User talk:JackofOz/Archive 16

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Archive 15 | Archive 16 | Archive 17


I had wanted to slap you with a tremendous trout for turning the entire Humanities desk into microscript, but your "Come on, you can do it" made me giggle. His name is Rainier Wolfcastle and as a boy he sang "Mein Bratwurst Has a First Name" which makes me giggle every time I see it or even think about it. ---Sluzzelin talk 20:52, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Heh, thanks. I've been trying to think of a witty rejoinder, but even that Arnie voice in my head saying "You can do it" has failed me this time.  :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:06, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Lugosi's name

Hi! I hadn't seen your question on Talk:Béla Lugosi back in July (I'm most active on Wikia wikis these days) but I agree on the page name issue, and added my thoughts and some evidence to the talk page, and I went through the history to trace the page moves and the cited reasons (which ultimately seem to reflect the inconsistent usage in the article itself, so someone moved the page title to match the lead text, rather than any other rationale).

So if you wanted to move the page, you have two people who have weighed in to agree with you and none have weighed in against (and I included so much text on the talk page so that, if you do it as a page move request, there's already evidence and arguments which people can see). Clearly you're the more experienced and active user though so I'll leave it to you. By the way, the reason I even *found* the question is that I'm a contributor and administrator at Muppet Wiki and, some time back, I'd created a Bela Lugosi page, with a shorter biography and then a section on how the Muppets referenced him or his work over the years. However, while that page uses "Bela Lugosi," we've had to link to the article here with a template to note the different spelling. So I just checked to see whether any change in article name had occurred in the intervening years. -- Aleal (talk) 02:26, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

DYK for Introduction and Allegro (Ravel)

Gatoclass (talk) 10:02, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Category:Organisations awarded an Academy Honorary Award

Hi, given that the Oscars are American awards, I do suggest a rename with the U.S. spelling "organizations." regards, Shawn in Montreal (talk) 02:00, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Fine by me. Feel free to initiate the change. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:04, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Ref. Discos Qualiton

Dear Mr. Oz,

My name is Sabonarola, I have been working for the last few years reconstructing the past of Discos Qualiton, Argentina, a record label in Buenos Aires. You recently requested I provide references and evidence of the production exhibited in the catalogue. I do own a few catalogues printed in the 1970´s and 1960´s that I could scan and mail to you. However, not many references are available. The Label was liquidated shortly after the Military coup of 1976 after an extraordinary labor of almost 20 years. I also have all the records, the actual vinyl LP´s listed in the catalogue. I have purchased every Qualiton record from Argentina that has ever been offered through the internet and even before the internet through garage sales and other means. Not much has been written about Discos Qualiton, in fact I belive this is the most complete article ever written. I have interviewd a few surviving founding members such as Nelson Montes-Bradley and Ivan Cosentino, Also Luis M. Cosenza and Nora Rafo. My question is: How do I reference myself? If the information provided in the article derives from my own search and investigation ON THE FIELD, and I can´t quote. How do I convey that fact? I would sincerely apreciate your help on this one. I would feel terrible if after almost three years of working in the reconstruction of Discos Qualiton history the article would get deleted because of my incapacity to prove the facts presented.


Sabonarola — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabonarola (talkcontribs) 07:31, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Lyndon Watts

Lyndon Watts got started, could you find a bit more on his vague Australian beginnings? Born in Pakistan is also not too precise ... --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:27, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) Nothing in The Age or The Australian or Google News that I can see so far.--Shirt58 (talk) 10:13, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the hint to the Australian World Orchestra (in your new conductor), supported by LW, of course, which I saw before but now considered as worth mentioning, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:47, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
 :) == Jack of Oz [your turn] 12:49, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Australian head of state dispute

I'll be cheering on the republicans at your 'next' referendum. If yas become a republic, it just might wake up people in my country. GoodDay (talk) 00:56, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

See -- Wavelength (talk) 01:45, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Thomas Beecham

What ho, Jack! I know you steer clear of formal peer reviews, but I have Sir Thomas up for one at the moment with a view to getting him to FA standard. If you care to look in at the article and tweak ad lib it will be esteemed a favour. Tim riley (talk) 17:43, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, dear Jack. I note your many excellent tweaks. Yours to command if you ever want an eye run over any of your WP contributions. Tim riley (talk) 21:44, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Feel free, Tim. I run an open house here - all my work is freely editable at all times by all comers. Subject to my stringent overview, that is.  :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 23:36, 16 March 2011 (UTC)


Herostratus (talk) 01:18, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Wow! Thank you. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:24, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Chopin's students

Hello. I'd like to ask you whether it's better to create an article entitled "List of pupils of Frédéric Chopin" or simply "List of Frédéric Chopin's pupils". Or is there a third option? Both sound a bit clumsy, at least to me, so I thought I should ask a native speaker for advice before getting to work. Greetings, Gregory of Nyssa (talk) 16:05, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

You could just call it "Pupils of Frédéric Chopin". That way, it would allow us to have some narrative material and it wouldn't have to be confined to a dry list. There are various people who claimed to be his student, but weren't; or where the evidence is inconclusive; so this approach would also allow us to discuss the claims of such people. Just some ideas.
Also, do we use "pupils" or "students"? Cf. "Liszt's students" in Franz Liszt, and List of students of Nadia Boulanger. I think I'd prefer "Students of Frédéric Chopin".
This article has been on my unofficial to-do list for a couple of years, so congratulations on getting it going. Cheers. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 18:28, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your replay. The present (not impressive) shape of the list is in my rough draft here (please feel free to edit). I usually find it a bit safer to give the title "List of..." when I have no other text to put there; however, if you have such material (have you got, for instance, Eigeldinger's magnificent "Chopin as seen..."? I've got it only in Polish, translating would be a long process), a non-list title is of course preferable. Perhaps it is Eigeldinger's book that suggested the title "pupil" to me. In fact "student" sounds a bit too modern or academic for me, especially if "student" means here a young lady who had enough money to afford a lesson with Chopin (the case of Nadia is therefore slightly different). You are the native here, though, so I gladly leave the matter for you to decide :) Warm regards, Gregory of Nyssa (talk) 15:43, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Happy First Day of Spring!

