User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 77

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Question for Jimbo on Santorum

Do you believe that the Foundation's decision to have the BLP policy was meant to cover situations like this article? And is there any way you can get a statement from them about whether it was or wasn't? (in such a way that I, as a normal user, could not get a statement) Also, I suggested a revision to the BLP policy (on WP:BLPN, under "Avoid Victimization", an existing part of the policy that I proposed expanding). Do you think this is reasonable? Ken Arromdee (talk) 14:46, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. But the detailed interpretation of policy is up to us, and I'm sure we will get it right. I think the most useful and promising line here is to note, correctly, that this article should more properly be about the attack, not the alleged "neologism". This will mean that we - again properly - retitle the article even while keeping a well-sourced description of the incident, making it clear to the reader that this is *not* a genuine word that has come up organically from people's speech patterns, but a google-bomb attack that worked.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:03, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Would you support retitling Ghoti so as to make it clear to the reader that it, too, is *not* a genuine word that has come up organically from people's speech patterns? 24.177.120.138 (talk) 02:51, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Ghoti isn't highly controversial, defamatory, or negative. There aren't BLP or NPOV issues there. -- Avanu (talk) 02:54, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Outrageous

I have been on the Wikimedia projects since 2003. Put Thousands of hours in it. Have been an admin on many wikis. Was a steward once. Have over 30,000 edits.

Yet I am not allowed to vote for the board of trustees.

From Bangkok Waerth (talk) 07:47, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Strike that it works, but only from the Dutch wiki even though I have SUL .. Waerth (talk) 07:59, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

about Board resolution: openness

In Board resolution: openness (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Openness ) , it says “We urge the Wikimedia community to promote openness and collaboration, by: .......Working with colleagues to develop practices to discourage disruptive and hostile behavior, and repel trolls and stalkers." what is its effect, since it is not a Wikimedia Foundation policy.

Is this resolution give permission to local sysop to bypass local policy and block a user with reason of "troll" for an year? And, this user did not got any block and warning in the past, and it will case wheel warring. And what is "urge" and "trolls" neam ?--苹果派.Talk 10:50, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Hi Jimmy, I blocked him personally for the worst kind of trolling.--Wing (talk) 11:07, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Warning the user that he/she is subjected to block is in fact not obligatory as per Chinese Wikipedia block policy. I believe sysops have the right to block user if they're clearly disturbing the community by trolling even it is not yet a formal policy in Chinese WP. Many active ZH users do express welcome and positive effect of the block. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 12:54, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
This user has had been disturbing normal disscussion of other users (at that time around 1/3 of the village pump were filled with his words). He kept posting "protests" against the block of zh:User:Luke7956 (a Taiwanese user who's been blocked permanently on zh-wiki because of abusing with sockpuppets, violating en:WP:3RR and terrible personal attacks on others users) on zh:VPM. In addition, he was even trying to disrupt CUs (see [1]), by calling zh:User:Luke7956 a "good-faith user". I couldn't see why he shouldn't be blocked. And lastly and most importantly, there's still disscusions on zh-wiki about whether this block has really bypassed the local policy or not (while lots of users said no), so Mr. Wales please don't be confused by User:Sysywjel.--Jsjsjs1111 (talk) 18:26, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Change my Username

Dear Jimbo,

Could you please change my username to WikiRigby?

~Wimpy Fanboy my talk sign! 02:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wimpy Fanboy (talkcontribs)

see WP:CHU. Cheers! Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:02, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Why? ~Wimpy Fanboy my talk sign! 20:26, 10 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wimpy Fanboy (talkcontribs)
Because that's the page to go to, so you can request a username change; as opposed to Jimbo's talk where it's not likely to get actioned. Pedro :  Chat  20:31, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Is levity in opposition to WP:FORUM?

I posted a link on the Talk page for the Santorum neologism page along with the question "Was Santorum Right about Bestiality?" http://unrealitymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/tron_costume_4.jpg

Apparently my fellow editors can't seem to take a joke and templated me for violating WP:FORUM. Are we so serious on Wikipedia we can't take a break from sniping one another and laugh? -- Avanu (talk) 03:02, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, I think you crossed a line there and you should know better being posting that sort of stuff as this is not 4chan. I think it doest take a genius to figure out making a bestiality joke involving a living person would back fire. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 03:15, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Again, do we not have levity here? "making a bestiality joke involving a living person" Do the Tron Guy and another person in a bull costume represent 'real' living people or caricatures? See, a reasonable person would recognize the joke as such and not try to warp this into a WP:BLP infraction. Where's the normalcy? (to quote another old neologism) -- Avanu (talk) 04:00, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
One person's levity is another man's insult - unless it benefits content its better avoided. Off2riorob (talk) 09:04, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia and pollution

Hi there, I was just wondering if Wikipedia had any plans on moving off of the Florida electrical grid (which gets a vast majority of its power from fossil fuels) and onto a more ethical power source, whether through moving to a different state/province or country which produces clean power like Quebec or Norway, joining up with an American equivalent of Bullfrog Power, or creating your own power through solar power, wind power or other small scale alternatives.

As I predict the answer to be a resounding no, I will ask my next question now as well. If a large number of experienced editors were to get behind the idea that Wikipedia should move to a cleaner, sustainable source of electricity, what would Wikipedia do, would it act on the will of its irreplaceable guardians?

PS, to anyone who replies that Wikipedia is here as an encyclopia only, not to support social movements and such, I say that that is irrelevant, and if editors demand it they can get it, as they have the website but we have the power. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.210.143.36 (talk) 19:37, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Did you fail to account for computers editors use? Smallman12q (talk) 01:09, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
With no opinion one way or the other on moving the servers to support the environment, I'm just curious- Why was Florida picked in the first place? As for Quebec of Norway being chosen I would oppose it, even though I try not to be nationalistic and see the US as just one more country no more deserving or special than any other... eh... do we want the servers in another country? Yea I feel dirty even thinking that... I dont know the percentage of renewable energy used by each state but perhaps if "going green" is important to enough people perhaps the Foundation can look into what can be done to make Wikipedia operations more green. It would be good publicity. Oh yea and help the environment too if you're into that type of stuff. Oh, and if the Foundation does look for a new place I'd like to plug my home state of NY that has 20% of its energy coming from renewable resources.Camelbinky (talk) 01:40, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Florida was 'picked' because Wales lived there. Is he going to move to another state to start a website from nothing? Probably not. Prodego talk 01:47, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps another option would be to do it the Vatican way and simply purchase a forest somewhere, thereby offsetting the Foundation's carbon emissions. I'm not a fan of the concept myself but it would be interesting if the Foundation owned some wilderness property. Timbouctou (talk) 01:59, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that for the most part people donate their money to the foundation to keep it running, to ensure that Wikipedia's content stays free for everyone around the globe; I don't think they hand over their money so that the foundation can gather up large swathes of real estate and invest alternative technologies!--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:05, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Tree planting or forest conservation is really not an "alternative technology" A commitment to being a carbon neutral project would perhaps attract additional donations. Off2riorob (talk) 09:19, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
'Tree planting or forest conservation' is not what Wikipedia is about. People don't donate to an encyclopaedia to save the the environment. If you start spending other people's money on things that have almost nothing to do with the operation of this website, or the foundation's vision, then you'll lose the trust of the people who donated.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:54, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Many companies are not about tree planting/carbon neutrality but many do have such goals without distracting from their primary objective. Off2riorob (talk) 10:28, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Well the Foundation's goal is providing access to knowledge to as many people as possible e.g. "disseminate it effectively". If the foundation decided that one of the ways to do this could be via some sort of a nature park that anyone could visit then I don't see why it would be in conflict with the mission statement. It does not say that the Foundation is only concerned with online dissemination of knowledge. Timbouctou (talk) 14:11, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
People donate because they're led to believe Wikipedia is in desperate need of money to continue the online encyclopedia. If that money, whatever amount, is spent elsewhere then it implies Wikipedia doesn't need more money, in fact it's searching for ways to spend what they have. Encouraging readers to be concerned about the environment (and other issues) on their own is all right. Flatterworld (talk) 16:34, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm prone to agree with the others, but with an exception: if Wikipedia could persuade someone - perhaps a manufacturer or "green" organization - to donate a hundred thousand dollars toward some solar panels on the roof and a battery system to match. Then Wikimedia volunteers could converge on the server building with cameras and lights and video equipment and microphones, documenting the process, interviewing people, writing up articles about the way these solar panels work, explaining how (if) they are truly cost effective, documenting how the servers work and how much load each person actually imposes, etc. It might be a very positive thing, if done just right. Wnt (talk) 17:37, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you all for taking part in this discussion rather than letting it just die out, so, some responses and further information,

To Smallman12q, I see that setiment as quite anti-progressive for any subject, the "Why bother solving this problem, it still won't be perfect" attitude is just illogical as we cannot solve all the problems with one step, issues such as this (climate change/pollution) are solved through a large number of steps each of a varying size.
To Camelbinky, I'm afraid I have some information for you, Wikipedia has a server in the Netherlands, better go take a shower to get that dirt off of you.
To Prodigo, I'm pretty sure wikipedia does not own any infrastructure, but only owns hardware and rents space at a Colocation centre that is in Florida and the Netherlands, so moving would not be that expensive.
To the idea of a carbon offset, I think that idea fails in a few ways, first, many donaters/editors will get the impression that Wikipedia either has money to waste, or that wikipedia does waste money, so why donate. Secondly, the idea of carbon offsetting is quite flawed as it does nothing to reduce pollution as they are not increasing the size of Earth's carbon sinks but they are just taking pre-existing carbon sinks and selling them.
To Brianann, who stated, " People don't donate to an encyclopaedia to save the the environment" well I say that 'People don't donate to an encyclopaedia to pollute the environment.' and to when you stated that people do not donate so that wikipedia can "invest [in] alternative technologies" I say that people do not donate so that wikipedia "can fund fossil fuel plants", also Wikipedia does not need to "invest" in cleaner energy sources, I was merely stating that wikipedia should start buying from clean energy sources, which as shown below can produce electricity at same or lower cost levels than can fossil fuels.
To All, here is some more information I left out as I was in a rush when initially posting this. Wikipedia has two servers one in Florida, another in the Netherlands, both of which gather 90% of their electricty from fossil fuels. I used the example of Quebec as it gets over 97% of electricity from clean sources(Hydro), it has the same price ($0.08kWh) for electricity as Florida, and many laws and the level of infrastructure are of course similar. Norway and Sweden also have these same advantages that Quebec has, although the price of electricity is much higher in these nations, that is the case in all of Europe, and it is important to note that the Netherlands (where our Europe server is) does have the 3rd most expensive electricity in Europe[2], and as noted far from the cleanliest. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.210.143.36 (talk) 19:07, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
So I hope I have gotten across the idea that we can switch over without increasing costs, possibly even decreasing costs as colder climates mean less air conditioning. Also, I do agree with the others that Wikipedia being greener may result in possible positive media coverage and possibly increased donations, and at the very least it will not harm Wikipedia to switch over to a cleaner source of energy.
Wikipedia has two servers one in Florida, another in the Netherlands, both of which gather 90% of their electricty from fossil fuels.; the Foundation has a large number of servers in four locations (two in Tampa, two in the Netherlands). This year the foundation has spent a substantial portion of budget (I'm not sure of the exact breakdown, but $4million were put aside to general data centre expansion & new tech staff) on an additional data centre, so you can appreciate the cost of setting up in a new green location would be substantial. There are other considerations; it would mean laying off staff and employing new staff in the new locations. It would mean a period of time where both areas were active, which has increased cost. Finally there is the issue that Florida and the Netherlands are centrally located (to some of the main areas of use) with nice low ping times - that performance could well be reduced by moving the servers north. Don't get me wrong; these are things we should be thinking about, considering and working on. But it is not quite as simple as you imply :) And it is important to remember that primarily our purpose is to collect and preserve human knowledge - if we end up chasing green power to the detriment of that then it is a bad choice. --Errant (chat!) 21:10, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Just hypothetically, what would be the point of moving to a place that gets power from a dam? There's only so much hydropower - taking a piece of that would be a zero sum game, purely an exercise in make-believe carbon reduction. Even if there were the potential to build new dams... ask the Canadians how "green" they think that option is. Nay, the main way for Wikimedia to help green power is through its educational mission - helping inventors, capitalists, and consumers get in-depth information about all the options. Wnt (talk) 02:50, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
There are many ways in which an organization can become environmentally more responsible.
After the improvements become "notable", they can be reported objectively with numerical data in a page titled "Environmental record", and a link to that page from the bottom of the Main Page.
Contact us      Privacy policy      About Wikipedia      Disclaimers      Environmental record
Wavelength (talk) 19:29, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
To Wnt, while you are correct there is a limit to the amount of hydropower in any area, the fact is that several places have much more potential for hydro-electricity than they could use. In Quebec 97% of electricity comes from hydro (there is a single nuclear plant), but that's not the full extent, Quebec has so much excess hydro that it exports $1.5billion worth of hydro to its neighbours each year, but the ability to export is limited by distance as their is always a percent loss when transmitting electricity. There is still much room to increase the production of hydro in Quebec and according to the wiki article on Hydro-Quebec there are multiple projects beginning and ongoing and are increasing hydro production by many TWh (1,000,000,000 kWh (Hoover dam =4.2TWh)). This is why I suggested Quebec, because as the demand for electricity goes up in Quebec it means they will increase hydro supply. And for the green part, as you can tell I am Canadian, and the greenness of hydro in sparcely inhabited Quebec is not nearly as bad as in other parts of the world as they do not have the problems such as in Brazil where they are covering rainforest and reducing their important biodiversity, or in the PRC, where the new reservoirs are causing earthquakes and causing large populations to relocate.
To Errant, I do realize that the switch would not have been cost free, but I was hoping that simply moving the servers hardware would not have been that costily as I assumed that wikipedia's few employees do not actually have to work at the same location that the servers are, but their work was done as remotely as an editor's work is... aren't there employees of wikipedia in San Francisco at 208.80.152.2? Also I do agree that our main goal is always to keep wikipedia running, and if we find that the idea of moving would hust wikipedia too much, that is fine, as I did give three possible solutions, the other two being to seek out a company like my local Bullfrog Power, where you can sign up and than your energy bill goes exclusively to clean energy production companies instead of being split by all the energy companies. Or Wikipedia could do like Google did and set up its own energy supply by installing a suitable system (Photovoltatics in Florida(sunny), windmills in Netherlands(windy)). 205.210.143.51 (talk) 20:20, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
To Wavelenght, I am happy to see someone else who is also interested in Wikipedia going greener. I picked the source of electricity as my single concern as I think it is by far the largest green issue wikipedia has. While I do not know the exact numbers(falling under Outside Contract Services/Internet hosting ?) it seems that Wikipedia may be spending close to or even over $1 million per year on electricity derived from the burning of fossil fuels. [3] 205.210.143.51 (talk) 20:30, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Collaboration with exterior entities?

I have recently suggested something which, I personally think, might possibly help stimulate involvement in developing some US based articles, and maybe a few others, at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Wikipedia-Books#Proposal for, maybe, stimulating development. The proposal does, however, involve, at least potentially, possibly producing material which might be considered to be in competition with material which might be published elsewhere. I realize you have a lot of people making a lot of comments on this page, and elsewhere, and a huge amount of other things to do as well, but would appreciate if you could look over the comments there and say whether you might find such activities acceptable. Thank you for your attention to this message, and for any comments you might make. John Carter (talk) 18:28, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Template:Flag

This template is up for deletion at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2011 June 11 used in 250,000 articles. Completely contradicts MOS:FLAG which individuals use as a policy. Either we accept flags in articles and infoboxes or we don't. Personally I do not care either way, but this is a double standard wherever I look.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:08, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Dr Blofeld is surely aware that "Either we accept flags in articles and infoboxes or we don't" is a logical fallacy. The community is quite capable of setting nuanced guidelines on where it is and isn't appropriate to use little flag pictures; there has been an extensive discussion of the details over at WT:MOSICON. I would recommend that Dr Blofeld withdraw the massively pointy TfD and try to rejoin the community discussion over at WT:MOSICON. bobrayner (talk) 21:50, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
"Extensive" discussion clearly has not solved anything. Attempts to modify MOS:FLAG to at least recognize that they are widely used in geographic and other articles were reverted. So people like you will continue to use MOS:FLAG as a policy for removing flags when it is not a policy and there is no consensus that flags are not desired. So either this MOS:FLAG is modified to appear less redundant, given that flags are used in 510,000 articles at least or they are deleted. Because its attempted guidelines like this which make it look like a joke when they are so heavily used. If the flag templates are voted to be kept I will use that as evidence of a consensus in favour of using flags in articles and will continue to revert anybody who removes them citing MOS:FLAG. As the vast majority of flag useage is not compulsory either, flags do not need to be given on sports or international relations pages. I have highlighted a major flaw in this "guideline" and its time something was done to correct it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:01, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Dr Blofeld, please try to take part in community discussion; if you want to rewrite the rules, try to get consensus on WT:MOSICON instead of bypassing that irksome community thing with pointy deletions, aggressive language, logical fallacies, appeals to Jimbo, and "consensus not needed". Pretending that a "keep" from your pointy TfD is endorsement for all flag use would be another fallacy, of course, and you surely realise that. bobrayner (talk) 22:08, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
When I post here it is to the community, aside from Jimbo. I really do not care whether we have them or not. There are more important things to do on wikipedia. Yes flags look pretty but my own preference for using them also comes down to ILIKEIT as it does with many others. What I care about it sticking to a single rule. If flags generally are accepted in 511,000 + articles then I will not tolerate somebody remove a single flag from an article citing MOS:FLAG as a formal guideline. Above all I think double standards are a massive problem on the website and think it wrong that somebody can remove a single flag from a settlement infobox and accept tens of flags in an article on a war, which are often replicated en masse in infboxes.♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:27, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to fuel a dramafest across multiple pages, so I will reiterate this one time only: If you now wish to discuss or improve flag guidelines, the best place for that is the existing discussion on WT:MOSFLAG, rather than starting a new section for yourself on Jimbo's talkpage. Other people from the community have already commented there. If you have, in the last few hours, changed your mind about the importance of consensus then we're already making progress. I'll make no further replies here since Dr Blofeld has already helpfully started new threads on various other pages (though not yet on WT:MOSFLAG). Have a nice day. bobrayner (talk) 23:01, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
User talk:Dr. Blofeld, double standard are common place on wikipedia. I can't offhand think of a single policy or process that hasn't been overruled at some point. That is part is what WP:IAR is about, also wikipedia works by WP:CONSENSUS which can differ from the process/policy etc. Template:Flag and MOS:FLAG are sometime in contradiction, yeah, welcome to wikipedia. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 03:30, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

What links here - Santorum (neologism)

It occurred to me that perhaps one of the reasons the 'neologism' form of the word is so popular with Google might have something to do with how many other Wikipedia articles linked to it. So I checked, and there sure are a lot of them. Perhaps someone concerned about this attack on the politician (or some admin interested in keeping Wikipedia fair and impartial) might want to review these and delete any which aren't actually relevant/appropriate. (Just skimming through some of the names of the articles, I have to say "it's a real stretch" comes to mind.) Based on your earlier suggestion, I will avoid pointing out any possible motivation anyone might possibly have had in creating these links, and assume absolutely everything was done in good faith, with an eye to spreading nothing but encyclopedic knowledge. ;-) Flatterworld (talk) 05:22, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Wow, quite a list. To me, something that warrants a look is why Dan Savage's website 'Spreading Santorum' comes up first in a search for Santorum. Since Google can tweak its results, and often does, why would they let an attack website with 1 sentence define the results for a politician rather than more germane results? Incidentally the neologism here is #2, and Rick Santorum finally comes in at #3. The idea that Google is actually ranking these in some kind of rational way is somewhat questionable, but who knows? -- Avanu (talk) 05:27, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Look at all the stuff that links to Bareback (sex) - a list about as long, because it is part of the same Template:Sexual slang. But Wikipedia doesn't come up until the end of the third page - for Bareback riding, which has a much shorter set of links. (though Wiktionary comes up at the bottom of the first page). Phantoms. Wnt (talk) 06:34, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not talking about Savage's page, but...Google's algorithm looks at, among other things, if the search term appears in the url (especially in the root) and if the way its used within the page implies it's the major topic of the page. That's part of the 'relevance' checking. And no, I don't believe Google 'tweaks' individually, although they do tweak the algorithms when it's clear they're being gamed.) My point is about 'internal links'. There's a reason some people are determined to create as many separate (and carefully named) articles as possible, and as many templates as possible to link them. This isn't an issue in only this situation, just a particularly noticeable example. Flatterworld (talk) 16:15, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

The history of the templates that include the santorum article is as follows:

  1. On 10 May, Template:Dan Savage was created, [4]
  2. On 11 May, Template:Political neologisms (since deleted) was created, with santorum included, and added to about 120 articles [5]
  3. On 15 May, the santorum article was added to Template:LGBT slang: [6]
  4. On 15 May, Template:Sexual slang was created [7], comprising about 120 general, LGBT and pornography slang terms, including santorum, and then added to these 120 articles

That's what created the unusual number of inbound links. --JN466 12:18, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Note, too, that Dan Savage has been on the DYK section of the main page twice in the last few days, and editors seem intent on featuring another five DYK hooks on Dan Savage on the main page. Wikipedia_talk:Did_you_know#Dan_Savage, Wikipedia_talk:Did_you_know#Removed_some_of_my_self_noms. --JN466 13:31, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

I suppose I will have caused the digestion subproducts to collide with the rotational air displacement device, but that was so egregious a BLP violation that I excised it from the template. That this attack deserves an article on Wikipedia is arguable (although the current title is dubious at best), but pretending it is actual sexual slang in order to have it linked from all of those pages is so blatant a misuse of Wikipedia to perpetuate an attack on a living person that it cannot possibly be tolerated. — Coren (talk) 16:10, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

There appears to be a number of editors who are willingly supporting the use of WP as part of a political campaign. What is WP's administration going to do about it, other than declare it unacceptable? Cla68 (talk) 12:25, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, I am glad to see some common sense is beginning to creep into this mess. Tarc (talk) 12:27, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I've been following this mess a bit off and on, and it has become a gargantuan stain on Wikipedia's credibility. Personally my politics couldn't be farther from Santorum's, and personally I'd be happy to see him out of politics altogether, but I am completely dismayed by the manner in which the encyclopedia has been thoroughly gamed for political purposes. I hope that someone might finally look into these shenanigans for what they clearly are. We need to set a precedent here that Wikipedia will not be the pawn of political activists trying to Google bomb their opposition into defeat. And by the way, how on earth does this qualify as a notable "neologism? If there is a topic of note here its the google bombing campaign, and that is it.Griswaldo (talk) 14:24, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree, and this is only one example. There's been a whole lot of this gaming going on for the past several elections, especially in the last week or two before an election. That includes but is not limited to "this party's candidates are always notable and should have their own articles while this other party's candidates are held to an entirely different standard" (for googling advantages), to a partisan campaigner being blocked immediately after an election (ooh, wow, that sure showed him/her!), to me being banned for several days immediately prior to an election because I was reverting bad-faith deletions (such as an official debate website because the university used its official YouTube Channel "and YouTube isn't allowed" - and yes there were many more of that level of imbecility/gaming). And the admins involved thought it was hilarious. I'm still irritated over that, especially as I believed the consensus on 'lessons learned' in 2008 was going to followed in 2010. (I also believed the Project Guidelines on how much 'campaign stuff' was allowed in politician articles vs. election articles would be followed - again the admins have been of zero help.) I really would like to see a flat and level playing field for 2012, instead of repeating our 'tradition' of having the foxes watch the chicken coop. Flatterworld (talk) 19:25, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Further to the above, Coren has filed an arbitration request: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Political_activism. --JN466 20:18, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Abuse of Power

Can you please explain what this is about?

wikipedia should accept donations in bitcoins, like the EFF--190.195.54.103 (talk) 15:43, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

The EFF isn't accepting bitcoins now as they've removed the option from their donation page. Technically though, they still have an address you can send bitcoins to.Smallman12q (talk) 21:41, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Lets block TruthMom for being new and trying to figure this all out...

