User talk:Mark Dingemanse/Archive6

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Did you know?[edit]

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Latin, an endangered language[edit]

You deleted my ‘endangered language’ category on the following grounds:

       Rm category. Latin is not endangered. It has no native speakers (no children are brought up in Latin) and is thriving in literature and among second language speakers.)

An endangered language is defined in many places (this is just an example) as following (my capitals, with no editing):

       An endangered language is a language with so few surviving SPEAKERS that it is in danger of falling out of USE.
       While there is no definite threshold for identifying a language as endangered, three main criteria are used as guidelines: 
       1.    The number of SPEAKERS currently living. 
       2.    The mean age of native and/or FLUENT speakers. 
       3.    The percentage of the youngest generation acquiring FLUENCY with the language in question. 

Latin complies with this to perfection and IS therefore an endangered language that needs to be helped. If you think of the church, very few priests of even cardinals SPEAK the language anymore as Reginald Foster, official translator at the Vatican has often pointed out. If you think about university, the majority of Latin scholars are NOT speakers of the language: basically they cannot SPEAK it, and do not attempt or wish to USE it as it was once extensively used for academic communication. So, it is not thriving among second language SPEAKERS at all; it has in fact practically disappeared from USE. There ARE surviving speakers of Latin, but they are so few (probably NOT MORE than a thousand worldwide) that the language is in grave danger of completely falling out of USE, according to the definition: There are very few SPEAKERS currently living, most FLUENT speakers are old, and the percentage of the youngest generation acquiring FLUENCY with the language in question is extremely very limited. Latin is an endangered language, and the category I added was not erroneous; I beg you not to remove it again when I restore it.

To analyse your claim that Latin is thriving because many people around the world still study it (to what a poor extent, alas), let me put some comparative examples. The pre-Columbian cultures are also widely known and studied from school age all through the American continent and elsewhere, they are even celebrated by the authorities of the respective countries (I know the case of Mexico better) as a core element of national identity and museums are raised to their glorious past ... yet the modern real and living native communities dwelling in the forests ... would you say they are not endangered? But let’s discuss the languages themselves. We can still say exactly the same. There are wonderful manuscript codices in Nahuatl which are studied at many universities all over the world, just like the Latin manuscripts from Roman times. Books on Aztec hieroglyphs can even be found in different bookshops here in London, where I live, exactly those few bookshops where books in Latin can also be found. No one will deny that this academic survival of the glorious past of these languages is stably assured in the ‘thriving’ (being extremely optimistic) way you mention, but does that mean that the living usage of the languages is not endangered? Similarly, Aramaic is studied by many biblical scholars all over the world, yet it is considered an endangered language in most classifications I have seen, as it's surely not the number of people who study it that has to be looked at, but the number of users (speakers). When we consider the status of Latin and the condition of its SPEAKERS, we can’t therefore consider the classical scholars, who are only too happy to see Latin as a dead language for them to dissect in their departments, just as the Maya speakers in Chiapas are not the pre-Columbian scholars who work at the University of Mexico City. Classical scholars, by the way, who are for the most part completely unable to speak the language they claim to love.

I am also aware of what you say about the 'native' criterion; but other classifications, like the one I use as an example above don't consider this essential ('native and/or fluent' they say), so it would be your personal opinion that only the ‘native’ alternative is to be had in mind, and not the ‘fluent’ one. Of course, in an endangered language, the existence of native speakers is bound to be precarious. Many people who consider themselves as belonging to a cultural and historical community won't speak the language as natives since their parents and even grandparents adopted the majority language (that's, by definition, the reason for many languages becoming endangered). These people will have to revive the language in themselves by learning it as a second language. Such process (language revival it's called, if I'm not wrong) is essential to endangered language survival, and has proved extremely beneficial in many cases. This is the case, for instance, with Aragonese, a language spoken in the area where I was born and which seems to be mentioned in all endangered languages lists. Many Aragonese people are learning the language and adopting it as their own, even though their ancestors for several generations hadn't spoken it. This is the case with many Catalan or Welsh speakers also. These people feel that they belong to a historical and cultural community, and adopt the language that best conveys it, even if they are not native speakers. The same is the case with Latin among Latin speakers. That's why, precisely because of its endangered status, I know of no Latin-only native speakers, unfortunately; although there certainly ARE bilingual native speakers, that is people who have been educated in a household where Latin and another language was used, as is the case with many other endangered languages.

