Template talk:British Isles

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I've asked Jimbo[edit]

Seeing as the edit warring has resumed, and seeing how the last attempts at justifying this anomolous solution were hardly persuasive or even well participated in by actual outsiders, I've done what I asked others who were insisting they know NPOV to do long ago, and gone directly to Jimbo for an answer as to whether morphing this template is how we do NPOV or not. See User talk:Jimbo Wales#NPOV and navigation templates. Permalink MickMacNee (talk) 01:24, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Just to note the response was pretty swift, and I think pretty clear [1]. MickMacNee (talk) 03:16, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I saw that discussion. Just out of curiosity, would people accept Pliny's term "the Britanniae" to include Ireland? Wnt (talk) 09:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

The name of the Template is British Isles & the name of the linking article is British Isles. It's irrevelant as to whether anybody (Irish or not) are offended. GoodDay (talk) 15:51, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

It's a simple solution to complex problem. I can't understand why it was removed. Snappy (talk) 20:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
What problem? The template is called British Isles, not The British Isles. The linked article is called British Isles, not The British Isles. GoodDay (talk) 20:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Its allowing the title to be substituted is the issue. Snappy (talk) 20:19, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Substitued for what? GoodDay (talk) 20:20, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
See its use in Republic of Ireland. Snappy (talk) 20:22, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
This is the seventh time I've checked that article for its usage of this template & for the seventh time, I can't find it. GoodDay (talk) 20:28, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
After eight attempts, I've found it. The template says British Isles at the RoI article, so what's the problem? GoodDay (talk) 20:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Well done! Please re-read the lengthy section above #Title, to get an idea of the issues involved. Snappy (talk) 20:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Some editors are offended by the name British Isles, big deal. GoodDay (talk) 20:56, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Clarifiction required[edit]

Would somebody please explain to me, why it's necessary to have the word -The- placed infront of British Isles? GoodDay (talk) 20:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Removed it. Snappy (talk) 20:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. The showing of The, was my concern. GoodDay (talk) 20:58, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I thought the above link to Jimbo's page was clear enough, but Snappy still doesn't seem to get it and wants more discussion. Changing the way this template displays depending on what page it is on, is NOT how NPOV works. I pointed this out months ago, and nobody had any answer or even explanation as to how it was. The functionality was removed, and nobody noticed for four months - that's pretty conclusive use that the justification for the next round of edit warring to restore it, as it was 'in use', was completely false. To make it crystal clear, I asked Jimbo for clarification, he gave it. Now, is there anything else to discuss here really, or is this request that we have to discuss this further before the edit warring will stop, simply a tendentious delaying tactic of ensuring it remains? MickMacNee (talk) 23:45, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I still don't understand what Snappy is complaining about. I don't understand these 'display' arguments. GoodDay (talk) 00:13, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

And this isn't me invoking the word of Jimbo tbw, this is me just finding a definitive way to prove once and for all that everyone who had said this before in those discussions but were ignored, were infact right, and it's going to take a better argument than 'it's OK to present a different viewpoint on the ROI page because that's an 'Irish' page' is somehow how we implement NPOV. It is, and always has been, an utterly absurd argument. I'm all ears if the counter-argument is going to be tried again. But I'm not interested in further 'requests' to discuss it, when this is not actually happening. MickMacNee (talk) 23:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I checked the template at Republic of Ireland, when it was in both forms (Mick's edit & RA's edit) here & encountered no problems - the display was the same there. So what's all this functionality stuff? GoodDay (talk) 00:30, 26 March 2011 (UTC)


