Talk:I know it when I see it

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Point?[edit]

What is the point of including the following lengthy quote? Simply to show an example of the article's phrase? It doesn't make a particular point as far as I can tell:

In 1994, Max van der Stoel, the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), stated in his address at the opening of the OSCE Minorities Seminar in Warsaw: "I won't offer you [a definition] of my own. (...) I would dare to say that I know a minority when I see one. First of all, a minority is a group with linguistic, ethnic or cultural characteristics, which distinguish it from the majority. Secondly, a minority is a group which usually not only seeks to maintain its identity but also tries to give stronger expression to that identity".[4] -Phoenixrod (talk) 00:53, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you. I'm going to go ahead and delete it because I don't feel it's entirely relevant. And I know relevance when I see it.Uhjoebilly (talk) 17:06, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Original research question[edit]

How are we to substantiate the way in which something is "best known"? On the one hand, it's a relevant notion when describing a "well known" phrase. On the other hand, what source could we cite as an authoritative source for the ranking of the paths to familiarity for any given phrase? In general, are we likely to find authoritative (and online) studies that answer that question for every notable phrase? One option that seems workable to me would be to Google the phrase and check the nature of the hits. When I did this for the phrase in question, I noticed that most snippets made reference to Potter Stewart, or to the court case for which he wrote the opinion including the phrase. So it seems fairly justified to claim that Stewart's opinion is the way in which that phrase is best known. How far to we have to go to justify that logic? And if the consensus is to accept the logic, then we move on to the next (and perhaps easier?) point: How does one convert a results of any respected search provider (or perhaps a combination of results) into an "citable" reference?

I am interested to see how this plays out, as it may help us to know when to trust the Wisdom of Crowds or, beware of Urban Mythology. (The wisdom I'm referring to is "which is the most well-known usage of the phrase", NOT "what is obscenity".) Curtbeckmann (talk) 17:40, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Mention of the Miller Test[edit]

According to the article regarding the Miller Test, it was only developed in 1973. The place and way it is mentioned in the article in its current form misleadingly suggest it was considered in the discussed 1964 case. 188.169.229.30 (talk) 21:44, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Goldfinger quote[edit]

I've just removed the statement A well-known quotation of this phrase is found in Goldfinger (film), when M asks Bond: "What do you know about gold?" and Bond replies with "I know it when I see it." This is just synthesis. The phrase appears (at page 50) in the original novel, which was published over five years before Jacobellis v. Ohio was decided, so it can't be a quotation. Anyway gold isn't subjective or lacking clearly defined parameters. - Pointillist (talk) 17:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

This is a very fine point: as you've pointed out, the phrase "I know it when I see it" is already part of the novel Goldfinger, thus Ian Fleming did not quote Justice Potter Stewart. The Jacobellis case was argued in March and decided in June 1964, just a few months later, in September 1964 the movie Goldfinger had its premiere. So this phrase, which seems to be one of those typical "cool" sayings of Bond, was already familiar because of Justice Potter Stewart, and then became even more famous because of the movie.
I will rewrite this paragraph. Roland Scheicher (talk) 14:05, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

famously[edit]

@200.83.101.225:, @Anomalocaris: I see a bit of back and forth about the use of the word "famously" here[1].

While I agree normally this term is a bit peacocky in this case I would say it is a very accurate description. This use was very famous and got a lot of attention for many decades, it propelled it into common usage. What is more the sources support it.

I am happy to hear other opinions. Chillum 18:09, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

