User talk:Giraffedata

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If you came here to discuss an edit related to the phrase "comprised of," please see my user subpage about these edits first. Bryan Henderson (talk)


Contents

2008[edit]

I have deleted the talk for 2008. There is not much there of reference value, so I just summarize it here. Of course, you can see the original discussion in the history of this page: just look at the last revision of 2008.

All of the comments but one were about edits I made to the phrase "comprised of." In September, I created my user subpage covering that topic and the comments dropped off sharply.

Two comments simply asked for an explanation of the edit.

15 commenters objected in some way to the "comprised of" work. The objections ranged from pointing out that I had introduced a typo in the process, which the commenter had corrected, to open personal insults.

4 comments expressed support for the work, 3 strongly. One of them was from a former user of "comprised of."

I caution anyone who might be using these numbers to draw a conclusion about the consensus of English speakers on the validity of "comprised of" that this is in no way a representative sampling. The total number of commenters is a tiny, tiny fraction of the number of edits and the commenters self-select.

Objecting comments were almost entirely inspired by a particular edit someone noticed.

In 4 cases, the commenter says he reverted my edit. In 2 of those, there is no claim that the reversion improves the article, and I believe the point of the reversion, and telling me about it, was to make a point. In 2 additional cases, the commenter says he further edited my edit.

Several objections were based on the fact that dictionaries list the offending usage as one of the definitions of "comprise." I and one other commenter responded that a usage being listed in a dictionary doesn't mean you shouldn't avoid it. That's not what dictionaries are for.

One of the comments claimed the original "comprised of" phrasing was superior to my phrasing, but the commenter declined to explain. His response to my request for an explanation was a sarcastic insult, and my followup request was unanswered.

One objection seems to have been based on a misreading of the edit, but it isn't clear because the commenter concentrated on attacking me rather than discussing the article. The exchange ends with, "You are a silly, silly man who is simply incapable of ... Case closed."

One commenter took issue with my edit summary, "fix 'comprised of'," saying it implied "comprised of" is grammatically incorrect, while he believed it is not. I explained that I don't think "fix" implies grammatical incorrectness.

Another commenter thought my fix was an irresponsible hack job that corrupted the text, but after some discussion apologized and agreed that he had just misread what I wrote. And re-edited it to make it read better.

Three commenters discussed the futility of the work. They didn't say what they were assuming is the goal of the work, but it appears to be something like "eliminate 'comprised of' from the English language." I said that isn't my goal, but didn't say what my goal is.


The only comment not about "comprised of" was a question asking, since I was interested in grammar disputes, what I thought of "color" vs "colour." I said I think that is in a whole different category (and that I'm perfectly OK with them being used in their respective dialects, but that I would have opposed "color" when it was new).

Bryan Henderson (talk) 03:45, 28 February 2009 (UTC)


2009[edit]

I have deleted the talk for 2009. There is not much there of reference value, so I just summarize it here. Of course, you can see the original discussion in the history of this page: just look at the last revision of 2009.

Like in the previous year, all the comments but two were about edits I made to the phrase "comprised of." There were fewer negative comments in 2009, though, and more positive ones. I believe this is because late in 2008, I created my user subpage covering the topic and would-be commenters read that first. It could also be that I stopped using an edit summary that may have evoked an emotional response in some: "fix 'comprised of'." There appears to have been some public call for participation that resulted in about half of the discussion.

10 comments objected in some way to the work. 7 comments (not counting mine) were favorable. As always, I caution anyone who might be using these numbers to draw a conclusion about the consensus of English speakers on the validity of "comprised of" that this is in no way a representative sampling. The total number of commenters is a tiny, tiny fraction of the number of edits and the commenters self-select.

One comment took issue specifically with the edit summary "fix 'comprised of'," taking it to mean that the original text was grammatically incorrect and saying that on that basis the commenter almost reverted the edit. I responded that I don't think "fix" implies a grammatical correction. I also said a false accusation of incorrect grammar isn't a reason to revert anyway. But I said that I would nonetheless stop using that phrasing in order to avoid such reversions. (I switched to simply "comprised of" in quotes for the edit summary).

One commenter asked my opinion on another questionable use of "to comprise": to make up or constitute as in "red balls comprise half the entire selection." I said I hate that too.

One commenter wanted to take issue with my description of my motivation in my user subpage about "comprised of," which said "I don't edit for personal preference." The commenter basically points out that I obviously prefer to edit than not to, so the edits are based on personal preference. I tried to explain the distinction I was trying to make, and ultimately said I would try a different wording.

Along the same lines, another commenter said because some people have no problem with "comprised of," then changing sentences to the wording I prefer is imposing my point of view on readers, in a way which is against Wikipedia policy. I said I don't believe the Wikipedia Neutral Point Of View (NPOV) policy applies to language issues and furthermore that I don't think the reader is imposed upon in any way by not having the opportunity to read "comprised of."

There was a discussion about which is better: "the band is composed of John Jones and Mary Mason" or "the band consists of John Jones and Mary Mason."


There were two comments not related to "comprised of":

An editor asked for my opinion on a dispute he was having with another editor about verbiage in an article dealing with who was Muhammad's true successor. This was interesting, because it is a very sensitive topic, and not one I have any particular interest or expertise in. The reason he asked is that I was one of the recent editors of the article. Why? Because it contained the phrase "comprised of"! Nonetheless, I researched the issue and rendered my opinion.

A commenter praised my extensive changes to the Restrictive Covenant article. This has no relation to the "comprised of" work -- it was just a topic I looked up because I was interested and happen to know a lot about.

Bryan Henderson (talk) 06:29, 1 February 2010 (UTC)


2010[edit]

I have deleted the talk for 2010. There is not much there of reference value, so I just summarize it here. Of course, you can see the original discussion in the history of this page: just look at the last revision of 2010.

Like in previous years, all the comments but one were about edits I made to the phrase "comprised of." Continuing the trend, the distribution of positive and negative comments was more positive than the previous year. There were 9 positives and 7 negatives, and 5 of those negatives were only barely negative, many of them being combined with overall approval of the project.

3 comments pointed out that I had accidentally changed a quotation.

There was a short exchange with AnmaFinotera, who is strenuously against the project, to the point that she said her policy is to revert my edits even though she doesn't believe the reversion improves the article. She didn't go so far as to say what the point of those reversions is. This exchange includes various personal attacks on me (as distinct from discussion of my edits), and also a claim that consensus is against the project.

One comment says that "composed of" is better than "made up of" for geological composition, as in "the area is made up of granite and basalt." I said I'm OK with either, but still prefer "made up of" for that.

An editor reported three places that the "comprised of" project has been discussed. I added those references to my user subpage on the project.

An editor asked how I do the edits, technically. I explained and also added a section to the user subpage.

There was a brief discussion of the phrase "try and," which derived from a discussion of how people judge "comprised of" correct because they're used to hearing it, even if it doesn't make logical sense. "Try and" is a great example of the same thing because it's commonly used, but there is no logical sense in it at all.


The one comment not related to "comprised of" was a request from an editor for assistance in a Wikipedia technical matter -- getting a category to work. This editor came to me because I had done a "comprised of" edit on the article with which he was having the problem and assumed I was experienced in editing Wikipedia.

Bryan Henderson (talk) 07:38, 24 January 2011 (UTC)


2011[edit]

I have deleted the talk for 2011. There is not much there of reference value, so I just summarize it here. Of course, you can see the original discussion in the history of this page: just look at the last revision of 2011.

Like in previous years, the great majority of the comments were about edits I made to the phrase "comprised of." But unlike previous years, there was very little criticism. There were two complaints, both essentially withdrawn later, after extensive discussion. There were four requests for more explanation or for advice. There were four compliments/thanks, including the Executive Director's Barnstar, awarded by the Executive Directory of Wikimedia The latter doesn't apply specifically to "comprised of" edits, but I know I was nominated, with the phrase, "The MOST AWESOME WikiGnome ever," based primarily on those edits. Five comments pointed out that I had inadvertently edited a quotation. I thanked the commenter.

One comment was about an edit I made to add "sic" to the phrase "chomping at the bit" in a quotation. The commenter wanted to know why I did it, and I explained that "chomping" is an error (the horse champs; it doesn't chomp). We also discussed the use of "sic" in general and the meaning of prescriptive grammar versus descriptive grammar.

One comment said simply, "do you have a life?" As silly as the comment is, I did answer (essentially, "yes").

One comment was a question about information I added to the Vortex86 article. I answered.

Bryan Henderson (talk) 03:23, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


2012[edit]

I have deleted the talk for 2012. There is not much there of reference value, so I just summarize it here. Of course, you can see the original discussion in the history of this page: just look at the last revision of 2012.