Right. After the edit warring was yet again re-ignited on the basis of 'no consensus', I've requested, and been granted, a 5 day protection. I suggest the people reverting based on 'no consensus' use this time to lay out where they divine the support for their ideas that go directly against that found in the links above, as stated by many people with no axe to grind in the dispute, and not least the Founder, the guy who practically invented the principle for the site, and with the rest referring to the actual policy rather than personal assertions of fact or interpretations of policy. It was suggested at the unrelated ANI thread which drew attention to and sparked the latest round, that that attempt at resolution on Jimbo's talk page was wiki-lawyering. Well, I don't see how. I have done everything possible to solicit non-Irish & non-British opinions. If that's not good enough to convince people of their erroneous positions, the only thing I can suggest is that if those people want the right to claim that NPOV allows templates to automatically change their appearance based on what page they are on, on the flawed assumption that Irish articles must be written for Irish readers, and vice versa for British articles, they do it through a proper Rfc on the principle, not to try and circumvent site policy with a local, tag teamed, false consensus. It's not remotely acceptable to have people with known political views on the matter appearing out of the ether and acting as obvious meat puppets, or for people to turn up out of the blue and reignite the edit wars on the basis of 'no consensus', while having not raised a single new point since the last time it was debated & appeared settled. I'm nearly all out of good faith on both those scores tbh, and am well in the mood to start filing some test cases, in light of there finally seeming to be some long term admin effort in this area. MickMacNee (talk) 15:29, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you asked for protection when it became clear that you were running out of reverts.
It's all very simple: You have removed a feature of this template only to impose a certain text version on the articles where it's used. Some templates have parameters that tell them whether to use British or American spelling. In the same way, we can use "British Isles" in an international or British context, but there is reasonable opposition to using it in an Irish context. What term to use for "British Isles" is a question of NPOV and depends on context. It cannot be decided centrally at this template any more than we can decide centrally which variant of English to use. Hans Adler 16:41, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, take that interpretation of NPOV out to the community and make the case. The idea that this is remotely similar to just implementing differences in spelling is ridiculous, that has nothing whatsoever to do with NPOV, but we're well and truly covering old ground here. You can assign whatever nefarious motive you like to my position, I've explained it more than enough times in terms of policy and logic than is ever reasonable to expect in a good faith disagreement, and have received plenty of agreement for my position from outsiders and neutrals alike. I have always said that if you or anyone else cannot reconcile yourselves with a very basic tenet of NPOV - namely that Wikipedia is internally consistent and does not assign any assumption on readers of the kind you want to, then you can try what I have already tried, and remove the issue altogether from the template arena, by trying to have it deleted. Failing NPOV is after all one of the stated valid reasons to delete a template. MickMacNee (talk) 17:22, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
If internal consistency of Wikipedia (whatever that means) is a "very basic tenet of NPOV", then surely you can provide a link to the pertinent subsection of WP:NPOV where I can get educated about the fact. Hans Adler 18:21, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Internal consistency means not presenting one POV on one article, and another on another. From NPOV nutshell: Editors must write articles from a neutral point of view, representing all significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias. And further on:policy is non-negotiable and all editors and articles must follow it. I think this is pretty clear. You are welcome to bring to the table any example you can find of any properly peer reviewed work here, which goes against these basic principles, and for example, in one page describes some controversial issue from the Irish perspective in an 'Irish article', and elsewhere describes the same from the British perspective in a 'British article'. It's the whole terrorist/freedom fighter thing basically, but it applies everywhere else too. That's the idea of a core principle. Because if you really don't think that telling an Irish editor that it would be OK to start presenting articles like the UDA to suit a British perspective, because it's a British article, explaining that that's fine under NPOV because he can do the same to the IRA article, wouldn't lead to World War III, you're flat wrong. That's not to say this lack of internal consistency doesn't happen of course, but it's only on poor articles, and often achieved through healthy doses of involved editting, POV pushing, and general meat puppetry. And that's generally accepted as not how you ensure NPOV. Or at least I hope it is by you, as you don't seem to have this same sort of difficulty grasping the basic core principle on policies like BLP. MickMacNee (talk) 20:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
We are not supposed to present any POV about the British Isles. However, as this is one of the usual terminological minefields (I wonder if there is any political or geographical term related to the UK and/or Ireland that is not a minefield), that's almost impossible. In most contexts we must use the term British Isles because not doing so would be eccentric, would draw attention to the matter, and would therefore be POV. For Ireland-related articles the reverse is true. Nowadays people go out of their way to avoid using the term in connection to Ireland, and if we don't follow this trend, then we are making a political statement. The only reason the situation has not exploded yet is that the template is so well hidden on the main Ireland pages that it's almost impossible to find even when you know it must be there.
I am seeing this simplistic black and white thinking everywhere, so I guess that may you really just don't get it. But that doesn't change the fact that you are wrong because the world, and language, is much more complicated. Hans Adler 20:44, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
You are again making the basic mistake of believing that the Ireland article is meant to be presented from the Irish perspective, and that on the rest of the pedia we are choosing to make the political statement that we support the British POV, and taken together, that's somehow presenting the NPOV to the world or the reader, who may be Irish, British or Martian. This is so wrong. Wikipedia is no more beholden to present an Irish POV of the world in the Ireland article as it is to present an Iranian POV of the world in the Iran article. Iran rejects the terminology surrounding Isreal, and no doubt people dealing with them avoid use of it to. And that's not an emerging trend, that's been true for decades. It's every bit a 'complex' situation for Wikipedia as BI terminology is. Yet the Middle East template does not contain code to change the presented name of Israel when used on the Iran article. I'm sure there are some Iranian editors, just like some Irish editors, who will argue until the cows come home that the correct NPOV approach on 'their' article would be to not only have it appear under a different name, but also to not have it in the countries section at all. The NPOV approach on Wikipedia however is not to change the link or even move the link, it is to acknowledge that whatever the Iranian POV, Israel is the widely used term elsewhere, and the only political statement made here by that template is that even if Iran or Iranian readers don't choose to use it or even find it offensive, they know it exists and they know what it means. Are the Irish editors here so arrogant as to believe that the BI dispute is so much more controversial that it somehow needs different treatment than even the Middle East? Of course not, the answer is that those arguments have been fought and won, using the simple facts that NPOV merely demands that we make clear in both the Iran article and the Israel article, and wherever else its relevant, that these different perspectives exist. NPOV has not, and never will, prevent Wikipedia from making the decision to use one term consistently. Following NPOV correctly is precisely what makes that not appear to be a 'political statement', and the mere fact that it will always be seen as one by some readers, doesn't change the fact that this is simply an issue of their inability to see other perspectives at all. This is similar to the inability of some to realise that the Ireland article is written for non-Irish perspectives just as much as Irish ones, or that Wikipedia is not writing for Ireland or as part of a relationship with Ireland, it is writing about Ireland, from a position of complete ambivolence over whatever might be the 'emerging trends' for the people in those positions of obligation. The only trend which is remotely relevant is if the rest of the world also decides that the Irish perspective really is the neutral perspective. That's frankly not even close to happening yet, in the same way that the rest of the world hasn't adopted the Iranian view of Isreal. Rather than Wikipedia, which strives to be truly neutral, these people would probably be better off reading some political blog, which they can be assured will be written soley to suit their perspectives. MickMacNee (talk) 00:58, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Hans, disengage from this user. Nothing useful will come of it. For others, see recent edit history to get a picture of what is the consensus position and what is the not the consensus position:

Date User Version A Version B
20:40, 13 March 2011 Rannpháirtí anaithnid
20:54, 13 March 2011 MickMacNee
22:06, 24 March 2011 Snappy
23:30, 25 March 2011 MickMacNee
00:25, 26 March 2011 Rannpháirtí anaithnid
15:53, 26 March 2011 MickMacNee
12:06, 10 May 2011 Hans Adler
12:18, 10 May 2011 MickMacNee
12:46, 10 May 2011 Hans Adler
14:10, 10 May 2011 MickMacNee
14:27, 10 May 2011 Mo ainm
14:36, 10 May 2011 MickMacNee

15:20, 10 May 2011, MickMacNee requests page protection saying, "Another user is reverting me claiming there's 'no consensus' for [his preferred version]."

See also the extensive discussion above.

--RA (talk) 19:26, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

So, your argument is, if you're not reverting, you're not part of the consensus? And if you are reverting, and you've pretty clearly identifiable views on whether 'Irish pages' should present an 'Irish POV', and are doing so in concert with others who are the same, then there's no issue? Are you still planning on running for admin RA? 'cos this sort of viewpoint is pretty much what I was talking about. MickMacNee (talk) 20:01, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
No, Mick, that's not my argument.
There has been extensive discussion of this matter since 2006. Your position is clear but please, disengage and respect the consensus that exists. Or, if you are serious about finding a consensus that you can agree with, offer another solution to the issue. It is clear that your preferred version has been rejected by the community (at least those who contribute here). --RA (talk) 20:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Those who contribute here don't reflect the community. That's why the discussion on Jimbo's page went pretty differently, and which when you declined to pursue any further, led me to believe this issue was indeed settled. It's not me who's looking to find a consensus, it's clear it exists to me already. I've given my suggested solution above, the same as it's always been - those who claim to be speaking for the NPOV yet will not listen to the outside opinion that has come in, even from Jimbo, will if they are correct, have absolutely no trouble proving it in a site wide Rfc outlining the aims and objectives of this fudge and how it caters for NPOV. And we need no more of this utter bullshit that you need to understand 'Irish issues' before you'll be listened to, that's not Wikipedia, full stop. I said all this already on Jimbo's page and here, many times, and I'm getting pretty pissed at having to keep repeating it tbh. MickMacNee (talk) 20:35, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
It's repetitious, alright. --RA (talk) 20:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I've invited outside opinion from WikiProject Ireland, United Kingdom and Neutrality as well as notifying editors who recently contributed to this discussion. --RA (talk) 21:08, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Alternative proposals[edit]

