Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Wells Cathedral/archive1

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Nit pickety comments[edit]

Amandajm, you are taking the criticism way too personally. I stand by what I said, the article was easy for me to read. That doesn't mean everybody will think the same. I would embrace the "nit-picking" of others which will only improve the article further. FAC is no walk in the park, and sometimes things can get really tough. No article is perfect when it comes here and all require adjustments of some kind. It is better to iron things out now than to have the snatch squad banging on the door in a few months times requiring a review. CassiantoTalk 10:06, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Cassianto, I am not taking "criticism" too personally. I am taking the continued alteration of expression that (do I have to go through the list of problems again?)
I am getting sick of people copy-editting in a manner that introduces error both or either factual or grammatical.
Every time a person makes ten tweaks (to expression specifically) that cause five errors, and very little positive value, all in the name of "tightening the prose", I am annoyed by it. On 3 January I made 13 edits of which 11 c were corrections to recent alterations, made in the name of "tighter prose".
If "tightening the prose" is a continual source of error, either of grammar or fact, thne the "tightening of the prose" works in a very similar manner to vandalism, except there is an expectation that it will be tolerated. Do you expect me to simply ignore the introduced errors and bad grammar, in the name of "tighter prose"?
I am much more concerned with having an accurate article, than having an article that pleases some other people's sense of prose style. I am not going to start playing crowd-pleasing games in order to get through a review process. I would rather have an article that I know is accurate.
You can certainly have tighter prose, if like Graham Colm, people point out what they consider to be problems of expression. Graham Colm's criticisms, both about style and expression, were valid and brought immediate response, 30 changes to the article, of which thirteen were to address a matter of expression.
I am not adverse to change. I am strongly adverse to what appears to be change for change's sake, when the end product is inaccurate or misleading.
Most of what I have done in the past few days has not been improving the article. It has beenfixing what other people have just got wrong.
Please tell me if this is also an expected part of every FA review?
Right now, I want to get on with looking at the info from Cockerell and incorporating it, and writing about another church that I have been invited to look at.
How about one of you does the next detailed "information check" to see what errors are currently being introduced? Amandajm (talk) 10:59, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Minor matter of preferences and expression
Among the previous reviewers of the article, one reader complained about the use of the term "Wells" to signify "Wells Cathedral".
I pointed out at the time that this is standard practice among architectural writers. Nonetheless, because the mode of expression was obviously unfamiliar, I went through the article and changed the word to "the cathedral" or "the building" or "Wells Cathedral" in many instances.
My preference was to leave it at "Wells" but I accommodated this person.
Many of the recent changes made by J3Mrs have addressed this matter specifically, deleting the repeated word "cathedral" and changing it to "Wells" in almost every instance. I might point out that there was no consensus to make this almost global change (or any other change)
My personal preference is to use the name "Wells" to mean "Wells Cathedral" in many instances, as customary. However, it is impossible to accommodate both these editors.
The question is: Do we go with clarity of expression, or "custom"?
At what point, can someone please tell me, does "consensus for a particular change" come into play?
Amandajm (talk) 11:22, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

To answer your point "Most of what I have done in the past few days has not been improving the article. It has been fixing what other people have just got wrong"... Your issues should be with those editors then, not with the reviewers who are pointing these things out. You need one good copy editor, like Eric Corbett who I believe has had some interest in this, and possibly a peer review. Anyone else should be reverted if you disagree with them and things should be discussed on the talk page if they persist. As far as I can see, this hasn't been happening, you have caught up with these edits after they have been pointed out and you now appear to be caustic to nit-pickety comments from reviewers. Just saying. CassiantoTalk 11:48, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

