Wikipedia:Peer review/Frank Buckles/archive1

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Frank Buckles[edit]

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This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because, the article, about the last surviving American World War I veteran (who passed away on February 27 and was buried March 15) was just passed as a Good Article and I would like to take it to FA. Per the rules there, I need a PR first and I figure there are somethings on the page that could use some tinkering to get to FA standards. Thanks, NeutralhomerTalkCoor. Online Amb'dor • 22:34, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Comments by Wehwalt

Responses marked "-NH" are from User:Neutralhomer.
Lede -  Done
I'd like to see, immediately after the first sentence some discussion of Buckles' WWI service, which surprisingly gets short shrift in the article. That should make the lede long enough to be worth splitting into paragraphs.
Split into paragraphs, added information about WWI service. - NH
20th century -  Done
  • "despite his youth" To save the reader the bother, you might want to mention his then-age (sixteen?) I see it later in the paragraph, I'd move it up.
Used your version. - NH
  • "falsely claimed" This phrase implies malice. If the Navy simply goofed, I'd say something like "incorrectly found".
Used your suggestion. - NH
  • What army regiment (or whatever) was Buckles attached to? I also don't like the word "sent". I'd say "embarked" and make it clear Carpathia was being used as a troop ship. Where did Buckles undergo basic training (or whatever it was called then).
Added an LA times source about the ship and where he went to Basic Training. His regiment is mentioned in the third paragraph. - NH
  • "the Carpathia" Uncertain the "the" is advisable, suggest contacting an editor more familiar with maritime stuff than me.
Got my answer, the ships are refered to as "the ship name". - NH
Actually, per WP:MOSSHIP, ships may be referred to as "ship name" or "the ship name", but one style should be adhered to throughout. Mjroots (talk) 15:45, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
  • "his fellow inmates" I think "prisoners" or "POW"s would be more dignified and appropriate.
Used your suggestion. - NH
  • Consider putting the data on Buckles' ancestors near the start of the article. Consider moving the information on the fire to a footnote.
Used your suggestion. - NH
21st century -  Done
  • Can you dig a little more and find when Buckles started becoming well known for his longevity and service?
What I can find is just "In his later years...", but it doesn't like a year. - NH
  • Buckles' fight. I'd like to see more discussion of this. I'd also like to know whether he did actual work for them or was just, so to speak, a frontman.
On this I have found just that he was an "advocate for veterans" and an "advocate for the expansion of" the DC WWI memorial to Federal status, but doesn't say much more than that. - NH
  • Shriners. Sentences seem out of order. First establish he was a Shriner and then move on from there with the award.
Moved this around, put the Sons of Confederate Veterans in that paragraph as well. - NH
  • Traveled the nation. If he did, this should be discussed, not just mentioned offhandedly.
Checked the sources and it just wasn't mentioned, so I took it out. - NH
  • and donations are accepted toward production of the film. This smells like advertising.
Agreed and removed. - NH

More coming.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:28, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Honors and awards -  Done
  • "In 1941, he retroactively qualified for the the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal due to his post war service in Europe during the year 1919." I have no idea what this means.
Changed this to just "....he received the...medal for his post war service..." - NH
  • I suggest listing the awards he qualified for (or applied for) pre-2000 first, then talking about the ones (let's face it!) he got because of his longevity. Ordinarily, ambulance driving doesn't get you the legion d'honneur.
Since I really couldn't source it was for his longevity (though you are right), I just swapped these around. - NH
  • " prior to the 33°." This may puzzle readers. I would spell out thirty-third degree Mason and briefly explain that it is the highest level a Mason can attain (if that's what it is). I would cut out the remainder of the paragraph as peripheral to Buckles' story.
Another user found a source for this, Congressional Record even. So I have sourced it and readded it. - NH
Commemoration and funeral -  Done
  • All paragraphs in this section start with a date or else include a date within the first six or so words. Mix it up.
Changed it up a little bit. - NH
  • I would move the information on Perot's intervention to this section.
Done. - NH
  • "16 states" Should be non-breaking space.
Added. - NH
  • I think the info on Buckles' high school can be condensed into one sentence and moved into another paragraph. I'd delete the bit about him being photod in front of his school, just not germane to anything.
Knocked down to one sentence, still sourced and put in front of the local service, as it would create some weirdness if it were behind information from the 16th of March. - NH
  • "It was announced" by who?
Fixed this. - NH
  • I feel this section needs some tightening up. It reads too much like a chronology at present.
Took a better look, tinkered some, I think it looks good. - NH
  • Avoid the word "would" if you can when referring to the past.
Had to word a couple senteces with "would", just cause they didn't look like any other way, but most of the "would"s are gone. - NH