In the area below here, can editors please list (without comment) potential alternative solutions to the issue of title of this template. Please do not list either of the two versions being reverted between. The purpose of this exercise is solely to see the range of possible other solutions that exist. Later we can discuss which may be acceptable. --RA (talk) 20:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Title as "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands", British Isles linked within the template
  • On politics-related (aside from those dealing with jurisdictions) use "British-Irish Council area" on others use "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands". Link British Isles directly from within the template.
  • On politics-related (aside from those dealing with jurisdictions) use "British-Irish Council area" on others use "British Isles — or Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands". Link British Isles directly from within the template.
  • Use "British Isles — or Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands" as the title

--RA (talk) 20:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

That something might be offensive, is irrelevant to me. We should not alter the appearance of British Isles on any article. GoodDay (talk) 22:37, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
The question here is should it be added, where it's absence appears to cause offense? --RA (talk) 22:44, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Clarify with an example. GoodDay (talk) 22:46, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
When this template was added to pages in 2006 it was done so on the understanding that the title could be changed on a page-by-page basis as appropriate to the topic (not for it's "offensiveness" but because it is widely acknowledge to be problematic in certain circumstances). Mick edits remove that functionality and add "British Isles" as the title of the template on all pages.
Agreement on a common title — or set of common titles that don't divide pages between "Irish" and "British", which I agree we should try to avoid — is not impossible. However, it takes more engagement in the issue than we have seen from Mick thus far. In the mean time, the term should not be added to pages where it is known to be problematic by breaking the functionality of the template. --RA (talk) 23:03, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Is there a way to have one Template title to fit all articles? GoodDay (talk) 23:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I've made two such suggestions above and am inviting others to propose alternatives approaches also. --RA (talk) 23:31, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
TBH, British Isles is alright. I fail to understand what the complaints are. GoodDay (talk) 23:33, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
GoodDay is right. Kittybrewster 09:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What is wrong with Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands? Mo ainm~Talk 09:34, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Why invent a long name when a short name already exists? Kittybrewster 13:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Because as even our own dear Wiktionary points out its usage to include Ireland is likely to cause offence in Ireland. Silent Billy (talk) 06:37, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Misquotation. It does not say "likely to". Furthermore it is wholly unreferenced. Kittybrewster 11:06, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Largely unresolvable[edit]

I have been following the whole Sarah777 block soap-opera and must say that I think that this is largely unresolvable in terms of reasoned debate. As far back as grade 5 or 6 in school I was thought the names of places on the globe and these islands were called the British Isles, I am not confused as to the fact that two sovereign states exist in them, and they do not "belong" to either one. It is a name given collectively to the islands, to some that name does symbolise past injustices (I am not making any judgement as to the legitimately of those feelings) however to try an distort the name so as to avoid offending some is just wrong IMO and here I have to agree with Jimbo Wales when he said "that a template that automagically changes when used in different articles, to represent different POVs, is just wrong. It's wrong from an editorial and technical perspective" [2]. Mtking (talk) 00:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

So one POV gets to rule the roost? Therein lies the rub, it is a perfectly legitimate and verifiable POV that the name of the archipelago is "British Isles". It is equally a legitimate and verifiable POV that the islands are currently without a name or that other terms have become more common and "British Isles" is no longer usable. (References for these statements can be seen on the British Isles article.)
The question is not one of "offense" but of NPOV and weight. On Wikipedia, we tend to favour use of "British Isles" because it appears in the dictionary but doing so does not balance the views of reliable sources. (This is not to say the dictionary is lacks neutrality. It's not the business of dictionaries to say how widely used a word still is — or to say that other terms are used more common in practice — but just to define it and leave it at that.)
Mick does raise some good points. Divvying up articles between "Irish" and "British" is not the correct approach. I personally, don't see the issue with deftly renaming the template in certain context. Regardless of that, however, we should aim for higher than simply throwing our hands in the air and settling for one POV at the expense of another. We can do better than that. --RA (talk) 01:02, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The "British Isles" article makes it clear about the naming issue (which I was not aware of until I read it), it appears that the naming issue is not one that consumes anyone other than the highly politicly involved, as others have said this is an encyclopaedia, not an instrument of social or political change nor is it a battleground for such things to fought over. The question is, what are they commonly called globally (in English) and that is "British Isles" and until that has demonstrably changed then renaming a template on one class of pages is just wrong (see Jimbo Wales comment above). Mtking (talk) 01:33, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
British Isles is no more a PoV usage then Irish Sea. GoodDay (talk) 01:19, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