This was the most positive year yet for comments on my project to remove the phrase "comprised of" from Wikipedia articles. There were 18 positive comments, compared to 2 negative. One of the negative comments just pointed out that I had inadvertently edited a quotation. The other negative comment stated (incorrectly) that "comprised of" is a matter of regional dialect and that it is fully accepted in the UK. I responded by saying I would try to get some numerical evidence one way or the other, and then that I had done so and the evidence showed the phrase is not more accepted in the UK. Many of the positive comments indicated that I had corrected the poster's work and the poster had learned something as a result and would refrain from making the mistake in the future. One of the positive comments, apparently referring to the fact that I live in California, was entitled, "A Californian lecturing people on English?" I asked what his point was (is there a stereotype of Californians being poor writers of English?), but didn't get a response.

One comment suggested that I add an "in a nutshell" summary to my "comprised of" article. I responded that I had done so.

One comment pointed out copious grammatical and other writing errors in my "comprised of" article. I responded that I had corrected them all and learned a few things.

There was one discussion that wandered into the topic of some other errors, including less/fewer and "irregardless."

An editor asked for help, from a grammatical point of view, translating the Afghan National Anthem into English. I offered a few corrections.

Bryan Henderson (talk) 18:36, 9 March 2013 (UTC)


2013[edit]

I have deleted the talk for 2013. I summarize it here, and you can see the original discussion in the history of this page: just look at the last revision of 2013.

All of the discussion this year was at least tangentially related to my work on abuse of the verb "to comprise" in Wikipedia.

Most of the comments were praise. Other than people pointing out accidental edits of quotes, there were only two negative comments about the work this year.

One was from a person who watches the New Jersey articles and objected to receiving notifications of 30 changes I made in a day to them, adding a "sic" tag to footnotes. The New Jersey articles are a collection of a few hundred articles about municipalities and school districts in New Jersey that share some source that uses the phrase "comprised of," so that footnotes in all of these articles contain that phrase. These 30 articles were either recent additions to that collection or had recent updates to the footnote. The complaining editor apparently did not understand the function of the "sic" tag -- it doesn't affect the displayed text at all, but it prevents automated and semi-automated grammar editing processes from accidentally editing the quotation. I explained that.

The other negative comment was a fairly common request that I leave "comprised of" in a particular article alone because the requester functions as the owner of the article and doesn't believe there is anything wrong with "comprised of". The requester had apparently written "comprised of" in this article three times and each time I changed it about six months later and he changed it back immediately afterward. He argued that I don't have the right to decide unilaterally the grammar to be used in Wikipedia. I asked why that same argument doesn't apply to his insistence on having "comprised of" in the article, but did not get a response. I also pointed out that because the article read the way he wanted it all but a few days a year, he was already winning the battle to control the article. We both indicated we would continue our respective editing.

One comment suggested renaming my "comprised of" essay, for an interesting reason: The essay is widely cited and shows up in search results and reference lists and such, which increases the exposure of the phrase and will tend to cause people who see it to reuse the phrase themselves. I responded that while that effect probably does exist, I thought any alternative title for the essay would make it harder to understand what the essay is about and the cost of that would be higher than the cost of giving "comprised of" more exposure.

2014[edit]

I have deleted the talk for 2014. I summarize it here, and you can see the original discussion in the history of this page: Just look at the last revision of 2014.

All of the discussion this year was at least tangentially related to my work on abuse of the verb "to comprise" in Wikipedia.

The oversimplified positive/negative tally this year in the comments was 8 positive, 4 negative, 2 of which were just about an inadvertent edit of a quote. This is about the same as the previous year. The praise was actually less in absolute terms than in past years, and I suspect it is because of the advent of the "thanks" button in Wikipedia. I received a lot of feedback that way.

One of the true negative comments about the project (and the underlying grammar) was a thoughtful criticism of my essay explaining my reasoning for the edits. It offered rebuttals to "sources" in the essay that supposedly back up my opinion. I said those aren't sources, but just a collection of comments from other people. The comment also suggested switching my efforts to some other English usage that is more universally disliked.

The other negative comment simply rehashed the usual arguments: lots of people say it, at least some people have been saying it for a long time, the dictionary acknowledges that people say it, and language evolves.

There was a brief discussion of whether it accords respectability to a phrase that lawyers use it.

One of the positive comments was especially noteworthy, because it came from Andrew McMillan, not a regular Wikipedia editor, but someone who discovered my project in the process of researching the "comprised of" issue himself and was so impressed by it that he later wrote an article about it in Backchannel. That article seeded a weeklong flurry of publicity for the project and for me in February 2015.

One comment asked how I notice "comprised of" in an article almost as soon as it is written. I and another editor explained the Wikipedia search facility.

Invitation to comment[edit]

Given your activity on the WP: Revert_only_when_necessary essay page, I'd invite your input on a recent edit of that essay that was, very ironically, instantly reverted. See the talk page [1] if you wish to participate.–GodBlessYou2 (talk) 18:51, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar Hires.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Awesome job on comprise of project Kansiime (talk) 05:19, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Tireless Contributor[edit]

Hello Bryan: thanks for pulling me up on that. The article has only been up for a couple of days and google is still straining to "find" it, so I am pleased that you, at least, did. I speak five languages and the 'feel' for the same or similar words may vary. So, verzeihen sie mir. Although: this being an encyclopedia relying exclusively on provable sources on record I have a hunch I picked up the 'comprise of' contaminant from someone else. Have a nice day. (Pronacampo9 (talk) 13:03, 29 January 2015 (UTC))

"comprised of"[edit]

Just FYI, "comprised of" is perfectly legitimate, as evidenced by the fact that it's in popular usage and its meaning is well understood (which is exactly what makes something "grammatically correct"). So there's really no need to waste your time, and in fact when I get around to it I'll probably undo your nonsense edits. Barry Town People (talk) 18:43, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I know. This and many other views of the phrase "comprised of" and the idea of editing Wikipedia articles that use it are covered in this essay and years of discussion on this talk page. Also, I presume you know that there is widespread disagreement with your proposition that being popular and understood is exactly grammatical correctness. It's moot, though, because just because something is grammatically correct does not mean it should not be changed in a Wikipedia article. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 19:34, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Your essay is wrong. There is no disagreement on this among professional academic linguists--that is, people who actually know what they're talking about. I'm sorry you were poorly educated about how language works, and that there was no one to correct you later in life. However, that doesn't mean you get to damage Wikipedia with your non-reality-based view that there is some sort of Platonic ideal of a language apart from how it's actually used. Really, a basic undergrad linguistics course will disabuse you of your ignorance on this point. Barry Town People (talk) 19:58, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Please see the external links at User:Wavelength/About English/Verbs "compose" and "comprise" and "consist" and "constitute".
Wavelength (talk) 20:06, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Here's the thing, though--none of those are relevant. None of those prescriptive rules reflect the entire scope of actual everyday usage, and there is no such thing as "correctness" independent of how things are actual usage. Dictionaries are at best reflections of a subset of usage at some point in the past, and certainly aren't authoritative sources of right or wrong. Grammarians are basically full of shit, and prefer to base their views on someone who declared that his or her own aesthetic preferences (often rich with racial or class prejudice) were "correct," rather than on the views of actual professional academic linguists, who actually know something about how languages actually work. Barry Town People (talk) 21:03, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
  • TPS here. Your views on prescriptive versus descriptive grammar are interesting and valid. However, here on Wikipedia we are entitled to our own house style, and our house style (currently) is not to use this construction, I believe. --John (talk) 21:16, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Barry, since both your interpretation and Bryan's are "in popular usage and [their] meaning[s] [are] well understood", then reverting any of his work would be, at best, equally "nonsensical", since Bryan has provided much more evidence to his point than you have to yours.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  21:24, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
There is no evidence, just shit he made up based on a complete failure to understand how languages work. Barry Town People (talk) 08:31, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
The evidence indicates that you're an asshole and a troll, barry. -- 24.254.86.34 (talk) 07:33, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
For the record, there is no determination that "popular usage" is the only requirement for correctness in English. In fact, in most languages (including English) popular usage not only doesn't result in instant recognition, it engenders suspicion. While popular usage is a factor in updating grammatical norms, it is far from the only one. Had this commenter read Giraffedata's essay more closely, he would have noted that editor's reference to "could of", which is widespread in Anglophonia but legal nowhere, and unlikely ever to be. This is because logic and structure trump usage in most contexts. ("Could've" is pronounced like "could of", but is short for "could have". Because could + of has literally no meaning, the likelihood that this very popular variant of could've will ever be style anywhere is nil.) The argument that all speech is equal, regardless of structure, has been moot since at least the dawn of the written word; possibly before. Laodah 20:03, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
One problem, Laodah, is that "popular" has various connotations. As do "common" and most other more-or-less synonyms on offer. So far as the "popular" here is the "popular" of "popular" (bubblegum) music, then no of course it isn't thought to confer "correctness". ¶ Innovations can be deliberate or unconscious, but most are strange at first. Some go nowhere; some flare up but quickly wither; some last. (Compare snab and dude.) The lasting ones make their way into dictionaries, the speech of adults, writing in newspapers, etc. Like it or not, this has happened for "comprised of". "Could of" is an oddity: I don't claim to have researched it, but it strikes me as a slightly established misanalysis of "could've". I encounter it occasionally. When I do encounter it, I have no more trouble understanding it than I would (have/of) if it had instead been "could've", so I'm puzzled by the claim that it "has literally no meaning". (If there's a claim that "of" denotes possession, there's no possession here, and thus the use is nonsensical, I'd counter that "of" has a vastly wider use: a "photo of Paris" is rarely possessed by Paris.) I don't think that anyone has claimed that "all speech is equal, regardless of structure". (A person who might deliberately write "I could of been a contender" would be unlikely to write "I of could been a contender", etc.) But both the logic and the prescriptions of prescriptivism sometimes elude me. Here's an example: "the lazy around will never be good style regardless of any status change that may come down a century from now". This seems to me to say that no matter how a status might change, this very status won't change; and although it's in the context of an essay on the allegedly lazy addition of an unneeded preposition (around), it contains a preposition (down) that seems unneeded. -- Hoary (talk) 01:20, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your well-reasoned and -argued response, Hoary. The reason why the lazy around (and comprised of) will never be good style is that both are illogical. It's very difficult for "crazy talk" to be received by responsible media, regardless of whether it's taken off the list of actionable grammar errors. "Around" does not mean "about" (to say nothing of its use as writer shorthand for "you, reader, make up the rest of my sentence for me so I don't have to.") For that reason, even if it somehow becomes recognised as grammatical, editors will always hand such copy back to writers. There are other considerations too, including simple history. Somewhere on this page I alluded to the split infinitive, which never should have been censured (it's neither illogical nor unstructural.) But it was censured, and for centuries, writers who split infinitives were regarded as under-educated, while those who wrote "It's important quietly to leave", with its counter-intuitive word order, enjoyed the mystique of erudition. Therefore, even today, publications that want to be considered thoughtful repositories of reliable information forbid their writers from splitting infinitives. Similarly (and for much stronger reasons), the lazy around and comprised of will never bust into scrupulously correct usage, because they're preposterous. That won't change, even if they're pardoned. Laodah 01:57, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Laodah, I warmly suggest a long hard look in the OED or some other large, research-based dictionary on the meanings of around and about. You may be surprised by what you discover. (For starters, consider "They arrived at around/about six.") I don't recall anyone, even the most stubborn of prescriptivists, calling the use of "comprised of" "crazy talk". If a usage is preposterous, then why does its use not generate a fatal degree of smirking/cackling/chortling/guffawing? (And does any word "bust into" any kind of usage?) I can think of plenty of publications whose editors what them "to be considered thoughtful repositories of reliable information", but I have trouble coming up with examples that "forbid their writers from splitting infinitives". The WP article on this (non) issue suggests that the Economist is one; but what the Economist says is mild indeed, and a mere glance in Google shows that the Economist happily splits infinitives by the dozen. (Actually The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language does away with the term "infinitive", and presents its reasons for doing so.) -- Hoary (talk) 02:41, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Medium piece[edit]

