Talk:Rugby union in Ivory Coast

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Requested move[edit]

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

The result of the move request was: Move. This decision is strongly influenced by the examples given by the "no article" side such as the BBC and the New York Times. It's also influenced by the Ivory Coast article itself, which uniformly avoids the article. There are strong cases on the other side, but the weight of modern news usage seems squarely on the side of omitting the article.--Mike Selinker (talk) 04:02, 22 November 2012 (UTC) Mike Selinker (talk) 04:02, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Note to closing admin - this has only been moved by Anthony Appleyard from the suggested name to the current name. I think for procedural reasons this should be moved back. If a user wants a new name, they can make a proposal. ChemTerm (talk) 08:52, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Note 2 to closing admin: also see User talk:Anthony Appleyard#Ivory Coast. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:19, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Rugby union in the Ivory CoastRugby union in Ivory Coast – Proposed by Fayenatic as all recent page moves of Ivory Coast articles have been to articles without the the article. Bob247 (talk) 21:42, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

I propose that this page should be moved to Rugby union in Ivory Coast. The only other page which currently includes "the Ivory Coast" in its name is National Order of the Ivory Coast. Almost all others, e.g. Ivory Coast at the Rugby World Cup, Ivory Coast Player of the year and List of Ambassadors of the United Kingdom to Ivory Coast do not include "the" as part of the country name. See Category:Ivory Coast-related lists for more examples.

I made a WP:BOLD move of this page, but Bob247 reverted this with the edit summary "per good grammar".

The category is currently at Category:Rugby union in Ivory Coast, which matches all other categories in Category:Ivory Coast, but those have only just been renamed (by me) from Côte d'Ivoire to match the head category as agreed at WP:CFDS. – Fayenatic London 20:42, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

History: The page was moved from Rugby union in Côte d'Ivoire to Rugby union in Ivory Coast in July 2012, then moved to Rugby union in the Ivory Coast; the page history records Requested at Wikipedia:Requested moves as uncontroversial ...
However, I did not find a record of the RM there, nor at ; I must be looking in the wrong places. – Fayenatic London 21:20, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
I have notified Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ivory Coast of the current RM. – Fayenatic London 14:16, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I have also left a note at WT:Categorization as this discussion has implications for many Ivory Coast category names. – Fayenatic London 20:36, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Also WT:WikiProject Africa. – Fayenatic London 15:36, 29 October 2012 (UTC)


