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Population - which is it?[edit]

There are two figures given for the Earth's population - 7.442 Billion at the beginning of the article and 6.45 Billion in the table further down the article. Which is it? If the two figures are taken from different sources, can't we agree on one source - say a UN estimate? I know this is written further below, but I'd like to highlight this problem, as it is the most glaring insufficiency in the article. -Thucydides411 06:39, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

~perhaps the world population went down from the beginning to the end of writing the article... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Nice Kan199887 (talk) 11:31, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

There's a problem[edit]

There's a problem with the first line of this. Strictly speaking world refers to a planet, most often the earth. While the article does a good job of demonstrating the more inclusive (and common) uses of the term, it's initial definition uses universe in a more inclusive way than we might expect. Not only is this jarring (using world and universe without meaning space), but it's potentially confusing - the world is the universe, but worlds are smaller than universes aren't they? BUT I can't think how to change it, as it is quite elegant in its way. Verloren

Disagree - strictly it does not have to refer to a planet. World is often used a lot less literally to simply to refer everything that a person knows of, or as the summation of people in general etc... I don't think it needs changing as I agree the definition given is very elegant.
World is not used as everything that humans know and see, but as everywhere there is life, somethimes human-only life. That's why currently the words 'earth' and 'world' are almost synonymous, for the Earth is the only place that there is an exact location for ET life.Firehawk1717

When I set up the redirect to Earth, I did so by looking at what links to this article (to get a sense of why it was on the "most wanted" list). Most of the articles are referring to World as a synonym for Earth, so I would argue that Verloren's point is valid. See what you think of the revised wording I propose – RobLa

I wonder if the First-, Second-. Third World should be covered in this article, or in articles of their own - as Third World actually is, and as also New World and Old World are. The current state seems inconsequent. ...additionally, I wonders about capitalization. Why redirect from Third World to Third world?

-- Ruhrjung 14:12, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I agree, The First/Second/Third world explanation should be in another page and only linked from the main World page. Also on the main page can be put some statistics (like the CIA Worldbook or other atlases) and/or links to other wikipedia pages like "World History", "World Geography", "World Living Beigns"/"World Biology", etc.
I don't think the first line in this article makes sense, it's badly structured (talk) 14:50, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

World, Earth, etc. This Article Needs Focus[edit]

The way I see it, we have a few choices on what should happen when you visit "World" in wikipedia, and up to this point, we seem to have attempted all of the choices at once. Here are the possibilities I can imagine:

  • This page becomes a disambiguation page.
  • This page redirects to Earth.
  • This page talks about the philosophical meaning of "World", which describes something greater than, or different from the Universe.

Right now it is a disambiguation page in which all the possible meanings have begun to grow roots and turn into mini articles, and which deceptively introduces itself as an article about Earth. The article called "Earth" is the article about Earth, so if it is about Earth it is a redirect.

If, as RobLa suggests above, almost all links to World intend to refer to Earth, then it seems that that is the most common interpretation, and that there should be a separate disambiguation page for all the many other meanings of World. Right now I'm going to do the easiest part, which is remove the silly part at top which tells you something you can prove wrong within seconds of visiting the page, that this article is about the Earth.

Cesoid 01:12, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

The disambiguation article for the world already exists: World (disambiguation) (The World (disambiguation) redirects). I think this disambiguation article should be expanded (by moving content from this article) and discussions on etymology could be moved to the wiktionary discussion page. This way in the end this article will become obsolete. World will then redirect to the disambiguation article. Brz7 19:36, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree, but it seems like World should be redirected to the disambiguation page right now, so that people don't get confused by this page. Then this article can sit somewhere where it can be plundered for information. Unfortunately I don't know how this would usually be done, cause I haven't done a lot of wikipedia editing. Anyone? Cesoid 23:14, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Update: some time ago I restructured the article. Now it serves as a portal to topics (cf. country article categorization) related to the world. This includes etymology.Brz7 21:43, 5 August 2006 (UTC)


I don't know Old English terribly well, but it sounds odd that a translation of the original meaning of "world" would include an "of" which indicates some level of posessessive-relationship between "age" and "man". Shouldn't it be simply "man age"? The term "Age of Man" has a somewhat different connotation than a simple compound term in modern English, and especially when capitalized. Does anyone know enough about Old English to comment on this?

Peter Isotalo 13:51, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

I've looked up the word world in two separate dictionaries and they say the meaning is age or life of man. "Man age" is a literal translation and not the meaning. The meaning is "Age of Man", which is correct according to dictionaries. BTW Man age sounds quite strange to a native English speaker. It also has a number of spellings in OE, such as woruld, world and weorold. -- 13:56, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


There seems to be some confusion around physical vs political geography. Is there an analogy with country which can denote both a geographical area and a political/social grouping of people? I'm looking for something more social or political, concerning breadth of community. Thus eg United Nations denotes a world organisation which includes all nation states. Also any sense of community which exists beyond a given boundary eg leaving the family and going out into the world. I'm not sure if this meaning is covered here, or belongs elsewhere. I've also been looking at World (of Humans).--Mindmass 19:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Questionable etymology[edit]

