Talk:Voßstraße/Archive 2

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In text, I have attempted the following compromise. The street is the Vossstrasse, as we agreed (see the archives; those who wish to change that agreement should go to WP:RM.) Note that omitting the is an idiom violation. The addresses are Voßstraße 1 and so on; the italics being proper to a foreign word. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

if anyone chooses to make a move request, fine; the last move request discussion is at Talk:Vossstrasse/archive1. I thank Avraham for intervening, and note that the MoS on Ireland is only one of the places we agree on following what English does to foreign names; there is another discussion at WP:NCGN. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The MoS on Ireland is of course completely and utterly irrelevant, since Ireland has places with both English and Irish names. Where a place has an English name, we use it. Where a place has no English name, we use the native name. Voßstraße has no English name, therefore we use the German name, which is Voßstraße. "Vossstrasse" isn't the English name; it's just a misspelling. It never should have been at this name in the first place, and it certainly shouldn't remain at this inaccurate name. —Angr 09:57, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely right. I suggested this barbaric spelling only because it was marginally more acceptable than the hyphenated version used by User:Adam Carr, which was his own invention (and even then, triple-s has been allowed in German only since the German spelling reform of 1996, which is widely disregarded). There is no reason whatsoever to not call this article by its real name, and that is Voßstraße. ProhibitOnions (T) 11:27, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I quite agree with Angr. -- Evertype· 13:22, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
It remains both guideline and policy, however, to call articles by what English calls the subject. Those who disagree with policy should go to WT:NC; those who disagree that this is the English spelling should present evidence, and go to WP:RM. Evidence may convince me; a wider appeal may find people who agree with you. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:07, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I speak both English and German, and there is no English name for this street. There is no earthly reason for the sharp esses to be used in the name of this article. -- Evertype· 00:09, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Google Scholar appears to disagree. Unfortunately for our purposes, they quite sensibly regard Vosstrasse as a hit for Voßstraße, and there's another one in Heidelberg, which appears to be Vossstrasse in the usage of the University Medical School; but including Berlin (and street, to ensure we get English) gets a number of returns in both spellinss, even when searched only with eszett. The results suggest Vossstrasse is spoken of in English, and is normally spelled with ss. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
No, that's simply because Google searches for variants on special characters, treating ß and ss alike (just as, for example, it treats l and Polish ł alike, although they are not interchangeable letters). The reasoning is pretty obvious; it makes it easier to search for a phrase without having to type all variants, and allows searches for foreign words without having to have the right keyboard installed, and so on. ProhibitOnions (T) 21:14, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
So much seems obvious; the combined sample, however, favors Vossstrasse.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
In Google Scholar you need to exclude the pages mentioning Voßstraßes in Heidelberg, Munich and Hannover by adding -heidelberg -münchen -hannover to your search. Those other Voßstraßes could be named after a different Mr. Voß or Voss. I know this is not the 100% kosher way to make sure you just get Berlin Voßstraße results, be that as it may: Doing this exclusion you get just about 20 hits. Aurogallus 21:32, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, yeah, one more thing...
Nationalist? Moi? Very funny, Anderson. BTW, it's common courtesy to mention it when you go to WP:ANI. Perhaps you'll remember to do so next time. ProhibitOnions (T) 21:33, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps not as much as the editor I named; but certainly: a narrowly focused account, with a nationalist agenda, who will neither comply with our policies nor argue to change them; but movewars.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Please refrain from edits which might be understood as personal attacks; please assume good faith even when you don't concur. Lectonar 15:17, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
And which nation would that be? ProhibitOnions (T) 11:00, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
  • If he doesn't movewar, that would be fine; for the past one, see the history of this article. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:28, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Ok cut the crap guys. Avi should not have moved and then protected. Protection to stop an edit war is applied immediately, the article isn't reverted to anyone's preferred version first. Second, the word Vossstrasse simply doesn't exist. This is not a word that has been used so much in English that it has become and English word. Its rare in English, and remains German. Second, it is a proper noun, and as such should be spelled the way it is spelled in German. More people on this page support the ß version than the other and there is a consensus for the German version. The copious amount of pmanderson's rants doesn't change this. The page stood there for a while and Avi's interventions was inappropriate. It should be moved back to the ß version and left there. Since a redirect exists, there is no issue with English keyboards not having an ß. This sniping back and forth betwenn pmanderson and prohibit onions is absolutely juvenile and stupid. pschemp | talk 18:28, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Then file a move request at WP:RM. It may get consensus. As for Pschemp's argument, it would prove that we should move Nuremberg and Rome; it therefore contravenes policy. However, since it is the only argument (as opposed to flat declarations without evidence) presented, it is an immense improvement. I regret to see that he has spoiled an otherwise fine post with a flat lie; if he believed there was a consensus to spell as in German, he would have filed a move request - and the history of this page shows there isn't. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:35, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
No once again, you are using poor examples and Rome and Nuremburg are commonnly used in English whereas Voßstraße is not. Second, only you and Elonka think it should have English spelling, the rest of the editors on this page think it should be German. That is consensus. Third, a request doesn't need to filed because there is consensus. Fourth, you are still being uncivil and childish. pschemp | talk 18:41, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
No, it is policy that we should use English spelling; the question is what the English spelling is. On that, only I have bothered to check evidence. As for "on this page": before you make such claims, you should really remember to archive, unless you mean to claim that Adam agrees with you. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:52, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and policy states names go to the name in the language when and English equivalent doesn't exist. Please prove to me that this word is used as much as somthing like "Rome". To be English, it has to be used enough in the language to be common and the spelling changed. Which is isn't. Secondly, Adam hasn't edited since October 2006, so he's hardly part of this discussion. Rant on, but the consensus is still against you. pschemp | talk 19:06, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Now all you have to do is to prove that these 200 hits don't exist. They suggest, by the way, that Vossstrasse is more common, even in representing German postal addresses, but doubtless such valiant Defenders of the Truth will find that no problem. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:34, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
200 vs 81,000? 200 hits that are spelled that way only because English people don't have an ß on their keyboard? If a word can only be found 200 times in Google, it has hardly become intergrated into English. It isn't even a German loanword at that frequency. That's the whole point you are missing. It isn't and hasn't been used enough in English to be an English word. It isn't in the English dictionary. I can find 200 hits for recently made up nonsense words. The MOS clearly states, "For terms in common usage, anglicized spellings are used, or native spellings if they use the Latin alphabet" 200 google hits does not equal "common." Second, the ß ligature is considered part of the Latin alphabet. The MOS states in the "Diacritics, ligatures and letters from (extended) Latin alphabet not commonly used in modern English" section that redirects should be used when a ligature is in the correct spelling. An example is Ægir where the ligature is used in the title, and the separated out spellings are redirected to Ægir. This applies here because it is also a proper noun. pschemp | talk 19:52, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) I am thinking over your request, pschemp, but I would like to point out the MOS specifically states that the esszet is controversial here WP:Use English#Disputed issues. -- Avi 20:28, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Well you should do it because your move violated policy, regardless of the outcome here. While that does indeed indicate the ß is controversial, both the majority of editors involved in that poll, and the majority of editors involved in this discussion prefer the ß. Second, the MOS clearly states, "anglicized spellings are used, or native spellings if they use the Latin alphabet" and the Latin alphabet article indicates ß is a ligature in the Latin alphabet. Third, the section of the MOS that talks about ligatures indicates they should be used as the title with redirects to the spelled out forms. While the Ireland MOS is interesting, it doesn't relate because German and English are closely related language families where the alternative English spelling is easy to figure out, whereas Irish Gaelic is incomprehensible to the average English speaker. pschemp | talk 20:37, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Page name

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.--Húsönd 19:03, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support Voßstraße''' or *'''Oppose Voßstraße''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.