There are innumerable things that are claimed to be famous. It's always an opinion, and not stating opinions as facts is a core policy of wikipedia. If you want to note that this particular use of the phrase had some great impact, then you have to describe that impact. Merely inserting the word "famously" is entirely inadequate. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 01:24, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Are you familiar with the decision that used this quote? It was a landmark decision that was probably the most notable thing ever to happen the "I know it when I see it" the saying. Chillum 01:39, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. You're not entitled to present that opinion as if it were fact. See WP:NPOV. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 01:42, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, @200.83.101.225:, this is helpful. You are correct that WP:NPOV says "Avoid stating opinions as facts." However, just because something is not measurably true, like "A is larger than B", that doesn't make it an opinion. Here's an example. Parson Weems made up a story about young George Washington chopping down a cherry tree and then owning up to it, saying, "I cannot tell a lie". This story is extremely famous in the United States. There are sources that establish its fame. A Wikipedia article could say that this story is famous. It is a fact, not an opinion, that it is famous, and this fact is readily established by thousands of references. I happened to think of this tale as a random example. On inspecting Parson Weems, we find the third sentence of the article is "the famous tale of the cherry tree ('I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet') is included in The Life of Washington (1800), Weems' most famous work." (Emphasis mine.) The Wikipedia community agrees both that the tale is famous and that The Life of Washington is Parson Weems' most famous work. Ideally, these facts should be referenced, but they should not be deleted, as I suspect you are already tempted to do. (Don't bother. Wikipedians will rush to restore these true statements of fame. You'll never win that one.) Fame may not be quantifiable like Gross Domestic Product, but if quantifiability were the rule, we could never refer to a stormy night, a busy street, or a dark corner. On the fact-and-opinion scale, how is "stormy night" or "stormy weather" or even "stormy relations" different from "famous quotation"? —Anomalocaris (talk) 06:04, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
"Stormy", "dark" and "busy" are objective and directly observable. "Famous", though, is a statement of subjective opinions. That is why it appears at WP:PEACOCK, but stormy, dark and busy do not. I've never heard of this judge. He's not famous as far as I'm concerned. His use of a particular phrase is certainly not famous as far as I'm concerned. Today I climbed a famous hill, the name of which is known to all of the millions of people who live in my city, which is the famous capital of a famous country. But the hill is not famous to you. You'll never have heard of it.
We do not describe Shakespeare as a famous playwright; we do not describe London as a famous city; we do not describe Fidel Castro as a famous Cuban. These three things are far, far more obviously true to most people than the supposed fame of a judge using a phrase in the 1960, and yet we don't use the word. That's because its use contravenes the guidelines and policies of the encyclopaedia. It would be absurd to allow you to describe your favourite things as "famous" in this way when we would never use the word in the three cases I mentioned. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 14:48, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
This has always been a hotspot here on Wikipedia. When I was a newer editor I created articles in which I would use the term, "Were famous for" or "became famous for." I would use it to describe the person's social significance. Usually the same verbiage was found in the sources I was citing in the article. However, in ever instance I was rebuked and told that it was not to be included into the article because it fell under WP:POV guidelines. I had a hard time with that because when I took the Lucille Ball article to WP:GA status I felt that everyone would agree that she was "famous" and I wouldn't have a problem with that verbiage on her page. However, during review I was again required to remove it because it looked as if I were rendering my own POV. I have argued on occasion that the word should be included if the subject is non-arguably famous. Meaning that if no one could dispute their fame, then it should be able to be used. The argument that came back to me was that if the person was undeniably famous then why would I have the need to use that word because everyone would already know they were famous? I have come to understand that not being able to use this term in no way diminishes the person's worth or social standing as a celebrity or person of notability, but in my own opinion I do not see the harm in using it to describe what that person became famous for. Lucille Ball was "famous" for playing "Lucy." In my opinion that is a fact and not a pov. I truly believe that in some instances where the person's notability is larger than life, an exception should be made to include the word "famous." People like Micheal Jackson, Frank Sinatra or Lucille Ball should never have to be questioned because they are indeed hugely famous all over the world. They are famous for being famous. I do agree however that there are some instances where different words can be used to make the same statement. Like, "Michael Jackson was most "notable" for his signature dance move, the Moon Walk." It makes a better flow and sounds more encyclopedic than, "Michael Jackson was famous for his Moon Walk dance step." Does not diminish the fact that he is known for and made that dance step famous. So, it is my humble opinion as a entertainment historian and a creator of articles that there are times when this word should find its way in as an inclusion to various articles. But only if there is no other word that can better describe the person and their art form, or if the person is indeed without a doubt someone who's fame is without debate. Thanks Anomalocaris for asking me to chime in.--Canyouhearmenow 15:32, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Well I do see the harm in expressing opinions because it contravenes the core policies of the encyclopaedia. "Lucille Ball played Lucy" is objective and incontrovertible; "Lucille Ball was famous for playing Lucy" is verbose and subjective, and contains nothing of value that isn't already in the objective statement. But that's not really relevant at all here: what do you think about the situation at this article? 200.83.101.225 (talk) 15:52, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
As I appreciate your opinion, others have an opinion on the subject as well. This is what makes for a successful community forum. I absolutely disagree that "Lucille Ball was famous for playing Lucy" is verbose and subjective. Her fame for that role is a fact. There is no dispute of that fact. Now, I was not asked to comment on this article, just my opinion on the use of the word "famous." However, since you have now asked me I will say that the usage in this case is not conducive to a clean and correct article. I believe the usage of the word "famously" is subjective at best. However, if in fact history dictates and continually writes that this was the most "famous" quote to be used then I would see where it would be appropriate and proper to put it into the article because that would be fact and would not fall under WP:POV or WP:PEACOCK. SO I believe to reduce the chance of a real WP:WHEELWAR opportunity to brew here, one needs to check for sources that would lead one to believe that this was the most "famous" quote to be used. If in fact they can be found, then I think it would most certainly be appropriate to included because it would be a part of the history.--Canyouhearmenow 17:14, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
You already said you had been told repeatedly not to use phrases like "famous for". There is a reason for that. If you think that "was famous for playing" is somehow not verbose compared to "played", I'm really not sure we have the same understanding of what "verbose" means. For a huge number of topics, you'll easily find a source expressing the opinion that some aspect of the topic is "famous". This does not give anyone license to use the word in the article. As I said already, we do not describe Shakespeare as a famous playwright; we do not describe London as a famous city; we do not describe Fidel Castro as a famous Cuban. These three things are far, far more justifiably described as "famous" than the use of a phrase by a judge 50 years ago, but we nevertheless do not use the word. This is because the policies and guidelines of the encyclopaedia proscribe it. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 17:31, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - @Anomalocaris:, the problem here as I see it is that @200.83.101.225: is trying to apply a strict definition or specific parameters to a term that is fluid or contextually relative at best. Based on my experience (on and off Wiki), some people's minds just work like this and there's not much that can be done about it short of extreme measures such as bans or blocks. That said, this doesn't mean they should be editing on Wikipedia and imposing their inflexibility on others. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 20:21, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
You were invited to comment on the wording of the article, not on what you think of me. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 20:41, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
It wasn't so much commenting about you as much as I commented about Users who have certain beliefs similar to yours. You are not unique, by any means, when it comes to predilections towards editing this site. Understanding how someone that has an opposing view thinks or reasons is critical to dispute resolution. If you feel that your view is being is being misunderstood, please elaborate. But if others fail to understand your views, that is your failure, not theirs. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 22:29, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
The point of your input here is not clear. Do you have one? 200.83.101.225 (talk) 22:54, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

