Talk:John Buchan

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the Lord Tweedsmuir versus The Lord Tweedsmuir[edit]

For those who think a lower case t is appropriate in this case; you have an immense job of fixing Wikipedia, or else admitting that maybe the captital T may after all be correct usage. Please check out every other instance in Wikipedia such as in this very same infobox The Earl of Bessborough and The Earl of Athlone. Review the List_of_Governors_General_of_Canada#Governors General of Canada, 1867–present see any lower case ts? If you are referring to someone like the Duke of Omnium inside a sentence then I agree that a lower case t is correct, but if you say "The Duke of Omnium is an ass". Then it is an uppercase T. When starting a phrase or sentence then we use capitals in English as I was taught it. Also Manual_of_Style/Capital_letters#Titles of people refers to Royal_and_noble_styles and if you look at the section on the United Kingdom, you will see capital Ts in abundance. Dabbler (talk) 18:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Infobox, cap Ts[edit]

Use of cap and uncap T can be seen by looking at the following examples of infobox titles for some g-gs of Canada and Australia:

  • The Right Honourable the Lord Tweedsmuir
  • Captain the Right Honourable the Earl of Bessborough
  • the Right Honourable the Earl of Athlone
  • The Right Honourable The Lord Lisgar
  • The Most Honourable The Marquess of Dufferin and Ava
  • The Right Honourable The Earl of Derby
  • The Most Honourable The Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair
  • The Right Honourable The Earl of Minto
  • Captain The Right Honourable The Earl Grey
  • His Grace the Duke of Devonshire
  • Field Marshal the Right Honourable the Viscount Byng of Vimy
  • The Most Honourable The Marquess of Linlithgow
  • The Right Honourable The Lord Tennyson
  • The Right Honourable The Lord Northcote
  • The Right Honourable The Earl of Dudley

as of 18.55 Qexigator (talk) 19:16, 13 January 2015 (UTC)


Repost of revised passage due to edit conflict For those who think a lower case t is appropriate in this case; you have an immense job of fixing Wikipedia, or else admitting that maybe the captital T may after all be correct usage. Please check out every other instance of a peer infobox in Wikipedia (apart from Canadian Governors General which have been systematically changed to the incorrect usage) e.g. The Duke of Wellington or The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and as in this very same infobox The Earl of Bessborough and The Earl of Athlone. Review the List_of_Governors_General_of_Canada#Governors General of Canada, 1867–present see any lower case ts? If you are referring to someone like the Duke of Omnium inside a sentence then I agree that a lower case t is correct, but if you say "The Duke of Omnium is an ass". Then it is an uppercase T. When starting a phrase or sentence then we use capitals in English as I was taught it. Also Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Capital_letters#Titles of people refers to Royal_and_noble_styles and if you look at the section on the United Kingdom, you will see capital Ts in abundance. Dabbler (talk) 19:00, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

The Manual of Style is the basic guideline for all of Wikipedia. MOS:CAPS (MOS:JOBTITLES, more specifically) doesn't say "The Queen" should be used; it shows "the Queen". Ergo, it's "the Lord [X]", not "The Lord [X]". Please feel free to fix deviations where you see them. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 20:57, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
So you would write as a title to a picture of Her Majesty - "the Queen reviews the troops"? or would you actually write "The Queen reviews the troops"? similarly in writing an article do you begin every sentence with a lowercase letter? From the evidence, you don't. It is plain simple English language usage, not some fancy arcane Wikipedia lingo or some weird nobility thing I am discussing here. Dabbler (talk) 21:57, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