An IP that seems to need to be blocked...

I wish to report |68.9.137.145. This ip has somehow been given last warnings multiple times. For me, whenever someone gets a last warning, the next offense would be the block. Since he has done so much EEEEVIIIIEEELLLLL evil for Wikipedia, why don't we just block him already? LikeLakers2 (talk) 04:12, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

This isn't the place for such a request. Try the Administrator's Noticeboard for Incidents. -- Avanu (talk) 05:55, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Username "Jimbo"

Hi Jimbo. Is it allowed to use the username "Jimbo" in any other Wikipedia? Thanks in advance. --88.251.9.227 (talk) 15:13, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't know. Can you be more specific? I would say that in general, no, that isn't a good username, but if someone is already using it and not doing anything harmful, I'm not too wound up about it. Of course anyone using it to impersonate would be blocked immediately, I am sure.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:08, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Out of curiousity, is your first name James or Jimmy? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:17, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Jimmy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:06, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

File:LoliWikipetan.jpg

Just a notice that an image you deleted has an undeletion discussion occurring at Commons: Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:LoliWikipetan.jpg. (Was closed as "email me if you have questions"). – Adrignola talk 23:46, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

It was great meeting you on Monday

It was great to get to meet you at Georgetown on Monday, and to hear you and Andrea Weckerle speak about civility online. Next time you're in DC, we need to get the regular DC meetup group together and do a dinner meetup with you! SchuminWeb (Talk) 03:53, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Yay!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:05, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

New Export formats

Exuse me for my bad english. I am a User from it.wiki, and I own an eBook reader. I do often download some wiki pages to read them offline, but it seems to me that .pdf download is not that useful. Will it be possible to download wiki pages in .epub extention? 87.8.127.128 (talk) 14:58, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I do not know. Perhaps someone who reads this will know, or you can ask the Wikimedia Foundation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:09, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Conference in Turkey

I heard that you will come to Turkey for a conference at 5 October. Do you think any meeting with Turkish Wikipedia members? Have a great day. --Duke ϡ»» ileti ^^ 23:29, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I would love to do that if there is time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:44, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Admin Abuser Barek

A wikipedia administrator named Barek(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Barek) kept banning me from wikipedia without warning or reason. I changed the the page armour to american english and it got reverted. I changed it once more and received a warning for doing so. I stopped immediately after, but still got banned for a day with a warning on my page. I blanked my page after the ban as the warning was redundant. Barek reverted the edits so I blanked the page once more. Then he proceeded to ban me again without a single warning. I've been banned 3 times by him so far and every time without a warning or reason. WP:BLANKING clearly states it's only against the rules to delete sanctions that are in affect. I just don't want to continue using a website with poor administrators. I hope something can be done about this. Thanks --70.186.166.251 (talk) 09:25, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

You forgot to mention your block evasion and IP hopping. Whoops. I notified Barek of this discussion for you. --64.85.214.184 (talk) 07:54, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Wrong. I didn't mention it because you're wrong. This is exactly what I'm talking about right here. My complaint will remain here until I get a real administrator to deal with it. --70.186.166.251 (talk) 09:25, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

IP took it to WP:ANI. If the IP keeps removing talk page comments and the ISP template they will be blocked again. Hopefully they will stop now. It's pretty clear that a page with the title 'Armour' should use British English, if the IP wants to change this they need to use the talk page to change the title. Dougweller (talk) 09:29, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Sigh... it doesn't matter anymore. I'm just going to change my IP again. This is the last you'll hear from me on this IP. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.186.166.251 (talk) 09:35, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
"You forgot to mention your block evasion and IP hopping." "I didn't mention it because you're wrong...I'm just going to change my IP again". Thanks for playing. DMacks (talk) 09:39, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Dear IP number,

I know how you can stop being blocked. Stop doing what you are doing. Get an account, log in, and post reasoned discussion to the talk page of the article explaining why you think the page should be rewritten in American English. I don't think you will get very far, though, as the page is obviously fine in British English.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:46, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

^-- Yeah, what he said! (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:56, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
What he said, and I would add this reference - IP-number not only changed the spelling, but removed the alternative AND the link! Flatterworld (talk) 16:10, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Comment: If you look at the edit history on Armour (edit | edit beta | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch, there were two IP addresses and a named account that were all either the same person or coordinating their disruption together. The other IP even stated on my talk page "About that warning ... It's okay, I'll just change my IP address. :)" The IP that brought the notice to this page as well as the named account were also actively removing the shared-IP tags and warnings from the other IP's talk page, indicating a clear knowledge of that account. There's no question that at the very least this is a case of meatpuppetry, although there's also evidence of possible sockpuppetry and block evasion. No need for an SPI here, as the WP:QUACK test is more than sufficient in this case. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:39, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Point made to Trevmar

This is great advice to nearly anyone. Coy answers are a frustration of many people who try to engage in a socratic dialogue. Any chance you've written it up somewhere official or have an essay tucked away in the bowels of the project? WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 11:02, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

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Trevmar (talk) 15:39, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

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Trevmar (talk) 08:09, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello Jimmy Wales

I need help,

I have been searching for any one to help me. Can anyone get close to any climate organisation e.g NASA or others to get climate information on Nigeria containing average rainfall for all nigerian regions and use isohyets or contour lines to contruct the rainfall information of Nigeria for the Geography of Nigeria article and arrange them on the map in the format provided below.

 mm=Millimeters
     
0 mm   - 500mm
500mm  - 750mm
750mm  - 1000mm
1000mm - 1250mm
1250mm - 1500mm
1500mm - 1850mm
1850mm - 2000mm
2000mm - 2500mm
2500mm - 3000mm
3000mm - 3500mm
3500mm - 4000mm
above 4000mm.
thanks Netknowle message me!  04:49, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Santorum (neologism)

I'm posting here in hopes of attracting more discussion.Should Santorum (neologism) have an image of the spreading santorum website? For those interested, see Talk:Santorum_(neologism)#Please_re-add_the_Website_image.Smallman12q (talk) 23:24, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I would say that as long as the article continues to pretend that this is a genuine neologism, the website should be excluded. After all, the article is allegedly about a word. On the other hand, if the article is moved and rewritten so that it is made clear that this is a googlebomb attack, then showing the website could begin to make some sense, as it illustrates how vicious the attack is and therefore helps the reader to understand the situation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:43, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
True, the crude image is more relevant to the political activism than to the underlying subject. But the distinction between a "genuine" neologism (whatever that means) and a fake one is beside the point. Somebody promoted this, it may or may not have gained significance beyond its promotion, and we're left with the question of how to cover it all. The significance goes far beyond the attempt search engine optimization, and to denigrate it as such misses the point. - Wikidemon (talk) 10:01, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Dan Savage is responsible for the It Gets Better Project, aimed at gay kids who are bullied, including in cyberspace, by those who think they're wrong/different/whatever. That project got a lot of deserved support. Now Savage is bragging about the success of his efforts to cyber-bully Rick Santorum because he's wrong/different/whatever. Hello? Bullying is wrong. Period. If you don't agree with Santorum's views, and many (I would hope most) of us do not, surely there is a better, more rational, more adult, more respectful way to point out that he's wrong. At Wikipedia we're expected to Assume Good Faith and not resort to nasty attacks. So why should we be party to an activity seeking to glorify the opposite through cheap and sleazy SEO tricks? The category the article belongs to is [[Category:Cyber-bullying]], and the article name should reflect that. In that sense, I agree with Jimbo. I would also suggest the article do a 'compare and contrast' of the two Savage projects. Flatterworld (talk) 15:40, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
While I heartily agree with all of that, I think it gets into original research/synthesis territory, unless there are sources out there that have analysed Savage's agenda in the context of bullying. Tarc (talk) 15:46, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I suggest you (and everyone else) read Dan Savage's own 24 September 2009 column, third section. It's not referenced in the Wikipedia 'neoologism' article, but imo it certainly makes a compelling case for showing Savage's determination to continue and increase the cyber-bullying in connection with the 2012 campaign. And back in 2009! (I just found the article through googling - I was trying to find Savage's more recent statement that if his website didn't stay at the top of Google results, he/they would have to Googlebomb it again.) Following is a clip, bolding mine: Flatterworld (talk) 15:58, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
So I'm looking for a few folks who want to torment Rick Santorum by following every twist and turn of his sure-to-be-disastrous run for the White House on SpreadingSantorum.com. (I may dip in every once in a while and post myself.) It would be labor of love—read: a nonpaying gig—but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you're driving Rick Santorum and his supporters absolutely batshit (batshittier?).
I think by 'genuine' neologism, Jimbo means one that comes into use by people without being pushed/promoted onto them. Truthiness was a clever word, and it got out there without Colbert having to start a campaign for it. 'Viral', 'tweet', 'Google', 'email', 'workaholic', etc. Clever neologisms help us describe things when there is a gap missing in our ability to communicate a concept. We hardly had a pressing society-wide need to describe what Dan Savage originally pushed. The funny thing is "shorthand for social conservative/-ism" is a sense used more (with the double-entendre of it meaning shit also). So out of a forced neologism comes a real neologism. Interesting thing language is. -- Avanu (talk) 15:48, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I won't have time to work on this for a few days, but I'm hopeful that we can find a different name and focus for the article soon. There seems to be little argument that this is actually a neologism (except in a very highly attenuated sense) and that it's actually notable as an attack, not as a new word. The article will make more sense if it focuses on the event. I think this discussion should be entirely separate from deletion debates or debates about whether or not the content in the Cirt-enhanced form is excessive - those are totally separate questions that should be addressed in the context of "what is this article really about?"
The principles at work here are well-known from our extensive work on WP:BLP1E and WP:COATRACK cases. We rename BLP1E's for (at least) two reasons: one, because it makes clearer what is actually notable (the event, not the person), and two, out of an appropriate concern for human dignity. We do various things with WP:COATRACK articles because we don't want to have an article that purports to be about one thing, in order to fulfill some other purpose.
What might be hard is to come up with a new name with consensus, but a good faith discussion ought to work well enough, and blind resistance to it might make much more clear to those on the sidelines that continuing as we are is allowing a platform to continue the attack.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:55, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Interestingly, someone pointed out that Dan Savage has an anti-bullying campaign titled "It gets better", where he advocates against bullying. Although he and Rick Santorum don't agree politically, it seems like Savage doesn't mind being a cyber-bully if it furthers his cause. I doubt that redefining a person who happens to be gay in defamatory language would be well received by Dan Savage, so I would hope that if he truly believes that bullying is wrong, he might change his tactics and be an example in this way as well. Too many people in politics are hypocrites already. -- Avanu (talk) 22:31, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually, do you have any view on the merits of the ongoing request for arbitration? --JN466 23:27, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Trending towards a merge. Hello, just some random Wikipedian who wandered in looking for something else on Mr. Wales' talk page. Observations: I recall the not inconsequential news coverage of this. The event, its coverage, and its significance, can be documented abundantly. However, as good as the article's writing appears, this is essentially a rehash of the Santorum controversy regarding homosexuality. Take that away, and as Mr. Wales suggests, you're left with a coatrack. I recall something Jimbo said years back: "Wikipedia is not here to make people sad." I think treating this particular "neologism," which is an attack term covered in an article that mainly covers a wider controversy, as an independent topic - and one that only crops up when the former Senator is in the news, and then only peripherally - is the result of a tendency to look to the media sources for guidance, in place of better judgement about the balance of coverage for the encyclopedia. Of course, the media also regularly declined to get into certain specifics that the article will for the sake of completeness, in an instance following its own rules for civility in discourse. I perceive the editorial decisions that allowed some to even broach the topic would have not been agreed upon in many newsrooms; as the questions would have been similar to ours: Does Mr. Savage get to piggyback his cause onto the media and the former Senator's name by mere dint of responding to a certain circumstance and with special disregard for civil norms? Does the former Senator get a pass from being taken to account by a member of the specific interested group that his words have impacted? I would be in favor of a stance for Wikipedia which also comes down in favor of civility in discourse, but the first step is to separate the overall Wikipedia strategy from those sources' handling of it (though it's instructive) and the circumstances, i.e. Savage's anti-bullying campaigns, original criticisms, etc. which only elevate this term's visibility for little value to the reader. I think most, if not all, of the comprehensive coverage from the article in question could go into the aforementioned controversy article, while the main Santorum article may perhaps be tweaked slightly, but I think is essentially correct. The controversy article, as well as the former Senator's Wikipedia article, could certainly make allusions to the (ma)lingering tenacity of this term, but only the controversy article really needs to define the term. Edwin Herdman (talk) 06:40, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I think one problem is that BLP1E only applies to exactly what it says: people notable for one event. Likewise, "avoid victimization" only applies to people notable for one event. The principles behind BLP1E may apply, but the letter doesn't, and the letter is very important in getting people to follow Wikipedia policy. Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:04, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

We have other articles that promote or describe ongoing cyberbullying projects. ED is one example and some might argue the WR is another. If there's a consensus that supports a new approach to covering cyberbullying topics on Wikipedia I'd support it.   Will Beback  talk  00:20, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

I think it's really unfair to dismiss Savage as a "cyberbully". Bear in mind that Santorum just finished expressing his regrets for a law which, if constitutional, would have resumed putting people like Savage in prison for long periods. Then caps it off by expressing his flippant opposition to gay marriage. Now if a politician had said, say, that the end of slavery was a bad idea, or proposed that Jews shouldn't be allowed to marry, can you imagine what the response would have been? Dan Savage has the right to stand up for his people and to push back against the IRL bullies, and we should not be dismissing him or prohibiting coverage of his opinions. Wnt (talk) 18:08, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't see where anyone is suggesting to dismiss Savage entirely as a cyberbully. I see people suggesting that we don't consider this "word" an encyclopedic topic as a word. The situation is notable and deserves to be covered...but dressing it up as anything other than a deliberate campaign to attack a person with ideas (as silly as many may believe them to be) other than their own just seems odd to me. If someone said that ending slavery was a bad idea, I'd expect to see it covered here. If someone said that Jews shouldn't marry, I'd expect it to be covered here. He made controversial statements that are worth documenting. I don't see anyone who has disagreed with the idea of making his statements and opinions known. --OnoremDil 18:24, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo, you're in a unique position to address two things that have come up in this whole debate; would you consider making a statement on them?

  1. One argument made for altering the title or content of the article, or for having or not having links, is the meme that these things affect our Google PageRank and therefore allow SEO manipulation of the topic. First, to the extent that anyone outside of Google can tell us these things, could you ask the Wikipedia web wizards if this is even a reasonable argument, or does Wikipedia use methods to prevent linkspam, etc. from affecting our rank? That is, is the SEO argument moot on technical grounds? If it isn't, how do we differentiate "SEO tactics" from normal article promotion in a way that a newbie can know to do the right thing?
  2. I know issues like this will have partisanship, but it seems like there's a persistent subset of editors who are compelled to take an "us vs. them" mentality—"if you don't agree with me, you must be One Of Them". It's hard to build consensus when one is accused of being a shill, a conspiracist, or just plain too stupid to be allowed to edit. How can the community address this effectively, and keep it from turning a merely contentious debate into a perilous one?

// ⌘macwhiz (talk) 03:23, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

re: ...

... your mention of the Serenity Prayer. I've also found some calming waters in Desiderata. Cheers and best Jimbo. — Ched :  ?  20:03, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

I also like Serenity Now!. ;-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:10, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
There's no place I can be... Since I found Serenity ;-) The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 22:47, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Then there's always the Deteriorata. Tarc (talk) 21:12, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I prefer "It could always be worse." Especially if black holes get involved. Flatterworld (talk) 21:28, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Mail

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--Truth Mom 04:59, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

plagiarism and fringe science in a biography

Since I've brought this up elsewhere outwith Wikipedia it seems only fair to give the people who watch this talk page a nudge. This article has largely been built by plagiarism. Roughly half of the prose as it stands right now is the result of plagiarism. If you go back past the copyediting, you can see where people have simply wholesale copied sensationalist news articles directly into the article — headlines, subheads, datelines, bylines, "click here for an RSS feed" hyperlinks, and all. Unfortunately, there have been a succession of people who thought that the proper subsequent course of action is to tidy up other people's plagiarism and copyright violation, rather than to remove it. They've added weasel wording and turned outright pastes into quotes. So this article exemplifies two problems: One group of people who cannot themselves write thinking that plagiarizing others is an acceptable substitute contribution; and another group of people thinking that tidying plagiarism and copyright violation is the right way to deal with it.

A third problem exemplified by this article is that the plagiarism only extended to the first few paragraphs of each news article, rather than the entire articles. This particular type of uncritical science news journalism being what it is, this meant that only the attention-grabbing and highly speculative fringe views from the initial paragraphs actually made it into the article. In Ovidiu Sandru's actual article, the mainstream view that this is not in fact a perpetual motion machine is buried in paragraph 10, which wasn't copied and pasted into Wikipedia. So as a consequence of both a plagiarize-tidy-plagiarize-tidy cycle and the plagiarists only grabbing parts of what they are plagiarizing, the article is biased towards sensation and speculation, full of weasel wording, and low on the boring old facts of the matter. I hope that the people reading this take this tripe to task.

Jonathan de Boyne Pollard (talk) 09:49, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

commercial advertising copy

While I am here, I should let you know that the Wikipedia article on Auslogics BoostSpeed has been a word-for-word copy of the company's own advertising blurb, which is "© 2008-2011 Auslogics Software Pty Ltd.", since April 2011. It is ironic that this commercial advertising was pasted into Wikipedia with the claim that it stopped the article looking like an advertisement. See Special:Prefixindex/User:Ashleyjonesme/ and all of the watermarked non-free images that are on the Wikimedia Commons, again copied directly from the company product advertisement, as well.

Jonathan de Boyne Pollard (talk) 11:40, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I have deleted the copyright violations from the article (I have restored older versions, without the copyright violation). I have also deleted seven other articles by the same editor, about products from the same company, with the same problems in the articles (and the user space copies). I have left an explanation with the user. Fram (talk) 12:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

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--Truth Mom 14:08, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

¿cuantas visitas

hay por día en esta página de usuario?