OK. I don't know what is going on here. I have been summoned here, away from my numerous other duties, because I commented on this some time ago - months ago, I think. Look, I'm Irish -- Irish-American. My father was Irish, and my grandfather was Irish (and an Al Smith man), and my great-grandfather was off the boat, and none of us like the British, and all of us were brought up on Irish songs and poetry and lore, and it's British Isles, period, OK? And if you don't stop this nonsense I'll take my shillelagh to the whole heathen lot of ye, OK? You make the sons of the homeland look like idiots insisting on this nonsense. It is absolutely and unequivocally un-Wikipedian to use different names for the same entity depending on context. This is settled. Or d'ya want articles written about English entities to refer to the English Sea or to Cobh as Queenstown? Well, do you? Because that is what you asking for, a balkanization of the Wikipedia that benefits no one in the end. Now stop being a disgrace to the old sod and bothering us with this, accept that it's the British Isles, and get on with writing articles, kthx. Herostratus (talk) 02:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Well said. Mtking (talk) 03:35, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Any editor who complains that placing a template containing the British flag or the word "British" in any article is some kind of attack on their homeland is way too emotionally involved in the topic to edit it in a neutral manner. Putting the British flag or name on an article related to Ireland is not trying to subject the Irish people to "British oppression". The article does not "belong" to Ireland. It doesn't "belong" to anyone. Cla68 (talk) 06:23, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not the point. A lot of terminology regarding the British Isles is extremely fragile and becomes POV when slightly taken out of its standard context. E.g. the UK is generally said to consist of "four countries". That language comes from the time when there was one country of Ireland, consisting of the entire island and being part of the UK. The language was never updated, and now Northern Ireland is regarded to be one of these countries. Yet nobody considers Northern Ireland to be a country. As a result, we can talk freely about the "countries" of Britain in general articles and in the articles on England, Scotland and Wales. But in articles related to Ireland and Northern Ireland we must be extremely careful with the word "country". "The UK consists of four countries. They are England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland." – Fine. "Scotland is one of the countries of the UK." – Fine. "Scotland is a country." – Somewhat borderline. "Northern Ireland is one of the countries of the UK." – Borderline. "Northern Ireland is a country." – Totally wrong.
The situation here is similar. In contexts in which the reader thinks of Ireland as a major feature of the British Isles, as opposed to just the junior partner with no real relevance, we must be more careful than in more general contexts. It's a question of focus and weight. "There is this archipelago dominated by Britain. It's called the British Isles. It also contains Ireland." – Fine. "Britain is part of an archipelago called the British Isles." – Fine. "Ireland is part of an archipelago called the British Isles." – Not fine at all. Hans Adler 06:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
" "Ireland is part of an archipelago called the British Isles." – Not fine at all ". — Sorry but unless someone has towed Ireland out into the Atlantic then that is a factually correct statement, and as Cla68 says if anyone cant accept that is the case then they "too emotionally involved in the topic to edit it in a neutral manner." Mtking (talk) 07:04, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Of course it's a factually correct statement. But it's not PC in this form. There are many other words for which acceptability changes according to context in similar ways, e.g. black, moor, negro, nigger. See Othello and Hip hop music for some related information. Obama isn't the first moorish president of the US, let alone the first n. one. And Othello wasn't a black person. (As he may actually have been Berber or Arabic.) Papist is another word that is more or less acceptable depending on context, although it's not really acceptable in any context nowadays. Language is an incredibly complicated and nuanced thing, and there is no reason why Wikipedia should be dominated by those who don't grasp these nuances and consequently claim that they don't exist. Hans Adler 07:30, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't accept that an encyclopaedia needs to be be PC, because if we are going to do that then what about Christmas do we need to avoid using that word, change the name of the article to avoid offending non-Christians, what about Eid ul-Fitr shall we change that so as to avoid offending non-Muslims. What about the article Human penis, should the imagery be removed because some might find is offensive, what about Vagina. After all Wikipedia not censored and if you read that page you will see it makes it very clear "Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive, even exceedingly so" . Mtking (talk) 07:49, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Wow. Can we please leave the Sarah777 stuff with Sarah777? Nobody here should be interested in her shenanigans and she is not representative of anyone here. I, personally (far more than most people in fact), have been the target of much of her anti-British ire and have been attacked by her many times for purportedly advancing a pro-British and anti-Irish agenda on the encyclopedia.
Please don't bring her or or behavior in here. It is not relevant. --RA (talk) 07:55, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Example alternative[edit]

Wikipedia is not censored. There is no imperative NOT to use British Isles. Neither is there one that we MUST use British Isles. We have choice over our words.

In real life, there are perceived issues with the term. Sources say that use of the term is falling away and other terms are coming into prevalence. Some sources say other turns of phrase are now more common. Clearly too, however, for a large number of people there is nothing wrong with the term and issues raised with it are perceived to be trivial or related solely to political sensitivities.