Latin, as a spoken language, is an endangered language, and this in an undeniable fact.

If you want to continue this discussion, please do so on the discussion section of the latin page.

No, I don't want to continue this discussion. I'm glad that you have noted the 'native' criterion. If you don't feel it is important, I don't feel like removing the category again. Keep it. — mark 06:17, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand you. After saying the above, you seem to have just removed the category again (Wikipedia (?) is NOT an endangered language. The user who wants it to be acknowledged as such, is well aware that no-one thinks about it that way. Please consult No Original Research) without indeed entering any sort of adult discussion. Well, if you tried to say that Latin is not an endangered language, you are wrong; but I am in no way stupid (at least not always) and I can see that this is not a widely shared view, after all most people are ignorant about minorities (precisely because they are minorities and an active attempt has been made at deleting them). You are therefore completely right in that, and I can also now see that on the grounds of the No Original Research you point me to I stand little chance of correcting this mistaken view through Wikipedia however many Latin speakers I show you or any other readers. Wikipedia seems therefore build up just to reinforce accepted knowledge, however wrong. Fine. It's probably not your fault. Thanks again for your open-mindedness. In the meantime my linguistic rights and those of my community will continue to be ignored because the prejudice won't allow itself to be challenged.
I'm sorry, my edit summary was meant to read Latin is not an endangered language.... I decided to remove the category after it had become clear to me that you had probably mistaken Wikipedia for a prescriptive enterprise — it isn't, it is purely descriptive. I believe I never implied that you are stupid; if I did, I certainly didn't mean to. The point is, indeed, that Wikipedia cannot be used to your ends, however noble or urgent your goal. An encyclopedia it is meant to record 'accepted' knowledge, not to correct mistaken views. — mark 16:29, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
As I said, you are sadly right. Nothing I can reply to that. I'm just saddened that this seems to bring you confort. Cura ut valeas semper.
As I said at User talk:Garzo, the No original research guideline is not there to violate your linguistic rights. It is there to protect this project from becoming a pseudoscience paradise. I think you can well imagine that we get loads of people here with new ideas who think they've found an easy way to get some publicity. If we would let everyone just do that, why would anyone trust Wikipedia (see Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Cite your sources and Wikipedia:Reliable sources)? Again, you have to take the high road to get your ideas included here. — mark 16:52, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
HAHAHAHAHA. That was hilarious. I don't know what you were planning to write originally, but look at your comment at Latin when you took out the Endangered Language cat. I laughed out loud when I saw it. :-p Tomer TALK 18:04, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)
Yeah... I mixed up 'Latin is not' and Wikipedia is not. I noticed it, and I agree it looks ridiculous :P — it's a pity we can't edit edit summaries. — mark 18:44, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To Mark: again I have to acknowledge that I very well see the point of the No original research guideline, and that's why I have now completely given up on my attempt to include that category. You can all rest now and be relieved. But, having said that, you will also realise that it is going to be difficult, under any circumstances, for a group which has been subject to strenuous efforts to be left out of the picture for the last couple of centuries to gain the high road in any way, however legitimate or sensible their plight might be. That's what saddened me: not the No original research guideline, which is very wise in itself, but the complete absence of sympathy from you lot towards the case I was putting forward (independently of whether it could or could not eventually deserve to be published in Wikipedia), simply from an academic/linguistic point of view. None of my points above has been rebated, and several of you (see above) have acknowledged that they did have some validity. Yet, you still refuse to let go of the prejudice. That's what saddens me. Anyway, I hope you'll understand that I'll now stop coming here, to your own personal discussion page. I might look up now and then the Latin discussion section, so if you want to continue the discussion it would have to be there. Yet, I think I'll probably end up giving up on Wikipedia altogether. Best of luck with endangered language salvage. One day Europeans will realise that the wonderful job they are now doing to put right and revert the awful effects of their colonial past by helping other peoples to keep their ancestral languages and cultures is something that Europe itself and the Europeans also deserve. One day, indeed, every human being will have a right to cultivate their millenary language and culture in a human environment. I'm looking forward to that. I wish you were too. Cura ut valeas optime.
