User talk:Wadewitz/Archive 18

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re: Proposal

Talk about an offer I can't refuse! A collaboration with Wikipedia's Podcasting FA machine? I've been waiting for someone to come along and help with epilepsy, but an expert in eighteenth-century literature wasn't what I as expecting :-). Wikipedia once had a neurologist (ikkyu2), who spent some time on the epilepsy articles, but that was about two years ago. Since then, apart from a bit of work on seizure types, I've really just been a caretaker. I'm curious about the radical change from your usual work. Are you finding those articles to be a bit of a busman's holiday?

I hope you'll not be too disappointed to learn that I have no professional medical background. I don't see this as a barrier, though it it is likely we'll need to request help in some areas. An example of an outstanding lay-produced article is Tourette syndrome, though Sandy is exceptionally well informed and thorough. I do have a strong personal interest in the subject and some experience researching for WP articles in this area. I had considered Epilepsy too big a topic to tackle on my own, so had recently started collecting information about the ketogenic diet, with plans to rewrite it to GA level. But I'm more than happy to work on anything in this neglected area of WP.

There are some aspects of a collaboration that might be best done over email. I note that you don't have this enabled. Are you able to send me an email? You can set up an anonymous hotmail/yahoo account if you prefer.

Two other difficulties are that I'm based in the UK, so we have timezone issues, and I don't have nearly as much time to spend on-wiki as you do. Are you happy to work at a gentle pace? I'm sure you've got plenty other things to multitask, including that important dissertation. Cheers, Colin°Talk 17:34, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Despite our combined lack of professional medical training, I would like to think that we can do the bulk of this article. I'm glad you are familiar with the sources, because I was reticent to attempt any improvements to the article without any knowledge of the published sources (I really know of only one textbook on epilepsy). For the time being, I have enabled an anonymous gmail account that should be accessible now (forgive my paranoia). I agree that collaboration often works best over email - I have done the same for the Jane Austen drafts I am working on. Since we will be working primarily over email, I don't see the timezone issue being too much of a problem. If we ever need to speak in person, my hours are pretty flexible and I tend to stay up late (UTC-4). A gentle pace is perfect. I am currently buried in Jane Austen research as you can tell from my userpage - Simmaren and I are engaged in a massive rewrite of the Austen articles. However, sometimes it is nice to do something different. Awadewit | talk 19:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Joseph Priestley House

Thanks for expanding Joseph Priestley House, it was on my list of things to work on and I still want to add a bit more on the American Chemical Society connection. I have a good source - also think it would be good for DYK as it has been expanded enough. Are you done editing so I could add the ACS material? Don't want an edit conflict. Thanks, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 01:49, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm done expanding for the moment, although I have some more material planned - context on Priestley, his plans for the pantioscracy that failed, etc.. I just need to write it out. What you see is what I could glean from the visitor's guide to the museum itself. I'm hoping that they will allow us to use a picture or two that their staff photographers took - wouldn't that be nice? I'm going to ask them very politely when the page is in better shape. Go ahead and nominate it for DYK, as well. I was thinking that it might be a good candidate as well but I hadn't checked to see if had been expanded five-fold yet. Awadewit | talk 01:54, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I will add an infobox that has a map showing the location within Pennsylvania (the picture of the house is mine - not sure when I can get back there to try to get more and some inside if the PHMC doesn't allow theirs to be used). While I agree that Priestley is not the sole discoverer of oxygen, in 1874 they met on August 1st to mark the 100th anniversary of his "mercuric oxide heated with a magnifying glass" experiment. Not sure how to note that clearly. I thought the MOS said all dates with day, month and year should be wikilinked. I also was not sure how to move the cite web to match your footnote system, sorry. I was thinking of a DYK hook: ...that the Joseph Priestley House in Northumberland, Pennsylvania has the first and only laboratory Priestley designed, built and outfitted himself and has been the site of several American Chemical Society celebrations? Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:26, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Ew - I hate infoboxes - must we? I was going to ask another user who designs beautiful maps to make one for the article. See one at Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
  • We can work out the whole oxygen thing later - the deal is that other people have claims to the discovery as well. Why don't you add the bit about the experiment but not say that he discovered oxygen that day?
  • I only took out the date link inside the quotation - the MOS states that we don't change quotations unless absolutely necessary (WP:MOSQUOTE).
  • I'll leave the DYK hook up to you. Awadewit | talk 03:35, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The other PHMC articles have infoboxes, but I will not add one if you don't want it. Kmusser does make beautiful maps, please ask him. The DYK nom is in crediting you (and I put the picture up there too). I did not know the MOS on Quotes - sorry. I will add the date of the experiment. The house was renovated recently, but I do not have a good reliable source for that. There are also chemical demonstrations in the lab and lots of tours and special events in the house. The Unitarian congregation in Northumberland is named for Priestley too, but not sure it that belongs in the House article or not. Thanks again, nice expansion job Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:49, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, it is hardly done! I have just finished up Joseph Priestley, which I am taking to FAC soon, so I thought I would work on this next. Basically, this is the beginning. It can only get better from here. :) Awadewit | talk 03:54, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
While it certainly can be improved, it has already been made much better by your work - thank you. Let me know if you want me to try and get back there for some more pictures. I agree that deconvoluting scientific discovery can be quite complex. I know more about oxygen (Scheele did the experiment first, but Priestley published first) than CO. The claim that CO was isolated in Pennsylvania / last 10 years of Priestley's life (which was almost all in PA) is made in multiple fairly reliable sources - see the article talk page. Thanks again, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 15:49, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
No press releases that I can find - the new carriage barn was completed in 1999 (see here). It may take me several days to get to the library for the news article, which is from Dec. 1998. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 15:56, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Lavoisier in the original

I've now had the pleasure of dipping into Lavoisier in the original, specifically his Traité Élémentaire de Chimie where the following quote may be found

Warning for the unwary: if I'm not mistaken, principe means here "principle/basic assumption", but principes means "chemical elements".

I consulted several books on the history of chemistry yesterday, and they agreed that Lavoisier was not the first to enunciate the law of conservation of mass but he did assume it as an axiom from which he could prove/disprove things, specifically the phlogiston model. It was noted as early as the 1760s that calcination of pure metals increases their weight; by contrast, the phlogiston theory predicted initially that the weight would decrease, since phlogiston was being taken away from the metal. As Lavoisier rightly hypothesized, the increase is due to the combination of the metal with oxygen atoms. To rescue their theory, phlogiston supporters — I guess Priestley among them — proposed that phlogiston was lighter than air, just as a person's apparent weight may be lessened by holding onto helium balloons while stepping onto a scale. Releasing the balloons would then increase the apparent weight, despite something being subtracted. However, subsequent experiments showed that even this theory was not tenable.

Although he assumed it as an axiom, Lavoisier also carried out quantitative experiments to show that mass was conserved in specific reactions. Thanks to his great wealth, he was able to build the most precise scientific equipment of his era; indeed, his microbalances were accurate to one part in 400,000 and may have been the best mechanical balances ever constructed. He also built apparatus for quantifying the amount of gas consumed in a reaction and, together with Laplace, very accurate calorimeters to measure the heat released by a reaction. Such apparatus was essential for making chemistry quantitative, but it was beyond the financial means of most chemists, including Priestley.

It's not fair to say that Lavoisier was quantitative whereas his contemporaries such as Priestley were only qualitative, since the latter (including Priestley) did make quantitative measurements. However, Lavoisier was so much more quantitative, and more systematically so, and pushed for its necessity in chemistry so hard, that it seems fair to give him credit for that.

Side note: one of Lavoisier's more spectacular public demonstrations of chemistry was the production of water from hydrogen and oxygen gas, which was first observed by Priestley and investigated by Henry Cavendish. Lavoisier seems to have been the first to propose that water was composed of hydrogen and oxygen elements; for the others, hydrogen and oxygen were forms of water with and without phlogiston, respectively.

I'll brood a little more and read a little more today, so that I have the right perspective before editing Joseph Priestley again. One afternoon's research is too little to be confident that I have a clue! :)

Hoping that this helps, though, Willow 12:12, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


  • Partington JR (1962). A History of Chemistry (vol. 3). London: MacMillan and Co., Ltd. pp. pp. 376–378.  A four-volume set of the history of chemistry by an eminent British historian.
  • Mierzecki R (1991). The Historical Development of Chemical Concepts. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic. pp. p. 74. ISBN 0-7923-0915-4. 
  • Levere TH (2001). Transforming Matter: A History of Chemistry from Alchemy to the Buckyball. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. p. 71. 

Conservation of mass

I was pondering the difference between "principe" and "principes" and I came across this interesting reference:[1] which I will endeavor to fold into our article on Conservation of Mass. Namely, Lavoisier and Lomonosov and Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī were not the only ones to suggest that mass was conserved. This was also the position of Joseph Black, Henry Cavendish, and Jean Rey. So it was clearly something a lot of people had thought about.