I have no idea what you mean by:
As far as I can see, this hasn't been happening, you have caught up with these edits after they have been pointed out and you now appear to be caustic to nit-pickety comments from reviewers. Just saying.
I have no idea what you mean by:
As far as I can see, this hasn't been happening, you have caught up with these edits after they have been pointed out and you now appear to be caustic to nit-pickety comments from reviewers. Just saying.
For the record:
  • Graham Colm's comments were not the cause of my annoyance, and did not impact on it.
Graham Colm has not, so far as I know, edited the page in question. He merely left some suggestions on the FA page, which (given the current advanced state of the FA process) seems an entirely good approach.
Graham's criticisms were, in themselves, pertinent, and prompted me to look at a particular aspect of my expression that had not been pointed out previously.
  • My annoyance was at the request made by another editor that someone needed to "tighten" the prose.
The same person has had three or four goes at "tightening" the prose and has introduced errors, of either grammar or fact, every time.
This is the third person, (including Corbett) who has decided to impose their own "style of expression" on the article, with the result that both the grammar and the facts have suffered on each occasion.
  • On the other hand, several other editors have made numerous excellent useful non-invasive corrections to all sorts of aspects of the article, without creating errors and without causing offence, and without abusive edit summaries, or petty game-playing. Their edits are most welcome and appreciated.
  • Most comments on the FA page are also welcome.
However the suggestions made by a person who has spent several days getting up my nose are not welcome at all. I had tried to be patient, up to that point, and even sent thanks for those edits that I didn't have to fix.
But turning up on the FA page, after a whole lot of tweaks of small, doubtful or negative value, to say that the article needed "tightening" was the last straw.
Amandajm (talk) 15:33, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you ought to consider listening to those who know what they're talking about then, a category that clearly doesn't include you. Eric Corbett 15:43, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Amanda I thought you had experience at FAC? Nit-picking is a major part of FAC and is why a lot of people don't bother with it. At times it can get highly frustrating but you're required to keep a cool head and not air your feelings however annoying excessive concerns at times might be with it. Usually if Graham or Ian think that one of the writers is starting to take criticism too personally or not be able to cope with it they'll archive it. I'd hate to see that happen here. Most of articles I contribute to which reach FAC usually end up with concerns about the prose and they spot things which I missed. It is very common actually for me and several others whether it be Tim, Cass or Schrod to support and see no problems with the prose and somebody come along and ask for it to be given another copyedit. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:23, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Dr. Blofeld for your input.
My response was to an issue in the article that was suddenly brought to the FA page by the person causing the issue.
As I have said above, most input is welcome. It doesn't have to be offensive.
I don't take criticism personally, unless the criticism is personal and believe me, there has been enough of that.
It is a delight to work with some people, a little less easy to work with others, and impossible to work co-operatively with some.
Luckily, there have been several people beavering away, improving the article in all sorts of ways, and they have been a pleasure to have around.
On the other hand, I find power-games particularly offensive.
For me, what this is about is creating the best possible article, whether it achieves FA status or not. I will know that it is good when I get the feedback from other people who matter. Right now I am wasting time, and not reading the book on the statues of the west front, from which I want to add some more insight into the iconography.
Amandajm (talk) 15:48, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Copied from Cassianto's talk page

Are you serious?[edit]

Eric Corbett was one of the editors whose previous attempts to "tighten the prose" resulted in numerous errors.

Anyone who writes on their talk page "If you hate me then I probably hate you" does not have an accommodating attitude. The said editor doesn't like to have his errors or poor expression reverted, and becomes abusive when it happens.

I find it problematic, with Corbett, that when one accepts 20 or so of his changes, (of which some are truly useful and others not worth arguing about) and then one changes three or four unsatisfactory edits, he rages and abuses as if his three or four paltry edits were more dear and precious to him than the twenty edits that have been received either without comment, or with gracious acknowledgement for those that are useful.

He had great fun writing a series of edit summaries that abused me by name over minor errors of punctuation that were mostly Rod's errors (but I didn't say so. I am the English Honours grad on the team, not Rod, so I could wear it)

I personally do not care whether this article gets through FA process, but Rod, with whom I have had a very happy collaboration, does care. I am not into point scoring. I know my own expertise and a great many others have learnt from it, and benefited from it over the years.

My complaint, on the FA talk page, is the direct result of an editor stating on the FA talk page that the prose of the article needed "tightening up". That comment came after my eleven corrections to the same person's "tightening up". My response on the FA page reflected the degree of frustration that I felt.

There have already been three or four people with limited knowledge of the subject "tightening up" the expression to the detriment of the facts. On the other hand, Afernand, Anglicanus, Martinevans and a number of others have provided really useful, intelligent and welcome edits.

Do not overlook the fact that my last edits to Wells Cathedral were thirty changes made as the result of a criticism on the FA talk page.

Let me state again, I am not averse to productive change and worthy criticism.

But in response to your suggestion, I prefer to avoid hatred.