Avitus, I think you're off track in comparing the situation you seem to find yourself in with what most other people call situations of language endangerment. To me, the linguistic heritage of Latin is not endangered at all, since the Romance languages as its direct descendants are thriving (quite naturally as no language stays the same through the centuries).
Now, you keep saying that you are surprised with the lack of sympathy for your enterprise. I'll tell you why: I don't feel that there is anything particularly aggravating about someone trying to revive a language at some arbitrary point of its development. Maybe our views on language differs. To me, the language entity called Latin in a particular stage of its development has not stopped to exist; it merely has changed into what people now call the Romance languages. Trying to revive this earlier stage is utterly pointless to me. I would react in the same way if present-day speakers of Nobiin (or anyone else for that matter) decided to 'revive' the Old Nubian language and started to make a fuss about their linguistic rights being violated. It makes no sense. — mark 14:42, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wow. You are a linguist, how can you be chosing to ignore the facts like this? And before I continue, let me say that you are a bit egoistic. I have begged you to continue this conversation on the Latin page: it's not very practical to have to chase each single person with whom I'm having this conversation back to their personal pages, or to have to repeat an argument I have already rebated to someone else. Anyway, as I have explained before (probably on the Latin page discussion section), the 'native'/'natural' Latin language evolved into the Romance languages you mention, and everybody knows that; but the 'learned'/'cultural' Latin language, although it also changed (Aquinas' Latin is not exactly the same as Erasmus' or as Newton's), followed a different path, and everybody knows that too. The fact that (some) Romance languages are thriving doesn't mean that Latin is. Come on, any linguist can see that the language of Cicero, Aquinas, Erasmus and Newton is one and the same, with a shared morphology, syntax and vocabulary, and mutual intellegibility, and this is the language everybody calls Latin; and that it is in turn different in morphology, syntax and vocabulary from the language called by all Spanish (whether 13th century Spanish or 21st century Spanish) or French or Italian, as much (or as little) as these languages are in turn different (and mutually unintelligible) to each other. To say that any remains of living Latin are not endangered because say Spanish, a historical development thereof, has 400 million speakers is as 'off track' as saying that Aragonese is not endangered because it's blood survives in her powerful sister language Spanish and so can be done without. C'mon, Aragonese is Aragonese, Spanish is Spanish, and Latin is Latin. If you cannot see that, no sé qué más te puedo decir. Meá quidem sententiá omnino alia lingua est Latina y otra el español, perdona que te diga. And everyone can see where one starts and the other ends. I thought we were doing sophisticated linguistics here and it now turns out that we can't even distinguish one language from another. Well, one of the basic criteria is mutual intellegibility, as I pointed out above. And I can tell you that Spanish people cannot understand me when I speak Latin and my Latin speaking say German friends cannot understand Spanish. So it cannot be the same language, I'm sorry to say. Also people knowing Latin can read Cicero, Aquinas, Erasmus and Newton, but they cannot read Cervantes, Dante or Rousseau, and viceversa. I'm shocked that you can come up with this idea that Spanish is in fact Latin. Come off it. If my attempt to have Latin recognised as an endangered language makes no sense, your claim that Latin exists because Spanish exists is pure language delirium, and the person who has published such ideas has chosen to be in denial of all linguistic evidence to the contrary in this respect. You said about me 'Latin is not an endangered language, and the user who wants it to be acknowledged as such, is well aware that no-one thinks about it that way', well, 'Latin is certainly not Spanish, and the user who wants it to be acknowledged as such, is well aware that no-one thinks about it that way'.