Thanks, Mifter. In Australia, we very boringly start our seasons on the 1st of the month, so it's officially been autumn here since 1st March. But I'd rather say that the natural year starts on Bach's birthday, although Chopin's birthday wouldn't have been too bad. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:48, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Just curious, Jack: in my part of the northern hemisphere, the seasons change officially on the dates (and theoretically, at the exact local times) of the solstices. While that rarely equates to any local change in the weather -we had 10 cm of new snow on the 3rd day of spring this year, for example- it does have a quasi scientific "feel" to it. Nothing else here depends upon the seasonal date, though. Perhaps it is different in your half. Why would the first of the month be chosen, I wonder? Bielle (talk) 17:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Good question, Bielle. I imagine it's a hangover from British colonial times, and done that way for administrative convenience.
Wait, I've just found Season#Reckoning, which tells me it goes back to the good old Romans, bless them. Also that, ever since 1780, "professional meteorologists all over the world have used this definition" (that is, grouping seasons in 3 whole calendar months). Those who go by the solstices seem to be the ones out of step here.  :) The things you learn on Wikipedia. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 18:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I am not surprised to be among those out of step; it is nearly always true for me on a personal level, so why not on a national one, too? The problem is the same for us whether the seasons are solstice-defined or calendar-month defined: our seasons are not balanced. Winter, for example, even in the south of Canada (and excepting, always, southern British Columbia, which almost has no winter at all) is about 5 to 6 months (mid-October to as late as mid-April for new snow). It is not considered safe to plant before the 24th of May any annual that cannot survive a frost. Even the earliest of the annual agricultural seed crops cannot be planted until the frost is out of the ground, and we still have snow. Spring is a riot of colour but seldom more than 6 weeks long. Summer is the only solstice that works: late June is about right for the start, and we have to expect a killing frost for annuals as early as the last week of September. Autumn, also a riot of colour, runs from late September to mid- to late October. It gets worse the further north you go. Is it any wonder so many Canadians retire to places like Florida and Arizona and New Mexico for half the year? Bielle (talk) 18:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
How about harnessing your national out-of-step-ness and shifting your country to some empty space in the South Pacific or somewhere else a little warmer? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 18:27, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
The Turks and Caicos Islands requested to join Canada at some earlier time. I believe they were turned down because of the high rate of unemployment. I think someone missed an opportunity here. There would be more than enough employment if all the Canadian snowbirds changed their residences to the islands. They wouldn't even have to split the year half and half to retain their medical benefits. I'd be looking at real estate there right now. Bielle (talk) 19:34, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Alexander Briger

Someone said nice work. Family relations: I also nominated my own brother and sister, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:53, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Nice work with Tim Brown too. I created a few links. Did you really mean you're a member of the Brown family? Personally? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:06, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
No, sorry, just saying it was "my" article rather than "yours" for a change, but admitted: Tim Brown, Lyndon Watts and Gervase de Peyer going to play with my first article to honour his father (Wigmore Hall, 16 April) give it kind of a family feeling, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 20:14, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Schubert's octet

I added recordings to one for Schubert's octet, would you take a look at the article? I think the instrumentation should appear sooner, what do you think? - Btw, if a piece has a linked article, I don't link the composer also, unless it's a very unfamiliar one. Whoever wants to find out, can just click on the piece. Or not? - Another new article asking your experience: Munich Biennale (not by me). --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:09, 22 March 2011 (UTC)


I apologise for overreacting to your comments on the Indian querent who posed a question on German grammar. I guess I was irritated by your posting, which I thought to be atypical for a person of your balanced and considerate view of human - erm - peculiarities. Being a somewhat layed-back and antiauthoritarian character I much prefer the divine commandment "Thou shalt AGF".
I guess the increasing pedantic bickering on the ref desk, the troll paranoia and the often selfrighteous tone of blinkered guardians of WP netiquette has triggered this reaction.
Being slightly older than you I am also aware that there are days when a glimmer of despair at the approaching end of the tunnel, mixed with growing fury at the stupidity and complacency of our fellow humanoids clouds our crystal clear perceptions. Please accept my apologies.
It won´t happen again until next time. Cheers from Vienna. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 06:55, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

I do appreciate this, Cookatoo. I must say I felt almost naughty in calling you out the way I did, but it was how I felt, and I could not just let it slide. Your apology is of course accepted, and whatever it was you apologised about is now officially considered never to have happened. It must have been a bad traum. I feel all gemütlich now, and trust you do too.
This whole thing has been a valuable lesson for me, and I hope others, in the power of perceptions. It doesn't matter a tinker's cuss (if I may quote a well-known habitué of these parts) what anyone ever intends, it's what comes across that counts. I've been telling that to others for decades, and now it's come back to bite me in the ... Anyone for pfstrudl?  :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 08:31, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Der 100. Psalm

This is the name of a composition of Max Reger which is unique in the en-WP. I wouldn't translate it to something as ambiguous as Psalm 100, the same way as Der Freischütz is not translated. Some day I want to create that article, great piece! But if you still think it should be changed, please change it everywhere, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:40, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

But how can it be unique in the en-EP when it doesn't have an article yet, Gerda? The mere existence of a red link is not how we decide on appropriate names for articles. I can create redlinks at the drop of a hat - Jrjkfurifns, for example.
Lots of composers set psalms to music, and the titles of the pieces are typically Psalm 30, Psalm CLIX, for example. Look at Psalm 100#Musical Settings and you'll see just how "unique" this title is. When you get around to writing the article, I suggest it be called Psalm 100 (Reger) or Psalm C (Reger).
Another issue for a title such as "Der 100. Psalm" in en-WP is how to say it out loud. Those who don't know German would be saying the German words "Der" and "Psalm", with the English word "hundredth" in the middle - which is an artistic and linguistic atrocity. We have to make it easier for our dear readers, not harder. Cheers. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 17:30, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Accepted, but then please change all occurences, s.a.. Similar case: Munich Chamber Orchestra - that is the name of the article now, but even bach-cantatas has the original name. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 20:04, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean "please change all occurences"? That's not actually my job here, Gerda. This is English Wikipedia, and by and large we use English titles of things. There are some exceptions in music (La traviata, La bohème, Der Freischutz, etc), but the 2 you mention require English titles. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)