I suspect that one of the meanings in days past of "principe" was element or constituent, but I have not found anything that convinces me of that however. I need to ask a linguist.--Filll 19:45, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Partington says that the idea was popular in the time just before Lavoisier; he quotes from Jean Pierre Chardenon's 1764 Mémoire sur l'augmentation de poids des métaux calcinés (which concerned phlogiston theory, I believe)
The concept that matter is just the rearrangement of uncreated and indestructible atoms was proposed much earlier by Democritus, of course, although Melissus of Samos was probably responsible for the original concept that nothing can be created or destroyed
although none of the Greeks connected this "no creation/annihilation" concept with the conservation of mass explicitly, to my knowledge. Anyway, although I'm sure that she's fascinated by the discussion, I think we shouldn't burden Awadewit's Talk page with it too much longer; at least I shouldn't wear out my welcome. ;) Willow 21:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I didn't want you guys to think I was ignoring the discussion, but I've been tracking down a reference to Satan this afternoon. I have checked out some more books on the chemical revolution. I should be able to look at those tonight or tomorrow. Awadewit | talk 23:40, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Most of what I have reviewed agrees - it is the language that we have to be careful about. From Conant's The Overthrow of the Phlogiston Theory: "In his textbook of 1789 Lavoisier wrote: 'We must lay it down as an incontestable axiom, that in all the operations of art and nature, nothing is created; an equal quantity of matter exists both before and after the experiment . . . Upon this principle, the whole art of performing chemical experiments depends.'
Yes, that agrees quite closely with the quote above ("on peut poser en principe") from Traité Élémentaire de Chimie, although the word "incontestable" seems overly strong for Lavoisier (or any trained scientist). If it's meant to be a translation, that word appears to be absent from the French original. Perhaps Conant doesn't know French, or was adding a little POV? ;) Willow 07:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
[biographical material on Lavoisier] In the nineteenth century the exactness of this principle was tested by very careful experimentation, using balances far more sensitive than those available in Lavoisier's time. In every case it was found that the weight of the factors was equal to that of the products within the small experimental error of the measurements. The principle was thus considered a generalization of experiment fact, rather than an axiom; it became known as the Law of Conservation of Mass (or Matter). We now have good reason to believe on both theoretical and experimental grounds that in the form in which it was expressed by Lavoisier and by the scientists of the nineteenth century it is only an approximation..." (30)
  • So it would seem that the ideas underpinning the law of conservation of mass existed at the time (if not previously), Lavoisier and others were formulating the principle, it did not become a verified "law" until the nineteenth century, which subsequently was qualified in the twentieth century. Is that about right? Awadewit | talk 01:36, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It sounds about right to me. There was no way for these people to know that this was only approximately true, and it would have been impossible for them to measure it, probably (although I have not researched this question, so I am guessing). Nothing wrong with assuming an axiom and then seeing where it takes you.--Filll 01:58, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Here is the sentence from the JP article: Lavoisier's system was based largely on the quantitative concept that mass is neither created nor destroyed in chemical reactions, i.e., the law of conservation of mass.
  • Revision: Lavoisier's system was based largely on the quantitative concept that mass is neither created nor destroyed in chemical reactions, an axiom that would later be experimentally verified in the nineteenth century. - It leaves out the twentieth-century qualifier, however. Awadewit | talk 02:09, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Wow this is hard. I am not super enamored with either of those two options, to be honest. Mass is conserved in these reactions, but really only approximately. I am not sure who made what measurements when and what their error bars are. I guess I should try to find out but I doubt it is on the internet; I could be wrong of course. --Filll 02:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Back from work, but plagued with insomnia — I hope I can muster a coherent answer at this hour! :P bleah
My sense is that our sticking point is the word "law", which seems a red herring that we can simply eliminate. I would've written just "conservation of mass" anyway, without the "law of" prefix, but that was the Wikipedia page and I was too lazy to rename the wikilink. The word "law" has unfortunate connotations, since it suggests to lay-people far more certainty that any scientist would commit themselves to. For one thing, mass is, I believe, not conserved exactly in any chemical reaction, since the slightest release or absorption of heat corresponds to slight changes in the net energy, which results in slight changes in mass, just as they do in nuclear reactions. Secondly, every scientist is alive to the possibility that they might observe exceptions to their favorite rule or model; scientists may adopt "laws" as convenient working principles but they're not viewed as inviolable and proven "incontestably". I believe that's why Lavoisier carefully said "on peut poser en principe que", rather than something rash like "J'ai demontrée que" or "On sait que". I expect that the scientists of the 19th and 20th centuries agreed with that wording; even if a principle has been shown to hold for 10,000 chemical reactions (to a certain precision), it might fail at higher precision or with the 10001st reaction tested.
As an aside, given the Levere (2001) source for the precision of Lavoisier's balances (1 part in 400,000), I'm skeptical of the claim that the 19th century balances were "far more sensitive" than Lavoisier's. Rather, the contribution of the 19th century chemists seems to have been testing the principle of conservation of mass in a much greater variety of chemical reactions than Lavoisier did.
As another aside, I don't believe that we need mention the work done in the 19th and 20th century to establish/refine the conditions on conservation of mass. The focus of the article should remain on its subject, Joseph Priestley, no? Willow 07:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with WillowW. I feel a bit uncomfortable with the notion of a "Law of conservation of mass" being placed in this article. There is such a law, sort of, but it certainly is not a law in the context these chemists were using it, as WillowW says. I feel strange calling it a quantitative concept; I would rather call it a principle of conservation of mass, or an assumption of conservation of mass, or an axiom, or something. I am not sure of the best wording here. This does seem a bit far away from Priestly, but maybe some of it could be used in Lavoisier's article. I also wonder about the bit about the balances; I do not know how accurate the balances were, and what the tolerances were, and how these evolved with time. So I would be a bit leery about making claims about whose balance was more accurate than whose and who had better data, without more information.--Filll 12:30, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Having done a bit more investigation, I have found several sources that confirm that Lavoisier had by far the most sophisticated set of balances available at the time, with two possible competitors. There were no others that was much much better that were available. I do not even know what the current status is, with much better technology, although that is an interesting question.--Filll 16:55, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The benefit of a version of the sentence is that it helps clarify the differences between Lavoisier and Priestley; however, we need to be careful that we don't convey the wrong impression to the reader. How best to do this? Awadewit | talk 20:01, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Of Clare and Claire

Cheers. One of the trickiest things with John will be the history of editions, which I expect you know are still controversial today. I'm not really thinking past Mary Shelley at the moment though, as I can't multi-task like you.

I've been gently reading round Mary. I'm enjoying Frankenstein: I'm amazed at how pacy it is for the period—it has a fluency I'd associate more with mid-nineteenth-century writers like Emily Brontë or Wilkie Collins. It's what I call "trance-writing", and none the worse for that.

I was surprised that the Cambridge Companion put Muriel Spark on the list (yes, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a little masterpiece, but I dislike Spark generally). Perhaps her critical section will be better, but I dislike her style of biography so far. I mean, how about this: "'To express it delicately,' wrote Byron in 1820 to a friend, 'I think Madame Claire is a damned bitch'. This was one of Byron's occasional approaches to accuracy." This really is wrong on all levels. Without telling the reader the later context of this letter, Spark makes this judgement very early in the biography, as a way of pre-characterising Claire just before she goes with Mary and Shelley on that first jaunt to Europe. In fact, this is part of a letter of Byron's which Spark quotes another extract from later in the correct context. Byron is saying this about Claire at a time when she is bothering him about their daughter, whom he has placed in a convent (the one in which the daughter, confirming Claire's fears about its sanitation, was shortly to die of typhoid) in defiance of his agreement not to put her away from himself. Would not most parents make trouble in those circumstances?

I've been enjoying reading the wonderful Claire Clairmont and the Shelleys by Gittings and Manton. They obviously like Claire, but they also like the Shelleys and don't seek to make a novelistic opposition between them and Claire; they also hardly say anything against Claire's mother, whereas Spark makes her into a wicked (and stupid) stepmother figure. I'm really glad I read this book first: it will make my eye beady for bias. qp10qp 21:23, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Don't get me wrong, I'm not reading about Clare or Shelley, yet. I just thought we should grab the information while the grabbing was good. :) I'm glad you're enjoying Frankenstein. Most people are pleasantly surprised by its sophistication compared to the movies. I remember when I studied it as an undergraduate and we looked at it through several different "lenses", as they say in English - I knew I wanted to be an English professor for sure at that moment. It's an endlessly-fascinating book. It's hard not to make the whole Shelley affair into a novel, I think. I'll let you know what St Clair does (we're drowning in Claires!). Awadewit | talk 07:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Review Request

Hey there! You gave me a very helpful review of Ann Bannon and you are very knowledgeable about the guidelines and policies of Wikipedia. Yesterday, one of the articles I added about 95% of the content to, To Kill a Mockingbird, was promoted to GA. I'd like to see what can be done to feature it. I asked for a peer review a couple months ago and got a rather tepid response, and the article has changed a bit since then. I'd appreciate anything you can do. Thanks so much. --Moni3 20:24, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'd like to help, but I'm really busy with my dissertation at the moment (see banner above). I'm afraid that I just can't do any extra reviewing. Sorry! Awadewit | talk 22:05, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Lit project

Indeed we should. Our tasks are currently as follows, in my opinion:

  1. Gather more members
  2. Place project tags on talk pages to get a better feel for exactly what we're dealing with.
  3. Improve the Literature article and the topics article. (I think doing the first will shed light on the second. Wrad 23:01, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Sounds good to me. I also think we should aim to set up some sort of "article writing guidelines" or "hints" that emphasize research, research, research. I had a draft somewhere, but I never finished it. Too many of the literature pages look like SparkNotes, in my opinion. :) Awadewit | talk 23:07, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, definitely. I think there's a yet-unwritten "Research helps" section on the project page. Wrad 23:12, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I can work on something like that, I think. It sounds more manageable than tagging thousands of articles or writing an article on an entire genre! Awadewit | talk 23:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I'm planning on doing. Good thing it's the weekend! Wrad 23:20, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I moved your GA reviewer request to the talk page. I hope it doesn't embarrass you! I might take on one of those tomorrow. Wrad 02:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

  • That's fine. (The articles are short!) Awadewit | talk 03:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Balzac et al

Yeah, that's pretty exciting to have HdB on the front page, but I'm worried that the protection has been removed. The 12-year-olds are going to have a field day if it's not protected when it goes live.

