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Is the list really neccesary?[edit]

Wouldn't this article be much better set up as a description of different types of misnomers with a few well-known or easy to grasp examples for each (ex: Kleenez, Panama hat, koala bear)? -- TRTX T / C 15:01, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it is necessary, but needs trimming a lot (see discussions below), so that it would be what you describe (albeit longer) and not a list of everything anyone has every misunderstood a_boardley (talk) 17:30, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I found the article very informative. On the other hand, I understand why some would think there were too many examples, if they don't find the examples fascinating in themselves, as I happen to. Perhaps the solution is to create a separate article called "List of mismomers." Jack (talk) 12:50, 4 May 2013 (UTC)


Removed the America/United States of./The Americas bit. Between English speakers, America refers ONLY refers to the USA. A Guatemalan is not an American. A Guatemalan would be from ONE OF the AmericaS (note the THE and S). The Americas are not a single landmass, but two. The two continents are NOT America... they are THE AmericaS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 16 May 2009‎


Indians are not so named because someone thought they reached India. This is wrong. Stop perpetuating this myth. He did not think he landed in India, he knew the world was round, and he knew he wasn't anywhere remotely close to where he wanted to be. I am removing the affected section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

If by "he" you refer to Columbus, your statements are not compatible with any source I know of. In particular, while Columbus (and many others) knew that the world was round, he was under the misimpression that the circumference was far shorter than it actually is. (talk) 03:20, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Columbus thought he had reached the Indies, or somewhere thereabouts, possibly Japan. (I think he changed his mind a few times about the exact location.) The Indies were the islands between Australia and the Malay Peninsula. Today it's mostly Indonesia, but also part of Malaysia, plus Brunei, East Timor, etc. At the times there were lots of people from India living there. They had arrived recently, maybe starting the time of the Romans. Originally they were communities of merchants. Their business involved spices and the Indian Ocean Trade Route. To this day, the Indonesian island of Bali is predominantly Hindu. I don't think Columbus ever gave up on the idea that he had discovered the Indies, but to his successors it was pretty obvious. Thus, the original Indies were renamed the East Indies while the ones Columbus discovered were called the West Indies. The difference between India and the (East) Indies is like the difference between England and New England. Two different places. Zyxwv99 (talk) 17:32, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Some other misnomers[edit]

Here are some other misnomers that should be included as examples:

  • American “Indian”
  • “planetary” nebula
  • “rare earth” element
  • “tidal” wave

Guinea pig[edit]

I humbly suggest guinea pig as a good example of a misnomer. There is of course the argument that there are already many examples but the guinea pig is a very common pet and word and a readily recognizable word to cite as a misnomer, and possibly better than, for example, a Norway rat, which I've never even heard of. And in the case of guinea pig both words used in its formation are misnomers.

The possible entry, under "Association with place other than one might assume" could be "Guinea pig:If s are native to South America not Guinea (and for that matter not pigs but rodents).good FourTildes (talk) 23:15, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I posted here for "consensus" as per protocol and got no response after over three weeks. I am moving forward with my suggestion. FourTildes (talk) 01:46, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

If you actually look at the hidden comment immediately below your edit, you will see that there is long-standing consensus that no new examples are to be added without consensus. This article is a crap magnet. Your example is an actual misnomer (unlike most of the hundreds of previous examples), but editors have pared down the examples to a few good ones. This article is not "List of misnomers"; it is about the idea of a misnomer with a few examples. If everyone adds his favorite example, the article becomes unmanageable. If you want to add your example again, please get consensus to do so here. It might help if you make the case that your example is better than the current ones. Sundayclose (talk) 01:36, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

I did "actually" look at hidden comment below my edit, which is exactly why I did actually come here and ask for a consensus, as per instructions in the hidden comment; which no one chimed in on (until now anyway). I never believed, meant nor implied this article was a list of misnomers. I don't have a favorite example when it comes to misnomers and I am well aware from my experience at wikipedia about how too many additions can dilute a good article. I do, however, believe guinea pig is a better example of many of the examples listed because it is a double misnomer, hence my nomination. If there are enough examples already, then I think guinea pig is a safe replacement for, say Norway Rat, which I've never even heard of; when I could guess most native speakers of English have heard of guinea pigs. Can I please have an attempt at consensus? One person coming in and undoing my addition after I finally made my edit because nobody bothered to reply is not a consensus.FourTildes (talk) 08:29, 22 February 2015 (UTC).

