Talk:Mahón

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Opening heading[edit]

Would you be so kind to put in the article first the actual name of this town that is the catalan one: Maó. You can write Mahón, Mahon and so on, because the island has been French, British and Spanish but the genuine name is Maó. Why do you write it in Spanish before than in Catalan? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.43.58.12 (talk) 19:33, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Why not do it yourself? TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 22:16, 14 March 2009 (UTC)


Why is this at Mahon rather than Mahón? (I don't plan to watchlist it, but consider this a vode for a move.) -- Jmabel | Talk 05:34, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Presumably because it's Mahon in English. Njál 21:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll second this. matt91486 (talk) 04:56, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Name Change[edit]

Mahón (Or the Anglicised Mahon) is probably not the right name for the article. Given that Wikipedia generally follows guidelines set down by other encyclopaedias, it's inaccurate to use the Spanish name rather than the Catalan one- Maó- given the latter is both official and in common use by most atlases as well. Also considering the article on L'Hospitalet de Llobregat uses the official Catalan name, why does this article not follow suite? I'd change it myself but wished to give the job over to more experienced/registered users for fear of being marked as spam. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.158.90.26 (talk) 21:36, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Expansion requested[edit]

I request that this article is expanded. There is more to Mahón than just spelling controversies... --Francisco Valverde 09:55, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

Please add. (Current and historical.) Njál 21:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Name of this article[edit]

This article should be called Mahon, Spain not just simply Mahon, which is a common Irish second name.--Vintagekits 15:00, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

What a controversial question ?[edit]

The official ortography of Washington is a thing, an the spelling of various people is another, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.165.56.67 (talk) 00:26, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Nightlife[edit]

A resident ought to clean up the Nightlife section of this article - listing "nice bars" doesn't add any substantial information to an article about the city. NotPotable (talk) 16:00, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Done. There are other web pages where this type of information can be hanged. It sounded more like publicity for some bars of Mahón.--Francisco Valverde (talk) 19:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Fiction[edit]

This city plays a crucial role in several novels by author Patrick O'Brian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_O'Brian) - the well-known "Aubrey/Maturin" series. I don't know Wikipedia guidelines for such things, but it seems to me that this connection should appear at least as a footnote in the main article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.59.236.139 (talk) 05:12, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Go ahead, include it in the page. Jotamar (talk) 17:40, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 2011[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:10, 15 November 2011 (UTC)



MahónMaó – The official website of the village makes use of Maó instead of Mahón.85.50.131.163 (talk) 13:00, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Menorquin/Catalan/Spanish language wars ought to be fought out in appropriate language forums, not the English wikipedia pages. I say give the Inhabitants of Spain, etc. a decade to settle on a name, and then revisit the discussion. English speakers will only ever find the page under Mahon (without the accent) anyway. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 13:41, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't know if there is some kind of Wikipedia guideline on which language should be used. I recognize that politics are heavily involved in matters like this so you'll likely find people from both sides trying to stir thing up. For example, the Spanish Wikipedia uses Spanish translations for names in Catalonia even when in some cases it makes little sense. On the other hand, some Catalans use the Catalan toponym when they are speaking in Spanish (Catalunya instead of Cataluña), which also makes no sense. Your argument seems to be that Mahon has been widely used since British ocuppation of the island back in the eighteenth century, but let's not forget that place like Beijing or Mumbai used to be known by other names. In this case the council is using Maó in its English website so I think there's a case for requesting a move.85.50.131.163 (talk) 14:05, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
There is such a guideline WP:COMMONNAME and in this case Mahon seems to be the common name in English. The BBC, New York Times, The Daily Mail, TripAdvisor etc all use it. On those grounds oppose any move. Valenciano (talk) 22:45, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Return to Port Mahon. This is an example of the disadvantages of preferring the "local" spelling; it has plunged us into Iberian linguistic politics. We are not here to wave the Catalan flag, even though it has been long and unjustly suppressed. Let the Catalan wikipedia do that. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:54, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Port Mahon would work fine for me. Valenciano (talk) 23:29, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Difficult to make sense of the above discussion due to lack of bullets, but in any case 20:04, 15 November 2011‎ Vegaswikian (talk | contribs)‎ m . . (10,142 bytes) (0)‎ . . (moved Mahón to Port Mahon: Page moved per WP:RM discussion) (undo). In ictu oculi (talk) 08:01, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Mahón[edit]