I added myself to the "please ask me to peer review your article" page, even though I need to get this Harriet Tubman thing done before I can agree to do any more reviewing. Thanks a lot for giving me more work! =) – Scartol · Talk 21:26, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Society for Constitutional Information

Yes, I created a redirect from Society for Constitutional Information to London Corresponding Society, because there was no article for it and it was discussed in that article, which makes clear they were different, but closely associated. A redirect is a stopgap until an article can be created. I was planning to do that, but I don't mind if someone else does. Jon Roland 22:30, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I presently link to Society for Constitutional Information from other pages so if you create an article, or don't create it fairly soon, I am going to need to re-create the redirect until I can. Jon Roland 22:33, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

But the redirect is incorrect. It gives the reader the impression that the societies were the same. Please don't create the redirect. Please either create the appropriate article or leave it redlinked. That is the appropriate procedure in this case. Thanks again. Awadewit | talk 22:42, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
A new article has now been created. Now the links from several other articles work. But it is still a stub. Hopefully editors will expand it. In the meantime it links back to other articles that help cover the subject. Jon Roland 00:17, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm okay

Thanks for checking in. My real frustration is with the admins' refusal to semi-protect the article. I actually think all of Wikipedia should be semi-protected. We want to let anyone edit? Fine; just make them accountable in some way. 95% of the vandalism I deal with comes from IP users, and I very very rarely see them add anything worthwhile. Orthodoxy in defense of libertarian internet culture is still orthodoxy, and in this case it flies in the face of logic. So much time and energy is wasted on fighting vandalism that should be used on more productive things. Grr! – Scartol • Tok 23:05, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

  • That proposal has been floated many times, as you can imagine. Interestingly, someone did a study on the contributions of anonymous IP edits and it was basically vandalism and vandal-fighting. Weird, huh? I think the vandalism will reach such a point that eventually semi-protection will be enabled. It will be a practical decision. Until that day, however.... By the way, feel free to jump in on the request above, regarding J. K. Rowling. I'm much too busy for that. Awadewit | talk 23:12, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I've already signed on to J. D. Salinger. Do you mean to say the WP:CABAL has to wait for the vandalism to get worse before they eliminate IP editing? Maybe they would care spend their Saturday reverting all these moronic "ball sack" jokes. – Scartol • Tok 23:18, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I think they are waiting and many of them do vandal-fight. They are just very dedicated to openness - many of them have been here since the beginning - since before any registration. Apparently there was some sort of mini-war over having any registration at all because many editors believed it would bring too much personality and too much socializing into the encyclopedia. People left over that. In many ways they were right - userpages have become quite personalized. I initially had a lot of userboxes proclaiming my views on things, but I removed them once I started going to other people's userpages and being turned off by their boxes. I realized it was easier to work with someone if I didn't know that they idolized a particular political figure that I did not. I didn't want people to pre-judge me, either, so I removed most of them. Awadewit | talk 23:29, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I can see the value in not knowing who we're working with, but knowledge is situated, so it makes sense to me that we know who we are. As for socializing, it's a part of human nature; we're social animals. Socializing makes me look forward to checking in here, and I therefore am more inclined to work on stuff. It's a cycle. School would suck if we had no friends there. Obviously it can go too far (have you seen these chowderheads giving each other barnstars for finding hidden pages? yeek!), but – as with all things – balance is necessary. And these IP vandals are making me very unbalanced! (Nice full circle there, eh?) – Scartol • Tok 23:34, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I think some knowledge is helpful (you are a high school teacher, I am a graduate student), while other knowledge is unnecessary (someone has a cat) and some knowledge might be downright harmful (insert religious preference here). I agree that having friends on wikipedia is part of what makes it wonderful, but, in the end, it is not a meet-and-greet site, it is an encyclopedia and everything on it should work towards those ends. Obviously the friendships we build help the encyclopedia work and help us write articles, but there are limits to that. We can't be friends with everyone and we need to be able to work with our non-friends otherwise we will be part of a cabal. :) Now I just sound preachy, so I'll stop. I'm sure you'll regain your balance again in a few days and in a few months actually desire to have CA on the main page so that more people will learn about him and his writings. (Finding hidden pages? What does that even mean?) Awadewit | talk 23:47, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
You made the "I have a cat userbox" comment on the podcast, too. If you have a problem with the fact that I have a cat dog, then come right out and say it! =) I don't think putting religious info on a userpage is harmful; reacting negatively to another user's religion is, and it's that reaction which is at fault. Obviously that's a much larger issue, and you're right that not knowing about such a thing can make it easier for two people to work together. But I generally like to know things about the people I work with – not so I can avoid those I disagree with politically etc, but so I can find points of contact and understand their frames of reference.
I don't even know what finding hidden pages means. I tried looking around at one point, but gave up. Probably a white link like this or something.
I find the cat box an easy, innocuous example. I personally love cats. :) The religion example is much more complicated and perhaps best not discussed at length here. I have seen userpages that condemn me to hell, however (obviously not me personally, but people like me). I find that offensive. I can't say that I am anxious to work with such a person and I do react negatively to such proclamations. Since wikipedia is a volunteer effort and I have so little free time, I would rather work with people who are not going to spend their time preaching at me since the purpose of wikipedia is not to convert editors to one's religious views but to write an encyclopedia. Awadewit | talk 00:41, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I would rather work with people who are not going to spend their time preaching at me… Well, dangit! I thought the time was right to tell you about my newfound Raelian faith, but I guess I should just save my breath. Humph! There's a bit of a difference between putting up a ubx indicating one's religion and one which condemns other users to hell. (I agree we probably shouldn't discuss it here, tho.) In other news: Oooo, you're canvassing. I'm telling! =) (Except when I re-read that page, I can't decide. If I know the people I'm notifying are likely to support – even if my message is friendly, limited, neutral, nonpartisan, and open – is it still canvassing?) – Scartol • Tok 13:45, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
It is most emphatically not canvassing. I have actually been involved in disputes over what canvassing actually is and I am absolutely positive this is not it. Notifying people who have an interest in the topic (such as yourself) is perfectly acceptable. I did not notify everyone who worked on VRM, only you, because only you have the "I am a feminist" userbox. Since that was one of the arguments I made for having the article on the main page, I thought you might have an interest in weighing in. However, I did not ask you to vote one way or the other. Besides, canvassing usually involves contacting more than one person. Note the description of it as a mass email or some such thing. You'll know when you see canvassing - it looks like the junkmail you receive in your mailbox. :) By the way, I responded to your comment over on the requests page. Awadewit | talk 20:57, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
If you have a problem with my Raelian faith, come right out and say it! =) I was caught off guard when someone once accused me of canvassing, and ever since I'm just completely paranoid about it. Thanks for the clarification. – Scartol • Tok 22:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I was going to let that go, but now you've provoked me. Since I am Raelian, I am just a mite offended. Awadewit | talk 22:15, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

(unindent) Balzac must be off the main page in some part of the world, because an hour has gone by and there has been no vandalism. I guess vandals don't hail from my part of the United States. Lol. Awadewit | talk 23:50, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Shhh! Don't jinx it! =) – Scartol • Tok 00:24, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

new userbox

Hello again,

Your episode has now gone live and is available at episode 35.

For your troubles please take this userbox as a little thankyou. Just add this code below to your userpage if you want: {{User:Scartol/ubx/WikWeekGuest|35|}}

It will look like this:

WikipediaWeekly50x50.png This user was a guest on Episode 35 of Wikipedia Weekly. You can listen here.

On a different note, I thought I'd tell you that just yesterday I got a job - I'm now the multimedia coordinator of the Dictionary of Sydney! This means I look after the pictures, maps, videos (and volunteers) for the city of Sydney's new project to have an online encyclopaedia of itself. Very exciting. Fancy there being a (paying) job out there that requires a history degree and a knowledge of the workings of online encyclopaedias.

Witty Lama 00:21, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Yay Awadewit podcast! (That's a nice lookin' userbox too.) – Scartol · Talk 01:00, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Haha. I've always pronounced your name Ah-Wah-Doo-It, because it sounds like "I will do it." Seems fitting :) Wrad 01:38, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Heh, I just listened to the podcast. Nice job, Awadewit (I too pronounced it incorrectly :-P)! I also feel bad that I was one of the many who assumed you were a he at first. :( Nishkid64 (talk) 01:42, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
No worries - how could you know? Awadewit | talk 03:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

You're actually a lot more vocal about your womanhood than most editors. Many are uncomfortable sharing even that, and it really is impossible to tell. Wrad 03:47, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Weekly Episode 35


Let us rejoyce! Wikipedia Weekly Episode 35 has been released!

.mp3 and .ogg versions can be found at, and, as always, you can download past episodes and leave comments at

For Wikipedia Weekly — WODUP 01:31, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

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Questions and comments

Cool podcast! I really think that wikipedia now is an insult to Literary academics. Evidence of that can be found in the struggle we had in creating the Literature WikiProject. People actually thought that books and literature were the same thing! I've even had people tell me, and seen discussions where someone else was told, that no literary criticism should be added to an article because it was biased. They equated literary criticism with talking trash about a book! I hope we can gradually fix this. We've got some good editors on the project. We're all spread pretty thin, but what else is new?