Hi. A friend of mine just sent me a link to this piece. Neat! :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 20:18, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

+1. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:22, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Just as the author of the piece did, I'd like to thank you for correcting the mistake in my articles, and thereby in my everyday speech! Cheers, Oreo Priest talk 22:12, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I, too, appreciate your tireless work. You do make Wikipedia, and thus the world, that little bit better. :) Ijon (talk) 02:05, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Same here. Plus, I was happy to see that your essay is much more sensible (discussing usage) than the actual article, whose very title ("grammatical mistake") is very tenuous. Anyway, happy days, and power to you. Drmies (talk) 04:02, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
  • A "thank you" from me as well. Keep up the good work, and if you ever run out of "comprised of"s to fix, there are always other abominations you could tackle. Cheers, 28bytes (talk) 12:54, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
    • No, no: "going forward"! "was quoted as saying"! Drmies (talk) 14:43, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I am also here because of the Medium article, kudos to your Mr. Giraffe! I think you are doing a public service. Frmorrison (talk) 16:34, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
      • Now he's in Business Insider too: [2] Good work, Giraffedata! Everymorning talk 17:16, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

You got a barnstar![edit]

Surreal Barnstar.png The No Comprised Of Barnstar
No one else like you can be "comprised of" (full of) grammatical undos! 1234567890Number Msg me Edits 01:02, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
I'm glad you're on the issue of "comprised of" and rewriting sentences on Wikipedia with more apt turns of phrase. Keep up the good work. WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 05:35, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Adding my thanks for your corrections! Tony (talk) 11:52, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

A beer for you![edit]

Export hell seidel steiner.png For your mission for proper grammar, have a beer mate - RoyalMate1 14:09, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
For your continued efforts to rid Wikipedia of improper grammar - RoyalMate1 14:11, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Comprised of[edit]

"Comprised of" never bothered me before, and now it does. Thank you. My only suggestion is to add "encompass" to your list of alternate phrases. This runs the risk of encouraging well-intentioned people to misuse "encompass", but I've come across several uses of "comprise" that would be better expressed as "encompass". Keep fighting the good fight!-Ich (talk) 16:20, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

I've used "encompasses" a few times to replace "is comprised of". I made a decision not to make the alternatives list exhaustive because it's already pretty exhausting! But since you like encompass too, I'll add it.
I'm not sure giving you one more thing to be bothered about deserves thanks, by the way. I long for the days before someone convinced me that "due to" shouldn't be used as a conjunction. Now I see it everywhere. And I used to love dangling participles before some kind soul pointed out how stupid they are, and now I get disgusted every time I see one. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:05, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Kudos to you for your work to improve Wikipedia. In my opinion, Geoff Nunberg's whining on NPR about being corrected on Wikipedia is pathetic. One comment: you should probably not provide your read identity on your user page. There are some strange people out there and you never know... Senor Cuete (talk) 15:54, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Chambers Dictionary on "comprised of"[edit]

My preferred dictionary is Chambers and having seen your notes on "comprised of", I went to check its opinion. Not only does the entry for comprise state (for its third definition) "To consist of (often, incorrectly, with of)" but the electronic version even prompts as to whether you meant compose. Growfybruce (talk) 20:59, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Hey, thanks. I've never actually seen the Chambers definition, though I've heard about it. It sounds like this third definition is warning against "comprises of" rather than "is comprised of". People do, rarely, say "an ax comprises of a sharp blade attached to a long handle" because they're merging "comprises" with "consists of". I find this more common in India than anywhere else. But does Chambers mention the "compose" definition - the one that makes "is comprised of" equivalent to "is composed of"? I would expect not from Chambers. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:28, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be even more a Malaysia thing than an India one. Collectively that also seems to be the same area from which "allows to" (as in "the software allows to print documents sideways") comes from, also sub-standard in mainstream English, but increasing in frequency, including on Wikipedia. If you pick a new cleanup effort when "comprised of" is under control, please, please choose "allows to".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:44, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

You are in the news[edit]

http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/this-man-is-on-a-wikipedia-mission-to-eradicate-one-phrase--gki1BtYJ3e Theroadislong (talk) 22:50, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't like "comprised of" either and cheer from the sidelines whenever Giraffedata removes it. Ironically that said news piece was documented on Medium, which I recall rescuing from CSD some time back. Still, what's wrong with good old-fashioned "has"? Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 10:22, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, one of my favorite edits is when I can replace the phrase with a simple "has" or "is" or "of". Writers get paid by the word. I think copy editors should get paid by the words the remove. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:21, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Congratulations[edit]

http://internet.gawker.com/one-wikipedia-editor-has-spent-years-fixing-a-single-gr-1683785751?utm

A barnstar for you!