  • Lonely Planet Valencia and the Costa Blanca Miles Roddis 2002 Page 90 "... the year, there's normally at least one sailing daily for Palma, but few ferries put in at Ibiza and Mahón receives as little as one ferry a week. "
  • Frommer's 500 Extraordinary Islands - Page 302 2010 "Lying at the eastern extremity of crescent-shaped Menorca, Mahón is the main city on the island, with a lively and picturesque harbor filled with impressive British colonial architecture. A leisurely walk along the Mahón waterfront at sunset, ..." likewise Frommer's Spain 2012
  • Buying a Property in Spain For Dummies - Page 141 Colin Barrow - 2007 "During that period, Minorca was important strategically because of the 6- kilometre long harbour at Mahón, thought to be the ... "

A lot of naval warfare books mention "Port Mahon", fine. But Mahón the town appears to be Spanish. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:01, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

But http://en.wikipedia.org is English language. It would be one thing if the Spanish, Catalans, Menorquins and so on would settle on one definitive name, but while they squabble, we should stick to our own language. Someone else will be along in a moment to say it should really be "Mao" or "Maho" (with accents not native to English). I note that in your quotes above, both "Menorca" and "Minorca" appear. If they don't know, why must we choose? The discussion in the article section on spelling controversy should be a sufficient nod to the troubles of others. Let them fight it out in their own web sites. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 18:44, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
The books above are in the English language. I don't see Lonely Planet and Frommers are "fighting" with anyone. In ictu oculi (talk) 14:41, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
We now appear to have finished up with the worst title we could possibly come up with. Outside historical references to naval battles long ago, "Port Mahon" is hardly ever used in the English language. A quick Google search for Mahon excluding Wikipedia gives over 27 million hits, the overwhelming majority of which refer to the city. A similar search for Port Mahon excluding Wikipedia gives just 445,000 hits (which will be included in the search for Mahon), most of which refer to either a pub in Oxford or a hotel in...Mahón. The chosen title simply fails to meet our criteria. Skinsmoke (talk) 10:19, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
All true, but "Port Mahon" has the advantage that it is so obviously English that the Spanish language warriors have left it alone. If we go back to just "Mahon" there will be almost daily demands that it be changed to Maó or Mahó or Mahón and then back again when any such changes are made. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 08:14, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Menorquins and Spanish are not different things(one includes the other), thus there is not a name in Spanish and other in Menorquin, but I think the name should be in English. In Spain itself nobody says 'London', but 'Londres' which is the name given there for the capital city of the U.K. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Editorialix (talkcontribs) 15:59, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Demonym in English[edit]

It'd be nice to know what the demonym is in English. Rwflammang (talk) 17:22, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Requested move 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved to Mahón. --BDD (talk) 20:41, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Port MahonMahon