Hi, Joseph. Re this edit, I think you're applying the rules a little too literally. "Noms" (without an apostrophe) is as valid an abbreviation for "Nominations" as "Nom" is for "Nomination". Cheers. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:39, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Hello. Sorry for the delayed response. Your post got "buried" on my Talk Page. I was always taught that an apostrophe "filled in" for the missing letters. Hence, I would always use "gov't" for "government" ... or "dep't" for "department" ... or "ass'n" for "association" ... and so forth. That is why I advocate for "nom's" as the correct abbreviated form for "nominations". I assume that, ultimately, this is a matter of style and preference that can go either way (as you stated). As I said, my upbringing/education taught me to include an apostrophe to replace the missing letters. Thanks! (Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:41, 26 March 2011 (UTC))
Hi, Joseph. Well, nobody could ever accuse you of being incorrect. I just feel that in some cases, it's really not necessary to insert an apostrophe. For example, no (for "number") is short for "numero", and by your approach should be spelt n'o. But do we ever see n'o? Not in my experience. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:55, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Eliots of Port Eliot and Eliots of Lostwithiel

I'm new to the encylopedia, so I hope I am corresponding on the right page. The current head of the Eliots(of Port Eliot)family is Pereguine Eliot who has the title The Earl of Saint Germans, sorry for the confusion. My part of the family appears to come from Lostwithiel and the churchyard at Lostwithiel has many ELIOTS buried there. That is E-l-i-o-t with one 'l' and one 't'. This is a a fairly rare way of spelling the name, and given Lostwithiel is only about 20 miles from Port Eliot it would seem a fair bet that we are one and the same family. Further my cygnet ring that has been passed down to me from many generations back has exactly the same insignia as that of the Port Eliot family. (an elephants head with a upward pointing trunk).My Grandfather on my mothers side did an extensive family tree for my part of the family and he compared this with the Port Eliot tree, but was unable to find a connection. However on visiting Lostwithiel he was offered a rumour by a local person, being that in the past one of the Earls of Saint Germans regularly rowed across the river between Port Eliot and Lostwithiel in order to carry on an illisit affair with a local barmaid. This lady apparently bore him at least one son and strangely for those days he allowed her to use the name Eliot. Before he died my Grandfather asked me to continue to try and find proof of the connection between the two families. I did have a chance meeting with the present Earl-Periguine Eliot. He absolutely refused to accept there was any connection and when I showed him my cygnet ring he told me it was 'fraudulent' of me to ware it. As I say I have no firm proof whatsoever that there is any connection, but the circumstance would seem to make it likely.Christopher Mark Eliot (talk) 04:42, 27 March 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for your painstaking improvements to my article. >MinorProphet (talk) 18:21, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

No worries. More to come. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:50, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

DYK for Alexander Briger

Materialscientist (talk) 00:03, 28 March 2011 (UTC)


Did you see this? I'm sure you would qualify, and it may be useful to you. Bielle (talk) 02:06, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Bielle. I'll check it out. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)


Permalink: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Language/2011_March_24#Russian_language_question.

Note that a native Russian speaker has now chimed in and agrees with me, that it has no single universal translation. So, my comment stands, that it should be translated literally, rather than having the translator add their opinion to the translation. StuRat (talk) 22:48, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