On a historical point of view also, I don't know about the history of the Nubian language, so I cannot make any comments; but we are not talking about fictions here (what would happen if...), we are talking about facts, and the fact is that 'learned'/'cultural' Latin has been used for centuries independenlty of the evolution of the romance languages, and Nubian probably hasn't, so Latin has a living tradition which is actually endangered and a real community of speakers with real (and in their mind absolutely legitimate) claims, and Old Nubian (I'm telling you I don't know) probably hasn't. You cannot disregard the real claim of real people based on real historical use on the grounds of 'what would happen if the Nubians did this or that'.

First, I'm sorry for replying here again but I don't think it's a good idea to move all of this to Talk:Latin. Incidentally, if you register (which only takes a few seconds, really), you get the possibility to put pages on your watchlist, so that you get to see recent changes in those pages when you hit Special:Watchlist. That's an easy way to keep track of multiple conversations at once.
You devote quite some paragraphs to the 'Latin = Spanish' thing, but I think you can see why this is a straw man argument. As I said, it may well be that our views on what language is differ. In fact, I think that by now it is pretty clear that they do. I feel I phrased my statement carefully enough to avoid this misunderstanding; nowhere, in fact, did I say or intend to say that 'Latin = Spanish'. In fact, I specifically noted that languages change over time, which is why it is not surprising at all that there are differences in lexicon, phonology, morphology and syntax between 'learned' Latin and the present-day Romance languages; and thus, why it is not surprising why they have different names. Please also note that I never contended the existence of 'learned' or 'cultural' Latin.
The issue stays the same, really. Quite frankly, I don't really care much about people who want to revive 'learned' or 'cultural' Latin. I don't dislike them; I've nothing against them; it's just that I see no point in their endeavour. — mark 01:19, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanations. I'm satisfied now ;-) By the way, are you aware that if what you did in fact say (to me, the linguistic heritage of Latin is not endangered at all, since the Romance languages as its direct descendants are thriving) was not just a very beautiful romantic way to see reality through pink coulored glasses (something I also like to do in the right context, and very much so) but had any scientific relevance whatsoever for the purposes of the classification of the status of languages (and Latin in particular) in the present (cf. also 'to me, the language entity called Latin in a particular stage of its development has not stopped to exist; it merely has changed into what people now call the Romance languages'), then as 'Latin ... has not stopped to exist', the category that should immediately be removed from the Latin page would be that of 'extinct languages' as Latin would in fact never have stopped to be spoken by native speakers to the present day? We have to learn to distinguish a poetic licence, that we may all well enjoy in the right place, from scientific discussion. Certain published books fail to make this distinction and that is sad. If they were right, among other things, the category 'extinct language' must be removed from the Latin page at once and be replaced by that of 'living languages'. I never went that far. But I can see from your words above that you don't really think that the claim that Latin survives in Spanish is in any way relevant for the purpose of the scientific classification of the status of Latin in the present. Thank you. Avitus.

Did you know?[edit]

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New language-stub types[edit]

Hi Mark - I hope you can help here... there have just been five new language stub types created (three of them by you) - yet no-one at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting found out anything about it until today. The new stubs certainly didn't go through the formal debating process at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Criteria before being created, and they don't fully conform to stub-naming policy (they have proper nouns in lower case). And they just keep turning up on our Stub-type list. How many more there are likely to be? Can you please give us some clue as to what's going on at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Criteria#Newly-discovered stub types - thanks. Grutness...wha? 10:04, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Oops... I've replied over there. — mark 13:01, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Mark, thank you so much for your help on the Scheutist page...I needed a Flemish name. You're great...I rebolded some stuff because the CICM page is also a redirect page for "Scheutist" and "Scheutist fathers." You're an accomplished wikipedian-linguist and Africanist. Kudos on all your impressive work, by the way! Etes-vous belge? ~ Dpr 20:17, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

(this is about Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae)
It's good to see the wiki at work — I thought my recent stub on the CICM would never be noticed and now you come along to prove the contrary, thanks! Thanks also you for your high praise! And no, I'm Dutch :). — mark 20:54, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Standard sounds table[edit]

I'm still interested in making a standard table to be used with most phonologies and sound sections in language articles. The ones you're using seem to work very well in respect to solving some of the issues with diacritics that appear on Firefox for OS X. I noticed that your tables are somewhat cumbersome to edit, though. Could they be formatted to work the same as other tables?