La isla de lo mono 2 (talk) 14:27, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Se puede ver http://stats.grok.se/en/latest/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales.
Wavelength (talk) 15:17, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
A la cumbre de esta página hay una pestaña (o lengüeta) nombrada "history". Se un lector clica en la pestaña, puede ver la historia de las versiones de la página. Entonces, se clica en la pestaña "Page view statistics" (también a la cumbre de la página), puede ver los números de visitas durante los días más recientes.
Por ejemplo, el artículo Summer tiene un historial a http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Summer&action=history y estadísticas de visitas a http://stats.grok.se/en/latest/Summer. (For example, the article "Summer" has a history at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Summer&action=history y estadísticas de visitas a and statistics of page views at http://stats.grok.se/en/latest/Summer.) También, el artículo español Verano es:Verano tiene una pestaña "Ver historial" para http://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Verano&action=history y el "Número de visitas" a http://stats.grok.se/es/201106/Verano. (Also, the Spanish article "Verano" has a tab "Ver historial" for http://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Verano&action=history and the "Number of visits" at http://stats.grok.se/es/201106/Verano.)
Wavelength (talk) 16:29, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Estoy corrigiendo este mensaje (16:29) en dos lugares.
Wavelength (talk) 19:58, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Si un artículo tiene versiones en otras lenguas, los enlaces para visitar esas versiones están colocados en una columna a la izquierda de la página.
Wavelength (talk) 16:38, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Estoy cambiando colocadas a colocados.
Wavelength (talk) 17:00, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Mail III

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Request for comment

I seek your Solomon-like sagacity per a Request for Comment here: Talk:Camel toe#Requested move. I realize the Wikipedia is not censored, nonetheless, sometimes topics that are particularly slangy concerning sexual topics are covered when they probably should not be, at least in their present form. For example, at the recent AfD for the article "Moose knuckle"--having to do with "Weinergate"-like sexting poses--the community wisely !voted to Delete. However, in the more ancient AfD for, well, "Camel toe", the community !voted to Keep. Mr. Wales, would you be likely to hold that a version under the catch-all rubrics of either, say, "Visible outline of genitals through clothing" or "Visible vulva through clothing" might be more appropriately encyclopedic in tone (if not in its parameters)...according to wp:DICTIONARY: which guideline's lede begins with the bolded sentence, "Wikipedia is not a dictionary or a slang, jargon or usage guide"? or would an even more innocuous article under, say, "Crotch (fashion)" be the most appropriate? or would the entire topic be best left uncovered on Wikipedia at all?--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 07:27, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

I make no claims to Solomon-like sagacity, but if I have any wisdom at all, I feel guided here by Serenity Prayer. I think there are issues of credibility and responsibility at stake here, but they are minor compared to what I regard as the train wreck of Santorum (neologism).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:00, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes...the "wisdom to know the difference" part of Niebuhr's formulation.

Since we're talkin' 'bout poetry though, here's a bit of verse about the subject directly at hand:

Let not thy privy members be
  layd open to be view'd,
It is most shameful and abhord
  detestable and rude.

  —RICHARD WESTE, The Booke of Demeanor and
the Allowance and Disallowance of Certaine
Misdemeanors in Companie
(c. 1619)

Anyway, thanks so much for your reply, boss!
  –––  –––  –––
Hey, speaking of "credibility and responsibility," though: It is "sourceable"* to term men in bicycle shorts--such as, for example, these professional (racing-)cyclists--as "sporting" so-called camel toe; but, wouldn't ya agree that an encyclopedia's doing so would constitute a fairly NON-NEUTRAL way to describe the dress characteristic, say, of the men who work as bicycle messengerts in Manhattan? Thus, It may be optimal to avoid a narrow (in scope and well as in -mindedness) subject title when indeed a broader would work as well yet also effortlessly accomodate material that is closely related but not identical to stuff that would fit the more-narrowly defined subject at hand (or, I suppose, is it sometimes the other way around that's optimal, for idiosyncratic reasons, on occasion; What do you think?

Not to cite wp:OTHERSTUFF but, fwiw and for example: there's one catch-all article for Bikini, male- or female-worn; as there is for (gender - non-specific) Waxing. Yet the compound term Bikini waxing forms one part of a pair of articles sorta having to do with this topic, with the women-specific one being so-named due to some version of the the wp:COMMON NAME argument--and the one about men being named by the less-common coinage or generic description Male genital waxing. This type of needless division of article subjects seems less than encyclopedically optimal.
_________
*For the exact phrase "male camel toe" (LINK), I get 8 Google "archive news" hits, 0 Google (current) "news" hits, 7 Google "books" hits, 5 Google "scholar" hits.

--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 16:49, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

I have strongly supported keeping santorum (sexual slang), but I agree that camel toe looks like it ought to be able to fit in Wiktionary without loss. Provided the two images are kept, and the citations given are copied as attestations, and an interwiki link remains as a redirect, there should be little loss in placing it there. There's also no need to wait until another AfD is started to upgrade the current wikt:cameltoe to include all this information. However, I think it should be clear that if Wiktionary rejects very much of this material, then "not a dictionary" is not a viable reason for deletion. I hope that the AfD on "moose knuckle" wasn't enacted to make a point or as political tactical maneuvering. Wnt (talk) 18:18, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Incidentally, I tried my own advice just now on the wiktionary article above; it's not easy to move things (no cite template on Wiktionary!) and I didn't fit everything in. Even so I probably broke half a dozen policies over there I don't know about. ;) Wnt (talk) 18:52, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, the santorum issue seems to have run into the problem common with law-based non-dictatorships where rules can't mimick good judgment on all issues. That's if we shouldn't be giving it so much coverage. But if Wikipedia should not give this much coverage to the subject it would need to change its rules in a way I can't imagine being universally appropriate. Or else you'd have to step in and say this is a special case. So in some sense at least it's a train wreck, but under WP rules I'm not sure how things are actually going wrong. BECritical__Talk 18:48, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
This is just a first announcement for the primary - the election is over a year away! Unless people can agree to cover all the primary sources impartially and not decide what goes in and out based on personal sentiments, ArbCom is going to need a whole lot of coffee. Wnt (talk) 18:58, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
LOL. Yeah. Granted there are BLP issues, BLP doesn't mean we can't write as much on an issue as the sources allow. It just covers how we write about it. If WP is going to change that, it would seem like a basic change to the system. The burden of proof, so to speak, is on those saying there is some violation of the rules on santorum or that we need to change the rules. Let's see a good logical case of why we shouldn't give detailed coverage to the santorum campaign that doesn't amount to IDONTLIKEIT, or else a proposal of how the ground rules need to change. BECritical__Talk 19:25, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Wnt and Becritical, I think you are both missing the point. This has nothing to do with IDONTLIKEIT and everything to do with upholding our values of quality and neutrality. We are currently allowing Wikipedia to be part of a highly partisan campaign, and our article is laughably non-neutral. We pretend that this is an article about a neologism, to cover the fact that it is actually an article about an event - a political hatchet job. We should cover the real facts of reality, not those that some people (who hate Santorum) want to highlight. Neutrality isn't easy, but it is our job.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:55, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Well yes, that's correct and exactly what a lot of people have been saying: it's about the campaign. And it probably has NPOV problems. So a rename and a rewrite is what we need to do. But where is the big deal in that? We deal with that kind of thing every day. What we have here, though, is people wanting to effectively delete the article (Slimvirgin's RfC), a request for arbitration, and mass hysteria. The RfC was recently closed and the admin noted that there was a lot of support for a rename. So in spite of the hysteria the system is working as it is. The issue then becomes whether our article is being used as part of a campaign. Is it? Well, yes it is, since it gives notability to the issue merely by having an article. Is it being linked or otherwise promoted on WP in a way which is a problem under our rules? That's something we need to deal with I guess. But the extremes and the hysteria are not warranted. Wikipedia gives notability to whatever it covers, but as long as we adhere to our rules, that shouldn't be our consideration. So basically, it might help if you lent your weight to the side of moderation here, and giving the system time to do its work. We're working on a rename now, and next will be rewriting it in whatever way necessary. BECritical__Talk 22:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
The big deal is the length of time this is being dragged out. How many years are required, exactly? Until it no longer mattters, perhaps? (And it's certainly not 'extreme' or 'hysterical' to insist that you include all the names being discussed, not just your personal choices.) Flatterworld (talk) 15:32, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
I really don't think it's wrong to say it's a neologism. The sources define it that way. I remember using the word myself sometime around 2004 during an incident involving a vacuum pump that had sucked in too much liquid from a gel dryer and was oozing oil out the air filter. It makes up some significant percentage of 8 million estimated Google hits, as opposed to 26,000 estimated for "porphyrogene", which is definitely a word. Apart from a recent effort to make it sound like it was a Google-based campaign from the beginning, I don't see any systematic non-neutrality in the article - I don't see the article presenting the word as anything other than the result of a political campaign, and it makes some effort to present Santorum's side. It may be that deeper digging would pull out better criticism and rebuttals, but unfortunately, too many people have been trying to reduce the article to a stub or less rather than trying to spot deficiencies and add useful sources. Wnt (talk) 17:48, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
I think most of us are aware that there's a determined effort to describe this as a neologism, campaign, controversy or problem - anything but what it is, a premeditated attack, with malice aforethought, using cyberbullying as the weapon. As for your Google dissembling, it WAS an internet-based campaign from the beginning. That's the cogent point. (It might be useful if those participating in this discussion read ALL of Savage's columns about the subject.) Flatterworld (talk) 18:44, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
If you're going to go that route, then Dan Savage's premeditated cyberbullying attack in response to Rick Santorum's unprovoked attacked on gay America. BECritical__Talk 02:39, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
"Sounds to me like someone missed his nap today." Flatterworld (talk) 16:27, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
LOL why, I just took you at your word and composed a title which did what you said. BECritical__Talk 17:40, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

{outdent}: re: "It might be useful if those participating in this discussion read ALL of Savage's columns about the subject:. Thank you for the link; and the kind and generous offer. However, after reading just one or two, I must respectfully decline the offer. I can think of at least 100 things I'd much more enjoy reading - and that's just here on Wikipedia. :) — Ched :  ?  21:17, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Your comments at Talk:Rob Todd

Jimbo, last week you left a note at Talk:Rob Todd with your misgivings about some edits I made to Rob Todd. I understand your concerns; I had similar ones when I edited the article. I added a response explaining my reasoning. I know you're incredibly busy and I'm sure the santorum thing isn't helping. When you have the time, I'd really appreciate it if you could have a look. I'd value your opinion on my train of thought. // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 16:03, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Your thoughtfulness of response was and is much appreciated. I am mostly persuaded that we should cover the issue, pending further thoughts put forward by others. However, I think we need to be very careful about calling this situation an "affair" given that none of the parties involved seems to call it that, and the only evidence that it was an affair is a series of phone calls on a phone bill. Yes, some reliable sources have called it that, but generally, given that these are all local politicians who are not particularly prominent, I think caution and respectfulness is in order.
I certainly think it is wrong to say that he "admitted an affair" and I think it's also wrong to assert unconditionally that "the relationship began before she left Keller." The columnist who wrote the hostile opinion piece, even, doesn't quite come out and say that in the cited source. The other source, with the phone records, does suggest it - possibly even assert it (I am not looking at it right now) but again, in a highly opinionated way that doesn't allow for any other interpretation.
I think that in order for Wikipedia to assert that someone "admitted to an affair" we need to have someone on record saying that. We don't. For all we know from the record, these people struck up an innocent friendship that led to long phone calls and held off on actually dating until after they were both separated. Sneers from a columnist don't constitute evidence.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:55, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I see your point about "affair"; I'll edit the page to change "affair" to "relationship", which is the exact word used in the Press article. (The Chronicle used the word "affair": "In 2000... Rob Todd... admitted to having an affair with...".) I'm having difficulty with the second statement, though. The Chronicle is unequivocal on the question: "What he didn't confess to, but which city cell phone records obtained by the Houston Press disclosed, was that the two had begun their relationship before she left Keller."[14] The Press article "Rob Todd Unredacted" states that the calls started in February and escalated through March and April; it also says that the Kellers didn't separate until early May.[15] While the Press doesn't say that the phone calls started before the Kellers separated in so many words, it does so clearly enough that anyone reading it could do the math and be unable to reach any other conclusion. So, both sources report it, and it does make a difference in the impression one gets about the relationship: 17 phone calls a day to the estranged wife of a colleague is one thing—yeah, eyebrow-raising, but okay, these things happen. 17 calls a day to someone who is still living as the wife of your co-councilman is a much different thing. But, of course, we don't know for sure if the marriage was already known to be a sham at that point. Normally, I'd just punt and say "BLP, leave it out," but because of Todd's previous extreme stance on family values, I feel like WP:WELLKNOWN has to factor into it. So I feel like omitting this entirely would leave something important out, but I'm not sure how to rephrase it. Does anyone have suggestions? // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 20:10, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I think I found a way; see if this works better for you: [16] // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 20:25, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's much better! My point is that all that is in the verifiable record is that there were a lot of phone calls. We don't know if they were having an affair, were romantic on those calls, were commiserating about their failing marriages, etc. We just know they talked on the phone a lot. So now you've written it to not have Wikipedia moving beyond the actual data, letting the reader draw their own conclusions. Thanks!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:22, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
(Sigh) Jimbo, I really hate dragging you into this again, but would you have a look at this diff [17] and see if it improves the article? I'm of the opinion that it's a step back; Off2riorob's opinion differs. Since the sentence in question was my response to your suggestion, I'd value your opinion. // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 14:54, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Basically I removed the disputed press speculation that they were having a sexual relationship previously to having been separated from their spouses - leaving the self admitted affair detail of - In 2000, while separated from his wife Penny, Todd admitted to a relationship with the estranged wife of his fellow councilman Bert Keller.[8][9] - Also please note, my edit was in response to having been watching the to-ing and fro-ing at this article recently and the article was again reported to the BLP noticeboard today - Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Rob Todd - Off2riorob (talk) 15:20, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I will respond on the talk page there, so as not to split the discussion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:54, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Because Mick thinks you should

Because he's blocked - and he thinks you should see it - I draw your attention to today's events here and of course the related ANI discussion. I'm not trying to draw discussion away from ANI, simply he asked that you be advised (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 17:06, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

It looks like an unfortunate situation, really. I think this comment from Mick more or less seals the deal for me, though. I think there comes a time when it is best to walk away with dignity, and to allow people to walk away with dignity. I would recommend this be handled with a minimum of drama.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:13, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Pet Hate ? Superfluous conditionals like the " would" in the previous sentence.--— ⦿⨦⨀Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 02:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Isn't the 'the' in the previous sentence also superfluous? ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Isn't the first 'the' in the previous sentence superfluous? DeCausa (talk) 21:21, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Talk:Naveen Jain

Please look at your edits timestamped: 22:05, 4 June 2011; 21:57, 4 June 2011; 11:59, 5 June 2011; 06:42, 8 June 2011; 06:40, 8 June 2011 In that context, I find your threats against me more than just laughable.

Really Jimbo, I'm shocked by your behavior with this article. How about simply focusing on content?

You dislike my pointing out that some of your behavior appears to be meatpuppetry. Sorry. You have been contacted by at least one editor that was highly disruptive to the article, and you've taken up his pov. I'd expect anyone in such a position to be much more careful, and follow Wikipedia policies and guidelines much more closely.

You dislike my categorizing a group of editors behavior as pov-pushing. Sorry. I believe it is an appropriate discription of the problems that we've had with the article.

You dislike my pointing out when editors are edit-warring, when they make reverts without addressing the concerns in the related discussions. Sorry. Given that the article has had a very long history of edit-warring, and that we have two SPA editors on it that continue with the same edit-warring, I think repeated reminders are necessary.

I can, of course, provide diffs and further clarification. I'd much rather just work on the article. --Ronz (talk) 03:20, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Ronz, you are mistaken. Your behavior on the article has been problematic. What I think you should do is take it off your watchlist and leave it alone completely. Several good editors are now watching the article, so I'm sure that if there are the problems you claim there are, they will be well taken care of without you.
There is a perception, and it is not difficult to see why, that you have been a biased editor of the article who has engaged in problematic behavior to try to be sure that anything positive about the subject is minimized. You have fought against perfectly well-sourced positive information about the man on completely facetious policy grounds, and engaged in attacks others when they disagree with you.
As to the outrageous allegation that I have taken up someone else's POV on the article, that's just another example of your bad behavior here. I have no POV on the article other than NPOV. If you can't see that, then you may want to check in your heart as to whether your bias against the subject of the article makes it hard for you to see things clearly. In the meantime, again, I recommend that you move on from the article for the sake of your own happiness.
In the meantime, I will no longer tolerate you threatening to have people blocked when they aren't doing anything wrong. It's just outrageous.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:07, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry you feel this way. Guess that trying to engage with you is a waste of time. Please stop harassing me. --Ronz (talk) 14:46, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
@Ronz: I know you have done lots of good work reverting nonsense that is added to articles, but I have been following events at Naveen Jain for a few months and I simply cannot understand whatever point you are trying to make there, or here. In particular, the discussion at Talk:Naveen Jain#Description of the charity is baffling. You should take the page off your watchlist. Johnuniq (talk) 09:18, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Hehe. Jimbo, it sounds like you've received a lesson about the life of an inclusionist - even giving way to our nasty habit of thinking of people as "vandals" simply because they make up bogus reasons to take out perfectly valid content. Anyway, your intervention on behalf of the Forces of Light is most welcome. ;) Wnt (talk) 19:38, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

the banned user named jimbo whales

i was randomly searching for odd user names in the search bar out of boredom and i came across a user named "jimbo whales" and i was wondering if i could see the deleted userpage and talk page of this user if you have access to those. i know it was a usernameblock, but the name kinda cracked me up when i saw that someone was trying to impersonate your username. i wont try to put it back up, promise. --Thebestofall007 (talk) 19:52, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

User:Georgewilliamherbert/Jimbo Whale? I think you'd do better helping out the encyclopedia than randomly searching odd usernames, but there we go. Pedro :  Chat  20:01, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

im just curious. i've been on here for about three years contributing. we all get bored sometimes (if you are only human).--Thebestofall007 (talk) 20:51, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

I can see that - curiosity is kind of the driving force that creates the need for enyclopedia after all :) Pedro :  Chat  20:53, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Concise version of wikipedia

Quite a few people I know are impressed with wikipedia as a resource but find most of its articles too time consuming to read and often find it difficult to plough through what are often very long tedious articles to extract the basic facts. I'd estimate that a high percentage of wikipedia users do not have the time to read the entire articles and are just looking for a typical old book encyclopedia summary with the basic facts and most important points. I know that the article introductions should effectively summarize an article but the majority of them do not. A lot of people use wikipedia for quick fact checking and oftne have to plough through articles to get what they are looking for. I wondered what people would think of a concise version of wikipedia in which the entries are each checked and cut down to a word minimum and assessed and then released as set article summaries which can't be edited and structured like a traditional book encyclopedia. That way the maintenance job may not be that big, even if the initial summary writing might be. Perhaps a concise wikipedia version with short article summary like a traditional book encyclopedia would be very useful to many people?♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:20, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I have always thought it would be sort of fun to have a free encyclopedia where every entry is forcibly (by the software) limited to 500 words, or something similar. Maybe limited to the length of a twitter message, although that's a bit extreme. I don't think this is right for Wikipedia, but it's a fun idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
We also have WP:LEAD, which suggests we introduce and summarize the key points of an article. Maybe we could make a WikiProject Leads that just goes around and makes sure there is such an accessible synopsis at the head of each article. Ocaasi t | c 20:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Yeah I was thinking of short, snappy articles you get in the old book encyclopedias e.g

Aalborg, Danish port, 32km/20 mi inland from the Kattegat, on the south shore of the Limfjord. One of the oldest towns in Denmark, it has a castle and a fine Budolfi church. Population 197,426 (2010).

