Talk:Maize/Archive 2

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should move the second paragraph describing the word 'maize' and where it came from to an etymology section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

origin of corn?[edit]

in my studies, (Britannia, a history of roman britain, frere, p. 32) i have found that corn was an export of britain to the roman empire as noted by strabo circa 16 AD. where did this corn come from if it was, as according to the article, introduced by the spanish upon their return from the new world? theres a difference of almost 1500 years! anybody? joelibyan

This is exactly why the article should be called Maize. The export was most likely barley or perhaps rye, but since "corn" in that sense can refer to any grain, more information is needed.--Curtis Clark 04:48, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
More specifically: before maize came from the New World to Europe, "corn" was a generic word for any and all food-grains (wheat, barley, rye, etc.). Pre-1500, any reference to "corn" should be taken to mean "grain" in a generic sense. When Europeans got to the new world, maize was clearly one kind of "corn" (in that generic sense), and so they called it that; the generic term became specific, in North America, and "corn" was no longer a generic term there... --Steve —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:15, 4 May 2007 (UTC).

Maize vs. Corn controversy[edit]

This is a recurring topic. Please read the discussion so far before starting yet another round. -- era (Talk | History) 03:00, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Weird. The only time it's ever called maize is when referring to the corn that Indians used. Other than that, it's always called corn. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
You are wrong. The only time it is called corn is when it is referred to colloquially. Other than that, it is always called maize. Reginmund 01:10, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Arbitration request?[edit]

Because this debate is long and heated, I'm wondering if arbitration should be requested. There isn't an edit war going on, but getting the expert 'pedants to weigh in in order to get this issue settled once and for all would clear the air and allow everyone to spend their time more fruitfully.

I can imagine the following scenarios:

1. Status quo, modulo a big box on the talk page saying that it's going to stay this way. In other words, Corn redirects to Maize, and there's a backlink to Corn (disambiguation) and an explanation of sorts why it's this way. (I'd like to make the explanation clearer and more visible, but my recent edit was reverted.)

2. Rename this Corn (maize) and make Corn and Maize redirect there. Obviously, add that to the Corn (disambiguation) page too. Maybe not that big a change.

Maybe I'm dense, but I can't imagine any other scenario which would not be a gross regression into something worse than the status quo. I would like to avoid moving this to Corn plain and simple, because, after all, that is an ambiguous term, and should remain marked for disambiguation, one way or another. Maybe I'm too strict there, though. -- era (Talk | History) 03:20, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I was the editor who was last significantly involved in the "Repairing of links to disambiguation pages" for Corn and Maize. I would not oppose arbitration. There is clearly a use issue here as can be seen in the misunderstanding on my talk page User_talk:Jeepday#.22ibid.22, I understand that in USA corn generally means Sweetcorn, unless it is a disambiguated use (i.e. The primary income is from growing corn) which would be Maize as maize includes both sweetcorn and Field corn which corn not meant for the dinner table as a vegetable. In the UK it means cereal. There does appear to be a long running difference of opinion between these two meanings. Not to mention that there is a both a Corn (disambiguation) and a Maize (disambiguation) page. Signed Jeepday 04:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
    • The user talk link doesn't seem relevant here. Do you have a better link? -- era (Talk | History) 15:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Wow, arbitration?! Have any of the other steps of WP:DR been undertaken? Has there even been a move request or any kind of community discussion? I'll admit I haven't looked very hard for previous discussion but I don't see much going on here to warrant jumping all the way to arbitration this early. —Wknight94 (talk) 11:05, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think any of the steps have been taken yet. All I see is a discussion with a zillion participants which has been going in circles for several years, and getting heated from time to time. I don't see any sign of editing wars etc, but I'm not sure why it should escalate to that point before arbitration is requested. My line of thinking is simply that it would be good to get the issue settled once and for all. Call this spontaneous mediation if you will. I don't think this can reach consensus unless somebody comes up with a really bright new compromise, though. -- era (Talk | History) 15:17, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
From what I've seen, the arbitration committee won't even hear a dispute like this, i.e. one that barely exists. At this point, I don't know who would even be listed as a party to the case. The history of this talk page shows fewer than 50 edits in the last 4 months. To me, that doesn't even qualify as a dispute, let alone a dispute that requires a WP:RFAr. Let me know if I'm just not looking in the right place(s). —Wknight94 (talk) 17:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I tried to move this page to corn and was set upon for doing so without seeking consensus. Anyone who has been monitoring this talk page can see that consensus is impossible -- there are two diametrically-opposed camps. Now you say this dispute barely exists? Are you reading the same page?! I've read WP:DR and it seems like we have already pursued all the steps up to informal mediation, so perhaps that's what should be requested. But to say "there's no dispute" is to ignore the 50 or so passionate commenters on this page who are in favor of calling the page CORN. Your position sounds like an excuse to maintain the status quo and the status quo won't do. As for who the parties would be, take your pick from the participants. I'll volunteer for the corn side AND I'll pay for the donuts. But something must be done.Armandtanzarian 22:47, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Why must something be done? Is it The Most Important Thing Possible Jeepday (talk)
I see you have a link to that on your talk page. Cute. If I didn't know any better I'd think you were being a wise-ass.Armandtanzarian 03:23, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Clarity of the subject[edit]

Maybe I'm just a silly-silly, but the first bit of the article that establishes that "maize" is referred to as corn in America but possibly not in other cultures sets a confusing precedent for the whole rest of the article. I may be mistaken, but the author(s) never says whether this particular article is about "corn" or something else. swaly 07:06, 6 March 2006 (UTC)


I've never heard anyone call this maize? It sounds made up. - Jerryseinfeld 22:30, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Are you trolling? The second para gives a fairly good explanation of the different names used globally for this crop. The common name in America is corn, but maize is the Spanish name used in much of the rest of the world. External validation can be found at the BBC, any number of dictionaries or some 3 million other web references on Google. -- Solipsist 23:14, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I don't see how an article writting by the BBC, for UK audiences who use maize instead of corn provides external validation when the US, Canada and Australia all refer to it as corn, and using the other link provided returns 2 more entries for corn than maize.Cfpresley
You've named 3 countries... Out of over two hundred in the world. Maize is a very common term. In fact, some native americans called it maize, and they're the ones that gave it to your three countries in the first place. Joey 06:03, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
It would seem more appropriate to have the title of this article as 'Corn.' The reason being that it really doesn't matter what you call it in another language, because this is an article on, EN meaning English. In English speaking countries it is referred to as corn, in the nation that produces more of it than any other it is refered to as corn, and the 'Maize' page belongs on the spanish language version of wikipedia. --Fieldinj 15:43, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. A quick google search yields 61 million hits for "corn" and 12 million for "maize". "Corn" is pretty clearly the more common English word. If other languages use words that derive from maize rather than corn, that should be reflected in those articles, not this one. -Captain Crawdad 00:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not the number of tonnes that the US produces that matters in naming the crop, it's the number of consumers around the world that matters; you may have know it as corn all your life, but the rest of the world calls it maize - the term is even adopted as a legitimate English noun and so the topic title is right for this English section of wikipedia.

I personally think the article shouldn't be named 'maize', but on the other hand, I want to point out that anyone who has never heard of the word 'maize' is severely retarded and shouldn't be allowed to live anymore. I say this not to be cruel, but to make it clear that Americans DO know what maize is.--Stevekl 01:30, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Please read WP:NPA and be civil. Edison 16:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

In the article you mention that in Southern Africa maize is known as "mealies". I live in Namibia, Southern Africa and corrected the spelling. Here maize is known as "mielies" and not "mealies". The term come from Afrikaans (Kitchen Dutch) which was formed by the various European cultures that settled in Southern Africa. User: Piet Retief. 16:20, 10 July 2006.

Something should be corrected here. The Spanish word for the plant and food know to most English speakers as "Corn" is not spelled with an "e" at the end. So this is not the Spanish word. Also, the word is from a Native American language. The Spanish may have spread similar words to other lands, but I fail to see how this has anything to do with this article. I agree with the logic that speakers of other languages have their own pages. My own, subjective understanding of the word "maize" is a particular type of corn grown by Native Americans. It tends to be darker and more colorful than the variety most commonly grown commercially. However, I understand that the word "corn" has broader conotations in the UK. Therefore, perhaps all Wikipedia articles regarding plants should be listed under their scientific, "Latin" names. "Maize" and "corn" could both redirect to that page. I think that is a fair comprimise.

