object to that; but someone did. I don't see the harm in stating that the city is situated in the south east of Scotland (I may be responsible for the earlier link here, which was unnecessary). The second sentence is currently truncated, hence ungrammatical. I suggest it should be: "It is situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth in south east Scotland" (or transposing s e Scotland with F of F, if preferred). Kim Traynor | Talk 14:28, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
As an afterthought, I would question the wisdom of removing the "Scotland" link, as I think this is very useful for anyone elsewhere in the world, for whom it is not a common name. For example, if someone from China was planning to visit Britain and looked up Edinburgh in advance, I think it would be worthwhile if they could go to the "Scotland" page to learn what Scotland actually is. Kim Traynor | Talk 16:39, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Please take some time to peruse Category:Featured articles. Here have we collected the very finest encyclopaedic material that we have managed to write so far; often after excruciating consideration of seemingly minor features, like WP:Overlinking. Eg. our English National Opera article has been accepted as FA class by the wide Wikipedia community. Note that nowhere in the introduction is 'England' or 'English' linked. Nor is 'London' (which like Paris, New York, Moscow and others is a "world city" and needs zero linking for an average-competence reader in the English language. (If a very weak English-language beginner really doesn't have the faintest clue what 'Scotland' is, then there are hundreds of online dictionaries available. We don't link to thousands of other everyday Eng. lang. words either.) --Mais oui! (talk) 18:20, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Points noted. I would however say that it's not only weak English-language beginners who don't know what Scotland is. When I lived in Germany some years ago, I encountered Germans who confused Scotland with Ireland. Not as bad, mind you, as the American who asked me if we speak "Anglo-Saxon". Kim Traynor | Talk 18:52, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Just for info. An old Chambers Encyclopaedia introduces the city so: Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland (...outdated info on county town etc...) south of the Firth of Forth, 393 miles by rail N.N.W. of London. Kim Traynor | Talk 20:58, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Someone has just edited the intro to read "capital city of Scotland" with three links to those words. I've reverted for now, but it does go to show that another person feels links should be present; and I expect others will add them again at some stage. Kim Traynor | Talk 01:40, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

"one of the most beautiful cities in the world"?

According to whom is Edinburgh "one of the most beautiful cities in the world"? — Preceding unsignedcomment added by94.173.0.21 (talk) 14:56, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Do flies have wings? Some statements are self-evident truths! Kim Traynor |Talk 22:30, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, not all flies fly either and you'd think that would be self-evident :-) Saffron Blaze (talk) 23:59, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
"To many people Edinburgh is incomparably Britain's most beautiful city, even beyond such likely competitors as York, Bath or Oxford." This is the opening sentence of Mary Cosh's monumental study Edinburgh, The Golden Age. The Bristol-born author lives in Islington, London. It's only an opinion, but one that's often expressed. Kim Traynor | Talk 12:28, 27 July 2013 (UTC) :-) Saffron Blaze (talk) 20:42, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Culture of Edinburgh

I notice both Manchester and Glasgow have separate articles on culture in those cities, isn't it time for one on Edinburgh's?--MacRùsgail (talk) 17:19, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, if someone's brave enough to attempt that from scratch. Kim Traynor | Talk 15:22, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

External links

I've removed the video guide, no doubt about that one. But what about - in there at the moment, but I can't tell easily if it's actually officially associated with the festival or the city authorities, or is just a random commercial site doing a very good job of looking like it is? Pinkbeast (talk) 12:54, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with Wikipedia guidelines on what kind of content is deemed appropriate as an external link, but imho I think the lot should go, except for the Wikivoyage and National Library materials which are genuinely informational. The rest are mainly self-promoting organisations and driven by commercial considerations, e.g. Edinburgh Castle's website promising to help you "beat the queues" if you buy tickets in advance does not strike me as apt content for an encyclopaedia. Kim Traynor | Talk 14:36, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia:External_links - I think some of them don't really meet those criteria, but it's not inherently prohibited to be self-promoting. If the Castle's Website also has a great deal of historical material it might be - well, best on a page about the Castle, actually. :-/ Pinkbeast (talk) 23:28, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
My guess would be; strip "Inspiring Edinburgh", pure puff, and the "festivals in Edinburgh" site; move the Castle site to the Castle's page; keep the Council and the Tourist Board, albeit marginal. Pinkbeast (talk) 23:33, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the guidelines on external links (never know how to find stuff like that via the internal search). Agree "Inspiring Edinburgh" adds nothing substantial - self-congratulatory and carrying stories more of local interest. I was about to move the Historic Scotland Castle website to the Castle page, but found it there already, so they're seeking maximum publicity. The same is true for the festivals website, already linked to the Edinburgh Festival page. Can't see much value in the Council website myself, though I suppose it can be argued that it carries news of developments in the city. Also unsure about Tourist Board website, but I suppose an intending visitor might find it helpful for showing the range of attractions in the city. Whether that's suitable encyclopaedia content, I still don't know. Kim Traynor | Talk 00:03, 12 August 2013 (UTC)