In that context, deciding that articles MUST use British Isles is as much censorship as deciding that they MUST NOT. We need some kind of balance where both views are represented.

Below is an example template that tries to strike a balance between the perspectives. The title is merely descriptive and article British Isles is linked within. Is it really that much of an ask that a descriptive title be used for the template rather than a nominative one in the interest of striking a balance between views? Or MUST we use British Isles? --RA (talk) 08:11, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Why is "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands" better than "British Isles" ? If the answer is "it is less offensive to some" then it is censorship. - as others have said above, I will say it again - This silliness needs to stop - calling it anything other than "British Isles" is contrived censorship Mtking (talk) 08:30, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree that Wikipedia is not censored and nor should it be, but also there is no need to at all counts use the term British Isles. As RA has stated a balance can be struck and can't see any reason why this is not being implemented. Mo ainm~Talk 08:47, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
"there is no need to at all counts use the term British Isles" - Why is that ? Mtking (talk) 08:54, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The term is not used in Ireland. Mo ainm~Talk 08:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I think what you mean is the term is not used by some people in Ireland. LevenBoy (talk) 11:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
"there is no need to at all counts use the term British Isles" — This should be quite self-evidient. I believe what Mo Ainm means that there is no need to use the term British Isles in all circumstances where it is possible to do so. We don't HAVE TO use the term. To insist that we do is equally censorship as to say that we MUST NOT.
Other turns of phrase and ways of saying that same thing are at least as common, according to reliable sources, and there is a tension between whether to use or not to use the term. We can't just fall down on one side and say that that side is "correct". We need to show balance with regard to the issue. That is a difficult thing to do but we can achieve it if we puts our minds to it. --RA (talk) 09:09, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The answer to your question is certainly not because "it is less offensive to some". Neither should we use the term simply because not to do so would be "offensive to some". What I am attempting is to explore how the conflicting views on the name of the archipelago can be incorporated fairly into the template.
Rather than asking, "What wrong with 'British Isles'?" Could you say what is wrong with the suggestion above? Why would it be better to give the title as "British Isles"? (NB4 "because it's the name of the archipelago" — That is the nub of the question. The name of the archipelago is in contention among reliable sources. Equally, the name of the islands are Great Britain, Ireland, and other islands. There is nothing wrong with describing them as that.)
"...calling it anything other than "British Isles" is contrived censorship..." — First, not contrived. Nobody is making this up. See the sources. Second, is the solution to censorship of one phrase to censor other turns of phrase?
Finally, please assume good faith in others and note that avoidance of the term in certain contexts has been a feature of this template since its inception in 2006. Problems with the term is widely acknowledged and use or non-use of the term is handled on a case-by-case basis in articles. For some time, a task force even worked on resolving specific examples of use and non-use in articles. --RA (talk) 09:09, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I object to the title of this template being anything other than British Isles, and that fits with Jimbo's view on the matter. British Isles is not controversial in Ireland, expect in the minds of a hard-case minority. LevenBoy (talk) 11:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Oh come one now. You know that is hugely disingenuous. For example, with regards to attitudes to the term in Ireland, "The term 'British Isles' is controversial, especially to many people in Ireland. The Irish government actually discourages the use of the term. The preferred description is 'Britain and Ireland', which is more politically correct." - How to Do Everything Genealogy, George G. Morgan (2009)
Hardly "a hard-case minority". Please don't try to paint such a picture. There is disagreement on the continued correctness or otherwise of a term - but there's no need to sling mud. --RA (talk) 11:44, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The view of George G. Morgan, well he's entitled to it. To be honest I've never met anyone in Ireland who is the least bit interested, or has a view on the matter, other than here. As I've said elsewhere this whole controversy thing is pretty much manufactured here on Wikipedia; OR and all that. LevenBoy (talk) 12:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm being very amused here by these arguments, bearing in mind the Republic of Ireland debate from a while back. We have people who are upset by the real name of a state, Ireland, being accomodated, and so the article now resides at Republic of Ireland. People argued that readers may be confused, that the name of the state was extra-territorial, that it was offensive, etc. Now look at the lot of yea! At least RA is being consistent in his position (as I am) but the rest of you should be ashamed. --HighKing (talk) 11:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

At the risk of going off on a tangent, I've never understood what the problem is with RoI versus Ireland. Why not just use Ireland for the RoI and Ireland (island) for what is now Ireland, or is that just too simple? LevenBoy (talk) 12:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
There's a lot written about it, easy to catch up (gulp) and there's a lot of parallels. Perhaps it's slightly tangential, but equally it might serve to hold a mirror up to some editors. --HighKing (talk) 12:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The template is alright with its 'British Isles' usage. Anybody hollering for balance, can be soothed by the Irish Sea. -- GoodDay (talk) 12:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