  • Oppose We need the the article as we do for say Rugby union in the United Kingdom, Rugby union in the Netherlands or Rugby union in the Cayman Islands. All the Côte d'Ivoire articles have recently been moved to titles with Ivory Coast in them per the talk page at that article. The corresponding articles and categories for everything Côte d'Ivoire have just been moved to Ivory Coast so there is no precedent for either the proposed change or for the current location. However, per grammar rules, we should use the article the when talking about the Ivory Coast similar to the United States and the Czech Republic. Just to clear stuff up, it was I who listed this originally at technical moves, as I thought that it was just a technical mistake and that it would cause no problems. This was before the huge category moves. --Bob247 (talk) 21:42, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment United States refers to a union of states, United Kingdom refers to a kingdom, Czech Republic refers to a republic. But Ivory Coast mostly does not refer to a coast, but a country. ChemTerm (talk) 00:18, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
      • So the United States is not a country but just a union of states? What about Rugby union in the Seychelles? Placing the before certain countries names but not others in article titles does have some precedent. --Bob247 (talk) 04:26, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
        • They are all countries as defined in ISO 3166-1. You chose in your "we should"-section examples that have the form of government or something like that in the name. Your new examples, and the Cayman Islands, are much closer. The Seychelles are islands, as are the Philippines, the Maldives. The encompass the whole land territory of the country. With Ivory Coast this is not the case. In speech "I went to the Ivory Coast" sounds like someone went to the coast only. Compare with Costa Brava, Côte d'Azur. ChemTerm (talk) 20:34, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
"Ukraine" sounds bad English to me, "the Ukraine" sounds like decent English. "The Argentine" sounds old fashioned. Entirely subjective.--MacRùsgail (talk) 15:37, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
In the recent discussion on renaming the main page Côte d'Ivoire, a few people did suggest calling it "the Ivory Coast", but the majority view and decision was to move it to "Ivory Coast". The main point being discussed was of course whether to use the French or English words, and it's probably fair to say that most people missed or ignored the point on whether to include "the". Nevertheless, it's clear that "The Ivory Coast" is not predominant usage, otherwise they would have picked that name. 16:12, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
It's worth noting that there is a more similar case than the island nations mentioned above: The Gambia. There have been discussions on renaming that to Gambia, but none are either recent or decisively argued. – Fayenatic London 16:12, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that anyone is suggesting that the main article be moved to The Ivory Coast. As an example: Netherlands is not located at The Netherlands but at Netherlands and its football article is located at Football in the Netherlands (my bolding). Note the use of the the. There is no argument to be made regarding moving the article Netherlands to The Netherlands. However, when one discusses the Netherlands, one invariably places the before the name of the country. --Bob247 (talk) 20:48, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose unless someone can show that the current name is blatantly incorrect. To my ear, this only reads correctly with the 'the' in the title. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:03, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
    • Question: is this a case of mainly American v. British usage? The BBC's Ivory Coast profile does not use "the". In the case of Gambia/The Gambia the article is generally considered optional, but to my British ears "the Ivory Coast" sounds quaint and outdated. – Fayenatic London 22:24, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
      • I don't think so. --Bob247 (talk) 04:26, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
    yet they still use in the . As I stated below, I wouldn't go by what journalists use, but what is actually grammatically correct. I have tried looking for the answer and still have come up short. If we go by WP:COMMONNAME as suggested below, then in the = 7,300,000 results versus in = 6,770,000 results. A hairsbreadth, so this still does not answer the question. --Bob247 (talk) 20:48, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
    On the contrary, it does answer the question: it proves that "the" is optional. I therefore agree with those who argue below that given a choice, we should use shorter names for articles and categories. – Fayenatic London 15:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
    • Question - Vegas, would you apply the same reasoning to the party that moved the article without discussion from "Ivory Coast" to "the Ivory Coast". They did not show that "Ivory Coast" is blatantly incorrect. ChemTerm (talk) 20:24, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
      • It is very likely that if we were using Côte d'Ivoire, the 'the' is not required. But when we changed from the French spelling to the English one, the rules changed hence the need to add the 'the'. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:54, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
    • It seems inappropriate to "play it by ear" when a simple Google search shows widespread dis-use of the the definite article form. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 21:17, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Support "The" is optional [1], and for ease of use and shortness drop it in article titles and category names. ChemTerm (talk) 00:15, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support - Usage of the United States and Ivory Coast is different. The top ten news articles for Ivory Coast are all using the name sans "the" [2][3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 21:10, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, many of those don't support your argument. However, I could also post a number of recent articles from within the last 48 h from the same publishers that use the the. You could then post another bunch of articles that don't and then I could post some more that do. we could dance like this ad infinitum and it still wouldn't address the issue or help in anyway. What we need is someone with impeccable qualifications in the English language to answer this question. journalists hardly count, as I notice that many of the people who post in response to such articles in the comments section often complain that the articles are badly written. Can someone with good knowledge of English grammar please weigh in. I, most def., do not claim to have such credentials. To me, Rugby union in Ivory Coast just looked and sounded jarring to my ear, hence the request to move the article in the first place. This is from someone who has lived and worked for many years both sides of the pond. --Bob247 (talk) 04:27, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind that I did not de-limit the search with anything (-the). Correct English grammar is hardly relevant. It always comes down to the common name in move requests. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 06:19, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "Rugby union in Ivory Coast" is rotten English. But I expect nothing less from Wikipedia, which produces linguistic abominations such as "deletionism", "inclusionism" and "peacock terms".-MacRùsgail (talk) 15:39, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
    Not forgetting "disambiguation"! Face-smile.svgFayenatic London 15:41, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - No, it's not "rotten English", it's a place name. Just as we no longer write "the" Ukraine, but just Ukraine. The name of the country is "Ivory Coast", not "The Ivory Coast". You wouldn't say "The New York" or "The Sweden". There are other forms, such as "The United Kingdom" and "The United States", but in these cases, "The" is part of the proper name. Such is not the case with Ivory Coast. --Taivo (talk) 16:45, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Historically, it was "in the Ivory Coast." But for the last decade or so, usage has been split, according to this ngram. Many people assume that dropping the "the" is more sensitive, so I have to wonder if there is some kind of directive from Abidjan on this subject, or what the basis for this idea might be. Kauffner (talk) 17:40, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Thanks. (What a superb resource that is!) I see that "in Ivory Coast" first appeared in books in 1955, and "in the Ivory Coast" still predominated until the 1980s, but usage of the two phrases is almost equal in recent publications. We should go with the trend rather than the historic usage, i.e. use "in Ivory Coast". – Fayenatic London 08:59, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I think. For what it's worth, I wouldn't say "Rugby union in Ivory Coast" and don't think I've heard/read it. (talk) 07:07, 18 November 2012 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

Our article tends to use "Ivory Coast" as the subject of a clause, but "the Ivory Coast" in a prepositional phrase. That's what sounds right to me, though it seems to be variable. "Rugby union in Ivory Coast" sounds like telegraphese. — kwami (talk) 00:10, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

This article has only used "the Ivory Coast" within its text since 25 October when it was changed by Bob247 from "Côte d'Ivoire" ([12]). As ChemTerm pointed out above, Google searches for "in Ivory Coast" and "in the Ivory Coast" return similar numbers. – Fayenatic London 15:26, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
  • In case this discussion ends up choosing to use "the Ivory Coast", let it be clear that "the" does not need a capital letter in mid-sentence, e.g. "Rugby union in the Ivory Coast" NOT "Rugby union in The Ivory Coast". Nobody wants to have to sit through a follow-up discussion on capitalisation of The. (By way of comparison, there was no consensus on this at Talk:The Gambia.) – Fayenatic London 16:23, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
"The" should not be part of the name ever because it is not any more a part of the country's name for itself any more than "the" is part of Ukraine's name. Since the official name is Côte d'Ivoire, not "La Côte d'Ivoire", the definite article should be deleted consistently. If English common usage were overwhelmingly in favor of "the", then there would be an argument for retaining it here, but when the usage is not conclusive, then other factors such as the official name must be considered. --Taivo (talk) 16:49, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
French name and article usage is relevant to the French Wikipedia. This is the English Wikipedia. WP:UE ChemTerm (talk) 08:49, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not talking about French usage, but English usage and the relevance of the official name to English usage. Just as there is no "The" in the official name of Ukraine (Україна), there is no "The" in the official name of Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire). Since English usage is split between with "the" and without "the", then the presence or absence of "the" in the official name is a legitimate consideration to weight the argument in one direction or the other. --Taivo (talk) 11:17, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I can argue this one either way. Perhaps we need to have a default position documented as a naming convention... That is, decide whether or not to include the the when in doubt... so we can spend our time on more productive things. Andrewa (talk) 09:43, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.