It's pretty good. I think you need to go over it very closely with an attention for what is important and what really isn't germane to Buckles' life. I think that the article could give a better image of Buckles as a person. This was an ordinary person who briefly symbolized a generation called lost then, and now truly lost to us. I have the impression he was a bit of a character, but perhaps you could tell more.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:58, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Comment - One point that should be made is that there is a scheduled biography (by DeJonge) and film (also by DeJonge, stated to be his official biographer) and plans for a statue. When/if these all happen, then the article would need to be checked and updated at that point. At the moment, the article is an aggregate of news sources plus the 'official'(?) website. If the level of sourcing moves on to the level of a published biography, then that would impact this article a fair amount. For comparison, Claude Choules (The Last of the Last), Henry Allingham (Kitchener's Last Volunteer) and Harry Patch (The Last Fighting Tommy) have all had biographies or autobiographies published. The proposed title for DeJonge's documentary film is Pershing's Last Patriot, and the article says the release is scheduled for "2011". I'm sure there are examples of biography articles being promoted to featured article without a published biography, but before such a biography is published here, this is something that needs to be kept in mind. I know there is a lot of enthusiasm for this article, but I suspect that if this article is improved as much as possible, and then worked on some more after the biography/film come out, then it will be better for having been held back from FAC until that point. On another note, it would be good to go through the talk page suggestions at some point and archive the ones dealt with, and deal with the ones that haven't been looked at yet. Carcharoth (talk) 06:08, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Belated response....On the last point, I try to keep an eye on talk page comments and respond eventually (e.g. Dole is now in the article, the status of the memorial legislation is now explained, and the presence of ordinary folks at the funeral to salute the whole WWI generation is now mentioned). That said, I'm not much of an archiving kind of guy; never archived before, afraid I might mess it up, reluctant to fill my head with unnecessary skills, reluctant to spend time pecking on my iPhone keyboard if I don't have to. No objection if someone else archives. Regarding FAC, it does seem like NeutralHomer is succeeding in getting this article perilously close to FAC quality. If it does soon cross that line, and is nominated, I hope the article won't be discriminated against merely because it will likely become even better in the future once books about Buckles begin to appear. Anyway, it's been an interesting article to work on (in my plodding way). Cheers.Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:08, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Comments by Materialscientist -  Done

  • When asked about the secret of his long life, Buckles replied: "Hope," adding, "[W]hen you start to die... don't." He also said the reason he had lived so long was that he "never got in a hurry."

- can't find that in the cited reference. Materialscientist (talk) 09:42, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

    • Sourced via a Flint, MI newspaper. - NH
  • "honoring the life and service" is a quote, but is not in the source. Same for "famous Shriner".Materialscientist (talk) 09:45, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
    • From the first parapgraph of the story (emphasis mine): "The faculty and students at Northeast Vernon County R-I honored the life and service of World War I Veteran Frank W. Buckles. Frank Buckles was the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I. Buckles died Feb. 28, at the age of 110. He attended Walker schools from 1911 to 1916, completing grade 9." I just changed "honored" to "honoring" but that can be fixed. - NH
Comments by Wehwalt. Not a lot but I've looked at this text a few times before.
  • Lede
I think the paragraphs are too long. I would split both, the first at "Honorably", the second at "At the time of his death". Don't stuff information into the reader, it doesn't work well.
I hate to say it, but you are giving too much information too. I don't think that listing all his fraternal affiliations, and his status as a church-going man is really necessary in a lede.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:11, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Early life
" His ancestors had first settled in 1732". First of all, "His" reads oddly, given the last sentence. "Their" would be accurate, but a bit odd. I'll let you figure it out. Second, I would either say where they came from or else add the words "in North America" or the equivalent.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:47, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • WWI and following peace
" (worth many more 2011 dollars)" Omit. If you can't put a year on it and then use measuringworth or an inflation calculator, then say nothing and omit the parenthetical.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:47, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • WWII
I would not be satisfied with this section title, although I know it is difficult. Compare the grandiloquent title of this section, against the paucity of its content. (boy, that was a lot of ten dollar words!)
Grandiloquence reduced.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:58, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I hate to say it ... but I'm not convinced that the personnel records fire should be in this section. It really had little to do with his life at the time.
Condensed this material.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:58, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Active centenarian
"Sticking to his guns," Unhappily, you do not have a good enough excuse to make a pun. It's got to go.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:47, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
" neither American" This carries a sense of "if they're not Americans, they are not worth considering". Simply say which nationalities they are.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:47, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Honors and awards
Why is it relevant that he "may have" applied for something he wasn't entitled to anyway?
" added to the honors" I can't say exactly why I dislike this language, but I do. I would simply say that Chirac gave him the award.
Fixed.Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:16, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Commemoration and funeral
I would start with mentioning that he did not meet the criteria, then go on into Perot meeting him and going to the White House for him. Otherwise you're hanging Perot a long way out there with the reader wondering why he's in the article.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
"three years later" I think it's OK to mention the date again. Not everyone reads every section.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
"Whether Buckles would lay in repose in the United States Capitol Rotunda, however, remained tied up in Congress." For one day? I would strike this sentence entirely.
Done.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, it's like this. The long list of commemorations to Buckles in this section needs to be rearranged, as the events of significance are being lost. I would suggest this: Discuss the stuff that involves the presence of Buckles' body first, then deal with everything else. Right not, you are interrupting a tense description of something of major importance, what is happening to Buckles' body, with relative trivia.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:20, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Section overhauled, removing or condensing less significant stuff.Anythingyouwant (talk) 09:17, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for quick responses. I'll give it another look in a couple of days or if there are more comments, wait until after those.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:26, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks fir all the excellent comments.Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:08, 5 April 2011 (UTC)