GoodDay, it's not about scoring points. It's about balance between different views offerend in reliable sources.
LevenBoy, direct quotations from reliables sources are the very opposite of OR. --RA (talk) 12:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
It's best to stick with 'British Isles' usage here. Going into all that 'alterations' isn't an urgent requirement. GoodDay (talk) 12:52, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
None of this is an urgent requirement. Best to just stick with "Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands" for now since it is patently uncontroversial ;-) --RA (talk) 13:07, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Controversey concerns are irrelevant. GoodDay (talk) 13:08, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Controversy between editors is irrevelent. Controversey between reliable sources is very relevent. --RA (talk) 14:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
@Laven, you're right however in contasting the issue here on Wikipedia with the issue "in real life". It's not a big deal in real life. It shouldn't be a big deal here on Wikipedia either. That doesn't mean that the issue doesn't exist in real life or that we are exagorating it here on Wikipedia. It is simply that it is dealt with differently in real life.
For one thing, in real life, we don't have to collaboratively agree on the words we use for things. But also, the way that we deal with difference here (by very quickly jump into trenches and drawing hard lines) would be considered very strage behavior in real life. We need to adjust our behavior here and be less suspicious and more accomodating to each other (and the range of vocabalary that we use) as we are in real life. --RA (talk) 13:07, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I can understand the concerns of MickMacNee and I fully support only one template. I also believe the arguments put forward by RA and Hans Adler regarding the fact the the use of the term British Isles is complex. I would therefore support the proposal put forward by RA i.e. Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands. Bjmullan (talk) 15:08, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
This does not adhere to the type of NPOV espoused by "our glorious leader". The template currently uses "British Isles" and I recommend that's how it stays. LevenBoy (talk) 15:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What is not NPOV about it? Does the template not provide navigation links to topic relating to Great Britain, Ireland, and related islands?
The term British Isles also appears within in the template. It links to the article, British Isles. --RA (talk) 15:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I still don't see the urgency or requirement in these proposed alterations. But, if they're adopted, I won't loose any sleep over it. GoodDay (talk) 16:42, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, GoodDay. I appreciate you coming out of the trenches too. Other proposals are welcome too. I only intended the above as an illustration to tease out the issues - but if it was adopted, I wouldn't loose any sleep over it either (which seems like a good reasonable of acceptability). --RA (talk) 17:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Oppose. Tautology. British Isles is the common name. Kittybrewster 17:15, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
For clarity I also oppose this example, for all the reasons already stated many times before (and this solution has been suggested several times) and never addressed. The BI dispute is no more or less complex or important to make this the one navtemplate on the whole project where the notional 'parent' article is not the top bar article, but is relegated to the content area as one of the many that the template exists to link together. Infact, such a relegation challenges the logical existence of the whole template, but we've been there and done that. This top article arrangement is the standard practice everywhere else, and changing it is an example of the accessibility barriers this single issue specific fudging will introduce to Wikipedia that Jimbo refers to. For anything like this to fly, it will not be through the usual local 'compromise' calling of the consensus (by RA himself more often than not), but through at a minimum an agreement at the VPP level that this is indeed needed and should be available for templates that contain disputed terminology (and that's many many templates), to ensure the relevant documentation & guidance about navtemplates is updated. Otherwise, you will only continue to see what's already happened - good faith editors being caught in the bear trap for not unreasonably editing this template to return it to the standard format. MickMacNee (talk) 17:42, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The wider the discussion the better. A general discussion on how to handle disputed terminology would be a good idea. A "meta level" discussion of how to handle disputed terminology in general would allow us all to get our heads out of the termniology itself and onto higher level issues that matter more to the encyclopedia. It would allow us perspective an take us out of the bog of the terminology itself. Thanks, Mick. Good suggestion.
For clarity also - in 2006, it was I who suggested the notion of pipe linking the template title. The inclusion of the template on articles relating to Ireland had been vehimently opposed by editors as a kind of POV pushing. The reasoning is plain enough, templates are not ideologically netural: a template showing a list of countries imples that there are a unifying connection between those countires, a template showing a a list of music recordings implies that there is some unifying connection between those music recordings.
The creation of this template and its addition to articles relating to Ireland was seen as implying that there was some unifying connection between Ireland, the United Kingdom and certain other places. This point of view is at odds with the a common view of the relationship between Britain and Ireland, which is that Ireland is one place, Britain is another and never the twain shall meet. The suggestion to allow individual article to be able to change the template title eased some of the tensions around this template and allowed it to be added to Ireland-related article.
History is a funny thing. Something that can be agreed at one time in a spirit of collegialism and good faith can later come to interpreted as the very opposite. Here, a compromise that originally was entered into in a spirit of friendship is now seen as a symbol of self-evidient emnity. Something that was seen as tieing articles on Ireland and Britain together is seen as dividing articles between "Irish" and "British".
Anyway, a meta-level discussion on disputed terminology would be a good idea. I suggest it not only deal with templates, nor should it simply focus on this dispute, but on wider issues of disputed terminology in general. We could then work from the general to the particular.
This has my agreement. What do others think? --RA (talk) 18:23, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
RA, you suggest a common view is that ...the relationship between Britain and Ireland, which is that Ireland is one place, Britain is another and never the twain shall meet. I don't believe this is common at all. Of course Britain and Ireland are two different places, but they metaphorocally meet all the time and all over the place. The entities have much in common and share a broad history. Like it or not the British Isles is what they are both part of, and this is the common name. It is not POV to use the term, it is fact; alternatives reflect a POV which is unacceptable for an organ (Wikipedia) that purports to deliver facts and not opinion. LevenBoy (talk) 19:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
LB, you would not believe the number of people who insist Ireland stops a few mile north of Dundalk. The idea that Ireland and Britain may be connected is simply unfathomable to them. You may not believe it but you are in a fortunate position where you live to be literally at the juncture of the metaphorical Ireland and Britain. (Or unfortunate.)
You're correct, it's not POV to use the term. What is POV to present one term as more correct or common term than another. Several terms exist for these islands and we don't know which one is more common, never mind which is more "correct".
As your final sentence reveals, words can also carry meaning beyond their simple definition — and can mean different things to different ears. One phrase (that I would say is more common than British Isles) is Britain and Ireland. If I remember correctly, to you this phrase implies the seperateness of Britain and Ireland (or maybe it was HK that said this). To me it implies a union. RA 19:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
(For an interesting piece of OR, compare Google trends for "UK and Ireland", "Britain and Ireland" and "British Isles". A very tightly run race, indeed! [Data for "Britain and Ireland" is missing except for one point. That doesn't mean that it was only searched for at that point. It's simply that the data is missing for one reason or another.]) --RA (talk) 20:57, 11 May 2011
No it is not POV to present one term as more common than the other. It may be POV not to mention that there is a POV that this is offensive to some people +RS. Kittybrewster 20:10, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
In the absence of RS stating which is the most common, it's actually mere speculation. However, I don't think anyone would say that British Isles is not one of the most common (and possibly the most common). However, we know from RS that that term is "increasingly less usable" and that another term is "more favored" but that "[t]here is no consensus on the matter" (to quote one). --RA (talk) 20:32, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Interesting.... the above is a good practical explanation of NPOV, thank you RA. I, for one, didn't appreciate some of the finer points until now. It also makes clear to me how some editors jump from NPOV to "Common Term" to "Correct Term" to bolster a favoured term of view. I support representing that other views exist in a NPOV. Also, a Common Term is potentially not "common" to every group of people, so using what is perceived as the "most" common term does not represent NPOV, and imposes a POV on a group of people. The current solution of changing the template seems like a good idea. RA - it might be a good idea to pose this question to Jimbo too - I don't believe a simplistic solution exists, and it highlights a real problem. --HighKing (talk) 10:48, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