I've only ever heard Edinburgh being pronounced 'Ed-in-bruh' both by English people and the locals. What is the source of the pronunciation 'ED-in-burr-ə' in the article?-- (talk) 21:09, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't know the source for the pronunciation on the page, but it's certainly what I, Edinburgh born and bred, say, and so I agree with it. I think "Ed-in-bruh" is either a mishearing or just lazy articulation. After all, the original word involved is "burgh". There's no such word as "bruh". Kim Traynor | Talk 21:38, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Both Merriam Webster and give either pronunciation as being correct. specifically says that the "Ed-in-bruh" pronunciation is an "especially British pronunciation".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 21:52, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I wonder if "British" in a US dictionary means "English" (given that there isn't a British pronunciation)? If it didn't exist in print as "-burgh", it would be almost impossible to know how to spell it from the heard pronunciation. When asked where I come from, I've always understood I was saying "Edinburgh", though hearers may have thought I was saying "Edinbruh". Kim Traynor | Talk 22:07, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say 'bruh' was a word, Kim, merely the pronunciation. I found this sound bite and the speaker's accent sounds like that of man on the tour. (talk) 14:07, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that, but I still believe people are intending to say "Edinburgh", however the pronunciation may be perceived by listeners. If they are actually saying "-bruh", the same might be true for Jedbruh, Roxbruh, Fraserbruh, Helensbruh and so on. Bearing in mind local variations, maybe residents of those places could give us their opinion. I think it just so happens that in saying the word "burgh" quickly, people tend to clip the first vowel (hence dictionaries validate that alternative pronunciation), but in formal speech—for example in public speaking—I'm sure most people would say what might be rendered "Edinburra" ~~
How does it work if a settlement, such as Jeddart, is only known as such by its locals and not by the world at large, The Broch is another case in point! Brendandh (talk) 16:30, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I tend to pronounce things how the locals do when at all possible. I live near the town of Alnwick. Many people from the UK who haven't heard of it will pronounce it as it is spelt, but all the locals know it's pronounced 'An-ick'.-- (talk) 20:57, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Unlike the ITN newsreader (I'll not name him) who once pronounced Kirkcudbright exactly as spelt. You can't blame him really for not knowing it's Kircoodbri. I had no idea how much we take local knowledge for granted until an American visitor spoke to me recently of Kincurdeen (for Kincardine) and Scone (Scoon), pronounced as if it were the thing you eat. It doesn't help when spellings of places like Milngavie bear no relation to their pronunciation (Mullguy). In James Boswell's time Auchinleck was pronounced Affleck (though I don't know if the locals shared that affectation). And how would anyone know that locals pronounce Buckhaven in Fife Buckhine? Kim Traynor | Talk 23:57, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Flags for twin towns

I removed these, as the MOS recommends. User:Brendandh put them back - not for the first time. I took it up on their talk page: User_talk:Brendandh#Flags where I explain precisely why the MOS says they should be removed... noting the old discussion User_talk:Brendandh#Flagcruft where the previous editor explains why they should be removed. No response.

Hence, I'm mentioning it here. Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Icons is perfectly clear: "Avoid adding icons that provide neither additional information (what the icon looks like itself is not additional information unless the icon is the subject of the article) to the article subject nor navigational or layout cues that aid the reader." Since the name of the country appears next to the twin town, they provide no information.