This is, or should be, about formal styles of address, not when to use an initial capital letter for the definite article. Thus, when is it correct, according to styles and titles, to use, of a baron of the United Kingdom and lord of parliament: "The Lord A... of Y..."? That is not something which Wikipedia can prescribe for the real world, but should take note of and follow given practice: see Forms of address in the United Kingdom. Would it be correct to put "her majesty the Queen"? Compare: "When he went to Canada, Lord Tweedsmuir was the Governor General" with "John Buchan went to Canada as The Lord Tweedsmuir"; and see how consistent is The London Gazette: Lt.-Col. the Lord Tweedsmuir[1], Lieutenant-Colonel The Lord TWEEDSMUIR, O.B.E., Canadian Infantry Corps[2] --Qexigator (talk) 22:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I do not see any examples of capitalizing "the" except where it is the first word in a sentence or where all the letters are capitalized. It is no different from the Mayor of Perth, the Governor of New South Wales, the Prime Minister of Australia. TFD (talk) 02:53, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
If you wish to see Wikipedia's manual of style changed, that's fine. But, it's not a matter to be discussed at this page. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:16, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I do not think the Manual of Style needs changing, I think you are misunderstanding one short phrase in it and applying that misapprehension to the whole. Can you show me anywhere in the Manual of Style that it says tat the use of "The Lord X" or even "The Queen" at the start of a phrase or sentence is incorrect? I have put a request on the appropriate Talk Page but so far no one has responded. Dabbler (talk) 22:53, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
"Start of a phrase or sentence"... What are you talking about? Those aren't the same thing and neither apply here. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 23:36, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, see here. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 00:03, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Noted "context specific" at that link. Qexigator (talk) 00:44, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
We would capitalize "the" at the beginning of any sentence because "the" is always capitalized when it is the first word in a sentence, as are most words. TFD (talk) 02:48, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
It seems from your link that Debrett's agrees with me that it should be capitalised when it starts a sentence r is a standalone heading. "Debretts seems to use lower-case for 'the' except where it starts a sentence or on invitations. etc. 'Capt the Earl of'/ 'The Earl of'. " I have often repeated, but you don't seem to read that bit, that I agree with you that it should be a lowercase t in the middle of a sentence, just not in the heading or the start of a sentence. Dabbler (talk) 04:27, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The infobox is neither the beginning nor part of a sentence, nor a collection of sentences, and the manner of punctuating a sentence is not in question. Qexigator (talk) 08:32, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Agreed, but it is a standalone phrase like the caption of a picture, the first line of an address (see Debrett's comment above) or a heading of an article, as such it is treated the same way in normal English usage. Dabbler (talk) 13:42, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

like the caption of a picture: that makes better sense. Qexigator (talk) 13:57, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Compare: "The Lord Tweedsmuir in Native headdress, 1937" (File:LordTweedsmuirHeaddress.jpg), and image at Order of the Companions of Honour. Qexigator (talk) 14:18, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Why is it there at all?[edit]

The definite article is not needed either in the infobox title, or for "Preceded by The Earl of Bessborough, Succeeded by The Earl of Athlone". It is not used in "Spouse(s) Susan Buchan, Baroness Tweedsmuir" or "Religion Free Church of Scotland, United Free Church of Scotland, Church of Scotland". When were these infobox templates introduced, and how did the use of surplus "t/The"s get a hold? Qexigator (talk) 14:33, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

It is there because in the most formal usage for United Kingdom peers, and all of these GGs were UK peers, that is how they are addressed. See Forms of address in the United Kingdom for details and examples. In everyday conversation you would just say "Lord Tweedsmuir" but if you were formally addressing a letter or announcing him at an event, you could say "The Lord Tweedsmuir". If listing him among other peers and you wanted to identify him exactly, you would put "John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir". Dabbler (talk) 18:57, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
What reason is there to assume that infoboxes purport to be a guide to modes of address? Should they pretend, or be supposed, to be such? The content should be as concise as possible, and avoid unneeded decorative words, which are liable to inaccuracy and discussion on endlessly disputable points of no importance to the content of an article. Qexigator (talk) 19:16, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you realise you said above "This is, or should be, about formal styles of address"? This seems to me to be a carry-on. Thincat (talk) 20:14, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Roger, I had not forgotten my earlier comment, but as the discussion continued, it appeared to me that there is a more fundamental question: Why is it there at all? Have you a useful and thoughtful comment to make about that, perhaps based on what can be found in BNA? Qexigator (talk) 20:48, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
It is how he would be officially referred to. People would not refer to him as the 1st Baron for example. TFD (talk) 03:51, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
The infobox gives the full title and style (and post-nominals) Buchan held at the end of his life: The Right Honourable the Lord Tweedsmuir GCMG GCVO CH PC. "The Lord [X]" is the formal way to address a baron. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 01:54, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually, now that I think of it, Buchan died in office. His last title and style therefore was His Excellency the Right Honourable the Lord Tweedsmuir. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:55, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, that rationale settles it, for me at least. Qexigator (talk) 06:43, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