What English speaking countries call it maize besides the UK? It is corn in the US, Canada, Australia and NZ. It isn't maize in South Africa.. It should be corn. "Maize" is not a universal term; different cultures use different words. And it would seem that more english speakers call it corn.

I agree - this is BUNK and an obvious non-English POV push! The article itself states that 'maize' (what a JOKE!) is referred to as CORN in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Therefore, the obvious and predominant term in the ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD by population is CORN. Besides, I find it hard to swallow that the Brits say 'maize on the cob'... No wonder the intelligentsia ridicule Wikepedia as pure bullshit! MapleLeaf

In the U.S., it's corn. In New Zealand, it's corn. In Australia, it's corn. In Singapore, it's corn. Even in the U.K., everybody knows it by the name "corn." You can title this article "maize" if you want, but at least have the guts to acknowledge that corn is the universal accepted term (because it's User: jackbean

I disagree with User: jackbean (is it a fake id?) above. Corn can be used in those countries as an abbreviation of sweetcorn, but the plant itself is maize. I am native English speaking with Irish ancestory and know it as "maize" not "corn", though I know the US population uses "corn" and is not that familiar with the crop name "maize". I live here in Finland, where it is called "maissi", and in neighboring Sweden it is "mays", where they translate it into English as "maize" because "corn" is indeed ambiguous. In Italian it is "mays", "maïs" in French, and even in Russian it is "маис". This is not a question of U.S. English versus British English uage at all, because as I have illustrated, in slavonic, ugric, latin and germanic root languages (which of course includes English), the word is basically "maize". It is just North American English usage that is out-of-line with the rest of the world. For this reason I would prefer to keep the article under the title "maize". The "corn" redirection to "maize" as it presently is seems to me like a perfectly satisfactory compromise. North American Wikipedia users can also learn something else about "corn" they might otherwise not have known, and who knows, might even be polite enough to refer to it as maize when travelling outside of their borders! --Tom 10:14, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, if they come to Australia and want maize, we won't know what they mean.
Yes we will, in international trade commodities and local price index quotes in Australian regional capitals it is always referred to as maize. If you watch the Landline program on ABC, Kerry Lonergan will talk about maize crops in his market roundup every week landline. Its just not used in consumer markets. (sign your comments, too) - Andmark 06:54, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, Australian vernacular is always derived from international trade commodities and local price index quotes in Australian regional capitals. Wouldn't have it any other way.

So you're using words from other languages to back up your statement, even though it's clear that the ENGLISH SPEAKING world refers to it as corn.

Yeah. Good argument. </sarc>

ColdRedRain 19:08, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I think the article needs to clearly spell out where in the English speaking world it's commonly called maize.

What the hell!? I have lived in Great Britain my whole life and I have never even heard of the word "maize". I asked a few friend and they said "it is what the americans call corn". Quite obviously the word corn should be used for this article. Maize...??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bsrboy (talkcontribs) 00:12, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Well I have lived in Great Britain all of my life and I have never heard the word "corn" refer to maize between Britons. Quite obviously the word "maize" should be used for this article. Reginmund (talk) 00:51, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Then the existence of this UK TV ad suggests you've been living under a rock: [1], Anon Sun Feb 3 12:27:43 EST 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:28, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Well I have lived in American for all my life and it has always been called "corn". Quite obviously the word "corn" should be used for this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:22, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Well I have studied the word "corn" thoroughly and it is nothing more than a colloquialism. Quite obviously, the more scientific "maize" should be used for this article. Reginmund (talk) 04:04, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
"Colloquialism" might be a bit strong (in the U.S., corn is used at pretty much all levels of discourse), but I agree that maize should be retained here. It has the advantages of being non-ambiguous, international, and understandable to almost all educated speakers of English. Lesgles (talk) 17:15, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I think we are going round in circles here. Maybe a message at the top of the page would be a good idea. I'm not sure how to word it- my first instincy would be American English is not the only form of English spoken on the planet, deal with it., but something a wee bit less confrontational would probaly work better. There is precednt for this- I've seen talk pages with messages at the top saying, in effect, We've made a decision on this issue, so there's little point discussing it now, though I can't think of any specific articles at the moment. Lurker (said · done) 11:50, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Ah, it was Talk:Gdańsk. Although that uses the dirty v-word. Lurker (said · done) 13:39, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
The word "vote" can refer to "the formal expression of a proposed resolution of an issue." I don't know why so many people around here equate it to majority/plurality voting. —David Levy 13:59, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, I don't know why you're singling out Americans (given the fact that the plant is known as "corn" in the United States, Canada and Australia).
Secondly, I'd like to think that most English-speakers from these and other countries realize that the world doesn't revolve around them and that other cultures use different terms. Sure, we're bound to see the occasional "What the hell is maize?" or "It's called bloody petrol!", but such comments represent vocal minorities. —David Levy 13:59, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Most English speakers respect the fact other people use different terms for different things. Those who don't, however, create a lot of pointless, circular discussion here. I'll add a "cicular discussion" tag, maybe that will dissuade people from treading over old ground. Lurker (said · done) 10:31, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Would you care to explain why you singled out Americans? —David Levy 11:03, 6 February 2008 (UTC)


I'm not sure I agree with all of the recent changes you made to the article. I thought the terminology section was informative and important but you removed it. Liblamb 23:15, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I removed that section mostly in the spirit of "Wikipedia is not a dictionary", so that the article maize should be about the thing maize, rather than the word "maize". Furthermore, most of that text wasn't even about the word "maize", but about the word "corn", and redundant with text from the article corn (which unfortunately is also mostly about the word, but with perhaps more justification, because it is trying to be a disambiguation page).
Clarification of terminology is crucial when it is an aid to navigation or understanding, but the paragraph in question was not that. Language is a thing in the world, and can be encyclopedic, but that's why there are articles like American and British English differences.
Pekinensis 00:39, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I disagree also and returned it. It is important to explain what we are talking about before we go into details. Rmhermen 02:23, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)
Why is it necessary to say that "corn" means "oats" in Scotland in order to talk about maize? — Pekinensis
I am beginning to see Pekinensis' point and have changed the article to acknowledge the variation in terms. Yet, I tried not to duplicate what the corn article says. Liblamb 23:09, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In Ontario[edit]

This unsigned, undated comment was underneath one of the other headlines below. I missed it when I moved the discussion into the "Maize vs. Corn" section. Hope it doesn't appear even more out of context here. -- era (Talk | History) 15:26, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

In Ontario corn is used exclusivley, outside of an academic environment, see the Ontario Corn Producers' Association. I do not feel that the BBC can be used as a proper source in this regards since this crop is not a staple in the UK. Rather, in areas where it is a staple it is called corn. I grew up on a cash crop farm. Farmers do not use the term maize. People do not go into the grocery store to buy maize. Road side stands do not sell maize.

In an antropological context, however, maize is used exclusivley. In this discipline the crop in discussion is usually not the modern variant and, because the development of maize is of great importance in central and North American archaeology, the distinction is necessary. So, academics use the term maize while the common vernacular is corn.

Informally known as corn[edit]

When reverting my insertion of the word "informally" into the first sentence, Bkonrad wrote:

I dunno about Canada or Australia but it is almost exlusively known as corn in the U.S., which merits more than an "informally known as")

I won't put it back, but I believe that in technical usage in the US, the plant is generally called maize. For example, a google search for "maize genome" turns up around 20,000 hits, most of which seem to be from US research institutions such as the Maize Genetics/Genomics Database hosted by the University of Missouri, compared to around 3,500 for "corn genome", many of which seem to be from the popular press. Google also believes that the word "maize" appears 55,000 times on US government web pages, so I disagree with the phrase "almost exclusively". I can believe that it is almost exclusively known as corn at the market and at the dinner table, but that is why I used the word "informally". Perhaps a better wording would have been "in non-technical usage", but that puts even more undue emphasis on the question. If it were my article, it would read "Maize, often called corn,", and leave the regional usage trivia out altogether.