No one "chimed in until now" after you "finally made your edit"??? One day after you added the item against consensus and one day after you made your comment here. That's not much of a consensus discussion. One editor does not make a consensus. And you are currently "having your chance at consensus". So again, please wait to see if a consensus develops here before adding the item again. Sundayclose (talk) 16:47, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

No one chimed in after I made my suggestion on January 25th, on this Talk page. I waited almost a full month for someone to respond before I made my edit. So the guideline in the edit window says "no additions without consensus" but the only way to get anyone to notice (so far one person), as has been proven right here, is to make an edit. That is why we are here talking now, right? The oft repeated conundrum of "no edits/additions without a consensus; no talk about consensus without an edit" rears its head again.
I'm not sure what you mean when you are talking about "one day" above. Could you please explain? And while you are here, may I ask you about your opinion on "guinea pig"? I feel it is a good example of a misnomer, more well known as a word than some others on the list, and to boot, it is a double misnomer. I wasn't opting for replacement of another word before, but if the examples are already deemed too numerous, than replacement could also be considered. Thank you for your time. FourTildes (talk) 20:57, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with the guinea pig example except it needs consensus. If it is restored, another example in that category should be removed. As you can see in the most recent edit history of the article, your recent addition without consensus was an invitation for others to add their favorite without consensus. Sundayclose (talk) 15:34, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

I doubt that it is anything but random timing that anyone tried to make their own addition after I did. My addition was up only a short while, and only a regular user who knows the rules would probably even notice a one addition change. And I doubt a user who has yet to bother to make a User name would check the edit history, and if he/she did, it would've been clear that additions are controversial and quickly reverted - making them less likely to make an edit not more; unless you are assuming people just want to stir things up. This was certainly not my intention. I could see a possibility for your argument if someone had made another addition before you reverted, but this is not the case.

So how to go about getting a consensus? I am still unclear what you mean by this comment, "No one "chimed in until now" after you "finally made your edit"??? Was making suggestion on the Talk page not a good way to go about trying to get a consensus? I am asking you to please clarify what you meant. Thank you. FourTildes (talk) 20:44, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

WP:CON describes ways editors can and cannot try to get a consensus. You're certainly entitled to you opinion, but I don't think it was a coincidence that another example was added shortly after yours. It's been almost a year since an example was added. Before the hidden comments were inserted to try to prevent that, the article was a huge bloat of examples, most of which weren't even misnomers. Sundayclose (talk) 17:35, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

"editors open a section on the talk page and try to work out the consensus through discussion" Ah, well that's exactly what I did, almost a full month before I made my edit. If my suggestion gets zero feedback am I to just forget it? The only way I got any feedback was by editing. I followed the protocol. There would be no discussion going on had I not finally made an edit. If I get no other feedback in the next few days (about my addition, not about my following protocol or inviting other additions), I would humbly request you allow me to add Guinea Pig, likely replacing Norway Rat, the most similar example.
The last addition to the examples in this article was "building" on January 25, 2015, which is considerably less than a year, so I don't believe that my edit invited others to add their pet* examples. (*no pun intended that my suggestion is guinea pig). FourTildes (talk) 21:28, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

You've been on Wikipedia more than seven years, and I don't want to insult your intelligence. But may I humbly suggest that you read the entirety of WP:CON, especially WP:CON#Consensus-building. I will assume you understand all of it unless you let me know otherwise. If you follow all of the suggestions completely you won't have a problem from me. This is not a high traffic article, so I suggest waiting at least four or five weeks after you implement everything at WP:CON before concluding that no one else has an opinion. This is not a newspaper, so no one needs to be in a rush to make a change in the article. If you don't want to follow WP:CON then we have nothing further to discuss unless you blatantly violate the prevailing consensus about no new additions without consensus. Thank you. Sundayclose (talk) 22:54, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, you are correct. "Building" was recently added. But the point is that they have been few and far between because a few dedicated editors decided to enforce the consensus. Take a look at the article before that started happening, which includes a version of the guinea pig example (not to imply that it is a bad example). Sundayclose (talk) 23:56, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

The guidelines you link state that consensus is necessary when there is a difference of opinion about the edit itself. There is nothing in those guidelines that I could find that say I need to go look for a consensus about actually making an edit, just about the content of an edit. You said you are not against my suggestion for an addition/replacement in principle. Yes, this a a low traffic article, which is why, I assume, no one else has given feedback except for you - who does not have a problem with guinea pig as an example. We both agree it is a workable example, a small consensus of two for a low traffic article. How about I add it, and then if someone else comes in to revert it we can have a real discussion from some the dedicated editors you refer to? Then a more binding consensus can be reached. Isn't this how consensus is often reached in many cases? If the consensus is eventually against my addition, then I will, of course, abide by it. FourTildes (talk) 00:04, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

So, regarding my suggestion: I believe Guinea Pig is preferable to Norway Rat, as Guinea Pig is an example of a double misnomer and is also more well known than the Norway Rat. My replacement would be worded closely to what follows:

The Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus) originated in the Andes not Guinea, and additionally is a member of the rodent family not the pig.