My personal opinion (and it is by no means the "correct" one; just one I personally feel to be most likely) is that ..... For what it's worth.
That sure reads like an opinion to me, Stu.
Of course, the opinion of a native speaker ought to carry more weight even than that of one who's been a user of the language for some decades non-natively. As for the opinion of people who've never studied the language at all, ......
You seem hell-bent on not allowing people the right to express their "opinion" of the meaning, yet you insist on expressing your "opinion" on how the translation ought to be tackled, and have now come to me with an "I told you so". On that score: Just because there is no "single universal translation", whatever that means, is not in itself a justification for translating a passage word for word. If there are a number of possible non-literal ways of translating a passage, all reasonably valid, then any of them is a better choice than the literal version.
I am still surprised by your being so categorical about this, when you have no special insight (not that I do either, but I'd still match my knowledge of Russian against yours any day) into the byways of Russian idiom, which leaves English idiom (with all its strange and odd expressions) in the shade when it comes to saying things in a non-literal way. Which is why I would always prefer to favour something non-literal, particularly given the literal translation in this case is so difficult of immediate comprehension. Ezhiki has in fact provided just such a non-literal translation, and has not resorted to the literal translation you advocate. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:47, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
He stated his opinion of what it might mean, but never said it should be translated that way. He also said "there certainly isn't anything in the song to make one absolutely sure what the ambiguity here means". I still disagree with you that you should pick one possible interpretation and go with that, forever blocking out all the other possible interpretations. Do you think the author would have wanted that ? If so, why didn't he write in in an unambiguous form ? And I wish we could disagree without you getting personal about it and attacking me. Have I attacked you ? My knowledge of Russian simply isn't relevant to the discussion of when literal translations are and are not appropriate. My same comments apply to any translation, specifically this comment: "In a case where there's really only one possible translation, like 'put your nose to the grindstone', then that's fine. But the cases given here seem to have multiple translations possible, so picking one at random does a disservice to the author. If he had intended for it to be unambiguous, he would have written it that way." StuRat (talk) 02:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
He stated his opinion of what it might mean. Neither of us has any problem with that. So why do you have a problem with me or others stating a different opinion of what it might mean? I have never said that my opinion is the only one worth listening to – it’s just my sense of what the passage means, that’s all I’ve ever said. Anybody is perfectly free to disagree with me. There has been no “forever blocking out [of] all the other possible interpretations”, and I don’t know where you get the idea that anyone has ever said that. On the contrary, the one who’s been saying it must be handled only one way (i.e. literally, with no room for personal interpretation) is your good self, Stu.
I don’t believe I’ve attacked you, and I regret if any of my words have left you feeling that way. Referring to one’s lack of knowledge of subject X, Y or Z is simply a factual observation, but a very relevant one in this case. There’s nothing shameful about not having studied Russian. I’ve never studied German, Italian or Spanish either, but you will look in vain for any instance where I have pronounced pontifically about how passages in these languages ought to be translated into English. I would never take it upon myself to decide such a thing about a language I know next to nothing about. Without such knowledge, how could I possibly know where to begin? That’s where we differ, apparently. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 03:56, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I refer to when I said "Right, but isn't it better to do the literal translation, then let the reader decide what it really means, than have the translator add in his opinion of what it means ?", to which you responded "No..." (you can read the rest at the link, too much to copy). So, you seem to be saying that a specific interpretation should be translated rather than going with the literal (and ambiguous) translation. I never said that my interpretations should be used, rather that the author's should (literal translation). And yet again, you seem to ignore my comment that general translations issues, such as when to do a literal or figurative translation, transcend all languages, and, thus, no specific knowledge of a language is needed to comment on that distinction. Instead, you just repeat the same misplaced argument from authority, where, of course, you are not an authority on the advantages and disadvantages of literal translations. StuRat (talk) 06:19, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
To try to explain why expertise is not always needed in the specific field to add a reply, consider your replay here: Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Humanities#MPs_expenses_scandal.2C_UK. Now, I have no problem with your reply there, even though, presumably, you are not an expert on MP expense scandals in the UK. If you had said something that requires an expert knowledge on that subject, like referring to a secret document on the UK expense scandals which nobody else has ever seen, then it might be relevant. Since you seem to have kept to the more general topic of expense scandals, just as I stayed with the general topic of literal versus figurative translations, what you said there is just fine. StuRat (talk) 06:46, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The first few words immediately after "No" might be useful to quote: "No, not as a general approach." Then, "How do we know the readers could make any sense out of individual words all literally translated, unless they had some good knowledge of the source language and its idioms?" So, yes, I am saying that, in general, a specific interpretation is better. "In general" does not mean "always and in all circumstances".
In regard to arguing from authority: You started this thread on my page by quoting the authority of a native speaker to support your case. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, when somebody is unwilling to stop arguing from authority, the only way to convince them is to find a greater authority. StuRat (talk) 23:13, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I reckon that we've gone about as fer as we can go here, Stu. You're not from Kansas City by any chance, any you?  :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 23:29, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
No, and I don't get the reference (or is it the "that's as much progress as is possible" meaning ?). StuRat (talk) 01:18, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Did you click on the link and read the linked article? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:45, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's where I got that the "that's as much progress as is possible" meaning. StuRat (talk) 04:29, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK, if you're willing to continue, let's continue.
What's your response to my position that literal translations are sometimes appropriate, but generally speaking they're not?
If you agree with that, why was a literal translation necessary in this particular case?
If you don't agree with it, why not? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 05:25, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I do agree that they are sometimes not appropriate (however, "generally" seems to mean that most of the time they aren't, and I don't want to go that far). I'd reverse it and say:
"Generally, a literal translation should be done, with exceptions for idioms which will be meaningless when translated literally into the target language. Since most of speech is not idioms, this exception doesn't often apply."
So, since this particular case does not appear to be an idiom, the literal translation should be done. How do I know it's not an idiom ? Well, first, an idiom that had been literally translated (into a language which lacks the same idiom) would sound nonsensical, (something like "set your mother on fire and ask the barber for a pail of water") while this literal translation does sound meaningful. (It has an ambiguous meaning, but that's still a meaning.) Second, if it had been a common Russian idiom, I'd have expected either you or the OP to have mentioned that. StuRat (talk) 05:54, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
BTW, I find this approach much more constructive than the "It really isn't about what non-russophones can or can't believe, Stu, because their beliefs are ipso facto pretty irrelevant" approach. Thanks for the change. StuRat (talk) 05:57, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
What you've crystallised, StuRat, is that there are actually two questions to be considered here:
  • how should translations generally be handled?
  • how should this particular translation be handled?
I'm quite prepared to agree with your literal approach for the specific text that started this off – or more accurately, to not disagree, since, as I said before, I have only the general sense of what I think it means and I'm not prepared to be categorical about it.
But agree or not, that has no necessary implications for the other and broader question. I've been reading Translation, and it's clear we're both doing the whole subject a disservice by trying to condense it down to a single sentence of what one should or should not do.
It would be easy for me to cherry-pick quotes like "… Horace, who, in 1st-century-BCE Rome, famously and literally cautioned against translating "word for word" (verbum pro verbo)." But I'm not going to do that, if only because you could just as easily choose a contrary quote.
I commend it to you, and would appreciate your comments. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 11:00, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think "literal" and "word for word" are necessarily the same thing:
1) Many pairs of languages use different sentence structures, so there it's appropriate to move the words around.
2) Some languages have more compounding of words than others (especially German !), so a word in one language may translate to two or more in another (and vice-versa).
3) Some words don't translate into another language at all. Here it's necessary to describe what it means. "Schadenfreude" is an example of a German word that doesn't seem to have an English equivalent.
4) False friends sometimes mean you can't translate a word to the same word in another language. For example, you might translate a French sentence containing the word "molest" into English as "Would you mind if I molest you for few minutes ?", but the less alarming translation to English would be "Would you mind if I bother you for few minutes ?"
Another issue that comes up with the non-literal translation is if you should just describe what the idiom means, or attempt to find a matching idiom in the target language. Here I would prefer to find a matching idiom, if it exists. StuRat (talk) 04:36, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Bielle's comment

I may have missed the point here.(Disclaimer: a tiny bit of Russian, considerably more French and competent English ) Sluzzelin, the OP, already had her own literal translation. That is clearly set out in the question itself. She/he was specifically interested in an idiomatic interpretation from a native (or near-native) speaker. The exact words of the questions were: "Is this a correct interpretation of this construction?" (Boldface mine) Sluzzelin later explains that she is interested for her own sake and not in order to provide a translation for any other purpose. And so several opinions on "a correct interpretation" were given by native and/or competent speakers of Russian, for which they were thanked. While there may be occasions where sticking to the literal is important, in this case, the OP already knew what the lyrics said; the request was for what it they meant, though within a scholarly context. Or so it appears to me . . . Bielle (talk) 15:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Me too. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Sluzzelin's mustard

I am adding my mustard. Did you understand that? It's a literal translation of the phrase "seinen Senf dazugeben". Dictionaries often translate it with "to add one's two cents" or "to have one's say", but these translations miss the nuance of unwelcome opining when the phrase is applied to others. After all, two cents may be meager, but it's always worth two cents, while my own mustard might be nasty and sour rather than sweet and tangy. Seriously though, thanks both for taking such an interest in my silly little question and for holding an entertaining discussion! Personally, I enjoyed reading Le Ton Beau de Marot which is full of these kind of intricacies. And why don't we ever pull pranks on this day at the reference desks? ---Sluzzelin talk 06:20, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure somebody will try, even if it doesn't cut the mustard. StuRat (talk) 06:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd still relish the ensuing sticky discussion and saucy comments at WT:RD. ---Sluzzelin talk 09:24, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
We'd better not leave too many comments here, or poor Jack will never catch up. StuRat (talk) 18:47, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Editing drop down menu problem