Also, being an undergrad aiming for graduate school in the nearing future, I'm curious what you've heard people say on employment boards for the Humanities. Surely you can't be kicked off a potential job list just because you edit Wikipedia! I was under the impression that the situation was improving. Several humanities classes in my school are handing out wikipedia assignments, where students are asked to improve an article on a specific literary work or author. Have you seen anything similar in your experience? Wrad 02:08, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I would advise you to read The Chronicle of Higher Education "Career" columns. They have excellent advice and stories about the job search in the humanities. The stories reveal the difficulty and ultimate arbitrariness of the process. It may start out as a merit-based process, but it often comes down to other things.
  • Also, just because professors have students write wikipedia articles does not mean that they themselves feel such an activity is worthwhile scholarship. You might look at the upcoming MLA convention program to see what there is on wikis and wikipedia. I haven't looked myself yet, but I'm curious. My personal experience has been that professors are very wary of wikipedia. I think that professors who do use it and have wikipedia-based assignments are rare. However, I may not be considering all the different types of universities and colleges; I tend to think in terms of research universities. Awadewit | talk 03:51, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks. I'm not exactly sure what sort of University I'm a part of. Its main focus is undergraduate education, but it also has a strong emphasis on research. Some of the professors who are promoting editing wikipedia in their classes are among the most respected in their fields. For example, Jesse Crisler, who is a teacher at my school and is acknowledged as one of the foremost experts in American Realism in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century (just google him and you'll see what I mean). I'm sure he wouldn't allow citing wikipedia in research papers, but who in their right mind would? Wrad 03:59, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • You are part of a research university; you can tell this because its offers many MAs and PhDs. (However, some people may place in your institution in a another category of religious universities and colleges because of its strong religious leanings.) Awadewit | talk 04:15, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Alright. That doesn't surprise me much. (And I guess it's no big secret what university it is!) Also, I'd just like to say I've been highlighting the positive in regards to wikipedia here. Most professors do poo-poo it. Wrad 04:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Good to know we have another cheerleader! Awadewit | talk 04:39, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Awadewit, just wanted to say how interesting your interview was. I hope you pencil in a follow-up in five years, say, and we can see how the situation has progressed. :) In Wikipedia coverage and academic acceptance of Wikipedia. (BTW, if you are curious, WikiChix is here.) cheers --pfctdayelise (talk) 05:00, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I would like to do just such a follow-up. I'll take a look at WikiChix. Awadewit | talk 20:51, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Congrats on Wollstonecraft Topic

Hey, congrats on getting the Mary Wollstoncraft topic featured. I know you have worked very hard on that. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:06, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Congrats: now we are both podcasted!

Hi Awadewit,

Hope this finds you well: have just listened to your (very interesting) podcast. It was lovely hearing your voice after all our email exchanges. It's funny--even though I knew you were from the USA I somehow never envisaged you with an American accent! (so silly of me).

I hope your thesis is going well: I handed in last week and feel as free as a bird! I'll send you a pdf copy via email for your interest.

Best, tamsin 07:52, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I would love to read your thesis and I am so happy for you! I am deep in the process of trying to get something published and revising. Hopefully in a year or two I'll be done! Awadewit | talk 07:56, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Meeeee too. I would like a copy of said thesis! Witty Lama 10:50, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • wow, so many fans :-) I'm sending out pdf copies to people this week. keep an eye on your inboxes! (wink) 04:57, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Secretly famous?

Oh, I love this :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 14:42, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Awadewit | talk 19:46, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I never realized the purpose of your anonymity, and I agree with Witty lama that it's a crying shame. So I made this award for you and everyone else who has to work undercover to fight the demons of ignorance. Cheers.
Guy Fawkes portrait.jpg The Veneration of Virtue
In the name of V: For valiantly verifying the various vitriol in this voluminous venue and vanquishing the villains of vulgarity – vindicating the value of our venture – whilst voiding the visibility of your visage, I volunteer to you, Awadewit, this veneration of virtue. – Scartol · Talk 20:47, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Were you just sitting there with the "V" volume? :) Thanks so much. I appreciate it. Awadewit | talk 21:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I really enjoyed the interview too! I sympathize with oh-so-much of what you said about Wikipedia being an unappreciated pursuit in certain fields. You're actually a bit too modest about your work. Your work here is more significant than just 13 Featured Articles (which of course is nothing to sneeze at!); you've almost single-handedly raised the bar on what humanities should look like on Wikipedia. If indeed the site is still around in 25 years (and as my userpage notes, I think it will be too) your work will be forever the prototype in the field. I know you've heard all that before. Just wanted to again add that what you do is so deeply appreciated. --JayHenry 05:20, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
That means a great deal to me. Thanks. Awadewit | talk 05:32, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought you were (a) English and (b) male for a long time....well done. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 07:11, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
  • curious as to why, of course... :) Awadewit | talk 07:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Dunno, possibly the literative subject matter and something on an FAC, you opposing something or other William Shakespeare? when others had supported and something made me think 'male' - funny that...cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 07:41, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

(undent without oral surgery) I just finished listening to your interview, and it was great! Your intelligence and good humor came across every moment. :) I really hope for you that the people in academia see your worth and give you a great job that will make you happy your whole life. :)

Since it's confessional time, I'll admit that I was surprised that you were brought up in the country. I don't know why, but somehow I'd gotten the idea that you grew up in a town like Columbus or maybe smaller, like Punxsutawney. Funny, no? :) I confess that I'm secretly proud that you came from a country school, which sometimes aren't appreciated by city people; although I know the virtue lies primarily in the individual student and perhaps the individual teacher, not the school.

I'll try to work on JJ and AR today, and be diligent about the Leibniz thing for Joseph Priestley. To save space here, though, I'll discuss that over on my Talk page. Thanks also for the help with Usher syndrome! :) Well done once again, Willow 11:48, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Your advice would be appreciated

First of all, fantastic job with the Wikipedia Weekly interview. You're certainly not alone among scholars in editing Wikipedia anonymously. (Fortunately, I can count on my wife's future income as a physician in case I end up jobless because of Wikipedia.) On a related note, I'm working on an article about Wikipedia for the History of Science Society Newsletter, which goes out to the thousand-odd members of the History of Science Society (for January). I would love you have your feedback and suggestions for how to improve it: User:Ragesoss/HSS. I feel like I used up all my cleverness in composing a similar article that is soon to be published in an online history of science journal, so there was none left for this one.--ragesoss 15:57, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Will do. Just need a few days to ponder. Awadewit | talk 07:05, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Cath's bps

I've responded to your comments at Wikipedia:Peer review/Catherine de' Medici's building projects/archive1.

I can't listen to your podcast, unfortunately, because I've never plugged the speakers into my computer—and as far as I know, they are lost—but congratulations, anyway. I'm sure it is marvellous; but missing it does mean I can still imagine that you speak like Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma. 23:41, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi A! :)

I went through our friend JJ today, copy-editing and minor touch-ups, although I didn't get around to adding my own library notes. Maybe it would be better if you looked over the changes I made first, since a couple of them were guesses on my part of what you intended to say. They're highlighted in the edit summaries, e.g., the two sentences about Paine's trials. Once you've fixed up any mistakes I may have introduced, then I'll go back and add the few library notes I have that you haven't included already. Did I mention how great the article looks? I hadn't really read it in months and I was delighted with all the wonderful material you added. :) Oh, one thing, did you want to mention his long-standing malady? Willow 18:17, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I think your changes are excellent, except for the Wakefield sentence in the Priestley paragraph. That seems a bit off topic to me. I've hidden it for the time being. On your talk talk page, you asked me not to submit the article to FAC before you had added your notes. Well, I have no intention of doing so! The article still needs to go through the laborious GA, PR, detailed copyediting process that I put articles through before I nominate them. :) I find it makes FAC much easier, in the end, and greatly improves the articles. So, add away. I was thinking of nominating the article for GAC in a few days or so, but they are so backlogged over there that one can do edits as one is waiting for a reviewer. :) Besides, this article is already GA-material, in my humble opinion. I wasn't sure where to put the information on his illness, particularly since we know so little about it. Perhaps in the section on his death? For a while it was only in the lead, so I took it out. The article seems a bit long to me, so anything you can see your way to cutting would be nice. Awadewit | talk 18:44, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

You're never too busy for a peer review, right?

Hey there anonymous friend. I've spent some time improving Harriet Tubman and I'm trying to get it ready for FAC. Would you care to do a peer review? Thanks in advance, and I hope this week is off to a better start than last. – Scartol · Talk 02:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I think that I'm going to have to say no this time, I'm afraid. I'm just up to my ears in work and I feel the necessity to review Hamlet, which hasn't gotten any attention. However, I will send you an interesting article I found on Tubman biographies. :) Awadewit | talk 21:00, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
No sweat; I completely understand. Thanks for the article! – Scartol · Talk 03:04, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Le Sage's theory of gravitation

There seems to be different standards in German and English Wikipedia. In German, the same article is a featured one. But no problem, perhaps I will make some changes in the near future. And thank your very much for your efforts. --D.H 08:33, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

The discovery of oxygen

BBC Radio 4: In Our Time 15 November may interest you and your wikifriends. A panel of three experts discuss Priestley, Lavoisier and events of the time. You can listen online with RealPlayer. I wonder what you make of it. Colin°Talk 13:52, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Cool! I am still in the middle of setting up my new computers, but that is going to be my inaugural show. :) Awadewit | talk 22:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Featured List of the Day Experiment

There have been a series of proposals to initiate a Featured List of the Day on the main page. Numerous proposals have been put forth. After the third one failed, I audited all WP:FL's in order to begin an experiment in my own user space that will hopefully get it going. Today, it commences at WP:LOTD. Afterwards I created my experimental page, a new proposal was set forth to do a featured list that is strikingly similar to my own which is to do a user page experimental featured list, but no format has been confirmed and mechanism set in place. I continue to be willing to do the experiment myself and with this posting it commences. Please submit any list that you would like to have considered for list of the day in the month of January 2008 by the end of this month to WP:LOTD and its subpages. You may submit multiple lists for consideration.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:LOTD) 17:33, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Weekly

