Talk:Enid Blyton

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Featured article Enid Blyton is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 24, 2014.

GA Review[edit]

PURE NAZI — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:184:201:57B0:7507:EF0D:E088:ECD2 (talk) 00:00, 12 August 2017 (UTC)

This review is transcluded from Talk:Enid Blyton/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tim riley (talk · contribs) 17:06, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Will review. Hope to start tomorrow. More soonest. Tim riley (talk) 17:06, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

I have some suggestions about the wording here and there (nothing major). Would you prefer me to list them here or on the article talk page? Tim riley (talk) 15:42, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Here will be OK unless of course you feel up to fixing them yourself out of the kindness of your heart :-)♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:03, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm. Not sure about getting involved before doing the GA review. Rather undermines one's impartiality. I'll list the main things here and then dive into residual editing afterwards if that's OK with you. Tim riley (talk) 21:40, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I was kidding...♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:35, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

A few minor comments for your consideration:

  • Early life and education
    • "in the nearby town of Beckenham" – the WP article on the place says it was a village and is now a suburb
Should I change to village and add a foot note that it is now a suburb?♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:13, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
      • I don't know that I'd add the footnote. The blue link will surely suffice, as long as you change town to village. Tim riley (talk) 08:52, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "educating Enid on nature" – does one educate on? "about" seems more natural
Quite right!♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:16, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "In 1910 Blyton was baptised at Elm Road Baptist Church, and was devastated when her father left the family to live with another woman." – The two halves of this sentence don't seem to have anything to do with each other
True, changed.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:16, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "a small independent boys school" – theoretically ambiguous (though probably not in practice); still, perhaps better to say "a small independent school for boys".
Tweaked.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:24, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "In 1920 Blyton moved to Southernhay" – "she" would suffice for "Blyton" here, and help the flow of your prose
  • Early writing career
    • "she lived on Hook Road" – Americanism wanted here? "she lived in Hook Road" is the traditional British form (same in caption of picture alongside). I see you use the British form later on, for "in Ondine Street".
Nightmare in Elm Street :-)♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:28, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "she met up with" – she met?
    • "Teacher's World" – I see from the Times archives that the possessive is plural: "Teachers' World"
Well-spotted!♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:28, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "children's page in Teachers World" – missing the apostrophe altogether this time
  • Commercial success
    • "Blyton was asked to provide the text…" – and did she?
    • "her first contribution to the Sunday Graphic" – you are inconsistent about the definite articles in the titles of magazines/papers: earlier you have The Morning Post (with cap) but here the Post and the Mail aren't capped. Your blue link to The Mail on Sunday is incorrect, by the way. The Mail on Sunday wasn't launched till 1982. I think there was a Scottish paper called The Sunday Mail, but I don't vouch for it.
Removed mention of them to avoid confusion.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:47, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    • "and it wasn't until 10 years" – "wasn't" is hardly encyclopedic language
    • "the Evening Standard, which lasted until December 1953" – The Evening Standard lasted long after Dec 1953, and indeed is still being published. "…which she did until December 1953" would be better.
    • "By then time" – by then or by that time?
    • "a frequently collaborator" – adjective, not adverb wanted here
  • Later works
    • "last book in Noddy Library series" – is there a "the" missing here?
Quite right.
    • "Robert Tyndall, who had drawn the characters in the Noddy books since 1953" – this seems to contradict the earlier statement that Peter Wienk took over in 1953.
Removed mention.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:30, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Critical backlash
    • "mordaciously" – I had to look that one up. It's editorialising a bit, I'd say.
I added that recently. I rather like it, it's a legitimate word! There's plenty of sources which state he gave a scathing review, it means the same thing..♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:11, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
  • References
    • You sometimes have "Retrieved" with a capital and sometimes "retrieved" without. Tim riley (talk) 09:52, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
All addressed, amazed at some of the things you spotted despite Eric and I giving it a thorough read!♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:30, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Overall summary[edit]

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. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  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:

automatic writing[edit]

Could someone tell me where automatic writing is linked and cited in the article (see edit summary)? I don't see it. Maybe it was reverted at some point in the history. If the article is saying Enid Blyton wrote using this method, it's a startling enough claim that it should be made explicit in the lede. Thanks. (talk) 22:43, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

It now looks like there is a misunderstanding and the article doesn't make any allegations about automatic writing (it says Blyton used a typewriter). So the use of "automatic" in that sentence is IMHO an unfortunate turn of phrase, that tripped me up while reading the paragraph. I don't want to get in an edit conflict by re-reverting (I'll leave it up to Eric or whoever) but I still think the sentence should be re-worded because of this issue. It's confusing enough that I'd flag it in a review. (talk) 22:54, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