Were you able to solve this problem? —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:30, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Page moves

Hi Jack - I think these two are symptomatic of a larger problem, the fact that people after they're knighted are more likely to go by their full names. I went by the third volume of the Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, which, for example, opens Cotton's entry: "Robert Carrington (Bob) Cotton ..." However, I'm not hugely concerned with this and if it seems clear from other sources that they were known as Robert or Kenneth then I have no problem with moving them back. Frickeg (talk) 00:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

As to other relevant moves, Bill Spooner is probably one. Frickeg (talk) 08:28, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Stanley Holloway article

Show some respect. I have spent a lot of time researching Stanley Holloway's family history and although you might not find it interesting, other's will. I have spent a lot of money buying census records and have spent endless hours doing thorough research which has all been referenced correctly so this is not breaking any rules.

Go vandalize another page if this makes you happy — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cassianto (talkcontribs) 23:04, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

I've made numerous edits to that article of recent days. Which specific edit or edits are you referring to? I do not take kindly to accusations of vandalism, so I require you to substantiate your claim. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 23:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I might add that the whole tenor of your message is about ownership of the article. This seems to be confirmed by your user page. Nobody owns any WP article, and nobody including the creator and/or the main contributor has any rights over anyone else. If you find that you've become obsessive about any one Wikipedia article, to the point that any edits by others are unacceptable to you no matter what their intrinsic merits may be, or to the point that you're spending vast amounts of time and/or money privately in order to obtain sources about increasingly obscure background facts that ipso facto virtually nobody but yourself cares about, then it's definitely time for you to step back, take a break - at least from that article - and try to restore some perspective to your life. Letting go is a most worthwhile spiritual discipline. I heartily recommend it to you. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 03:31, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I am referring to the deletion of the section "Family background". I'm not bothered about edits re spelling, grammer etc and expect that obviously.

However I find it really offensive if other user's simply delete genuinely sourced and cited information which has clearly taken a lot of time to complete for the pure fact only that they don't find it interesting. I would say that this kind of deletion constitutes Vandalism as it is a wilful, ignorant and deliberate destruction of a specific part of an article created by someone else at some expense.

Firstly I do not think I "Own" this page and am somewhat perplexed as to your attitude towards my involvement on this particular article. YES i seem to be adding/editing more information than others , that's because I have an interest in this particular subject. I would appreciate it if other people could add other information but the fact is they don't so what am i supposed to do? not add information that I have researched for the fear of being accused of "Owning" the article? Rubbish! If I have something relevant to say and can back this up with the correct and original source then I will add it. Surely the whole point of Wikipedia is it not?
Secondly how dare you tell me how to spend my time or my money. If I choose to spend time and money in this way because I find it interesting ....then I will. You seem to think you know what everybody else is thinking and what interest's other people. The fact is YOU dont. It's clear you are not interested in Stanley Holloway's family background , that's fine, but other's are. A bit of advice, stick to the rules and respect the work of other's. Or how about this little golden nuggett " It's time for you to step back, take a break - at least from that article - and try to restore some perspective to your life ".(Cassianto (talk) 09:26, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, a few things here. It's not a question of whether I personally find certain information uninteresting or whatever. It's a question of whether the information is encyclopedic or not. For the life of me, I cannot see that the following passage is encyclopedic:
  • Stanley Holloway's paternal grandfather, Augustus Holloway,(1829–1884)[9] was an orphan and was brought up by the Stone family, who lived at 139 West Street, Poole, Dorset.[10] The head of the house was a local sailmaker named John Stone, who had three children of his own and was married to Mary Stone.[10] When he grew up, Augustus became a wealthy and respectable shopkeeper within Poole, running his own brush making business. He met and married Amelia Catherine Bernard in 1856 and they had three children, Maria C., Charles T., and George A. They moved from Poole and lived at 219, Hunger Hill, East Stour, Gillingham, Dorset.[11] According to the 1861 census, Amelia's grandfather, Moses Moore (1771–1863) also lived with the family in Poole thus making him a great-grandfather to Stanley. In the early 1880s, Augustus moved his family to Poplar, London an area which, unlike today, was considered to be a very attractive area to live[12] When Augustus died in Poplar in 1884[13]' his youngest son, George, (Stanley's father), moved to nearby Manor Park, where he would then set up home. George became a lawyer's clerk and worked for city lawyer, Mr Charles Bell.[14] The two became close and Charles would eventually take the young George under his wing treating him like a son. It was then arranged that a courtship should take place between George and Charles's daughter, Florence Bell. The two married in 1886 and had two children, Amelia (born in December 1887)[15] and Stanley (born in October 1890).[15]
What does this tell the general reader about Stanley Holloway? Pretty well nothing. How does it add to our knowledge of what made him notable? It doesn't. Everyone has myriads of ancestors, and in some cases information about some of them is available. The mere availability of that information doesn't mean it's suitable material for an encyclopedia article. That's the sort of information one might expect to find in a 350-page biography. So, no, I do not accept that my removal of this information was vandalism. But since you feel so strongly about it, and have at least now placed it in a more chronologically appropriate position, I won't remove it again.
Your user page tells us nothing about you. Nothing wrong with that per se. But "Dedicated in researching the life and works of Stanley Holloway ... and all to do with him" tells us a lot about your attitude to the article. Symbolically, it's as if your entire being and whole life is devoted to the championing of Holloway's life and works, and if that's not being too close to the subject to have a proper perspective, I don't know what would be.
Nowhere have I told you how to spend your time and money. Do with them whatever you please. But for the reasons stated above, please do not burden the WP article on Stanley Holloway with the fruits of your labours unless they add to its quality. Quantity does not equal quality. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 09:54, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
NOTE....i think you have the defenition confused somewhat

encyclopaedia – (noun)

is a book or set of books containing articles on various topics, usually in alphabetical arrangement, 'covering all branches of knowledge or, less commonly, all aspects of one subject'