Enjoyed listening to your interview on Wikipedia Weekly. I usually find the episodes pretty tedious. Nice job making it interesting for a change! Kaldari 16:28, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

P.S. - I found the discussion of gender issues especially interesting, as about 50% of people seem to assume I am male and 50% assume I am female. Little do they know I'm actually just a very sophisticated bot! :) -- Kaldari (talk) 16:59, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • You've been here a while. :) Have you seen gender discrimination aimed at editors? I was very surprised that people had felt that, but I'm really still a newbie. Awadewit | talk 22:51, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm very late on the update on this, but I just listened to your interview. Very interesting and thought-provoking. It was strange to hear the voice to the text I had seen on-screen! All the best, — BillC talk 19:50, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm glad you enjoyed it - and there is no late! I expect that we would all be a bit surprised to see or hear each other. I kind of think of you as as a cross between William Monahan and Philip Seymour Hoffman's character in State and Main.  :) We build up these portraits for no rational reason, because we have nothing else to go on. Awadewit | talk 21:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
    • I saw BillC and William Monahan on my watchlist and I guess you mistook BillC for me, BillDeanCarter? If anything I look like the younger version of him from the picture in his first novel's book flap where he actually doesn't have a shred of fat. I'm looking forward to listening to your interview in the Wikipedia Weekly podcast which I've been meaning to get around to soon. I'm in the middle of putting the final touches on the List of works by William Monahan article before I send it to peer review, possibly GA, and then WP:FLC. Going through all his New York Press stuff was actually incredibly worthwhile. Very unique stuff. Congrats on the featured topic btw; the one for Mary Wollstonecraft.-BillDeanCarter (talk) 21:31, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
      • How embarrassing. I should just go back to sleep. Awadewit | talk 21:47, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
        • But it is true. I figure you probably look something like Mary Wollstonecraft and definitely have some kind of 18th century atmosphere following you around. Anyways, these portraits we imagine are a lot better than having a organization running around rectifying the situation.-BillDeanCarter (talk) 22:14, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
          • Ah yes, my scrubs are very elegant. I look very ladylike. :) Now you can imagine Wollstonecraft dressed in scrubs. Awadewit | talk 03:01, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

JK Rowling

I was wondering if you (or, if not you, someone you could introduce me to) might be willing to give JK Rowling a copyedit as part of its FAC. I've given it a bit of a going over but in promoting ten featured articles I have yet to please Tony1, and I doubt I could if I tried. Serendipodous 16:00, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm sorry, but I just don't have the time at the moment - see above banner. Everyone I know is pretty swamped, too. Seems to be a busy wiki-time. I wonder why that is? Awadewit | talk 23:30, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

T & C

Hi Awadewit, Thanks for your message. I'm not at my best at present. SO my collaboration with you may not be as intense as originally intended. However, I'll try to contribute something. I'll be spending quite a lot of today on trains. So I'll try to read some of the translation I have with a view of contributing a dramatis personae and a synopsis in the mid-term and also of checking for what sources Chaucer ackowledges. The dramatis personae will be annotated e.g. saying that Troilus dates back to Homer, but the significance he is given is based on Dares and the love story stsrted with Benoit, that Criseyde's name derives from Homer but as her current form is much later, that Pandarus exists in Homer, but only has this role in Boccaccio and was heavilly changed by Chaucer etc. --Peter cohen (talk) 08:30, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Sounds good. Please only edit when you're doing well! I'm not going to have time for much research until December and January, anyway. I just wanted to let you know that I am starting to gather a list of books in case you had any free time you wanted to dedicate to the project. :) We all have so much of that. Awadewit | talk 08:35, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

John Steinbeck

Hi, just an update since you commented at the peer review. The article is developing well. I have started adding some printed sources and am expanding and rewriting every weekend. The article still has a very long way to go to get to even GA, but any more thoughts you might have are very welcome. Thank you! LordHarris (talk) 09:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm glad to hear that the article is going well. However, I really don't have time to do any reviews right now (see above banner). Sorry! I look forward to seeing the article in a few months, though. Awadewit | talk 11:29, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


Was just promoted. Congratulations :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 16:49, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks! mav and I are going to do Antoine Lavoisier next summer. He is currently doing oxygen. I recommended he work on Carl Wilhelm Scheele as well, to round out the set. Perhaps we should make a little oxygen featured topic, eh? :) Just kidding. Awadewit | talk 20:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Yay JP is FA. – Scartol • Tok 22:05, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Talk:The Teen Idles

Thanks for your review of The Teen Idles. I belive I've addressed the comments you've made (or given satisfactory reasons for specific comments); could you give a final opinion at Talk:The Teen Idles. By the way, don't worry, I'll review your article at the start of next week. CloudNine (talk) 17:07, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Done and thanks. Awadewit | talk 20:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Re: WikiChix


The mailing list is operational. I emailed Angela who administrates it. I don't know what's up, she's normally pretty efficient. Should be sorted out soon. cheers, pfctdayelise (talk) 11:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Cool and thanks. Awadewit | talk 01:51, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Peer review

I may not get to it straight away because (I must be mad) I've taken on the Elizabeth I of England FAR. This will be a month of solid work (it doesn't just need referencing but rewriting), so I need to make some early progress (I can't zap these things like you and Scart). I will not let you down, though. qp10qp (talk) 13:33, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

(In the voice of Butt-head): Huh huh. You have a life, Qp. – Scartol • Tok 14:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
As always, let me know if I can help prose-wise or with peer-reviews. FARs are a very worthwhile effort. I assume many people are reading that page since a related movie has just been released. Awadewit | talk 20:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Many thanks for excellent additions to John Boydell

I just wanted to express my surprise and pleasure at returning to John Boydell this morning, after a few days away, to find a thorough and detailed summary of his life, four times the length it was on Friday. That you also managed to create the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery article is particularly impressive. Thanks also for nicely referencing the articles from credible sources, such as Bruntjen's dissertation. Rupert Clayton (talk) 16:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks! I'm planning on greatly expanding the Gallery page today. Currently, it is just a copy of the JB article. :) Awadewit | talk 20:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

And, as no trace of the original short Britannica text remains, I'm removing the {{1911}} tag. Rupert Clayton (talk) 16:31, 19 November 2007 (UTC) ...and adding it as a DYK submission: Template talk:Did you know#Articles created on November 19 Rupert Clayton (talk) 18:27, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I hadn't checked with the 1911 entry yet - thanks. It is always nice to have a substantive DYK article, isn't it? We should try and find a portrait. Awadewit | talk 20:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Commemorative paperweight

I came here to thank you for your kind remarks about Hamlet but instead my eye fell on the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery link and my purpose was diverted. Excellent little piece! Anyhow, as it seems to be your maiden (if you'll excuse the expression!) essay into British spellings, the moment demands commemoration :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 17:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Rosetta Barnstar.png The Rosetta Barnstar
For the first—and I do sincerely hope not last—of many fine articles penned with British spellings, please accept this memorial paperweight --ROGER DAVIES talk 17:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

GA: Lessons for children

I just wanted to alert you that I've placed the GA nomination on hold pending some minor corrections. Please see my comments on the article’s talk page and feel free to ask me any follow-up questions. Ɛƚƈơƅƅơƚɑ talk 22:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I've responded on the talk page. Awadewit | talk 22:41, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Responses have been posted. Ɛƚƈơƅƅơƚɑ talk 01:14, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
      • I've responded again, as well. Thanks for the meticulous GA review, by the way. It's the best one I've ever received. Awadewit | talk 01:48, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Priestley FA

Congratulations on the deservedly uncomplicated FA review for Joe Priestley. I feel a bit parrot-like adding my voice to that of all the others who've said this, but: great job. --Markus Poessel (talk) 13:04, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

  • But you're such an educated parrot! Seriously, thanks a lot. Awadewit | talk 13:37, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Although the result was never in doubt, congratulations on the extremely well deserved recognition of your superb work on Joseph Priestley. I've been away from WP (and from home) for awhile, but the first thing I did when I just logged on was to look for, and find, the expected gold star. Great job! (This does not mean that I will refrain from tweaking some of the science.) Finell (Talk) 01:28, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks! I moved the discussion of the law of conservation of mass over to the JP page, so perhaps we can continue it over there. Awadewit | talk 01:50, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Time zone

I just realised that you are commenting during my waking hours. Insomnia? 8-) Thanks for the article suggestion. I will reply to your message on my talk page. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:53, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Yeah. I usually sleep right now, but most people in the US are awake right now. I'm an anomaly. Awadewit | talk 13:56, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Good morning! I got a question concerning the comment in the FAC about the use of modern country names. I thought there was an easy way out by just removing the modern name and changing the wikilink of Frankfurt to Free City of Frankfurt. But what does one do when one refers to the country itself? It sounds strange to say, "He then took refuge in the Holy Roman Empire and the Old Swiss Confederacy." The sources, of course, use "Germany" and "Switzerland". What is the proper convention? --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:03, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Sometimes people say "modern-day Germany" or they just try to be as precise as possible, so instead of saying "Germany", just give the city name. Awadewit | talk 08:15, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I changed it to just the city names in the case where cities were mentioned. The example above is about Wishart and unfortunately the source only says Germany and Switzerland. Hmm, I have to think about this some more. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:31, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

LOTD experiment

Now that my project is fully up and running, I though you might want to consider the four main benefits of my method over the one that you seem to be supporting:

  1. There is a set of orphaned articles for persons who do not have any featured lists of their own or persons that would like to take responsibility for more. Anyone can nominate such orphans. This benefits WP by getting people involved in list articles that might not have active editors to update them or defend them against vandalism. Please consider adopting one of our orphans.
  2. Each list will be encouraged to respond to commentary and feedback during the candidacy period, which will hopefully improve the quality of the articles.
  3. Articles without pictures will be encouraged to find them. E.g., List of Harry Potter films cast members had no image before its nominator added an image for this experiment. This type of thing, of course, improves the project.
  4. Articles are encouraged to add relevant projects to their talk page. This alerts other project to articles that they would likely have an interest in and would be able to either improve or protect.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:LOTD) 17:38, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

DIY conversion kit

I've done a sortable list of common words requiring transmogrification into other English spelling variants. It covers about 80% of the variants I've encountered so far. It's here. Could you please take a look and add, delete or comment? Many thanks, --ROGER DAVIES talk 20:30, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I like it. The only one that struck me as odd as "jewelry". However, perhaps stores just wanted to look posh, eh? I would also include a list of generalised principles at the top. I usually like to apply rules rather than memorise lists, if at all possible. :) Awadewit | talk 23:38, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Good. This is only really a start but I wanted something a lot more instant and accessible than the worthy American and British English spelling differences, which I think frightens people off. I'm checking entries as they go in in Merriam Webster and OED/SOED. Kaldari raised a similar point about nuance so I think a "check dictionary for nuance" flag or footnotes may be necessary. However, the guiding principle is to keep it simple ....
I did Lacan today - you're right, no two critics read him the same way - so I concentrated on a simple (ha!) résumé of his disordered thoughts. I still can't decide whether he was a genius, a charlatan, or a great performance artist :) I'm going to condense Freud and look at the incoherent bits of the Existentialist stuff tomorrow. After that, it's pretty much plain sailing.
  • If you accept psychoanalysis, you will probably think Lacan is a genius. If you do not accept psychoanalysis or do not accept its use as a literary theory, then you will probably feel that Lacan is deliberately obtuse. :) Awadewit | talk 00:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I like what Sokal and Bricmont say about him: "[H]is analogies between psychoanalysis and mathematics are the most arbitrary imaginable, and he gives absolutely no empirical or conceptual justification for them.… Lacan's writing became, over time, increasingly cryptic—a characteristic common to many sacred texts—by combining plays on words with fractured syntax; and they served as a basis for the reverent exegesis undertaken by his disciples. One may then wonder whether we are not, after all, dealing with a new religion." Theirs is a very good book. (I love reading people who know what they're talking about ripping apart those who don't.) – Scartol • Tok 00:44, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
The Sokal hoax was not well-received in English departments. It is probably easy to imagine why. By the way, did you see the hilarious copyright violation message below?! Awadewit | talk 00:48, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Hey, Sokal wasn't going after English, he was going after cult studs. I was way into Donna Haraway and Deleuze and Guittari or however you spell his name for a while, but (thank the gods) I've grown out of it. Whatever one may think of Sokal's methods, their book is really important and valuable for anyone (like me) who wants to find links between science and society.
But cultural studies resides primarily in English and history departments. Certainly the scholars who used Haraway, Deleuze and Guattari were literary critics of one stamp or another. I'm not taking a position either way. I'm just letting you know that the hoax still rankles people. Awadewit | talk 00:52, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, well, "Rankle" is my middle name. My full name is Sca Rankle Tol. – Scartol • Tok 01:34, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Copyright violation message? You mean the one I commented on? The one produced by the annoying robot who (like the one who does automated "peer reviews") provides botcruft (hey, I just coined that word! Patent pending!) which very rarely helps anyone? Yeah, I saw it. – Scartol • Tok 23:39, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I thought that was so funny. Apparently words like "draft" can't be filtered out. Awadewit | talk 00:52, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Timeline of Jane Austen

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I am a robot. Do what I say. I am a washing machine. Do what I say. – Scartol • Tok 00:46, 21 November 2007 (UTC) (It's a quote from that episode.)

The Deserted Village

Sorry but I have to agree with the others on this one. Our primary mission is to serve our readers. If someone types "The Deserted Village" in the search box and hits go, it's better that they be redirected to the author page (where there is information on the poem) rather than getting the "No page with that title exists" message. I really don't think the existance of redlinks has that much influence on whether articles get written or not, but I must say I have no evidence to back that up :P Kaldari (talk) 03:10, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

  • You don't think an editor should be able to make that choice as well? Redlink or direct to Goldsmith through a piped link? Awadewit | talk 03:22, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Oh, by the way, you should know that personally, way back when I was a newbie, I didn't think you could create articles that weren't redlinks. :) I still don't feel the pressing need to create an article that is blue-linked compared to one that is red-linked. And that is my whole point. This major poem should have its own page. We must create that pressing need. It should be redlinked like Hamlet was once redlinked. Oliver Goldsmith's The Deserted Village shouldn't lead the reader to the same page - it should be two distinct pages. Awadewit | talk 03:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


You suggested MLA articles and I am unfamiliar with them. So I searched through the UF library and online through their search engines, found PMLA but found nothing relevant on Harper Lee or To Kill a Mockingbird in it (through JSTOR). Clearly what I found is different from what you said you found. Do I have to log on to their website to get a different response? I'd appreciate a point in the right direction. I'd be thrilled if there were articles of higher quality than what I have seen. I suspected scholarly articles were not written about the book because 1. it was immensely popular when written and has become iconic, and academics tend to enjoy writing more about the obscure, 2. it's taught in middle schools so the majority of scholarly work I did read was about how to teach it in English class. I'd love to be proven wrong, and would be delightfully surprised. --Moni3 (talk) 13:02, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Ok, spoke to reference librarians and I hope to be able to get hold of these articles within the next couple days. Thanks for the heads up. --Moni3 (talk) 20:57, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Just in case the reference librarians didn't tell you, JSTOR is generally good for history and social science journals while the MLA database is good for literature. Awadewit | talk 21:17, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


Hey, thanks for your kind offer. I'm planning on turning to the article in January, and once I'm done with content and citations, I would greatly appreciate for your help with organisation and whatnot (again!). In the meantime, if you do have some recommended books that would be great, though there is no hurry with this. Anyway, thanks again. Ceoil (talk) 16:38, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'll put together a little list in the next few days. I look forward to reading the article in the coming months! Awadewit | talk 21:19, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

A trifle premature ;)

Happy Wiki-birthday! :)

Hi Awadewit,

I think your wiki-birthday is tomorrow, right? Just a little note to commemorate an annus mirabilis, and let you know that I'm thinking of you, even if I can't write tomorrow, Willow (talk) 17:03, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Yeah happy wub. – Scartol • Tok 22:00, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday Awadewit! But I do hope the dissertation isn't giving you any stress. --DarkFalls talk 08:29, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks! Just trying to figure out Rousseau. He's a tricky guy. :) Awadewit | talk 12:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, A! The rest of the family are still a-bed, but I'm just returning from a Black Friday shopping expedition, where I bought several X-mas presents and a matching belt and scarf set for myself. ;) Hoping your T-day was as fun and tasty as mine, Willow (talk) 11:28, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Early/late bird! We might go out as well. We haven't decided yet. We had a lovely Thanksgiving with friends. Awadewit | talk 12:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)


Have you moment to drop in on the talk page here? There's a discussion about re-ordering sections and I think you have an important view on it. --ROGER DAVIES talk 23:27, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Punctuation question

I have a quick question about punctuation, which I have mostly fixed in the LoW of W.M. If the quoted thing is a column title or whatnot, and is complete as almost always it is, does punctuation go inside the quotation marks? So as an example of possibly correct punctuation I'll list "The Angel Factory," "The Virtual Career," and finally "Gardening Unlimited." If this previous sentence is correct I'm going to make such changes throughout the LoW by W.M.-BillDeanCarter (talk) 02:56, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't really know - I don't think those are sentences, so I would guess outside the quotation marks. When in doubt, go outside the quotation marks. Awadewit | talk 05:18, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

"Singapore Stone" GA hold

Hi, I've made some changes to the "Singapore Stone" article as suggested by you and have put some comments on the talk page. I look forward to your further comments. — Cheers, JackLee talk 01:01, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your further comments. I hope to incorporate your suggestions into the article later today (24 November), but in case I don't have the time to do so would it be possible for you to keep the GA review on hold for, say, another three days? — Cheers, JackLee talk 03:50, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, I will keep it on hold. Awadewit | talk 05:09, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks very much. The article is now ready for your further review. — Cheers, JackLee talk 02:29, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

FAC Notability

Saw your comments at the FAC discussion about Simpsons and comprehensiveness and just wanted to say cheers. I see so many pop culture articles up for FAC and while they're well-written and fully documented, I feel like they're not comprehensive and not notable.

You've summarized nicely the difficulty of being uncomprehensive, but I feel like there's no basis for me objecting on the basis of non-notability. We have a b ar set for what's notable and not for articles themselves – and some pretty serious standards for many aspects of FAC; why not notability? I suppose I can object on the same basis you raise, but then I worry that we'll get into flame wars about what such a thing means, every time. I say this as a tremendous fan of The Simpsons and video games. Maybe I feel like there's FA inflation? I dunno.

Maybe we're the suckers, spending days and weeks pouring over arcane texts to create articles about ye olde topicks, while other folks peruse pop culture magazines and online sources to make the stars shine.