Jimgerbig(talk) 00:21, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
Awesome! Panurk (talk) 00:48, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
Annoying usage adds up. Eradicating it takes great diligence. Thank you for your perseverance! Phytism (talk) 01:39, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Note[edit]

I happened on the article here. Although I agree with you on the "comprised of" matter, that isn't particularly important. Mainly, I admire your dedication and useful gnomery. (By the way, the Latin from which comprise derives basically mean "embrace", so I tend to be leery of any use of English comprise(d) that can't be replaced by embrace(d); the whole thing seems somehow romantic to me.) I hope that when you've stamped out "comprised of" you will find another locution to go after. Deor (talk) 02:25, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Embrace? Really? I thought it came from com (together) + prehendere (grasp). I suppose the "embrace" meaning could derive from that, though. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:25, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Confused by[edit]

Fully agree with you concerning the 'comprise' issue BUT you're starting off your dedicated page by confusing the readers in that lines 1 & 2 under 'page in nutshell' should have the words 'comprised' & 'composed' interchanged. BeerBuildsBetterBodies (talk) 13:55, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

I think that was vandalism, and some kind soul has fixed it. Wikipedia can be a hostile place. Good thing there's more of us than there is of them. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:29, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

The Guardian[edit]

Here is another newspaper article about your editing. Axl ¤ [Talk] 14:44, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Btw thwe whole is now covered by larger number of news outlets including non-English ones. there are at least 2 German speaking ones, that reported on the issue.--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:04, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if somebody is tempted to make Comprised of blue, getting it past inclusion policies and up to Did you know? Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 15:12, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Haha not a bad idea but probably not notable enough at this point. However it might make a good story for signpost or Wikinews (if it isn't there already). Also see Wikipedia:Press coverage 2015--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:42, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I've put up Draft:Comprised of. I think in mainspace that would be deleted per a combination of WP:DICDEF and WP:NOTNEWS, but Giraffedata didn't start removing the phrase one day for no reason, and there must be historical precedent in sources. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 15:26, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Interesting side thought in an article on "comprised of" giraffedata certainly cannot remove the phrase.;-)--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:44, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I believe there are already several articles (I know there are pages; I just don't know if they're in article space) that talk about questionable English usage that mention "comprised of" in that way. And yes, I can't change it and it doesn't bother me at all. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:36, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
That article can be categorized in Category:Nonstandard English grammar, and an article (not yet existing) about Bryan Henderson can be listed at "Wikipedia:Wikipedians with articles".
Wavelength (talk) 20:09, 6 February 2015 (UTC) and 20:27, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have created Draft:Bryan Henderson if anyone wants to work on it. Everymorning talk 23:03, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

And have a beer while you read this. -- Hoary (talk) 08:13, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi Giraffedata! Longish time, no see. You may remember my name from the thread that is currently at the top of this talk page (but which is probably about to slide off into an archive or oblivion). I found and still find your preoccupation rather incomprehensible, but I do accept that it's harmless and I appreciate the good-natured way in which you go about it. I'd forgotten all about this preoccupation until I happened to read the Language Log story. (Incidentally, I'm surprised and unhappy about the personal rudeness of some of the commenters there. The contributors of stories to Language Log can be quite stupendously rude, but they generally reserve this for ideas and misunderstandings, and avoid the ad hominem. The commenters are usually pretty erudite too.) From there I somehow stumbled on the draft article that User:Ritchie333 mentions above. What I saw, I didn't much like (as I wrote on its talk page with what now seems to me unneeded glee). Actually I thought that it should be deleted. But I soon decided that the chance of deletion was small, that if there were such an article then it should be done well, and that I wasn't completely unqualified to have a go. While I'm not happy with all of the article (as it now is), more than half of it is by me. Although I have a distinct point of view on this (to me) minor matter, I've tried to keep this PoV in check and to create something that's linguistically informed, informative and fair. I hope that you like the result so far; you are of course most welcome to make or suggest improvements. -- Hoary (talk) 08:13, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

No thanks at all[edit]

After so many barnstars it is time for critical note (again), because such bot supported mass edits in grey areas is something WP editors should not do. There is nothing wrong with an occasional correction, which might be even welcomed by other editors, but such mass style & taste correction beyond clear cut cases in particular if they occur against the will of other editors, who actually contributed to a article are big no-no in my eyes. And to make no mistake "comprised of" is by no means a clear cut case. Various dictionaries these days list its use as correct or as disputed (see or instance [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]). Bot supported mass "correction" should not be merely about taste, but about clear cut spelling or grammar mistakes (where essentially all reputable external source agree) or which are set in the Wikipedia manual of style. --Kmhkmh (talk) 15:04, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

seconded Pete5677 (talk) 18:07, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
This editor does use a bot to find the grammar mistake, but does the editing manually. That is partly why is is getting so much praise, since he is doing the work. Also, according to the Oxford dictionary: "...the construction comprise of, as in the property comprises of bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, is regarded as incorrect." So Oxford disagrees with you. Frmorrison (talk) 20:09, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree that a "handish mass edit" is better than a fully automated replacement (producing mistakes due to neglecting context). However it is still a mass edit primarily based on taste rather than correct English and hence problematic. Also if you read the Oxford Dictionary (link #8) above carefully, you'll see that it doesn't contradict me at all. It states the use of "to comprise of" (and the associated conjugated version "comprises of", "comprised of") is incorrect, the use of "comprised of" as in "to be comprised of" (passive construction) however is correct.--Kmhkmh (talk) 08:27, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I know there is going to be rampant misunderstanding of the nature of the automation I use, so please let me try to explain: I don't see any way what I use could be called a bot unless bot just means software, and then the web browser itself is a bot. When I sit down to edit, I run a program that makes a list of articles for me to look at. It is slightly more intelligent than Wikipedia's search button, and it puts the result in a form that saves me several keystrokes per article versus just using said search button. It is a much dumber program than Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser, which is a tool widely used by copy editors, and as far as I can tell fully accepted, to do mass edits like this. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 05:09, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
There is no basis whatsoever for your objection to editors doing such mass edits. And it isn't a "grey area" -- as Jimmy Wales says, the arguments against "comprised of" in WP articles is compelling -- and editors don't own articles, so "against the will of other editors" is utter nonsense by WP policy. The people complaining about this and telling Giraffedata to stop or that he's acting badly are just trolling ... he's not going to stop, and he has widespread support ... and they are being hypocritical; the claim that he's doing something wrong is at best a mere opinion. -- 24.254.86.34 (talk) 07:41, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Please, Jimbo's opinion on grammar is hardly authoritative nor is it up to him to decide such cases. Of course it is a "grey area" if external sources disagree whether it is correct or not. Nobody suggested that editors own articles, however an individual editor certainly doesn't own the use of a phrase or expressions within WP either. More importantly the 3rd paragraph of the introduction of [WP:MOS]] states: "Style and formatting should be consistent within an article, though not necessarily throughout Wikipedia. Where more than one style is acceptable, editors should not change an article from one of those styles to another without a good reason. Edit warring over optional styles is unacceptable. If discussion cannot determine which style to use in an article, defer to the style used by the first major contributor."--Kmhkmh (talk) 08:27, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
In the context of [WP:MOS], comprised of vs something else is not a matter of style, so the "don't switch from one style to another" rule is inapplicable. Style, in the MOS sense, is only highly technical things like punctuation. Several times that I know of, someone specifically suggested use of "comprised of" be added as an element of Wikipedia style to MOS; all were rejected because MOS just doesn't cover that. Instead, it comes from the crowd, article by article, like most things in an article. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 05:19, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
It is significant that Jimbo did not even render an opinion on grammar. His opinion (which he qualified as maybe not fully informed) was on whether Wikipedia should use the construction "comprised of" (no). There are lot of reasons not to use something besides whether it is grammatically correct, whatever that means. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk)
I think it is a misunderstanding to apply general MOS remarks only to specific styles explicitly mentioned in the guideline itself. The purpose of the general descriptions in a guideline is to cover more than explicitly mentioned concrete cases later on.
I'm aware of those many other reasons not to use "comprised of", however aside from me not finding them particularly convincing, they ultimately all boil to a matter of taste.--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:18, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Told[edit]

Consider yourself told. Deconstruction of your arguments: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/05/why-wikipedias-grammar-vigilante-is-wrong

So chill out and stop Pete5677 (talk) 18:06, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

That article is inept nonsense and is ad hominem and hypocritical by calling Giraffedata a "super-pedant". And why should Giraffedata accept Shariatmadari's arguments over his own, or consider your endorsement of those arguments to be of any interest? -- 24.254.86.34 (talk) 07:49, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
Your tireless and generous work has greatly contributed to my well-being, as well as that of, doubtless, many others, by eliminating uncountable instances of writing that would otherwise have caused the intellectual equivalent of the screech of fingernail on chalkboard. I salute you! Ian Page (talk) 18:49, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I like the fingernail on chalkboard analogy. I find a lot of people are bewildered as to why other people care about these trivial language issues. I've been thinking of writing something on the topic, and I'm going to use that. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 05:35, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Comprised of is English[edit]

'Comprised' of is a perfectly acceptable thing to say. It is English. Sincerely, an actual linguist! 79.74.95.188 (talk) 21:38, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Argument from authority against a strawman. -- 24.254.86.34 (talk) 08:10, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Seems to me the fact that so many people don't accept it makes its acceptability somewhat less than perfect. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 05:22, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Nice article on Yahoo[edit]

http://news.yahoo.com/a-wikipedia-editor-has-spent-years-removing-47-000-incorrect-uses-of--comprised-of-000037164.html;_ylt=A0SO8xx.EdRU99wA1_dXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--

Nicely done! Besides, you must be doing something right, you're pissing people off. A person can't do anything right on this site without pissing somebody off..! --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 01:06, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

In your honour[edit]

You are an interesting man and I find your arguments persuasive. As much as I adore the OED, it is a discussion of all usage, not of best usage and readability. My congratulations on your fifteen minutes of fame! I have made a few dozen edits in your honour.