Absent any response I propose to remove them again. Pinkbeast (talk) 15:36, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

And I propose to keep them. Quite apart from the fact that editors are not always at their desks, and actually have lives to lead, I'll reiterate what I put in my edit summary: Flag icons are good in these situations as they give the reader a nose up on which country they are dealing with, whether or not the reader is aware of the particular city in a country they are not familiar with. They are not in the prose of an article, but merely in a list following. They do not distract but are informative, in much the same way that a picture of an article's subject can be. Almost every other article on cities/towns' twinning arrangements on English Wikipedia has them. Why should Edinburgh be different? Brendandh (talk) 16:30, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Let's deal with the gibe first. I edited your talk page a week ago; in that week you have made over forty edits. The previous editor edited your talk page two years ago; you didn't reply to them either. It's not that you weren't at your desk with a life to lead; you just couldn't be bothered to reply.
They don't "give the reader a nose up on which country they are dealing with" because the name of the country appears right next to them; hence they are not informative. This is exactly the case the MOS is trying to address. They also are not informative in "much the same way that a picture of an article's subject can be"; "what the icon looks like itself is not additional information unless the icon is the subject of the article".
If other pages are similarly affected feel free to fix them. Pinkbeast (talk) 16:45, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps that's because it is so unbelievably boring that it falls below my radar! Brendandh (talk) 06:25, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Please at least try to be civil. If you're not interested, then stop reverting the edit contrary to the MOS. Pinkbeast (talk) 14:04, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
The MOS is a guideline, and over-zealous interpretation of it helps no-one. I dont find the flags distracting or unhelpful, and it seems that no-one else has suggested that they are. In the absence of any reason to remove them, they can stay. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 13:02, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
It's hardly over-zealous to follow it. You might as well say that in the absence of any reason to have them, they should not have been re-inserted (or re-re-inserted or re-re-re-inserted). Pinkbeast (talk) 13:05, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Edinburgh/GA4. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:30, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

I will review this article and list queries below: Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:30, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

I'd remove paras 3 and 5 from the lead though leave in the bit on being 2nd most popular tourist destination and tack it on para 4
  • new introduction created in an attempt to keep to essentials
With burgh charters granted by David I and Robert the Bruce, Edinburgh grew through the Middle Ages as Scotland’s biggest merchant town "grew through the Middle Ages into Scotland’s biggest merchant town"?
Was the term Dunedin ever used? I know it ended up as the name of the NZ city....
  • still the normal name for Gaelic speakers, but not used in English speech Kim Traynor | Talk 09:09, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
and around this time the Edinburgh region passed to the Angles. - " control of the region"? or somesuch?
  • changed to Lothian, which is a more precise term Kim Traynor | Talk 09:09, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
earning it the nickname "Athens of the North" because of its many classical buildings and reputation as a "hotbed of genius" (Smollett) similar to Ancient Athens - can we take teh Smollett out of brackets and convert it into prose to clarify the relevance of his mention?
  • Smollett reference has been rephrased to be more specific Kim Traynor | Talk 09:50, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is divided into distinct areas that retain their original character - why are we mentioning it is the capital here?
Areas section and following nneds more inline references.
compare favourably --> are milder (more neutral tone)
  • actioned as per suggestion Kim Traynor | Talk 09:50, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

1. Well written?:

Prose quality: - NPOV-peacockish prose identified which is uncorrected, including substantial amounts of lead. Fragmented prose not consolidated into paragraphs.
Manual of Style compliance:

2. Factually accurate and verifiable?:

References to sources: - most (but not all) of the prose has inline references.
Citations to reliable sources, where required: superficially
No original research: not checked as prose issues are outstanding.

3. Broad in coverage?:

Major aspects:
Focused: - undue weight given to awards (e.g. in lead) which are important for tourism and business but not so much for an encyclopedia.

4. Reflects a neutral point of view?:

Fair representation without bias: - see above prose issues

5. Reasonably stable?

No edit wars, etc. (Vandalism does not count against GA): - not clear - some recent issues with lead

6. Illustrated by images, when possible and appropriate?:

Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:


Pass or Fail: - not actually that far off GA really I suspect, but no attempt made to look at GAN comments raised by me in over seven days. Other regular editors aware but declining to take part. Hence no consensus to list as GA at this time and this can be examined at later date. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 02:50, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Back to the drawing-board! In the light of the above comments, I have taken the bold step, not to say liberty of completely replacing the existing over-long and detailed introduction with a more concise one, stripped down to what I regard as the bare essentials. If this proves acceptable to a consensus, I would suggest that anyone feeling a vital detail has been lost in the process should incorporate it into the appropriate section of the main text dealing with the particular subject, whether that be education, festivals or whatever. I have made this appeal before, but it failed to have the desired effect, and the intro ended up overinflated again. However, the article will never settle until it is recognised that it is in nobody’s interest to overload the intro, especially with hype that seems inspired by an understandable but unrestrained civic patriotism. Kim Traynor | Talk 01:22, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
This is the good thing about GA or FA in that it provides a "consnensus/stable version" so that it can be reverted to. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 01:37, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
I have been through the article attempting to improve the readability and flow of the text. Some passages have been restructured and some cut. It's up to others now whether they feel the template at the top of the page can be removed and whether the article should again be nominated for GA Review. Kim Traynor | Talk 18:49, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
You can see the problem. The new intro, which to my mind was a big improvement on the old, has been thrown out and the older intro restored, despite the recommendations above. So, we are yet again back to square one. It seems pointless trying to improve this article against such obstinacy. I'll certainly not be wasting more time on it after this reversion, and regret now that I've spent almost two whole days attempting to improve it. Kim Traynor | Talk 20:46, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
I just reverted that...which now makes me a contributor and not really able to review. This page is closed and we should continue article discussion at the generic talk page. cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:00, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Content of the Lead

I JethroBT (talk · contribs) wrote at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure that:

Editors in the RfC have already come to an agreement on the lead and appropriate changes were implemented here. I, JethroBT drop me a line 20:42, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree with this statement. Cunard (talk) 01:41, 10 January 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.

Right, rather than get in an edit war about the lead, I am posting here to gain consensus about what people think. A wee while ago I was reverted as I felt the lead contained too much in the way of puffy quasi-promotional material more worthy of a tourism brochure rather than an encyclopedia and had removed it.

Hence, looking at the current version as of today, I'd be proposing removing paragraphs 3 and 5 of the lead, leaving only a sentence about the University and placing it somewhere else in the lead. I am asking for opinions:

Remove paras 3 and 5 of lead (but leaving a line on the university)

  1. As above -material overly promotional. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:10, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Mostly support. As the lead stands now,[2] it would be fine to move the third and fifth paragraphs down to some other location in the article for the reasons stated, except for the first two sentences of the third paragraph which seem apt for the lead (though the bit about the 17th rank of the university can be moved down).Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:11, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  1. Support the general thrust of this. The extant version doesn't really try to conform to WP:LEAD. Ben MacDui 19:27, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Partial support: The last paragraph could be compactified a bit, but in principle it presents lead-worthy material since the overall quality-of-life of the city is highly interesting (and I'd guess also a major point in sources). The third paragraph seems a bit mushy, aside from material dealing with the university it could be cut out, yielding a shorter lead which would seem to be a reasonable goal anyhow. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 20:34, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Some support I think the lead could do with a bit of toning down but not the deletion of paragraphs. Martin Hogbin (talk) 23:50, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Keep material as is

Other options

  1. If one checks the edit history and views the page as at the Cas Liber edit of 2.27 on 15 October, you will see a completely new intro which I wrote for this article, but which was quickly removed by another contributor. I believe it is a perfectly acceptable intro. minus the existing hype. If anyone feels like reinstating it, or an improved version of it, I think this would be preferable to the present over-long and partisan intro. (I would say that, wouldn't I?) Kim Traynor | Talk 14:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. It's certainly better than the existing version. Ben MacDui 19:27, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Happy with Kim's too. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:56, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  4. This version of 2:27 on 15 October would be okay, with caveats: each of the two paragraphs is very long, so I'd suggest they each be split in two. Some explanation of terms could be taken from the present version (e.g. Firth of Forth). Also, well-sourced material that's in the present lead but not in that previous one should be WP:Preserved, by moving down under a suitable heading (like "plaudits" or something).Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:53, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  5. The 15 October version began as a series of separate, snappy (?) statements on different aspects of the city (see this earlier version) which Cas Liber felt should be combined into larger paragraphs. I thought it was actually easier for the eye to take in each short statement in isolation, rather than work through long paragraphs. If Anythingyouwant would care to look at the original format and suggest new paragraphing...? As I said at the time on the Talkpage, I think this new intro contains the very basic elements, to which some other elements can be reintroduced if people feel something really important has been missed out. The point is, I feel it is better to start tabula rasa and create a new intro based on what essentially matters, rather than keep the present intro which feels like the proverbial camel designed by a committee. The October intro adumbrates what will be explained later in the body of the article; the current intro contains material that would be more appropriately placed later in the article, e.g. independent schools. Kim Traynor | Talk 12:51, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Four paragraphs is typically enough for a lead, and rarely five paragraphs. More than that is frowned upon by the guidelines (I can look for the pertinent guideline if that would be helpful). So I would suggest splitting two long paragraphs into four paragraphs total, but not more than that.Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:35, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
That's easily done. The paragraph themes in that earlier version are: 1.location & population city 3.commercial capital 4.historic town 5.educational reputation 6.festival city 7.literary heritage 8. tourist destination. One could combine 2&3, 5,6,7&8 making four paragraphs, although I feel 8 should be separate. Alternatively, para 7 could be removed, as its content appears in the article. On the other hand, it could be argued that the city's literary reputation is an essential characteristic which belongs in the intro. Kim Traynor | Talk 16:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)