  • The article states that the town is "conventionally known as Port Mahon in English" which is incorrect. The airport, hotels, tour operators etc., and even the official website, all call it "Mahon". A simple google search reveals nowhere that calls the town "Port Mahon". There are a few hotels called that, but the town is always Mahon. Even in Spanish/Catalan it is just Mahón or Maó- never Puerto Mahón or Port de Maó. I'm not sure where this "port" nonsense came from, but it is incorrect and the article title should be corrected to simply "Mahon" Rushton2010 (talk) 22:51, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this is the British Wikipedia not the EU! This island was only unjustly wrested from the rightful lordship of the British Empire in 1798, and should therefore retain the Imperial British name. This is the thin edge of the wedge to creeping into a Spanish name, and we will end up following the Lonely Planet, Frommers, Rough Guide and all the rest of the tourist guides and treating Mahón it as if it were a Spanish town. "Mahon" is neither. And per WP:CONSISTENCY, we spell Menorca at the old British spelling Minorca, so why shouldn't we retain the Imperial British spelling for its capital too? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:54, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
The above was half tongue in cheek but as noted above "Port Mahon" has the advantage that it is so obviously English (or French) that it precludes Spanish Mahón vs Catalan Maó. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:55, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
This seems like a sensible move suggestion. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:55, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I'd oppose moving the disambiguation page. The disambiguation page got only 167 views last month. The highest "other" Mahon article is Mahon, Cork which got only 653. The Port Mahon article got 4646; with the redirects from Mahon, Mahón and Maó gaining an additional 1178, 472 and 123 views respectively. The town article is by an overwhelming majority gaining the most popular page. The current header reading "For the town in Ireland, see Mahon, Cork. For other uses, see Mahon (disambiguation)" is the most appropriate answer and is one which is used frequently throughout Wikipedia. --Rushton2010 (talk) 17:56, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Why not move to Mahón which is factually "accurate"? The Rambling Man (talk) 17:40, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Your view of history is laughable (and not relevant for a discussion such as this). For one, even in historical sources the town is called "Mahon". The island was in British hands for less than 50 years. Britain invited Menorca and gained it from Spain in 1706 (whos hands it had been in since 1287) and then the British legitimately lost it in battle against France in 1756. Forgetting the "rightful lordship" nonsense, your "Unjustly wrested" idea is laughable. France over ran the island before British ships sent to defend the island had even left Gibraltar. When they arrived a naval battle with the French broke out and the French defeated the British and sent them retreating to Gibraltar.


But back to the article name. Wikipedia's rules on the article titles WP:TITLE recommends the most commonly recognised name is used. This is the reason the article for the UK is named "United Kingdom" and not "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".... The most commonly recognised name for the town is unquestionably Mahon. -the town is always refereed to as Mahon (or sometimes Mao) in English (british or not). All of the British and English Language tour operators and airlines refer to it as Mahon. Both Google and Bing maps refer to it as Mahon. Encyclopedia Britanica calls it Mahon. etc. etc. Looking the other way, if you google "Port Mahon" the first page is filled with pages referring to a single hotel on the island called "Port Mahon" and a pub/restaurant in Oxford.
As for using the accented O, the same "commonly recognised name" argument could be used as most do not use the accented O, and commonsense would say that most will not use the accent when searching for the article.
And lastly... this is English Language Wikipedia, not British. --Rushton2010 (talk) 17:49, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Rushton2010, as I said "the above was half tongue in cheek" In ictu oculi (talk) 18:38, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
But you would advocate Mahón surely? To remain consistent with your other edits here? The Rambling Man (talk) 18:40, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Aha, a private note!. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I still think Mahon would be the most sensible in line with the most commonly recognised name rules. But I would be happy to compromise with Mahón to get rid of the port nonsence.
My concern is, however, using the Spanish name for the town we could lead to calls for it to be named to be renamed Maó - which is what it's true local name is. It's sort of a Derry-Londonderry situation where the locals who speak catalan often feel subjected by the "spanish". The government has actually come up with a solution similar to Londonderry where by the town's official name was changed to Maó-Mahón in 2012. (but lets not change the article name to that as its even further from the most commonly recognised name!)
So, yeah, I'd compromise with the accented O, but just be on the wary side. By choosing the Spanish over the correct local name, it's... bit dodgy --Rushton2010 (talk) 19:36, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Its a tricky one to get right on P/C grounds, but ultimately ANY change, whether to Mahon, Mahón or Maó, is a great improvement on the current incorrect article name. --Rushton2010 (talk) 17:26, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
You will never get it right, or even satisfy as many as 25% of correspondents. Whatever you change it to will outrage some faction or another. The great thing about "Port Mahon" is that everybody thinks it is wrong, but they all realise that this means no faction has been favoured, and that is why it has stayed "Port Mahon" as long as it has. In this case wrong is right. Mess with it and you will be messing forever.TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 18:15, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