Peter Isotalo 10:31, Jun 5, 2005 (UTC)


This was not simply an edit war (although that is what started it), they teamed up to BLOCK ME, basically kick me off Wiki, for the sole reason that they are monitoring a page on Islamic Terrorism to insert their POV. I believe that there is more to it. On your suggestions:
  1. The editor did not let me talk it over with them. They immediately blocked me. There was no discussion and no talk.
  2. I believe that this is the worst abuse, based on all the preceding violations and with very bad motivation, that you could possibly have.
  3. I have found edit wars on Wiki, but I have not found this particular event -- teaming up to immediately block and terrorize a person attempting to do a simple and (not controversial) edit because they have a religious POV.
  4. I have not yet had any assistance. --Noitall 12:43, Jun 5, 2005 (UTC)

(0) Wrong. You were blocked for 24 hours for violating 3RR, as indicated on your Talk page. You were not kicked off the Wiki. (1) After being invited to the talk the issue through, you managed to revert three times. Only then you started to participate at the Talk page, introducing yourself with a general personal attack. After your fourth revert you were blocked according to the 3RR. (2) Hmm, I think we disagree on this one. (3) Some other personal attacks to pile up, that's nice of you. (4) Did you ask for it? Or did you maybe engage in an edit war, name-calling and yelling 'wiki terrorism'? Bye, Noitall. — mark 16:15, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Real short in addressing your response to a few of my issues: (1) I made the original reasonable edit of 64 words -- they reverted because they objected to one word. The issue had not been discussed before and they had the option of doing an easy 1-word edit, but they instead did a reactionary revert. Administrator Mustaffa broke all sorts of Wiki policies --which you have not yet addressed--to block me.

(2) ok

(3) You did not read my statement correctly -- I was stating that I researched the issue before complaining and I did not find this type of Administrator abuse discussed on the Wiki pages.

(4) The beginning title of my original statement to which you objected: "Request for Assistance: ADMINISTRATOR ABUSE".

I hope that you will be more interested in resolving problems rather than killing the messenger. --Noitall 02:30, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)

Did you know?[edit]

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Vandal B[edit]

Hehe, I've asked him the same question (Why did you choose such an alarming username?), when he first came to Serbian Wikipedia (there he has the same nickname - Вандал Б). He said something like: No one can say when will I express my true nature :) However, he never expressed his true nature, and today is a respected member of Serbian Wikipedian community and an admin on sr: Wiki -- Obradović Goran (talk 02:53, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I am by no means a linguist, merely a hobbyist who has never formally studied the topic. Most of my knowledge in fact comes from wikipedia, and perhaps your own articles here. Nevertheless, when I recently happened to surf into the article Meluhha, I was so struck by the claimed link between Dravidian and "Melano-African" that I was actually compelled to track down the source.

Since I saw your services as a specialist in african languages advertised at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Fact_and_Reference_Check, I was hoping that you might be able to to help determine:

  • Whether Mr. Bernard Sergent has credentials as a linguist
  • Whether in fact "all Melano-African languages have been credibly argued to be related" - Melano-African being a term for a proposed macrofamily including Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo - this apparently being a precondition for his claim of African-Dravidian kinship. My understanding, derived solely from Mustaffaa's contributions to Nilo-Saharan is that unity of the Nilo-Saharan family itself is not without controversy.
  • Whether his particular hypothesis of African-Dravidian kinship are credible.