WP: Project scopes. The flags[edit]

TBH, this template should also be within the scope of Wikipedia:WikiProject Ireland. Also, the Irish flag belongs too. GoodDay (talk) 01:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Then add the Wikipedia:WikiProject Ireland template (as I have done). Mtking (talk) 01:43, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Adding Link[edit]

I recently created a list, List of states of the British Isles. It's supposed to be a list of all the sovereign states that controlled territory in the British Isles. I say supposed to because it's most likely missing a significant number of them. Anyway, an reviewer suggested that I add a link to it to this template. Any suggestions on how I should go about doing that? My idea is to add it under former states with the piped link "others" or "full list." -©2015 Compassionate727(Talk)(Contributions) 13:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Forgotton people groups.[edit]

For some reason it appears that a few small native groups to the British Isles have been forgotton from the people section of the box.

I think Scottish Lowland Travellers and Indigenous Highland Travellers should be added. This would make sense as currently English Romanichal Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Welsh Kale are all listed as people groups, so it does not make sense for scottish indigenous traveller groups to be excluded.

Secondly I would argue that the Anglo Irish should be added similiar to how the Ulster Scots are included. Its already part of the British People Box so doing so would standardize things. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:23C6:B409:BA00:E1A7:7B74:144E:6456 (talk) 18:37, 10 February 2020 (UTC)