Sorry, I would really love to know what dictionaries you found that gave you werr-eld as the roots for english word 'world!' Certainly I do not find this in Webster - and all my knowledge of germanic languages leads me to believe that the word 'world' is much older than the Old English roots which you postulate here. More likely the word 'world' comes from a single root, seeing how widely spread the said root is among germanic-speaking countries: Dutch = wereld, German = Welt, Frisian = wrâld Swedish = värld, and so forth. However, the first root you postulate here is 'Wer,' which is old english and more likely came from one of the Gaelic languages' words for a 'man' or 'person.' I would like to call into question the accuracy of your etymology here, and note that there appear to be other pages with similar views which are linked here - Wight is the first one i've noticed, perhaps there are others. I hope this gets some discussion going, so hopefully we can modify or strike these fancied etymologies from the Wiki article. Thanks. Mo fìor ghaol 02:24, 15 December 2005

According to etymonline, were probably stems from *wer, a Proto-Germanic root. It goes all the way back to Proto-Indoeuropean: PIE *uiHro "freeman" (cf. Skt. virah, Avestan vira-, Lith. vyras, O.Ir. fer, Welsh gwr, Goth. wair, O.E. wer "man") etymonline So here you have your Gaelic word. Are you proposing that Gaelic is the mother of all Indoeuropean languages? -- 08:21, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Wer-eld as age or life of man seems questionable as it could just as eaily translate to old man. Symmetric Chaos 12:47, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Overall quality of the article[edit]

I believe that this article could greatly benefit from some careful editing. As an example, the part about the First, Second and Third world contains a number of questionble assertions. The "First World" to me is not and has never been synonymous with the US and its allies. The most common descriptor would be "high-income industrialised countries" or simply OECD members. That would allow for deletion of the rather strange references to Austria, Switzerland and Sweden, which have unquestionably always been part of the First world irrespective of their neutrality. Argasp 20:34, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

What in the world?![edit]

As soon as I figure out how... which I hope will be soon enough, I'm going to reduce this article to bare bones! Admit, it is exactly the kind of article that wikipedia gets made fun of for, neither here nor there, contains almost no pulp, it is misleading (there really is nothing here about what "the world" or "a world" is) and just for the sake of filling a page on a fundamental word it's fleshed with vague references to human activities or rather things that the word "world" can be used as an adjective before. If anyone likes this page let them create a "World (adjective)" page. The world is a planet, or slightly more figuratively, "the vast array of earthly phenomena known to man as a whole". It looks silly to write about it as a country. grendel's mother 08:19, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Hello Grendel's mother. Like global, international, earth, world is used as an adjective (and as a concept, which is still non sufficiently elaborated as you commented), of which I believe world is often the most correct word to be added to terms (on world scale) related to mainly society/people. The world (adjective) article option could be an option.
To solve this issue satisfactory, I think a Wiki-wide view is needed. For some time I have been thinking about these kind of issues and thought today to create a new Wikiproject to discuss these issues. Please join the Wikiproject Conceptual Jungle to improve Wikipedia and (social) science(s) in general! I hope you and other fellow Wikipedians join this effort. Best regards, Brz7 13:26, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Revamped, as promised (see my comments in this discussion above). The rest of the article has been moved to "world (adjective)". As further evidence of what I wrote above please note that of all the languages this article appears in English is the only one to take the subject beyond the noun definition. I plan to use the Czech page as a reference for fleshing this one out sometime soon, and to put more work into world (adjective). Please do not revert the page without dealing specifically with my points above. Best, grendel's mother 11:56, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Just recovered an etymological text that was deleted during vandalism on the article half way September. Do you know of other sites on Wikipedia with adjective in brackets? Brz7 12:01, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
No, I'm being bold ;-) grendel's mother 12:11, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
All right, we'll see what works best :) Brz7 12:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
That title is probably not the best, as strictly speaking 'world' is a noun, not an adjective. Possibly World (concept) or something similar? However I'm not convinced in any event that splitting the article up works. exolon 12:18, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it's definitely not definitive (but nevertheless interesting an disambiguation/categorization approach). It needs wiki-wide analysis of concepts to solve (if possible) this issue and lots of similar issues (see comment above on new WikiProject). Brz7 12:28, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

This article needs to take on a format that defines world, it's cultures, its religions, demographics etc. much like the CIA world factobook article on the subject redoing the entire article may be necessary as this article does not focus as it should on humans, the world is the human layer of the earth. Please feedback this article needs to be revised and realized to its true potential. Ridoco234 (talk) 22:57, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Assistance requested[edit]

Hi, I've posted on the village pump requesting assistance here. Lets see if we can get more people into this discussion and work out a consensus on the best way to deal with the article, the name of the secondary and other ways to deal with any issues. exolon 12:22, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

The edited article though was about "world peace", "world government", etc., in which case "world" is an adjective, not a concept. So it wasn't an article about "the world". Fair enough though, if you don't want it split up say why. As I said the article doesn't include adjective uses in other languages and otherwise see moy comments above. I changed it because I read it and it was a silly article, not because I was looking for something to edit. grendel's mother 12:31, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