Idea for your explanation: I've come across a number of cases - especially in the travel wiki - using 'comprised of' where 'featured' would be a better choice.  Helenabella (Talk)  01:49, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Sincere thanks[edit]

I read about you and your project in today's Sydney Morning Herald.

I salute you, sir. The best I can do is explain, if asked, that 'comprised of' is shorthand for 'comprised of of', which is nonsense. Thank you so much for your efforts.

Groogle365 (talk) 02:48, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Guardian article[edit]

You made The Guardian. Has there ever been an RfC on your actions? Seems like there are some who support you but The Guardian makes a good case that English is not so logical, debunks some of your rationales and that it's really just a question of personal taste and grammar POV. -- GreenC 14:17, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Oh I see old news now as of yesterday. Anyway, looks like this is having a moment, good time for an RfC don't you think to gauge community consensus? -- GreenC 14:19, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
An RfC question could go something along these lines:
User:Giraffedata has amassed over 47 thousand edits since 2007 in pursuit of the goal of removing the phrase "comprised of" from Wikipedia.(Source: "In Brief") It has recently garnered attention in The Guardian and Medium. Wikipedia editors have historically supported Giraffedata, but there has also been disagreement. The purpose of this RfC is to gauge wider community consensus. Please say "Support" for removal of the phrase from Wikipedia or; "Oppose" to allow for case by case consensus determined by editors on article talk pages ie. no consensus, style or "house rules" that automatically disallows use of the phrase on Wikipedia.
Is this an accurate depiction? Do you recommend changes? Please let me know. -- GreenC 02:51, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
There is nothing with an RFC however imho current guidelines (see lead of WP:MOS) more or less mandates the oppose option anyhow. To change that WP:MOS would need to be amended by an explicit guideline for "comprised of", a "lex comprised of" so to speak.--Kmhkmh (talk) 03:06, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Changing the MOS could still happen, depending on the outcome of an RfC but think it would be too much to get consensus on using the phrase or not, plus formalize MOS wording and inclusion. An RfC could of course be announced at MOS. -- GreenC 16:56, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree the result would probably be useful only as input to a WP:MOS discussion (warning - this has been tried before, albeit without the benefit of an RfC).
But I think the proposal is backwards from what everyone is really wondering consensus-wise: "Support" means "comprised of" should be declared hands-off in the same way that we're not allowed to change the spelling of an article from British to American arbitrarily; "Oppose" means we fight it out Wikipedia-style for each article, with the entire community (including giraffedata) invited to participate. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 06:31, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
I would amend the Oppose to say: "Oppose" means it is allowable to use "comprised of" on Wikipedia if there is consensus to do so within specific articles; each article is determined on talk pages by any editors (including giraffedata) using normal Wikipedia procedures, guidelines, policies and conflict resolution. The Oppose is basically a vote for status quo but counters informal consensus about "house rule", "Jimbo says" etc as rationale for deletion. I would also add a note that the outcome of the RFC could be brought to the attention of MOS for further discussion, but the RFC is not meant to modify the MOS rather to gauge community consensus on the elimination of "comprised of" from Wikipedia. The topic probably needs its own page to aggregate the various external links and old discussions, an "essay", perhaps WP:Comprised of, and the RFC can be a sub-page WP:Comprised of/RFC. -- GreenC 16:56, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Not just The Guardian. FYI (your famous worldwide now!): https://www.google.com/#q=Bryan+Henderson+comprised+of&tbm=nws and https://www.google.com/#q=Bryan+Henderson+comprised+of — Preceding unsigned comment added by 165.166.215.220 (talk) 22:30, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

I have not forgotten about this potential RfC but wanted some time to reflect. I think there might actually be 3 positions not two. They would be 1. "comprised of" should be declared hands-off in the same way that we're not allowed to change the spelling of an article from British to American arbitrarily. Systematic campaigns of removal are allowed and encouraged. 2. It is allowable to use "comprised of" on Wikipedia if there is consensus to do so within specific articles; each case is determined on article talk pages by any editors (including giraffedata) using normal Wikipedia procedures, guidelines, policies and conflict resolution. 3. "Comprised of" is allowable on Wikipedia per #2, and there should be no systematic campaigns to target its removal.

What I did was incorporate the notion of a systemic removal campaign since that's part of the issue. The problem with only two choices was #2 was the defacto situation as it currently exists, and thus the RfC would not achieve anything except to confirm the current situation, or give the balance of power to the pro-removal parties. It wouldn't be fair. In this case there are is now a possibility for the anti-removal parties to achieve something from the RfC. I think it's more fair to all positions. Let me know what you think. -- GreenC 14:45, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia number style[edit]

Hello. Per this edit, I was wondering if you could point me the convention that suggests we ought not spell out any numbers in prose. Thanks! Rationalobserver (talk) 15:49, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Numbers as figures or words   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  16:27, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. I see that it says, "Integers greater than nine expressible in one or two words may be expressed either in numerals or in words". SO really, it's not required to use numbers. Is that correct? Rationalobserver (talk) 16:38, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Correct. Generally, the wording for figures 0-9 is stronger (are) than the wording for figures >9 (may), but make sure to apply the notes and exceptions, listed farther down.
Given that there's no strong language towards worded numbers (except the exceptions), and that figures are faster to read and more obvious on the page, I prefer the use of figures.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkcontribsdgaf)  16:59, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for that clarification! Rationalobserver (talk) 17:10, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I stand corrected. I obviously misremembered that rule. As a reader, I do find figures for numbers > 9 easier to read, but I would not have bothered to change it (there were a lot of numbers) had I not thought Wikipedia style required it. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 17:15, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate your edit, Bryan, so thanks. I know you were just doing what you thought was required, and if I didn't prefer prose to numerals I would have left it. More importantly, thanks for being open to discussion. That's sometimes a rare commodity around here! Rationalobserver (talk) 17:23, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Banning You From Editing[edit]

I was wondering if you could assist me in determining how to go about having you banned from editing Wikipedia articles in any way. I'm curious what the procedure is comprised of. Thanks! Geofferic TC 04:02, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Bored of, or with?[edit]

Hi, Bryan. I read about you, as I guess everyone else has, and I say, Keep up the good work! I do a lot of grammar fixing myself, or rather, I used to. I used to write here, too, but discovered that I don't care for blood sports. Anyway, I have a question. I learnt to say, "I'm bored with this game." But over the last 20 years or so I have noticed people now say "Bored of," which drives me crazy. Do you know why this is, and do you consider it correct? It occurred to me that it could be "bored of" as in "tired of," but I don't really know. I hope you don't mind me asking. Thanks. Tracy--TEHodson 22:56, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, this one is a lot like "comprised of" in that "bored of" is not traditional but is currently popular and its origin is obviously error by analogy with "tired of". That means some people hate it and some don't. "Bored with" is traditional and also still accepted by everyone. So the no-brainer choice to make is "with", because it's the one that satisfies everyone.
From the logic point of view, let me just say that I hate prepositions - the small ones anyway - because they're so old and worn that they don't follow any logical pattern. "of" can mean just about anything, so one can't really argue against "bored of" from the logic standpoint. On the other hand, "with" is more focused, and that's another good reason to prefer it here.
To your remark about blood sports: I hear ya. Why do you think I do mainly trivial edits? Less to lose if someone decides to throw down the gauntlet. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 09:24, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
And even your "trivial edits" bring the hounds, all a-baying! Thanks for the answer. I will continue to use "with" and be quietly smug about it (!). Take care. --TEHodson 03:18, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

List of media articles about your work[edit]

I've compiled a list of media articles and commentary about your work with 'comprised of' at User_talk:Giraffedata/comprised_of#Media_coverage (permalink). The list focuses mainly on English media coverage, but there's been a notable amount of coverage in non-English media as well. Emw (talk) 01:27, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Feel free to add any links to WP:Comprised of. -- GreenC 02:00, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Language Log[edit]

Whether I agree or disagree is not the issue: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=17636 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.187.49.118 (talk) 21:24, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

No new arguments there. But it's worth adding to the list of commentators in my essay on the subject (which already contains those arguments). So thanks. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:19, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Still waiting for good arguments against “comprise of”.--31.17.153.189 (talk) 09:35, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I presume you aren't really waiting. This debate has been going on so long, all the arguments have been apparent since long ago. If you don't find any merit in any of the arguments put forth so far against "comprised of", then you don't need to engage in any further discussion. Your choice is easy. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:17, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Greetings[edit]