Pekinensis 02:34, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In common usage in the U.S., I suspect that most people would not readily recognize the term "maize". And among those who did know, many would see it as somewhat exotic or even pretentious. I've no problem with the current "often called" phrasing, but if it is accurate, I think the description of regional variations is worth including, though perhaps it doesn't need to figure so prominently as the second paragraph. olderwiser 02:14, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

This does not appear to be an active issue at this point, but the current phrasing ("It is called corn in the United States, Canada, and Australia") is correct, at least as far as the United States is concerned. Other than possibly in purely technical usage, "maize" is not used to refer to "corn" in the United States. When I was a child, we used the term "maize" to refer to what was also called "Indian corn," which is the decorative, multi-colored corn used for Halloween decorations. Since Wikipedia is not a U.S.-only encyclopedia, however, it is appropriate to use the more international term "maize" in this article.
-- Bob (Bob99)

Indian corn[edit]

The species as a whole is called "corn", plain and simple, IMHO as a native speaker of North American English from the midwestern corn belt (though not a farmer). "Indian corn" is used colloqially and loosely to refer to multicolored varieties only. If others have/know of other linguistic traditions for the use of the term Indian corn, it may warrant a short paragraph in the article. However, good, concise, to-the-point introductory paragraphs should not be loaded down with tortuous sentences trying to nuance things too much. -- Kbh3rd 17:22, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I was just about to post a new topic about this same subject on how the term "Indian Corn" is a redirect to "Maize". I always knew of Indian corn as the nonyellow or nonwhite variety I would never eat growing up.ColdRedRain 18:34, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
There are several misconceptions here. First, "corn" was an English word that referred to hard, small particles, and was generically applied to grains. The use of the word corn in the King James Version of the Bible, for instance refers only to grains. When English colonist came to America they called maize "Indian's corn" because it was the Indian's grain. As maize eventually spread across the globe, Indian's corn became shortened to corn. It is true that Indian's corn is now used to refer to more colorful corn, but this was not always the case. NoraBG 02:24, 22 October 2006 (UTC)


I've visited this article several times, and it is still rather disappointing. There are large areas of North American POV, with little concession to Latin American or world perspectives. Why does the section on 'Uses for maize' start with modern uses of 'corn' in the United States rather than its use as a traditional staple food source in Latin America. Why is it spending so much time mixing up terms by discussing 'corn' rather than 'maize'. Why is there no discussion or even redirect for blue corn, which AFIK is a fairy common term in New Mexico and other latin influenced states of the US. We should be able to do better and be more internally consistent and encyclopedic. -- Solipsist 21:46, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh and there is no explanation of what an 'ear' is, nor any link to Ear (botany). Simiarly, no explanation of what a cob is, although the disambig for cob links here. -- Solipsist 21:58, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Ear (botany) is a poor sub-stub that has existed for 6 days so it is hardly surprising that there is no link. The "Origin" section has a paragraph on the spread of corn in the Americas. I do not see large sections of North American POV. I do see a concentration on the majority production and uses. I have to agree that the "Uses" section is poorly organized but feel I have to point out that while corn/maize is a staple in much of Africa and we can describe that better here, worldwide, human consumption is the minority use of this grain. Blue corn is not common anywhere. It is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands of specialty varieties. Corn is called maize in larger portions of the English speaking world, so we are not "mixing up terms". We are using the correct term in both cases. Rmhermen 00:12, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Where is the proof for the claim that Maize is used in more places than corn?Cfpresley Joey 06:07, 31 March 2006 (UTC) As my link states, 'corn' refers to only the most common cereal grain in a region. In the US, where you happen to be, it happens to refer to maize. The rest of the world says 'corn' means something different, depending on what they eat the most. This species is called 'maize' except colloquially. Joey 06:09, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Since when does Latin America, a region of the world that doesn't speak English have anything to do with English terminology?
Anyways, my family is FOB from the West Indies, and they always refer to "maize" as corn, so it's just not a Canadian and American colloquialism. Also, you must not forget, roughly 3 out of every 4 native English speakers are from North America, so if you're going to argue facts based on lingual consensus, you pretty much lose.

ColdRedRain 15:56, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

By the way, for the record, I think this article has improved quite a bit in the last six months. Things like the table of 'Top Ten Maize Producers' and tidying up of the Origins section has helped significantly. -- Solipsist 11:13, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

wikification of corn[edit]

It seems that everything covered in the dab for corn is covered in this article. Youngamerican 20:53, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

No mention of wheat here. The corn page also used to have more content. I may have to restore some. Rmhermen 21:19, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I would agree with wikification if corn was expanded a bit.Youngamerican 21:21, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Why isn't this called CORN?[edit]

English dialects1997.png

The above graph is taken from English_language, indicating that the majority of english speakers speak American english. Furthermore, according to the Corn & Maize article, The Canadians and Australians also call it corn. Shouldn't this mean that only a small minority of English speakers refer to it by Maize?

I propose that this article and its contents be redirected to corn.

The sun HAS set on the British Empire, it's time now to move on to more international dialects.

--Capsela 21:54, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

If I may summarise the below to save people the difficulty of reading through the fights, there is a good reason why Maize is not the same as Corn, and thus why they're not the same entry in the Wiki: Maize, while a word of meso-American origins, appears to generally define all the types of Maize plants. Corn is a cereal grain, that is, the processed, ground-up stuff, and cereals include wheat, maize, millet, sorghum, barley, rye and oats. Corn is, however, a widely used word to mean the maize plant.--Mike 13:43, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Although I am a speaker of American English, I somewhat disagree, on the basis of ambiguation. Maize only has one meaning; corn has many, and making it the article name would require a pointer to the dab page at the top. I also suspect that the graph refers to birth speakers; there ar lots of English speakers in south Asia and Africa who probably call it maize.--Curtis Clark 23:53, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
The only disambiguation to corn that falls within the same context is used only in commonwealth contries, with the exception of Canada and Australia. While that graph does refer to native speakers only, I guess that data referring to all speakers of English by variant would be needed to put the final nail in the coffin. No one is going to confuse corn that you eat for the laymans term for a callus on the phalanges, but maize has it's own disambiguation, The American Heritage Dictionary gives the corn definition, in addition to the color definition. Cfpresley
I think it's basically immaterial what it's called (I think it would be amusing to call it "corn" and use Canadian spellings, so that color would be spelt colour), but I don't imagine that the figures for all speakers of English will put nails in any coffins--I suspect there are more English-speakers in Asia that North America and Australia combined.--Curtis Clark 22:33, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure how relevant that is. The vast majority of them aren't first language English, who I think are the main targets of an English language encyclopedia (remember this is If 1/2 billion Chinese people learned the word "hand" but used it to mean foot, should we redirect hand to foot because they outvote native English speakers? 09:30, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
But isn't that the point, here, That's what happened to the word "corn", the meaning of which I have listed above, but that now appears to simply mean "that stuff that Maize is also one of". --Mike 13:43, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Even in dialects where it is called corn, the term maize is also in use. So the statistics really fall apart. Leave it as it is. Although we all need to keep making sure to clear out the incorrect links to the corn article. Rmhermen 16:40, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
But in those dialects maize generally has a very different meaning than corn, or at least some very specific connotations. Play word association with an American or Canadian and you'll get maize=indian corn, maize=colo(u)red corn, or something similar. Maybe biogeneticists call the cereal maize, but to your average joe-on-the-street (who is an encyclopedia targeting, after all?) IT'S CORN. This is all related to a fundamental problem that wikipedia needs to address as a whole but will probably be eternally relegated to narrow discussions like this. You're imposing a taxonomy that's unnatural to the majority. It might be correct, it might not be. I ran into the same thing the other day while looking up race condition, which for some unfathomable reason redirects to race hazard. A bit of experience or a quick google of the two terms (don't forget to surround them with quotes) will tell you which is the more widespread term by a large factor. 09:30, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Your argument doesn't get us anywhere - Play word association with an Englishman and you will get corn = wheat, or barley, etc. This is a problem with writing for an international audience that we are well aware of and our policies have been developed over the last 5 years, not "relegated to narrow discussions" and still needing to be solved. Rmhermen 14:18, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
So the Englishman is right? The whole point of this section of the discussion is that the people for whom maize=corn greatly outnumber the others.
No, the point is NOT who is right, dangit! It's that this encyclopedia should be culture independent! It should, of course, acknowledge that "corn" means something in the US, but it should also note the other English language meanings.
You are wrong. Just because someone speaks 'American English' doesn't mean they use the colloqualism 'corn' in the same way YOU do. The graph above isn't an example of 'what corn means where' - you are misinterpreting it in a misleading way. I will try to break it down for you: 'corn' is an -American- colloquialism for maize (based on the definition of the word 'corn', which means the most prominent cereal grain in a region). Just because it is an American colloquialism doesn't mean it is a common and intrinsic part of 'American English' across the world. Until you can prove that (which isn't proveable, because it's not true) then you're out of gas. Joey 15:18, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
That simply isn't true - corn is the word for Zea mays in American English and Canadian English and Australian English. And maize is also a word meaning the same thing in those dialects, although less commonly used and then mainly in technical contexts. Corn is not "the most prominent cereal grain in a region". In British English it just refered to grains in general - wheat, barley, oats, etc. and then later by extension, maize. Corn for maize is not a colloquialism because it is used in formal speech and so is maize. The point however is that this title for this article is correct for most English-speaking people - who use the term either exclusively or occasional to mean Zea mays. Rmhermen 17:07, 4 April 2006 (UTC) - Oops! It seems we largely agree on the correct placement of this article. But just FYI, you can have this link anyway. It traces the word origins, and you'll find that it does, in fact, colloqiually refer to the local dominant grain crop. Joey 06:10, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Did you notice that there were two opposing opinions on that page? Rmhermen 17:45, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Umm, I wasn't aware that the study of word origins requires a 'second opinion'. Do dictionaries offer 'second opinions?' Some things are grounded in hard fact, whether people want to admit it or not. Joey 15:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
No I am saying that you pointed to someone's opinion - and one that is opposed by another writer on the very same page. Rmhermen 16:35, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it's just 'somebody's opinion' - and I don't think some anonymous and confused commenter on the article makes for an adequate opposing viewpoint. In fact, this definition of corn (as the most predominant cereal crop in a region) is repeated in the very article corn at Wikipedia, which I haven't touched. But I think you've long been arguing this just for the sake of the argument, so I'll leave it alone now. Joey 09:57, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Mazola is a leading brand of corn oil in the Americas, and the name, of course, derives from maize. There was even an advertising campaign in the USA for Mazola products with the catchphrase "The Great Taste of Maize". If the average Joe doesn't understand the word maize, let Wiki educate him. Zzorse 15:17, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed! The same thing applies to Aluminum. It was a brand name in the US back in the 1930s. I have no issue that there ought to be an entry for "aluminum" in the Wiki, but it should also have a link to "Aluminium" to illuminate the reader.