If something is famous or not may be subjective. However the fact that sources say something is famous is objective. We cover all kinds of subjective things when reliable relevant sources support them.

We objectively have sources for this, the sources go out of their way to point out that this was a famous finding and usage of the phrase. The fact that you have not heard of a legal finding that was extremely important and talked about extensively for decades does not prove anything other than that you don't know of this thing.

It has encyclopedic value because it points out that this was an important usage of the expression. To leave out the fact that it was a famous usage of the term denies the information that its usage was famous. Peacock terms don't add anything to the article and are needlessly fluffy. This is a term that adds information and is directly supported by multiple sources.

The fact that Wikipedia prefers to avoid words like "famously" in its prose does not mean we disregard the term when sources specifically choose it. Chillum 22:57, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

If it was an important use of the expression, then we say it was an important use of the expression, describing exactly how, and providing sources. "Famous" is subjective and contains no information. That is why it's on the list of peacock words which should be avoided. There is no exemption for things that you happen to particularly like. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 23:01, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

The sources say "famously", pretty much every one I look at that refers to it. We are not going to say something the source does not say because you don't like the word. It provides encyclopedic information and it is consistent with the source so peacock does not apply and your repeated reference to it is a red herring.

You are trying to blindly apply a rule that is meant as a rule of thumbs and is certainly not meant to override our use of reliable sources. This is the way that independent sources see the situation and this is how we should report it. We cover subjective statements by reliable sources, always have and always will. Chillum 23:06, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

It's irrelevant what the sources say. They are expressing an opinion and we do not report opinion as if it's fact. That's a core policy, not a rule of thumb. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 00:01, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Clearly you have a different interpretation of policy than I. Rather than responding to my arguments you seem to be repeating yourself. As I don't want to repeat myself I suggest we both just wait for others to give their opinion. I will be happy to accept whatever consensus is arrived at, I hope you will do the same. I will say that if you think what the sources says is irrelevant then you really don't get our verifiability policy. Chillum 00:05, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

You really don't get what I'm saying. Sources are given to verify facts. Sources are not given so that the opinions expressed in them can be copied. You don't get an exemption to do so just because you really really think this judge's statement from 50 years ago is the most famous thing ever. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 00:19, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

You see I get what you are saying, I just don't agree with you. I have explained why and you have not addressed that. What I think means nothing just like what you think. What the sources say is what matters. Do you really think that encyclopedias don't cover subjective information from reliable sources? We are not a compendium of facts we are an encyclopedia.