OK, everyone, let us try discussing this cordially and on its merits. -- Avi 21:09, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I dislike this pseudo-poll considering much cordial discussion has already gone on and should not be discarded because you started a new section. The opinion of the editors previous still stands, and should not be ignored if they don't happen to come by and want to say the same things that they did again. pschemp | talk 22:53, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Consensus can change over time. The issue has erupted anew, so it makes sense that the discussion do so as well—free from rancor. -- Avi 00:09, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and I doubt that people such as Angr have changed their view in less than 48 hours. It isn't fair to discard their opinions above when they are so current. Discussion without sniping is a good goal however. pschemp | talk 00:52, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße More accurate and there is no reason to avoid the use of ß. Support use of {{foreignchar}} at the top of the page. Stefán 21:20, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Vossstrasse English usage; which usually, but not always, does avoid eszett. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:47, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Here's a fine instance where it should not be avoided. -- Evertype· 08:46, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voss Strasse or Vossstrasse Vossstrasse - Common English spelling, as indicated on sources including on the web,[1] and in the Lonely Planet guidebooks. --Elonka 21:51, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • After having spent some time looking through major English-language newspapers, I am switching my opinion from "Vossstrasse" to "Voss Strasse or Vossstrasse". The "Voss Strasse" spelling is the primary one used by papers from The Age to The Guardian, and even the German press agency DPA. For details, see the references I've been adding to the article. --Elonka 17:57, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße The word is not common in English at all. The ss spelling has only 200 google hits. This is not a word that has become integrted into English or which can be considered a loan word. MOS reasons support the ß which I will explain below. (again) pschemp | talk 22:53, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Falsehood. That's's total for 'both spellings.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
    • One can avoid double counting by using [Voßstraße -Voss-strasse Berlin] or [-Voßstraße Voss-strasse Berlin] but it does not help in Scholar because German articles are returned as well. --Philip Baird Shearer 14:54, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße I am really on the fence here, but pschemp actually had a good point when he differentiated between the the treatments of Gaelic and German, and as the esszet is technically in the Latin alphabet, I am leaning ever-so-slightly to this spelling with a redirect from Vossstrasse. -- Avi 00:08, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße per Use English. When there is no common English name we use the native name and Latin-alphabet languages need no transliteration. While the original author was active here I was willing to defer to him to some extent but, alas, he is gone. Haukur 00:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße, as above, for accuracy. Let's not twist "use English" to cases where it doesn't apply. ProhibitOnions (T) 09:06, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße, use local spelling if no real "English name" exists (I'm thinking of Munich etc. here). Kusma (talk) 09:11, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße. there is no English name for that, only a possible English spelling. Lectonar 15:42, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße Because no English name exists and a name should not be transliterated if it uses one of several variants of the Latin alphabet. For a further reading, including some of my arguments, take a look at the archive. Blur4760 00:28, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße — more accurate; English does not have a name for the street beyond borrowing the German. --Stemonitis 06:20, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Voßstraße. That's its name and the ß is not to be shunned in English. -- Evertype· 08:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Vossstrasse As I said in the archive Talk:Vossstrasse/Archive_1#All_the_fuss (Has anyone in this survey bothered to read the archives?) the WP:NC says Generally, article naming should prefer what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. No word containing an "ß" character is going to be "second nature" to the majority of English speaking people. --Philip Baird Shearer 08:59, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
    • "with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity" - I think in this case using the ß is a reasonable minimum. Redirects take care of linking issues. pschemp | talk 04:34, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
      • So you state that funny foreign squiggles are ambiguous, I presume that you will now support Vossstrasse as it is less ambiguous and is in line with the guidelines. As you point out for those familiar with funny German squiggles redirects can take care of that usage. --Philip Baird Shearer 14:26, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
        • Funny foriegn squiggles? Could be any more xenophobic? Speakers of English are no so stupid that they can't deal with reading something once it is pointed out that ß = ss. You've twisted my words to incomprehensibleness, but it remains that ß is not that difficult for English speakers to deal with. pschemp | talk 20:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Vossstrasse; No matter what anyone says here, this is what is more commonly recognized and used by English speakers. The people pushing Voßstraße would be overwhelmed by 90% of users if they even had a whiff of the debate that goes on these pages over the use of "ß". And, as I indicate below, the ß pushers want to have it both ways. Kusma says that he's cool with Munich because that's a commonly accepted English name, but then why on Franz Josef Strauss are we subjected to ß, when his name was incredibly commonly written as "Strauss" during his life? Unschool 10:12, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Please prove the Voßstraße is commonly used in English anyway, in any spelling form. So far the best that anyone has come up with is about 200 google scholar hits where it's an address on a paper, wherein the author didn't have an ß key. That doesn't mean it's an English word. pschemp | talk 20:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
That's the one thing I can't live with. I don't care much about Vossstrasse or Voßstraße, although I prefer the latter. What I don't like is writing a German word not only with nothing but English letters but also according to English orthographic rules. Vossstrasse still remains a German word, only the ß is substituted. Thus, I see no reason to use English orthography. And it just looks utterly ridiculous for anyone who speaks German (and still has some sense left as to how compounds are formed) Blur4760 14:53, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
With all respect, Celestian, while there is certainly logic in your suggestion, making one choice either because it "looks better" or because it's what "we say" in English, would constitue OR, either way. No, we need to both follow policy and use outside sources for verification of our English usage. It appears to me from what has been said that there's ample evidence for either Voss Strasse or Vossstrasse. Personally, I don't care which. I do object to the unnecessary inclusion of foreign characters in an English-language encyclopedia, so I do not approve of using Voßstraße, per many other comments I have made on this page.
If, like Blur4760, other German speakers also prefer Vossstrasse to Voss Strasse, then I would think that their sentiments merit serious consideration. Unschool 16:02, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
I am leaning more and more towards "Voss Strasse", but Vossstrasse is a legitimate spelling, since it is what is used in major English-language sources from Lonely Planet to the Guardian to the New York Times. Wikipedia follows the lead of outside sources, we don't make things up as we go along. --Elonka 19:14, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Vossstrasse . Avoid the B in English as always. If someone is interested in the (correct) German name he can look to the first line of the article or jump to the German wikipedia via the interwiki link.--Supparluca 14:32, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Vossstrasse. More helpful to English-speaking readers, since es-zet is not familiar to most readers, and breaks up reading of articles. --Reuben 19:58, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


Reasons for Voßstraße

  • 200 hits that are spelled that way only because English people don't have an ß on their keyboard do not an English word make. If a word can only be found 200 times in Google, it has hardly become integrated into English. It isn't even a German loanword at that frequency. That's the whole point the ss supporters are missing. It isn't and hasn't been used enough in English to be an English word. It isn't in the English dictionary. I can find 200 hits for recently made up nonsense words. The MOS clearly states, "For terms in common usage, anglicized spellings are used, or native spellings if they use the Latin alphabet" 200 google hits does not equal "common." Second, the ß ligature is considered part of the Latin alphabet, thus Voßstraße is a native spelling using the Latin alphabet . The MOS also states in the "Diacritics, ligatures and letters from (extended) Latin alphabet not commonly used in modern English" section that redirects should be used when a ligature is in the correct spelling. An example is Ægir where the ligature is used in the title, and the separated out spellings are redirected to Ægir. This applies here because it is also a proper noun.pschemp | talk 22:56, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Note, while use of the ß is contested according to the MoS in WP:UE, and so that does take some strength away from the second half of the above argument, it still is considered "native" to the Latin alphabet. -- Avi 00:30, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Correct, but the poll you pointed out earlier *did* have a majority of users preferring the use of ligatures and diacritics, so there is a precedent to use it. pschemp | talk 01:08, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
        • This is a prime example of the abuse of statistics. There are 81,500 English hits for Vossstrasse. I'm sure they are the same 81,000 hits as for the German spelling, and no google distinguishes between them; but the 200 for either hits are examples of scholarly usage, and they are few enough to actually look at. They are primarily actually English text; and there are more than twice as many with double s than with eszett. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:16, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
          • Abuse? cute. If you'll notice, most of the hits on scholar are in addresses, and there are actually more that use the ß than don't. About 400 for ss to 500 for ß. It also shows that this isn't a word actually used in common English discourse. It is only used to identify addresses. pschemp | talk 03:15, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
            • Addresses should not be counted, per WP:NCGN; they testify to German usage, not to English. The fact that so many addresses use Vossstrasse is really quite impressive — it raises doubts that the double eszett is in fact the official German spelling. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:08, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Example: Zeitgeist - This actually is a word that has been taken in and is commonly used in English. It has 15,900,000 google hits. Compared to really shows that Voßstraße is not English. pschemp | talk 01:08, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
    • You are comparing apples to oranges. Firstly, you are comparing to; second, you are comparing a human emotion to a street in Berlin. Of course Zeitgeist has more google hits. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:16, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
      • No, I'm showing that Voßstaße isn't an English word, and giving an example of one that is so you can see the difference in hits. Also, Zeitgeist isn't an emotion. pschemp | talk 03:15, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Reasons for Vossstrasse

The principal question here, is "what does English do?" This is the English WP; it should be edited for English-speakers.

  • It is policy to use English names; and there is a guideline, at WP:NCGN and elsewhere, to spell as English does.
    • The policy states that "When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it" The tiny amount of google hits shows that this is not a widely accepted name, in fact, it is hardly ever used in English. Thus there is no requirement to use an Anglicization. It also says "If no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English, use the local official name." again, 200 google hits, (or even less google scholar hits) vs the 81,000 for Voßstraße shows that the ss is not widely used. A mere 200 hits can be attributed to the simple fact that the author didn't have an ß key, and doesn't mean that he/she consciously made a choice to use sss. In fact, there is no proof of that being standard or widely used. pschemp | talk 23:04, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
  • There is a substantial pile of instances of scholarly use of Vossstrasse, here. Less than a third use eszett and many of the hits are German addresses, which may be expected to follow German official usage.
    • 126 total hits is not a substantial pile. pschemp | talk 23:01, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
  • There is a survey of usage of German symbols at Wikipedia:German-speaking_Wikipedians'_notice_board/Umlaut_and_ß. Umlaut is fairly common, eszett comparatively uncommon. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:00, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • That survey refers to English. Voßstraße is not an English word. pschemp | talk 23:01, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
      • No, Vossstrasse is; that's why we should use it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:21, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
        • Vossstrasse is not an English word. It's a rendering of a German word done only because people don't have an ß key. The vast majority of the Google scholar hits are addresses of authors, not use in real communication. pschemp | talk 03:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Guidebooks tend to follow local usage, because it's what's on the street signs. That Lonely Planet does not is fairly strong evidence that the eszett is unnatural in English here. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:02, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Guidebooks are specifically written to be easy for English speakers, not to be accurate. They have never been the arbitrators of English style. The fact that you have to look to a guidebook for a usage shows that this is not a common word in English, and as such does not have an English spelling. pschemp | talk 23:01, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
      • But you don't. Guidebooks are less likely to use English; there's even one, in English otherwise, titled München Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:21, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
        • Give it up here. half the guidebooks use ss half of them use ß. They support no one's position. pschemp | talk 03:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
          • Oh really? And which English-language guidebooks in particular are not using Vossstrasse? Please be sure to list them at Wikipedia:German-speaking Wikipedians' notice board/Umlaut and ß, which currently is showing unanimous avoidance of the ß character for this subject. --Elonka 16:07, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
            • The Michelin Green Guide, already listed there for one. pschemp | talk 04:28, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
              • Michelin produces a fine set of guidebooks, but just because they may use the ß character in some contexts, does not mean that they are using it for Vossstrasse. If the English-language Michelin guides have a page that spells the name "Voßstraße", I am unaware of it. --Elonka 18:25, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
                • Honestly, if the Michelin guidebook talks of eg. Poststraße (p137 of the copy I looked at in the bookstore yesterday) and uses straße and not strasse in every other instance I could find, can we not surmise that it would find Voßstraße the appropriate form? Stefán 18:44, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
                  • If the Michelin guidebook does not have a page that lists Vossstrasse at all, then instead of trying to guess or interpolate how they might be spelling the name, we simply should not use it as a source for this subject. I would rather that we stick to guidebooks that do list the name, such as Lonely Planet, to determine "common English usage". --Elonka 18:55, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
                    • Right, [2] Stefán 19:20, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
                      • I think that the guidebook discussion can be terminated immediately. It's irrelevant. If I'm an English speaker going to Germany I'm going to expect to see signs in German using non-English characters—the guidebook is doing me a disservice if it does not portray information the way I will see it on the signs. And an English-language encyclopedia does the English speaker a disservice if it employs characters that are no more recognizable to me than they would be if they were Cyrillic. Unschool 20:17, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
                        • I agree the guidebooks prove nothing. However, a name written entirely in cyrillic characters is quite a different thing than a name where all but two characters are common in English. English speaking people aren't as stupid as you seem to implying. pschemp | talk 20:31, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
                          • It is not I who am implying that the English-speaking are stupid. It is the "ß" pushers who think that the everyday run-of-the-mill English-speaking users of Wikipedia are so stupid that we can be told with a straight face that "the most common English spelling" of this town is Voßstraße and we'll just accept it. This is so patently dishonest it makes me ill. Unschool 20:55, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
                            • Calm down. My point is the that Voßstraße is not an English word and therefore doesn't have an English spelling at all. pschemp | talk 01:56, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The spelling of Vossstrasse is standard in English-language sources such as Lonely Planet guidebooks and the UK's The Guardian newspaper, which uses either "Vossstrasse" or "Voss-strasse". --Elonka 22:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have located several other English-language newspapers that are using the spelling of "Voss Strasse". Including an English-language paper in Germany. Shall I just give citations to the date/publication here, or do people want me to actually transcribe individual paragraphs? --Elonka 15:41, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Scores of books which use "Voss Strasse".[3] --Elonka 19:02, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Scores of academic papers which spell it "Voss Strasse" or "Voss-Strasse".[4] --Elonka 19:05, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Scores of other things use in English use Voßstraße too. Like this academic paper. Is your claim that Harvard doesn't write in English? All you've proved is that there are a billion variations in English, none of which are common Because people don't know what to do without an ß key. That makes Voßstraße even more sensible - no one English variation can even be agreed on! Iain Boyd Whyte, Professor of Architectural History in "Reflections on a Polished Floor - Ben Willikens and the Reichskanzlei of Albert Speer, a source which has been deleted from the article by User:Pmanderson. In this "Harvard Design Magazine, Fall 1998" article, Voßstraße is mentioned five times, in total the ß is used 14 times in four different words, e. g. Ringstraße. The street names are not set in italics nor altered to "ss" nor otherwise "explained", unlike Zusammenschluß and “Großdeutsches Reich”. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pschemp (talkcontribs) 22:10, August 10, 2007
      • Pschemp, I am trying to assume good faith here, but it is getting more difficult. Can you please provide proof of these "scores of other things" that spell Voßstraße in major English-language sources? I'd be happy to review a few newspaper articles that do so. I've been looking all day, and haven't found any. I have, however, found many other examples of major English-language newspapers that use the form "Voss Strasse." Also, could I please ask you to stop deleting valid sources from the article? Thanks, --Elonka 23:22, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
        • Harvard isn't notable enough for you? Interesting. pschemp | talk 03:22, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