If this Wiki is ever to be taken particularly seriously as a font of knowledge, it must not succumb to merely rote repeating of whatever cultural language rules on the day. Of course, we must acknowledge that Corn and Maize appear interchangeable words these days, but we should also be clear that there is differing meanings behind the words, however overturned by popular use. Otherwise we should submit that be renamed 13:43, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

First you should note that you are trying to restart an argument that ended months ago. This page is not in danger of being moved. Second, your derivation of aluminum is incorrect (See [2]) as is your calling corn a slang word. It isn't. Rmhermen 22:51, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Corned-beef anyone???? Corn is an English word with multiple meanings in dictionaries on either side of the Atlantic. The expression Indian corn originally arose in America as a label for the grain used by the indigenous inhabitants, who were once were called Indians. For anyone approaching the problem from a scientific or horticultural perspective the word used is maize, which corresponds to the species name as well as the name used in the current region of MesoAmerica, where maize was domesticated and cultivated for the past 9000 years. Corn is an ambiguous term, while maize provides a more precise or unambiguous term. NoraBG 02:35, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

How about a vote? I vote for Corn.Edison 16:48, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I vote that everyone stops arguing about word usage before it drives someone insane. :) Davidjk (msg+edits) 19:27, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

The term 'corn' is not an "American- colloquialism". There is no other term in common usage in the US and Canada for the crop. You may *think* it is colloquial, but the dictionaries I consulted did not. Using the term "maize" for corn is not an alternative that would work in everyday life. The only context I have heard 'maize' used in are "Maize Maze" where it is alliterative, a 20 year old Mazola commercial (note, not 'Maizola') and in reference to decorative Indian Corn.

maize  /meɪz/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[meyz] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun 1. (chiefly in British and technical usage) corn1 (def. 1). 2. a pale yellow resembling the color of corn. [Origin: 1545–55; < Sp maíz < Hispaniolan Taino mahís] Unabridged (v 1.0.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source maize (mz) Pronunciation Key Audio pronunciation of "maize" [P] n.

  1. See corn1.
  2. A light yellow to moderate orange yellow.

When it says "maize- see corn" you've got the wrong term....

I can appreciate that there is ambiguity because of a continued traditional use of the term 'corn' in the UK, but terming this article "Maize" makes as much sense as filing an article on American Football under "Gridiron" -- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:07, 7 November 2006.

This is fascinating...and a little disappointing. Some of the above comments are really pretty unpleasant and unkind, some toward Americans, some toward Brits. Probably no one is reading this anymore, but as a professional linguist I couldn't resist commenting. As someone above noted, the problem here is much wider than "corn/maize," and related to the unavoidable fact that while we (Americans, Brits, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, etc.) are (mostly!) all English-speakers, we speak different varieties of the language. None is better, worse, or more or less colloquial than the other. To suggest otherwise is sheer arrogance. Contemporary standard American English is not a dialect of the Queen's English, nor is Canadian English a step-child of American English, etc. Each variety began developing independently with the departure of colonists and separation of colony and homeland.

Some of the arguments here are irrelavent. In America, we use "corn" for what the UK calls "maize." I can speak only for America, though Candian and Aussie comments suggest the same there. There's no point trying to convince Americans that we're "wrong" or only using "slang" when we call "corn/maize" "corn" ("corn" is no more a slang word here than "book," "table," or "kitchen"), and it's equally pointless trying to "educate" us into saying "maize" (apart from the co-existence of the terms in highly-specialized technical usage). (It should go without saying that it's equally pointless to try to convince Brits that they give in to the more numerous Americans and call it "corn.") We use the language differently, this is simply reality, and a natural linguistic development. A similar issue can be found in the word "pavement" -- you can drive on it in the States, but probably not a good idea in the UK. And talk to Spanish-speakers about European and American Spanish differences -- same issue. Consider "the government is" in AmEng vs. "the government are" in BrEng -- the latter sounds grammatically incorrect to my ears, but the former sounds incorrect to my English friends (no idea how that one goes in other English-speaking areas). Rather than try to convince each other of the "rightness" or "wrongness" of one word or the other, there should be some principle for how to deal with language variation.

I have long wondered how Wikipedia handles this issue, since people usually feel that "my" version of the language is the right/correct/best/most-used one. Is there no established policy for dealing with it? There should be. The closest I could find is the very minimal Wikipedia:ENGVAR#National_varieties_of_English. As it stands, the article is somewhat inconsistent, with "maize" used in some places and "corn" used in others. Frankly, as a speaker of American English, I feel that I am reading something foreign when I read "maize" to refer to those little yellow kernels I had for dinner last night, not unlike reading "plaros" or something to refer to the "bread" on the side of the plate. The problem is that apparently a British reader would feel the same if it said "corn." So long as this is the "English-language Wikipedia" and not the "American Wikipedia" or "Australian Wikipedia" or "British Wikipedia" etc., there's no real solution for this. The only other idea I've thought of is possibly having a mirror corn/maize page (one consistently with British usage, one consistently with non-British usage) so all English speakers can read about this basic foodstuff (basic at least in the States) without the distraction of incorrect (for them) usage. But that's one step down the path to multiple English-language Wikipedias... (talk) 20:17, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Graph is misleading[edit] Corn just means whatever cereal grain is the most common in a region. In the US and Canada, it is maize. In the UK, it is wheat. Elsewhere it is different. This species is rightly called 'maize' and corn is a colloquialism. Joey 06:11, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


Let me ask a few questions, the answers may help put this in perspective: In the U.K. you call wheat corn, but if I said "wheat" to a brit, wouldn't you still know what I was talking about? If I said "maize", a significant number of Americans, I'm guessing over 60%, would think I was talking about a maze. If I clarified "the food", I think about 30% - and higher for children under 14 - would have no fucking clue what I was talking about, even if I spelled it. Also, do you alter other names and phrases that would include "corn" in the U.S.? Popmaize? Candy maize? Maizehole? Maizey?