I choose not to have an overly extravagant user page for personal reasons. I accept your views on weather you think the family background section has any relevance to Stanley Holloway, but I would disagree with these views. One's background partly makes one who they are. Ok, its not a riviting history, but it adds weight to who SH was and gives the reader an insight into what type of family he is from, a family whom I have found to have famous relation's such as Oliver Percy Bernard and his two sons. Facts which would have otherwise gone un noticed had it not have been for my research on the subject. (Cassianto (talk) 19:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC))

Thanks. I've already said I won't be removing this information. Btw, any authority that tells you "encyclopedic" is a noun, rather than the adjective it is, should be given a very wide berth. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to see you take it up with the writers of the English dictionary. No offence but I would tend to believe them over you The word encyclopaedia. Cassianto (talk) 15:47, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
** Cough** [1]. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:20, 10 April 2011 (UTC)


Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, JackofOz. You have new messages at Talk:Stanley Holloway.
Message added 18:44, 5 April 2011 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Getting it right

I was just dropping in briefly to congratulate you on your pithy wisdom in re Pagliacci, but I see from the entries above this that you have been equally sagacious (and miraculously patient) in re Stanley Holloway too. Your good-humoured corrections of well-meant but unfortunate additions are once again meritorious above and beyond the call of duty. Salutations! Tim riley (talk) 21:12, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Tim. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:15, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Re: Enrico Caruso

Why did you undo my edit here? The idea that Vesti la giubba sold 1000000 copies has been reported is a well-publicised myth, none of the early red seal records sold nearly that much -- the actual figures were far lower. Another one of the rumored "million sellers", Alma Gluck singing Carry Me Back to Old Virginny only sold about 70000 copies. And this was one of the most popular discs of the time! I'm referring to John Bolig's discussions of record sales in his Red Seal Discography and his Caruso Discography. He is an very respected authority on the matter who has actually gone through the archives and looked at record sales, statistics, etc. Sources that report this figure rely on a myth, not statistics. ThemFromSpace 10:20, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

This is what you claim, Mr T.F. Space. Not that I'm in any position to dispute the veracity of it, but let's have an actual citation of this publication in the article itself, so that we can all see whatever it is Mr Bolig has to say. Saying stuff in an edit summary, or to a fellow editor, does not count for anything. That's why I said in my own edit summary: "one's personal doubts are not enough to counter a valid ref; pls provide a contrary cite from a reputable source".
Also, there's a big gap between (a) some individual doubting the truth of a claim, and (b) the claim being comprehensively debunked. You say the original claim (that Vesti was the first million-seller) is "dubious", which sounds like we're in the territory of camp (a). That means that opposing views from reputable sources can be put forward in the article so that readers can make up their own minds. It does not mean that the claim can simply be arbitrarily removed as if it has been incontrovertibly demonstrated to be untrue, and particularly not where the claim is supported by a reputable source, as it is. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 12:38, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Please stop following my edits around music pages and removing them because you dispute my sources. This is NOT what "I claim", this is coming from the best sources out there! Nobody has become more familiar with the early Victor record sales than John Bolig, who has written numerous comprehensive discographies. In His Caruso Records, A History and Discography (2002) (pg 15), the most comprehensive study of Caruso's recordings performed to date Bolig puts forward the statement that we can assume that his sales of single-sided records (and vesti la giubba was originally published SS) were in the neighborhood of five million copies during his lifetime. There are production figures for some of his single-sided records, but there is no way to estimate how many Caruso records have been sold in the past 100 year. He continues, saying (this is in error) Alma Gluck was the first record to sell 1mil copies. Not only was she exceptionally popular, but her records were more favorably priced than Caruso's. Because many of Caruso's records have been continously available, worldwide, most of his more popular recordings have long since passed a million in sales, and the number continues to rise. Nowhere in here am I getting the picture that his Vesti la giubba was a standout hit, and as a record collector I can assure you that it is not an ultra-common-seeneveryday record (still common, but not nearly as common as, say his Miserere from Il Trovatore).
Two years later in His Red Seal Discography, Vol 1 (page xiv) he even corrects the error about the Alma Gluck recording. It has been alleged that she was the first artist in recording history to have had a recording reach one million copies in sales. The record frequently cited, "Carry me back to old Virginny" was probably one of her bestselling titles, but the Victor files state that it reached only 70189 in total sales as a single-sided record. This is another example of the type of claim discographers make without documentation. I had repeated the story about Gluck's million-seller in "Caruso Records--A History and Discography" but the claim had always bothered me, so I was delighted to find that someone had actually written the sales figure on the reverse side of the blue history card for this record"
Now given these sources, I think its highly improbable that the record sold 1million copies and it is very probable that the sales figure was a rumor, much like the Alma Gluck record. None of the sources out there cite where they get the million figure from (and I bet some of the recent ones have gotten it from Wikipedia, sadly). If you would kindly revert your edits and leave me alone for some time I would be most appreciative. You'll have to take this on good faith that I know what I'm talking about and that I'm no fool with this subject. You seem to think that I am, as you have followed my edits around and removed/challenged them. I ask you to sit back and let me edit and let other editors challenge them if they feel the need to do so. It's this sort of protective/defenseive attitude that turned me off from the classical music articles on Wikipedia for years. ThemFromSpace 19:53, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Look, you're missing the point. All that information you just provided above is very interesting, but people reading the articles in question do not have it - because you're not sharing it with them, only with me. Your references need to go into the articles, as I've now said at least 3 times. We can have all the off-page discussions we like, but they ultimately have no effect if the articles do not end up being enhanced.
Given that it's been widely believed for over a century that Vesti la giubba was the first million-seller, it won't do to just remove the claim because you personally believe it's not true. The incorrect belief should be retained, then countered with references showing why it is not true. You have the information, so it's up to you to provide it. Let me give you an analogy: It's universally believed (by those who don't think the whole thing was a hoax) that Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the Moon. If I came across some information that convinced me the real first person was Sergio Fernandez from Paraguay, would it be OK to just remove all the information about Neil Armstrong's claim from all relevant articles? Absolutely not. I would be entitled to enter the info about the competing Fernandez claim, with a reference to the source of my belief, so that others can check it out for themselves and assess its reliability or lack thereof. That is what I have been at pains to ask you to do, and I repeat my request now.
With the greatest respect for your erudition, Wikipedia simply does not and cannot work by accepting that editors "know what they're talking about". Nor do I think you're a fool. All information in articles must be supported by explicit citations from reputable sources. What I am "protecting" and "defending" is Wikipedia's rules, procedures and protocols. Editors with the very best of intentions - and I have no reason to doubt yours are in that category - can do massive damage quite easily if they do not adhere to our rules.
I most certainly have not been "following you around". You removed the Vesti claim from both the Pagliacci and Enrico Caruso articles, both of which have been on my watchlist for a long time. I see you've left Vesti la giubba alone at this stage (it's also on my watchlist), but if you'd done the same thing there, I'd have reverted it accordingly, and without apologies. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:35, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
How can I add references to the article that justify the removal of information? When I removed the line, there was no way I could have added references to the article, since they would not have referenced any of the information. That was why I referred to my sources in the edit summary (which you just overlooked). If you feel that it should stay, along with the clarification that there is no hard evidence backing it up, feel free to use the sources I supplied to give a two-sided view on the matter. I just didn't feel comfortable letting dubious information stay within the article. Either the clarification should be made that this is an unfounded rumor, or it should be removed, but we can't publish it as fact without hard evidence. And I'm also asking you to take back the assertion that my edits are doing damage, that's highly insulting. What's doing damage to the encyclopedia is the publishing of POV statements in Pagliacci and unfounded rumors in that article and the Enrico Caruso article. ThemFromSpace 21:27, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
First off, I did not say your edits have done massive damage. I said that well-meaning editors can do massive damage if they don't play by the rules. That was just a bit of friendly advice to become better acquainted with protocol, otherwise it's possible you will be on the slippery slope.
I've been arguing that your sources do NOT - repeat, NOT - justify the removal of the information. All they do is permit a contrary view to be given a voice. When places like the Guinness Book of Records are satisfied that Vesti la giubba was the first million-seller, that cannot just be dismissed out of hand. Your information may well be perfectly correct, but it needs to be given an airing in the court of editorial opinion.
You're still sitting squarely in the "Truth vs. Non-Truth" paradigm. That is not what Wikipedia is about. It's about WP:Verifiability, not truth. I quote the opening line: The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth: whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true.
I won't be taking you up on your invitation to include Bolig's information. I have not personally seen it, all I have is your say-so that it even exists - not that I'm doubting you, but you surely see the dangers here. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:56, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Then I will go ahead and remove it as contested information. Feel free to start an RfC on it if you'd like, but I strongly feel that we are doing a disservice by publishing facts such as this when the newest and most authoritative sources speak otherwise. Please don't reinsert it without a consensus because I have provided several sources which contest the idea of "million sellers" before 1920. Internet-only sources are sometimes not the most reliable, and the Guiness Book of records is not an authority on the recording industry. ThemFromSpace 22:35, 11 April 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for another good one, a DYK candidate for sure. Question: is there any hint somewhere on WP how B A C H sounds (B-flat A C B), for readers not familiar with German names of notes? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:36, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Why yes, Gerda: BACH motif. And thanks for the compliment. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 12:52, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Your RefDesk comment on young American actresses