So who's is the misunderstanding? Yours? Eric Corbett 23:25, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I wrote in my edit summary that a claim that Enid Blyton used automatic writing should be linked and cited, if such a claim was being made. You reverted, with your edit summary saying "it is linked and cited". So I looked through the rest of the article for where the link and citation might be, didn't find it, and asked for specifics. Checking even further, it became clear that we weren't referring to the same thing. I still don't know even now what referent you had in mind, when you wrote "it is linked and cited". Anyway I know that you are a good writer who values clarity and smooth writing. Confusion over edit summaries is inconsequential, but the article itself has a malapropism as mentioned, which I'd have thought you'd want fixed. I think the change I made was an improvement. If you didn't like my edit, then fine, but in that case I think you ought to fix it some different way. (talk) 23:58, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I'll spare you from telling you what I think. Eric Corbett 00:54, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Whatever. Have fun with the article. (talk) 00:56, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
As I'm certain you know, WP makes it impossible for me to say what I really think, as you're an anonymous IP who can't be punished no matter what you say or do. Eric Corbett 01:15, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Agreed Eric. He's now editing as an editor, I reverted him. I don't want to see an edit war.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:40, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
"Him?" Can you be careful with your accusations, please? I've been watching this page since last year at least. Vashti (talk) 19:10, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I presumed you were the same person as the ip. Wrong or not, there was no "per talk" to justify changing it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:07, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, changes don't require justification or prior discussion; the "per talk" purely referred to the discussion here. Also, one edit is not an edit war, more than one other editor exists, and honestly, I don't see anything the anon editor said that required being met with such venom. I am genuinely shocked to see a polite bugrep treated that way on Wikipedia - "punished" for politely raising a problem with the article? It is outrageous that anyone should be treated that way. WP:DONTBITE
You've done sterling work on this article since I last checked in, and gained GA status for it, but you do not own it, and you shouldn't be shouting down people who raise questions. Automatic writing refers to a pseudoreligious concept. That sentence in the lede is not good. Two editors have now told you here that it could use revision. You're at liberty to disagree, of course. /hattip Vashti (talk) 09:44, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't agree that sentence in the lead was referring to automatic writing at all, but for the sake of a quiet life I've rewritten it. Eric Corbett 13:03, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Vashti (talk) 19:23, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Fanny, Dick, Mary and Jill[edit]

These character names have indeed been changed in modern editions, see here which mentions the change from Jill and Mary to Zoe and Pippa and here which mentions the changes from Fanny and Dick to Frannie and Rick. Paul Austin (talk) 13:16, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


The infobox says she attended Ipswich High School, and this is currently in Category:People educated at Ipswich High School, but the text says she grew up in Kent and only moved to Suffolk after leaving school. Which is correct? – iridescent 12:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The body of the article is correct; she was educated at St Christopher's School in Beckenham, but taught at Ipswich High School, so I've removed that parameter. This duplication of information, sometimes done inconsistently, is one of the problems with infoboxes, which I'm beginning to hate. Or at least hate the brain-dead way they're currently implemented. Eric Corbett 13:24, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Marriage with Hugh Pollock[edit]

I've just been looking at the Telegraph story given as a citation, and from this it is clear the article has poorly represented the material there (e.g. it was not Pollock, but Crowe who was nearly killed in an air raid). I will attempt a rewrite of this section checking other sources. (I know it's in progress as an FA candidate, but I haven't the time to go through the entire article and it seems simpler to deal with it directly.) Alfietucker (talk) 17:25, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

List of publications?[edit]

For such a prolific author the absence of a comprehensive list of her many series of books is a glaring omission from this article.

Her prodigious output possibly warrants a separate article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Like this one do you mean, already linked to from within the article? Eric Corbett 19:14, 7 June 2014 (UTC)


The article states that her books were banned from libraries, and even that she enjoys the dubious distinction of being the author with the greatest number of banned books. Can anyone explain WHY the books were banned? Was it simply because the books were considered to have been poorly written, or was this the result of the percieved racism/sexism, etc? This does not appear to be made very clear in the article. It is one thing for an institution like the BBC to decide not to give air time to an author whose works it does not consider good -- that is fair game -- but it does seem surprising for libraries to take the positive step of actually banning a popular author's works on the grounds that they do not feel they are "good enough", particularly given some of the drivel that makes its way into libraries. (talk) 18:06, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I expect that different libraries had different reasons, including pressure on their budgets resulting from the sheer volume of Blyton's work. But the article already gives the generally accepted answer: "Some librarians felt that Blyton's restricted use of language, a conscious product of her teaching background, was prejudicial to an appreciation of more literary qualities." Eric Corbett 18:56, 24 June 2014 (UTC)


The lede says " ... selling more than 600 million copies." But I can't this fact in the article body, nor any source. This source says "Since their publication over half a century ago, her books sold more than 500m copies worldwide in 40 languages." Which is correct? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:47, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

However, the stories have sold more than 600 million copies worldwide. .♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps that's a source that needs adding somewhere to support the claim? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Don't know, but the massive overlink of Seven Stories is now a bigger problem.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:05, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Seven Go Mad With Wiki-templates? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:34, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Oxford commas[edit]

This is done. The Verdict of The Court of Public Opinion is that Rationalobserver's commas are correct. The attendant commentary, brought to you for free, is that the stress level in general must be at an all-time high for a few measly commas to raise the temperature to this extent. This particular observer also wants to offend both sides almost equally (feel free to think your side was offended most): on the one side we appear to have a bit of an OWNy response to an issue where they were not completely right; on the other I detect some bad faith, as if one someone was glad to find an error in an FA brought up to that level by another someone. Now, I doubt that y'all are going to kiss and make up, but please, let's take it easy. Unfortunately we live in a world where a. we are not perfect and b. we're not all friends and thus c. it is possible that our slips (if that's even what this was) are pointed out by those who are not our friends. If that is so, let's suck it up and move along. Rationalobserver, thank you for your sharp reading skills. Eric et al (and I do believe Eric's role in all this was less than minor), thank you for bringing this article to this high level in the first place. Drmies (talk) 22:41, 1 February 2015 (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.