The title Voßstraße was a clear favorite in the discussion. Section closed after no input for a week. Stefán 22:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Reopened; more input requested less than an hour before "closure" by participant in the discussion. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:28, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
So you don't think it is appropriate to close a poll after a week without discussion. Right, when is it appropriate to close a poll or is this perhaps supposed to be an indefinite poll? Stefán 00:00, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
It is appropriate, and encouraged, to appeal from an unrepresentative minority to the wider community. If the wider community takes no interest, so be it; however, Unschooled's arguments stand unanswered. It is distinctly inappropriate for either of us to close this poll. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:48, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
The discussion has trailed off, you don't win an argument just by having the last word, the attitude of the people who have commented has not changed. And actually, I don't think it is at all inappropriate for either of us to close the poll. I hereby propose that you close the poll, you don't have to do it now but I would appreciate if you would fix a time or a criterion for when you will close it. I trust that you will do it fairly. Stefán 18:10, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Would you be so generous knowing the principles I would close it under:
  • The central meaning and intent of WP:UE is that we should call s things as English does.
    • This includes spelling; often this means diacritics, sometimes none.
  • Most arguments to the contrary lack meaning, or foundation in policy.
    • In more heated moments, I suspect the lack to be intentional.
  • Therefore, this, giving due weight to the arguments, is probably no consenus (that's why I want it kept open).
  • A no consensus close really should be at the point of the last no consensus close.
I really mean all of those. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:50, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what to say now. You would discount the opinion of those who don't agree with you as being meaningless, and for good measure accuse those people of sometimes being intentionally disruptive. Then you ask whether I would accept these premises as a valid basis for a decision, implying that you don't expect me to and you even seem worried that I would consider this a joke.
I don't consider these principles of yours a joke but since you seem to be hesitant to go ahead with them, (perhaps because you fear that your decision would be reverted, by me or someone else), let be propose another way forward: We adjourn this poll for a week and see if we can in that time reach a consensus on how to interpret the results. If after a week we are nowhere close to a consensus on how to close the poll then we reopen the poll. Stefán 03:34, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Thinking about it further, this seems a silly idea. A simpler one is the following: if you are confident that your method of closure is appropriate given the results of the poll you should just go ahead with it. You can also leave it open if you want, or whatever. Stefán 06:41, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I an reluctant to proceed because I recognize that I am involved in this; an uninvolved close would be better, and opinions by users not involved in this would be better still. I do not find any meaning, other than WP:ILIKEIT, in several of the !votes; and think they should be set off against the common !vote of WP:IDONTLIKEIT which has been routinely registered here. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:32, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Arguments more specific to the use of "ß"

      • Your "point", pschemp, that a word "doesn't have an English spelling at all"—which is frequently bandied about as a justification for throwing non-English characters into an English-language project with an official Use English policy—is exactly the sort of garbage that I spoke to in my points below on the spirit of WP:UE (which I noticed were ignored). Even if I accept that there is "no English word", it does not mean that non-English characters then become acceptable. That is an absolute perversion of the intent of the policy. The lack of a pre-existing English word for every person and place on the planet is a given, but it does not justify implanting non-English characters into the English language. Your insistence on this line of logic is either disingenuous or obtuse. Assuming good faith, I shall presume the latter. Unschool 13:08, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
It is specifically allowed here: "For terms in common usage, anglicized spellings are used, or native spellings if they use the Latin alphabet" - right from the MOS. Note that that doesn't say you must use the English alphabet, it says you must use the Latin alphabet, of which ß is a part. pschemp | talk 14:24, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I didn't accuse you of violating policy; I am aware of what MOS says. But my assertion is that that was written by and pushed by your fellow ßÞ-pushers, in contravention of the intent of WP:UE. Look, 99% of Wikipedia's readers are unaware of what is being done here in the name of "accuracy". I'd guess that half the editors don't even know that this is a point of contention (which it is, as it says in WP:UE). And that's the only reason such practices continue here. If this issue was widely known, this practice of using non-English characters would evaporate in a heartbeat. And, for the record, I think in the interest of educating all readers of Wikipedia, the article should include the native spelling immediately after the opening of the article. I do want to know how the native speakers write such things, and such is already done both in many Latin-alphapbet articles and non-Latin alphabet articles. Look at the article on Japan. Why is the article called "Japan" and not "日本"? Why does it use "Japan" throughout the article and not "日本"? Because English speakers of the English language Wikipedia do not know how to pronounce "日本". And everyone recognizes that it would be dumb to use 日本. This is absolutely no different than the situation with "Voßstraße". If anything, the typical English-speaker is going to think that it's "Vobstrabe", which actually places him farther from the correct pronunciation! We don't allow Arabic writing, Chinese writing, or Cyrillic writing, but for some technical reasons you and yours think that we should use ß. And only the unawareness of this community allows you to get away with it. I wouldn't tell Germans how to write their encyclopedia, and if I did have a suggestion, it sure wouldn't be to get them to adopt English-spelling. Unschool 15:36, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The difference is that 日本 is kanji and not a part of the latin alphabet and the MOS cleary allows characters that are part of the latin alphabet. pschemp | talk 04:45, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