Lol your work was comprised as main article in most visited news media in the Czech Republic :D--ThecentreCZ (talk) 16:22, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Incredible. Not even a country where (I assume) people give a damn about English. I've been trying to figure out what the appeal is. On one radio program, I followed a guy who found a way to put sheep on the Internet. (Not so sheep can browse the web, but rather so you can browse your sheep, more or less). Now that's interesting. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:35, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
You were also featured on Roku's "weird news" section today! Congrats, jona(talk) 14:37, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Another greetings from Czech Republic. I got here from Empeopled. --TakeruDavis (talk) 16:14, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Another one[edit]

All the talk (eg on BBC Radio 4) about your campaign against "Comprised of" reminds me that it's a long time since I've checked for "Should of" as in "Should of won the match", and similar phrases where people have written "of" for "have"! Time to revive that little project. Thanks for your work on "Comprised of", and well done for reminding the world that Wikipedia editors aren't all just trying to promote their favourite band, sports team, or political cause. PamD 14:02, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

And also "been" for "being" as in "was been built" etc! PamD 15:31, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think I've seen "been" for "being". But it's easy to imagine someone who would say "should of" saying "was been". It probably also depends upon accent. I've found that "should of" search and destroy missions aren't as productive as something like "comprised of" because so many more people know about "should of". I think it gets added to Wikipedia a lot, but it doesn't take long for some random reader to notice and fix it. Nonetheless, I salute you for periodically cleaning that one up. You'll save those random readers the mental assault. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:09, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Comprised of[edit]

Hello! Your changes on "Comprised of" are completely unnecessary, because it is an ordinary English language, and just because you have something about it personally, all must act accordingly. That's selfish of you. Greetings. --Maintrance (talk) 08:54, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

I agree the changes are unnecessary and that the usage is fairly ordinary, though both those terms are pretty vague and I know plenty of people would disagree with those statements. I don't edit because I have something about "comprised of" personally; I do it because lots and lots of people who read Wikipedia have something about it, and because I believe I am improving Wikipedia for them. That seems like the opposite of selfishness to me. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:44, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I thought of another angle on the selfishness issue: If one freely writes "comprised of" and objects to others' unwriting it, because "it's my right because it is grammatical and to Hell with everyone who doesn't like the usage", that sounds selfish to me. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:26, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi Brian. I don't know if you're aware of it, but nine days ago somebody has initiated a WP page on "Comprised of". It has immediately become a one-man-crusade, or rather counter-crusade to yours. I have no interest in war-editing, so once I've given my input - which has been removed in no time, as expected, with very pedantic arguments, all totally missing the bigger picture - I'm not going to waste another minute on the matter. For you, on the other hand, this does seem to be worth of more effort. I hope it doesn't sound too egoistical :-) I am very grateful that you brought the argument to my attention and will personally try to stick to the very logical-sounding usage you're advocating. Thank you and all the best! PS: It's more than obvious that the recent media attention to your "hobby" was the reason for the page to be created and for "Hoary" to totally take over its editing. Arminden (talk) 08:24, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Arminden

I'm sorry that it took me time to notify Giraffedata, but I was in no rush because I knew that he'd already been alerted to the draft, and if he clicked on the link to the draft he'd be taken to the much longer article. Anyone who looks at the history of this very user talk page will see that just minutes before you [Arminden] posted this message I posted a message here myself. You'll find it above. It is indeed unusual to post such a thing two thirds or so down a long user talk page; but that particular thread had been pretty lively in the last few days, it seemed the right place for my message, and I was confident that Giraffedata would notice it. ¶ You [Arminden] wrote a much longer message at Talk:Comprised of that makes similar and other criticisms of my editing. I regret your dissatisfaction; I've tried to respond there and shan't repeat my response here. I warmly invite you, Giraffedata and anybody else to read my response. -- Hoary (talk) 13:13, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
Hi Bryan,

I enjoyed reading about your endeavours on Wikipedia (https://medium.com/backchannel/meet-the-ultimate-wikignome-10508842caad), mainly because it is good to hear of others who have grammatical peeves, but also because it gave me a chance to read up on the differences between comprised and composed, which - i am a little embarrassed to say - had eluded me until now.

After educating myself on the topic, i wondered if I could ask why you don't correct "comprised of" to "comprises" (at least where tense allows), and to humbly suggest it as an option. I think this could help to alleviate the future misuse of the phrase, as it demonstrates the correct meaning of comprise and hopefully shows that it is not a synonym for compose.

Regardless, thank you for your effort. It is appreciated. Nabazela (talk) 12:46, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the support.
I do change "is comprised of" to "comprises" frequently, but that has a subtly different meaning from "is composed of" and "consists of", my other two main alternatives, and my goal is to make the article say as exactly as it can what it's supposed to say rather than to teach people good writing. I agree using "comprises" would have that pedagogical effect, though, and while I'm tempted to use it a lot just for that reason, I just don't think that's a legitimate use for a Wikipedia article. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:35, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Copyeditor Barnstar Hires.png The Copyeditor's Barnstar
Absolutely love your dedication in defence of our language.

I feel a bit guilty for saying this but I did spot one of my betes noir in your user page: "There are a small number of articles..". Tesspub (talk) 12:52, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

You have an article now[edit]

See Bryan Henderson. Everymorning talk 15:54, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Right you are! I created it. I had just come here to inform you when I see that someone has already done it. SD0001 (talk) 15:58, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Now deleted, though. SD0001 (talk) 20:33, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Impressed[edit]

First off: Thank you so much for "comprised of". I never knew it was wrong, I had never thought about it, but your arguments are thoroughly convincing and I shall never use it again (not that logic has anything to do with most of the English language; I encourage you to look up "egregious" on Google). In any case, I am quite impressed with your work...by your work...with your...

Which brings me to my question. I realise you specialise in "comprised of" but I was wondering whether you could offer some insight into this little peculiarity to a non-native speaker: I never know when to use "impressed with" rather than "impressed by". I get the feeling "with" is more commonly used with abstract ideas or objects ("I am impressed with his achievements/work..."), while "by" commonly refers to people ("I was impressed by him."), but I haven't been able to find this recorded as a rule anywhere, nor does "I was impressed with John." sound ungrammatical to my ears. (Then again "it sounds right" is not a valid argument, but well...)

I realise this is the wrong place to request an extra-lesson in English language and I wouldn't be wasting your valuable time, had I not already asked every native speaker and English philologist I could get a hold of. You seemed like an appropriate authority on such matters. ;-) Thank you so much for "comprised of" again, that probably spared me a lot of embarrassment. Yours sincerely, Ovavourakis (talk) 16:14, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, I don't really have any authority on "impressed", but I can give you an opinion as someone who has spent a lifetime thinking hard about words. I think being impressed by something and being impressed with something are different statements, one stressing that the thing manipulated your feelings and the other stressing that they are your own feelings that just happen to be in reaction to the thing. So they both work; it just depends on what you're trying to say. However, I think impression is fundamentally a transitive action more than a state of mind - something impresses a person; the person doesn't just become impressed. So "by" is usually the better usage. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:01, 17 February 2015 (UTC)


Interesting take. So according to this, usage depends on whether you want to make up your own mind about things, or be passively overwhelmed by experiences - focusing on the passive grammatical nature of "by" or not. This is quite insightful, if not definitive. ;) Thank you so much! Ovavourakis (talk) 19:27, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Have a cookie...[edit]

Choco chip cookie.png You were literally in the news! Way to go copyeditors! Eman235/talk 03:16, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

No Such Thing As A Fish[edit]

Hi there,

You will be interested to know that you were featured on the British podcast No Such Thing As A Fish, where it talked about you and your work on Wikipedia. You can listen to the podcast here. I mention this not only because you will be interested in listening to it, but also, as the podcast points out and I myself wish to highlight, please do not change the fact that I have now just added about you changing "comprised of" to "consists of" on the No Such Thing As A Fish page please, otherwise it won't make sense. Thanks for being understanding and for making these corrections. ISD (talk) 16:46, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the notice. "Comprised of" is of course the best wording in this context, and there is a method for preventing copy editors from inadvertently changing it, which involves a "sic" template. I have applied such a template to the article in question.
By the way, the article says every one of these edits is to change "comprised of" to "consists of". This isn't true; at least as many of the edits change it to "composed of" or "comprises" and many change it to other things. I don't know if the error is in the podcast or the reporting of it, though. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I think it is an error in the podcast. I'll mentioned on it the website forums that host the podcast. ISD (talk) 06:59, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Here's a barnstar[edit]

Copyeditor Barnstar Hires.png The Copyeditor's Barnstar
Thanks for replacing "comprised of" with alternative and better phrasing. Thanks to your project, avoiding "comprised of" is a (de facto) standard. Esquivalience t 23:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

The Jordan Institute[edit]