Aalto, Alvar (1898-1976), Finnish architect and designer. One of Finland's first modernists, he .....

etc. Yeah say a word limit of 500 words or something, preferably even less. Its just in general browsing I thinking its a wonderful way to learn generally by being presented with the most important point without have to read the waffle and lack of focus many wikipedia articles suffer from. If not wikipedia, then I think a separate Concise wikipedia would be a great idea. It would just be nice to read an even encyclopedia at times as you'd expect in a book or something and have every article in place, even if a short summary. Then each entry could be linked to the full wikipedia article.. I'd love to have a web encyclopedia which cuts the crap and every article is strongly focused and concise, even if short. I think it was especially be useful for kids reading wikipedia who find it hard to plough through big articles but just want to be presented with the basics. I know we have Simple English and WP:LEAD but the vast majority of articles do not provide an effective summary. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:47, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Qwiki seems to have met audience need for brief information generated in large parts from WP. Let's not cleave off another project. Pedro :  Chat  20:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Ah that's ultra modern though, I'm looking for a traditional set type summary type encyclopedia... ALmost like wikitionary but an encyclopedia version..♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:55, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Surely our leads can and should do this, as mentioned. Pop-ups serve as a mini-entry, and http://www.litesum.com and http://www.lexisum.com/ serve up leads too. http://www.wikisummarizer.com/ does something a bit different but maybe also useful for what you want? Fences&Windows 21:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Really the LEAD of every article should provide exactly the summary I'm looking for. The problem is that the LEAD is ignored in many articles and doesn't effectively summarize the article...♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:30, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

For FAs, the "summary" that appears on the front page for them would do the trick nicely. Looie496 (talk) 00:10, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Proposal: Suppose, when we edit an article, a status toggle appears alongside each paragraph which allows the editor to mark selected paragraphs as "extensions". The article itself, when displayed, would have a similar toggle at the top which allows the reader to toggle between a simple version and the expanded version. The expanded version would include all the paragraphs marked as "extensions", and would look much like the articles we have now. The simple or condensed version would exclude extensions and also remove the inline citations. --Epipelagic (talk) 01:19, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

A request

Hi Jimbo, I'd ask that you kindly request or apply semi-protection to your user page, vandalism never ceases and it's a waste of time for users to revert unconstructive IP edits, this time could be spent on edits to the main body of content. While I'm sure we all appreciate the sentiment of you allowing everyone to edit the page to be one of the foremost examples of the nature of the encyclopedia, the amount of vandalism your user page gets has now gone beyond a joke. Please reconsider. —James (TalkContribs)6:16pm 08:16, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the page needs semi-protection. I think it is a helpful gesture for the founder to encourage people to use the open editing format on his user page. In any event vandalism actually appears to be fairly infrequent, with the last IP vandalism on the 15th. I don't think an inordinate amount of time is being wasted. --Daniel 15:30, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Over 80% of the edits to his user page are vandalism and the issue is ongoing. —James (TalkContribs)12:40pm 02:40, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Is that 80% number accurate? If so, then here's what I request - I request that normal standards be applied to my user page. Of course what is normal involves a range, so I would prefer that we still lean towards the page being unprotected even if it is beyond the range of vandalism that many people would tolerate. But if it really is a serious problem, then I won't disagree with not wasting people's time.
This would be a perfect application of Pending Changes. Since we aren't using that at the present time, I'm taking a stance that leans toward more protection than I would have approved of in the past.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:05, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

If Jimbo doesn't mind the vandalism too much, I'd say this page is a useful honeypot -- any time vandals spend vandalizing this page is not spent vandalizing the encyclopedia, and they can be blocked just as quickly as if they vandalize more important pages. Personally, I greatly prefer it when vandals spend their time adding "KUSMA IS A GAY NAZI WANKER" to my user page than if they incorrectly change a 2 to a 20 in an article about medicine. —Kusma (t·c) 07:53, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Offices Design

Sorry Jimbo, but do you know whose idea was to change the design of the boxes of the officeholders? I ask because the new design is very banal.--46.12.16.226 (talk) 16:37, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Trevor Marshall

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Trevmar (talk) 23:23, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Online civility

Hi Jimbo, I read in the Signpost this week that you talked about civility at Georgetown earlier this month. Maybe you'd be interested in reading this short article (and the related articles) that I saw in the NYT today. Cheers, /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 17:14, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

New Top Level Domains

Might be cool to have .wiki as a new domain considering ICANN is going to let people pay to have customized top level domains. Of course, .sex will be a hot seller I'm sure. -- Avanu (talk) 02:56, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Note: It's wrong to abbreviate Wikipedia as "wiki," in my opinion. But, yes, if the WMF takes control of that, then I really would like it. At least it'll prevent Encyclopedia Dramatica and Wikipedia Review from gaining significance relevant to us :) .Jasper Deng (talk) 03:00, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I read they're charging $185,000 a pop for those names. Can an expense like that be justified? It always amazes me the way that people let the Million Dollar Homepage or Bitcoin make up money out of nothing, but ICANN is the worst of them. If we were to pay that much, why don't we just hire some programmers (and/or solicit volunteer help) to write up a free "name bar" plugin for all the main web browsers with our own list of names as we choose to allocate them (in text; get rid of the stupid 'dots' while we're at it) and then people just type "wikipedia" to go to Wikipedia or "google corp" to go to Google. Wnt (talk) 16:56, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, DNS was not written that way. I personally think that the price may be well worth it. If only 1% of Wikipedia's editors donated an additional $3 or so, it's very affordable.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:00, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting using the DNS model. There are only 4.2 billion possible IPv4 addresses; if we allow an average of 16 bytes of name data per address that's a maximum of 64 GB if the scheme became fully populated. By which point everyone would have many TB of storage handy. In the short term the "name bar" would probably only work for maybe 10,000 popular addresses and some of relevance to us, and would be a quick download. Wnt (talk) 17:04, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Wnt, ICANN says the charge is justified by several reasons: one, to prevent domain squatters from obtaining "iphone.apple" or something like that; two, to pay for the technical aspect of setting up this new system of gTLDs and processing the requests; three, to fund any legal expenses that might arise from a company that didn't get the domain it wanted or is disputing it with some other organization. The application process, I've read, is also especially rigorous to ensure that only parties with a legitimate interest in obtaining a custom domain would be able to get one. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 17:07, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure WMF is among them. Concerning ICANN, yes, the TLDs are expensive, also because they have to be entered into many different name servers (See Root name servers - many of these are mirrored many times throughout the worlds using anycast routing).Jasper Deng (talk) 17:12, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the $185,000 is only a registration fee, and is non-refundable; it costs an estimated $25,000 each year to run that separate domain. I'm not sure what the benefit of a new domain would be. Also, neither ED nor WR have any bearing on the WMF's decisions. And neither one has nearly enough resources to buy their own gTLD. So although it might be cool to have custom domain, I doubt the WMF really considers it a priority at this point. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 17:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Notice that they did not participate in World IPv6 Day.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:19, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
(ec)Please note I suggested a browser plug-in, not the clunky DNS system, which from its introduction I've always seen as unreliable, clunky, prone to spying and censorship. You would download the full list of all sites indexed from the same site where you downloaded the plug-in. (The torrent system would replace the hierarchical name servers) If the WMF would sponsor such a project, the names would not be assigned by "rigorous application processes", but by volunteer curation. When sites moved or there were disputes, you might have your own web page where people trying to reach the site of interest would vote by clicking which one they want. So for example if people thought "encyclopedia dramatica" was sending them the wrong place, they could request a poll; the project would set up a disambiguation page where you the reader click for ohinternet.com or encyclopediadramatica.ch. Now of course such directory work has long been excluded by Wikipedia criteria, and though it should be done I doubt the WMF would really go for sponsoring it; but the point is, if they did it would be a much better and cheaper and more productive use of donated dollars than paying this tribute to ICANN. Wnt (talk) 17:22, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
That's basically just automatic bookmarking.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:34, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
But it would deliver an IP address, bypassing any DNS lookup. So, for example, typing "pokerstars" would get you the company's website, regardless of any "seizure" of the domain name. Even if it were censored by legal force from the current downloaded list, people might still be able to look it up in previous versions they've downloaded. Wnt (talk) 18:29, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Done long ago.... http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/06/13039 -- Avanu (talk) 18:39, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Wow. There really is no idea too obvious to patent. I'm surprised they didn't patent the idea of beginning a domain name with "W" while they were at it. Wnt (talk) 19:03, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
A system already exists for this, actually, WINS, mapping NETBIOS names to IPs; however, its names are limited to 15 characters in length and there can be no spaces.Jasper Deng (talk) 21:58, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Here's a reference.[18] It doesn't sound that generalizable, but maybe someone can use it for a "prior art" argument. But we need to stamp out this software patent nonsense for good and all. Wnt (talk) 16:58, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Microsoft is the biggest opponent of open source you can find in the world, concerning technologies like WINS. Tinyurl and bit.ly have been trying to do something in the spirit of this.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:18, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Senate election in Florida

This edit kind of confused me. The last thing I want to do is hurt or offend anyone, so I've left it alone, but perhaps Jimbo or somebody else could clear it up? Thanks. – hysteria18 (talk) 22:34, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

I think adding Jimmy as a potential is a weak claim sourced to the fact that he didn't say he wouldn't run. The original story looks like a blog to me and is not a WP:RS http://www.redracinghorses.com/diary/224/jimmy-wales-undecided-on-run-for-us-senate - issue was already discussed three months ago - nothing seems to have changed, so at this time it seems Mr Wales is not a potential and unless he asserts he is then its not worthy of inclusion. Off2riorob (talk) 10:50, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't disagree. I was mostly just wondering about the reasoning given in the edit summary, which doesn't invoke WP:RS or seem to have much of a basis in policy at all. – hysteria18 (talk) 12:15, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
As it seems "by the bye" anyways I would just ignore it. Seems like a reverse case of Wikipedia:Deny recognition to me. Off2riorob (talk) 13:13, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Unrelated to Jimbo, is it common to include "potential" candidates in election articles? This seems to be nothing other than forecasting, even if we have reliable sources making the prediction. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:31, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
It does seem to be something users like to report prior to the actual nominations. I saw a similar kind of thing with potentials on the British labour leader election 2010 page. After they didn't run the section was turned into Noteworthy MPs who declined to stand. Off2riorob (talk) 13:47, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh. I guess I will work on List of elections in which Jimmy Wales was not a candidate later this afternoon then. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:30, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of the reason given, the removal was clearly the right thing to do, considering the source is based upon some website that in turn bases its speculations on a random tweet. --Conti| 13:49, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I've also reluctantly decided not to run for the Presidency of Peru.  :-) Yes, I would say the correct answer has been reached here. I wrote a political tweet that attracted some attention from a handful of blogs. Nothing to see, move on.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:56, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Imagine the jokes about a wiki-candidacy. Anyone could edit Jimbo's political brochures, etc. Consensus would decide what he stands for.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:11, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Per WP:NPOV and WP:Due weight, Jimbo could take contrasting stances on various issues (and lets not even mention WP:FRINGE)! LessHeard vanU (talk) 12:55, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

It's idle speculation either way, and I'm not averse to anyone removing it or whatev, especially given the comment above. However, the banned editor who made that particular comment doesn't get to make that call. Have at it ... - Alison 08:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

As Jimmy has commented he is not a "potential" I have removed him from the list, thanks to all here. Off2riorob (talk) 11:02, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Maybe we need an article on this?

There is surprisingly little on the internet about the infrared reflectivity of trousers. -- Avanu (talk) 15:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

? Could you give some indication of what this is referring to? Fram (talk) 15:23, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Tinfoil hat? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 15:43, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
You're right that this important military technology is not well covered on or off Wikipedia. We mention it very briefly in reference to the official military version of CADPAT. I should also mention that a single molecular layer of graphite generally absorbs light, regardless of frequency, by a proportion equal to the fine structure constant, so I think it would darken your trousers as effectively in near infrared as in normal light, though brightening them via thermal imaging (as a blackbody). In a camouflage pattern it might have some use, and by great luck a dead campfire is one of the few things you might have access to in the swamp while surrounded by dogs and helicopters... But to see if I'm right, I would strongly encourage you to ask this question (with a bit more detail on what you're interested in) at WP:Reference desk/Science. Wnt (talk) 17:34, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Comment Critical of Wikipedia

My comment here is critical of the Wikipedia editing environment. GenKnowitall (talk) 22:19, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

A related discussion was held here. Johnuniq (talk) 23:32, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Books using Wikipedia articles

Hello, are books like this [19] legally OK? I hate the thought that several publishers are now using my hard work to make money, especially as the books are expensive. Best wishes, Boleyn (talk) 09:09, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Legally you can do whatever you want with Wikipedia content (including selling it) as long as you attribute it to the source and licence any modifications to the content under the same terms as the original. Hut 8.5 10:04, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I can't believe anyone would actually buy that when a) it's free online and b) it's really expensive. You're not the only one though - search Alphascript publishing and they're all ripoffs of Wikipedia articles with extortionate prices. AD 14:06, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
There are plenty of them on amazon. They don't seem to charge more for FA though! It is the downside of being a "free encyclopedia", but part and parcel of that package.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:18, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Surely though they should not be making money out of it? The CC-BY-SA (the SA part) ought to mean that they should license it in the same way? AD 14:44, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
CC-by-SA means that anyone can take a copy of their book also, attribute it correctly, and sell it for half or quarter of the price (although best to ensure your printing and other costs are covered) and there would not be a thing the first publisher could do about it, per Definition d. - "Distribute" means to make available to the public the original and copies of the Work or Adaptation, as appropriate, through sale or other transfer of ownership (my underlining), of the CAbySA text. The publisher is likely gambling that they will make a profit before copies start undercutting them. LessHeard vanU (talk) 15:36, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I accidentally ordered one of these books, as Amazon had little information on it,and nothing about Wikipedia. I realised in time and cancelled it. Boleyn (talk) 18:56, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Delyth Morgan

Thanks for stepping into this issue - I regret I had lost objectivity in the matter - you chilled the matter. MarkDask 19:11, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

You were absolutely right on the content issues - the article was clearly a cut-and-paste from a press release. I just think we should be very cautious on biographies of making public suggestions (on the page itself, especially) of conflict of interest. The editor in question could be entirely unaffiliated with Baroness Morgan, or could also perhaps be Baroness Morgan or a close associate, but not intentionally doing anything bad, i.e. just not sure how to work in Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:28, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Point well taken - thanks again. MarkDask 20:13, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Wonder if you might want to weigh in...

WP:Village pump (proposals)#Forgiveness day, 7 August this proposal is something I thought you might want to look over, perhaps have suggestions about it, or have some wise insights to share. In addition to that specific proposal I was curious if you or anyone else who watches your page knows if ArbCom or any other "establishment" has thought about instituting a "jubilee"-type forgiveness where a blanket "pardon" would be given to banned users (a jubilee is every seven years depending on religion, for Wikipedia maybe a shorter time like 3 years). The pardon of course could be made conditional with a one-strike-your-out-again policy for those banned. I assume that there must be some who are indef banned who, perhaps with personal growth over the years could become good contributors later in life if unbanned. Probably not practical but maybe at least a discussion we should have in conjunction with the spirit of a discussion on "forgiveness day".Camelbinky (talk) 19:59, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't think this sounds like the right approach. If you're going to allow in banned users, do you really want to unleash them all on one day? I think the admins would be going bananas. What I think we should have is an upper limit to the length of indefinite bans, especially when they're not formal ArbCom bans but just "no admin wanted to unblock". I think that limit should be shorter for people editing under their own personal names. Even if these are 3 years and 1 year, respectively, that would still affect a fair number of people. Wnt (talk) 01:52, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

First Semi-Annual editor survey results

Wondered if you've gotten a chance to look at the top-level results yet [20]. I feel that it's pretty predictable (the typical editor appears to be a youngish, unemployed single male, who spends a lot of time on, and is generally proficient with, his computer. Surprise surprise). I was amused by the results for question 15: somebody's probably pulling our leg there. Anyways, I don't know how much you were involved with making the survey, but it wasn't exactly implemented the most gracefully, as seen at the feedback page. If this survey is continued in the future (and I would like it to be), I would like to see some more support from the English Wikipedia in designing it, and more importantly, publicizing and implementing it. It seems to have been pretty much under the radar here, while this is a good opportunity to get a better idea about who edits, and why they do. Buddy432 (talk) 03:32, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Untitle

Is http://prototype.wikimedia.org/release-en/Main_Page belong to REALLY Wikimedia? Log in page said that this page might unsafe.--铁铁的火大了 (talk) 10:30, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

WP:SEOBOMB

Further to the recent controversy around campaign for "santorum" neologism here on this page, here is a new essay:

Editors are invited to review or improve it, leave comments etc. Cheers, --JN466 15:23, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I did, including a reference to the existing Wikipedia:Search engine optimization. You may want that article to include a reference to your essay at some point. Flatterworld (talk) 15:44, 21 June 2011 (UTC) I no longer have any interest in this or anything else at Wikipedia. Write whatever you like under whatever name you like. I've had it. Flatterworld (talk) 19:10, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Also see Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#New_essay:_WP:BOMB; part of the ongoing discussion there focuses on the effect, if any, of navigation templates and other internal links on Google page rank. --JN466 00:52, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I would like to point out I am the sixth long term, featured content writing editor to be retiring over this completely outrageous article. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 12:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm loathe to say I'm retiring too, because I've said it before then returned. But the way I feel at the moment, Wikipedia is not a good place to be. It's partly because of the article, mostly because of the ArbCom's failure to deal with the administrator who caused the whole mess. That failure has endorsed this as a legitimate way to use Wikipedia, and that shows contempt for the thousands of editors who try not to use it that way. It has not been a proud few weeks for the project. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 16:28, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
This is interesting evidence that POV-pushers are aware of the usefulness of internal navigation templates to push their points of view, a phenomenon I have seen before here on Wikipedia, and that right after an ArbCom case related to the issue. I'm surprised that it has taken the administrators so long to notice this simple trick. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 17:08, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I suggested an impartial way to rein this in, by setting some limit to the size of navigation templates, above which people should use categories instead. The response was to say that templates like {{The Beatles}} are indispensable (note the special indulgence to use show/hide, so people don't see how much linkcruft this adds to an article!):
So I feel as if those opposed to Cirt are saying, it's right to promote the Beatles but it's wrong to promote Dan Savage. And I'm not willing to accept that.
True, Category:The Beatles looks crude and ugly compared to the fancy template, and I understand why people love it. But this is a reason to get the devs working on improving category displays so that they look more appealing, like the template, and are easier to navigate. Fix that and then maybe we could get agreement to limit the template sizes, which would limit SEO to reasonable levels. Wnt (talk) 17:49, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me if this is a stupid suggestion, or if it has been proposed and answered elsewhere, but perhaps there's a way to set all links in templates to nofollow to limit their effect on SEO ranking. —DoRD (talk) 19:04, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I keep reading comments that all Wikipedia links are nofollow anyway. But then again, Google's method of establishing page rank is a secret, and just because they don't follow links with their webcrawler, does that mean they don't count? I don't know.
Also, I don't know whether we really want to abolish all our SEO as a website. If it were effective to apply a tag to the whole Template namespace, would Wikipedia results drop right off Google altogether? It would be nice to reduce CO2 emissions from the servers by 25%, but not like that!
Finally, my motivation isn't just to reduce SEO here; it's that this little bit of text {{The Beatles}} added 78,260 characters to the HTML source code of this page. Somehow navboxes have gained a policy status rivalled only (as in the santorum debate) by BLP. They can hide text, get by without references, include purely tabular directory material, and copy the same content in hundreds of places, avoid allegations of linkspam... it's as if they're just immune to everything. Even though they could readily be replaced either with a list of X-related topics article or by a category. I know prettiness means a lot when writing an encyclopedia, but there should be a limit on how far these things can go. Wnt (talk) 22:12, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
What is well known is that external links on Wikipedia are nofollow. This reduces the incentive for spammers to add a link to their website. But our internal links are "dofollow". You can see them come up in Google if you search for them. One of the leaked arbitration-l mails from 12 days ago put it like this::
"Regardless of the intention of Cirt and co, this case has exposed a gaping security hole in Wikipedia with no obvious easy means of mending. Every day this saga drags on, we're effectively writing a "how to" guide on how to use templates, DYK (which generates buttloads of automatically created internal links) and strategically placed links on external sites to manipulate Wikipedia's relationship with Google to game the PageRank system. Making Criticism of (insert politician/celebrity/rival product) the first hit on Google for a search on said politician/celebrity/rival product's name is a service for which companies would pay a fortune (if you were a sugar producer, how much would having Aspartame controversy be the first Google result for "artificial sweetener" be worth?), and we've now created a join-the-dots guide ..."
If that is an accurate summary, then we urgently need to make our navigation template links, as well as all non-mainspace links in Wikipedia, nofollow, to prevent internal link spamming. --JN466 22:54, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm curious that they said there is "no obvious easy means of mending". Applying some simple logic, perhaps that solution is either not obvious, not easy, or doesn't mend the problem. If we made everything "nofollow", wouldn't that render google unable to give useful page rank results to anything on Wikipedia, basically wiping Wikipedia off the google map? That's a lot of collateral damage. - Wikidemon (talk) 02:37, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Facepalm3.svg Facepalm Look, mate, if we make --
1. Navigation template links
2. Non-mainspace links, i.e. links from talk pages, project pages, etc.
"nofollow", but leave all other blue links within mainspace as "dofollow", then the number of in-bound links to the majority of our 3 million articles that do not carry navigation templates remains unaffected. And nothing we do affects the impact of existing links to our articles from third parties, which is the honest way of earning a page rank. Look at an article like Baby, Baby I Need You. It still comes top in Google if you search for its title. It has no nav template, and less than ten in-bound links from other WP pages: [21], all of which are bona fide links from mainspace articles. So by making nav templates and project pages nofollow, all our articles would be like that one. Mainspace links only, as far as Google is concerned, and zero incentive for editors to suddenly go off and create three new navigation templates, other than genuine usefulness to the reader.--JN466 08:26, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
It sounds as if that would be an effective mediawiki software solution, although I doubt there's an easy way to distinguish between navigation templates and other templates. In fact, it may be a nontrivial coding problem to distinguish between links that arise from templates and links that arise from the body of an article, as my recollection of the code is that the transclusion of templates into WML happens in an earlier pass through the rendering of a page than the translation of wikilinks to XML hyperlinks. Not rocket science, but more than flipping a switch. As that would mend the problem, perhaps they considered that less than obvious or easy. Changing the code is out of the purview of editors, which gets to my point below that this may be a Foundation issue. If we fix that it's still possible to make spam through list articles, "see also" links, and patiently adding regular wikilinks. Those are easy to detect if you're vigilant. I'm wondering if, without a software change, we could just raise the bar for creating and populating templates, or for adding wikilinks to spamworthy topics that are not directly relevant and of due weight to the subject at hand. It's hard to know what google cares about, and that's subject to rapid unnanounced change. - Wikidemon (talk) 13:10, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikidemon, what other templates are there that could be in a mainspace article and include links? Apart from nav templates at the bottom of the page, we sometimes have vertical templates along the right-hand side of the page, but these are really equivalent in function to nav templates. I'm asking because I wonder what legitimate interests would be harmed if we made all template links nofollow. Thoughts? --JN466 15:42, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Citation templates, quotation templates, colour templates. In citation templates, nofollow would actually be beneficial, and quotation templates should not normally contain links anyway as this often amounts to a misquotation. I think links in coloured text are very rare. Hans Adler 16:28, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Hans, citation templates typically contain external links (except where an author or publisher is wikilinked). These external links are nofollow anyway, are they not? --JN466 16:50, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Citation templates often have internal links to articles on authors, publishers, journals and notable books. See e.g. the parameter "author-link" of {{Citation}}. But in my opinion these links distort the Page rank, so it wouldn't be bad to make them nofollow. Hans Adler 17:17, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
IMO this raises a policy issue that the Foundation or management may want to take a look at. Does Wikipedia want to take steps (or can it) to modify how its articles appear in search engine results so that subjects of relatively lower importance don't get unduly elevated? That could be treated as a community content decision as well, but perhaps the way to fix it is a policy directive or behind the scenes change to the mediawiki setup. I'm also of the opinion that we can address this without singling out any particular editor or being concerned whether they've crossed the line (or even where the line is) between enthusiastically adding material about a subject they're interested in, versus doing so to promote an agenda. Most people's agenda here is to increase and improve Wikipedia's coverage of all subjects, but doing so in a disproportionate fashion on minor subjects gives us the Pokemon problem, and now Santorum. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:00, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
SEO at Santorum (neologism) would not have been a problem if the article hadn't been a disgrace. After a great deal of effort on that page, and thanks largely to SlimVirgin and JN466, it is no longer such an embarrassment to the project or so complicit in a political campaign, though it'll need watching. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 21:43, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, assumptions of bad faith and Chicken Little "Wikipedia is a travesty" alamers miss the issue. A lot of people are working hard to build this project. Sometimes the result isn't what everyone would wish, sometimes it is. This is a question of adjusting expectations. - Wikidemon (talk) 05:37, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I think it is you is you who might be missing the point. Articles like that are a total disgrace. That is why this topic appears nowehere in print media or broadcast media. And only "reliable sources" that cover it are partisan quais-news websites (like Huffington Post). If our article, as it existed just a few days ago, was printed in a mainstream publication, like the New York Times, or National Review, it would so damage their reputations it would likely destroy the careers of some people. (Why have the old versions of this article not been redacted?) No matter how you want to twist these things around, it is WRONG to print garbage like this, and the overwhelming majority of mainstream people would agree with that - not because it is censoring something, but because to print it is unethical. For all the policies we have crafted to try and guard against things like this, our chief problem is that when consensus endorses unethical behavior, then it is permitted. To even be associated with an attempt to smear a person at this level can destroy the careers of even the most highly respected figures, even if there were not directly involved (ie rathergate). As someone who occasionally has works published in mainstream publications, just being associated with something like this could destroy any chance I have of getting something published again. It is like a large section of this community just completely does not understand or grasp the level of journalistic malpractice we are participating in here. There is a reason that so many sources call this topic "unfit to print". This is why you are never going to get significant expert and professional support that is desperately needed on this project. For an expert or professional to be associated with such utter garbage is destructive to their career and credentials... I digress. I have received kind words from some editors, and I appreciate them, but so long as this article remains on wikipieda, I articles of this type are permitted by policy, I cannot continue to participate as I have in the past. Once-upon-at-time the common sense editors were the majority around here. I've been editting off an on here since 2003, and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, but common sense has always prevailed in the past. I hate to say it, but some of the worst predication about wikipedia are coming true, and it because this community has been unable to come to grips with some of the structural issues that have been plaguing the community for many years now. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 17:20, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
How is our article - in any form - any more "disgraceful" than [22] or [23] or [24] or [25]? Wikipedia is not a Newspaper of Record known primarily in its "discretion" about not printing anything offensive to its advertisers (however otherwise important it would be to allow voters to make good public policy decisions). If Wikipedia were a newspaper, it might be the sort of free newspaper you find in almost every city that includes a column by Dan Savage. Or it might be like the Huffington Post, or Indymedia, or the Drudge Report, or The Smoking Gun, or any number of modern media outlets which promise, sooner or later, to bulldoze aside the remnants of Old Media. But it would not be that special kind of newspaper which is run by a hierarchy of frightened conformists whose careers hang on not what they can tell the reader but what they leave out. Wnt (talk) 21:42, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Sadly it is that opinion that will prevent wikipedia from becoming viewed as authoritative on anything. The "frightened conformists" are unfortunately the overwhelming majority of academics, experts, and professionals (not to mention our readers). (Of course you will likely deny reality and say thats just my opinion) Furthermore, read the very article you posted above [26] - it is an indictment of wikipedia for publishing this garbage, and describes its existence here as a "flaw in the medium". And the fact that you, or anyone else in the community, would look at the mainstream as "frightened conformists" because they dare follow a common sense code of ethics, demonstrates just how far off the path of reality you have went on his topic. When you look at the original article in the history, its clear drivel. The creators very username demonstrates his improper intentions. (Again, I know you will say I am assuming bad faith) But not only are those early versions of the article are BLP violating falsehoods and are unredacted, that editor is not banned, nor topic banned, but in fact still participating in the discussion on the talk page!! There is no point rehashing this entire argument here. Please don't take this as a personal attack, I have nothing against you. But your position is outrageous. My reason for posting this is to drive home the point that a large swath of editors here refuse to acknowledge this for the highly unethical trash that it was, and to a large degree still is. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 00:41, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
In order to dispute your claim, I need to know what date you think has falsehoods and/or what you think the falsehoods are. All I see, even in very early versions of the article, is the standard story that Dan Savage made up the term and a whole bunch of people commented about it. None of it looks particularly likely to be anything but an honest description of what happened.
As for the Register article, I can't explain it. The authors of that article say the same sorts of things as the Wikipedia article - then criticize Wikipedia for saying it. They jeer at Wikipedia's "haughty commitment to its new-age notion of democracy". Well they can jeer all they want, but Yankee Doodle is an anthem played with pride. Wnt (talk) 07:46, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
To be clear: it was a disgrace because it made the neologism out to be significant, when there is no reliable evidence that it has been taken up by a significant portion of any community. It mentioned a dictionary of slang had discussed the attempt at floating the neologism but failed to say the dictionary had declared the word was not worthy of note and had not included it in its alphabetical listing; i.e., our article misrepresented the only serious secondary source on the neologism's noteworthiness. I could go on, and have elsewhere. Savage's prank, though, is notable and deserves to be covered in this encyclopedia. Such a topic needs to be handled with subtlety and discernment, not blind submission to the will of Dan Savage or oversensitivity to the feelings or career hopes of Rick Santorum. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:43, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, piffle. I remember using the word "santorum" about a lab vacuum pump in 2004. I'm not even a steadfast reader of Savage - I doubt I've read 1% of his columns over the past two decades, but this one was famous. The word is all over the place in lots of reliable sources. Even SlimVirgin's recent chopping spree at the article leaves 15k of stuff that was admitted to be important, and I don't agree with that. It must be hundreds of times more common in usage than real but obscure words like "porphyrogene". Why won't you accept that it can be a genuine neologism without becoming a household word? Wnt (talk) 19:04, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Wnt. We can neither confirm nor disprove your anecdote about usage. Can you please base your argument on something else? I've seen this claim now repeated in almost every venue you've commented on the subject. Where is the evidence of commonality in usage? And by that I mean in the manner you claim yourself to have used it, as a slang word meaning what Savage's campaign wanted it to mean, and not simply stated in reference to this controversy.Griswaldo (talk) 19:12, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Believe it or not, people in the city actually pick up those free newspapers and look through them to see what's happening. And Savage's column runs in just about all of them. And when people read something like that, they remember it. Wnt (talk) 02:03, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
So now we have one personal anecdote and one piece of personal conjecture. People might remember the column and the story surrounding it but that does not in any way mean that they will end up using the word "santorum" in that way. So strike one, strike two ... you want another swing?Griswaldo (talk) 16:56, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
"Santorum" is the wrong kind of word for that kind of thing anyway, so it's never going to take off, no matter how the issue is forced. It's like "Citizendium": it just has the wrong mouthfeel somehow. Mind you, I thought that about Kindle, but they seem to be flying off shelves anyway. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 19:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

climate change dysfunction

Changing account

Jimmy Wales, I am thinking about no longer using my SonnyBobSampson account, because of this trend I am deciding to start on wikis where my account on all of them is "AnyGuy". Another reason is because I have gotten on a rocky start with my old account, as I was used to how on Wikia you were allowed to write any type of information in any way, which is different from Wikipedia's guidelines, where you can't write any information that isn't really relevant or useful. So, are you able to transfer all of my contributions from my previous account to my new one, because on Lylat Wiki from NIWA, the creator Neo was able to transfer my contributions from Arwingpedia of Wikia to my account on Lylat Wiki, because the two sites were merging. If you don't understand what I mean, here is a link. I'll create my new account when I get you're answer. --SonnyBobSampson (talk) 01:42, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

You don't need Jimbo's help to do this. Read WP:RENAME and it will tell you what you need to do. Looie496 (talk) 01:54, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict):You can request a rename for your account here. Jarkeld (talk) 01:55, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Pi for you

PI constant.svg Pi for you
"This is a test. This user is conducting a test of the Emergency WikiLove system. This is only a test." The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 21:07, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
What happens if there is a true emergency? Thelmadatter (talk) 23:40, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Flashmob at Wikimedia HQ telling Jimbo how we all really feel The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 15:13, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

A kitten for you!

Kitten-stare.jpg

A cute furry kitteh for you!!!

Zalgo (talk) 00:23, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Testing this feature

A very beautiful Nectarine Pie.jpg I think I hate it.
Gendralman (talk) 04:10, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Specific_proposals_to_change_the_wording_of_the_policy

I believe this page could attract the attention to the discussion about a proposed change in an important Wikipedia guideline. Thanks for any suggestions. --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 14:46, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I am very strongly opposed to this, as it is a move in the wrong direction. We should be strongly moving away from using excessive diacritics, as they are unhelpful and confusing for English readers. I see people saying "that the public doesn't understand them doesn't matter" - that's 100% wrong. We are here to write for the public, in English. Article titles should be in English and while some deviation from that can be a good thing, it should always be undertaken with caution.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:56, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your opinion. What about the proper names of people who are not English? --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 15:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo has answered your query with a clear and concise response. Asking the same question in a different way will not change his initial answer. The policy as spelled out at Wikipedia:Article titles requires that the article title is to use the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources. This applies to the title of the article – but within the text of the article, pursuant to WP:MOSBIO, the person's legal name should usually appear first in the article. I trust that explains the current Wikipedia policy as it relates to this issue. Dolovis (talk) 15:32, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
You know copying and pasting the exact same statement over and over isn't useful either. His question was a valid question to ask as a follow up. He is asking about people where there aren't English sources, which happens a lot. -DJSasso (talk) 15:39, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Um, have you looked into Britannica or Encarta recently, with this question in mind? The current debate is about proposed page moves such as Julia Görges -> Julia Goerges. There is a wide range of practices concerning diacritics, ranging from the tabloid press and sites that publish sports tables (no diacritics at all), via the quality press (typically diacritics for a small, explicitly listed number of European languages) to academic publishing (all diacritics). Should we really move Gerhard Schröder to Gerhard Schroeder (Britannica), Selma Lagerlöf to Selma Lagerlof (Britannica) and Søren Kierkegaard to Soren Kierkegaard (Britannica)? (Note how ö, ö, ø becomes oe, o, o.) Do we really want to move François Mitterrand to Francois Mitterrand even though façade is the most common spelling of a normal English word of French origin?
So far we have had a de facto consensus that among the many alternative English spellings for foreign names (in Latin-based alphabets) we almost always use the original one, as it is the most 'correct' one and the one with the most prestige. Recently a small number of people have started to fight vehemently against this based on the theory that one can translate names into English simply by dropping diacritics. These disputes are often about the kind of names (French, Spanish, German) which newpapers such as the New York Times or the Guardian routinely spell with diacritics, even if they get their news via newswires that drop or transcribe them as a matter of policy.
When you read English newspaper manuals of style you generally find the following four concerns:
  • Names should be spelled as 'correctly' as possible, and that includes diacritics.
  • Can we get the name right? (It's easier in French or Spanish than in Vietnamese.)
  • Are there technical problems? (More likely with Đặng Hữu Phúc than with Gérard Depardieu)
  • Consistency. (For the same language, either drop all diacritics always, or never drop any diacritics.)
Basically the only points where they differ is in the lists of English words that are spelled with or without diacritics (some spell façade but nee, others facade but née, reflecting similar variations in which spelling comes first in the various dictionaries) and in the lists of languages for which they preserve diacritics. We have the time and qualifications to get all diacritics right, and technically we are limited only by Windows Glyph List 4 as the greatest common denominator of reasonable modern computer environments. Hans Adler 16:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
(response to Jimmy Wales). Bless you Jimbo, bless you. I too agree, the pro-diacritics side has hijacked English Wikipedia (via their numbers) & are hell bend on not loosening their control. GoodDay (talk) 18:46, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
To answer a bunch of specific questions above in one go: yes, all of those renamings to use English rather than foreign languages should happen immediately. I don't care what Britannica and Encarta do; they are resources for the 20th century, which is behind us now. I think moderation is in order, but I think we are very far from moderation. Đặng Hữu Phúc is a brilliant example: this is an absolutely ridiculous thing to have in an English encyclopedia as a title. What appalls me about this most is the weirdness of assuming that if something sort of looks like an English letter, we should have it, while if it doesn't sort of look like an English letter, we shouldn't. Shall we move Japan to 日本? Of course not, no one disagrees. But we have somehow, wrongly in my view, gotten to the point that Đặng Hữu Phúc is remotely plausible, since it sort of kind of in some weird way looks a little bit like English.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
What makes matters worst is a majority of editors want the diacritics in the article titles. Some of the pro-dios crowd accuse myself & others of being basically simple minded & sorta xenopohobic 'cuz of our opposition. Of course, I see many of them as pushing dios, due to 'old country' pride. GoodDay (talk) 19:17, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Agree. Which part of en.wikipedia.org is so complex? There is nothing racist or xenophobic about the practice of anglicising terms - if maintained consistently it's a methodology that alows people to easily search and navigate the enyclopedia - thus finding out information... which I assume is the point of the work after all. Pedro :  Chat  19:36, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Yup, include me in the 'anti-diacritics' crowd too. I think the 'pro' crowd are forgetting that Wikipedia is supposed to assist its readers, not cater to the predilections of editors. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:47, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
(ec) There are actually two important differences between 日本 and Đặng Hữu Phúc:
  • 日本 is a Japanese name for a country that has an English name. Đặng Hữu Phúc is a Vietnamese name for a Vietnamese pianist and composer who has no English name and apparently no direct connection to an English-speaking country.
  • 日本 is written in Chinese script. If we wanted to use the name here in its original form, we would transcribe or transliterate it. Until recently, Vietnamese was written in a variant of Chinese script, but nowadays they only use a Latin orthography that was first introduced by Catholic missionaries in the 17th century. Đặng Hữu Phúc is already the transcription/transliteration.
I have given you this name as an example of where we may be overdoing it. We seem to be handling Vietnamese names inconsistently, and I can see why. On the other hand, given that English dictionaries contain several words with French accents (often as an alternative spelling, but in some cases such as exposé, resumé and façade usually as the preferred spelling), it would be absurd to drop accents from French names – and then in the (rare) worst case use them in English words in the same text!
Also, in many fields it's just standard for high-quality typesetting to use diacritics as appropriate. As a mathematical logician I am used to reading English texts that mention Gödel's incompleteness theorems and Łoś's theorem. While Łoś looks a bit unusual, most people who are exposed to the theorem know that the name is pronounced wash, and to these Los's theorem would look very jarring. I really cannot agree with the notion that English is so xenophobic that the use of diacritics is automatically un-English. This is a misconception that I have found debunked in various style manuals and in the Oxford Companion to the English language. Hans Adler 19:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a specialist encyclopedia. Do you know how "Ł" is pronounced? It sort of looks like an "L" in English, but it isn't. Addendum: Jerzy Łoś is a perfect example of how we are not appropriately serving our readers on this issue. Nowhere in the article do I learn how to pronounce the man's name. Yes, we do have the (incomprehensible to 99.99% of all readers) IPA pronounciation guide. What we should do is have an appropriate and user-friendly explanation of his name *in Polish* (as we would for a Chinese name, for example) with an explanation of how it is Anglicized and how to pronounce it. Instead, we have a pseudo-intellectual snobbishness that we refuse (at least implicitly, I am not accusing the authors of this article of anything, just pointing out the consequences of weak policy o this point) to explain the main thing that a math student might need to know for class, i.e. how to say the man's name to talk to friends about his ideas.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:01, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
You're aware that "Los" is pronounced nothing like "Łoś" right? This'd be a bit like having an article on a Iimbo Valęz on Polish Wikipedia (pronounced as you think it'd be pronounced), whoever that may be. Or maybe Dzimbuś Waleski or something (ok that one is made up). You would have people under names which are nothing like their actual names, which have only a superficial relationship to English and which would probably end up confusing a lot of people. It's really omitting relevant diacritics that does a disservice to the reader, not vice versa. Same goes for place names of course too.Volunteer Marek (talk)
  • For the record, I used to be opposed to the use of diacritics. I now believe that 26 letters are simply not enough.