Sorry, just needed to vent. – Scartol • Tok 13:55, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

PS. Maybe you should write an essay at Category:Wikipedia essays we can refer to. – Scartol • Tok 14:06, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

  • This, I fear, is a lost cause. My own efforts have been more on the personal level. I show through example and try to explain this decision when people ask. However, it is sometimes difficult to stand on principle with 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl (a perfect GA topic!) up for FAC and my column of meticulously-researched GA articles that I am refusing to take to FAC on 200-year old topics because they are far from comprehensive. Ah, the problems of having standards. :) The only times I've objected or commented have been in the cases of articles like In Rainbows, which was nominated for FAC before all of the releases were complete and Hilary Rodham Clinton. I felt that such articles were inherently unstable at the time they were nominated.
  • The other option is to create a stunning popular culture article that will raise the bar for subsequent articles. I am thinking about doing this for Charlie's Angels (film). There is actually a fair bit of scholarship on it. I want to demonstrate what a good film article should look like. The time, though, the time... If you want to work on this with me sometime in the future, let me know. It is surely a laudable goal. I already have a fairly good bibliography put together. :)
  • I'm currently working on an essay about the importance of research in the context of article-writing. I've been working on it for a while now. Perhaps I'll post it in my sandbox and we can work on it together? Awadewit | talk 02:03, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd love to. Just say the word. – Scartol • Tok 22:08, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree about "lost cause". I feel for you Scartol; after a while of observing FAC I gave up bemoaning the super-specific-to-the-point-of-absurdity FAC nominations (I think they've only increased since then). The real difficulty is that a "reasonable-man"[1] consideration of what type of material can constitute an encyclopedia's "best work" was long ago thrown out in favor of an "article subjectivism" that is backed in full because it is in keeping with the "wiki philosophy". These two goals/constructs are really at odds. –Outriggr § 02:45, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Awadewit, regarding your reluctance to nominate some articles beyond "GA", I don't quite follow it. You say that they aren't comprehensive, but the working definition of "comprehensive" here is "adequately reflects the published literature". Since you have made the articles as comprehensive as you can, given the available sources, isn't that good enough? The Wikipedia reader can't expect to read a featured article that has more than it than has been published on the topic; you're in the clear. And perhaps you're applying meta-original research in your determination that they're not comprehensive! (That's tongue in cheek.) –Outriggr § 02:45, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • That might be the working definition of "comprehensive" but it is not a particularly good one. Some of the GA articles I've written are missing crucial pieces of information and everyone who has read them so far has major questions (and rightly so). Unfortunately, I cannot answer their questions with the available published material. I don't think we should be submitting such articles to FA. They seem perfect for GA to me. Awadewit | talk 05:17, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with Awad here. I couldn't even make 1998 Puerto Rican general strike a GA, and I hit every single article I could find on a number of different databases. So, okay, it's not a GA – I can find other things to work on if I really need another green circle atop my UP. I feel like the people who work so hard on pop culture stuff for FAC etc are either unable or unwilling to work on more time-tested subjects. Therefore they want to get something GAed or FAed for the ego. I know something about that, but I've also learned to subdue the ego a bit. Apparently not everyone has to. – Scartol • Tok 22:08, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
  1. ^ (sorry for the phrase Awadewit, but it loses its rhetorical impact if I change "man"!) - I don't think "reasonable person" has any less impact (Awadewit) OK, you got me, the article is at Reasonable person, which isn't surprising, but that phrase also returns 100k more google hits than "reasonable man", which surprises me more. I'm before my time and will leave you be. (O)

MLA style?

Just to verify – you're using MLA style for your article bibliographies, yes? I've been laboring under the delusion that APA style uses footnotes, and that I was in full APA compliance (on Harriet Tubman, for example). But it uses parenthetical citations too, just like MLA. So I guess using footnotes (which strikes me as a no-brainer on Wikipedia) is incompatible with either in their true form. Why am I not using MLA, which I'm much more familiar with, for works cited? Please allow me to continue using your talk page for my idiotic rambling. Thank you! – Scartol • Tok 22:11, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I am using MLA-style in the bibliographies but I am also footnotes (which is not MLA-style). :) It's a bastard hybrid that works pretty well, in my opinion. Awadewit | talk 01:42, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Do you ever use URLs? (Web addresses?) I'm working on Les Chouans (trying to make it GA) and while MLA style requires the URL at the end of the citation, I really don't want to include the whole long link, because it will create a horizontal scroll bar, and I hate those. I wonder if you would give your blessing to the method I've employed on that page? (Just include the URL itself, which the Wikisoftware makes into a numbered link like this: [2].) – Scartol • Tok 03:44, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I was bold and moved the link. Again, it's an adjustment for wikipedia, but a nice one, I think. Awadewit | talk 03:58, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Tom Furniss in A Vindication of the Rights of Men

When correcting a minor typo for a Furniss reference, I noticed that although his name is listed in Notes, he has no corresponding entry in the Bibliography. Furniss is an author in the book listed as secondary source "The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft. Ed. Claudia L. Johnson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-78952-4." so that may be sufficient.

However, Chris Jones is also a reference and has his or her name shown in the Cambridge Companion entry. To reduce confusion over who or what a Furniss reference is, it might be appropriate to list Tom Furniss along with Jones in the secondary source reference. Perhaps citing practices do not require this (I am blissfully ignorant of the more advanced citing rules of academia and the like), but a reference name without a source does seem rather confusing. I leave the decision to you as the resident expert. -- Michael Devore (talk) 03:48, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I have no idea how Furniss was left out - I have added him into the bibliography now. How embarrassing. Thanks for catching that. Awadewit | talk 03:55, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks and on to the next project

Raul promoted the article today. You might notice that he moved the lead picture back to the right side. Perhaps he left Priestley on the left side because you had reached a consensus. Well, it’s not a big deal, but I do agree with you and qp10 that Knox looks much better looking at the text of the article. A big thank you for your support! I’m off to some libraries to gather books for the next project, so if you don’t mind, I will probably be back to pester you again for advice :-) But don’t worry. My research/writing rate is a snail’s pace compared to others, so it may be around Spring 2008! --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:10, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

  • How bothersome about the picture. I wonder about that - there are very good reasons for it to be on the left. I would move it back, but then I'm contentious. Perhaps Raul knows that. :) No worries about the pace - better to be the tortoise, right? I'll be around whenever you have questions. Although I have enough collaborations lined up for about two years, we should find an article we can work on together and schedule it for the the Spring of 2009 or 2010. The "retired physicist" label signals to me an ability to plan long-term. The poor people at CERN - you don't think FermiLab could really have made that mistake about the magnets on purpose, do you? :) Awadewit | talk 10:21, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I’m not sure if you guessed it or you commented by chance. I will give the credit to your excellent deductive ability! When I added that sentence about Tim Berners-Lee, I wondered if someone would figure out where I used to work. I did work at CERN, but I am not retired (yet). In fact, I left the field. I love physics, I still do, but the lifestyle was too much for me. Leaving physics means more time for my other passions like music, history, etc.. By the way, I don’t know too many people who follow the current scene on accelerator magnets. Here's my take: Fermilab sabotaged LHC because they are still upset over the cancellation of the Superconducting Super Collider :-D --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:57, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I follow physics from the sidelines. My roommate is an undergraduate physics major on his way to graduate school. He reads everything he can find and tries to explain it all to me. Unfortunately, I understand more of the news than I do the physics. That would be due to my utter lack of mathematical knowledge. Someday I'll have to hunker down and learn the math. To make up for this, I study the history of science, particularly physics. (The latest story we're following is the one about the "surfer dude" and his TOE. It is all very intriguing for me who can't really fathom E8.) Awadewit | talk 14:10, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh don't worry....not many physics students even bother with E8...When I was in 4th year, I was the only physics student who took Lie algebra. And usually only once in every two years does a physics student take that course.... only the suicidal ppl who read theory books. It was the smallest 4th yr maths class in my year. There were 7 in the class and our instructor killed off four of them in the first two weeks...Blnguyen (bananabucket) 03:52, 27 November 2007 (UTC)


Updated DYK query On 26 November, 2007, Did you know? was updated with facts from the articles John Boydell, and Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, which you created or substantially expanded. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.

--WjBscribe 11:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Scott Berg review

Hey, thanks for reviewing A. Scott Berg. I have tried to make all the changes suggested in your GA review—I've expanded the lead, moved the Board of Trustees bit out of the Lindbergh section, and cut the use of Princeton sources down from 7 to 3. The three I've kept are direct quotes from Berg, mostly about his Princeton experience, that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. If there are any additional problems with the article, please let me know. (The lead still may be a little clunky.) Hobbesy3 (talk) 02:39, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Singapore Stone 2nd opinion

Hi Awadewit, and thanks for your request. I've left a second opinion on the article talk page, basically agreeing with your review; hopefully its editor can see the sense in not breaking up article text like that without a very good reason. He's done a great job on the rest of the article though ;) All the best, EyeSereneTALK 10:39, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. Thanks. Awadewit | talk 11:06, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