That was a very funny comment, Jack, and also intriguing. My ears are somewhat aging (49), but, living in the States, I deal with young women who speak just like those actresses on my job, so I guess I am bilingual or diglossic without consciously perceiving—before reading your comment—that these young women, and to a lesser extent young men, speak a different variety of English than I do. I confess that I have the same subjective impression of "spoiled brat" when I hear that kind of speech. My aunt, who is 76, has pointed out to me that young Americans, particularly from the west coast (e.g., California) and particularly females, are using slightly different vowels in some contexts than older generations use. I think that is part of what makes their speech difficult for you, and I think it is an example of language change happening in front of us. Cheers. Marco polo (talk) 14:44, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Ah, 49, Marco. To be 49 again! For all its struggles, it was a very good year. Seems like only yesterday ... but it wasn't (I turned 60 last November). But I digress. Glad you got a chuckle.
I'm an employment consultant, and the average age of my clients is around 25-ish, I guess (they range from 16 to even older than I am!). Most of them are intelligible enough, but some ... Their vowels are unlike anything I ever spoke. "Phone home alone" would come out sorta like "fine hime align", but with an other-wordly mixture of both vowel sounds. Try as I may - and I'm a very good mimic - I cannot make these sounds for love nor money. They must take a lot of practice. And there's this really horrible thing many of them do with a stressed U-vowel preceded by an R. Through, room, roof, prove, etc - these all sound like accusations from their lips. The U sounds like it's coming from way down in their feet. Is this what it means to be slowly ageing? Being surrounded by people who make truly horrible sounds when they speak? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:58, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Dear Jack, I am going to take a big risk here. I hope our cyber friendship can survive my confession. I was in Australia (and all around Australia) in 1984-1985, and "phone home alone" always sounded to my Canadian ear like "fine hime align" except in Adelaide for some reason. I don't think that pronunciation is new. (And now you may retaliate with your perceptions of how Canadians butcher the language. The Americans always use "out" and "about" for their examples, which they claim we pronounce as "oot" and "aboot" though I can't hear it myself.) Regards, Bielle (talk) 03:10, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
You're too close, Bielle. It's not just the Americans who hear Canadians saying "oat and a boat" for "out and about", I've been noticing that for too long to remember. Of course, it's a stereotype, and not all Canadians speak that way. Walter Pidgeon didn't. I'm sure I'm too close to Australian voices to hear the alleged "cockney" sounds we make. But then, we can all spot an American or even a Brit trying to do an Australian accent - it just comes out all wrong, much closer to real cockney than how we actually sound.
True, "fine hime align" is not new anymore, but it's certainly younger than me. I still remember the first time I ever heard people speaking this way. But then, I think I must have had a very sheltered childhood in many ways. I didn't even meet a divorced person until I was about 18. Such persons were not invited to my parents' home. So, my concept of how the world is - more to the point, how it should be - was very conditioned by all that. Perhaps it's been around longer than I imagine. Maybe.
But, hey, all confessions are fair game here, Bielle. There's never any risk involved. Now, say 12 Hail Marys and resolve to lead a blameless life from now on. Go in peace, my child.  :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 03:49, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I hadn't heard about "oat" and "aboat" before, just "oot" and "aboot". People mimicking an accent that is the local way of speaking exaggerate the difference from their own normal pronunciation, which is why many of the attempts at an Aussie accent comes out as "more cockney than cockney". It is also true that most North Americans cannot distinguish among Australian, New Zealand and South African vowel sounds. Bielle (talk) 16:56, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
They all belong to a family of accents. But, like all family members, their differences are as notable as their similarities. It's the differences we tend to notice, while outsiders tend to notice the similarities. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:23, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Walter Cooper