My second language is English, my first language is non-European. The word "Voßstraße" is incomprehensible to me, the word "Vossstrasse" I can read and pronounce. Thus I keep on reading and broaden my knowledge - the original intention of an encyclopedia. There is no version of Wikipedia in my language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure what you mean by "Voßstraße" being incomprehensible to you but "Vossstrasse" not. But it is a good point about the pronunciation, it is important to be able to pronounce the words so I have added the IPA. (It may be wrong now, but I have made sure it will get corrected soon.) Stefán 17:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
You don't understand what he means about "Voßstraße" being incomprehensible? If your comment simply means to point out the fact that that editor should have used "non-pronounceable" or some other such word, then fine, Stefan, you get your two points (congrats) for slamming the editor who said that English was only his second language. Good job. But his point was clear to anyone who is listening with an open mind: Voßstraße utilizes characters which he does not recognize, therefore he cannot even begin to read it or pronounce it, and therefore it is rendered, effectively "incomprehensible.
I have to believe that a discussion like that which we hold here and on similar pages could only happen on the English-language wiki. With all due respect to the Norweigians (who supposedly use the native spellings in all cases, something which no one here seems to be proposing), I cannot imagine anyone from the English wiki going into the wikis of other languages and imposing our spellings on them, for any reason. Unschool 02:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, there is a link to ß from the foreignchar template so a bit of curiosity would solve the problem of "Voßstraße utilizes characters which he does not recognize". If the editor did mean "non-pronounceable" then I agree that that is a problem, whether we use Voßstraße or Vossstrasse. Take a look at Menzies Campbell, there is a similar problem there, it is completely impossible to pronounce if you just see the name but there is an IPA transcription and a link to the offending character. For your second point, yes, Norwegian might make a better Lingua franca than English, but we might find it difficult to change that. Stefán 16:19, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
there is a link to ß from the foreignchar template so a bit of curiosity would solve the problem of "Voßstraße utilizes characters which he does not recognize No, that does not solve the problem. The problem, which you keep missing (and which, per WP:AGF, I must assume is because you are being obtuse, and not because you are feigning ignorance), is that when the average native English-language reader comes across Voßstraße his reading is disrupted far more than when he comes across Vossstrasse. Will he, in his own mind, correctly pronounce Vossstrasse? Probably not. And this perhaps offends you. If so, you are being silly, as he is equally unlikely to correctly pronounce an endless parade of other foreign words written in all-English characters. As far as I can tell, no one from Japan or Russia is complaining that we backwards English speakers are not pronouncing their names correctly. The issue is not one of pronunciation—that information can and should be made available at the start of every article. The issue is, what will allow the reader of enWiki to absorb as much information as possible? When you use ß in any word or title, you interfere with the reader's flow through the article, and thus interfere with his absorption of the material. I'm sure many of the ß-pushers will ridicule this notion, but it's very real. Not everyone who comes here is highly educated, and the use of the ß is a completely unnecessary barrier which can discourage those who come here for information.
Beyond that, your whole reasoning for the use of ß in the English Wikipedia flies in the face of the spirit of WP:UE. I have made this argument more than once before, and you always ignore it. I can't help but believe that at least some of the ß-pushers are being cynical when they use WP:UE to push their agenda, pulling out of it the technicality of a word lacking an English-language version to justify using an non-English term.
You know, the reason that English is expected to bend over and take it up the rear, is because alone amongst languages using a Latin-based alphabet, we use no diacritical markings, and we use no characters unique to English. English graphemes can be seen as a subset of the graphemes of pretty much any other Latin-based character sets. But if we did have something unique, and we tried to impose it on all other wikis, I'm quite sure that at least some of the other wikis' editors would have a field day denouncing the Anglo-Americentristic editors who were trying to tell them what to do. This proposition can never be tested, of course, and it is for that reason that the ß-pushers can paint us as ignorant yahoos with their arrogant declarations that "Vossstrasse" is not an English word, and the like. No, Vossstrasse is not an English word. But it is a form of Voßstraße that has been used in English-language works. And your petty nitpicking about which has been used more in English-language publications, Voßstraße or Vossstrasse, not only misses the point, and not only slays the spirit of WP:UE, it also violates the letter of WP:UE, which does NOT require that the English spelling be more used than the non-English spelling, it merely stipulates: If there is no commonly used English name. Personally, I think that if there is one reputable source (e.g., The Times, or the Washington Post) that uses the all-English characters version, that that should be good enough and we should use it here. But of course, that wouldn't do for the ß-pushers, who would then nitpick away and try to show that the all-English form is not "commonly used".
Why can't you just respect the fact that this encyclopedia has a policy which was created for the purpose of making this readable to native English speakers? Are you Anglophobic?
Look, I think that my position is actually the middle ground here. There are plenty of people on en-wiki who favor removal of all diacritical markings from this project. But I don't have a problem with accents and cedillas and umlauts. Why not? Because when I see a ç or an é or an ö, like every other English speaker with whom I have spoken to on this subject (in person, not online), I am able to see just the letter c or e or o. And as such, I can keep on reading the article and continue to learn the material without being held back needlessly. But ß and þ aren't like this. They are no less foreign to the eyes of English speakers than д and ψ. Your argument that Cyrillic characters are "different", because they are not descended from the Latin alphabet, while technically true, is irrelevant to the native-English reader. I remember in the 1960s how most Americans who had no training in Russian believed that they could "read" the acronym for the Soviet Union on the helmets of their cosmonauts, because "CCCP" looked like the letters that we all were familiar with. I guarantee you that millions of Americans would have less objection to that usage than they would to "Voßstraße", because their "reading" of CCCP was made possible (they believed) by the familiarity of the characters. And was anyone hurt by this innaccurate reading of Cyrillic characters? Not in the least. It was simply a rose by any other name, but one which used characters that English readers could recognize. It doesn't matter that ß is more closely related to English than Cyrillic's С or Р. What matters is the impact it has on the reader. But you don't care about that. You don't care about the reader. You care about the purity of names, and use every opportunity you can find to shove it down our throats, even using a policy which was intended to do the opposite to work your desires.
I'm sorry, but I have tried to address this more civilly elsewhere, and you have blatantly ignored my less impassioned arguments, and now I'm just a bit too tired of your posturing and ostensible adherence to the law to be more diplomatic. The linguistic Pharisees (using that term in its more coloquial sense, of course) who use the letter of WP:UE against the spirit of WP:UE have essentially hijacked this project, and only Anglophobes can, I believe, share in their joy. Unschool 07:30, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you that thorn and es-zet disrupt reading English text in a way that diacritical marks and accents do not. It's not a matter of making people better-informed; I already know what these characters mean, but I trip over reading them every time. It's also not a matter of anybody's level of education. I am perfectly comfortable reading Cyrillic and hangul, I just don't happen to have studied German. Es-zet and thorn are not familiar characters to most English speakers, and using them in primary spellings in article titles and text is not helpful. I can understand why strong German speakers would want to use them, but they aren't helpful to me... and I'm something of a nut for alphabets and languages, so if I stumble over these characters, I think I can say with some confidence that the majority of English-speaking readers will do so as well.
OK, now, what's the status of this discussion? Is there an active poll? It's really hard to tell from the talk page. --Reuben 18:27, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate that people will trip over the word Voßstraße but looking around wikipedia people are likely to see all sorts of words which they will trip over. We have an article on the brothers Ó Siochfhradha, granted there is a diacritical mark there, but that can hardly be said to be the troublesome portion. What about Szczecin, Krk, Cthulhu, Ktimenia? There is however a fundamental difference between Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик and Lýðveldið Ísland in that one of them uses a completely different alphabet whereas the other one uses the Latin alphabet although there are a couple of funny squiggles there. (Of course I don't think either of these last two should be anything other than redlinks or redirects.) As for your question, yes there is an active poll taking place. Please go ahead and state your opinion there. Stefán 19:09, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. I agree that your examples are difficult to pronounce, but they are all easier to read than a word with es-zet. --Reuben 20:00, 27 August 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.

Most recent pagemove

Given the controversy over whether this page was properly moved and then move-protected, and with the consent of both admins who were involved in a dispute over that issue (Pschemp and Avraham), I have reverted the last pagemove. This is a procedural step that I have taken to avoid any perception of unilateral action by an administrator while the matter was under discussion, and I am not expressing a personal opinion (I have none) on what the name for the page should ultimately be. Newyorkbrad 00:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. -- Avi 00:49, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you too. pschemp | talk 00:53, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
While the page is at Voßstraße it seems logical to have that name used in the article and put up the foreignchar template. Of course if it gets moved again to this Vossstrasse thing then the article can be changed accordingly. Any objections? Stefán 01:00, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not tempted to bother until the issue is resolved. pschemp | talk 01:03, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes. The present compromise is an effort to keep this page comprehensible to English speakers, since this is, after all, the English WP. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:07, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
If there is the redirect from Vossstrasse, and the term Vossstrasse is in bold as the fourth or so word of the article, would ou consider that sufficient? -- Avi 16:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Just to make things clear, if this page ends up at Voßstraße then we should put up the foreignchar template at the top of the page and in that this Vossstrasse thing appears bolded. I have put it up for demonstration purposes, please take a look. (This is more directed at Avi than Septentrionalis, I think I know what the opinion of the latter is.) Stefán 18:19, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The template is fine; although there was a link to ß in the first line. A mass reversion of spelling would be {{totallydisputed}}. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:01, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I am slightly confused by this comment. If after the current discussion the page name ends at Voßstraße then it is appropriate to use that form in the article as well. So the introduction would read: "Voßstraße is a street in central Berlin, capital of Germany. It runs east-west from Ebertstraße to Wilhelmstraße in the borough of Mitte, one street north of Leipziger Straße." Does anybody disagree with this hypothetical position or think a {{totallydisputed}} tag would be appropriate for the page in that form? Stefán 00:57, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Edited the introduction to "Weilhelmstraße" and "Ebertstraße", as "street" is "Straße" in German, not "Strasse". (The mispellings of the two street names redirect to the correct "ß" spellings, by the way.) --Colognese 19:23, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Changed my mind.There are so many different spellings ("xxx Strasse", "xxxstrasse", "xxxstraße") messed up in this article. Touching any of thouse will most probably cause endless discussions, and they do not seem to be about which spelling is correct or wrong, but what "correct" means, and what "wrong" means. Whatever. --Colognese 19:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) While the proper name of the street is with the ß, and that is a valid argument for the title, this remains ENGLISH wikipedia, and while it may seem somewhat contradictory, I think the text should have the "ss" predominate. Accuracy in the title is well and good; difficult text flow is not. -- Avi 02:35, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

No offence, but we aren't writing this encyclopedia for the stupidest speakers of English we can find. Once it is pointed out that ß = ss I think even those of lower than average intelligence can cope. This isn't the simple English wikipedia. pschemp | talk 03:17, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
No, but I am not sure whether merely pointing it out is enough. I do not think e would PRINT an encylopedia that way in English, even if the heading retains the ligature. -- Avi 12:12, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I just wanted to note that before I went traveling in Germany a few years ago I bought a travel guide. (This was before I started editing Wikipedia.) That guide was the Michelin Green Guide (in English). They have a single comment at the beginning of the book that they will use ß and then they use it consistently on maps, in headings and in the main text for the whole book. (Somebody remarked later that a new version of the book did not use ß as consistently.) Also, later when I was discussing this issue previously, I looked in the Guardian newspaper i had bought that week and there appeared "Deutscher Fußball-Bund" in the text. In the online version of the article the phrase did not appear. Stefán 18:20, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Having it both ways?

I have been confused about this stuff before. But I saw the following argument advanced— Second, the word Vossstrasse simply doesn't exist. This is not a word that has been used so much in English that it has become an English word. —for keeping the article at "Voßstraße". I've never heard of the place, so I shall assume that the writer is correct. But if I accept the argument that this needs to be kept because . . . "This is not a word that has been used so much in English that it has become an English word", then I assume the writer will support changing "Franz Josef Strauß" to "Strauss", since that is "a word that has been used so much in English that it has become an English word". Hmmmm? Unschool 01:15, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, I did not write that but I could have. I agree that Strauss is a word which has been commonly used in English, we even have an article about it at Strauss and Strauß redirects there. On the other hand the German politician Franz Josef Strauß is not so commonly discussed in English that he has an English name. We have an article on Saint-Étienne although there is a quite similar English word Saint Etienne. Or perhaps you are suggesting that these should all be moved to Saint Stephen? Stefán 01:30, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Franz Josef Strauss is the common spelling in the UK. For example all four major daily national newspapers spell his name that way: --Philip Baird Shearer 09:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
It depends on which name is commonly used in English. Often foreign names stripped of their funny foreign squiggles are the most common in English without a full translation into English. It is unusual for a foreign name to be translated into English, for example Helmut Kohl and Bernhard Vogel were never translated into Cabbage and Bird, so the German jokes of that period about their names had to be explained to English speakers who spoke no German. --Philip Baird Shearer 09:19, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
"the German politician Franz Josef Strauß is not so commonly discussed in English that he has an English name". Are you kidding? Did you follow German politics at all during the 1980s? He was everywhere. And in the 1970s, my German-born professor who taught my course in "Politics of the German-speaking states" spelled his name "Strauss" as well. Every one of thousands of mentions of him in Time, The Economist, Newsweek, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, everywhere I turned it was spelled Strauss. You are either trying to fool us or else you are fooling yourself. Unschool 21:09, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
And before you throw the semantic and pedantic argument me that Strauss is not "an English name", let me just say then that it is a "name commonly used in English", and that is what the spirit of WP:UE is all about. You ß-pushers are in complete violation of the spirit of WP:UE, and have created technical arguments that belie the original intent of the policy.Unschool 21:16, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Restore to original title during the poll