First off, superb article. Secondly, my question about the price probably wasn't clear enough. The sentence seemed to imply that it it was successful entirely (or almost entirely) due to the low price in comparison to Burke's work which, having read the article, doesn't seem to be giving her due credit. I can't say how far the price influenced the success, but I would have thought the fact that it was the first response would have also contributed, as would the positive reviews. I'm sure at least some other of the 50-70 pamphlets were cheaper, weren't they? Yet they didn't have the same success. Perhaps something along the lines of The Rights of Men was successful, its price contributing in no small measure: at one shilling and six pence it was half the price of Burke's book? Andplus (talk) 11:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks! I think it is hard to say why VRM was successful. My guess would be that the first edition was successful largely due to being the first response and the price and perhaps the reviews while the second edition was successful because of the reviews and the price (among other less significant factors). But we don't really know for sure. I like your rewording. I also posted a bit about "feminist" on the article's talk page. I myself do not like calling MW a feminist, but many scholars do call her that, including Barbara Taylor who wrote the most important recent book on her (Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination), so I have followed convention there. Besides, it is an easy shorthand. :) Awadewit | talk 11:34, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Yes, I saw the comment, and thought it was likely to be the case. I found myself itching to add proto- in the lede, but that's probably a worse fudge than using an anachronistic term that is widely employed. The talk page comment should help ward off the well-meaning copy-editors when it hits the main page. (And American English - very daring. I'd guess at least two "corrected spelling" copy-edits tomorrow. Good luck) Andplus (talk) 11:51, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
      • I myself use "proto-feminist" all of the time and you occasionally see it in the literature, but it would definitely not be what I would call the "mainstream" term or the "scholarly consensus". It was hard for me to write all of the MW articles with "feminist" in them, frankly, since it goes against every bone in my body, but there is nothing to do about it until I become the foremost scholar on MW, is there? :)
      • Did you see the archived war over BE and AE? :( What a mess. When Mary Wollstonecraft was on the main page, it was not changed to BE, nor was Some Thoughts Concerning Education. I guess people were too busy fighting off the vandals to worry about it.
      • Last time I had an article on the main page, I promised myself I wouldn't look at the wreckage until the following day, but I couldn't stay away. We'll see what happens this time. Awadewit | talk 11:56, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
        • I thought the talk page was remarkably clean, I'd missed the archive. What a mess indeed. BE v AE spelling is utter nonsense. As if the subject will care - we are writing for the readers, not the (often long dead or inanimate) subject, and anybody who can't work out that color and colour are the same thing doesn't stand very highly in my estimation. The differences in language go much deeper than a missing/superfluous/different letter. Main author gets to set the standard as far as I'm concerned. (Can you see what my pet peeve is?) Still I guess you've heard enough of arguments on that subject, and I'm sure there is some wiki policy that describes the appropriate use in mind-numbing detail to avoid us having to use common sense. Andplus (talk) 13:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
          • I strongly believe that the Manual of Style needs to be changed on this point. Right now "Strong national ties to a topic" supercedes "Retaining the existing variety". This bit of guidance is frequently taken too literally by editors. I believe "Strong national ties to a topic" needs to be changed to "Topic primarily of interest to a particular nationality". Obviously an article about the Toronto bus system should be written in Canadian English, but Mary Wollstonecraft is perfectly acceptable in any variety of English, IMO. Kaldari (talk) 15:48, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
            • MoS stands as a bright line with the specific purpose of reducing edit-wars. It acknowledges that a great many people—in the four corners of the world—regard certain subjects as part of their cultural heritage and specifies that the local English variant is the one to use. Broadly, this works extremely well, with hundreds of thousands of culturally-sensitive articles being communely edited without dispute. Changing the guideline introduces an extremely subjective test—for instance, are the presidents of the United States "primarily of interest to a particular nationality" or primarily of international interest?—and will lead to vast numbers of disputes on an article by article basis. While EngVar may not be perfect, it has the great advantages of simplicity and clarity with a built-in rule of thumb to settle disputes. That, I think, is a massive achievement.--ROGER DAVIES talk 09:23, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
            • I agree completely, but I'm not sure there is much support for this change. There seems to be a small riot anytime you suggest it. Awadewit | talk 15:54, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
              • It's worth noting that the MoS says: "the differences between the varieties are superficial" and also uses the present-tense in describing why some users choose a national variety: "An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation uses the appropriate variety of English for that nation." I read this as explaining why someone might choose to write in a national variant, not as a dictum ordering all articles to be written a certain way. But again, like I said, superficial. How sad that we spend so much time squabbling over something we all agree is shallow and lacking substance. – Scartol • Tok 16:37, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
                  • Except I don't really agree that the differences are superficial. For example, it isn't just about spelling. Awadewit | talk 16:41, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
                    • I'd support the suggested change, which is minor. I think "superficial" differences refers to the ease with which a reader can cope with another variety. Changing writing habits is much harder, if not impossible. Colin°Talk 18:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

(unindent) The BE editors seem to think that the "superficial" refers to the changes editors need to make. See the blood-bath at Talk:A Vindication of the Rights of Men/Archive 2 for one reason I hesitate to bring all of this up again. Awadewit | talk 18:14, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Well I suspect they are wrong. The word "superficial" was introduced during Tony's redraft that was incorporated here. Around that time he said "the differences are superficial for readers, who can, by and large, easily recognise the odd word/spelling from another variety; they're a little harder for writers, but that's not what matters. Tony 06:55, 5 July 2007 (UTC)". Of course, making life harder for writers does matter. Still, if there is no appetite for a fight, why go to war? Colin°Talk 18:58, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I meant for the reader. Sorry for the confusion. I didn't want to go to war, so I let the change happen to Chinua Achebe. I don't understand the concept: "Country X was a British colony; therefore articles about it should be in BE." After all, the US was a British colony, right? – Scartol • Tok 19:58, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe that was ever the argument used :) It runs like this: Nigeria, on independence, chose English (with Commonwealth spelling) as its official language. Achebe is Nigerian so that is the variety of English to use. There are other complelling reasons too: Nigeria chose English because its native languages were heavily associated with internecine factionalism. Achebe's landmark novels were deliberately written in Commonwealth English and they transformed it from a colonial language to a post-colonial means of expressing pan-Nigerian/African identity.--ROGER DAVIES talk 09:39, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Already past my two "spelling correction" edits ;) (though they are obsessed with defense). I noticed one of them changed a quoted spelling: acknowledgment to acknowledgement, did you get that one? Andplus (talk) 09:11, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

  • See also the talk page. Ah, it begins again. I really fail to understand to why people can't be happy we are featuring British topics? Awadewit | talk 10:48, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Hello, sorry to be jumping in on the conversation. I just went through the AE vs BE discussion in the archive. I think I understand their motivation. If one has lived through language/culture fights here in Europe like Belgium's Dutch vs French and Switzerland's German vs French, one would understand the feeling of many Brits about feeling a bit protective about their "topics". Wikipedia is not based in any country (well, ok, physically the servers are based in the US, but logically the encyclopaedia is based everywhere). If we go by a rule that the primary author of the article decides the dialect, then the English language Wiki would largely be in AE as most authors are likely US-based. The guideline serves to bring balance on choice of language on a fairly well-defined principle, thus defining a house-style that is effective worldwide. To many Americans, the fight of dialects seems superficial, but I can tell you that it is certainly not a superficial issue here in Europe. Just my two cents... err, two p's worth ;-) --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:59, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Here is one explanation that I've heard. You might also consider how logical the principle is. I find it rather absurd, frankly, as no other language is accorded such deference. The argument also has to be made that the differences between BE and AE are so insignificant that it is not a big deal to change them, but that in turn supports the idea that there is no reason to change them in the first place. To me, the whole thing just doesn't cohere. Awadewit | talk 12:07, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, amen. (As usual, Awad said more eloquently what I was trying to explain.) As for the effort to prevent AE hegemony – I'm the last person who wants to have any sort of US cultural dominance here or anywhere. But it seems to me like the rational response is to get more non-AE-writing users to contribute. (Aside: I could kick up a row about how American English is a misnomer, since the US is not the sum total of America. But it would be obnoxious and disruptive.) – Scartol • Tok 12:34, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
It sounds absurd, superficial, whatever. But this sensitivity of dialect exists. What EyeSerene said sounds quite familiar. Humans are not always logical. I guess we should be thankful for that though. --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:15, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, perhaps enough about this now? I'm ready to move on to more substantive things. Awadewit | talk 14:41, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry, Awadewit, I didn't notice this until after I'd posted. --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:42, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Essay on article writing

I made some copyedits. More to come (I've got a class coming in). So Balzac isn't a "large and complex" topic, eh? I've just been fiddling with some minor and simple things, huh? I guess it's not as large as .. oh, I dunno – Wollstonecraft! =) JK. – Scartol • Tok 16:52, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Sorry! I just thought the Italian Renaissance was bigger. :( Should we replace Balzac with Harriet Tubman? I like to link to good articles. :) I haven't found a good big one to link to yet, though. Awadewit | talk 16:54, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Oh, so now Harriet Tubman isn't "large and complex"!? Just kidding. I just like giving people a hard time and causing strife for no good reason. I'm actually very much honored to be cited as an example of quality. Also, it occurred to me last hour that maybe the essay was in an interim state, and I should wait to do copyediting? – Scartol • Tok 17:58, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
      • It is very much in an interim state. You can copy edit, if you want, but I would hold off. I assume major revisions still need to take place. I wrote it very quickly. Awadewit | talk 18:12, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
        • Too late. I finished my CEs. I'll keep track of the changes and make more comments as needed. It looks great so far. – Scartol • Tok 19:56, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Imperial Napoleonic triple crown

Awadewit, please accept this imperial Napoleonic triple crown in thanks for tireless and exceptional contributions to Wikipedia. You are a Napoleon among editors. DurovaCharge! 18:41, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Your Imperial Napoleonic Majesty, wow! Very educational to review your work. Superb, thank you. DurovaCharge! 18:41, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks! I try! Awadewit | talk 18:51, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Something to shoot for

The Alexander the Great edition triple laurel crown - I've set the threshold at 15 standard crowns. You and Piotrus are almost neck and neck to become the first. :) Happy editing! DurovaCharge! 21:30, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

A Vindication of the Rights of Men

Another brilliant Wollstonecraft article. I had to congratulate you here. Kudoz! --Ouro (blah blah) 08:15, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks so much! I appreciate it. Awadewit | talk 09:04, 29 November 2007 (UTC)