Earlier today I removed what I think are oxford commas from an article that otherwise eschews their usage. Per MOS:SERIAL: "Editors may use either convention so long as each article is internally consistent". Sagaciousphil has reverted my edit. So I just wanted to get some clarification on this. For example:

  • There have also been several adaptations of her books for stage, screen and television.
The last sentence in the lead avoids the serial comma that might be placed before and television, so why would we include it here:
  • She wrote on a wide range of topics including education, natural history, fantasy, mystery stories and biblical narratives, and is best remembered today for her Noddy, Famous Five, and Secret Seven series. before and Secret Seven series? Rationalobserver (talk) 21:21, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I disagree - and please note the article has been through an FA nomination so has been checked by several very experienced editors, so let's wait and see if any of them wish to comment. By the way, "pings" only work if the comment is signed at the same time, so this did not trigger a notification to me .... SagaciousPhil - Chat 22:01, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Commas?! I'm surprised Enid survived the '90s at Oxford at all. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:51, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
It's about consistency. In the second paragraph we have:

Blyton's work became increasingly controversial among literary critics, teachers and parents from the 1950s onwards, because of the alleged unchallenging nature of her writing and the themes of her books, particularly the Noddy series. Some libraries and schools banned her works, which the BBC had refused to broadcast from the 1930s until the 1950s because they were perceived to lack literary merit. Her books have been criticised as being elitist, sexist, racist, xenophobic and at odds with the more liberal environment emerging in post-war Britain,

There are two instances in that excerpt which do not use the serial comma: literary critics, teachers and parents and elitist, sexist, racist, xenophobic and at odds with the more liberal environment emerging in post-war Britain. Why would we also have Noddy, Famous Five, and Secret Seven series? Rationalobserver (talk) 01:06, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Sagaciousphil, can you at least clarify what exactly you disagree with? Is it your position that a few oxford/serial commas are fine even though the article as a whole does not use them, or is it your position that the commas I removed are not in fact oxford commas? Rationalobserver (talk) 19:59, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Sorry guys. Phil doesn't edit on Mondays so you will have to wait for a response. There are no time limits on Wikipedia so you having to wait 24 hours is not big deal and not unusual. Not everyone is in the same time zones and she might be sleeping. Hafspajen (talk) 20:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Hafspajen. I see RationalObserver has initiated an RfC, which can last up to 30 days, so I will just repeat my initial comment - let's wait to see what the experienced editors who took this through to FA may wish to say. SagaciousPhil - Chat 09:58, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Agreed with SP on this, although I'm one of the chief writers of the article.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:47, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Can you elaborate a bit, since I'm not sure exactly what your position is, except that you support the revert. Am I wrong that the majority of this article does not use oxford commas, but they are present in some sentences? Rationalobserver (talk) 16:13, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I think it's suspicious that you waited until Eric was blocked to begin this discussion...♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:24, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I think you should re-check the timestamps, because I started this discussion at least 24 hours before EC was blocked. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:26, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
You should AGF, but do you really think EC will somehow be able to justify using oxford commas in some sentences in the lead but not others? Anyway, his block was only for 48 hours, and there is no hurry, right? Rationalobserver (talk) 17:38, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Then I am mistaken, and you are assuming bad-faith. I only heard of his block yesterday, a full 24 hours after I started this thread. But really, "stick to the facts"? You don't even seem to know what an oxford comma is, else we wouldn't be having this infantile debate. This is basically a WP:OWN issue, as you won't allow the slightest improvement to the punctuation if it's made by "an outsider". What will you say when EC confirms my assertion that there are some oxford commas in this article that generally avoids them? Rationalobserver (talk) 17:56, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Here's another example from New series: 1934–48: and the characters of Julian, Dick, Anne, George (Georgina) and Timmy the dog became household names in Britain.

This sentence does not use the oxford comma that would appear before and Timmy.

From Peak output: 1949–59: and their friends Colin, George, Jack, Pam and Barbara

Again, the oxford comma that would appear before and Barbara has been omitted.

However, this bit from New series: 1934–48: featuring the characters of Jack, Mike, Peggy, Nora, and Prince Paul of Baronia. includes the oxford comma before and Prince Paul of Baronia.

And this fragment from Note a: including the strip books Noddy and the Runaway Wheel, Noddy's Bag of Money, and Noddy's Car Gets into Trouble. includes it before and Noddy's Car Gets into Trouble.