If we don't want to get dragged into the Catalan vs. Spanish debacle there are two choices. You either change to just Mahon, which is the most commonly used and recognised name in English (this is the English language wikipedia after all). Or else you have to go for the town's official name: Maó-Mahón, which uses both names. And just to point out, the Spanish wikipedia uses Mahón without worring about offending the Catalan people. The Catalan wikpedia uses Maó without worrying about offending the Spanish. Their is no reason why the English wikipedia should not use the English name of Mahon. We use the English name for countless other foreign places. I don't see Venice being changed to Venzeia for fear of offending. Even closer to Mahon we have Ibiza which is called Ibiza universally across Wikipedia, and not the Spanish and Catalan "Eivissa". The island chain is called the "Baleric Islands" with no discussion about the Spanish or Catalan translations.
Sticking with Port Mahon is unacceptable. It is not the correct name. It fails wikipedia's article name criteria and is not regonisable to people. Keeping this incorrect article title risks people thinking it is actually the town's correct name. How many of us delete uncited additions to pages or ruthlessly root out the lies or inaccuracies which are put on wikipedia as "truth"? Incorrect information has no place on wikipedia.
As the accepted English translation, inline with names of similar and local articles, and as the most commonly used and recognised name, Mahon has to be the best alternative.
But to be quite honest, I couldn't care if it was changed to any of Mahon, Maó-Mahón, Maó or Mahón, all of which are "correct". So long as the incorrect article title of Port Mahon is gone. --Rushton2010 (talk) 00:52, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

It would be nice if what you wanted mattered. It would be even nicer if what I wanted mattered. What matters is that if you change the title to Mahon, the Spanish and Catalans (there is more than one kind of Catalan too) will all start trying to get it changed to their particular version. I would like the English title Mahon, but it has been Mahon before, and no end of struggles took place to insert an accent, and then (as the accent made it Spanish) to change the spelling to one of the other forms. Do this at your peril.TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 14:18, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The problem still stands that the article title is wrong; a name someone has invented. Both the Spanish and Catalan have their own version of wikipedia anyway so the English name (Mahon) should prevail (as it does with the other Baleric Island articles). But any of the Maó, Mahón or Mahon is an improvement on the current incorrect name, and all are in keeping with WP:COMMONNAME.
The argument that it should be left incorrect so not to offend is ridiculous. If this is the precedent to be set on wikipedia, shall we change Derry/Londonderry to "Port Derry"? It's obviously wrong but it favours neither faction... Of course not!
To be frank, there has been more argument about the name of this town on wikipedia than there has ever been in the actual town!
I would support a change to the official name Maó-Mahón if it would silence the P/C brigade. It is the town's official and correct name and neither the local nor national language is favoured, and risks offending no one. It's also inline with all of wikipedia's policies on naming and would finally rid us of the current incorrect name. --Rushton2010 (talk) 15:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
"neither the local nor national language is favoured" Really? Which one should go first? Maó-Mahón or Mahón-Maó? I promise you it will be disputed either way. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 19:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
As for Port Mahon being a made up name, it must have been made up before the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica [1], and is still used by pages of holiday agents [2] [3] [4]. There are lots more of those, but you can find all you want yourself, if you look. (Oh, great, the references don't link. You can find the URLs in the source)TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 19:22, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I just reread the top of this section where it is asserted that "Nowhere" is the name Port Mahon used. This is, er..., incorrect. "A "simple google search" will turn up a lot of holiday firms referring to it by that name. Yes, a lot of pubs and hotels too, probably because it is the historic English name, but lots of references to the place by that name, a few of which I have posted above. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 20:04, 7 August 2013 (UTC)