    I'm sure it's not out of "pseudo-intellectual snobbery" that a pronunciation of 'Łoś' isn't offered in the article, but more likely oversight because it's something the assembled authors may have taken for granted. As Wikipedia is a work in progress, that is surely an issue that can and will be addressed by the authors, now that this has been pointed out. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 07:11, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Did you know that Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and the answer is just a Ł away? Thanks to hyperlinks, Wikipedia needs less dumbing down than other encyclopedias. For those who need it dumbed down, there is the simple English Wikipedia. —Kusma (t·c) 20:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Except, see above, we don't do that, we don't explain at all, and frankly, you are simply wrong about something important: using English in an English encyclopedia is not "dumbing down" - that's an anti-reader attitude that we should kick to the curb as quickly and strongly as possible. Our job is to educate the reader, not to be snobby pseudo-intellectual obscurantists.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:13, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Precisely: we educate the reader by giving Polish names in their correct spelling, and then teach them how to pronounce that correctly using IPA plus ideally a sound file. And the entire text can be in English even if foreign words are not horribly misspelled. —Kusma (t·c) 20:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Currently in Wikipedia, many foreign words are horribly misspelled - in English - by including things that aren't even remotely close to English letters, but which happen to be shaped similar to English letters. There is no problem with "giving Polish names in their correct (Polish) spelling" as long as we also give the correct English spelling - particularly in the title. What we do today is the worst possible choice: we spell things wrongly in English, misleading and confusing the reader, with no explanation other than the indecipherable IPA. That's just not helpful. I advocate that we use English primarily in titles, making exceptions in a handful of cases when there are good reasons, and that we give the local representation (whether it is Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Polish, etc.) and explain it to the reader. Giving people something completely wrong and misleading because Unicode allows us to be snobbish is just wrong.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:33, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Most high-quality modern English-language scholarly sources about foreign people and affairs use diacritics. That you suggest to deviate from good scholarly practice is quite disturbing to me, but fortunately you don't make the rules around here. —Kusma (t·c) 20:49, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
For the vast majority of Polish names the most correct English spelling is the correct Polish spelling, because no English version of the name exists. Other than the stupid method of just dropping them, there is no systematic procedure for getting rid of diacritics. Because none is needed, since everyone who cares about spelling foreign names correctly simply uses the diacritics. Hans Adler 19:49, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
But you are right that Wikipedia is not a specialist encyclopedia. It is many specialist encyclopedias all in one, combined with a general purpose encyclopedia. —Kusma (t·c) 20:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
No, you are mistaken. Wikipedia is not at all any specialist encyclopedia, at all. It is an encyclopedia for everyone.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:13, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Did Jimbo really mean move them all to"English"? Quite frankly, François Mitterrand is more familiar than Francois Mitterrand, the latter really would confuse because you just don't see it anywhere. Surely, WP:COMMONNAME has got to apply. DeCausa (talk) 19:57, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I think all should be moved to English. I disagree with you completely with respect to Francois Mitterand, it's an empirical question though, and I'm willing to be proven wrong. An important point here is that I don't know how to type "ç" and I bet 99.99% of English speakers don't either. That's relevant. Why? Because "ç" is not a letter in English. And this is the English Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:59, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
That's not true. As you can easily verify by taking any English dictionary and looking up the words façade and soupçon, ç is a letter that does occur in English words. They are loanwords that come from French, but now they are English. Hans Adler 23:34, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, that's what I mean by WP:COMMONNAME. It is an empirical question, and if it's provably more common to see diacritics in French names used in English (and some other languages eg Spanish), which I suspect it is, then there shouldn't be a diktat saying they can't be used. DeCausa (talk) 20:07, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
This is very similar to style and language registers. Some practices are OK and in fact perfectly standard when you are writing emails or technical documents at work, but are not OK for prestigious, professionally typeset publications. Concerning practicalities: About 3 years ago I got rid of all my German keyboards. Since then I am using British and US keyboards exclusively because I can type German umlauts and ß with them almost as easily, and it's much easier to type the diacritics in the most important other languages. I just have to switch my keyboard layout from US to US-International. I have never had a problem with that on any operating system, or any language version. Hans Adler 20:14, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
(ec) I think it's also worth noting that for Vietnamese names our usage is so far divided, while for names in (non-Cyrilic, non-Greek) European languages we almost universally use the diacritics. I am pretty sure that if we were going to change this we would have to rename hundreds of thousands of articles, and we would sometimes have to take non-obvious decisions such as whether to transcribe a Swedish person with the German last name Müller as Mueller (German style transcription) or as Muller (Swedish style transcription). We would also get thousands of new name clashes that would require the rethinking of many disambiguation pages. I just clicked Special:Random 20 times and got 2 articles with diacritics. If we are really talking about 10% of our articles, then this should certainly not be decided on a whim.
Oh, and as just one example of the problems we would face: Do you want to rename Fianna Fáil to Fianna Fail? Hans Adler 20:07, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I think there can be a case to be made in some cases for including diacritics. My point is that this case does need to be made, and we've gone completely off the rails in terms of making the case. We have proposals that are absolutely wrong, to default to including diacritics in all cases: that's just wrong, a serious disservice to readers. I do agree that for a handful of English words, and a handful of names in a handful of languages, including some diacritics is the right thing to do. But we should always subject this to very strict scrutiny, particularly considering how badly wrong we have it today in so many areas.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:16, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
But those accent marks don't help me in anyways & they're just annoying. GoodDay (talk) 20:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, I agree with that. You seemed to be going further with the "move them all to English". Just to be annoyingly repetitive, if we stick with WP:COMMONNAME on this it should deliver a reasonable solution on a case-by-case basis. DeCausa (talk) 20:19, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, to be clear, I meant the examples that I had seen up above. I do think in some (relatively rare) cases, WP:COMMONNAME and common sense will drive us to accept the diacritic. However, I think that even in cases where WP:COMMONNAME via some simple metrics (google news searches, etc.) sends us in one direction, clarity and our sincere desire to connect with an educate our readers (rather than look down on them) may suggest a different course. Thoughtfulness is always required. My primary concern tonight is to strongly object to the suggestion, which I regard as disastrous, that we should have a default starting point of using non-English letters. That's a really bad idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:24, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I fear that English-language Wikipedia will be pushed to morph into Multiple-language Wikipedia. GoodDay (talk) 20:30, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Well Jimbo isn't going to rule by decree on this, so those "pro-dios" who have "hijacked" Wikipedia can sleep easy. GoodDay, your fears are unfounded and are a hysterical flying leap from the use of diacritics. Jimbo, we do make mountains out of molehills and this debate is no exception - is the use of diacritics in article titles really "disastrous"? That's hard to believe, it's easy to get entrenched in minutiae. I fear that we are deciding the colour of the bike sheds here. Can anyone point to a discussion outside Wikipedia of the use of diacritics on Wikipedia? (other than our Metal umlaut article). We offer redirects for people searching with unadorned lettering and any English speaker can readily read Latin letters even if they've got funny twiddly bits on them. And if we do go down the path of not including twiddly bits in titles we can still include the foreign spelling in brackets as is common practice for non-English alphabets so all is not lost if the heathens win :)
If you think we need to do better in explaining pronunciation than the frankly impenetrable IPA then what should we use? Spelling out phonetically is clumsy and misses varying pronunciation across English dialects. Fences&Windows 20:56, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
If feasible, it would be nice to have a MediaWiki extension that automatically turns IPA into audio files. Hans Adler 21:01, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Apparently the Google Translate text-to-speech uses eSpeak, which is open source. Could use that? Fences&Windows 23:39, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I think I can sum up my frustration as follows. When I see this name: Đặng Hữu Phúc I have no idea how to pronounce it. Up above, it was argued that I can just look up these symbols. Well, they aren't linked, but let's imagine that I am energetic enough to do so. My favorite unpronounceable symbol that I have never seen before in this name is ữ. What is that? It looks like a 'u' but it has a tilde on top and a bit of last nights dinner stuck to the side of his face. Fine. Let's look him up. . Neat, it turns out that: "It is pronounced [ɨ].". Wow, one unpronounceable character that I have never seen turns out to be pronounced as another unpronounceable character that I have never seen. What's worse is that now my confidence is even more shattered. It looks sort of like a 'u' with some stuff stuck on it, but it turns out to be pronounced like an 'i' with some slash through it. Great. So, being more diligent than anyone could be reasonably expected, I click on that... and I get this article: Close central unrounded vowel. This tells me some stuff about how my tongue should be positioned... "the tongue is positioned halfway between a front vowel and a back vowel."

Suffice to say, this is an insult to the reader, incredibly pretentious and of zero value. What I really need is a straightforward anglicization of the name according to some standard and comprehensible rules, preferably ones used by media that I know about and understand.

Anyone who says that Wikipedia should look down on me for not really wanting to spend a few hours studying linguistics to get a basic idea of how to say this name in English is mistaken.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:52, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I have the same problem with this name. But I guess anyone who looks up a Vietnamese pianist and composer who is mostly unknown outside Vietnam is much more likely to have a rough idea what to do with these diacritics than you and me. Hans Adler 20:57, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
"Straightforward anglicizations" won't tell you how to pronounce it either, so your preferred option is not a solution to your problem. Fences&Windows 20:58, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Precisely. Let's compare Łoś and Los. For most people both spellings carry more or less the same amount of information, except the first also tells them it's from some Eastern European language while the second leaves that open. But those who have once seen the correct spelling will recognise it, may even know it's pronounced wash, and will be glad that they don't have to guess whether we are talking about the Polish guy they have heard of or a German whose name really happens to be Los. (3 hits in the phone book of Berlin, all with German first names.) Hans Adler 21:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate the marks here, because without them I might pronounce it like the first word in "Los Angeles" and sound like an idiot. At least with the marks I have a clue that I need to figure out how it is pronounced. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Why do you want to say this name in English? It isn't English, and saying it "in English" will mean pronouncing it wrong. Many of the sounds used in the name do not exist in English, so no "straightforward" system can give you the answer. As Vietnamese is tonal, it is probably impossible to convey the sound of the name without really listening to it (or really studying about the linguistics). That does not mean Wikipedia looks down on you: it just means that the world is complicated. Wikipedia isn't looking down on you when you don't understand intersection homology either. —Kusma (t·c) 21:04, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Why do I want to say this name in English? Because I speak English. The point is, I want to say the name out loud, and Wikipedia not only gives me no guidance on it, it insults me by writing the name in a character set that is not English. You might just as well tell me that the capital of 日本 is 東京. Why might a person want to say a word from another language? There are dozens of reasons. Possibly I have seen the film A Far Time Past and I really enjoyed the score. I want to ask my friend who knows a lot about music about this composer, but I feel a little shy. He's sooooo knowledgeable, and I want to not embarrass myself by butchering the name. I'm a worldly guy, I travel the world, I'm comfortable with appoximations. The point is: Wikipedia doesn't even give me anything close to a usable approximation. I can't even type the name, I have to cut and paste it.
In reality what I'm likely to do is to go to the only source in the article, IMDB, and find the name there, and conclude that Wikipedia is written by wonky jackasses rather than people who care about the reader.
We could do better. Intersection homology is an entirely different kind of case. Even in this case, I argue that we do our readers a disservice when we don't include a basic explanation that more people could understand. But that's not why I say it is an entirely different kind of case.
Our composer friend here, however his name is spelled or pronounced, writes music for movies. One need not be an expert in linguistics (or the complex IPA system) to hear some music and like it and want to learn more. Arguably, one simply cannot grasp intersection homology without a lot of background. But I totally understand what this guy does: he writes music for movies. Asking me to learn Vietnamese, or IPA, just to be able to casually say to my friend, oh, hey, I heard this music in a movie the other day and I really liked it, I remember you know a lot about Asian music, do you know about <>?
The argument here is that we could give better explanations of how to say things. I say we should make that mandatory by insisting that outside of some clearly defined and highly limited exceptions, we absolutely ought not to be using characters that English readers will not understand.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:50, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, we call him (or her?) Đặng Hữu Phúc, and IMDB calls him Huu Phuc Dang. We are putting the family name first as seems to be the custom in Vietnam, and the given name last. Which makes sense because where we would just say the family name, they just say the given name. IMDB puts the family name last. Both schemes make sense. As far as orthography is concerned, they have merely stripped off the diacritics. The result may look a bit more familiar, but surely you can do that in your mind as well? Of course when you are doing it yourself you are aware that you are doing something dubious. But it's not really better if someone else does it for you. It's the difference between a sausage whose composition and production process you know, and one where you are just trusting the butcher.
As far as I'm concerned, I have no idea how Vietnamese phonetics works, but I just read it's tonal like Chinese, I see tone marks that look like those in Pinyin, and that allows me to at least make an educated guess at the tones of the syllables. (Which consists in making the pitch follow the curves of the diacritics on the letters.) Therefore even if I get the vowels and consonants mostly wrong otherwise, I would have a better chance of being unterstood by a Vietnamese speaker.
And that's with Vietnamese. I am not even sure that we want the diacritics for Vietnamese, necessarily. But dropping them in French names and writing "Francois Mitterrand" in a relatively formal context such as an encyclopedia would be a sign of relatively extreme anti-intellectualism – at least on this side of the pond, where English speakers are used to having neighbours who speak different languages. Hans Adler 23:43, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
...pronounced "Dang Who Fuck"...no problem. We have neighbors who speak different languages, too. Mexico, Quebec, New Jersey...Face-wink.svg
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 03:16, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

:Đặng Hữu Phúc is an article originally written in Vietnamese, including the name of the article. When the article was translated (and greatly shortened), the English-form name was in the lede, followed by the Vietnamese name in parentheses. Then the English-form name was dropped, and the Vietnamese name moved out of the parentheses. The IMDb template has a 'name' field, to be used when the IMDb name is different from the Wikipedia articles name. Well, that field was filled with the article's name, NOT the IMDb name (I've now changed it). So, no English-form name is available anywhere in the article - in the (purportedly) English language Wikipedia. iow, the writers do NOT want "ordinary readers" to read these articles, just the "enlightened ones". Except anyone vaguely "enlightened" would click on the Vietnamese language version, use Google Translate, and see a much more extensive article. So what exactly was achieved here? If we were discussing where the English-form name should be in the article, vs. where the original language form should be, that would make sense. Instead, the goal seems to be to 'cleanse' all articles of all English-format names, even though those are in common use elsewhere. Sounds like a STATUSRULES or IMBETTERTHANYOU argument. We're supposed to be the accessible and welcoming encyclopedia, so imo this makes no sense. Wild guess: the composer is more interested in people listening to his music than trying to say or spell his name. So let's make it easy for them. I've noticed the lists of alternate-language articles for various people, and those articles are 'translated' into each language, as one would expect. See Bashar al-Assad and Barack Obama. So, this discussion isn't really limited to the English language Wikipedia. Flatterworld (talk) 00:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Đặng Hữu Phúc as an example (above) seems to me to be used in 'tabloid' or 'scare' fashion. Let's not concern ourselves with diacritics use in scripts that use diacritics for intonation. As I pointed out at the centralised discussion, the über-colonial English language is, in this day and age of globalisation, showing its limitations. Despite its widespread use, English is highly idiosyncratic, pronunciation is irregular; there are numerous variants in use around the world – most notably the two versions on either side of 'the pond'. The 26 letters of our alphabet are woefully inadequate when trying to capture pronunciations of even many other languages with Romanised characters and standardised pronunciations, such as French and Czech, both of which I speak. English officially recognises hundreds if not thousands of new loan words each year, and it is time to welcome loan letters too. At least three have already made it into daily English usage – the e-acute, the u-umlaut and the c-cedilla – and are in widespread use. These, and other letters with diacritics have no substitute in English. Pity poor Jiří Novák, English people seeing the bare 'Jiri Novak' would undoubtedly call him "Jerry Novak" instead of pronouncing his name as it should be – "Yirzhi Novaak". I won't burden your talk page any more. You know where the centralised discussion is. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 06:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

**Own goal. That's why "Yirzhi Novaak" would be his English-form name. As I said before, look at what the Wikipedias in other languages do. If other sources have decided to use Jiri Novak, that's not Wikipedia's problem. otoh, many Wikipedia articles include both the pronunciation AND an audio recording of it. Example: ({{IPAc-en|Barack-Hussein-Obama-en-US-pronunciation.ogg|b|ə|ˈ|r|ɑː|k|_|h|uː|ˈ|s|eɪ|n|_|oʊ|ˈ|b|ɑː|m|ə}} Use those. As for Đặng Hữu Phúc, the problem is clearly that the article was purposely cleansed of all instances of the English-format name, including the External link. That's true of other articles as well, he was simply an example already used. Flatterworld (talk) 15:49, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Interestingly, I have my own to cent to offer here, completely 180° from Jimmy's: My given name is Marc-André. It's not "Marc-Andre", nor is it "Marc" and if I magically became notable, an article titled "Marc-Andre Pelletier" would be, simply, erroneous. I do not have a name in English, though I conventionally accept being called Marc for simplicity's sake, and I would be very much insulted at the suggestion that I should pretend that some random sequence of letters that resemble my name are my name to assuage some naming convention. "Marc-Andre" is no closer to my name than "Xarc-André" would be, and just as incorrect: in both cases you'd be randomly substituting some incorrect letter. — Coren (talk) 14:44, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Why do you think your position differs from mine? I think that "André" is a perfectly good example where the diacritic should be used.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:40, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Perhaps this a diplomatic way out of an ideological position? or perhaps your opposition is to the intimidating rending of Vietnamese script, compared to the "more familiar" Latin-based scripts from European countries? --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 06:55, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Then I don't understand your position right, because I can't see what the distinction is. Why would "é" be okay in my name, but "ł" iffy in another? Like Piotrus's name below, it could be approximately transliterated "Broniswav", but using a "l" instead of a "ł" would be just wrong.

        I can see why you'd feel it confusing about how to pronounce a word if you're not familiar with the letters, but substituting some visual approximation for the right letter doesn't actually help with that. Part of the problem is perception: "é" isn't just an "e" with a funny squiggle on top of it, it's a different vowel altogether. — Coren (talk) 15:54, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

        • My basic answer is tied to the core ideas behind WP:COMMONNAME. Basically, André is completely familiar to English speakers, one of a handful of words like it (others have given good examples in this discussion). Right now, the de facto rule in Wikipedia, the rule which best explains the empirical results we see in Wikipedia, is this: "If a letter sort of looks like an English letter, but with some funny bits added on, then use it. Whether readers understand it or not is irrelevant. Whether other sources do it or not is irrelevant. It's the RIGHT THING TO DO. However, if the letter doesn't sort of look like an English letter, then don't use it." That's not a very sensible rule, but it is in fact what we do.
          • So yes, we can say that 'é' is a different vowel from 'e'. But it's also one that English speaking people know well enough in many contexts.
          • What I advocate is to look at whether or not the usage is so common that people will expect it. Interesting debates can be had, for example, as to how to write Francois Mitterand's name, and although I would say type it without the squiggle, I could be persuaded if the preponderance of sources do it. Where I think there is no legitimate argument, outside of sheer snobbery or the pseudo-rule that I outlined above ("It sort of looks like English!"), is for letters that we know full well most English speakers won't get it at all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:29, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
            • Jimbo, I definitely agree with you that we need to deliver answers to our readers, and that current practice with diacritics often fails to do so. In the case of Đặng Hữu Phúc and other articles, I'd like to throw out another way to look at it: Yes, your average English speaker will have no clue where to begin pronouncing Đặng Hữu Phúc. However, that's an important fact and a truism: Even if we provide a transliteration, the reader will still have no clue how to pronounce the name properly. That's not so bad with the Romance languages; you may mangle someone's name, but it will usually be understandable. With highly tonal languages like Vietnamese, said reader is likely to pronounce some other thing entirely, and could wind up causing offense or great confusion. So, I wonder if it would be a bad thing for the formal title of such an article to be Đặng Hữu Phúc, and the first use to be Đặng Hữu Phúc, with the romanization Dang Huu Phuc used throughout the article thereafter for readability. For languages where normal English phonetic pronunciation suggestions won't sufficiently disambiguate one word from another, the diacritical marks serve as an intuitive warning sign: "If you don't understand the language, or at least these marks, you are going to seriously mispronounce this, because it isn't really 'Dang Huu Phuc'." It might actually be doing a service to our readers. (And it beats adding a "don't embarrass yourself" template...) // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 17:03, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
            • See, that's where we differ. Changing the "ç" to a "c" in "François" is doing exactly the same thing (in spirit) that you object to: you're using some letter because it sort of looks like the right one.

              In the end, you're giving dominion to a technological artifact (that incomplete keyboards/fonts used to force substitutions) and extending it to a principle when it never was. It's sort of like how in the early days of printing presses instances of "þ" were substituted by "y" when typesetting English because it sorta looked like it and the fonts imported from Germany didn't have any þ in them. It's a technological accident, not a statement of principle that using y was better English than using thorns. — Coren (talk) 20:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

    • Indeed. For the same reason I am Piotr, not Peter, even through I tell my American friends to call me Peter. We don't translate names in English, and my second name is Bronisław, not Bronislaw, just like Coren is Marc-André. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

**If you don't or won't exist in English, even with your 'own' name in the lede, then your article would remain in the French Wikipedia and readers could use Google Translate. Flatterworld (talk) 15:49, 21 June 2011 (UTC) ***None of these are 'wrong', imo, even though they don't match the native-language article. I wouldn't expect them to:

am:ባራክ ኦባማ

ab:Барақ Обама ar:باراك أوباما az:Barak Obama bn:বারাক ওবামা ba:Барак Обама be:Барак Абама be-x-old:Барак Абама bh:बराक ओबामा bi:Barak Obama bo:བ་རག་ཨོ་པྰ་མ། bg:Барак Обама ca:Barack Hussein Obama cv:Барак Обама dv:ބަރަކް އޮބާމާ nv:Hastiin alą́ąjįʼ dahsidáhígíí Barack Obama el:Μπαράκ Ομπάμα myv:Обамань Барак fa:باراک اوباما gan:奧巴馬 ko:버락 오바마 hy:Բարաք Օբամա hi:बराक ओबामा os:Обама, Барак he:ברק אובמה kn:ಬರಾಕ್ ಒಬಾಮ ka:ბარაკ ობამა kk:Барак Обама ky:Барак Хусеин Обама lo:ບາຣັກ ໂອບາມາ la:Baracus Obama lv:Baraks Obama jbo:byRAK.obamas mk:Барак Обама ml:ബറാക്ക് ഒബാമ mr:बराक ओबामा arz:باراك اوباما mzn:باراک اوباما mn:Барак Обама my:ဘာရတ်အိုဘားမား ne:बाराक ओबामा ja:バラク・オバマ mhr:Обама, Барак pnb:بارک اوبامہ ps:باراک حسين اوباما km:បារ៉ាក់ អូបាម៉ា crh:Barak Obama ru:Обама, Барак sah:Барак Обама si:බැරැක් ඔබාමා ckb:باراک ئۆباما sr:Барак Обама ta:பராக் ஒபாமா tt:Baraq Husseyın Obama II te:బరాక్ ఒబామా th:บารัก โอบามา tg:Барак Ҳусейн Обама tk:Barak Obama uk:Барак Обама ur:بارک اوبامہ ug:باراك ئوباما wuu:巴拉克·奥巴马 yi:באראק אבאמא zh-yue:奧巴馬] zh:贝拉克·奥巴马

Actually, almost all of those are wrong. Maybe there is a person named "Барак Ҳусейн Обама", but it's not the president of the United States. — Coren (talk) 16:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
(To be clear, I'm certain that all of those are reasonable transliterations of Obama's name in the respective languages, and it would make a very great deal of sense to have redirects from all of those to the president's article — but none of those are the president's name, and the articles should not be titled thus). — Coren (talk) 16:24, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

:::::So what? The native language name is included in parentheses, as it should be, and I expect there's also a redirect - something for everyone (aka 'inclusive'), but the article name is as close to the local language as possible:

But this is a most inappropriate place to discuss what the policy and the style guide should say about diacritics in names. Tony (talk) 16:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Jimmy, during the British Library Editathon on January 15, Wikipedians were privileged to be given a guided tour of the the Evolving English: One language, Many voices exhibition. The curator explained that the English language had evolved though absorbing thousands of loanwords. Sometimes these words retained their original diacritics in common usage, e.g. née, fiancée, façade, déjà vu. This practice goes back to Anglo Saxon times, so Modern English does indeed contain diacritics through these loanwords.