Since everything down to the first edit from 2006 is non-neutral, what's the best thing to do about this page? —George8211 / T 21:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, not everything is non-neutral. All the added material is - it's basically a promotional brochure for the company - but two of the edits actually remove nonfactual puffery (or at least change the first person to third - the original additions are really shameless). I note that those removals were not challenged, so it looks like the best thing to do is for someone just to go through and chop out everything that isn't a fact. I didn't have time to contribute more than the one paragraph that I did. I see that many of the opinions have citations - to the company's web site, which states the same opinions. That is not enough to raise the opinions to fact. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:05, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

ReplyAll interview[edit]

Hi, I heard you interviewed on the ReplyAll podcast. Congrats! --Surturz (talk) 03:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

A kitten for you![edit]

Iris cat.jpg

thanks for making wikipedia such an interesting place:)

Coolabahapple (talk) 03:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

I suppose you are aware that your efforts were discussed this evening on NPR's 'Fresh Air' (Geof Nunberg of UCBerkeley, I believe, but I didn't write it down). I just want to express support. It takes all types to make a world, or an encyclopedia, and I for one value your type. I have my own pet peeves, mostly more pedestrian and clearly incorrect to my ear ("continue on," for example, and exhaustive use of 'also,' sometimes several times within one sentence). In your case, I think the argument valid that "comprised of" is simply overused, aside from your own reason, with which I have no problem . The English language, in terms of vocabulary, is arguably the richest of human languages. To use a phrase monotonously in every article goes beyond laziness. Enough, already. Carry on with your business, and know that your efforts are appreciated, at least in some quarters. Rags (talk) 01:35, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

I had no idea of the NPR discussion, so thank you. I am glad to see US interest in grammar (assuming that is what the discussion was about), because most of the talk about this project has been in the UK and Australia. Interest from the US, where I live, has been conspicuously absent. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:29, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Geof didn't agree with your analysis, as I remember. You do seem to have some support at UPenn, in the outlink, above ("Language Log," 8Feb)
Rags (talk) 04:21, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
O.K., now I get it. I just read "Bored of, or with," above, and suddenly I understand about 'comprises'! You have a convert, sir.I don't know why I was blocked on this: age, lack of sleep, mental limitation. Rags (talk) 04:41, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm with you, every step of your explication, Geoffrey Nunberg notwithstanding (withoutstanding? withsitting?). Xojo (talk) 17:34, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

I too disagree with his conclusions, but Mr. Nunberg is certainly an engaging writer (I enjoyed his book about a certain rude word) and the NPR piece was a good listen. His point about "comprised of" following the form of the more widely accepted "possessed of" was an interesting one. 28bytes (talk) 18:58, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

I agree the comparison is interesting (I heard it myself for the first time only recently and people have been sharing their reasons for accepting "comprised of" with me for seven years now). I don't know the origins of "possessed of", but I'll bet it shares no lineage with "comprised of"; it's just a coincidence. You cannot in general just flip the agent and object of a transitive verb in English. It's just as well, though, for supporters of "comprised of" because "possessed of" is also poor writing for Wikipedia or something like it. It would be ridiculous for a Wikipedia article to say, "the artist was possessed of a unique talent" when it could just say, "the artist possessed a unique talent" or something even simpler. It's nice in poetry, though. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:59, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
You have spent years working on this, and I commend you for your diligence and attention to detail. :) BlooTannery (talk) 13:54, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

The Royal Giraffedata Appreciation Society[edit]

Does a fanclub currently exist? Is there a monthly newsletter? Is there black-and-white footage of screaming teens fainting everywhere you go? I would like to organize this. Sincerely, МандичкаYO 😜 00:15, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Comprising?[edit]

I'm wondering if using "comprising" in a page is bad form in your opinion? See first sentence here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet#Governance Djgriffin7 (talk) 15:08, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

The sentence is

The Internet is a globally distributed network comprising many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks.

I think "comprising" is good form in general and in this example, but I don't think "comprising" is the ideal word here because instead of just saying what's included, the sentence tells how they relate to each other to form the whole (voluntarily interconnected). For that, I would write "consists of" instead.
But "comprising" is never good form when followed by "of" or when used to mean "constituting" (as in "the many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks comprising the Internet"), two usages one finds regularly. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:06, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar Hires.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Nice to see someone knows grammar well, and tirelessly fixes the errors the likes of myself make. Keep up the great work Simuliid talk 14:16, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
"The likes of me". Face-smile.svg But thanks. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 18:21, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
I think I have proved my point :-) 86.27.232.7 (talk) 20:28, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Frequently Asked, I'm Sure.[edit]

I apologize in advance for both the question and any grammatical errors. Is using "comprised of" in spoken English allowed? I wholly support your continuing effort to cleanse the phrase from Wikipedia and its articles. Thank you for your time and attention. CDECL (talk) 04:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

A better question is whether "comprised of" is OK in informal or colloquial English, and the answer is no. I don't know anyone who finds a difference in acceptability of this phrase between formal and informal. You can't even use it ironically like "ain't" to appear simple. In fact, it's my impression that people often say "comprised of" in a mistaken effort to sound more sophisticated. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:41, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

You guessed it..."comprised of"![edit]

I heartily disagree with your rewriting of “comprised of” to “consisted of” in Armored group (military unit), for both reasons of style and accuracy, which are closely linked and explained at length (sorry!) below. As someone who scored in the 99+ percentile on both my SAT and GRE tests, I believe I stand on firm ground in my understanding of both English grammar and vocabulary in defending my choice of words.

Stylistically, “comprised of” is preferable because the word “comprised” is used as the past participle in a participle phrase. “Comprised of six officers” is essentially an adjective describing the group staff, in effect an appositive phrase. In changing the expression to “the group staff consisted of six officers” “consisted” changes from being part of a participle phrase to becoming the verb in a clause. That is an undesirable effect and completely changes the meaning of the phrase.

Since “consisted” is used previously in the sentence, the repetition of the same word—which is what forces it to become a verb instead of part of a participle phrase—creates an equality between two phrases that is inaccurate. The “headquarters consisted of…” as originally stated is correct, but to then state that the “group staff consisted of…” gives the latter equality of standing with the headquarters as though we are describing the headquarters and the staff as two separate entities. Thus, by changing my wording you have created the following logic: the headquarters consists of 2 officers and the staff consists of 6 officers. This is wrong. The relationship is hierarchical, not equal: the headquarters consists of 8 officers, staff merely a subset of the headquarters, but comprising (and I use the expression advisedly!) 6 officers.

For what it’s worth, I looked up your reference in User:Giraffedata/comprised of of “comprise” in Merriam-Webster, and I think the definitions support my usage. My usage falls within definition number 1, while the contested usage is of definition number 3. It could be argued both apply, but since the usage does imply “within a particular scope” the first definition is the more relevant.

“Comprise” is not always wrong. I choose my words very carefully and you will note elsewhere in the article where it is appropriate, I have used “consist/ed/ing” as you and I both think appropriate. We need to change it back (or change it to something else entirely! “comprising six officers”? “which was composed of six officers”? ) so that the narrative accurately describes the subject. But rather than play a puerile and futile game of changing and reverting, I thought we could discuss this first and reach agreement like rational beings.

Can’t believe I’m writing something this long to defend a single word, but I think care in conveying the correct meaning in a document presuming to be authoritative makes the effort an imperative.

Thanks for hearing (reading?) my side. Cheers, Greg Bilhartz (talk) 15:47, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

The article previously read, "The headquarters consisted of the commander, normally a full colonel, his executive officer, a lieutenant colonel, and the group staff comprised of 6 officers." I changed it to read, "The headquarters consisted of the commander, normally a full colonel, his executive officer, a lieutenant colonel, and the group staff consisted of six officers."
Reading the sentence more carefully, I see that it did say something different from what I thought; I had parsed it incorrectly and it now says the wrong thing.
However, the former wording does use the disputed Definition 3, in which "comprise" means "compose". Definition 1 says the whole comprises the parts. When you turn a verb into a participle adjective, the thing modified by the adjective is the object of the verb, not the subject. If a workman painted a house, then you have a painted house, not a painted workman. So if a whole comprises parts, then it is the parts that are comprised, not the whole. So the group staff is not what is comprised. The group staff is composed, though, since the parts compose the whole, so Definition 3 applies.
So to avoid that problematic comprise = compose usage without changing the meaning, we can simply say "the group staff composed of six officers". Or, to stick with consistent terminology, "the group staff consisting of six officers".
But considering my original failure to parse the sentence (which means others will have the same trouble), I would prefer to make the sentence easier to read by adding a comma and conjunction: "... and the group staff, which consisted of six officers". I also wouldn't object to "which comprised six officers" or "which was composed of six officers" as a compromise.
Thank you for discussing this civilly rather than just changing it back and leaving me wondering what you were thinking. I might never have realized that I just made a mistake.
Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:37, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
As it's been a day and we can't leave the article broken like that, I went ahead and changed it to, "and the group staff, which consisted of six officers". I don't mean to cut the discussion short if we're not done. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 00:44, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for fixing "comprised of!"[edit]