Yes they are wrong... The fact that Port Mahon is an incorrect name is accepted. What has been been the subject of discussion is what to change it to without causing "offence". --Rushton2010 (talk) 22:01, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
And trawling up the dregs of the internet (the first 3 pages google pulls up when you search "Port Mahon" are hotels and restaurants of that name... nothing official or historical) to try and "prove" an incorrect name is rather ridiculous. "vacations to go" and "msccruises" are not reliable sources. This is the problem with wikipedia having the incorrect name.... those bad websites probably took the incorrect name from here!
Lets try some reputable sources:
Seeing as you used some travel providers: lets stick to reputable ones:
There may be no single "correct" version out of Mahon, Mahón, Maó and Maó-Mahón... but to argue that "Port Mahon" is anything other than incorrect is foolish, and I don't know what you try to achieve from it. --Rushton2010 (talk) 22:32, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Your sources in the first part of the list are Spanish. The Spanish versus others language wars are exactly what we are trying to avoid. Your Encyclopedia Britannica reference is modern. Mine [1911] was historical, included to point out the fact that the name Port Mahon has a long history and is not just "made up" as you assert. I am not merely "arguing" that it is "other than incorrect" (too many negatives); I have posted a solid historical reference that establishes the name has a long history, and is therefore at least as correct as the other alternatives, of which there are too many. And too many arguments about which of those is correct. I have also found many current day examples of Port Mahon being used as the place name, not just the name of a pub or hotel. This is contrary to your initial assertion that "nowhere" is Port Mahon used. It is the alternative that Wikipedia is currently using, has an established historical and current usage, and its use here has turned off the language wars. Much to recommend that we keep it. Your assertion that it is simply "incorrect" is arguable, not accepted. I for one dispute it. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 13:55, 8 August 2013 (UTC)