Again since you are not addressing my arguments I suggest you just wait for others to weight in. Chillum 00:25, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

You haven't explained at all why you think the word "famous" must be used in this particular case when you wouldn't use it in almost any other case. You haven't explained why you think the guideline on peacock words doesn't apply to peacock words that you want to use. I'd be interested to know what User:Drmies and User:Yngvadottir think about this. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 00:30, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I believe it has been explained and explained very well. You simply do not want to accept the explanation supplied. Your interpretation of the guidelines is just like the interpretation of the law. The courtroom is full of prosecutors and defense attorneys each using their interpretation of the law in hopes of convincing the jury who's ideology is the correct one. When I said earlier that I had been rebuked for using such terms what I didn't include was that in a few of the arguments I came out on top because the term "famous" was acceptable because it was found to be abundant within the sources. When something is blatant and relevant to the subject matter and the sources are using the word in their synopsis I believe that Peacock guidelines are not applicable. The word is not just being used to paint a pretty picture but rather to substantiate the gravity of the subjects importance. To simply assume that words are written in a source to be pretty additions is really jumping to a very large conclusion. Maybe the quote or subject here was given the term "famously" because that's just what it is, "famous." If that be the case here I truly believe that the word would be proper and I see no problem with it being included --Canyouhearmenow 04:41, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
We can all describe what we think is famous. This, to me and certainly to a huge number of other people, is not famous. Things that are famous to me are not famous to you. How do we decide which things get called famous and which don't? Do we argue ad infinitum about how famous they actually are? Or do we not use the word, and let the facts stand for themselves, without hyping or promotion? We do the latter. It's the policy of the encyclopaedia. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 13:02, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
200.83.101.225 the very policy you are dictating as being your rule of thumb also has a header that says this:
"There are no forbidden words or expressions on Wikipedia, but certain expressions should be used with care, because they may introduce bias. Strive to eliminate expressions that are flattering, disparaging, vague, clichéd, or that endorse a particular point of view. The advice in this guideline is not limited to the examples provided and should not be applied rigidly. What matters is that articles should be well-written and consistent with the core content policies—Neutral point of view, No original research, and Verifiability. The guideline does not apply to quotations,(let us repeat this again!) The guideline does not apply to quotations which should be faithfully reproduced from the original sources"

So my friend if you want to use and defend the guidelines, it would be better to know them and their possible applications first in their entirety. If the sources or the quotations (which is what was used originally that you reverted) in mass are using the word "famously" in their summation, then it is appropriate and applicable to use it in this article because YOU as the editor are not using puff words to get your point across and are not applying a bias point of view. That is what that guideline is saying. It in no way, shape, or form is saying that if the sources you are using have used it, that you can't include it into your writing of the article. It's there! So if that is what the quotation says, THEN USE IT! --Canyouhearmenow 13:45, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

The word is not being used in a quotation in this article. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 13:53, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
200.83.101.225 it is evident that you do not want to listen or budge even when the proof is put right before you. When cornered you take off on another route. That does nothing but keep the dog chasing his tail. The term "famous", "famously" and even "infamous" has been linked and quoted to this subject as seen here in the mentioned articles>[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]. So as you can see, "WITHOUT FURTHER ARGUMENT" the quotation was "famously" said and referred to in source after source as "famously" stated. This argument is getting tiring! The rules are there and the sources back up the implementation and exceptions of the peacock guideline rule you continue to hang your hat on. What else would you like to argue about regarding this?--Canyouhearmenow 16:36, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
We have explained this in detail to the IP and the IP seems to be ignoring our arguments and repeating himself. If this user is simply going to be stubborn then we will just have to form a consensus without their help. Chillum 17:39, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

William Shakespeare[edit]

@200.83.101.225: You wrote, "We do not describe Shakespeare as a famous playwright; we do not describe London as a famous city; we do not describe Fidel Castro as a famous Cuban." That may be, but we also do not say "'I know it when I see it' is a famous expression." Instead, we say, "The phrase was famously used...", which is analogous to things we actually do say about your example topics.