I'm confused about something here. There were extensive discussions about moving this page back in September 2006, and it was agreed to keep the article at Vossstrasse. We then had relative peace for several months. Someone attempted to move it to Voßstraße in March 2007, but then it got moved back. In mid-July the move wars started heating up again. I am glad that we are doing another poll here, and I'll support whatever the clear consensus is, but I'm uncomfortable with keeping it at Voßstraße during the poll, since that is not what our result was from the last major discussion, and I'm uncomfortable with this attitude of "I'll move it to the title I like, and then you're going to have to prove consensus to move it back." I recommend restoring the page to Vossstrasse, and continuing with the discussion from there. --Elonka 15:44, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree --Philip Baird Shearer 17:58, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
As do I. Unschool 20:12, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

The page is move protected. The protection was put into place to stop the move war. it would be a violation of the policy to move it again while protection applies. The whole idea of protection rests on a page being protected in whatever form the admin happened to run across at the time action was needed. For you to suggest this be changed is disingenuous and shows a complete lack of understanding of policy. This demonstrated lack of knowledge is especially distressing coming from a person who recently ran for admin. pschemp | talk 20:29, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

And it was moved after it was move protected, because of the whinging, on this discussion page, of the poor self-pitying nationalists. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:10, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Hey, Septentrionalis—If you promise to tell me when I'm sounding too bitchy, I promise to tell you when you are doing the same. Unschool 21:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Fine; since this is an adaption of a dated English cliche, it probably won't have its full effect on non-native speakers, anyway — and I did mean whinging. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:35, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I stand corrected and educated; I was unfamiliar with the spelling. Unschool 12:56, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
If you'd like to keep ignoring the fact that the move directly prior to the protection was contrary to policy and reversed only because it violated policy (and by a neutral, well respected, admin) go ahead. It won't get you anywhere. pschemp | talk 01:54, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, ProhibitOnion's move was disruptive and contrary to policy. It is fully worthy of the support it has received. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 07:48, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Could you please stop the sarcasm? We are talking about Avi's move here.pschemp | talk 14:21, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Avi's reversal of ProhibitOnions' move, to the result of the last move request, was entirely proper, and should be restored. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:48, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
It violated policy. pschemp | talk 22:05, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Which Wikipedia policy was violated? AFAICT there was a WP:RM survey where there was no consensus to move and there has been no intermediate one. So why should the article not remain at Voss-strasse as of the WP:RM survey that ended on 13 July 2006? --Philip Baird Shearer 22:16, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The protection policy that says, "Except in cases of clear vandalism, or issues with legal impact such as copyright or defamation, pages protected in an edit war are protected in whatever version they happen to be currently in." Avi moved the page then protected directly after. That was violation. He then got an uninvolved admin to undo that since the move gave the appearance of forcing his view by abuse of the protection button. No one who has ranted here seems to be able to tell the difference between protection policy and the naming issue, which are two separate subjects. If you had read the previous conversations on this page, rather than making assumptions, you might have figured that out. At the time Avi stepped in to stop the move war, the page was at Voßstraße. Therefore, protection had to be applied to that version. pschemp | talk 03:19, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
I quote: "the rule against an admin protecting his or her own preferred version of the page (with some narrow exceptions that I don't think apply here) is equally applicable whether the protection is applied just before or just after the move, as otherwise it would be far too easy to evade, and the policy considerations are the same in both cases. Newyorkbrad 00:21, 7 August 2007 (UTC)" The options to fix Avi's mistake were to either undo his move or unprotect the page. Due to the interesting vehemence of certain users responses, it was decided removing the protection was perhaps not wise. pschemp | talk 03:34, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Awww, did Avi protect m:The Wrong Version, then? That was what he was supposed to do. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:52, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you should see a therapist. pschemp | talk 04:00, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Both of you just crossed the line, and it's not helping.
I crossed no line. I am seriously and genuinely concerned about his anger issues and made a suggestion becasue I am worried about the well being of fellow editor. It was not meant in any way to be sarcastic. pschemp | talk 04:25, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Only you can know what was in your heart. But I can say that your explanation sounds disingenuous; few Wikipedians offer sincere health advice to persons with whom they are engaged in a dispute. Unschool 14:23, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
As for me, I'm willing to forgo the issue of the blocking. I don't know who's right on that and, frankly, I don't care. (Yes, I do understand the 'advantage' to the side that has its version up during the ensuing debate.) But ultimately, what's important is what version is going to be used when this is all said and done. I want someone to explain to me why non-English characters should be used in an English encyclopedia, when Chinese and Cyrillic are not, and I don't want to hear any technical crap about transcription vs. transliteration vs. transfiguration or whatever. This is supposed to be English, and I want to see the same English here as I would read in Newsweek or the Chicago Tribune. I have still made several points about the spirit of WP:UE that no one has addressed, and I'm starting to think it's because they know that they don't have an answer. Unschool 04:14, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Did you perhaps mean to say move rather than block? No blocks have been giving out. Chinese and Cyrillic are not used in article titles because they aren't latin characters. Many characters from the latin alphabet not in english are, such as é and ó and ü. Chinese and cyrillic scripts have little relation to English, whereas latin characters do and aren't that confusing. In fact, the article about Über resides there rather than Uber, and that word is much more a part of English. The umlaut is no more confusing than an ß. pschemp | talk 04:30, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
I thank pschemp for his doubtless sincere concern; but all he need do is to stop wiki-lawyering and abusing statistics to confuse a simple discussion of English idiom; a subject on which he would be more listened to if he did not himself write "the well being of fellow editor". [sic]. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:12, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
As for the substance of his claims: Umlauts are much less confusing than eszetts.They are also far more common in English, as Wikipedia:German-speaking_Wikipedians'_notice_board/Umlaut_and_ß shows. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:12, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, pschemp, when I spoke of the block, you are correct; I was speaking of the issue of the move. Has not the ability to move this page been blocked?
  • Septentrionalis is quite right that the issue of an umlaut and a ß are very different things. While there are some on this project who also object to the excessive use of accents and umlauts and other diacritical markings, many if not most of us have a more relaxed attitude about them. Look (getting away from German, for a moment), if, as an English speaker, I read "vous êtes la personne la plus ennuyante que j'ai jamais rencontrée", even if I don't speak a word of French, I feel pretty comfortable saying that I am familiar with these letters. The presence of an acute accent and even something as foreign as a circumflex does not disturb me; indeed, I am likely to simply ignore them as I read. Not so with ß and þ. These "interrupt" my reading, and force me to think about how they must be said, instead of allowing me to learn what they are about. If I'm reading something interesting on Bavarian politics, and come across "Strauß", I stop thinking about the article's content and I start thinking, "what is that?" I know that some of the editors who are ß-pushers do so because they genuinely believe that it will enhance the understanding of English readers to see non-English characters. I appreciate their sincerity, but this purpose can simply be accomplished by including the foreign spelling in parentheses immediately at the beginning of the article. This is what many encyclopedias have done for decades, anyway. Using the foreign spelling throughout the article, and, indeed, for the heading of the article, actually makes it less likely that the reader will learn something new, since he is confronted by something that he knows that he can't read.
  • As to the issue of "Latin characters". This is the sort of technical argument that I spoke of earlier. As I indicated earlier, I am familiar with what MOS has to say on this. But the heart of the policy is to promote the use of anglicizations. If there is any reasonable way at all of anglicizing something, it should be done. Here you are, pschemp, splitting hairs over which is more common, Voßstraße or Vossstrasse. If you were attuned to the spirit of the policy, then the mere fact that "Vossstrasse" does exist as a usage within a few major reputable English-language sources (say, The Times, or Time) would be enough for you to release this argument and let it go. Yes, yes, I know, WP:UE does have provisions for the use of non-English characters. But what was the purpose of the policy 'in toto', pschemp? It wasn't to create opportunities for hair-splitting "gotcha" moments. It was to create an encyclopedia that the typical English-speaking reader would be able to read comfortably. Just step back from the rancor that has been created (by you, me, Septentrionalis, and many others elsewhere) and ask yourself what is more natural for an English speaker to read, Voßstraße or Vossstrasse? I do not know what your language background is; normally, I do not normally think that personal information is pertinent to talk page debates, but in this case it may be. You may very well be a monolingual English speaker, but I do know that the vast majority of those whom I have encountered on these pages who do favor using ß are either native-German speakers or people who have studied some German. And having such a background really can make it a bit more difficult to say what is and isn't confusing.
  • I'm probably worse than most people at getting hung up in the technical issues of an argument (certainly my wife will attest to that with a vengeance). But Wikipedia will never be perfect. The best we can hope for is to provide the most information possible to our English-speaking audience. In making sure that we are providing them with the most accurate information possible, it is important that the native spellings be used in every article, up near the beginning, so that the reader understands that the version he is reading has been anglicized. The goal of this article should be to provide the reader with information on the history, sights, and other such things about the street that Berliners call Voßstraße, and that anglicization is important so that the reader can actually absorb the content. Unschool 14:23, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I could not agree more; which is why I have delayed commenting. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:34, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Disruptive edits by Pmanderson

Your continued edits to Voßstraße start looking like more and more like vandalism. First you try to impose a foreign spelling contrary to the opinions of other editors. When you can't have your way, you instead try to have the page deleted. Your arguments are, to be honest, just ignorant. You assume bad faith regarding other editors, claiming that the page was created just for the spelling dispute. For your information, you can find articles on many major streets in major capitals so there's no truth to your claim. The article is well written and useful. Then you try arguing that places with no English name has no place on Wikipedia. What about Paris, Madrid and Berlin, any thought on trying to delete them as well? That the spelling isn't using only "English "letters is no problem, try having a lok at Örebro, Tromsö, Münster or Călăraşi. JdeJ 16:47, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

No, my edits to this page are compliance with the Manual of Style, against disruptive efforts to move this page out of the English language. The choice between anglicized and native spellings should follow English usage (e.g., Besançon, Edvard Beneš and Göttingen, but Nuremburg, naive (not naïf), and Florence). The argument that this name is neither English or German is not mine; you will find it on this talk page. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:05, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
That's a bit one-sided, JdeJ. The result of the straw poll for a page move was "no consensus," so you could equally well say that the ess-zet is being imposed contrary to the opinions of other editors. Leaving aside Pmanderson's recent suggestions about deletion and the purpose of the article, there are perfectly valid arguments above for not using ess-zet, and in particular, your comparison of a totally foreign character to familiar letters with diacritical marks has been repeatedly put forth and debunked. You can see from the discussion above that Pmanderson's view has substantial support, as does the opposing view, and it's not appropriate to characterize his edits as vandalism. --Reuben 17:12, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. I'm just tired of it all; and looking through the article, as I had to do on the spelling issue, I don't really see enough content to be worth it. (It was not created for the spelling dispute; it was created, with all five s's, by a British editor, who is interested in German history, and has now left. But its main function is the dispute; it has not changed otherwise.) Others may disagree. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:16, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Reuben, I agree that it's completely correct to have different opinions on the spelling but please note that that was not the reason I questioned Pmanderson's edits. It is when he tries to have the article deleted because he cannot have it his way that it's becoming disruptive. He's done that two times today already. JdeJ 18:35, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, you did write "First you try to impose a foreign spelling contrary to the opinions of other editors. When you can't have your way, ..." as if there were a consensus for using esszet and Pmanderson edit-warring against it. I disagree with that characterization. The AfD has been procedurally closed, which looks correct to me. --Reuben 18:43, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