On a separate note... there must be a tasteful way to mention in the article that whole corn kernels are famous/infamous for passing through the digestive system intact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12 April 2006

Then this wiki article serves as a public health and safety service as well. People who think maze is food need to be educated. --Ezeu 12:08, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
edited to say 'most English speaking people,' hopefully this will be acceptable to both sides in this corn vs maize debate. If not, then perhaps you could indicate that it is known as corn to most people who speak English as their first language.--Fieldinj 15:59, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I removed this as unnecessary as we already explain who calls it what where in more detail. Rmhermen 16:00, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Re: How to pronounce maize?[edit]

How do you pronounce maize? - "maze" (rhymes with days) or "mize" (rhymes with eyes)? This needs to be made apparent, and does not seem to have been addressed (except perhaps for those readers who are conversant with the special symbols denoting pronunciation, which the casual reader is not). (talk) 23:23, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Re2: How to pronounce maize?[edit]

My apologies - It appears that there is an attempt on the page to explain how to pronounce maize - there is an "ei" reference where the "ei" appears to be in a different font from the rest of the the sentence, and that corresponds to a rhyming with "days" (i.e., not rhyming with "eyes"). But to the first-time reader this is easy to overlook. Perhaps with further experience with the Wikipedia pages, I will not be so quick to jump to these conclusions of inadequacy. But for now, suffice it to say that a casual browser of these pages can quite easily make the same mistake(s) that I have. In other words, it seems like a simple statement like "rhymes with ..." would prevent such waste of time and resources. Again, my apologies..."mea culpa". (talk) 23:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Re3: How to pronounce maize?[edit]

Okay, judging from the previous posts on this issue (below), maybe it's not just as simple as saying "rhymes with ..." (unless you can think of a two syllable word (or two separate words) that it rhymes with!). (talk) 00:18, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I believe those are all Americans refering to the Spanish pronunciation of a similar word for the same thing. In English, I'm pretty sure maize is a homonym for maze in just about every accent. Skittle (talk) 03:53, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Wow, this page has gotten badly out of chronological order. Anyway, says it's pronounced this way and I'd definitely agree - rhymes with maze. I'm an American and I don't see what all the fuss is about, I consider "Corn" to be essentially colloquial, every American I know understands that the word maize means the same thing and is somewhat more technically correct. And I've dealt with people in the farming and commodity futures businesses as well as people with no connection to agriculture. Those who don't need to read more Wikipedia articles or be relegated to the likes of those who can't find Florida on a map of the United States. However, it's pronounced in Spanish, this is the English Wikipedia.--Doug.(talk contribs) 17:35, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

How to pronounce maize?[edit]

Please mention how to pronounce it, even if we are supposed to dig elsewhere for the answer.

I pronounce it just like maze. Is there another way? Wikitionary gives IPA: /meɪz/
Well, you're wrong. It's "Mah-Ees." NOT RHYMING WITH MAZE. NO NO NO.

SAMPA: /meIz/ Rmhermen 15:41, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the spanish word for corn is Maize. Mah-eez. Cfpresley
Creo que no–es "maíz".--Curtis Clark 23:49, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
My bad, it's been over 10 years since I took spanish, sorry if I added an e at the end. Same thing though. The only time I every hear corn referred to as maize was when "primitive" Indian corn was talked about, around Thanksgiving. That, and Crayola used to have a Crayon color named maize IIRC. Cfpresley

Calling BS on 'Maize'[edit]

Ok, I am calling BS on this Maize business. I guess we are supposed to believe that everyone in the world is running around having maize-on-the-cob and saying "oh dear, I have spilled some corns of barley on the floor!".

However google does not agree: Corn: 73,200,000 hits. Maize: 13,400,000

Where all these people who supposedly refer to zea mays as 'maize'??

Not on the recipies section on foodtv

which has  "Corn": 1971 recipes
           "Maize:  6 recipes

Hmmm maybe in the UK:
            "Maize": 6 recipes
             "Corn": 112 recipes
             "Corn": 125 recipes
             "Maize": 1 recipe   UK vegitarian soceity
             "Corn": 112
             "Maize": 10 (and none appear to be recipes)

How about google:

            "maize recipe": 285,000
            "corn recipe": 2,560,000
             "maize recipe" : 2,340
             corn recipe -peppercorn, -corned 7,170

Even that that supposed bastion of we-dont-know-what-corn-is-but-we-have-heard-of-maize, the UK, corn seems to be the dominant term.

I dont care if your sainted Welsh mother used the term 'corn' to refer to sorghum, that time is past and she would be hard pressed to make herself understood for much longer in Albion.

"Corn" *is* the predominate term; it *is not* a colliquialism, and this article ought to be changed.

No maize really is more common - including in scientific circles in North America (see the USDA's Maize Genome Database, for instance. Rmhermen 23:15, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

At this point it is obvious that "corn" is the more common term, so there is no "including" about it. So a genome site uses maize. What about

- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:50, 8 November 2006.

And with many of those recipe searches, you are probably getting confused with sweetcorn. As has been discussed here several times, the trouble with the word 'corn' is that it is very imprecise and can refer to many different things depending on context. -- Solipsist 04:31, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Those links are U.S. farmer's groups, not scientists who mostly but not exclusively use maize. Rmhermen 04:38, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I dont think I am 'getting confused' at all:
   Corn and crabmeat soup
   2 tbsp oil
   2 spring onions, chopped
   2 cloves garlic, chopped
   corn from 1 corn-cob, removed and toasted
   290ml/½ pint chicken stock
   55g/2oz tinned crabmeat
   salt and freshly ground black pepper
   drizzle of sesame oil
   1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the spring onions and garlic for two minutes.
   2. Add the corn and chicken stock and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
   3. Stir through the crabmeat and season with salt and pepper.
   4. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve.

Look there is a British recipe that uses "corn" without qualification. If the term is so "very imprecise" why did the BBC use it without qualification? And where are the people writting in to say "I made this recipe and it came out very grainy and there was a strong taste of uncooked flour".

Face it- "corn" is not "very imprecise", people know exactly what the term means.

When I go to Tesco's on-line grocery site it seems you cannot buy a product called "maize" in the UK. However you can buy "corn".

The people who grow it call it "corn", the people who sell it call it "corn", people who tell other people who to cook it use "corn", and people who eat it call it "corn".

In those contexts the term "maize" only seems to be used by UK Corn growers. Even the people they sell to dont use "maize".

Britannia and World Book have Corn articles that they redirect you to if you search for "maize".

The only reason to call this article "Maize" is if you have an etymological axe to grind. You might as well refile "Edible Salt" under "Sodium Chloride"

Your argument appears confused to me. I'll challenge you to try making that recipe with Waxy corn and see how well it turns out. This article is about maize in general. As I say, most of the references you are counting will actually be refering to sweetcorn (and surely I don't have to point out that the mention of a corn-cob in that recipe is the qualification as to which corn is being discussed).
In the UK, corn can be used to refer to sweetcorn (either as a shorthand contraction, or as a result of an adopted Americanism), but it also commonly refers to wheat and other grains - see [3]. If you can find an Englishman to ask, try seeing whether they know what cornflakes are made from (many will guess wheat - which, curiously enough, they originally were). Similarly, see whether they would expect to find poppies growing in a cornfield in spring.
But this isn't really about cultural differences. The real issue is that corn is an imprecise term whose meaning varies depending on context, whilst maize isn't. -- Solipsist 20:50, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Likewise 'salt' is an imprecise term (and much more so) yet there is no confusion in daily conversation if calcium chloide or sodium cholide is ment.

My argument is that I dont believe a substantial population of people, including in the UK, use the term "maize". Show me evidence that they do. Certainly it appears UK stores sell either corn or sweetcorn but never maize.

Nor do people feel there is a danger of ambiguity when they write up recipes in the UK. Your prefered disambiguator "maize" is never used unless the dish is specifically Latin American.

