Talk:William Giffard

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Twice now in comments it has been mentioned "MOS says use last name". That is not exactly correct. The MOS states, "After the initial mention of any name, the person should be referred to by surname only, without an honorific…"

It also states, "where a person does not have a surname… then the proper form of reference is usually the given name." The only example given for the above was a patronymic, however, a sobriquet, which names of that period often were, and Giffard was, would be the same situation. The point is, the time period in which Walter lived predates the custom of using surnames (i.e. last names, hereditary surnames) in England and Normandy. In addition, prelates did not typically use surnames even after they became customary. By using his given name in this context it did comply with MOS and so was not a mistake. Bearpatch (talk) 16:56, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Can I ask you to start using edit summaries, please? You obviously see mine, but never ever use them yourself. It's very annoying, I never know what has been done and end up having to check all the edits you do on articles I've got watchlisted. As for the "last name" issue - all the rest of the article uses "Giffard" - so your point above isn't exactly convincing... I could see going with all "William" although most other articles in this time frame are fine with using patronymics or sobriquets, partly because it seems every other male in Anglo-Norman history is named William. It's the same problem with all the Matildas - if you use the last name/patronymic/sobriquet, there is less confusion about which person is intended. But if you insist on changing it to "William" please be consistent throughout the article not just one change while leaving all the other Giffards. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:07, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not insisting, just recommending we go by the MOS in this instance, specifically WP:Surname. Since there is no surname here, I think we can agree on William, and yes, unfortunately, it is a common Norman name. Therefore, Bishop William would seem to be an appropriate alternative in some sentences. In the case of Ranulf Flambard, a contemporary of William Giffard, subsequent reference to him is appropriately by his given name. And yes, in that article his sobriquet is translated whereas in William's article it is not. I'll see what I can do re: summaries here. I'm not much of a fan because it's all too easy to unintentionally sound curt, snide or otherwise be insulting to other editors.Bearpatch (talk) 19:36, 24 August 2012 (UTC)