AfD closed

I have procedurally closed the AfD that was filed today on this article. A spelling or naming-conventions dispute about the title of an article does not provide a basis for deletion. This closure does not preclude another AfD against the article with a more appropriate basis, although I note that the article was already AfD'd once before with a Keep result. Newyorkbrad 18:32, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Vossstrasse isn't in use

The name of this street is not Vossstrasse in English. To the best of my knowledge, English ortography doesn't even permit the spelling sss in words. This street has been named after an individual who never spelt his name in any other way that Voß. Please read WP:NCGN#Widely accepted name to get to know Wikipedia policies. If there's any evidence for Vossstrasse being a widely accepted name in English, please provide it. It's characteristic that Pmanderson has even been changing the names of historical persons from Voß to Voss, something I can only see as history falsification as these individuals have never been known as Voss. JdeJ 10:11, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

This personal attack is also, perhaps predictably, a flat misstatement of fact; the data on the English spellings of this street may be found on the archive page. Voss Strasse may be more common; I will consider switching to it. I do know what WP:NCGN#Widely accepted name says; I was part of the consensus that wrote it. If it can be misread even in the heat of nationalist fervor, it may need to be clarified further.
As for the historical persons, I will check; I restored the former version of the page, leaving the Vosses as spelt; they are different, but so is Christian Friedrich Voss of the de:Vossische Zeitung. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:29, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Instead of switching back and forth between two names that are neither German nor English, you could perhaps instead provide evidence for Vossstrasse or Voss Strasse being used in English? JdeJ 16:42, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
See the move discussion above, the one on the archive page, and the discussion of umlauts and eszetts linked to on your talk page, which uses Vossstrasse as an example twice. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:46, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
    • (ec) I see that Meyers spells Johann Heinrich Voß, and have so amended; but both the 1911 Britannica and the present edition spell Voss, as is customary, so I have added a {{dubious}}. To call him what English does not is pædantry. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:46, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
      • The Britannica in fact convinced me that Voß is unnecessary here, and Voss is preferable, as usage, so I skipped the {{tl]dubious}}; if anyone reverts the name, the tag still exists. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:22, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Several thoughtful and well-considered comments from the discussion above sum up the reasons for not using esszet. Contrary to your implication, there is no consensus that they should be used on Wikipedia. As a side note, I have a book from the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin titled Facts about Germany. I was curious how they handled these issues; as I expected, the book uses umlauts, but expands esszet to ss. Evidently, the Federal Foreign Office judged that "strasse" is not a misspelling, and that it was in fact a rather sensible way to write in a book intended for English speakers. I agree with them. --Reuben 16:48, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
So do I. In most cases, I find it logic to use ss for esszet as in Wilhemstrasse or Lepiziger Strasse. There are two reasons I disagree with it in this particular case. The spelling sss is as alien to English as is the esszet, albeit that the former is easier to write. Secondly, the street is named after an invidual whose name contains esszet. JdeJ 16:58, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
The same logic applies to personal or family names, which generally aren't written with esszet in English. As for sss, there's a difference between following English spelling rules and using entirely foreign characters that just aren't immediately recognizable. Writing three esses in a row is about on the same level as starting a word with sz, ending a word with q, words with no vowels, or impossible consonant clusters - that is, obviously not a native English word or name, but not unexpected. --Reuben 17:16, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Touché :-) Still, that's the point. There are foreign names and words that are unfamiliar to an English ear and I don't think we're doing anyone any favour by simplifying them. Of course we should write Gothenburg instead of Göteborg and Copenhagen instead of København, but not invent new spellings that aren't used or rename people. JdeJ 17:23, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
But we aren't inventing anything (and I support the use of Göttingen, which English now uses). The survey of English typography found, however, that eszetts are much more rarely used or recommended than umlauts, and, despite being a general survey, found Vossstrasse [sic] in
  • The Lonely Planet guide to Berlin
  • Hugh Trevor-Roper's Last Days of Hitler.
  • A standard textbook on European history.
Complain to them (and for Voss, to the Britannica), not to us. Voss Strasse is also found, and would be acceptable. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:59, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't see anything new here that hasn't been discussed many times before, so I will simply refer back to the comments by Unschool above. As things stand, there is no mandate for one spelling or another, and certainly no grounds for accusing another editor of disruption for not going along with the idea that esszet should be put in wherever possible. --Reuben 18:06, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
With all due respect, this comment by Reuben is dishonest. I have already stated that I have no problem with anyone being in favour of avoiding the esszet. I might not agree, but I'm all for conducting a discussion on the topic. What I called disrupting was when Pmanderson was trying to have the article deleted twice in the same day because of this issue. I have pointed this out directly to Reuben once already. JdeJ 18:58, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Hey there, that's getting a bit personal. Please review your own comments "First you try to impose a foreign spelling contrary to the opinions of other editors" and later "something I can only see as history falsification," neither referring to the AfD, and both amounting to accusations of disruptive editing. --Reuben 19:08, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I also suggest that JdeJ read the documentation on {{prod}}. I thought, and still think, that having this marginally notable subject is not worth the trouble it produces. When a {{prod}} is removed, it may freely be replaced by an AfD nonination, and I did so. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:09, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Boy, I've seen some dishonest arguments before, but User:JdeJ is hitting some new marks, I must say. First of all, JdeJ, WP:UE—is one of the most fundamental tenets of editing Wikipedia, WP:NCGN is merely a corollary. And WP:UE does not say that the term needs to be widely used, but merely a common usage. If you look at the archives on this article, you will find plenty of citations indicating common use of Vossstrasse. But the argument was lost because the majority of persons who participated in this discussion perverted the intent of WP:UE and now we are struck with a German-language entry in an ostensibly English encyclopedia. Only the self-despising, overly accomodating Angles of the world would allow themselves to be forced to take it up the rear by their own rules as this. I'm quite confident that if English speakers had any rules of inconvenience to impose upon the German or Russian Wikipedias, and tried to bend them to our will, that we'd be shown the door in a heartbeat.

I don't approve of the steps that PMAnderson took on this page in the past few days. I agree with his goal, but not his methods. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stand by and listen to this crap, telling me that the use of "sss" is equally foreign to English-speakers as the use of ß. That's just bullshit.Unschool 03:36, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

With all due respect, given the way you express yourself both here and in many of your earlier contributions to Wikipedia, I take it as a proof of being right that you don't agree with me. JdeJ 08:31, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
JdeJ, were those comments addressed to me? If so, I am confused; I suspect a minor misunderstanding due to language differences. Proof that I don't agree with you is in no short supply; I think I've pretty much stated that with no attempt to hide the fact. But if you have a complaint with the way I "express" myself, I would appreciate a less vague statement. Of course, if your comments were not addressed to me, that would explain my confusion. Unschool 02:18, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

ßs or sss

Based on the comments during the last days, there seems to be more users who defend the spelling sss than ßs. I still think it's wrong, but I also admit that it's not beneficial to keep on disputing about it. As I find myself in the minority, I won't make any further changes to this page. JdeJ 19:09, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