Oxford commas are neither required nor forbidden, but per MOS:OXFORD, the convention chosen should be consistently implemented throughout, which isn't the case in this article as it's currently written. Rationalobserver (talk) 18:02, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

As far as I'm concerned, and speaking only for myself, you may do whatever you please with this article. In light of recent events I'm removing all articles on female subjects from my watchlist, so hopefully there will be no reason for our paths to cross again in the future. Eric Corbett 18:26, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
But you won't bother confirming or denying that the use of oxford commas in the article is currently inconsistent? No worries, it's as obvious as can be to anyone who actually knows what an oxford comma is. Rationalobserver (talk) 18:29, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I really couldn't care less. But your lazy "oxford comma" is more than a little irritating. Oxford is a place don't cha know? Eric Corbett 18:34, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
That's hilarious! I removed the lazy Oxford commas; I didn't add any, and you would know that if you read the first line of this section. I.e., SagaciousPhil reverted to the version that included them, not the opposite. Rationalobserver (talk) 18:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
If by lazy you mean that I shouldn't call them that, I am only using an accepted term per our MOS. Anyway, that's quite pedantic to make a fuss that they should be called serial commas, not oxford commas, especially in the context of refusing to acknowledge that the article's use of them is currently inconsistent. Rationalobserver (talk) 18:42, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm unwatching now, so bye-bye. Eric Corbett 18:49, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Obviously, if I was wrong about the serial commas you would have made that clear, so you're silence speaks volumes. Rationalobserver (talk) 18:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
In the interests of clarification (since Eric is wisely refraining from further interaction): if I had used the word "lazy" and mentioned that Oxford is a place, it would have been in reference to the unconventional lowercase "o" in "oxford".--Boson (talk) 23:35, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Point taken. This article has inconsistent usage of the Oxford comma. Rationalobserver (talk) 23:39, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • So this is what all the recent fuss is about! @Rationalobserver: You excel yourself. Outstanding! Johnuniq (talk) 22:58, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
So I'm the fool for correcting the inconsistency, and Sagaphil is the hero for returning the page to a version that contains punctuation errors? Rationalobserver (talk) 23:03, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Though I can imagine reasons why one might sometimes prefer the extra comma (to do with pauses and tone groups in speech), I would support removal of the Oxford commas in these two [struck after following comment] cases. I wouldn't go so far as to call use of the comma a punctuation error. --Boson (talk) 01:43, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Would you retain any of the commas I removed in my edit? Rationalobserver (talk) 01:54, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • No. Sorry, I am obviously having problems counting to more than 2. An alternative would be to use serial Oxford commas consistently, of course. Since your edit was challenged and this in now being discussed on the talk page, I suppose the right thing to do would be to agree on whether to use Oxford commas (consistently) or not. If there is no immediate consensus, that might involve application of WP:RETAIN, counting commas, and ascertaining which version was established first. Personally, I would tend to the view that consistent use of -ise rather than -ize implies that the Oxford comma should not be used (except where necessary to prevent ambiguity).--Boson (talk) 02:55, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • That's a good point about the use of -ise rather than -ize. I don't see any of the latter, which is what we would expect when using Oxford style. All my edit did was remove five Oxford commas so that the article was internally consistent, and I think the best solution here is to revert Sagaphil's revert so that the article can be returned to a version with consistent punctuation. However, looking at the first version, it appears that the author used Oxford commas, though that version is a stub, so I'm not sure that matters. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:14, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Since you used the word "author", WP:TIES does say "In an article about a modern writer, it is often a good choice to use the variety of English in which the subject wrote ...", so I suppose that should also be considered. Perhaps someone has access to some of the original books (published by Dean, I believe). --Boson (talk) 02:11, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  • That's a good point. I only looked at one book, and it appears that it uses the Oxford comma, but I don't see any instances of Oxford-style suffixes. Rationalobserver (talk) 16:17, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Even Eric's bored to tears with this and can't be bothered. I personally don't think it's worth all this discussion either.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
FAs ought to be MoS compliant, and this one currently isn't, since MOS:OXFORD says that they are neither required nor forbidden as long as the article is internally consistent. Right now we have a couple of Oxford commas in the lead, but not everywhere they should be if they were being used. Do you realize the effort you are putting into retaining five commas that do not belong? Rationalobserver (talk) 21:58, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Searching desperately for scholarly advice about unnecessary Blyton commas, I unearthed a very detailed critique of The Famous Five Books by Peter Cash: [1], which might even be a good source for the article. Maybe you can find the unnecessary comma, boys and girls? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:15, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
This should have been an easy fix, but the owners writers of this article cannot admit that the commas usage is currently inconsistent. You would think that adults could put aside their egos for the sake of an article, but that's not the case, obviously. No matter, as I am sure by the time this RfC concludes we will decide to either include them or omit them, but at least we will make a decision either way, versus leaving some in the lead and omitting others. Rationalobserver (talk) 22:25, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
For God's sake, man! I'd never put my ego aside for a comma, I can assure you. It's just not British!! Martinevans123 (talk) 22:37, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I think a healthy ego would want the commas to be correct, because right now it looks like the writers of this article don't know how to apply Oxford commas, which I would find embarrassing. Rationalobserver (talk) 22:49, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
The only embarrassing thing here Rationalobserver is that you continue to harp on about trivial issues. And you're quite wrong, I remain very proud of what we've achieved with the article and I believe that most people would agree. Personally I don't mind "oxford commas" or not and probably wouldn't have reverted you, trivial as it is, but it's your WP:BATTLE approach here and obnoxious comments which I find most irritating.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:05, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I'll never know, alas. I got as far as first Oxford comma, and then trashed the laptop, in disgust. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:25, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── MOS is a guideline, not a policy. There is no need to obsess over it, although I think the comma issue may be one of Rationalobserver's pet peeves as I've seen this raised by them in a recent GA review somewhere. As a native writer of British English, I see nothing wrong with the pre-discussion version of this article. Even in an article where the Oxford comma is deprecated, there may be occasions when it is required for clarity, rhythm etc. This is a recognised issue.