  • Discuss away. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:10, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I know the place well and its a fine city but your observations about the peacock style are fair. Unfortunately this is the sort of article I tend to shy away from as its just a constant battle to maintain any semblance of quality against the tide of tweaking, twerking and general misbehaviour which my broadband struggles to keep up with. Ben MacDui 19:27, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
This is why GAs and FAs are good - they represent de facto "stable versions" that can be reverted (in part or wholly) back to as consensus versions. I do not think this is that far off GA, so would highly recommend a tilt at these so they can be stamped (Incidentally this is why I try to get everything I work on substantially to GA or FA status). Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:40, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough - although for much of my own editing I am scrabbling around attempting to find enough useful information to make GA, whereas here the challenge may be more in deciding what to leave out. Having said that, I agree its not too far away - although that doesn't mean it would be easy to get there. Ben MacDui 19:57, 20 November 2013 (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.


In the second sentence of the lead, I changed "it is the largest settlement in the Lothian" to "it is the largest settlement in the Lothian region of the Scottish lowlands". This has been reverted.

Per the guideline WP:Lead, "Where uncommon terms are essential, they should be placed in context, linked and briefly defined" (emphasis added).

Per the guideline WP:Manual of Style/Linking, "Do not unnecessarily make a reader chase links: if a highly technical term can be simply explained with very few words, do so."