Amandajm (talk) 13:49, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Your conversation layout, both here and on the Wells talk page, is very poor; the one sentences responses make for difficult and bumpy reading. Also, I would request that the bolding of random words be reduced as I am finding this approach to be quite aggressive. Right, looking at this, Eric has made 78 edits, all of which have been improvements surrounding prose. As an editor, I have always found Eric to be a very approachable person and when treated with respect, he can be very accommodating, even if the subject matter does not appeal to him.
This has all spurned from advice which I offered you out of the goodness of my heart as I didn't want to see you dig your own grave at FAC by carping at those who were trying to help. Like I say, the article is very good and with some more massaging, I'm sure that it could be elevated to FA. If someone adjusts the prose and you disagree with it, then just revert them, it is as simple as that. If someone offers you advice around improving the prose, be grateful and implement, but be sure that the advice is for the benefit of the article. CassiantoTalk 16:06, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Tightening is a good thing, surgeons do it all the time in Hollywood right? Seriously though the article is clearly close to passing and having one or two extra pairs of eyes to give it a read might help. The "tightening" I take as meaning "minor polishing" rather than implying that the prose is awful and in need of a great deal of work.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:19, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Oh yes dear Dr. Blofeld, that is what you mean. But that is not what I have had to contend with.
  • You have your criteria for an FA article, but my criteria, more than anyone else's involved in this process, are about accuracy. To be "encyclopedic" the article must be accurate. That criterion overrides any other.
These are the aspects:
  • The information must be factual
  • The information must be expressed in a manner that makes complex information simple enough to be accessible to someone with no previous experience in the subject.
  • The information must be expressed with sufficient clarity that it doesn't leave room for misunderstanding.
  • The information must be expressed in a way that leaves room for flexibility, where doubt exists.
Throughout the process of writing the article, I have felt as if I was fighting some sort of battle between simplified modes of expression, and accuracy. I have seen the accuracy of the article compromised over and over again and have been obliged to fight for its integrity on a number of fronts, sometimes simultaneously, before it came up for the FA process.
While other editors may make valuable suggestions as to improving the prose and its readability, the ultimate judge of whether the information in the article is accurately expressed is me. I am the professional writer of material on heritage subjects. As such, I am more critical of my own modes of expression than anyone else is likely to be. It is for this reason that intelligent criticisms such as those recently made by GrahamColm are immediately welcome. They are my best guide to improvement.
To make headway in the process of education (which is what we are doing at Wikipedia) it is necessary to listen to the simple as well as to the wise. Comments from people who say "I don't understand" are vital in making an article really work, and a number of such comments have been to its betterment. I know that I don't have all the answers, and that I am dependent on the competence, the experience, the wisdom and often, as an educator, on the simplicity of others to find them.
Having had recent pertinent criticism from GrahamColm, I would be interested in hearing if he has any further opinions on the expression. I'll drop another note on his page.
A number of people have been over it, but not commented here, Johnbod, Afernand, Anglicanus, all good useful stuff!
Amandajm (talk) 18:17, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
You are not the ultimate judge Amandajm, no matter how bitter a pill that may be for you to swallow. Eric Corbett 18:28, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Explanation: Firstly, Eric, I believe in God. And thank God that he/she is the ultimate judge!
But to make myself perfectly clear over the present issue, in case I haven't: ..... I am referring most specifically to the accuracy of the facts concerning the building. I can assure you that if anyone shows up with detailed knowledge about the Gothic architecture in general or the architecture of Wells Cathedral in particular, I will be very happy to have them assess the factual content of the article. In the meantime, if changing the prose loses the facts, then I am the person most likely to notice.
As for the prose, if you want to suggest improvements, please do it politely, if that is possible. Amandajm (talk) 12:14, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
You simply can't resist making even more silly personal attacks, can you. As to the matter at hand, as you know I actively avoid any article with which you are involved as I find you impossible to work with, so I will be making no suggestions. Eric Corbett 13:20, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Eric, my attitude towards you has developed slowly, as the direct result of several strings of personally abusive edit summaries directed at me, by name, by you over a fairly lengthy period of time, and using a number of your different persona. This combines with ridicule of both me and others on talk pages of articles with which I have been involved. I appreciate the useful functional corrections that you often make and I am as prepared to take your suggestions into account as anybody else's, which I think is rather generous, considering how I have been portrayed in your edit summaries. Amandajm (talk) 01:30, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
That may well be what you think, but it's not what I think. Eric Corbett 02:08, 9 January 2014 (UTC)