We should probably all just go do something more useful somewhere, I guess, because this seems to be just another of the many recent waste-of-time threads that are simply pissing people off for no particularly useful purpose. - Sitush (talk) 11:36, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

It is indeed a very minor issue, certainly not one for the main editors to feel guilty or embarrassed about, and yes, not worth the heartache and attacks over. My personal preference is to use the serial comma, but other editors don't. It should really be consistent, one way or the other, I'd argue to use them in every instance, but I don't think it's worth objecting to or worth all this.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:51, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I was not implying that the writers of this article should be in any way embarrassed of it; it's an exceptional piece of work. I meant it was embarrassing that your egos and ownership issues prevented you from admitting that the punctuation should follow a consistent style, especially in an FA. I'll bet that if I dug through some reviews I'd find a couple of instances where these same people gave similar advice to others. Lastly, I would be embarrassed that you turned this into a personal attack on me, which is not how Wikipedia is supposed to work. Rationalobserver (talk) 16:57, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok, let me put this in context. Bandying around words like "ownership" and "egos", and implying things like personal inconsistencies and personal attacks, are not conducive to furthering your position. FA is a pretty rarified place and if you get involved with FA stuff then you are almost certain to meet very experienced Wikipedians with pretty firm opinions about what is or is not acceptable; as I said recently on your talk page, it helps to choose your battles wisely and not waste your time and that of everyone else on things that you almost certainly will not change and which, even if you did, make bugger-all difference. It is because of pettiness like this that the entire set of MOS pages are themselves under discretionary sanctions.
As an example of one of my pet peeves, consider the constructs "passed away" and "breathed his/her/their last". I dislike them, they are poor phrasing for an encyclopaedia, and I do copyedit when I see them. What I don't do is get into an edit war, open a RfC or even start a discussion in any other form if someone insists on reverting my edit. There are at least three million other articles with bigger problems on en-WP alone, so I just let it drop. Why should I paint a target on my back over something like that? - Sitush (talk) 21:57, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Are you implying that now I am a target because I removed a couple of commas that were inconsistently applied? Did you notice that Dr. Blofeld agreed that they should be consistent? Rationalobserver (talk) 22:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I think Sitush is right that in some circumstances the comma can help for clarity, but I do think that where possible we should try to be consistent, it's something I always try to do anyway. There's far more important things to be doing anyway, like getting C. S. Lewis or somebody up to FA status instead of dwelling on this..♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I am not implying anything, nor am I particularly concerned about Blofeld's opinion because he himself was not particularly concerned and I know that he is sensible enough to see the big picture. Being paranoid about the comments of others is something else that is not advisable. Linking to BATTLE, as you did in your edit summary is a boomerang thing: you are the one who is making a battle out of this. - Sitush (talk) 22:22, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Quite right, I really do not give a rat's ass about something as trivial as this, I can't believe this has been allowed to continue. It's just daft.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:46, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I linked BATTLE because you seemed to imply that I now have a target on my back because I made the mistake of editing an article you and your buds own. As far as I can tell it's now resolved, so I'm not dwelling on anything. Rationalobserver (talk) 22:31, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think I've made a single edit to the article, nor had I involved myself on this talk page until I saw some comments at the talk page of Drmies re: Oxford commas. I vaguely recall the thing getting a lot of praise from a lot of people around the time it was promoted to FA but that is the limit of my knowledge. So, please rein in the accusations before I send your behaviour for review at ANI: you should avoid repeatedly testing these limits because, yes, many of the faults of which you accuse others are often to be found in yourself also. Your mistake lies not in editing this article but rather in your lack of good faith and a sometimes tendentious/vexatious manner. We are all guilty of such transgressions from time to time but you need to learn when to stop. - Sitush (talk) 22:40, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Like I said, as far as I can tell the Oxford commas are now consistently applied throughout, so I'm not dwelling on anything. It is interesting though, that you've followed me here to "teach" me about putting targets on my back. Rationalobserver (talk) 22:43, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Rationobserver is now edit warring to hide the inadequacies of her GA review of Henry Fownes Luttrell. Her choice I suppose. Eric Corbett 22:59, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Speaking of following someone somewhere to teach them something. I can't imagine why you got a reputation for harassing female Wikipedian's: [2], [3], [4]. FTR, Sagaciousphil self-reverted, which I think implies that my edit never should have been reverted in the first place, which is the only reason this thread exists. Rationalobserver (talk) 23:09, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't care if you're a female, a male, or a dog. That was a poor review. If I were to look at all your other reviews do you think I might find similar problems? Eric Corbett 23:20, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you really think it's a good idea to Wikistalk me at my GA reviews, edit war at my talk page, and berate my efforts in general when just three days ago you banned me from your talk page and I promised to never tangle with you again? Rationalobserver (talk) 23:30, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────*Actually, the only reason I self reverted was to put an end to the continual goading/passive aggressive comments by Rationalobserver who has continually claimed to be the victim of personal attacks when in fact the main perpetrator of PAs from the very start of this discussion has been Rationalobserver and the battleground/nasty attitude they have conveyed is why I have thus far tried to avoid making further comment here. And, yes, there do appear to be a number of problems with the GA review undertaken by Rationalobserver. SagaciousPhil - Chat 23:28, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I have reverted. Regardless of your sagaciousness, Ms. Phil, the issue is now subject to this RfC and was a WP:BRD situation. In the process, it seems that I may have reverted some other stuff. I doubt that it is major but, well, apologies and feel free to fix if there is no issue with consensus. - Sitush (talk) 01:22, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Ah, isn't this cosy. More tea, vicar? Martinevans123 (talk) 23:30, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Responding to the RFC... It seems pretty clear to me that Rationalobserver is right: the use of commas in the article is inconsistent. This is a pretty minor point, but worth fixing. Why everything has since blown up, I'm not quite sure. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 05:16, 31 January 2015 (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.