Hi there, without wishing to start an edit war... the reason I renamed the page to Walter Cooper (Queensland Senator) was to disambiguate a very common name. Walter Cooper (politician) is still far too generic, there would be thousands of such people around the world in history. Please think of the larger picture. Rod. Rcbutcher (talk) 10:18, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi Rod. Actually, I did think of the bigger picture (I've been doing a lot of thinking about the bigger picture lately), but since Wikipedia has only 2 people named Walter Cooper - the Australian politician and the American scientist - there is currently no need for any further disambiguation than "politician" and "scientist". To use "Queensland Senator" would suggest there were other notable Australian politicians named Walter Cooper: a South Australian member of the House of Representatives, perhaps; or a member of the Tasmanian state parliament, perhaps? But there were no such people. No other Australians at all, in fact. We don't need to allow for all possible future contingencies when choosing the titles of articles. If a third Walter Cooper comes on board, we can review matters then. Cheers. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 10:27, 16 April 2011 (UTC)


I brought this here 'cause it's off topic. But I can't help mentioning that It'd be an interesting study to go through footage of life-and-death emergencies and catch people crossing themselves. Surely they wouldn't be as deliberate as they are in a church, but would they get as half-assed as the stylized version you see in movies? What about people who hadn't gone to church in twenty years but figured, what the hell, 'better safe than sorry'? Would they do it repeatedly as you sometimes see in movies? Quantity verses quality?

Probably nobody would ever dedicate the time to research this sort of thing, but If I'm ever King of the World, I'm going to have a whole department dedicated to researching questions like this and then providing me with an answer in YouTube form. I feel it would be a benefit to humanity. APL (talk) 20:07, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, Your Majesty; I was unavoidably detained on matters of the gravest moment. As Grand Marshall of the Nether Realms, it would be my delight to assist you in this endeavour.
Are there any other projects you had in mind? I have a suggestion: the summary execution of people who disagree with you, me, and other reasonable and right-thinking people. Equerry, have the gibbets erected! -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:59, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
And in this fantasy world, you would be able to hire an equerry who would understand that order. Bielle (talk) 02:31, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. And think of the economic aspect, Bielle: we'd be providing employment for literally millions of people as gibbet makers, executioners, grave diggers. funeral directors, and trainers of these professions, while simultaneously getting rid of millions of unwashed masses whose only current purpose is to inflate the unemployment figures. A total win-win, wouldn't you agree. It feels so warm and comforting to be able to bring such good into the world in times like these. I blush at my own excellence. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:40, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
And I, at your humility and perception. Bielle (talk) 02:49, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


"Truss' first attempt at a parliamentary seat"... i'm sure it's gramatically correct but I just can't ever think of a time i've seen s' in an article before... or i'm just not looking hard enough? What do you think? Timeshift (talk) 00:31, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Truss's is correct? o_O Timeshift (talk) 00:44, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi, Timeshift. You're not looking anywhere near hard enough. I don't know how many times I've changed Brahms' (Fourth Symphony, or whatever) to Brahms's, but I'm sure there's plenty of work still to be done. There used to be a "rule" that the possessive of surnames ending in -s are made by adding an apostrophe only, not 's. I've seen various versions of this rule: one says it applies only to Biblical characters (which makes sense in cases like "Jesus's disciples" and "Moses's teachings"). Other versions are even more hard-line, applying to all nouns ending in -s (Jones, Petraeus, Sibelius, Foss, Goss, ...) and some people adhere to it uber-rigidly.
My rule of thumb is: If you pronounce the extra syllable when speaking, then indicate it in writing. If not, don't. I can't imagine anyone uttering a sentence that sounds like "Truss opinion was not taken very seriously". No, it's "Truss's opinion ..." (which sounds exactly like "trusses opinion").
Is your objection to Truss's based on 3 s's in a row (separated only by an apostrophe)? I've never seen that prohibition anywhere. Wayne Goss has a Goss's (but also, admittedly, 2 x Goss' - see below for my comments on inconsistency).
On the other hand, Menzies's has the same problems of enunciation as Jesus's and Moses's. Mostly it's Menzies' in his article, but there are a few instances of Menzies's. That inconsistency is a far worse error than what we're discussing: in any one article, it should be one way throughout or the other way throughout, never a mixture. I'll attend to that shortly. Cheers. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:08, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Thankyou for that detailed explanation, it makes sense. Timeshift (talk) 01:45, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Invitation to take part in a study

I am a Wikipedian, who is studying the phenomenon on Wikipedia. I need your help to conduct my research on about understanding "Motivation of Wikipedia contributors." I would like to invite you to Main Study. Please give me your valuable time, which estimates about 20 minutes. I chose you as a English Wikipedia user who made edits recently through the RecentChange page. Refer to the first page in the online survey form for more information on the study and me.cooldenny (talk) 02:03, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Done. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:30, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

DYK for Alexander Winterberger

The DYK project (nominate) 06:01, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Emma Pearson

I created a red link for Australian soprano Emma Pearson and see her mentioned many times, do you feel like writing about her? I am busy with a heavy State Theater, premiere on Saturday, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:00, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

She's at the very fringe of my consciousness, I have to say, Gerda. I have a couple of other juicy projects on the boil at the moment, and the spirit moveth me to focus on them. But thanks for the heads up. Her time will come. It always does. Eventually.  :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 10:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Debussy works list

I imagine that it was a copy and paste from one of the many places that has the 'standard' database that Muze and Allmusic, etc, use. No need to get worked up about it, but I agree completely with your efforts :) ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 02:06, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Melodia. Some things just irritate me beyond endurance. I should chill out more, and just do the work. Cheers. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:15, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Well if you REALLY wanna work, you could add the (for whatever reason mostly unknown) revised L numbers: ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:09, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
People keep suggesting things for me to write about lately. I must be putting out receptive vibes (shock! horror!). Thanks, but it's not really how I operate, Melodia. Pay me a handsome fee and I might consider accepting a commission. Otherwise, the stream of Jackofoziana meanders inexorably on, carving a course that no man, least of all I, can predict. Or would ever want to. I like surprises far too much for that.  :) -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 10:59, 28 April 2011 (UTC)