Talk:Spokesperson

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removal of redirect and rewrite[edit]

People no longer become spokesmen just by being a public figure: It is now a profession.

Removed the redirect from 'spokesperson', which is a redirection in the wrong direction. Spokesman has been in existence much longer that Spokesperson, and has been derived from same.

Expanded the description of the role and skill-set of company spokesmen. I have not dealt with governments and public organisations, but there ought to be enormous similarities of the roles, responsibilities and skill sets of the representatives.

The references to Bob Uecker or Kent Hrbek have been removed. They appear to be sports commentators and not spokesmen as such, and there are no citations to back up the claim that they are spokesmen for this or that organisation. Ohconfucius 04:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The redirect is also per Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a soapbox and Wikipedia:Avoid neologisms. I was going to move it myself, but you beat me to it. Bayerischermann 02:56, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Just for reference on the "spokesperson" and "spokesman" comparison: 39,600,000 Google results versus 98,400,000. 62,300 Google Scholar results versus 31,300 results. "Spokesman" clearly is more common. Bayerischermann 00:48, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Maybe this is because most spokespeople are men. That doesn't make it any less sexist. Note that fireman has 60,700 Google Scholar references, whereas firefighter has 16,300, yet firefighter is the name of the article. Policeman has 154,000 articles, whereas police office has 88,600, yet police officer is the name of the article. COGDEN 01:47, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with User:COGDEN. "Spokesperson" is no neologism. It's currently the accepted term. Let's move out of the dinosaur era--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 20:31, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Agree with COGDEN and Brewcrewer it should be moved. - Epson291 (talk) 00:41, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

My response to previous comments

Showing that there are more Google hits for "spokesman" than "spokesperson" proves nothing: Why? Because "spokeswoman" is also a word.

If the writer wants to specify gender, then the words "spokesman," and "spokeswoman" are both used, and the writer will select the one that specifies the exact gender.

On the other hand, if the writer wants to use a word which is at a higher categorical level, and includes both "spokesman" and "spokeswoman," then the writer will use "spokesperson."

Discussion of the categorical level of three words: Spokesperson, Spokesman, Spokeswoman

Both "spokesman" and "spokeswoman" are sub-categories of the word "spokesperson," and should both redirect to "spokesperson." (That is not the case now: Right now we have the bizarre situation where "spokeswoman" redirects to "spokesman." That situation is at odds with the Wikipedia policy of clarity.)

Discussion of the function of three words: Spokesperson, Spokesman, Spokeswoman

"Spokesman," and "spokeswoman" are used to specify gender. That "use" for them, or the "function" for them, puts them in a separate class than the word "spokesperson," which has a distinctly separate function. It has a different function, and, as an "operative word," operates differently within its linguistic setting.

Summary and my recommendation

All of the above shows that the argument of "Wikipedia:Avoid neologisms" is not applicable to this discussion. All of the above illustrates that nothing is proven if there are more Google hits for "spokesman" than "spokesperson."

Both "spokesman" and "spokeswoman" are sub-categories of the word "spokesperson," and should therefore both redirect to "spokesperson."

Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 04:45, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Other reasons for changing the redirects
Reason One
In this edit you can see that in 2003 the Wikipedia administrator User:Evil saltine originally had "spokeswoman" redirecting to "spokesperson." Then on July 6, 2006 someone changed "spokesperson" to redirect to "spokesman." This created a disruptive double redirect, which alerted a robot on July 24, 2006. In response to this disruption of the original administrator's organization of Wikipedia, the robot then created the bizarre situation where "spokeswoman" redirected to "spokesman."
Reason Two
The above comments show that only two editors want "spokesperson" to redirect to "spokesman." However now a total of five editors (including myself, the original administrator who set up things in 2003, and another administrator User:COGDEN) want the reverse.
Sincerely - Boyd Reimer (talk) 05:12, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Reason Three - Consider this Wikipedia guideline on using gender-neutral language: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Gender-neutral_language - Boyd Reimer (talk) 16:33, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Skill set[edit]

"Spokesmen will have antennae"? Is this a piece of jargon from the spokesman-industry, or just a strange choice of word? — Saxifrage 05:42, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Lacking an answer I'm just going to pull the whole skill-set section as original research. Anyone? Bueller? — Saxifrage 18:58, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Can we find any material to explore "spokesmodel"?[edit]

I don't remember ever hearing this term before the 1980s talent-show program Star Search. Does anyone know if they originated the term? It was a category in the talent competition, which consisted largely of modeling shoots but also included the spokesmodel contestants speaking the pre-commercial-break lines. Lawikitejana 07:19, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

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. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:55, 1 September 2010 (UTC)



SpokesmanSpokesperson — Reason for requested move: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Gender-neutral_language. Also see this above discussion, and above survey of editors. If this requested move is granted, then it will simply restore the 2003 administrator's configuration of redirects for "Spokesperson," Spokesman," and "Spokeswoman": This edit shows that in 2003 the Wikipedia administrator User:Evil saltine originally had "spokeswoman" redirecting to "spokesperson." That configuration was changed in 2006 by someone (and a robot) who is, to my knowledge, not an administrator. See above discussion. - Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 17:41, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Support per this comment in the above discussion: "'Spokesperson' is no neologism. It's currently the accepted term." Propaniac (talk) 18:19, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
  • The rename means sensible enough to me, but the arguments about administrators doing things a certain way years ago is irrelevant: we work on current consensus, not 2003 consensus, and administrators have no more vote in matters like this than non-administrators. Ucucha 08:36, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. MikeLynch (talk) 13:49, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Article title should be gender-neutral. --- cymru lass (hit me up)(background check) 16:51, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support No good reason not to use the gender-neutral term. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:30, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.