That 1911 encylopedia is a wiki. As happened with the other dodgy websites you've quoted it probably got the wrong name from here. And it is anything but reliable. Take the second line: it says the town is "at the head of a deep inlet which extends inland for 31 m." The sea inlet is roughly 4-5 miles long. Not 31 miles (or 31 meters depending on how they expect us to interpret the "M"). And you expect us to believe the dodgy links over local knowledge, renowned and reliable historical encyclopedias and books, official government and tourism websites, the airport, airlines, tour providers etc. etc. etc.?
And your view that it is historically correct is false too. The only reference to a "Port Mahon" I have ever seen referred to the British Naval Dockyard/Base (during the very brief period they were on the island) and not to the town which was just "Mahon". The man, James Stanhope, who gained the island for Britain and was created Governor of the Island was created "Viscount Stanhope of Mahon" (usually just called "Viscount Mahon". No "Port", even back in 1717.
Even if we were to believe that for the obscure time the island was in British hands, the town was was called "Port Mahon", it is unquestionably not called that now. And to leave the article with an incorrect title is not right. We've already seen how its polluted to other websites who are presenting the name as current fact.
But back to policy: Wikipedia's rules on titles are-
  • Recognizability – The title is a name or description of the subject that someone familiar with, although not necessarily an expert in, the subject will recognize.
The Common Name for the town is "Mahon", but all of "Mahon", "Maó-Mahón", "Mahón" or "Maó" are widely used and recognised.
  • Naturalness – The title is one that readers are likely to look or search for and that editors would naturally use to link to the article from other articles. Such titles usually convey what the subject is actually called in English.
The English name of the town is "Mahon", and as shown above, it is the English rather than Spanish and Catalan redirects which are getting the most views. Its also unlikely anyone typing a link or searching for the page is going to bother with accented Os
  • Precision – The title is sufficiently precise to unambiguously identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects.
How precise can the current name be when at best it refers to a British naval yard and not the actual town?
  • Conciseness – The title is no longer than necessary to identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects.
When no one has heard of "Port Mahon" and the town is universally called Mahon or Mao (with or without accents); the port is not necessary or Concise.
  • Consistency – The title is consistent with the pattern of similar articles' titles.
Looking at other local articles the English translation is always used over local translations: Ibiza not Eivissa, Balearic Islands not Illes Balears, Minorca not Menorca, Majorca not Mallorca, Palma, Majorca not Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza (town) not Vila d'Eivissa etc. etc. etc. etc.
"Mahon" fills all of these criteria easily, but all of "Maó-Mahón", "Mahón" or "Maó are suitable too.
I don't think people should be worrying about selecting the English name "Mahon" though. As I have said before, there is more argument here than on the island!. Both Spanish and Catalan have their own wikipedia's in their own language anyway. But if we look at other Balearic Articles which have the English Translation, most have not had discussions about renaming; of those that have, the argument that this is the English Wikipedia and should have the English Common Name, has won out.
--Rushton2010 (talk) 15:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Mahon would be fine with me, but you won't get Mahon. You will get endless argument. This has been an issue for a long time. Some of the history of it is still in place, up above. Port Mahon works. Mahon on its own is a target. It inflames the passions, maybe because it is too close to the Spanish. Port Mahon contains Mahon, and it is a legitimate name historically. The only argument against it, as the English name, is that it is a little archaic. There are endless arguments to be had once you leave the safety of an undoubtedly English name. I really have no dog in this fight (though there is fight in the dog). I just don't see any reason to disturb a settled situation for the sake of pedantry. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 15:46, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
As for "The title is sufficiently precise to unambiguously identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects." Mahon on it's own can be confused with the admittedly lesser known town in Ireland, but Port Mahon cannot. Relevant to the conciseness factor too; Mahon on its own is too concise to distinguish it from the other Mahon in Ireland. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 15:58, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
My link to the source of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica that you denigrate is entirely legitimate and probably more accurate than many Wikipedia articles as it is based on the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica itself. Editors may add new information to addendum to each article, but they cannot edit the originals. From the introduction: "On each subject there are in fact two pages. One is an article from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica or its 1922 additional material. This is found with the "article" tab at the top of the page. The other is for more modern additions, corrections and comments made by you and other readers. They are found with the "what's new" tab." You may feel that your sources are somehow more relevant or current, but you can't simply dismiss this famous edition of the most comprehensive work of its time. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 16:24, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
But Port Mahon is endlessly confusing in the first place. Even if we were to take that website on facevalue, and the "Port Mahon" name as "historically correct", it still fails the naming policies as its neither common used or recogniseable. People have to know that in the 18th century Britain took over the island for a little bit and had a naval base called Port Mahon, near to the town in order to make the connection.
But on the ground you wont see that name anywhere. In books you wont see it. Online you wont see it. In tourism articles, plane tickets, travel agents. etc. etc. etc. You wont see it. None of the official websites even mention that name, nor the maps, encyclopedias, travel agencies and airlines etc. Its not recognisable to the majority of people who will look for the article and requires a heck of a lot of background knowledge to try and connect the dots to an obscure piece of British naval history.
And the argument that Port Mahon inflames less than Mahon is nonsensical. If it is the "Mahon" that inflames, it will inflame in all situations. But as I keep telling people... It's less of an issue than people fear. Its why the airlines, airport, tourism based things and even the official tourism website use Mahon without any issues- Because its not that big of an issue. And after all "Mahon" is the English translation - the equivalent of both the Catalan and Spanish translations without taking sides- It is the translation and nothing more.
I don't think we need to differentiate the article from the Irish one- thats what the little note at the top of the article is for. And if we did need to differentiate, use a correct form: "Mahon, Minorca". Keeping incorrect just so it's different is silly. And under policy we don't need to differentiate from Mahon in Ireland anyway because (as said above) this article has almost 10 times more views than the Irish article. Its like changing the article "London" to "Port London" so it is differentiated from "London, Ontario".... You wouldn't do it.
The name Port Mahon is not the correct name, its not recognisable, its not the most commonly used name (its never used!)... It has no benefits other than you believe that it is less offensive than the correct English translation.
I don't think it is as offensive as you think, but at the end of the day, Wikipedia already has several policies about how to deal with potential "offensive material". First is the Content disclaimer, which warns people there are things they may find offensive. The policy Wikipedia:Offensive material says that offensive information should be included if it is "informative, relevant, or accurate". It also states that "A cornerstone of Wikipedia policy is that the project is not censored. Wikipedia editors should not remove material solely because it may be offensive, unpleasant, or unsuitable for some readers."
So at the end of the day, even if (and lets face it, the English translation is not offensive or all the big companies and official agencies wouldnt be using it...) but even if it was found offensive, it isn't a valid argument to stop the name change. To use the correct English translation is "informative, relevant, or accurate", so the naming policy should be honoured.
--Rushton2010 (talk) 17:04, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it is offensive, and wouldn't care if it was. Airports and so on can use whatever name they like, they don't allow volunteers to come along and change their signs or webpages at a whim. Wikipedia can potentially be changed by almost anyone, and the prospect attracts people who are fervent about their cultural preferences. I'm not theorising, I am remembering. I don't think it is necessary to put forth a reason to stop a change. I think it is necessary to have a very good reason to initiate a change. Port Mahon has been successful at quieting the culture clashes (until now, you seem to have a fervour of your own). Other names have lead to argument. This section is now much longer than the article itself, and I think our points of view have been thoroughly laid out. If no other editor has a position to put, maybe we can vote? I vote for no change. TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 17:59, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Summing Up Discussions.[edit]

The discussions have rumbled on for over a week now. A lot of things have been repeated and the thread has become hard to follow. Another user suggested putting it to a vote, so I have compiled each contributors key arguments for clarity, and where their "vote" went.