The article states: "In Blyton's 1944 novel The Island of Adventure, a black servant named Jo-Jo is depicted as an enemy of the British. Although he is portrayed as very intelligent, Jo-Jo is a spy for the Nazis and is particularly cruel to the children."

There's certainly a black servant called Jo Jo in the book and he's cruel to the children, but there is no mention at all of Nazis or spying, the plot is focused on a group of forgers. Probably there's a mix-up with the second book, The Castle of Adventure, where a character called Mannheim is trying to steal military secrets, though he's not black and the Nazis aren't mentioned in that either. Valenciano (talk) 15:04, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Well spotted. Would have been surprising. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:12, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Read the source here "Jo-Jo, the black servant, is in fact a spy, and an extremely intelligent one, whether in Nazi or ordinary crook ranks" and "the usual Nazi/crook"♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:12, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

And what's worse he's got "horribly polite tones". Owen Dudley Evans doesn't actually say Jo-Jo was a Nazi, does he? The "in fact" seems like Evans' own ironic analysis. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:34, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
No, he doesn't. I've just read the book again, and nowhere is it implied that Jo-Jo is anything other than a crook in league with the forgers. Eric Corbett 20:37, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I've read the source and what it actually says is "Blyton's Island of Adventure was a story of forgers rather than spies...The Times Literary Supplement, however, took it for a spy story... while this was shoddy reviewing...the error is probably instructive. Blyton's withdrawal from direct war fiction... certainly resulted in metaphor. Jo-Jo, is in fact a spy... whether in Nazi or ordinary crook ranks." He seems to be arguing that this was a metaphor. Regardless, anyone who reads the book (available as a PDF on google) will clearly see that spies and Nazis aren't mentioned. Valenciano (talk) 00:30, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
I just said that didn't I? Eric Corbett 01:16, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
You said it too quickly. Car theft anyone? Martinevans123 (talk) 09:50, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
It's still very strange that he would even mention "Nazi", metaphorical or not. When you think about it, a black Nazi would be most unheard of! If he's trying to be ironic, sorry I don't get it, and I'm not American either!♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:24, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Unclear sentence[edit]

The article contains the sentence "After much discussion with Blyton, it was ultimately agreed that Blyton would present the petition against him.[100]" I have no idea what this sentence means. What petition? What does this mean? What is the relevance of her doing this? KarlFrei (talk) 13:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

The petition for divorce. In other words, instead of Pollock filing for divorce against Blyton on the grounds of her infidelity, she filed for divorce against him on the grounds of his. Anyway, slightly rewritten now to hopefully make that clearer. Eric Corbett 14:04, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
The clause "Blyton promised that if he admitted to infidelity" still seems slightly confusing, as Pollock's 'infidelity' was a complete fabrication? Or maybe this just reflects what Crowe's memoire says? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:20, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't see the confusion. Pollock's infidelity clearly wasn't a fabrication, but to get a divorce in those days one of the parties had to admit to being unfaithful, and in this case Pollocks was persuaded to do it rather than Blyton. Eric Corbett 15:28, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I say this is a load of old Pollocks!♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:30, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Pfft. As you have anything to crow about! Martinevans123 (talk) 15:32, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
(Oh, and where or what, exactly, was "Denbies"? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:40, 14 April 2015 (UTC) )
Now explained. Is there anything else you'd like me to do this evening, or can I take the rest of the day off? Eric Corbett 17:00, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
We'll let you know. You might even get this article to WP:GA status, eventually. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:05, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Dr Blofeld and I did that some considerable time ago. 17:12, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
That Blofeld shows a lot of promise. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:33, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Your aim appears to be to upset Dr. Blofeld. If you continue in this vein I will ask at AN/I for your editing to be restricted. Eric Corbett 19:57, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Or maybe he has a sense of humour? Whoever he is. Martinevans123 (talk)
Dr. Blofeld may respond to this, and I hope he does, but if he doesn't I will be escalating this to AN/I. Eric Corbett 20:07, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I think that might be seen as a complete waste of AN/I time. But by all means ask him what he thinks. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:16, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

