Talk:Phineas Gage

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Former good article nominee Phineas Gage was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 20, 2005 Good article nominee Listed
June 14, 2007 Good article reassessment Delisted
June 19, 2013 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

Harvard copyedit[edit]

This:

In November 1849 Henry Jacob Bigelow, the Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, brought Gage to Boston and, after satisfying himself that the tamping iron had actually passed through Gage's head, presented him to a meeting of the Boston Society for Medical Improvement and (possibly) to a Harvard Medical School class.

has gotten a bit redundant. An earlier version has read "... to a Medical School class", which is not a style WP uses (the capitalization of a common-noun reference; similarly if someone worked for Santa Clara Community College and later the University of California at Berkeley, we would not write of her anything like "... after she left her Community College position for the University post").

The entire sentence could probably be redone, with further removal of unnecessary capitalization (per MOS:JOBTITLES, "professor of surgery" shouldn't be capitalized except when prefixed to the name):

In November 1849, Henry Jacob Bigelow, professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, brought Gage to Boston and, after satisfying himself that the tamping iron had actually passed through Gage's head, presented Gage to a meeting of the Boston Society for Medical Improvement and (possibly) to his medical class.

This also removes the "the" before the job title, which indicates that HMS only had one surgery professor (possibly true at that time, but we don't know that from the source presented so far).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:23, 5 December 2016 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, how about...

In November 1849, Henry Jacob Bigelow, the professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, brought Gage to Boston and, after satisfying himself that the tamping iron had actually passed through Gage's head, presented Gagehim to a meeting of the Boston Society for Medical Improvement and (possibly) to histhe medical school class.

It certainly wasn't "his" (Bigelow's) class, and the earlier "a medical school class" was also wrong. It was just "the" Harvard Med School class, simply meaning all the students at the school at the given time, there not being designated stages-of-study (first year, second year, etc.) as you would see today.

As to "the" professor of surgery, Bigelow certainly was the one and only, Harvard Med School being, like most medical schools at the time, a bit of a boutique operation. I'm actually having trouble finding an explicit source on this precise point; it's like trying to find a source explaining that George Washington was the President of the US, not one of many. Nonetheless I've found something that I think just barely passes muster, being from Harvard's own Center for the History of Medicine.

I've installed all this stuff so all can see the new cite, but of course comments from my esteemed fellow editors are most welcome. EEng 07:40, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

My gut reaction was that it should actually be "the Professor of Surgery", capitalized, although trips to MOS always make me cringe (because the issues are often so trivial). But I looked at MOS:JOBTITLES, and I actually do think that capitalization is correct in this case. MOS makes a distinction between "French kings" and the "King of France". Bigelow, here, is like the latter. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:10, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree that Professor of Surgery is a title, and should be capitalized. SM registering no objection, I'll reinstall the capitals. EEng 13:37, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
...and now that I've done it, it looks a little strange. Whatever. EEng 13:39, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

The Wonderful World of Wikidata[edit]

Over at Gage's Wikidata entry I tried to add the Wikidata equivalent of [[Rock blasting|blaster]] as an occupation, but instead I seem to have added blaster (Q2481679) fictional type of personal laser weapon from Star Wars. Can anyone sort this out? I'm flummoxed. EEng 02:23, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Maybe just change it to "railroad construction"? --Tryptofish (talk) 03:02, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
It already lists railroad construction foreman and stagecoach driver; I was trying to add blaster as a third entry. Now that's I've inadvertently linked Gage to the Star Wars franchise, I'd be happy just to delete it, but I can't even get it to do that. EEng 03:12, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Woops, I should have actually looked at the entry. Anyway, please check it now, because I think I was able to successfully remove it. At first, it did to me what it probably did to you, which is to refuse to carry out "remove", with an idiotic message about how it's better not to remove it. Then I tried adding a "qualifier", and while it was in that mode, the "remove" function seems to have worked without arguing with me. This was my first edit at Wikidata, and I hope that it will be my last. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:28, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, kind sir. So much for my degree in computer science from you-know-where. I feel the same way about Wikidata. It's like a video game -- everything you click pops up with a secret power or Cloak of Secrecy or something. EEng 23:28, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
[FBDB]That would be "kind fish" to you! Yes, sometimes ignorance is bliss. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:35, 3 February 2017 (UTC)