Or check Britannica where the definition of corn is zea mays and there is no reference to other grains. And there is no article for "maize"- because I dont believe that term is in common use. Wikipedia is out of step.

And as was mention above, maize is an imprecise term. I have heard "maize" mostly in the context of "Indian Corn" or a strictly decorative dried corn. As mentioned here: The definition of "Indian Corn" appears to differ substantially UK to US.

You do realize that Britannica is published in Chicago, USA and "uses a hybrid of British and American English". Rmhermen 23:20, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Britannica, Encarta, Worldbook and Columbia have articles on "Corn". And if you are so foolish to type in "maize" you get redirected to "Corn". Because "maize" is always a stub... could that be because "maize" is not commonly used?

Could it be because those are all encyclopedia written in American English? Rmhermen 00:00, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

And you see no precedent at all?

So what reference work are Englishmen consulting when the BBC publishes a reference to 'corn flakes' such as: that Solipsist would have us believe has caused mass confusion among readers?

I cant imagine what is even being defend here anymore. Certainly not the statement: "No maize really is more common"- otherwise maize would be sold in stores. And surely not the statement that 'corn' is ambiguous because the term is used more frequently than "maize" in the UK media.

Just look at the news articles: all from BBC- GM experts cautious on maize crop,

Hunger grips in Malawi maize crisis, Maize bread (recipe from BBC), US maize 'threat' to Mexico farms, etc. Rmhermen 02:24, 9 November 2006 (UTC) [and BTW what a crappy article, its like something from a free college newspaper] "However, some indigenous farmers are still worried. "The indigenous people of Mexico have farmed corn for 10,000 years," said Mr Gonzales." The actual guy, who farms it every day, calls it "corn". The academic, thousands of miles away, uses "maize".

" Mazes. Enormous mazes cut during the summer months into fields of corn. " Corn is used 4 times, Maize 3 times. 

Or this: Entire story on GM corn that does not use the phrase "maize" once. There is no standard at the BBC or it is ignored.

My family owns a farm in Illinois and in the 80 years we have grown "corn" we have never heard of it as being referred to as maize in this business. I attended Northern Illinois University which has a Dekalb corn research department. It is stated there that maize was the term used by native Americans, but the proper modern english term is corn. About the only corn referred to as maize is the multi-colored "Indian corn". 07:03, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Page move (Dec 06)[edit]

In what seems to be a drive-by action, this article has been moved by an editor to this alternative title in a rather unilateral fashion. At least, I can see no evidence that consensus was reached on this (or any other) title in the (now hastily archived) preceding discussions on this page.

What's more, no due consideration has been given to addressing any of the various (double) redirects, dabs, and other links.

I for one think this move should be undone and the article restored to its former title maize, however subsequent edits to that page after the redirect was effected mean that this restoration cannot now be actioned (without admin intervention/assistance).--cjllw | TALK 01:47, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Strongly Agree Zzorse 02:31, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I reverted already. The mover has a history of even odder unsupported moves. Rmhermen 02:34, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I moved the page to Corn (Maize), trying to keep in mind cjilw's objections above. This is the second time I've made this move; Zzuuzz reverted my previous move. Certainly consensus hasn't been reached but on this topic I don't think it ever will. I have read all the arguments above and I find the arguments for bold most compelling. I believe a small majority of commenters here agrees that the title of the article should be "Corn..." A lack of consensus for change is a bad reason to maintain a bad status quo. I was bold and made the move.

This is my first move ever and I tried to be mindful about fixing redirects and stuff, but I'm not sure I did that all properly; please correct any mistakes I made in this regard. As you can see, I have no history of "odd unsupported moves." User Zzuuzz describes my previous change as "drive-by." Please tell me how I cxan make and explain this change without seeming "drive-by" and I'll do it. But the move should stand. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Armandtanzarian (talkcontribs).

Well, you might want to try to demonstrate a clearer consensus supporting the move. It's been tried before, but you're welcome to try again. When making what you know is a controversial move, please follow the directions on Wikipedia:Requested moves and solicit some discussion. olderwiser 12:09, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

If there is no consensus then why was it reverted? Because apparently the article started under "corn" in the first place and never should have been changed. How do you explain that Britannica, Encarta, Worldbook and Columbia have "Corn" article? Apparently there is more of a consensus that people like to pretend. 21:01, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Corn, in my everyday vocabulary, refers to sweetcorn, a palatable, nutritious, and specific strain of maize. That corn differs from the crop commonly grown in the American corn belt, a less palatable, high starch, industrial raw material, known, in the industry, as 'number 2 field corn.' This strain too, though very different from sweetcorn, descended from the same maize ancestor, and can be uncontroversially referred to as maize. Is it this literal freak of nature that has in the modern era seized hold of the common meaning of the utterance 'corn,' from what was once a region-specific term for the most plentiful grain? Certainly it deserves the title, being far more common an ingredient in our diets than its unrefined cousin. Yet such a suggestion stands contrary to my personal experience and understanding of the term corn, which I and many rational people associate with the produce variety. I suppose the definition of corn depends on who you ask, and, as has been illustrated many times over in preceding sections, can vary wildly. For these reasons I, and most people capable of seeing through their cultural goggles, suggest redirecting all corn queries to an article labeled 'Maize (Corn).' It should be noted that the justification for re-terming maize 'corn' of 'because we do it this way now' is based on flawed logic and demonstrates acute historical amnesia. In reality, there is little to suggest that a shift of the sort would be in any way proper, right, or productive. At this point, it may be helpful to look at the standing article content and ask whether it better reflects the variety implied with the term maize or corn. Perhaps an article titled 'Corn' could dissect the highly domesticated, standardized, and specialized single monoculture of maize that simultaneously supports industrial animal farming and the processed foods industry, and compare it to the relatively rare corn that makes its way into our stomach directly off the cob. The two are not the same. Dave. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:39, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
You have hit the nail precisely on the head: "in my everyday vocubulary." The problem here is not anyone's "cultural goggles." For me, an American, the subject of this article is "corn." This does not preclude discussion of specific varieties of "corn" anymore than an article on "beans" precludes discussion of specific varieties of "beans." It is not a cultural issue, but a language issue. The problem is also not "historical amnesia." If thou preferest, we can revert to earlier forms of English to preserve the distinction between "thou" (singular and informal) and "you/ye" (plural or formal) -- the loss of this distinction is not historical amnesia, it is a result of the normal, natural, inevitable process of language change and variation. (If you didn't realize that language changes over time, check out the first line of The Lord's Prayer in Old English: Fæder uhre, þu þeart on this "good" or "bad"? --neither, it just is) But the issue here is language variation -- English-speakers simply use this word differently in different areas. Neither is intrinsically right or wrong. Just because it's in "your" everyday vocabulary, or anyone else's, doesn't mean it's the way all English-speakers do or should use it. There has to be a way of resolving this that doesn't depend on "your" or "my" vocabulary but instead on a Wikipedia principle for handling variation within English. Check out Wikipedia:ENGVAR#National_varieties_of_English -- the section "strong national ties to a topic" suggests to me that usage on the American continent ("corn") should prevail, but if a more apropos Wikipedia principle can be cited in favor of "maize" that would satisfy me as well. There's no solution that will suit everyone. (talk) 20:50, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Requested Move[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 no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 23:55, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I have added a Requested Move tag to the top of this page, for all the reasons outlined on this page, especially the very compelling argument made under the "Calling BS" section. Counter-arguments are made and they are re-butted. I understand the Maizistas position: corn is an ambiguous term, maize means the same thing everywhere. If I can sum up the Cornies reply: the use of corn to mean "any grain" is either restricted to the UK, archaic or both. Maize is a bizarre and poorly understood word in most of the anglosphere.