, and[edit]

There are 84 examples of ", and" in this article. Are they all correct? I had thought a comma and "and" were alternatives, unless a subordinate clause was employed, e.g. "Blyton's marriage to Pollock became troubled and, according to Crowe's memoir, Blyton began .." Why is this considered " Byzantine" exactly? Or was this all covered in the previous discussion of "Oxford commas" above? Perhaps everything is consistent, even if it's consistently wrong. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:27, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Why don't you try writing an article yourself, and then we can all come and make fun of your efforts there? And as for your assumption that "and" and commas are alternatives I hardly know what to say. But once you've written your own article I'll no doubt have the opportunity to put you straight. Eric Corbett 18:47, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Who's "making fun". It's a question about punctuation. (And the work "Byzantine".) I didn't realise you had written this article, or that it was "your own". Martinevans123 (talk) 19:00, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
It's not "my own", neither is it yours. Eric Corbett 19:54, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Correct. So how does that make my punctuation "Byzantine"? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:56, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Because you're just thoughtlessly repeating what you were taught in primary school, for the convenience of the teachers. Do I really need to give you examples? Eric Corbett 20:01, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
We didn't do commas until secondary school. I'm the one who "doesn't know what a library is", remember? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:12, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
No, I don't remember, but hopefully you know what a library is now. Were you taught, for instance, never to start a sent with a conjunction, or that 'i' should never appear before 'e' except after 'c'? Eric Corbett 20:22, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
You have a short memory. The topic I was interested in here was commas next to full stops, particularly where there's a subordinate clause involved. Remember? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:27, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Full stops in captions[edit]

Currently two have full stops and three do not. Which are correct and which are "elementary errors"? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:29, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

You highlight one of the problems with allowing any Noddy to edit. Eric Corbett 19:51, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm all ears. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:08, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
It seems it all depends on whether the caption is a sentence or not. WP:CAP says: "If any complete sentence occurs in a caption, then all sentences, and any sentence fragments, in that caption should end with a period." Martinevans123 (talk) 20:22, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
So you've learned something, congratulations! Eric Corbett 20:25, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for all the helpful support. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:32, 14 April 2015 (UTC) (... but in fact not, just repeating it parrot fashion for the benefit of the teacher)

Not an improvement[edit]

Why was my edits not considered improvements? For example, Enid Blytons mother was never called Theresa Mary Harrison Blyton, but Theresa Mary Harrison when unmarried, and then, later on, Theresa Mary Blyton. Furthermore, I changed the line The life story of Blyton story was dramatised in a BBC film entitled Enid (...) to An interpretation of Blyton's life story was dramatised in a BBC film entitled Enid (...), and I would like to know why this was also changed back. I also made some smaller changes to improve the language, such as the correction of the improper use of a small letter in the beginning of a word, only to have that changed as well. (talk) 17:51, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

You made no improvements to the language at all - none. Where have you got the idea from that the use of a small letter in a quotation following a colon is incorrect? Have you actually read the full quotation? Eric Corbett 18:02, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
With all due respect, I never knew it was considered correct to begin a sentence with a small letter. Do you have evidence for the contrary? Furthermore, erasing my contributions on Blyton's mother's name I never understood. Theresa Mary Blyton never used the two names at once. (talk) 18:10, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) And with all due respect to you, a sentence doesn't begin after a colon; it begins after a full stop. Eric Corbett 18:18, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Please note that I also reverted edits made by the IP earlier as I did not consider them "improvements". @IP 213.*** - please read the manual of style. Thanks. SagaciousPhil - Chat 18:15, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I do not have anything to object to other contributors considering my edits not being improvements, other than that I would prefer a more clarifying explanation. I apologise for some of my unconsidered edits, but I would still like to know why my edits on Blyton's mother was changed back. (talk) 18:28, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I would also like to know why you would consider (1922–1968) less correct than (1922–68). I shall not changed it back, though; I am merely asking out of curiosity. (talk) 18:28, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I believe this is an WP:ENGVAR matter. American English prefers a capital after a colon, but British English does not. --John (talk) 18:10, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Dates – (1902–76) or (1902–1976)?[edit]