World=Our temporary home


Ok, I'm not sure about this, but shouldn't the etymology be covered in wiktionary? J Hill 22:02, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that's something I'd like to know as well. What I found so far:
an opinion on the talk page of the WikiProject Countries which declared unwieldy etymological information is unnecessary and should be included in the opening of the article (no separate section).
There are articles on Wikipedia which contain a separate section of "the origin (and history) of the name", mostly these are geographical articles. Also separate articles on etymology of a term exist.
Is a reference to Wiktionary something for the main page or the disambiguation article? Brz7 11:22, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I think it is valid and should be reverted, there are "word histories" on loads of wiki pages and I for one have come to expect them. grendelsmother 11:55, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

most wikipedian articles have an etymology section so I think it is appropriate that etymology be part of this article, after all we have the ability to deliver valuable information through that section. Ridoco234 (talk) 01:36, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Adding Protection[edit]

I have added proctection to this article because there has been a lot of vandalism lately, and it can't continuing. ImperialAssassin 23:12, 3 November 2006 (UTC)


The percentage in the population table does not make sense, can anyone explain what does that represent? --Cyktsui 03:51, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

That is the percentage of the world's total. So Africa-Eurasia has 57 percent of the world's land mass and 84 percent of its population. Fractalchez 00:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm new to editing so please excuse any mistakes... The table states that the world population is ~6450M, Africa-Eurasia is listed as taking up about 84% of that, then Africa and Eurasia are listed seperately, meaning the %ages add up to more than 100%... incredibly confusing. Seems to me it would be better to list world total, then a sequence of %ages that add up to 100 (Allowing for some rounding error) - ie not list Africa-Eurasia seperately. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Basiclife 16:51, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Current vandalism[edit]

Time again to add semi-protection for a little while? The vandalism is coming often, and pretty exclusively from anonymous IPs. Fractalchez 21:56, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Uh huh, I agree, I went to it to get some information just now and it is still vandalised (has been for some time now, but I am not knowledgeable in Wikipedia enough to know how to revert changes..)

World population[edit]

In the article: "There are approximately 6.7 billion people living on the Earth." But in the table: "World 6 450 000 000" It isn't consistent.


lost Regions of world[edit]

Where is the Shouther Cone?

wow —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:52, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


If, as the article states: "The world is a proper noun", shouldn't it be capitalized as such? – pd_THOR | =/\= | 04:07, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

World vs Earth[edit]

Shouldn't the "Physical characteristics" part be moved into the Earth article? As this article states, "world" doesn't always mean Earth but "Earth" always means Earth.

Also, does the "Human population" part belong in the "Physical charatceristics" section? – Alensha talk 18:10, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Agree, there's more to the world than earth. It should rather, like world development start with the most general usage, and continue to "details", like Humanity. Mikael Häggström (talk) 10:36, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I have taken over and conquered the entired world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:53, 11 July 2008 (UTC)


The table data gives area as 57,506,055 sq miles. I suspect this is land area. Should we give land area, ocean area and total area? crandles (talk) 10:38, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

From Earth Land area_km2 = 148940000 Water area_km2 = 361132000 Total area_km2 = 510072000. Sorry can't work out how to change the infobox crandles (talk) 10:38, 31 January 2010 (UTC)


The article should explain the meaning of "world" as a noun in its own right. Instead, it keeps degenerating into a list of things that are prefixed with "world-", i.e. world population, world economy, world gross product, world history, world government, world war, etc. etc. Of course all these terms make use of the concept "world", but listing them does nothing for this article.

The only sections that seem strictly on topic are "etymology and usage" and "philosophy".

I can only suspect that the creation of World (adjective) was somehow triggered by an awareness of this problem, but as it stands it just duplicates it instead of contributing to a solution. --dab (𒁳) 11:13, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I would argue here, your edit was way too brave, your definition is too strict... I see no reason why not to include all the chapters that were present...--Kozuch (talk) 20:49, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
well, I invite you to revert, but think for a moment what is gained by duplicating a section on each phrase containing "world" at this article over simply linking to the articles which cover the item (world population, world government, etc.). This article degenerated into a "list of terms that begin in 'world'", which was neither encyclopedic nor useful. --dab (𒁳) 21:36, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Plato two worlds[edit]

Another time the sentence:

"In his Allegory of the Cave, Plato distinguishes between forms and ideas and imagines two distinct worlds : the sensible world and the intelligible world."

It is false. See the discussion of the Timaeus about only one world. The Greek word for "world", κόσμος, "kósmos", do not appear in that text of the Republic. "Intelligible world", "world of the ideas", etc., are from Philo and the Neoplatonics, and from these are used in bad translations and mistaken interpretations.

--Gonzalcg (talk) 02:50, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

What about people in space?[edit]

The definition given to "world" is "the planet Earth and all life on it". Does that mean astronauts living in the ISS are literally "out of this world"? OlJa 11:14, 3 October 2017 (UTC)