There has been some discussion of Voss Strasse, which also occurs in English. If this would make anybody more content, please comment. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:33, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Voss Strasse imposes English orthography on the word Voßstraße, splitting the compound into Voß and Straße: I thought we were talking about transliteration of weird characters here, not about translating German grammar into English. If you put Voss Strasse you might as well call it Voss street. Aurogallus 21:02, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I think the naming poll showed slightly more support for ßs, but not by a conclusive margin. On Wikipedia as a whole, there's also no consensus on this. --Reuben 21:59, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
...but the body of an article almost always uses the form of the title. It seems strange to apply argumentum ad nauseam to circumwent that convention. Stefán 23:02, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
The problem there is with the article title, not the text. It really should be moved back to the title under which it was created; or, perhaps preferably, Voss Strasse.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:16, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I am well aware of your desire to steamroll the majority opinion as expressed in the survey above. Stefán 06:58, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I don’t really care about this, but User:JdeJ claims above To the best of my knowledge, English ortography doesn't even permit the spelling sss in words - to clarify, yes it’s uncommon, but there are indeed native english words with triple letters, such as brasssmith. I don’t think there are any rules that specifically forbid any consonant cluster across syllables. —Random832 14:17, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Clearly, as Reuben notes above, there is no consensus on this issue on Wikipedia as a whole amongst those editors who involve themselves in this issue, namely "ß" vs. "ss". That shouldn't be surprising, since there is not even a consensus amongst the German-speakers of the world.
It would be interesting, however, to find a way to actually involve, say, at least 10% of the readers of en.wikipedia. (My guess is that less than 1% of the readers of Wikipedia actually edit, and perhaps 1% of that 1% are aware that this issue is being debated behind the scenes of the articles.) I think that, if we could get as many as 10% of the readers involved that it would take about 30 seconds for a consensus to develop in opposition to all use of the ß in This continues to be an issue only because the very people—or at least a significant majority of them—who are most interested in this issue tend to be either native German speakers or persons who have some facility in German. Unschool 02:37, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Surely you mean you would want 10% of the people who come to read this article to contribute to this survey, right? There is no reason to expect people who are not interested in reading this article to care very much what the title is. Stefán 02:49, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
No, that's not at all what I mean. What I desire is that when a person whose native language is English comes across an article on the ostensibly English-Wikipedia, that he is not put off by the presence of characters from other languages with which he is unacquainted.
We do not write these articles (unless our egos are monstrously large) for ourselves who already know about these things. We write them for people who do not know about these things but may someday want to learn about them. Whether it's someone who came here because of a mention in another article, someone who is looking up something that they were told about by someone else, or someone who simply came here by hitting the Random article link, they should feel like this is the English that they are comfortable with, not some hybrid of English and whatever non-English graphemes can be slipped in. Unschool 13:17, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Now you have really confused me. Does "someone who came here because of a mention in another article, someone who is looking up something that they were told about by someone else, or someone who simply came here by hitting the Random article link" (as you write) not fall under the category of "people who come to read this article" (as I wrote)? By "this article" I mean of course the article, not the talk page. Just to be clear, these people you mention should definitely be a part of the survey, and that is what I said, but I was merely saying that people who come to Wikipedia only to read the artcle on COBOL would not be relevant to the survey. Stefán 16:01, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I see what you are saying—and perhaps the differences between our positions are merely semantical (as well as moot)—but that guy reading COBOL today may (as unlikely as it may seem) be the guy reading Voßstraße tomorrow. So yes, I mean to include him as well, because we can never know who will be coming here. We need to be ready for them, ready with easily accessible information, before they come looking. Anyway, the issue of surveying readers is merely hypothetical, there is no way that I can think of to do it. I'm just saying that when Joe Schmo Native English Speaker comes here, that he will NOT be bothered by coming across an article entitled Vossstrasse, but he may very well turn away from an article entitled Voßstraße, simply saying to himself, "I can't read that stuff". Of course I want the Voßstraße spelling mentioned, as it is customarily done in most encyclopedias, immediately in the first sentence. But the both the title and the usages throughout the article (other than that one mention of the German spelling) should be in a spelling that Joe Schmo will want and be able to read. It is rude to the masses of English speakers who come here to do otherwise.Unschool 07:01, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
But let me add, Stefan, that I am not saying that you are intentionally being rude; I don't presume that. I merely mean to say that the effect of placing ßs and other non-English characters in this project is not one of consideration. Unschool 07:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
(outdent) Ok maybe this is only a hypothetical survey we are talking about, but to my mind it is an important one because when we say we need to write an article to cater for the needs of our readers we need to have some idea of who these readers are, or at least of what they would want from this article. For sure there might exist a person who only wants to read up on COBOL today but would want to read an article on Voßstraße tomorrow. The point I am trying to make is that when this person comes to the article on Voßstraße there will be a reason for it. There will be some reason which explains why this person has had the desire to come and look at an article on a particular street in Berlin. Of course she may not speak German at all but she must have some interest in Berlin, Germany or the structure of German bureaucracy during the nazi era. So to me it does not seem unreasonable to expect that she would find it an interesting fact that Voßstraße is written with an ß and that she would find it nice to be provided with a link to read up on this character the first time she sees it.
Now, of course I do not know what you make of what I have written so far, but I do not find it impossible to believe that you agree with some of it but would counter that your preferred look of the article would give the reader all of this information. Well, of course it is quite a bit of pedantry to insist on using these funky squiggles in the title and the body of the whole article but I would say that since Voßstraße is the most accurate title and we have in any case let the hypothetical reader know that this is the most accurate title then she would find it strange to not use this accurate form in the whole article. Stefán 20:55, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, first of all, Stefán, your premise that There will be some reason which explains why this person has had the desire to come and look at an article on a particular street in Berlin is mistaken, prima facie. I have edited many pages that I encountered only because of the Random Article button, and I'm guessing that thousands of Wikipedia readers also select articles to read in the same manner. (I recall, as a child, literally laying down on the floor with a randomly selected volume of World Book, which would remain open while I grabbed another volume after seeing something mentioned in the first volume with which I was unfamiliar. Sometimes I would have half the set laying out after an hour, most if not all open to articles that had nothing to do with the first, randomly chosen article.)
As to your point that this hypothetical reader would find it an interesting fact that Voßstraße is written with an ß and that she would find it nice to be provided with a link to read up on this character the first time she sees it, I couldn't agree more. I think it should be mandatory that the German spelling should be rendered immediately in the opening of the article, much as it is rendered in the case here, and in most printed English encyclopedias. I would also have no objection to a link to the article ß right there in the intro, so that the puzzled reader looking at the German-language spelling can get more information if she or he wishes.
I also agree with you that the way that the article is rendered in the title of the article is the way it should be rendered throughout the article (other than the inclusion of the alternative spelling at the beginning, as already mentioned). It seems pretty silly to me to have the title and article usage not match. I apologize if I was unclear about that.
Where we disagree is pretty fundamental: Whether or not the ß should be included in the title and throughout the main text. You say that the article would be more accurate if it is spelled Voßstraße. And you are, technically, quite correct in this point. But values are sometimes in conflict. Just as the right to a free press and a fair trial sometimes conflict with one another, so too can our values in constructing the encyclopedia conflict. Accuracy is one value, and all well-intentioned editors support it. It is of course the reason for WP:V. But there are other values as well, and the relevant one here is the desire to create an encyclopedia that provides easily accesible information into the hands of its readers. Since most of the readers of this project are, presumably, native speakers of English, this value has been formalized into WP:UE. The reason for WP:UE is not to promote some Anglo superiority, but rather, simply to make sure that this project is easy for English speakers to read. I'm quite sure that 99%+ of all native English speakers have no idea what "ß" is. They don't recognize it (usually thinking that it's a stylized "B"), they don't know how to pronounce it, and when it is placed in a page, unless they are strongly motivated to learn about the subject at hand, they may skip the article altogether. In other words, in a salute to accuracy, promoters of ß are telling English-speaking wikipedians that they (the ß pushers) don't care about whether or not the English reader learns about Voßstraße or not. It's more important to be accurate than it is to engage the reader.
But, you might say, don't we have a duty to teach these ill-educated cretins the proper spelling of Voßstraße? Isn't it important to be accurate? Well, let me ask you something. If I read the article Russia, and it is spelled "Russia" throughout, will what I learn be qualitatively different than had the article used the Cyrillic spelling "Росси́я"? (Please don't get off on the difference between translation and transliteration right now; it's irrelevant to the point I'm making.) Well, would I learn less by the use of Russia instead of Росси́я? Of course not. The relevant information is still the same. The only difference is that it is obviously much easier for this English speaker to read the article if it uses Russia instead of Росси́я. So in fact I will likely learn more from an article that uses the spelling "Russia" than one which uses the more accurate spelling "Росси́я". And that is, after all, the purpose of the article: to impart knowledge about the subject of the article. Just so, it is easier for 99% of English speakers to read Vossstrase than Voßstraße. I know that some have argued that Voßstraße is only "a little bit different", as opposed to the use of Cyrillic or Arabic graphemes. I won't deny that Voßstraße is more similar to Vossstrase than Росси́я is to Russia. But the reaction of readers to the use of ß cannot be generalized. Some will absorb it without any difficulty at all, others will stumble but carry on, and yet others will immediately leave and learn nothing. But if we avoid the ß and use spellings which use only the letters known to English speakers, all native English speakers will be free of discomfort while reading. Why set up any roadblocks—large or small—to learning?
Of course, a small piece of the information about the subject is its spelling in its native language. It would be absolutely irresponsible not to make that information available to the reader. That's why I favor using the same system that almost all English-print encyclopedias use, which is to make the initial reference just as noted above in Johann Strauss I. This will provide the necessary, accurate, information that the reader will hopefully desire to learn about.
If the editors of this article (and others also using the ß) are sincere in wanting to provide knowledge to the English-speaking world, then they need to really search their souls about what they are doing here, and about what is important to them. The argument about "accuracy" is, I'm sure, a sincere one. But we cannot have tunnel vision here, if we are out to provide knowledge. The goal of educating readers can be met without setting up unnecessary roadblocks. Print encyclopedias have done it for over a hundred years, English-language periodicals and books do it as well. If we are sincere about the spirit of WP:UE, I think the path is fairly clear. Unschool 03:32, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Spiegel report "Streit im Web-Lexikon"

German Magazine Der Spiegel reports in his online edition about "strife in web lexicon" and "Wikipedia-founder not allowed to write" ("Wikipedia-Gründer darf nicht mitschreiben") , listing another four of the absurdest Wikipedia-Debates:

The report roughly translates as follows: Of all things it's the English Wikipedia that features an article about Berlin's Voßstraße, with 6500 bytes, while there is none on German Wikipedia. Even more astonishing is the discussion on the correct spelling of Voßstraße, about 97k of text currently - despite the fact that there is a photo showing that on Berlin's street signs its written Voßstraße. But that is not the point, the correct transcription into English is. Not everywhere there are keyboards with ß available. -- Matthead discuß!     O       18:11, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

ss vs. sz

Well ß is actually an sz - which would make it a Voszstrasze if you don't have the ß on your keyboard ;-) I find it amusing how ß is translated with ss. Is completely wrong because ss is spoken fast where ß is not! sz is the apropriate translation if you don't have an ß. Strasse is so the Austrian dialect! 19:43, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

No, common substitution for ß is ss, not sz. ß#Substitution_and_all_caps —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that's bs. If you would do a little research you would find out that 'ß' is a ligature of a short 's' and a long 's'. So while esszett is a common name for this ligature, the name is misleading :) And the previous poster is correct, the common substitution is 'ss', not 'sz' when no 'ß' is around for some reason. -- 20:19, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Voszstrasze ist just lovely!! You find it in books from the 19th century, but I agree it should be reinstated. The name now looks a bit like VoRunic "SS"traRunic "SS"e, right? Besides: "ss" instead of "ß" is not Austrian "dialect" (no way of pronouncing ss and ß differently, dear)- its just official Swiss orthography since the 1930ies. Keep it up, Brits!! --Kipala 20:20, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
You are so no German speaker... ss is so different to ß. Why should we have two different characters if we pronounce it the same? It's NOT standard German to pronounce ss as ß! I don't care what the Swiss or Austrian do. We speak about standard German here! Otherwise we can also introduce my dialect if you want - that would end funny. My German teacher would have killed you for what you said here - Sorry, my dear ;) I find it also very funny how you come always up with the Schutzstaffel or other Hitler related stuff - so childish - how can I have a real discussion with somebody showing not being grown up at all. 07:09, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Besides: If you want to be as German as can be "Vossstrasse" is a real option! The last reform of orthography (which has effectively turned a lot of good Germans into hardcore anarchists refusing to obey their authorities) states that ß will be ss after a short vowel, but continues as ß after a long vowel. Voß/Voss definitively has a short vowel. If you run the name thru guugel you will already see some German spellings of "Vossstrasse". Although, by the way, this search will put the relevance of this article in questiion because you don`t get the Berlin street at all, but lots of Heidelberg Voßstr./Vossstr.. Cheers, -- 21:06, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
That's irrelevant! Voßstraße is a name, and the spelling of names don't changes by reason of spelling reforms. -- 23:30, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
"Vossstrasse" isn't an option under the post-reform German orthography either; the "a" in Straße is a long vowel, meaning that you have to write "ß" either way. A lot of people, including you, are confused by this; you read "Strasse" a lot, but even under the new reformed orthography this is wrong, unless you're Swiss. Which is, incidentally, also why Google is bad as an authoritative source on orthography. 06:30, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
All of which begs the question: If the various German-speaking countries do not have a universal rule which they all follow in this matter, then why on earth must we English speakers be expected to toe the ß-line? Seems to me that if the German-speaking peoples of Switzerland can do without the ß in their everyday lives, then perhaps we English-speaking peoples of the world can survive without it as well. Unschool 06:46, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I can only say it again: If you walk around in Vienna they say Strasse. But they say the a very short and the two ss afterwards. If you talk in standard German you say Straße. The a is long! If you read up in the Duden the replacement for ß is sz and not ss! For example if you write Straße in uppercase: STRASZE you write it with an sz. If you don't believe me check it in the Duden - not wikipedia - you can't quote wikipedia in this case - you need to quote the standard German dictionary: the Duden! The only replacement is sz - all others are plain wrong! 07:02, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Checking in the Duden is what I did. It says: "K 160: 1. Fehlt das ß auf der Tastatur eines Computers oder einer Schreibmaschine, schreibt man dafür ss." Translation: "If the ß is missing on the keyboard of a computer or a typewriter, then ß is substituted by ss." So it´s ss, NOT sz. I don´t know what Duden you were using, but mine is the 24th edition, 2006.
After the refom the ß was kept in Straße because the a is long! If you turn the ß into an ss everyone might think the a is short which is wrong. 07:04, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
For the English speakers: take the Duden as reference. That's what most Germans take. It's the reference dictionary. Swiss is a German dialect. They have even Italian words in their language. What counts is the standard German! 07:14, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Whow, I am so impressed by this discussion! I am sure there will be a Solomon's Judgment at some stage. I am German, living in Berlin. I think from now on - with a mischievous glint on my face - I am going to call it Fob Shtraabe! Aurogallus 10:46, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