If no consensus is found (and it won't be) we should solicit the opinion of a 3rd party editor (preferably a native english speaker who is neither American or British) or proceed with an informal mediation request, per WP:DRArmandtanzarian 22:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I would like to see a better argument offered with this request for this highly controversial issue. The argument offered for the move is worthy of a {{Globalize/US and Canada}}. I also wonder how you would qualify the mediator beyond neither American or British). Jeepday (talk) 02:17, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I fail to see how pointing out that corn is an ambiguous term only in the UK makes me guilty of harboring an American bias. Seems to me quite the opposite is true: your insistence that the minority's usage of the term be standardized betrays your bias and is worthy of all kinds of tags. As for picking a mediator, frankly, I couldn't give a shit. I only mentioned it as the suggested next step in a process that I think should move forward, i.e., arbitration or moving the page.Armandtanzarian 03:14, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • We have already considered many Anglo-American differences like this. We even have reached a consistent practice on the matter, for which see this section of the Manual of Style. It works like this: If it's not broken, leave it alone. For this purpose, ghits are not enough; we already know there are more Americans than English. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:07, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
This is more than a mere Anglo-American quibble and the cited section of the MoS doesn't really apply unless you're referring to "Retaining the existing variety", in which case It's my understanding that this page was originally titled CORN. If it wasn't broken, why was it changed? And who's to say what constitutes "broken." I certainly believe this page is broken, for the reasons cited, ad nauseam, on this page. Your argument basically comes down to "trust us, it's fine", which is at least as condescending as your final remark above. My pointing out the relative populations was part of an argument, not an insult. Your inferiority complex is your own problem. Oh, by the way, I have no idea what a ghit is, please globalize your English, per this section Opportunities for commonality.Armandtanzarian 03:14, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support move - the article clearly belongs at "corn". This isn't a dialectical issue. The vast majority of English speakers call it "corn". --Yath 00:43, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose move - maize is unambiguous, corn is not; no evidence is given that maize is archaic in Commonwealth English and its native or first language speakers (UK, India, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Singapore, etc.) are nearly as many if not more than speakers of US English. However, the title line should read "Maize or corn (Zea mays L. ssp. mays) is a cereal grain..." to show the importance of the usage of corn. Arlright 02:47, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose move - Per WP:MOS#National_varieties_of_English The English Wikipedia has no general preference for a major national variety of the language; none is more “correct” than the others The whole argument for moving is in direct conflict with the Wikipedia:Manual of Style and the requirements of WP:MOS#Disputes_over_style_issues substantial reason to do so have not been shown. Jeepday (talk) 03:10, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose move for much the same reasons as given by Arlright and Jeepday. The current redirect works perfectly well for N American users of English.--Tom 08:18, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I am British, and here in Britain "corn" still often means any cereal crop. For Zea mays the word "maize" is unambiguous everywhere. Saying "corn" to mean "maize" started as a short form for "Indian corn" = "the sort of cereal that the Red Indians grow", which was maize. Also, I feel that Corn should redirect to Corn (disambiguation): currently it redirects to Maize: "corn" has other meanings, such as corns on the feet. Anthony Appleyard 10:05, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Just for the record, I disagree with changing the redirect. Did you take a look at the incoming links? Dekimasuよ! 23:55, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
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.

Why Maize instead of Corn???????????[edit]

Why on earth is this article called "maize" instead of "corn", isn't this the ENGLISH wikipedia?????????WacoJacko 06:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

As the section Talk:Maize#Requested Move directly above points out it this is English Wikipedia not North American Wikipedia. See also Corn (disambiguation) Jeepday (talk) 12:30, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

well, the majority of ENGLISH speakers say corn. Why shouldn't it be Corn(maize)??? It makes NO SENSE??WacoJacko 06:30, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Either way, there's no reason to be SHOUTING. It's not a crisis. If you feel it should be changed, explain your reasoning calmly and logically. Leebo T/C 12:42, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, 350 million native English speakers call this plant and its food product CORN. Only in Great Britain does corn mean 'grain.' English has a perfectly good name for 'grain'... it's GRAIN. It has been an English word since the 12th century. There should be a disambiguation page for MAIZE with the name of the color, the Spanish name of the grain, etc. As most English speakers on multiple continents use the everyday term CORN to mean this plant/grain, the head title of this page should really be changed. This is akin to calling FOOTBALL 'soccer'; most English speakers say FOOTBALL and that wiki page is titled FOOTBALL. Another reason is that the U.S. grows the most corn (maize) in the world, and natives here were growing corn (maize) before Europeans came. The term CORN is the most appropriate. 26, 2007 —Preceding comment was added at 21:57, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Wrong, not only in the United Kingdom does "corn" mean grain, but also in Ireland and India, a country of one billion. So, you are wrong, most English speakers use maize. The term maize is most appropriate. Reginmund 17:05, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Also the word used in scientific literature should be given weight against common usage when the common usage is distractingly informal or confused, as is "corn" for maize. Also your last point is completely irrelevent, it would be more accurate to say: the natives were calling it maize before europeans called it corn, therefore maize is preferable. -- 20:06, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

"Popularly" known as corn[edit]

I strongly object to Lurker's addition of the word "popularly" to the article's lead. The plant is known as corn in these countries, period. To say that it's "popularly known as corn in some countries" implies that "corn" is a term popularly used as an informal alternative to the formal term ("maize"). That simply isn't so. I'm holding a food label that lists "corn" (not "maize") as an ingredient.
In reverting my removal of this change, Lurker disputed my assertion that above connotation exists. I'm wondering, therefore, why it's problematic to simply state that the plant is "known as corn in some countries" and what distinction he/she seeks to convey by inserting the word "popularly." —David Levy 11:49, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

See the section above entitled "informally known as corn". Googling for "maize" on U.S Government sites produces over 90,000 hits. Many of the documents are scientific in nature. I thought "popularly" would be more neutral than the previous "informally". Lurker (said · done) 13:20, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
No one is denying that the plant often is referred to as "maize" in scientific circles (including in countries where the term "corn" predominates in other contexts). But that isn't what the article's introduction now implies.
Googling for "gasoline" on sites with the "uk" country code results in approximately 190,000 hits. Should we therefore change the gasoline article to indicate that the substance is "popularly known as petrol in some countries"? —David Levy 13:37, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I've replaced "popularly known as" with "usually called." Does that address your concern? —David Levy 13:43, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
It'll do, i've got too much else on my plate with other articles to deal with a long-drawn out discussion on the issue. Lurker (said · done) 14:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
If you have any specific objections or alternative compromises, feel free to share them. —David Levy 14:57, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
The uk code does not indicate a UK government site. If the UK goverment was calling petrol gasoline, it would be different. Lurker (said · done) 14:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
How so? —David Levy 14:57, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

International bias vs. American bias[edit]

I believe most of the issues here have already been solved. Still, this seems to have been a hot topic on some occasions. Again, please read what has already been said before adding your own two (metric/imperial) cents/pennies. -- era (Talk | History) 03:00, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I doubt anything has been solved 21:02, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

In what country?[edit]

"The corn will ripen in October or early November;" in what country? should this be replaced with seasons instead? - --Cyprus2k1 22:26, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I agree. Mate. Dfrg.msc 07:12, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Limited scope[edit]

User:Ezeu has complained that this article is too focused on the U.S.

I don't beleive that the article is as biased as he claims but the uses of corn section could be expanded to include other countries. Are there places where corn is the dominant food grain? Are there unmentioned significant culinary tradition? Are there unmentioned places where corn plays a significant cultural/ritual/traditional role? Rmhermen 16:13, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

shouldn't this be titledUK Bias vs International Bias? I'm Canadian and maize was Indian word for corn. But in Canada no Indians actually grew it so they called it corn too.-- (talk) 00:05, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Other topics[edit]

Pellagra Citation Needed?[edit]

When maize was first introduced outside of the Americas it was typically welcomed enthusiastically by farmers everywhere for its productivity. However, a widespread problem of malnutrition soon arose wherever maize was introduced. This was a mystery since these types of malnutrition were not seen among the indigenous Americans under normal circumstances.[citation needed]

Commenting on the {{Fact}} tag here: Are you asking us to prove that indigenous Americans did not suffer a specific form of malnutrition? Ancient societies are not generally known for writing down every ailment that they did not suffer from. Perhaps the burden of proof should be on the person who asserts that the indigenous Americans DID suffer malnutrition, as this is much more likely to be documented.