Kitten in a helmet.jpg

thx m80

Code gs (talk) 19:52, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

This cookie is comprised of: 100% Cookie[edit]

Choco chip cookie.png Thanks for the 100% cookie. IDidThisThing (talk) 19:52, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Thank you![edit]

I feel honored to have the renowned Giraffedata correct something I wrote, yet shamed at having made such a simple grammatical mistake in the first place. Thank you for your diligent corrections, my friend! Helene O'Troy - Et In Arcadia Ego Sum (talk) 15:55, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Some falafel for you![edit]

Falafel award.png Here is a falafel for your kind works toward a grammatically correct society. dFerg (talk) 20:51, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 00:22, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
What you (Bryan Henderson) have done for Wikipedia users is phenomenal. Please do the same to all of the incorrect occurrences of "due to" in Wikipedia! I can't count the number of times I've been reading an article and had to change "due to" to "because of". Writers: if no $, then no due to. Bammie73 (talk) 00:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
If I had unlimited time, "due to" as an adverb would be next on my list. In fact, I considered doing this one instead of "comprised of", but it has gained far more acceptance than "comprised of" and I'd be pretty much out there all by myself. Well, I guess you'd have my back. I still fix it wherever I see it.
I disagree that "due to" can be used only for money. As long as you use "due" as an adjective, it passes grammatical muster. Correct: "cancellations due to rain are rare." Correct: "The cancellation was due to rain." Incorrect: "The game was canceled due to rain."
Incidentally, third on my list if I had unlimited time and didn't have to worry about the language politicians is "utilize" used to mean "use". Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:55, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Comprised of is no longer incorrect[edit]

Not sure how to message you - but your rampant pedantry is unnecessary, and outdated. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/comprise-versus-compose You've even bred a useless twitter spam account that auto tweets INCORRECT grammar corrections to people.

Stop this campaign. Language evolves... get over it. Quoting of a style guide from 1999 does not make you right.

https://twitter.com/ComposedOf

[The above was added to my user page by an anonymous user. I moved it here] Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 22:52, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Nothing new here. Many people no longer mind "comprised of" (and many never did). Many still do. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 22:54, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
LOL. It also borders on the absurd to suppose that the formal register of English, in which Wikipedia is written, changes so fast that 1999 is too long ago to matter. 1969 might be.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:51, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I chuckled at that too. I assume this is a very young person - I remember when I thought 15 years ago was a different era, and now my horizon of current vs old time is more like 75 years. For language, I think you at least have to go back before living memory to call a grammar rule dead. I was talking grammar with Nevile Gwynne, something of a hero of the English language in the UK, on his radio program once and was interested to hear that he draws his line 600 years ago! Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 19:54, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Roaring Creek (Pennsylvania)[edit]

Please stop removing "comprised of" from Roaring Creek (Pennsylvania). Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's a valid usage of the phrase. And yes, I have read your sub-page, but I am thoroughly unconvinced by the reasoning. Thank you. --Jakob (talk) aka Jakec 21:11, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

What in the world makes you think you have the right to order me not to make this edit? You realize we have equal say in the wording of this article, don't you? Neither of us - and both of us - own it. And just because you don't mind "comprised of" after reading the arguments against it doesn't mean it's the best wording for the article. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 21:32, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not ordering you--I'm politely asking. What else do you want me to do, edit war? Or just agree with you? And I considered carefully this use and determined that it was the least awkward way to phrase it. --Jakob (talk) aka Jakec 22:02, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It reads more like a polite order, like "Please sell my Google stock and mail me a cashier's check for the proceeds." OK, it's a request. It still doesn't give me much reason to comply unless I somehow place your opinion above my own. You won't be able to edit war on this, though, because I won't participate. Note that the Wikipedia definition of edit war requires making the same edit multiple times per day, and you have never seen me do that. You don't have to agree with me either, but unless you're interested in finding a compromise or you think you can convince me this is the least awkward wording, I believe your only option is to change it back yourself each time. And even that is pretty selfish, since I think your choice is one of the most awkward, but I let it stand for months. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:58, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Please also stop removing it from Jean-François Champollion. On other articles that I write I will revert you once and then expect you to put the article on a list of exemptions to your crusade.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 22:40, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't know why you would expect that, since I have as much right as you have to choose the wording of all of those articles. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:58, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
No you do not. If you were to actually do something useful and write an article, then you would have a right to make style choices for it. Just like you dont have a right to arbitrarily change an article to your favorite English variety or from one dating system to another, or one citation style to another, you do not have a right to enforce your own arbitrary preferences to articles that you have not contributed to. You have a right t try once, but unless there is a consensus to do so on the talkpage to keep doing it is simply disruptive. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
There's absolutely no policy basis for such a ridiculous statement, which amounts to a proud declaration of article WP:OWNership.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:57, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • By the way this is a style issue that is not governed by the MOS, and a very general rule here is that other editors respect and retain the style choices of the main contributor. There is no reason why your style preferences on this issue should take precedence over those of the article writers.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 22:46, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like you're talking about the rule in the MOS itself, which is about the kind of style covered by the MOS, which is highly technical things like formatting and punctuation, not word definitions and grammar. Wikipedia does not consider this a style issue, just a composition issue. If one were to call it disrespectful to change a previous editor's wording, that would fly in the face of the third pillar of Wikipedia, which says when you contribute to Wikipedia, your work belongs to the public, who can edit it mercilessly with no disrespect to you. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:58, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
You are wrong of course in your interpretation of that. And your actions are disruptive, just as it would be disruptive if I were to creat abot to automatically revert your "comprised of changes" or change instances of "composed of" to comprised of. If you don't find a way to undertake your little hobby in a way that respects those who actually produce something of value to this encyclopedia I think you can count on being restricted eventually, because your confrontational and disrespectful approach to this issue really will end up causing problems. I for one am not going to back down, and the next time you revert "comprised of" in an article where I have reverted you once I will not be this gracious about it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Maunus, you are the one confused here. WP:RETAIN is about, and only about, not changing the English language variety (e.g. British to American or vice versa) without justification. It has jack to do with your notion that earlier or more vociferous editors at a page can dictate every facet of its wording and prevent newcomers to a page from changing anything. You're just flat, provably wrong on this as a matter of policy. See WP:BOLD and WP:Five pillars. Your declared intent to engage in multi-article revertwarring just for the sake of doing so, to get your way by WP:BATTLEGROUNDING, is likely to get your editing restricted.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:57, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

"Comprised of" in direct quotes[edit]

Greetings, Giraffedata. It seems that you have achieved some degree of fame with your campaign to rid Wikipedia of the phrase "comprised of". That's fine for the general prose of an article, but I would like to request that you refine your methodology so that you do not change this phrase when it is used in a direct, attributed quote. One example of where you have done this repeatedly is in the article Shining Star (Jerry Garcia Band album), where it's used in a quote from an album review: here, here, here, and most recently here. I think you will agree that the offending phrase should be retained in such cases. It's just a matter of taking more time to look at the context, I think. Mudwater (Talk) 19:06, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Wow - it's not the first time I've made that mistake, but it's embarrassing to have made it repeatedly on the same quote. I wish you'd told me sooner, because there is a fix for that (other than just be more careful). I have added the invisible sic template tag to the article so neither I nor anyone else will every molest this quotation again. Thank you. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 19:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I didn't know that the sic template could be used in that way, that's helpful. But perhaps what you've done in that article can be adjusted further? Instead of displaying "comprised entirely of", it's displaying "comprised entirely", with word "of" missing. Mudwater (Talk) 20:11, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Argh. Apparently I don't know the template that well either. I've fixed it. Now I have to go find several other articles I probably broke the same way today. Thanks again for your help. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 20:20, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. Mudwater (Talk) 21:01, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

You DO exist![edit]

I've heard strange tales from beyond Wikipedia of a man who didn't like "comprised of", but never really looked into it. Thanks for finally popping up on a watchlisted article of mine, and making a believer of me. And for fixing the mistake, of course. Keep on keeping on! InedibleHulk (talk) 04:09, May 28, 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. But as I always like to clarify, I'm not the legendary guy who doesn't like "comprised of" — those people are easy to find. I'm the legendary guy who takes the time to fix it in Wikipedia. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:04, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
For removing "comprised of" C E (talk) 13:56, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Surreal Barnstar Hires.png The Surreal Barnstar
Thanks for all you have done in terms of "comprised of". I look forward to the day that those two words are not placed together in wikipedia. JhonsJoe (talk) 15:34, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Please comment on Template talk:H:IPA[edit]

The feedback request service is asking for participation in this request for comment on Template talk:H:IPA. Legobot (talk) 00:03, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Please comment on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles[edit]

The feedback request service is asking for participation in this request for comment on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles. Legobot (talk) 00:02, 28 June 2015 (UTC)