A peer's title[edit]

It seems some editors wish to enforce a preference for the intrusive use of 'T/the' before a peer's title which would be absent in contexts following normal and customary usage outside the pages of Wikipedia, such as this revision[3] which agrees with what is commonly found outside. Shall we let normal usage prevail instead? Qexigator (talk) 17:15, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Do you have a source stating what is "normal and customary". Or is "normal and customary" what you call your preference? It's perfectly acceptable to address a baron as "the Lord [X]"; in fact, it's the proper way to. "Lord [X]" is also acceptable, in a casual context. You may prefer one over the other, but, you preferring one doesn't make the other abnormal and uncustomary. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 18:11, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
...perfectly acceptable to address a baron as "the Lord [X]", a comment which is obviously beside the point. It would not be a good writer who failed to observe the distinction between a context when a formal mode of address should be used and one where that is not the normal and customary usage. This is an encyclopedic article which is not addressing any baron or other peer named in it. A reasonably well-informed reader will not need to be told about the absence of 'T/the' before a peer's title in contexts following normal and customary usage outside the pages of Wikipedia, but as it happens an instance is to be found at the first citation of Beaverbrook's article: Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook in The Canadian Encyclopedia [4], and the same encyclopedia gives Julian Byng of Vimy, Viscount. Then again, Who's Who - Lord Beaverbrook[5], also cited at his WP article, among similar sources cited there, and its 'Further reading' and 'External links'. I note Mies. is not among the editors listed in that page's History. Other instances are not hard to find: 'A Tribute to Lord Beaverbrook'[6]; as Lord Beaverbrook he became a leading political figure in Britain and at least ten other "Lord Beaverbrook"s on this page[7]. Similarly the Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener article has more than ten "Lord Kitchener"s. The Canadian Governor General's website page for Byng has eighteen "Lord Byng"s[8]. An obituary for (second) Lord Tweedsmuir is another without 'the'.[9] Qexigator (talk) 23:34, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your diligent research, Qexigator. I think Miesianiacal had the wrong end of the stick. I trust the matter is now resolved. --John (talk) 16:27, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
A few examples of "Lord [X]" doesn't in any way justify your dismissal of the valid point that "the Lord [X]" is perfectly acceptable. Nor does it mean your preference is the right preference. Three people prefer one way to one person preferring the other (for reasons that are apparently irrelevant). --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 19:16, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
That's a straw man, Mies. Nobody is arguing that "the Lord X" is unacceptable. The issue is whether we use that formal style in what is clearly not a formal context. There are certain places on WP where (über-)formal styles are presented and are appropriate for those (sub-)contexts, but the generality of WP is not meant to be formal. Do I see anyone arguing for all mentions of Lord Byron to be changed to The Lord Byron. Or Alfred, Lord Tennyson to Alfred, The Lord Tennyson? Not yet, anyway. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:11, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
T/the is only normally used in formal correspondence with the said Lord or in formal documents about the said Lord. It is not "perfectly acceptable" in the context of an article written about a Lord or mentioning a Lord. I would suggest that you would be hard pushed to find such a usage in any encyclopedic article or book about a Lord. Dabbler (talk) 20:15, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
You're all arguing "the Lord [X]" is unacceptable, Jack. (Could this edit summary be any clearer?) We wouldn't be here if you weren't.
"The Right Honourable the Lord [X]" is "über-formal". "The Lord [X]" is simply more formal than "Lord [X]". It also tells a reader what kind of peer the person being talked about is; "Lord [X]" is the über-casual way to refer to any peer. But, why am I making this argument? The masses have spoken. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 20:25, 28 April 2015 (UTC)