I personally believe that a great deal of useful information will be lost, or not be as accurate as it should, if we exclude diacritics from Wikipedia. -- Marek.69 talk 18:27, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

*exceptions include: diacritics, accents and any other unidentified squiggles


- Marek.69 talk

An excellent point. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:58, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo, if "diacritics, as they are unhelpful and confusing for English readers", could you explain to me then why are they used in Britannica ([29]) or Columbia ([30] - scroll down)? Are you saying that one of the "improvements" that Wikipedia is supposed to bring over them is to remove the diacritics? I am afraid this does not sound like helpful improvement to me, this smacks of dumbing down, or at the very list, of transforming English Wikipedia into the Simple English Wikipedia. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:58, 21 June 2011 (UTC) :Are you assuming Britannica is consistent? ;-) (I didn't check Columbia.) Flatterworld (talk) 19:29, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I am not sure what the above link is trying to prove, other than the fact that you don't know how to spell the name of the Polish president (which you could check in our article...). If you look for correct spelling (without diacritics, you added two extra "c"'s...), you end up [31], where you can see the diacritic in the title. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:04, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

:::The point was to show that Britannica uses two different spellings about the same person: 1 and 2. One article uses diatrics, one does not. Therefore, Britannica is not consistent. The point of the misspelling was to ensure only one example of each spelling was displayed, to make it easier for you to follow. Anything else you're confused about? Flatterworld (talk) 20:53, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

This is easily explained by the fact that the Lech Kaczyński article is part of the encyclopedia proper, and the "Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Lech Kaczynski" article, an essay starting with the unencyclopedic words "It was not exactly a surprise when" and ending with "Lech was the more outspoken, polarizing figure, capable of riling people with his blunt pronouncements, while Jaroslaw was considered more the calculating diplomat." is signed by "primary contributor" Robert Rauch. This explains what is going on. Reading between the lines: They are learning from us and let their readers contribute! Hans Adler 22:20, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

:::::Congratulations on your own goal. Flatterworld (talk) 22:27, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I fail to see how having shown the difference between professional and amateur contribution, and which one prefers diacritics and which does not, supports your argument rather than ours. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:05, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. The more reliable, traditional expert-authored article, uses diacritics. The new wiki-britannica article doesn't. I hope we want to resemble the proper encyclopedia more than the amateurish essay-collection site. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:24, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

::Comment This discussion is not about excluding diacritics from articles in total, but their use in article names. Per the example of Barack Obama above (chosen because that article has been translated into just about every language Wikipedia offers), we respect both local and native languages. Flatterworld (talk) 19:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

To be fair, Simple English Wikipedia does not dumb down spellings in this way. On Simple English Wikipedia, as on Afrikaans, Asturian, Bosnian, Breton, Catalan, Czech, Welsh, Danish, Estonian, Spanish, Esperanto, French, Irish Gaelic, Galician, Croatian, Ido, Indonesian, Icelandic, Italian, Kiswahili, Kurdish, Luxembourgish, Lithuanian, Limburgish, Hungarian, Malay, Dutch, Norwegian (both varieties), Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Albanian, Sicilian, Slovak, Slovenian, Finnish, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, Vietnamese, Navajo, Waray-Waray and Yoruba Wikipedia, Gerhard Schröder is "Gerhard Schröder". Apart from Wikipedias in non-Latin scripts, I only found the following conversions of his name: "Gerhard Şröder" (phonetic spelling on Azerbaijani Wikipedia), "Gerhard Schroder" (Basque), "Gerardus Schröder" (funny Latinisation with diacritic), "Gerhards Šrēders" (Latvian; I guess this is phonetic spelling plus Latvian inflections -s), "Schröderi Gerhard" (Võro language). The picture is very similar for other names such as simple:Halldór Ásgrímsson, simple:Raúl Castro and simple:Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. Hans Adler 19:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Jimbo here. This is the English Wikipedia. English uses an alphabet with 26 letters, and none of them are Ł or ß or any of those other characters. The "local" spelling can be used in the article, but it should not be in the title. I also think it is reasonable to consider "accents" in certain cases, possibly including the title. But dots and circles over letters and various curleycues have no meaning in English, and should not be used in article titles. Neutron (talk) 20:03, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

"Dots and circles over letters [...] have no meaning in English, and should not be used in article titles": so no more Motörhead, Eärendil, ... I'm glad you would at least accept Beyoncé Knowles, but what with Æthelred the Unready? It's too bad if even English kings can't stick your 26 letters of course... Fram (talk) 20:59, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with the Æthelred bit, but I wish I were able to do something about the Unready - it should more properly be "the ill readed" - understanding that "read" was a Saxon/Early English word meaning "advised" (and it probably had some squiggles around it, so it sounds neither like a symomym for red nor the riverside plant...) Somehow, though, I don't suppose there will ever be a redirect even for "Æthelred the Poorly Advised". LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Personally I would be fine with Ethelred, as it is in many sources. Or Aethelred. Those letters are all included in "my" 26, as Fram would have it. "My"? So I invented the modern English alphabet? I may be old, but I'm not that old. As for Beyonce, I don't care whether she gets an accent or not. I'm more interested in possibly allowing words like exposé and resumé, though I don't know whether they are really an issue when it comes to article names. However, if I had to choose between no diacritical marks at all, and the "open season" we seem to have now, I would choose none at all. I do not think it is necessary to make that either-or choice, but if that's how people want it, that's my opinion. Neutron (talk) 21:32, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
So why, exactly, is an é worth keeping, while an ö is not? That seems rather random to me. --Conti| 22:44, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I see a lot of discussion about loanwords retaining accents and diacritics here, but that's a demonstrably deceptive debate point. I've used "resume" and "facade", for example, and I have several dictionaries that include them as I use them, without the accents and diacritics. Are you folks saying that I'm intellectually handicapped or something? This is ridiculous. As others have pointed out, the English alphabet includes 26 characters. That there are problems in translating non-English characters to an English equivalent is evident, but Wikipedia shouldn't be the battleground for this sort of fight on the preferred way to translate them (or whether to translate them at all).
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 04:26, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • At risk of inviting even more Turkish butt stabbings borne out of wikidrama gone bad, I completely agree with User:V=IR. The Macintosh keyboard since 1984 has allowed me to directly type “naïve” and “señor” and “résumé” and a few other things. But some accent-advocates here are proposing we expand the gamut of accents to stratospheric levels unfamiliar to a general-interest readership. Let all wikipedians here remove our powdered wigs and have a moment of silence for our general-interest readership. Remember them? “English” (as if that matters any more) doesn’t generally use the vast majority of the diacriticals some proponents are advocating here. It is verboten in all good technical writing to write in a manner that unduly calls attention to itself. So, just pardon me all over the place for stating precisely what is on my mind, but it appears that we have once again descended into where some wikipedians are trying to Lead By Example To A New And Brighter Future That Is All-Inclusive And We Hold Hands And Sing About Coca-Cola And Will Change The World.©™® Yes, well… Plain English please. Greg L (talk) 02:52, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
    The current conflict started with people who insist on stripping the accents and dots off in the very common 'harmless' cases such as ö and é. It was me who brought Vietnamese in above as an example where it's actually not general practice in English to use the diacritics when available. (Consequently usage in Wikipedia is divided for Vietnamese, while for French and German we use the diacritics practically always.) While I personally have nothing against the Vietnamese diacritics, Britannica also strips them off, and so I can't really oppose doing that. Nobody has argued for these 'extreme' diacritics recently. But if we start systematically removing acutes and cedillas and transcribing umlauts, so that you can no longer tell from an article's title that Goethe and Goebbels are spelled that way even where umlauts are available and normally used, then we become the laughing stock among reference sources. We have acquired a reputation as a somewhat serious reference source, and removing accents that are so common in high-quality English sources that they can be considered part of the language itself would be a bizarre and eccentric decision that would risk this reputation. It would also require renaming almost 10% of our articles. Serious style guides distinguish between languages for deciding when to use diacritics. Serious reference works use diacritics in titles for the most familiar languages. We should do the same. Hans Adler 10:19, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the summary, Hans. That all makes sense as to how things started out and how we got to where we are. I 100% agree, in principle, with you; especially this part: We have acquired a reputation as a somewhat serious reference source, and removing accents that are so common in high-quality English sources that they can be considered part of the language itself would be a bizarre and eccentric decision that would risk this reputation. It would also require renaming almost 10% of our articles. Serious style guides distinguish between languages for deciding when to use diacritics. Serious reference works use diacritics in titles for the most familiar languages. We should do the same.

    It is double-tough to get sensible MOS guidelines on Wikipedia and that underlies why so many of our guidelines are compromise solutions that amount to “Do whatever you like ta’.” The proper use of diacriticals for en.Wikipedia will require a nuanced and thoughtful guideline. Invariably, someone will be disappointed that a diacritical used by upper Mongolian yak herders that looks like a stomped on beetle is excluded. Well, most of the diacriticals known to mankind aren’t generally used in English that is directed to a general-interest readership; only some. As you say, serious style guides distinguish between languages for deciding when to use diacritics; that’s the way it must work here to best serve the interests of our readership.

    Things are getting busy for me in real life. I hope that you, Hans, stay firmly in your saddle on this one and help out, as I wholeheartedly agree with your basic approach to the problem. Greg L (talk) 14:59, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I think that the diacritics per se are a distraction. We should view them as part of a spelling of a word. We should use whichever spelling is widely used when the person is discussed in English; if the person appears only in foreign-language sources, we should use the foreign version because we shouldn't make up one on our own. If I look at a name like "Łoś", what do I transliterate that to? Los? Wash? I don't know - I'd have to look it up. Making the decision on my own would be a poor sort of "original research". So there should be no talk of "stripping diacritics". Either you go out and find a diacritic-free version of the name to use, or you use the name with diacritics, but under no circumstance should you have to get out your scalpel and do the surgery yourself. Wnt (talk) 17:01, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. I'm with Hans and other editors who made some very good points in favour of encouraging diacritics at least in cases where their omission would be widely regarded as a misspelling (e.g. Jørn Lande, André Previn and François Mitterrand are the correct spellings of those people's names). If you don't know how to type them, that's not a problem: that's why we have redirects. Jorn Lande still takes you to the right article. There are some readers for whom diacritics are a useful clue to correct pronunciation, and others who might not know their meanings but will at least be alerted to the fact that the word is not pronounced as they might otherwise expect. Diacritics in titles may be an annoyance to readers who dislike them, but the alternative is deliberate misspelling which may in some cases mislead and conflict with common usage in English language reliable sources, and which reduces the educational value and credibility of the encyclopaedia (or should I say encyclopædia?)
I appreciate Jimbo Wales' frustration with the lack of intelligible pronunciation instructions, but I fail to see how stripping diacritics would be in any way helpful. I do agree that pronunciation information is an area in which Wikipedia could be vastly improved. Ideally, any article whose pronunciation is likely to be problematic should provide IPA and approximate phonetic spelling (where possible) and audio files for maximum accessibility to pronunciation guidance. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 22:49, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Chicago Manual of Style

De facto we use diacritics more or less consistently, with some exceptions such as Vietnamese (usage divided), pinyin (mostly without the tone marks) or Hawaiian (without diacritics per the special guideline for Hawaiian). The main argument for renaming almost 10% of our articles to get rid of them is therefore that it is somehow wrong or not English. I am not sure why simply pointing to the fact that other English-language encyclopedias which actually do use diacritics isn't enough to immediately convince everybody that this is false. There is also Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, which is full of names with diacritics as the preferred spellings. (It's on Credo, so a lot of editors can access it easily.)

And there is the Chicago Manual of Style, an immensely influential work that is often referred to when we discuss our own manual of style. I am not sure that it says explicitly, anywhere, that one should use diacritics or that it's OK to use them. But it is clear that it's written under the assumption that that's the case. Repeating myself from an earlier post [32]:

  • Some example sentences speak for themselves: "He is a member of the Société d'entraide des membres de l'ordre national de la Légion d'honneur."
  • But it gets more explicit elsewhere: "Any foreign words, phrases or titles that occur in an English-language work should be checked for special characters -- that is, letters with accents [...], diphthongs, ligatures, and other alphabetical forms that do not normally occur in English. Most accented letters used in European languages [...] can easily be reproduced in print from an author's software and need no coding. [...] If type is to be set from an author's hard copy, marginal clarifications may be needed for handwritten accents or special characters (e.g., 'oh with grave accent' or 'Polish crossed el'). If a file is being prepared for an automated typesetting system or for presentation in electronic form (or both), special characters must exist or be 'enabled' in the typesetting and conversion programs, and output must be carefully checked to ensure that the characters appear correctly."
  • The following on typesetting French is particularly interesting: "Although French publishers often omit accents on capital letters [...] they should appear where needed in English works, especially in works whose readers may not be familiar with French typographic usage." (My italics.)
  • And on romanization: "Nearly all systems of transliteration require diacritics [...]. Except in linguistic studies or other highly specialized works, a system using as few diacritics as are needed to aid pronunciation is easier to readers, publisher, and author. [e.g. Shiva not Śiva, Vishnu not Viṣṇu] Transliterated forms without diacritics that are listed in any of the Merriam-Webster dictionaries are acceptable in most contexts."

And that's from an American style guide. I believe Brits are actually more used to diacritics then Americans and use them more often. Hans Adler 06:31, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

...and then we get the semi-annual (sometimes more) discussions about moving Cote d'Ivoire to Ivory Coast. Isn't it nice that I can write Cote d'Ivoire without the requisite diacritical marks and it still goes through to the correct article :-) (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:27, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • None of this matters, so long as Google finds Jiří Novák when I search for jiri novak, which it does, and something in the lead explains pronunciation, which it does (a sound clip). Using IPA here is useful to language students but for the vast majority of English speakers it is useless. The Australian Macquarie Dictionary includes IPA but also simple English phonetic spelling and a sound clip. I have seen editors here replacing simple English phonetic spelling with IPA, which I equate roughly with vandalism. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 10:46, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
    • English "phonetic" spelling is about twenty different ways of approximating pronunciation that can only represent phonemes already present in English, and which is understandable only by fluent English speakers who will end up with a "pronunciation guide" that is entirely dependent on their regional dialect and completely independent of the word's. In other words, it's a completely worthless and uninformative piece of crap. — Coren (talk) 19:10, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Yes, it's regionally dependent and so imperfect, but it is generally useful, as opposed to IPA which is generally useless. For example, the Macquarie's entry for 'encyclopedia' follows the IPA pronunciation with '(say en.suykluh'peedeeuh)'. That's useful. IPA is useful to a small few, so by all means include it, but not to the exclusion of simple phonetic spellings, which are useful to the majority of our users. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 19:55, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
        • I would expect everybody who has ever learned a foreign language with non-regular spelling (e.g. French, and for non-native speakers, English) to have learned the basics of IPA and to have been exposed to it every time they use a dictionary. That means most people in Europe. —Kusma (t·c) 20:33, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
            • I think you are wrong. Do you have any evidence for this? I am with Anthonyhcole: I think almost no one understands or has been exposed to IPA, and that it is functionally useless for most people, in Europe and elsewhere. At the same time, I totally agree with Coren that phonetic spelling is problematic, although I disagree that it is useless. IPA is useless for most people for sure. Phonetic spelling is flawed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:57, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
                • I think you are wrong, too, Kusma, at least as far as language schooling in North America is concerned. I have studied French, Russian and Latin, and have never been exposed to IPA except incidentally in a dictionary. This may be a deplorable state, but I suspect it is true for most of the populations here. I was trained as a teacher of English (both EFL and ESL), and never used IPA either. For the population at large, it is worse than useless, because it is another barrier to comprehension. Bielle (talk) 21:23, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
                  Kusma said "most people in Europe." English language dictionaries were unusually slow in picking up IPA. (One can wonder if there is any connection to the similar resistance to the metric system.) This has actually been discussed in reliable sources:
                  The situation in 1986: "All the dictionaries on my list, both British and American, use respelling – except for CED, which uses IPA. [...] news [...] that the Oxford English Dictionaries are going over to IPA. But that is the culmination of a development that has been going on for a long time [...] [lists isolated English-language dictionaries using IPA from 1968, 1976] to the big commercial breakthrough of 1979 when CED used IPA as have its subsequent smaller spin-off dictionaries, the Concise of 1982 and the Compact of 1984. Then Oxford weighed in with IPA in their Little Oxford Dictionary of 1980 [...] and Harrap used IPA in their Mini Pocket dictionary of 1983. [...] So we now have Collins and Oxford firmly committed to the cause of IPA. [...] In Australia the big new Macquarie Dictionary uses IPA. // The same change to IPA in native speaker dictionaries happened in France – about fifteen or twenty years ago. The same arguments were heard there that are still heard here, about the difficulties of IPA for a general-purpose native speaker dictionary. But in France the battle was won many years ago and now as far as I know all the major 'trade' dictionaries [...] use IPA. [...] On the other hand in America this development has hardly begun at all." (Lexicography – an emergent international profession)
                  And the current (2010) situation: "[American general purpose dictionaries] indicate pronunciation in a 'respelling system' using diacritics rather than the IPA, because 'American publishers identify their market as people who do not know, and will not learn, the IPA'. Only the more recent EFL/ESL American dictionaries have adopted the IPA." (The lexicography of English: from origins to present, 2010).
                  The respelling systems with diacritics that many American dictionaries are still using are vendor-dependent and mostly restricted to the US market, and therefore not suitable for a free and international encyclopedia. IPA has been standard in German schools since long before I started learning English and French around 1980. Hans Adler 15:35, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
              • I have no hard evidence (and I'm German, not a native English speaker), but I did learn IPA in high school while learning English (when I was ten or eleven), as there is no way to do phonetic spelling of English in German (German lacks both the voiceless dental fricative and voiced dental fricative sounds you would need to pronounce the English th). Then I randomly checked an English/French dictionary, and of course it used IPA in both parts. Dictionaries for languages with regular spelling (like Spanish) or a well-established specialized phonetic alphabet (like Chinese) typically don't seem to include IPA in the main part. Anyway, the advantage of IPA is that with some work and using the sound samples at Wikipedia:IPA, everybody can figure out what sound is meant, even for those sounds that can't be pronounced by untrained native English speakers (the close front rounded vowel seems to be difficult to most Americans). I don't mind adding "phonetic" spelling where it gives the correct results, but it often fails. —Kusma (t·c) 21:40, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
              • Even if it were "functionally useless" in isolation, if you click on the IPA representation, you get taken to an explanation. For words that use only normal English sounds (e.g. Arkansas), even the mouseover gives you a rough explanation for each sound. And I cannot believe that the vast majority of people reading Wikipedia have never used a dictionary that used IPA.--Boson (talk) 22:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
                • Just because somebody has used a dictionary that uses IPA doesn't mean they recognise and understand it. To a huge number of people the IPA characters in a dictionary just look like some bizarre form that they presume means something to someone else but don't really think about it too much and instead get onto the definition of a word. Hans's link "The lexicography of English: from origins to present" contains a quite telling passage:
                  • "The British dictionary is an aide-mémoire or source of philological information for the educated user; the American dictionary is an all-purpose reference tool for anyone who needs guidance on usage and on the culture. The British dictionary is for an elite; the American dictionary is for the general public. Th British dictionary is 'scholar-drive' i.e. determined by what the specialists think should feature in a dictionary; the American dictionary is 'public-driven', i.e. determined by what the public wants, or what the lexicographers think that the public wants. [...] The British dictionary is a learned friend; the American dictionary is a schoolmaster." (Page 149)
                • Just because something is included in a British dictionary doesn't indicate the British public understand it or that it's there by public demand. British dictionaries can be quite stubborn on some matters where elite and populism clash - most famously the OED's insistence on ~ize spellings over ~ise - and the IPA usage in dictionaries here is because the lexicographers think it should be there, not because the public demand it.
                • On people's educational experience, I was taught French over eight years in three different British schools (and also Latin and German, each at two of them, for shorter lengths in the same period) ending 15 years ago and never once did I encounter the IPA other than if the dictionaries happened to include the IPA characters in their entries but they were meaningless to me. The language text books used to teach the class as a rule did not use IPA. Timrollpickering (talk) 17:05, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

My two cents (I came here following a notice on WT:MOS:

  • WTH would be wrong with "do whatever reliable secondary sources written in English by English speakers usually do"? (If there are several names each used by a sizeable proportion of the sources, just pick one; in any event, the native name, if not identical to the article title, should be mentioned in the lead.)
  • Saying that it is wrong for the Russian Wikipedia to use the title Обама, Барак makes as much sense as saying that it is wrong for the English Wikipedia to use the title Dmitry Medvedev.
  • Of course the typical English speaker has no idea how to pronounce Đặng Hữu Phúc, but the same applies to Cruithne, and it has no diacritic. I've even heard the (obviously non-Irish) presenter of a documentary about the moons in the Solar System pronounce it in a way which would make any Gaeilgeoir LOL. (No diacritic in Gaeilgeoir, either...) :-) (Should we move it to Crinya, following the example of Enya?) :-) A. di M.plédréachtaí 23:50, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
This is a break, it is arbitrary

I think there is a repeated assertion in this discussion that bears examining. That "almost nobody understands IPA" is a statement that is a little stunning in its Americanocentrism. I know IPA is hardly ever taught in the Unites States, but that certainly does not apply to most of the European world, and I would expect that most English speakers (including ESL speakers) know at least some IPA (if only because they are more likely than not have used it while learning English). I suppose I'm at the tail end since I can read IPA well enough that, with some hesitation, I could probably recite a speech in any non tonal language if given a good transcription; but I'd be surprised if the assertion that "almost nobody [that reads Wikipedia] understands IPA", or even that "most readers don't understand IPA" were true.