It may have one too many wikilinks in it, but there it is, for you consideration. FourTildes (talk) 00:15, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

No offense but I don't intend to continue repeating myself, so regarding your statement "There is nothing in those guidelines that I could find that say I need to go look for a consensus about actually making an edit", let me say once again (and for the last time): There is an existing consensus not to add new items without consensus. That means you either need a solid consensus to add an item, or a solid consensus to change the existing consensus. I don't think I can explain that any more simply. I'm also not repeating that you need to implement the suggestions at WP:CON; at the risk of appearing to spoonfeed you (and as I've said, I don't want to insult your intelligence), has the thought of WP:RFC even crossed your mind? As I said, if you make a reasonable effort to follow WP:CON you will not have a problem with me. Now, I'm not repeatedly making the same points over and over. I'm finished here until you decide to follow WP:CON or to violate it. Sundayclose (talk) 00:44, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
WT:WikiProject Popular Culture may be a better starting point than RfC. The point is, seek opinions (in a neutral way; no canvassing). Sundayclose (talk) 01:06, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
NAC: Consensus had been reached that this change should be made, to include guinea pig as a misnomer, and the article had already been updated as requested. Closing as already done in accordance with consensus. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:52, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I have recently suggested the addition of the word "Guinea Pig" as a good example a misnomer on this article's page. It has been pointed out that too many examples have creeped in before and that they should be kept down to a manageable number. Therefore, I think Guinea Pig could replace the misnomer Norway Rat listed under the heading "Association with place other than one might assume" because guinea pigs are more well-known than Norway Rats and guinea pig has the added value of being a double misnomer (see below). Another editor here, Sundayclose, has no problem with this addition/replacement, but we would like a wider opinion about this suggestion, because the policy on this page is that there should no additions without a consensus. My addition/replacement, as an example of a misnomer, would read something like:

The Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus) originated in the Andes not Guinea, and additionally is a rodent and unrelated to pigs.

Thank you for your time.03:04, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

  • First, there's no such thing as "the policy on this page"; this page is not special in any way, and normal WP:CONSENSUS policy applies. Second, if we used this example, Guinea should be linked, too. Third, I like that the proposed example is both more common and is a two-for-one case. In most contexts, no one refers to a "Norway rat", we simply call them rats, so the extant example isn't particularly helpful.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I like the replacement here as more common however I object to use of the terms "Rodent family" and implied "pig family". Rodents are an Order of mammalia. The equivalent Order for Pigs is Artiodactyla (Which includes Camels, Llamas, Whales, Dolphins, Hippos, Cows, Goats, Sheep and Deer). The Suborder Suina (Swine) is Pigs and for Guinea Pigs it's Hystricomorpha. The relevant Families are Caviidae (Cavy's) and Suidae (pigs). I'm ambivalent as to what level below Euarchontoglires and Laurasiatehrians is chosen. SPACKlick (talk) 14:33, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't see any problem with adding it, let alone replacing it. --Precision123 (talk) 17:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
    • I don't have a problem with replacing it, and I understand your point about adding. But simply adding one more example is contrary to the spirit of the current consensus for this article that is designed to keep the examples down to a few. As I've stated above, this article has a long, ugly history of everyone adding their favorite example, and this is not a list article. Obviously if the consensus here is to add without removing another example already in the article, I will respect that. Otherwise, however, an existing example needs to be removed. BTW, I agree with others that if guinea pig is added, Norway rat should be removed. Sundayclose (talk) 20:00, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I think we have consensus on guinea pig as a worthy replacement for Norway Rat. I will replace it after I finish this note. I will also link Guinea as was suggested. SPACKLICK's observation is valid, rodents should not be mis-classified as a family and pigs have a distinct family name Suidae. However, I thought it best to use identifiers that the layman would understand so I used the same words but took out any reference to family. If one clicks on them they can get more information in their articles about their classification. Thank you everyone for your input. FourTildes (talk) 02:40, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.