I have been reverted many times, and sometimes rightly so. But this particular revert is really unnecessary. Wikipedia articles are supposed to be written for a general audience, and the revert simply makes the article more difficult for a general audience to understand. If the very first paragraph is written in Greek, why would a reader continue reading, regardless of whether the Greek words are linked to English translations?Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:39, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I reverted your edit. It's always a judgement call when deciding what needs to be explained on a page. Would you add a description for "Hampshire" rather than just provide a link? There is no such place as "the Lothian region" - it's just "Lothian", which is one of the reasons I reverted. I think the latest phrase you've added also inflates the text for no good reason. I wouldn't agree that Edinburgh is where the River Forth flows into the North Sea. I might say that about a location like North Berwick over 20 miles further east where the coast turns south. I see Edinburgh as being quite far inland from the estuary mouth. Kim Traynor | Talk 19:13, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The judgment call typically should be about how to explain unusual terms in the lead, not whether to do so. For example, you're correct that the estuary called Firth of Forth is not the precise location where the Firth flows into the North Sea, and so I've just now indicated in the article that we're talking about an "area" instead of a point. But I tend not to agree with your assertion that there is no "Lothian region". Since you want people to go to the Lothian article, please go there and search for "Lothian region". Those words are used often in that article. But if you prefer a different explanation, please make a proposal. Thanks.Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:26, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to be drawn into a hair-splitting exercise, but the historical and geographical name is "Lothian". That's a simple fact. Of course, one can refer to "the Lothian region" if one is vaguely meaning Lothian and thereabouts. I'm sure you're aware that "Lothian Region" was as an admin unit of local government up until the 1990s, which is probably why some people still instinctively add the word "region", but there's no need - it's just "Lothian". I have edited the Lothian page to reduce any confusion in usage. Kim Traynor | Talk 19:36, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The sentence currently says: "With a population of 482,640 in 2012,[4] it is the largest settlement in Lothian and lies at the centre of a Larger Urban Zone having a population of 817,800 [2]".
How about this: "With a population of 482,640 in 2012,[4] it is the largest settlement in the region of the Scottish lowlands called Lothian, and lies at the centre of a Larger Urban Zone having a population of 817,800 [2]"? If you like, we could replace "region" with "area" or "section" or the like.Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:17, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
If you'll allow me to quibble, I'd prefer this slightly different syntax: "it is the largest settlement in Lothian, a region in the Scottish lowlands". I haven't been maintaining Lothian isn't a region; just that "Lothian" on its own is sufficient. However, the above formulation adds the descriptor you desire. Kim Traynor | Talk 20:34, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Sure, that would be fine.Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:48, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
A few quick suggestions.
(1) Yes, it is indeed "Lothian" rather than "the Lothian".
(2) "Lothian region/Lothian region" is definitely to be avoided.
(3) There isn't really any such place as the "Scottish lowlands". This is just disambiguation. "Lothian is in the Lowlands" is how it would be written or stated in Scotland. However I can't see any reason to mention the lowlands in the lead at all - especially as it does not even appear elsewhere in the article. Nor does the phrase "Larger Urban Zone" have any UK currency that I am aware of. All that need be said is that "With a population of 482,640 in 2012,[4] it is the largest settlement in Lothian, and is Scotland's second largest city." The bits about the lowlands and the wider conurbation can go to the Geography section, where incidentally, the conurbation stats are not the same as the lead. Ben MacDui 19:41, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with everything Ben MacDui has said. --John (talk) 19:46, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I have no objection to saying "lowlands" (dropping Scottish), but I do object to using the term "Lothian" without any description whatsoever, per the guideline WP:Lead, "Where uncommon terms are essential, they should be placed in context, linked and briefly defined" (emphasis added); and per the guideline WP:Manual of Style/Linking, "Do not unnecessarily make a reader chase links: if a highly technical term can be simply explained with very few words, do so." It's just not good writing to not give the reader any idea what an unfamiliar term means. Especially in the first sentence!
Also, I don't think anyone suggested there is such a thing as "the Lothian". I live in the Boston area, which does not mean there's such a thing as "the Boston".Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:02, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
"Uncommon" is a shade subjective but the current phrasing "it is the largest settlement in The Lothians, a region of the Lowlands, and is situated at the eastern end of the Central Belt." is clumsy and manages to make three statements about the site of the city on one sentence. In my view there is no need for the lead to refer to either Lothian(s), which is a nod to a traditional but now defunct system of local government or "lowlands" which is essentially a rather old-fashioned expression for the Central Belt. Ben MacDui 19:57, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure the inhabitants of coastal Aberdeenshire, Tayside, and the Scottish Borders may have something to say about that last comment! Brendandh (talk) 10:06, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the reference to "the Lothian" is just an unfortunate misunderstanding, as the phrase in question was "the Lothian region" and that has been dealt with. Ben MacDui is absolutely right that no-one in Scotland would bother putting Scottish in front of the "Lowlands" (note capital), but an international encylopaedia would, and that's what Wikipedia is. I have no problem with that. Kim Traynor | Talk 21:07, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I removed the "larger urban zone" stuff from the lead. It's already in the body of the article: "Edinburgh lies at the heart of a Larger Urban Zone covering 1,724 square kilometres (666 sq mi) with a population of 778,000." I don't know who put it there, but it seems harmless enough.Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
It is not that it is harmful so much as that it's an obscure expression. A piped link to "conurbation" might be better. Ben MacDui 19:57, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I have no opinion about whether the lead paragraph should mention "Lothian" or "Lothians". My only concern was that — if it is mentioned — then it would also be good to also mention what it is (a region of the Lowlands).Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:14, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Living there myself, its usage in these parts is 'Lothian' as a proper adjective for services such as healthcare or policing etc, or 'the Lothians' as a geographic indicator. (referring to Mid, East and West Lothians, the former counties of Edinburgh, Haddington, and Linlithgow respectively) Historic Lothian, like Moray and Galloway was a much larger and different kettle of fish. Brendandh (talk) 10:06, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, Brendan. The nouns, "Lothian" and "Lothian Region", are both shorthand for the former "Lothian Regional Council". In addition it's important to remember that, while "Lothian" and "The Lothians" are both correct usage in one context or another, "The Lothian" is always wrong. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:59, 27 November 2013 (UTC)