Besides, we have an educational mission. We should strive to give our readers the tools to learn, not stifle learning opportunities by willfully using a crippled fauxnetic system. — Coren (talk) 01:05, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Look at your keyboard - the one that the average reader will have

The great majority of people who will use the English language Wikipedia will have a keyboard much like the one I am typing on - which does not have easy access to most of the rather spiffing squiggles, dots and dashes that are the subject of this discussion. Why are we insisting on having all or most articles presented in a style that most readers (you know, the people we are writing this stuff for) cannot reproduce? I realise that the English language variant will exist as a redirect (and that those using phones with multiple characters per button may be able to produce an approximation of the diacretically correct name - but how many times do you want to push that button, only to find you have just missed the correct variant of "O") but it it not more helpful to the student or casual reader to quickly find it with the least amount of keystrokes? Obviously, once they have found the article they can be further educated on how the name is represented in the local language and script - but that is part of the function of the encyclopedia, to explain and example. What the average reader needs is a search name that most closely resembles the one they will find in common use. It really is as simple as that. LessHeard vanU (talk) 01:18, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

That's what redirects are for. I don't see anyone objecting to the common-sense idea that any article with a title that uses diacritics should have redirects from alternate spellings without them, subject to appropriate disambiguation, etc.
As for the keyboard... I guess it all depends on your keyboard. Getting ö on my Mac is an easy matter of typing Option-U (for umlaut) and then "o". On my other UNIX systems, it's the sequence Compose, o, " to get ö. (Granted, many new Linux users aren't aware of the Compose key, or how their system maps that to the "Windows" keyboard—usually the right-hand Windows key.) On my iPad, I hold down "o" on the onscreen keyboard for a second and a popup appears with ö as one of the options. I understand that Windows Phone 7 uses the same technique. Granted, Windows for PC makes it hard: Either hold Alt and type 148 on the number pad, or install the Microsoft English (US-International) keyboard layout and type " followed by o to get ö... but then you need to type " followed by a space to get a quotation mark.
Given that the reader doesn't need to know that if we've set up the proper redirects, perhaps the real question is: is it reasonable to ask that someone editing pages about a foreign topic know how to create the diacriticals appropriate for the topic on their choice of computer? // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 03:26, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
In the event that the editor is competent enough to write the article but is unable to create the diacritics, no doubt, some selfless volunteer will move the page for them. --Boson (talk) 13:12, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Macwhiz, the point is that for many of us your way of phrasing things is just wrong. Let me put it other way around: "Is it reasonable to ask that someone editing pages about a foreign topic know how to write in English without using characters from other languages that sort of look like English characters just because they feel superior when doing so?" That's the real issue. Yes, the typing issue is also important, but the use of characters that are not a part of English, just because they sort of look like English, is just wrong. For the same reason we don't force people to use or read Japanese hiragana and katakana characters to learn about Japan, neither should we force people to use or read Vietnamese characters that aren't in English but sort of look like English. The Vietnamese characters are no more a part of English than are hiragana and katakana. It is wrong to force them on people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:25, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Why do you pretend this is a discussion about arrogance? And even if it were: "you are arrogant, therefore we don't do what you say, whether it is correct or not" is not a valid argument in the scholarly context of an encyclopedia. —Kusma (t·c) 16:17, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, I'm not certain I was understood properly. I agree that we shouldn't use incomprehensible symbols where it doesn't make a difference to pronunciation, or where there's a widely accepted romanization. But there are some languages, like Vietnamese, that use sounds that English doesn't distinguish. You can phonetically spell Mandarin with Roman characters; you can't phonetically spell Vietnamese that way. If you wrote ma referring to a Vietnamese word, with no diacritics you could mean "ghost", "but", "cheek", "tomb", "horse", or "rice seedling". The only thing that distinguishes those words is the tone of the vowel a, which is represented by the diacritic. There's got to be some middle ground where we can make clear to people that such words and names are literally unpronounceable to English speakers, without beating them over the head or making the article hard to read. // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 03:17, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
No, the first line following the bolded article subject should include the native spelling and script, usually within the brackets - same as we do for the Latin names of fauna and flora. We use the common English variant of a subject, and redirect the diacritic spellings to that. We should use the most common searched for spelling as the title - which will almost always be the common English version. Work on the basis that the diacritic representation of the subjects title is part of the learning process, and not the normal search parameter. In short, consider the reader. LessHeard vanU (talk) 15:28, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Mr Wales, how would you suggest the article Jerzy Łoś ought to be titled? LessHeard vanU, if I type Daniel Gildenlow into the earch box it's not because I think that's the correct spelling of Daniel Gildenlöw and it doesn't mean I would prefer his article renamed: it's because I'm lazy and I know that I will be redirected to the correct page. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 16:05, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
For small amounts of diacritics, there's always the character box below the edit box. Diacritics are often easy to type, as MacWhiz notes (I have used only American keyboards for years, and never had a problem with typing whatever I need). And anyway, dashes are hard to type, many people don't care about them or even notice the difference, but WP:MOSDASH still requires their use. I guess that means the MoS emphasizes typographical correctness over "easiness". —Kusma (t·c) 16:17, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
It is possible to use a free program to create custom Windows keyboards that include just about any diacritic you can think of - see [33] for an old discussion about this. Though as far as I know Wikimedia still doesn't have any place that would allow people to exchange these. Wnt (talk) 16:42, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I look at my keyboard, and what do I find? It's a British keyboard with the US-International keyboard layout. I am using it on Windows. Nowadays it's the only layout I use for typing LaTeX, various programming languages that also make heavy use of curly braces (which are hard to type on most non-English keyboard layouts), English, German and French. For instructions to change your keyboard layout under Windows, see here. Note that US-International can be found as a variant under English (like the Dvorak layout). What you must get used to: `~^'" are "dead keys" with this layout, i.e. combining characters. You have to press the character followd by space if you want the character. Also, the right Alt key is an AltGr key. Especially for ' and " having to press space as well is slightly annoying and takes a day or so of practice before it becomes second nature. Some examples: ~n becomes ñ. `e becomes è. "a becomes ä. For acutes, use 'a -> á etc., or the abbreviations AltGr-a etc. ç is AltGr-c. Some special characters such as æ (AltGr-z) can be hard to remember. Others, such as ł, are not available at all.
  • On my EeePC I use the same layout, even though it has a German keyboard. I just pretend it was American.
  • My work PC runs under Linux and has a US keyboard. I use the same layout there. Hans Adler 21:14, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
An interesting little tidbit: In the recent editor survey from the WMF, only 52% of the users said their primary language is English [34]. --Conti| 21:29, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
May I also point out that typing Düsseldorf is at least marginally easier than explaining the General theory of relativity, and yet we have no trouble with letting users read and edit the latter? And I've been typing on UNIX layout US keyboards (or keyboards hacked to be as close to that ideal as possible) ever since the Sun-3.--Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:47, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Rarely do I comment here but as per LessHeard vanU "It really is as simple as that" I agree and is why we have different language Wikipedia's. This is en.wikipedia.org not fr.wikipedia.org or es.wikipedia.org Common English spelling should be used wherever possible. Proper language spelling should be presented in the lead. As said above but in the wrong direction "that's why we have redirect" - The redirects should be the non-English ones not the English spellings being redirected. All non-English spelling should be redirect to proper English spellings not the other way around. Moxy (talk) 03:42, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
As has been pointed out over and over again, many words are correctly spelled with diacrits in English. And many foreign names have no established English spelling to begin with. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 05:43, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
That argument just isn't convincing. We're making this all out to be way more complicated than it actually is. Use English as much as possible, please. Full stop.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 05:50, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Best to read what has been written "English spelling should be used wherever possible".Moxy (talk) 07:56, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
There isn't just one English spelling. One can spell color or colour depending on context (British or American). One can spell naive or naïve depending on context (plain/pragmatical or pedantic/posh). One can spell Francois or François depending on context (pragmatical/uneducated or precise). And one can spell Milosevic or Milošević depending on context (pragmatical or precise). The context of an encyclopedia or other reference work is one of precsision. That's why good English reference works such as Britannica and Webster use the diacritics in foreign proper names. Hans Adler 09:28, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Even the 1911 edition of Britannica used diacritics correctly in titles as a matter of course – to the extent that they had them. (E.g. they had Å but not Ł. They replaced Ź by Ż and in at least one case seem to have created a makeshift ę out of e, an acute and a comma.) Since then the trend in reference works has been to use diacritics more, not less, because it has become easier. There may have been a time in between when people reverted to ASCII. Not sure. I would like to check a Britannica version from the early 1990s. In any case, diacritics are perfectly normal in English for foreign proper names. Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary is chock-full of them, generally directing readers from the unaccented names to the accented names. The general rule in English is: It's OK to leave diacritics out, but except for names that have a genuine English version (which rarely but occasionally happens to look like the original name without the diacritics), it's better to leave them in. And stripping them off or leaving them in should be done consistently on a per-language basis. All style guides that I have seen, and that go into any details about diacritics, are clearly based on these principles. Hans Adler 09:22, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Hans, "naïve" isn't a spelling variation, it's a French loan word. It's not English, it's just a French word that English speakers choose to adopt. We do that occasionally, you know? you'll notice how it's been steadily adapted to become English, to the point where it's usually spelled "naive" now, just as has happened with hundreds of words before and is likely to happen with hundreds to words to be. You're citing cases where the adoption of loan words is mid-process, and trying to use that as some sort of precedent, but it doesn't fly because it's obvious that their actually loan words. Additionally, the whole thing about "It's OK to leave diacritics out..." is subtly incorrect.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 10:02, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
So, just to be clear, loan words are not included in this "We should only use English letters everywhere" discussion? --Conti| 10:18, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Who said "We should only use English letters everywhere"? That's just as silly as "we should use diacritics everywhere possible".
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 23:29, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Loan words (in English) are English words too. That's part of the definition. Loan words start as foreign words that occasionally crop up in English, but at that stage they are not loan words yet. The status of a foreign word as a new loan word becomes 'official' once it begins to appear in English dictionaries. Loan words with diacritics are normally listed in English dictionaries both with and without the diacritics. Dictionaries differ in whether they list the version with the diacritics first, and they generally do so in an inconsistent way. (I.e. they sometimes handle different loan words in opposite ways.) The spelling naïve hasn't completely disappeared yet. It's certainly more common than the spelling coöperation (for which French is not to blame). My point in mentioning naive/naïve was to make clear that for loan words the choice of spelling follows different stylistic rules than for foreign proper names. Most people use accents only when necessary for disambiguation, as in expose/exposé, resume/resumé. While this is perfectly normal and in fact many English style guidse prescribe this usage, putting all original accents in loan words looks snobbish. On the other hand, for foreign proper names that is decidedly not the case. They only look snobbish in a few cases such as Napoléon and Zürich, but not in François and Gödel. Hans Adler 15:19, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I think this is a classical No true Scotsman fallacy. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:15, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Hans, I have a copy of the 1994 Encyclopaedia Britannica. The last entry in the Micropaedia is Żywiec, thus spelt (though they have Zywiec in gold on the volume's spine). Lech Wałęsa is thus spelt. Other entries include
If there are any others you're interested in, let me know, and I'll look them up. Cheers, --JN466 19:38, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! If they actually spelled Lech Wałęsa in 1994, then I have no further questions. I believe at the time he was spelled without the diacritics even in most German sources, probably due to technical difficulties. Hans Adler 19:45, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome. Two other interesting keyword spellings are "Wākhān" (which we have as Wakhan) and wakō (which we have disambiguating to Wokou). Regards, --JN466 20:24, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The policies/guidelines regarding unusual characters in articles and titles work just fine as they currently stand. I agree with Jimbo that there is a deficiency on Wikipedia, whereby articles on subjects which must include unusual characters make it difficult for english readers to both understand the article and know how to pronounce the words. The solution is not to outlaw diacritics and replace them with whatever english letter best approximates them. If there is a deficiency with a large number of articles because it is not easy to figure out how to pronounce them, then a much more reasonable solution would be to mandate (or simply start a drive) to include audio recordings (synthesized or otherwise) of words with characters that would be unfamiliar to english readers. Changing Lech Wałęsa to Lech Walesa because the characters ł and ę are unfamiliar to us doesn't actually solve any problems. If "Lech Wałęsa" is the way it shows up in english sources, then that's the way it should appear on Wikipedia. —SW— comment 02:04, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I fail to see why we can't apply WP:UCN and WP:UE to this issue. If the common usage in English language sources does not include the diacritics, we should not either. If only non-English sources use diacritics, and there are English language sources, we should not use diacritics, since they are not used in English. If there are only non-English sources, then use the form predominant over all sources. Claiming that all the non-English sources use diacritics seemingly violates WP:UE, and has been used as a rationale for several recent move requests. Claiming that WP:RS sources are not reliable because they do not use diacritics seems to be publication of original thought on Wikipedia, and violating WP:V, WP:NOTADVOCATE, WP:ADVOCACY. Saying that Wikipedia should teach people how to spell it with diacritics seems to violate WP:NOTADVOCATE, WP:ADVOCACY and WP:NOTTEXTBOOK. Particularly, there's a mention of being pedantic with spelling in WP:UCN -- such as insisting on diacritics when they are not being used generally; and WP:CRYSTAL in UCN about crystalballing the future spelling of things (like insisting that usage is turning to use diacritics, when evidence of common usage still does not indicate it is commonly used) 65.94.47.63 (talk) 04:20, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Words lose their diacritics by being incorporated into the English language. The more often they are used in an English context, the higher the frequency of uses without diacritics. That's the natural process for loan words, but it also applies to foreign proper names such as Napoleon and Zurich. For those foreign proper names that have not reached that stage yet, and that's the vast majority, spelling with or without diacritics is a matter of style and convenience. Convenience is not a problem in our case. We have the tables for inserting special characters, and we have lots of native speakers of the respectively relevant articles who are active on them. Given this, and our international audience, we have less reason than traditional English encyclopedias to drop diacritics. They don't do it, so why should we?
UE is not helpful with non-English words that do not frequently occur in English. Sometimes we are even the first English work at all that discusses a non-English topic, and in many cases we are the first English reference work. A fundamentalist interpretation of UCN that extends to spelling would have the paradoxical result that we would drop the diacritics for relatively non-notable people and then add them again as they get mentioned in the quality press or even in other encyclopedias. That's exactly the wrong way round.
There seems to be a misconception of a monolithic English language that doesn't care for context. But it's an obvious fact that the English used in an encyclopedia is different from the English used in a sports report or in a textbook. Encyclopedia articles are written in a relatively prosaic and impersonal style. E.g. we tend to avoid contractions such as "isn't" much more than is done in other contexts. And while many mathematically oriented editors are tempted to write things like "Let us consider a number x such that", we have explicit style advice against it because we are an encyclopedia, not a textbook.
In the context of an encyclopedia, the point where something is considered pedantic is shifted by a great deal. Everybody becomes slightly pedantic when looking closely at something, as for example when writing an encyclopedia article about a person. They want to get the name right, and for most people that implies setting all the right diacritics. What would be really pedantic in our context is writing Chinese names in their original version, or enforcing a uniform transcription scheme even for people who are much better known under historical or non-standard transcriptions of their names. Hans Adler 06:34, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
You say that of those which are not in frequent usage in English, but of the pages being moved around, several of them are of subjects that are frequently appearing in English. These should be following WP:UCN, since they appear fairly regularly in English, thus have enough material to determine what is the dominant usage, and not a quirk of low numbers. Some of the move request rationales presented say that reliable sources are not reliable, for the name. If they are not reliable sources, then many of the articles are violating WP:BLP, because they are about living people and have no reliable sources. But if these sources are reliable, then the spelling/form used in those sources is also reliable. Some of the rationales used recently say that non-English sources use diacritics, therefore the articles should be renamed. Why should non-English sources be preferred over English-language sources on English Wikipedia, if there are many English-language sources? This seems to violate WP:UE blatantly. I don't take issue with the ones where there is not alot written about it in English, I take issue with those where they appear in English with some amount of numbers. Also, considering we have access to the websites of the employers of some of these people, and the employers don't use diacritics, it seems we are indeed doing something that is violating WP:NOTADVOCATE.
I find that using non-English lettering, like the Icelandic sigma looking character, German beta looking character, or Georgian upsidedown "e", is going off the reservation in terms of recognizing any way to access these articles. Sure there are tools to help you type non-English, but the characters are non-English, how would someone even look them up in the proper table, if you don't know what language it is, thus which codepage or unicode block it appears in? This is even less helpful than using Cyrillic and Greek and Chinese, atleast there, you have a chance of selecting the right alphabet. Especially with Greek, since that is taught in English-language secondary schools as part of the math and science cirriculum.
The use of these characters is, to me, showing discriminatory preferential treatment to some non-English non-recognizable characters over other more recognizable non-English characters (like Greek) or equally non-recognizable characters (like Chinese). If it's not English, it should be treated equally. One should not say that Icelandic or Vietnamese is shown favouritism for over/against Arabic or Thai. If it's not English, it should be treated equally.
Greek is more recognizable to than most of the diacritc modified letters that exist in unmodified form in English as well. Yet we do not allow Greek titles in most cases, but Greek letters are regularly taught in English-language schooling... but these non-English characters, whether diacritic modified or completely non-English in a Latin derived alphabet, that is not usually taught in most English-language schools, are more acceptable than Greek? That way points the Tower of Babel.
We are building a Tower of Babel, where no one understands any article on anything coming from a non-English country, because no one person knows every diacritic and every non-English letter appearing in a Latin derived alphabet. And no one will learn all of them either. Do you know them all, and how to use them? 65.94.47.63 (talk) 06:19, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Please give an example of such a subject who frequently appears in English, and typically without the diacritics, but who is filed here with the diacritics. It may turn out that we agree on most of these people, after all. On the other hand, sources that never use any diacritics at all are a priori not appropriate sources for determining what is dominating usage in English contexts, such as encyclopedias, in which diacritics are normally used. A source can well be a reliable source in general, but not a reliable source for certain topics that may occur in the source, such as a claim about Eskimo languages in a scholarly paper on physics, or a claim about quantum theory in a sports report. And a source can never be reliable for information it does not contain in the first place.
The purpose of our policies is to provide a framework in which we can build an encyclopedia. English Encyclopedias and other reference sources generally put the diacritics in foreign names. You have ignored my direct question and not explained what aspect of Wikipedia makes us different from those other, professionally edited, reference works in a way that justifies departing from this general practice.
And please try to avoid arguments that obviously make no sense, such as that about having to know a language before being able to type its characters. This is true neither for general Unicode tables nor in Wikipedia. Under standard settings, you just have to click "Special characters" to get a table of all special Latin-based letters that you are likely to need, all conveniently in one alphabetically sorted table. If you happen to need one of the rare characters that go beyond that, you can click "Latin extended" on the left-hand side to get the really obscure ones such as a dotted long s or a U with a tilde below it. – But you will almost never have to do this, because it almost never makes sense to use diacritics for a person for whom there is no web coverage in their native language. Copy and paste from such a source is the easiest way to get the diacritics right. And, of course, the English Wikipedia generally has no shortage of editors who are native speakers in the respective languages and who will care for these articles. This discussion is about forbidding them to correct the diacritics, not about forcing native English speakers to place them. Nobody is going to be blocked for creating an article under a name that is missing diacritics. This can easily be corrected by others, and it's no extra effort because the redirects are needed anyway. What is a problem is the approach, "I have never seen a proper encyclopedia, or I don't care what they do, and I wasn't taught diacritics in first grade, therefore nobody may have them and I will fight for my right not to be bothered by the existence of information that doesn't interest me about people who don't interest me."
There is a clear break in the real world, and especially in 'real' encyclopedias, between how Latin-based unfamiliar letters are handled and how letters from other scripts are handled. It is not our job to 'correct' this problem, even if it were a problem. You are transparently trying to set up a Nirvana fallacy by pretending that accepting éößÐ forces us to accept жپצছఋઊพ.
We are setting up an encyclopedia that is in many cases the most extensive source of information in English on topics that are of little interest to most native English speakers. These articles are used primarily by people (sometimes native English speakers, often not, as English is the modern lingua franca) who have a special interest in the topic and are therefore likely to have some basic understanding of the relevant language.
Your point about diacritics somehow being super obscure is ridiculous. I am sure you have a vague idea of how é or á differs from e or a in French and Spanish, and what makes ç different from c. Others also have a vague idea of how ö and ø differ from o, and even those who don't are not going to be helped by respelling them as oe or o. I am not very familiar with diacritics in Slavic languages, but it takes minimal exposure to them to learn that any kind of adornment of s normally represents an sh sound, any adornment of c normally represents a ch sound, and similarly a z-based diacritic is for a j sound. Special letters such as ß (a ligature of long s and normal s), Þþ and Ðð that are less easily recognisable as variants of standard Latin letters are pretty rare. Ðese þree are ðe most common, and after seeing ðem a few times along with an explanation they are easy to remember. (Spelling an English this way isn't as absurd as it may appear to you. Þ and ð were expunged from English orthography because the printing presses imported from Germany lacked them. For some time the was spelled as ye since y and ð looked similar in handwritings. The modern pronunciation of "ye olde teashoppe" is a mispronunciation.)
It appears to me that a lot of editors are spoiled. It's not enough for them to learn a little bit from an article, but they want at the same time that their egos are stroked. Whether they happen to arrive at an article about a fine point of quantum mechanics or a 1980s mayor of a Polish city, they want to be given the illusion that by reading a few sentences they know everything worth knowing about the subject, while not being reminded of the fact that they are ignorant about physics or the Polish language. (For some reason this disease seems to be most common in the US, by the way.) That's not a reasonable approach for an encyclopedia. By trying to dumb articles down in the pursuit of this goal we would make them useless to our most interested readers. Modern human knowledge is so vast that everybody is ignorant about many important topics. You better get used to the fact that that includes you. Yes, you. (And me as well, obviously.) Hans Adler 08:20, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
That is why we have the saying: "ignorance is curable but stupitity lasts a lifetime". It is just a problem when the means to cure ignorance get destroyed. Agathoclea (talk) 23:06, 1 July 2011 (UTC)