(I cautioned you before not to edit Parson Weems, but you anyway. You will do what you will do, but I caution you now not to edit William Shakespeare. I will say it again. In the interest of not going down the road you have gone down before, where others complain of uncooperative and uncivil behavior, and you end up getting banned for periods of time, please, let's not have this happen again. Please do not edit William Shakespeare right now. The discussion we are having now may help show how to edit William Shakespeare in a positive, cooperative, beneficial way, and help generate consensus and community approval for what you want to do. Wouldn't it be more satisfying in the long run to edit William Shakespeare in a few days, knowing that there is support for your changes, than to edit it now and trigger another fracas?)

The following excerpts are taken from William Shakespeare, removing wikilinks and references. These excerpts could all be called opinions discussing the fame, quality, or merits of a person, a work, or a body of works; none of them are attributed to any individuals. All italics except play titles are mine.

  • William Shakespeare ... was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
  • ... he began a successful career ...
  • His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres.
  • His plays remain highly popular today ...
  • Shakespeare's early classical and Italianate comedies ... give way ... to the romantic atmosphere of his greatest comedies.
  • This period begins and ends with two tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, the famous romantic tragedy of sexually charged adolescence, love, and death ...
  • In the early 17th century, Shakespeare wrote ... a number of his best known tragedies.
  • Many critics believe that Shakespeare's greatest tragedies represent the peak of his art.
  • The titular hero of one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, Hamlet, has probably been discussed more than any other Shakespearean character ...
  • ... especially for his famous soliloquy ..
  • His last major tragedies ... contain some of Shakespeare's finest poetry ...
  • In his final period, Shakespeare turned to romance or tragicomedy and completed three more major plays ...
  • The actors in Shakespeare's company included the famous Richard Burbage ...
  • The popular comic actor Will Kempe played ...
  • Shakespeare's work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature.
  • His work heavily influenced later poetry.
  • The Romantic poets attempted to revive Shakespearean verse drama, though with little success.
  • These include two operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Otello and Falstaff, whose critical standing compares with that of the source plays.
  • Samuel Johnson quoted him more often than any other author in his A Dictionary of the English Language, the first serious work of its type.
  • Shakespeare was not revered in his lifetime, but he received a large amount of praise.
  • ... critics of the time mostly rated Shakespeare below John Fletcher and Ben Jonson.
  • ... critics began to ... acclaim what they termed his natural genius.
  • A series of scholarly editions of his work, notably those of Samuel Johnson in 1765 and Edmond Malone in 1790, added to his growing reputation.
  • By 1800, he was firmly enshrined as the national poet.

200.83.101.225, William Shakespeare is one of your shining standards of what we do in Wikipedia, and this article shows:

  • The word "famous"
  • other phrases for fame, lack of fame, or general esteem, including "widely regarded as the greatest", "pre-eminent", "popular", "made a lasting impression", "best known", "critical standing compares with", "not revered", "rated below", "began to acclaim", "notably", "added to his growing reputation"
  • other phrases for evaluations of quality or significance, including "regarded as some of the best work", "greatest", "peak of his art", "finest", "major", "heavily influenced", "success", "little success", "serious"

None of these are measurable facts like the boiling point of water or the year of Christopher Columbus's first voyage across the Atlantic. But all of them, or most of them anyway, are true. Was Shakespeare's career "successful"? Yes. Are at least some of his plays still "highly popular" today? Yes. Is Romeo and Juliet a "famous" romantic tragedy? Yes. Was actor Will Kempe "popular"? I don't know for myself, but if experts say so, I believe them. Was Samuel Johnson's scholarly edition "notable"? Yes.

Words and phrases for esteem, fame, and notability can improve an article by helping the reader know what is important, and cluing the reader with only modest familiarity with a subject that what they already know, e.g. Hamlet's soliloquy, is important. If we reject this, we have to completely rewrite not only William Shakespeare but hundreds of thousands of other articles. William Shakespeare has 1,343 watchers, has been viewed 231,308 times in the last 30 days, and ranked 314 in traffic on en.wikipedia.org. It is one of just 4,431 WP:Featured articles, which means, among other things, that Wikipedia editors have carefully reviewed the article and agree that it is well-written and complies with Wikipedia style standards and criteria. This creates a very strong presumption, not only that the usage we see in William Shakespeare is acceptable, but also that the article is notable within Wikipedia for its high quality of writing. This, in turn, leads me to believe that we can look to William Shakespeare for guidance on what is good writing in Wikipedia. To be sure, even William Shakespeare could probably be stylistically improved here and there. But if this article repeatedly uses phrases denoting fame, notability, and esteem, the conclusion is that such usage is acceptable in Wikipedia. —Anomalocaris (talk) 10:17, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Your analysis of the Shakespeare article is poor. My responses are interspersed with your points:

  • William Shakespeare ... was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
    • That he is regarded as such is objective.
  • ... he began a successful career ...
    • No useful information in this particularly use of the word, should be removed
  • His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres.
    • That they are regarded as such is objective.
  • His plays remain highly popular today ...
    • Objective.
  • Shakespeare's early classical and Italianate comedies ... give way ... to the romantic atmosphere of his greatest comedies.
    • Sounds like an opinion. Maybe better written as "most widely renowned".
  • This period begins and ends with two tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, the famous romantic tragedy of sexually charged adolescence, love, and death ...
    • Pure peacock, should be removed.
  • In the early 17th century, Shakespeare wrote ... a number of his best known tragedies.
    • Subjective. "Most widely performed" or "most renowned" would be objective.
  • Many critics believe that Shakespeare's greatest tragedies represent the peak of his art.
    • Simple reportage of what critics think.
  • The titular hero of one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, Hamlet, has probably been discussed more than any other Shakespearean character ...
    • Speculation, should be removed.
  • ... especially for his famous soliloquy ...
    • Pure peacock.
  • His last major tragedies ... contain some of Shakespeare's finest poetry ...
    • Blatant POV, should be removed
  • In his final period, Shakespeare turned to romance or tragicomedy and completed three more major plays ...
    • Can't see what you might imagine the problem could be with that.
  • The actors in Shakespeare's company included the famous Richard Burbage ...
    • Pure peacock, should be removed.
  • The popular comic actor Will Kempe played ...
    • Pure peacock, should be removed.
  • Shakespeare's work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature.
    • Objective
  • His work heavily influenced later poetry.
    • Objective
  • The Romantic poets attempted to revive Shakespearean verse drama, though with little success.
    • Objective
  • These include two operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Otello and Falstaff, whose critical standing compares with that of the source plays.
    • POV, should be rewritten.
  • Samuel Johnson quoted him more often than any other author in his A Dictionary of the English Language, the first serious work of its type.
    • Objective.
  • Shakespeare was not revered in his lifetime, but he received a large amount of praise.
    • Objective
  • ... critics of the time mostly rated Shakespeare below John Fletcher and Ben Jonson.
    • Objective
  • ... critics began to ... acclaim what they termed his natural genius.
    • Objective
  • A series of scholarly editions of his work, notably those of Samuel Johnson in 1765 and Edmond Malone in 1790, added to his growing reputation.
    • "Including" would be a better word, otherwise this is POV.
  • By 1800, he was firmly enshrined as the national poet.
    • Tolerable if a little unencyclopaedic in tone.
The difference between peacock words, POV and acceptable encyclopaedic writing is really not that complicated, and we've got extensive guidelines to help us out. They are a more reliable way of understanding what is required here than attempting to infer it from an article when seven years have passed since its FA nomination. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 12:55, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Intermezzo[edit]

Oh my giddy aunt. Attemping a compromise, I have gone for "first gained attention in 1964", which is hopefully something all parties upthread will be happy with. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:37, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