There is no need to prove whether indigenous Americans of the past suffered from a form of malnutrition or not as there are plenty of indigenous peoples in the Americas today who eat very traditional diets similar to those of 500 years ago. Do these folks suffer from pellagra is probably available in the medical or public health literature? Pellagra is one of the pet nutritional deficiency diseases and, as such, has been studied extensively. KP Botany 22:50, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
What about a citation for the claim that pellagra arose wherever maize was introduced? era 22:19, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
The citation for pellagra is about the only one in the whole article. there is a footnote link to it at the end of the first paragraph on that section. I just checked and the reference seems to support the claims of the article. Jeepday 01:55, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Ah yes, it has replaced the "citation needed" which was once there. My bad. Case closed. -- era (Talk | History) 02:38, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

unrelated sentence??[edit]

I removed this sentence because it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the article:

In 1940, Barbara McClintock received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovery of transposons while studying maize.

ike9898 15:31, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

It is an article about maize and someone got a Nobel Prize for studying maize. I don't see how it is unrelated. Rmhermen 22:20, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
Should this entire subtopic (including this query of mine) on the "(un)related sentence" be removed (as the reference to McClintock's Nobel Prize has now been re-written, and is well-integrated into the entry (Subsection "Genetics"))? -- Steve 03:38 May 4, 2007 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:39, 4 May 2007 (UTC).

Baby Corn[edit]

Can somebody add some information (or write a new article) about baby corn please? I love that weird little freak of nature and would love to know more about it and its relation to regular corn.

[from the IP who started the stub this week --Jerzy(t) 20:54, 2005 Jan 6 (UTC)]

Tallest corn[edit]

the internet is an excellent source for fake information from lazy humans. the tallest stalk of maize that was ever grown was probably the "31'-even" stalk that was grown outside washington, iowa in 1946. the day that it was measured, the washington newspaper reported this precise height. look it up for yourself. end the circle of august ignorance.

According to this site "Don Radda of Washington grew the world's tallest corn stalk in 1946; it was thirty-one feet and three inches high." -- WormRunner | Talk 21:54, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As interesting as this factoid is, does it really belong in an encyclopedia article?--nixie 22:01, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I put that in talk because the latest edit of the article was to remove a reference to 30 foot tall corn because User:Rmhermen could not find any source for it. I could have just reverted the article, but felt that putting it in talk first was more politic. -- WormRunner | Talk 22:54, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)


The "Maize" article states that "Worldwide production was over 600 million metric tons in 2003, just slightly more than rice or wheat."

The "Sweet Corn" article states that "Maize is the third most grown cereal crop in the world after rice and wheat."

I'm not sure which is correct, (or if 2003 is the most recent year for which data is available) but the articles should agree on which crop is grown in greater abundance. [[User:asdfa|asdfa] 16:52, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Sweet corn is wrong. The most recent numbers are from 2004, million metric tons: Maize 721, wheat 627, rice 605 [4] Rmhermen 18:04, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


say "use" in ...furnaces have been developed which uses maize...

  • Maize also known as "Bhutta" in many regions of India. Corn ears cooked in hot sand and served along with butter, salt red chili powder & lemon juice is one of the famous snack in Northern India, also known as "ret ki challi".

Changes 2/11/06:

  • It is maize grain, not seed, that is converted to ethanol. This is a discussion of the uses of corn as a grain, not of its botany. Seed is what one plants, by definition, in agriculture.
  • It is incorrect to write "ethanol is a form of alcohol". That is like writing "H2O is a form of water". Ethanol is the predominant chemical constituent of grain alcohol.
  • Switch grass may be of interest as an alternative engergy source, but does not belong in the discussion of maize.
  • Furnaces that burn maize grain are also not directly of interest here. They also do not have any significant impact on the maize economy.
  • I suggest that these topics be treated elsewhere, as they are of interest to many people. --Zeamays 14:05, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
The repeated change to refer only to high fructose corn syrup is needless and misleading. There are other kinds of corn syrup. It is not "incorrect to write 'ethanol is a form of alcohol'". Ethanol is only one of hundreds of kinds of alcohol. The mention of corn furnaces here is at least as valuable as a unique use as the mention of bourbon. The mention of alternatives to corn sourced ethanol is valid as it impacts the market for maize. Seed is a biological description, not "what one plants, by definition, in agriculture" (for instance, onion growers and potato growers do not plant seeds to produce market crops) Grain refers specifically to seeds of family Poaceae. Using either grain or seed is possible - they refer to the same thing. Quickly dated U.S.-centric material is not appropriate for the article lead Rmhermen 16:53, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
I largely agree with Rmhermen. I want to point out, though, that a grass grain is a fruit, not a seed (although the pericarp is but a thin layer adhering to the seed coat). Inasmuch as the pericarp is not removed when maize is fermented (nor is it removed in any other commercial use except the production of hominy, where the seed coat is removed as well), technically speaking it is the grain that is fermented.--Curtis Clark 17:34, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Although Rmhermen is correct that there are other corn syrups, it is the high fructose syrup that is sweet. The common corn syrup is just a hydrolyzate of corn starch and is primarily glucose. It is not sweet.
  • Yes, ethanol is one specific alcohol, but it is not a 'form of alcohol'. The other alcohols are distinct chemical compounds, not different forms of the same thing. My version of the text is less misleading.
  • The use of corn furnaces is rare and impractical. It is much more energy-efficient to burn the crop waste than the valuable gain.
  • This section is not a biological (I used botanical) description. Grain is much more apt a description in the context of the uses of an agricultural commodity than seed, which implies what is planted.
  • The definition of grain is the fruit of any cereal, not just the Poaceae, although farmers often refer to other crops in this way.
  • The best way to understand the impact of genetic engineering on agriculture is to cite the preponderance of the US crop, for which statistics are readily available. --Zeamays 18:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
This smells of an edit war to me; I'll comment here and let you two duke it out in the article. To say that glucose is "not sweet" is POV. Maize is used to produce both glucose syrup and high-fructose syrup; leaving out the former is misleading. "...grain alcohol, or ethanol" is appropriate for this section: it disambiguates the alcohol and makes the connection to grains, the fruits of grasses. I agree about corn furnaces. Grain is a more apt description botanically, as well, which was my point. The part on genetic engineering could combine your sentences to read: "Maize is one of the first foods for which genetically modified varieties make up a significant proportion of the total harvest. Over half of the corn acreage planted in the United States has been genetically modified using biotechnology to express agronomic traits desired by farmers."--Curtis Clark 19:28, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

My latest edit should assuage some of Curtis Clark's concerns, and (I hope) make it more palatable to Rmhermen also.--Zeamays 18:36, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Article too long?[edit]

I think it should be divided up. Kaw in stl 21:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

removed text[edit]

I removed the following text as it does not seem acurate and the reference given did not support it. Maize planted individually develops 2 to 4 ears. Modern farming techniques in developed countries usually rely on dense planting, which produces on average only about 0.9 ears per stalk because it stresses the plants. {] Signed Jeepday 16:26, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Corn Construction?[edit]

I'd never heard of it before I stumbled across the article. But there is an article called corn construction. Sort of. Came here to suggest that the corn construction article is either improved or removed. I am a lemon 04:42, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Corn and Beans[edit]

Why do corn grow slower then beans?

Why should they grow at the same rate? Even different varieties of the same species will mature at different rates. Rmhermen 23:07, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Lost history of talk[edit]

In March this page was moved here from Corn but nobody thought to move the Talk:Corn, consequently there is history which belongs here on a disambiguation page for corn. Anyone capable of a full history merge and willing to undertake it.--Doug.(talk contribs) 02:37, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

  • I've requested full history merge via {{db-histmerge}}--Doug.(talk contribs) 02:42, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
    • I could not find any point in between the two pages that indicate that the two are really one document. Could you show me a sample page from each of their histories that show that the talk pages are really one talk page cut and paste instead of two different talk pages about the same subject? If they are two different talk pages that did not have a cut and paste move, I would create a mess by merging the two. However, you could move one of the talk pages to an archive of another talk page as a subpage of it. Jesse Viviano 04:59, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Oh, OK, I guess I misunderstood the applicability of a full history merge. You're right they are two separate pages, they shouldn't be but they are. I'll see if I can do what you've suggested. --Doug.(talk contribs) 06:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, now I think it's all set. Talk:Corn redirects here, Talk:Corn (disambiguation) is blank, the old text having been moved to Talk:Maize/Archive 1. Now we just need to refactor and archive some of this page.--Doug.(talk contribs) 07:01, 26 October 2007 (UTC)