I started off with changing (1902–76) into (1902–1976), which was changed back by Eric Corbett. I then changed it back to (1902–1976). After making some other changes, Corbett apparently forgot to change it back to (1902–76), which I then changed back to the way that Corbett wanted it. He then changed it back again, to the way of writing that he did not initially want! Now I would like to know what way of writing it would be the correct one, since Corbett seems to have been changing his mind. (talk) 19:33, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

  • 1902–1976. Thank you. Drmies (talk) 19:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Why was then my change from (1902–76) reverted to (1902–1976) changed back to (1902–76) before? Could I get an answer on this from Eric Corbett? (talk) 19:39, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Now, a Paul Benjamin Austin has changed it back to the (1902–76) standard. Now, I would like to know why different ways of writing it should be used in the article. (talk) 19:54, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Two different ways of writing dates are used in this article: (1902–76) and (1902–1976). Using both of these would not be correct, so I would like to know what ways of writing should be the used one, instead of having all my changes reverted by SagaciousPhil, to "avoid the mess". Why did you, SagaciousPhil, changed the information on Blyton's mothers name? I have already changed that into the correct one, only to have it reverted again by you. (talk) 20:00, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Two different ways, two different sections. You're edit warring to make a point. Drmies (talk) 20:02, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
No, I am not edit warring to make a point. However, I do not understand why two different ways of writing dates should be used in the same article. Could you please be kind and explain that? I do not understand what you mean with "two different ways, two different sections". (talk) 20:04, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I would also like to know why you changed my information on Blyton's mother's name. Why did you do that? Theresa Mary's name was never Harrison Blyton, but Blyton when she was married, and Harrison before that. What was the purpose of changing this back? (talk) 20:05, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Iridescent and Eric Corbett, for these good answers. I think the MoS is a little ambiguous on this point, but I realise that further discussion on this topic should not be held here. I would like to know, though, if there is any purpose for changing Blyton's mother's name (Theresa Mary Blyton, née Harrison) back to Theresa Mary Harrison Blyton. I have not the intention of making an edit war or to cause anyone offense with these questions. (talk) 20:33, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I can't see any reason why that change shouldn't stick, so I've just done it. Eric Corbett 21:17, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. (talk) 21:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Factual errors[edit]

@ Eric Corbett (talk · contribs), Dr. Blofeld (talk · contribs)

I found factual errors in the article. I prefer not to correct them myself, because I'm not a native speaker, and this is a FA.

After finishing school in 1915 as head girl, she moved out of the family home to live with her friend Mary Attenborough, before moving in with George and Emily Hart at Seckford Hall in Woodbridge in Suffolk. Seckford Hall, with its allegedly haunted room and secret passageway provided inspiration for her later writing.[1] At Woodbridge Congregational Church Blyton met Ida Hunt, who taught at Ipswich High School. Hunt invited Blyton to move to her farmhouse near Woodbridge, and suggested that she train as a teacher.

It's not George and Emily Hart, but George and Emily Hunt. The Enid Blyton Society website spelt it wrong (see Stoney p. 27, as well as Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

Blyton didn't meet Ida at Woodbridge Congregational Sunday School. She lived with her and the rest of the family at Seckford Hall (located near Woodbridge, not in Woodbridge) and "Enid went along with her most Sundays to help [at the Sunday School]" (again, see Stoney).

Also, Ida Hunt did not invite "Blyton to move to her farmhouse near Woodbridge". This "farmhouse near Woodbridge" is Seckford Hall.

Moreover, the part about Blyton "mov[ing] out of the family home to live with her friend Mary Attenborough," (before moving in with the Hunts) ought to be checked (even if it is on the EBS website, as this source turns out to be unreliable).

with an expected audience of a further 95 million children under the age of five

That's not the expected audience, just the total number of children under 5 living in China at the time.

Regards, Rocherd (talk) 18:42, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Rocherd And your point is? Don't like the way you've addressed this here, as if you think the entire article is inaccurate or poor quality or something. It looks to me as if you've tried your hardest to find errors. "Blyton didn't meet Ida at Woodbridge Congregational Sunday School. She lived with her and the rest of the family at Seckford Hall (located near Woodbridge, not in Woodbridge) and "Enid went along with her most Sundays to help [at the Sunday School]" (again, see Stoney)." From what I recall she did meet Ida at school or Sunday school and Ida invited her to move in.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:47, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld My point was just to get you (or anybody else) to correct these errors in the article. As I said, I would have done that myself had I been a native speaker. It was not my intention to offend you and I am sorry if I did. And, no, I didn't try my hardest to find errors. I just came across these while translating this article into French, and improving my translation, which led me to read some sources to better understand the facts. Neither do I want to suggest anything about the quality of the rest of the article (I just suggested that the website of the Enid Blyton Society may not be that reliable, as they wrote Hart instead of Hunt).
It is possible that I misunderstood the passage of that I didn't express myself correctly in English. But Stoney p. 26 states that it was Mabel Attenborough who advised Blyton to spend a holiday with the Hunts. If Ida Hunt did invite Blyton to move in (which is still possible), then I think a source should be added to support this claim, as it is not in the source provided for the sentence.
Again, I apologize if I made mistakes myself of if the tone of my message was inappropriate. Rocherd (talk) 20:13, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

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