ss, sss, ß? A little background knowledge in German orthography

I am a native German speaker and I read most of the conversation up to yesterday. I am sorry our alphabet poses such a problem to English speakers. Personally, I certainly like Voßstraße to be spelled "right" in an English text. But of course, I am aware that most English readers will have problems with this spelling. I can´t say anything about what way the English should spell a German name. But I can give you some background information about German orthography. Germans themselves did have problems with the eszett. Sometimes, even in typewriters or fonts used in Germany, the ß is missing and what we do then is to substitute it by ss. But German and German isn´t always the same. First, there are regional differences. In Swiss German, there is no ß (anymore). They simply deleted it out of their usage. Second, there are differences that have to do with the time the name (or word) has been written or first published. Unlike most other nations, in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxemburg, there is a central commission dealing with how German is to be spelled. Since the middle of the Nineties, a major change took place (it turned out not to be as radical as when they started out, though). Part of this change was that a sharp-spoken ß is now written ss. This is true for Voss, but not for Straße, which is not sharp. The new rules, though, don´t apply to old names (including street names), first, because the street is older, second, because the man it´s named after wrote himself Voß. That is why in German, this particular Voßstraße still is spelled the old way. (BTW: The Danish once did equally: They substituted the x for ks. Except existing names, like in the author´s name Martin Andersen-Nexø, who came from Nexø on the island of Bornholm. There now is a confusion whether to write the town´s name in the old or new spelling. cf: In order to add to your confusion: It is perfectly thinkable there are other "Vossstrasses" in other German towns and cities that are written differently. And right: Google Earth tells me there is a "Voss-Straße" in Sarstedt, Lower Saxony. When I entered "Voss" in German Wikipedia, a long list of people appeared, written either Voss or Voß. The family name originated from the lower German word for fox. And since the fox got its name well before people bothered to think about how to spell it, there are different possible spellings. Before the official change in spelling, triple-consonants (like sss) wouldn´t be allowed. But now it is. So, Vossstrasse would be acceptable for native speakers (although it´s only an ersatz). (BTW: ersatz has gone into the English language, and it has changed into English usage. It is now always spelled with a minor e, although nouns in German will always be spelled with a capital initial letter.) Another thing that is complicating the subject is Voss Strasse. There once was a time (until the end of the nineteenth century, I think), when some street names have been divided in two (like Voß Straße) or divided with a "double-hyphen", quite similar to an equality sign ("=", which was then in use; like Voß=Straße). You see, there are even more spelling possibilities in German than most of you might have been aware of. I think this incongruous use during space and time adds to your confusion. To sum it up: I´d like to see Voßstraße, but I think Vossstrasse (in a English text) now would be acceptable, although it looks awkward. But then, I think it should be very clear there should remain a hint on the right spelling at the beginning of the text.

I am a native German speaker too and can only agree. "ss" is the common transliteration for the ß (Eszett). There is a very old version of a transliteration with "sz", but that is not common and I think it is not a correct transliteration anymore.
The Voßstraße is just still called Voßstraße, because it is an old name. The German spelling rules do not affect names. And Voßstraße is a name and so it kept its name. The modern version of this name would be "Vossstraße" with 3 "s". So you should call it Voßstraße and transliterate it with Vossstrasse, which is the correct and the common version without Eszett (ß). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Why would the modern germa version be "Vossstraße"? Thats nonsens, maybe this person spelled its name with an long o, so it would still be "Voßstraße". And beside this; ß was also a letter in us-alphabet once. This letter was used in the constitution, in official documents and everywhere. My Grandparents (Mr. Richard Hirsch and Mrs. Helene Hirsch, born Mai) have this letter on their documents entering the USA on Ellis Island. So even hundred years ago this letter was used in the USA. So why not just use it in this article. In any other english article the Eszett/ß/"latin letter sharp s" is used, so WHY NOT HERE???-- 11:08, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
The name Voß NEVER had a long o. No matter how the all the Vosses of all times spelled their names, it was and will always be spoken with a short o. Think 'Fox'. So the new (it's not called modern by the way) german way of spelling would be Vossstraße, if Voß were not a name. Aurogallus 09:19, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Contemporary aspects of transliteration and translation

After having read much of the ongoing discussions on Vossstrasse, Potsdam Square and Meissen I thought there must be a different problem to the solution. Obviously there are two very different parties, neither of them is going to give in. And if they do, it's only because they are overruled. So I had this idea of a different approach. Please, do tell me if this is old hat and had been discussed elsewhere. My theory: It is neither possible nor desirable to find a general naming and spelling convention because the naming of foreign things is very much a matter of contemporary zeitgeist.

Some evidence: In post-war Germany with the economy booming, Germans discovered Bella Italia to be their new favourite holiday destination. Of course they wouldn't speak a single word of Italian. Piazza San Marco in Venezia? Sorry we must have missed that, but we saw der Markusplatz in Venedig - wundervoll! - Espresso? No thanks, a cup of Kaffee, please! Of course Venedig didn't get it's German name in the 1950s, I guess has always been called that way - but it suited the contemporary taste to use German or at least German-sounding words. You couldn't sell Coke in early 20th century Germany, you had to name it Coka-Cola. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the German lefts discovered the Italian Toscana as a kind of promised land of food and culture. Being members of the 1968 socio-revolutionary student movement, overly correct, not wanting to be too 'German' at all, not wanting to violate the beautiful Italian language, Germans intellectuals took the habit of incorporating foreign words into german, complete with strange accents and even Italian grammar: "I'd have due cappuccini, please." To me this looks like some kind of exaggerated attempt to make up for their xenophobic post war (nazi?) parents. But nobody cared about the Eiffel tower still being the Eiffelturm, Beijing still being Peking. So obviously, if there is some kind of emotion involved, towards a foreign place, if something changes in the way we look at a place, people want to leave their mark on it.

We say Markusplatz but not Trafalgarplatz. In German we call the United Nations UN [uuh-anne], instead of VN [phow-anne] (Vereinte Nationen) while the french - certainly - call it ONU (Organisation des Nations Unies). But we still say EU for Europäische Union - not EU for European Union. *joking*

English Language Wikipedia uses English words where they exist. Idea: How about explaining e.g. in a footnote, where the English translation came from, when it was first used in that way, and why.

And as for the ß, don't ask the Germans, we will always tell you "Ach, do what you want with the ßs, we are not so sure either...". That's because in Germany, due to the German spelling reform of 1996 things have gone wild. Adding to the confusion, German language has a serious problem with the massive influence of (American) English language - mainly through advertising and - yes - their cultural world domination, resulting in a high percentage of Germans having lost their ability to write proper German. The good old Bäckerei (bakery) you may now find being called Back shop - baking shop. Hello?! English? German? Back? Compound? Also there is capostrophic confusion about the apostrophe, mainly because English apostrophe rules are slightly different to German rules and people tend to mix them up.

Anyway, enough blabla. Tell me what you think. Aurogallus 09:12, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Aurogallus, I appreciate your obviously sincere effort to find some compromise here. My problem is that I'm not totally clear on what it is that you are proposing. Unschool 02:12, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
So sorry, you are completely right, I sort of drifted away and didn't make a point. Let me try: Regardless of the outcome of this ß or ss dispute, as a kind of foot note I would love to see a 'history' of the english translation or transliteration, not only regarding Voßstraße, but other common names. Not to prove any of the spelling versions, but to document them. Something like "In the 50s english media always called it 'Voss strasse', while scientific publications called it 'Voßstraße'. In 200X, as a result of a huge argument, the Wikipedia community decided that the naming convention should be xyz". Just a thought, maybe this would make a whole different topic to be filed under 'A history of translation and transliteration'. Aurogallus 10:12, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Voßstraße in German Wikipedia?

Doesn't anybody here wonder why the German Wikipedia doesn't even have an article about the Voßstraße? --Joe —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:26, 16 October 2007

For Germans, it's just a street, with the de:Reichskanzlei "an der Ecke Wilhelmstraße/Voßstraße". Also, few of them feel the need to fight against the evil letter ß, which was the motivation to start Voss-strasse in the first place.-- Matthead discuß!     O       08:30, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
On what basis do you state that the motivation for this article was "to fight against the evil letter ß"? That hardly seems to comply with WP:AGF. Unschool 10:36, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
"WP:I can read"[6] supersedes WP:AGF. -- Matthead discuß!     O       11:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, your conclusion is clearly well-founded. Perhaps you should have included that particular link in your original assertion? Unschool 03:16, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
The axe-grinding about ß/ss started in Wilhelmstraße, and when the dispute came out in favour of ß, this article here was created to make a WP:POINT[7][8]. That's why German Wikipedia has no article on Voßstraße (yet). -- Matthead discuß!     O       06:21, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Matthead is mistaken; see the archives here. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:47, 2 November 2007 (UTC)