The article is not heavily edited, and the original claim was made by AreJay, who seems to be a casual supporter of the hypothesis. Thanks for reading. --Peter Farago 06:47, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

OK, let me see if I can help you here. I'll reply point by point.
  1. I'm not sure if Bernard Sergent has credentials as a linguist. From here I gather that Sergent is "a Ph.D in Archaeology with additional degrees in Physical Anthropology and in History". He hasn't done much linguistic work himself. He published one article in General Linguistics, on a specialist IE-subject ('The Third Function: Fertility or Abundance', General Linguistics 2004, 41, 270-288). He frequently cites other sources for linguistic arguments. My purely subjective impression is that he is a conscientious and bona fide scientist, but that we'll need others to confirm or disprove this Afro-Dravidian hypothesis.
  2. First, I've never come across the term Melano-African in African linguistics; it seems to me that this term is only used in historical-anthropological circles. But yes, Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo have been argued to be related, for example by Westermann in 1911 who combined them as 'Sudanic', by Edvard Gregersen (1972) who proposed the macro-phylum 'Kongo-Saharan' and most recently by Roger Blench (1995, in press) who proposes to call the joint of them 'Niger-Saharan'. Phonological, morphological and lexical evidence has been presented to support this macrophylum (see Blench's [1], [2], and [3] for a useful compendium of many data). Incidentally, the fact that Nilo-Saharan itself is wildly diverse (and therefore not withous controversy) does not have to stand in the way of this hypothesis; Blench sidesteps some of the problems posed by this divergence by linking Niger-Congo to the Eastern-Sudanic subbranch of Nilo-Saharan.
  3. That's the crucial one, and for this I'm going to need to check some other sources. A premature remark I want to make is that the proposed shared traits cited over at [4] don't strike me as very convincing because they partly concern very general linguistic features which need not indicate any genetic relationship and rather might be pointing to universal tendencies in human language. The Afro-Dravidian hypothesis, whatever its merits, does not seem to have attracted much linguistic attention — but then, the same could be said about the Niger-Saharan hypothesis. I've reserved a book at the library which contains Gregersen's (2000) 'Some thoughts on Afro-Dravidian'. As soon as I have laid my hands upon this book, I'll get back to you. — mark 13:19, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your links to Blench's papers - I've read them as best I can and his work seems fascinating. I look forward to your thoughts on Gregersen. --Peter Farago 20:50, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OK. It could take some time as the book has been lent out to someone else; if all goes well, I'll get it around July 1st. — mark 11:37, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Did you know?[edit]

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Category: Indigenous peoples[edit]

Hi Mark. I have attempted a response at Category talk:Indigenous peoples to the concerns you had earlier raised, and also by way of some general thoughts on the utility and applicability of this category. I apologise in advance for its longwindedness. If you are able to take a look at it, I should be interested in your further views and comments on the topic - thanks.--cjllw | TALK 03:34, 2005 Jun 16 (UTC)

Thank you. I have replied over there. — mark 11:34, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The writing of the Fula Wikipedia[edit]

Hi Mark. Since you're active in the field of documenting African languages on Wikipedia, and in countering its systemic bias, I thought you might be interested to see this brilliant image I found on the Commons (more here). If, like me, you sometimes get a bit disheartened by the English Wikipedia's world of fancruft, VfD, childish vandalism, and all the rest of it, there are occasional things like this that make Wikipedia seem much more worthwhile. It made me happy, anyway. — Trilobite (Talk) 23:24, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

YEAH! You made my day! This is brilliant, really brilliant. Many thanks for sharing! — mark 07:18, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To follow up on this joyful news, I've been looking at all the discussion on the mailing list (which is how I came across the picture), and here's a good quote from Guaka about the Bambara Wikipedia: "My fellow Geek Frederic has set up a community centre with a bunch of computers and Skolelinux. In one of the poorest areas of Bamako. And it's exactly people at this centre who wrote (and are still writing) the largest part of the articles." The Bambara article on Sikaso is bigger than the English one, and there appear to be several articles in there with no English equivalents yet. This is really promising. — Trilobite (Talk) 09:54, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Theo RFA[edit]

Hi Mark: While you were on wikivacation someone impersonated you and supported my candidacy. I know it cannot be anyone who knows me: they described me as wise and witty.—Theo (Talk) 11:03, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