It's far, far better than the misuse of "famously", but was it really the first time the phrase gained attention? I'd prefer something objective and clear along the lines of "used in a widely discussed legal ruling".
Incidentally, the entirety of the article except for the intro is about legal cases involving hard core pornography, and not about the phrase itself. This material should be moved elsewhere. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 14:02, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Unless that is what the sources say we should not say that. The sources say famously. Chillum 17:37, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
We are under no obligation to use particular words that the sources use. We write about facts and we provide sources so that readers can verify those facts. We do not present opinions expressed by sources as if they are facts. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 17:53, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
We are under an obligation to not make facts up that are not in the source. We don't know it first gained attention then, we only know its use was famous. You responded to "William Shakespeare ... was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist" with "That he is regarded as such is objective". Now you are complaining that sources which say "The phrase was famously used" as subjective. That it is known as such is objective.
If you are going to argue without listening to us then at least listen to yourself and be consistent with your points. Pick a position and stick to it because right now it seems that you will use any argument to get rid of a word that you don't like. Your talk page makes it clear that you are more worried about the presence of the word than you are any given article. Chillum 17:56, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
My position is entirely consistent. We should avoid peacock words, and we should write neutrally. Your position is entirely inconsistent, as you are arguing that peacock words are fine if you want to include them.
That people regard Shakespeare as the greatest writer in the English language is something worth mentioning. That people regard Shakespeare as "famous" is not something worth mentioning. The equivalent in this article of the correct way Shakespeare is written about would be to say that the use of the phrase "is regarded as being famous", which would be objective and neutral but also contains no information of any use and is really incredibly bad writing.
If you want to demonstrate that you have a consistent position on this, perhaps you could outline, for a few values of X and Y, when you think we should say "X did Y", and when you think we should say "X famously did Y". 200.83.101.225 (talk) 18:06, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Chillum's points (throughout this discussion) mirror my own opinion. Using "famous for", "famously", or "known for" are subjective English language idioms, plain and simple. As I stated above, it can't have an exact definition, but its use can be traced and sourced and that is all we (as Editors) are doing here and across a great many articles. With a quarter of a million uses (script, nice coding Ritchie333) this is not the work of one or few "rogue Editor's" or even a small group working in a systematic fashion, its a fairly substantive indication of its acceptance. Granted, with over 250,000 uses of similar phrasing on this site to argue that its not currently an accepted form of speech is a bit naive or if nothing else, just refusal to stay current with trends and changes in language usage. But this is a common thing unless someone is a professional writer or editor, we're all a bunch of amateurs, so of course these issues are going to come up. The IP could devote the next year to just trying to remove this phrases use and barely make a dent simply because of the restrictions placed on non-registered users. Enough Users watch for this kind of meaningless edit, and look out specifically for the IPs iterations, that we can probably move on. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:09, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I was asked to stick my nose in here, although I'm not sure I have anything useful to add. I've just now read the article and the top few sections of this talk page, and I note that the article is now entirely about the legal use of the term in that particular court ruling, and about court rulings that subsequently modified it: an extremely narrow and US-centric approach to the topic. We aren't Wiktionary, but especially if the use in Goldfinger resonated with people, there must surely be at least one source to be found on this phrase that is not entirely about US law relating to pornography? If there is not, then the lede should probably be rewritten to reflect the fact the article is actually about that legal use of the phrase. And If there is - which I would imagine and hope to be the case - then the previously thrown out broader examples bear revisiting and I suggest the lede be shortened and use "well known in the US" rather than "famous", saving the "famous" for the referenced sentence we already have dealing entirely with the Supreme Court ruling: "The expression became one of the most famous phrases in the entire history of the Supreme Court." I consider that entirely justifiable assuming the cited source says that. I don't think this is an instance where the lede should use such a phrase, however, because frankly, as the IP has pointed out, it's parochial. Only law buffs, and at that, law buffs in the US, are likely to think immediately of a particular Supreme Court ruling when they hear this phrase ... In addition, the "reception" of the phrase, as it were, is at present represented in the article by its having been "praised as 'realistic and gallant' and an example of candor". That has two references but personally surprised me. I've usually heard the ruling cited as an example of self-absorption. Ahem. No, I didn't go to law school :-) But I think this article badly needs opening up to broader sources - which should solve teh underlying problem that has led to a lede that twice calls one use of the phrase "famous" and then goes on to talk only about that use of the phrase and how it's been superseded. There. Probably not useful. Yngvadottir (talk) 19:44, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
It is entirely appropriate that this article is narrow and U.S.-centric, because except for references to the original, there is only one notable use of "I know it when I see it", and that is Justice Stewart's use in his opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio. Similarly, Give me liberty, or give me death! is about a famous speech by Patrick Henry, and if there were a Wikipedia article I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country it would be about Nathan Hale's famous use of this sentence just before he was hanged. I would support a rewrite of the lead eliminating the first sentence and going straight to what is now in the second sentence, perhaps something like this:
The phrase "I know it when I see it" was famously used in 1964 by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio.
Anomalocaris (talk) 22:15, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree it is a bit redundant and that merging the two mentions would make for better reading while retaining information. I think it is entirely appropriate that most of the article is about its use in the case just as "one small step" would talk a lot about the moon landing. Chillum 22:22, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Then the lede should be rewritten to define the topic of the article as the usage in the Supreme Court ruling ... since we aren't Wiktionary. But in view of those early sections above, I think a diligent search should be made in case it has been discussed in a broader context. There's a danger of unconscious bias here, and the article has been demonstrably narrowed in focus over the years. I don't believe either "Give me liberty or give me death" or "One small step for mankind" are analogous - one was a political speech (although it also is not widely known outside the US) and the other involved a unique misstatement. Yngvadottir (talk) 05:28, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know why you keep talking about wictionary, the article is not in the form of a definition. It is a description of the historical context of the term, like an encyclopedia. While I agree there may be more to this phrase that this one usage I don't think that makes this article a dictionary definition. If you can find sources for other meanings then by all means find them. Chillum 09:32, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm thinking that the removal of the other uses of the term for which people had (presumably) adduced reliable sources - in the novel Goldfinger and in someone's statement at the UN about minorities - was made to keep the article away from being a dicdef. However, this is a Scylla and Charybdis situation, because we now have an article entirely about a Supreme Court opinion. This is IMO the source of the problem with the IP: the (arguable) famousness of the use of the phrase in the opinion is now the sole claim to notability for the article. I'm tempted to suggest it should become a redirect to Jacobellis v. Ohio. However, I think it's salvageable - if at least one discussion of the term can be found that is not really about the criteria for obscenity in the US; or that discusses the justice's use of the term itself. I suspect either of those should be doable (as I say, I have only previously encountered the justice's use of the term in contexts that criticize it). So that's why I keep talking about Wiktionary; looking up the page I see people narrowing the focus of the article, I think unacceptably (Charybdis) to avoid its becoming a mere definition (Scylla). And that's why I haven't simply edited the article to change the lede: I think it's unacceptably narrow and parochial in focus, despite best intentions. Maybe the IP can find us a broader discussion. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:21, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
You are more than welcome to find sources and add that information to the article. If this is indeed a more widespread phrase with more global notable usage then add that to the article. Chillum 00:42, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Decision[edit]