However it seems there is a result which does meet wikipedia's policies:

It would seem we have two who advocate a change to Mahón
a third who would prefer Mahon but who would support a change Mahón
one who supports staying with the current title
one who supports a move to free up Mahon for Mahon (disambiguation), but who doesn't declare a preference for where this article is moved to.

-so Mahón would seem to be the 3/1 winner.



  • Rushton2010
  • Requested change - preferably to Mahon (the English name for the town), but would also be happy with Mahón (Spanish), Maó (Catalan) or Maó-Mahón (The town's offical name).
Wikipedia's rules on titles, WP:TITLE, are-
  • Recognizability – The title is a name or description of the subject that someone familiar with, although not necessarily an expert in, the subject will recognize.
The Common Name for the town is Mahon, but all of Mahon, Maó-Mahón, Mahón or Maó are widely used and recognised.
  • Naturalness – The title is one that readers are likely to look or search for and that editors would naturally use to link to the article from other articles. Such titles usually convey what the subject is actually called in English.
As Port Mahon is historical and fallen out of use, it is not natural. The English name of the town is Mahon, and recieves more views than the Spanish and Catalan redirects. Its also unlikely anyone typing a link or searching for the page is going to bother with accented O's; making Mahon more of the natural choice.
  • Precision – The title is sufficiently precise to unambiguously identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects.
How precise can the current name be when at best it refers to a historical British naval yard and not the actual town?
  • Conciseness – The title is no longer than necessary to identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects.
When no one has heard of "Port Mahon" and the town is universally called Mahon or Mao (with or without accents); the port is not necessary or Concise.
  • Consistency – The title is consistent with the pattern of similar articles' titles.
Looking at other local articles the English translation is always used over local translations: Ibiza not Eivissa, Balearic Islands not Illes Balears, Minorca not Menorca, Majorca not Mallorca, Palma, Majorca not Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza (town) not Vila d'Eivissa etc. etc. etc. etc.
  1. User accepts there is no single "correct" answer out of Mahon, Mahón, Maó and Maó-Mahón, but argues that Mahon fits all of the criteria and, as the most commonly used and recognised name, should be used. Mahon is the English translation and used both in English conversation and by organisations such as airlines and tour operators. It is also inline with other similar and local articles which all use the English translations. The island is called Minorca not Menorca; Ibiza not Eivissa.
  2. User supports Mahon over the other choices as it is the English translation, and believes most would not use the accented O when searching.
  3. The current name "Port Mahon" is incorrect. As argued by others, it dates from a short obscure period when the British controlled the island and was most commonly used to refer to the British Naval Base, not the town. It is not used anywhere nowadays; it is never used locally or in tourist guides, it is not used online and has dropped out of usage even in historical books. It fails WP:COMMONNAME and is not recognisable. It also causes confusion as none of the sources refer to a "Port Mahon". It also requires prior knowledge of the island's history to know the connection to the town.
  4. The only reliable historical source user has found for the name "Port Mahon" is the 1819 Abraham Rees Cyclopaedia, which refers to "Port Mahon" in the first instance and then simply to "Mahon" for the rest of the article; which suggests Mahon was the Common Name even then. The title "Viscount Stanhope of Mahon" (usually just called "Viscount Mahon") created for the island's first British Governor in 1717, also does not use "Port".
  5. A google search for "Port Mahon" brings up nothing relevant to the town. The first three pages are filled with references to a pub/restaurant in Oxford and a hotel called "Port Mahon Hotel".
  6. User provides some links to official websites and large travel providers supporting changing from Port Mahon:
  1. User recognises that the Catalan language was suppressed in favour of Spanish by the Franco regime and that choosing the Spanish Mahón over the CatalanMaó (or visa versa) could provoke controversy. User hense supports the English translation - Mahon. User argues that there is little disagreement in the area over language nowadays. User argues that as this is the English language wikipedia we should not fear using the English translation Mahon. As already argued, the English names are used on countless similar wikipedia articles without controversy and without constant renaming discussions. Many big companies and official agencies (listed above) also use Mahon it without controversy.
  2. User disputes that the name change would cause wide offence, as using the English translation favours neither Spanish nor Catalan. User also argues that under wikipedia policy, "causing offence" is not a reason to keep the existing name. The Content disclaimer warns people there are things they may find offensive. The policy Wikipedia:Offensive material says that offensive information should be included if it is "informative, relevant, or accurate". It also states that "A cornerstone of Wikipedia policy is that the project is not censored. Wikipedia editors should not remove material solely because it may be offensive, unpleasant, or unsuitable for some readers."
Thus, even if it does offend, a change to bring the tile into line with Wikipedia's Title policy should take place. And argues that as Mahon meets those policies, is "informative, relevant, or accurate", and, as English rather than Spanish or Catalan, has least chance of offending in the first place.
  1. User disagrees the article name should be left as incorrect, as believes we have a duty to ensure Wikipedia does not contain incorrect information. Leaving an incorrect title people as people will believe it is the correct name and we have no way to stop that incorrect information polluting outwards.