As I'm not witty either, I can't venture a hypothesis as to how this could have happened. I am terribly sorry. You know, I was going to remove the doppelganger vote and all, but then I thought: why not support him? Theo is a nice and courteous guy, and all those oppose votes need a counterbalance anyway. So there you go! — mark 19:22, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
BIG SMILE writ small.—Theo (Talk) 20:18, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Many thanks[edit]

Thank you very much for your high compliment. A barnstar's value derives solely from the reputation of the user who bestows it, and this one is thus especially valuable. - SimonP 20:39, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)


Great work on Dogon. There I was agreeing with your comment on the talk page and grumbling to myself about how I ought to have a go at sorting it out, then I check back and it's been expanded. Thanks! — Trilobite (Talk) 02:06, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. You gave a good example by 'overcoming evil with good' (Romans 12:21), so I decided to give it a start. I wasn't ready yet, but then the Wiki got read-only. The article is still only a shade of what it could be. If you feel like expanding it, go ahead! — mark 28 June 2005 08:39 (UTC)
I agree there is much more that could be written, and it's been added to the big todo list in my head. The best approach to the predominance of Sirius stuff in the article is to water it down with lots of relevant and interesting information about the people themselves, so it's good to see that happening. Anyway, I blanked my user page about three weeks ago and said I was going on a wikibreak! Sooner or later I'm really going to, but when I come back I will have another go at it, along with lots of similar articles on ethnic groups and related matters hopefully. — Trilobite (Talk) 28 June 2005 16:47 (UTC)


I came across an interesting new anon article, Suri, but it's in some need of help... - Mustafaa 28 June 2005 08:06 (UTC)

Ha, nice one! A good excuse to finally write Surmic languages :P — mark 28 June 2005 08:33 (UTC)
By the way, how'd you find it? — mark
Some anon wikilinked it in The Languages of Africa. - Mustafaa 28 June 2005 17:01 (UTC)


Hey Mark,

Thanks for all the encouragement and support. And I'm happy to say that I did get my Setif Massacre article posted on Did You Know! Ah, sweet validation.

A question: lately I've been working on some French translation articles and I'm not sure how to make the diacritic markings in the wiki edit page (short of cutting and pasting them from MSWord, which is what I've been doing). Does wikipedia have shortcut keys for this, or another method?

Great stuff on all these African language articles! I actually worked in a Senufo-speaking village for a while, but after mumbling my way through a few words retreated back to Bambara (which I never got very good at either). Interesting to read about it all from a broader perspective...

Dvyost 28 June 2005 18:41 (UTC)

Feminine Beauty and the US Popular Media, Rape on College Campus[edit]

Hi, Mark,

The Wikipedia project with the undergraduate Intro to Women's Studies students I taught during the spring semester has come to an end. The results were mixed; I'm pleased with what some of the students accomplished, but there are two postings that I'm eager to have you look at and make suggestions as to how they could be improved (or perhaps if they should instead simply be removed). Thanks for your warm welcome when I was getting started on this!

TK-P 28 June 2005 23:10 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. Where would I find these two postings that might need to be checked? — mark 30 June 2005 01:50 (UTC)

Beaker culture[edit]

Re: [5]. thanks mark — that edit is unproblematic, he was just copying a relevant paragraph from another article. It was probably not even roylee doing it. regards, dab () 29 June 2005 15:47 (UTC)

Replied over there. — mark 29 June 2005 15:50 (UTC)

Revert dispute over Scandinavian languages[edit]

I've tried to discuss and explain that Scandinavian languages is the exact same thing as North Germanic languages to this anonymous user(s?). So far it has only resulted in aggressive reverting and only two quite unreasonable attempts at discussion. Uncivil edit summaries to boot.

Do you think you could help out to solve this?

Btw, do you think you could delete North Germanic languages and move the current page (language instead of languages) to the plural title? That seems the most logical and consistent.

Peter Isotalo June 30, 2005 00:50 (UTC)

Move done. I'm away tomorrow, but I'll try to look into the revert issue soon. — mark 30 June 2005 01:46 (UTC)