Given that there is a lot of repeating ourselves at this point I think that we are in a position to make a decision. Instead of arguing between two groups who disagree lets just see which side has consensus. Please indicate if you support or oppose the use of the term. Instead of spending days or weeks trying to convince each other we can make a decision and go onto other editorial work. Chillum 18:16, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Support the use of "famously" in reference to the use of this phrase in the Jacobellis v. Ohio finding as it is directly supported by multiple reliable sources and it provides specific encyclopedic information on the history of the subject of the article. This was a significant historical use of the term and to leave out that its use was famous would deny the relevance of the ruling to the subject of the article. Chillum 18:16, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong Support The argument the IP is using is refuted in the very verbiage of the guideline which they are using to enforce their point. The rule clearly states> "There are no forbidden words or expressions on Wikipedia, but certain expressions should be used with care, because they may introduce bias. Strive to eliminate expressions that are flattering, disparaging, vague, clichéd, or that endorse a particular point of view. The advice in this guideline is not limited to the examples provided and should not be applied rigidly. What matters is that articles should be well-written and consistent with the core content policies—Neutral point of view, No original research, and Verifiability. The guideline does not apply to quotations,(let us repeat this again!) The guideline does not apply to quotations which should be faithfully reproduced from the original sources." The term "famous", "famously" and even "infamous" has been linked and quoted to this subject as seen here in the numerous mentioned articles>[7],[8],[9],[10],[11].--Canyouhearmenow 18:28, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - peacock word. Not being used in a quotation. Doesn't explain why that use of the phrase is so important. Violates NPOV. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 18:40, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support the use of "famously" and other phrases that denote fame, notability and esteem, in this article and throughout Wikipedia, when the facts support such usage, as they most certainly do here. —Anomalocaris (talk) 19:05, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • No, just your bizarre interpretation of it. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:10, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - per above. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:10, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Obviously appropriate to use here. Hipocrite (talk) 23:53, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Worldwide View Template[edit]

I do not understand why this template is here, or even how it could ever be satisfied. How can a written comment by a 1964 US Supreme Court Justice about the American definition of "hard core pornography" have world-wide significance? Do we need to establish that the phrase, "I know it when I see it." is used in other countries? That it is not used in other countries? Americans sometimes use the phrase as an inside joke. If someone from outside the USA hear or see it, Wiki has an article explaining it. Do we need anything more? I suggest the template be removed. PS: I ended up at this article when I wanted to reference the phrase in a comment to a YouTube video by a non-American youtuber. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCvweG4cQjs. (added to show that this article is useful.) – 2*6 (talk) 18:27, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Dozen, I agree that the template is not necessary and should be removed. -- Notecardforfree (talk) 19:46, 17 February 2017 (UTC)