  • The Rambling Man
  • Agreed that the article should be moved: but suggested Mahón
  • In ictu oculi
  • Keep Port Mahon support move: but suggested Mahón
  1. User argued (though admitted it was tongue-in-cheek) that this is British Wikipedia and that the article should retain the "Imperial British Name". Also felt it was inkeeping with WP:CONSISTENCY as the island's article name Minorca, is the English translation.
  2. User changed to advocate Mahón and argued that it met all 5 of the WP:CRITERIA and is used by Frommers and most travel books. Argued that Mahón receives more hits than Maó. And argued that if it was changed, any future attempts to change it to the other options would likely be relatively minor compared to large recurring arguments such as Burma vs Myanmar.
  3. User believes simply Mahon too ambiguous and that readers would expect Spanish names to be spelled correctly (with the accented O).
  • TheNameWithNoMan
  • Keep Port Mahon
  1. Believes the strength of Port Mahon is that everybody knows it is wrong and it doesn't offend. Fears any change would only satisfy a minority and offend the others. Believes changing it would prompt ongoing arguments and changes in the title.
  2. Believes name Port Mahon to be historically correct as used in 1911 encyclopedia], and used in some travel providers such as MSC Cruises and Vacations to go (Wikipedia would not allow me to add the link to the website as it flagged it as spam).
Rushton2010 disputed the accuracy of the 1911 website, as it is a wiki and contained some blatant errors (such as saying the town sits on a 31 mile long inlet, when the inlet is only 4-5 miles long). Also deputed reliability of the two travel agency websites, which are not as reputable or notable as the ones he quoted.
TheNameWithNoMan asserted the 1911 website's validity.
  1. Believe's the town's official name Maó-Mahón would still cause controversy despite being the official name as the local Catalan name goes first.
  2. Supports a change to Mahon but believes changing to Mahon would provoke attempts to add the accented O and endless attempts to rename the article. And concerned may provoke confusion with town in Ireland.
Rushton2010 deputes Ireland issue, as this article receives almost 10 times more views than the Irish article -thus, under policy, it would be ok to be simply Mahon.
  1. User suggested that as lack of clear consensus, issue be put to a vote.
  • Anthony Appleyard
  • Expressed the views that the article name should be changed so that Mahon (disambiguation) can be moved to Mahon; but did not express a preference of what the new article name should be.
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
  1. ^ http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Port_Mahon
  2. ^ http://www.msccruises.co.uk/uk_en/Cruise-Destinations/Mediterranean/Spain/Port-Mahon.aspx
  3. ^ http://www.cruisereviews.com/ports/mediterranean-cruises/port-mahon-port-guide.html
  4. ^ http://www.vacationstogo.com/cruise_port/Port_Mahon__Menorca__Spain.cfm