Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Singapore-related articles/Archive 2007–2008

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Previous discussions

A few pointers to previous discussion on this topic in general (and Changi in particular). Jpatokal (talk) 16:24, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

On what topic in particular? This is a Manual of Style, and I certainly do believe disputes in a single article should not become influential in determining guidelines here. I further warn you against turning this exercise into an extension of a past debate with a result which you are probably dissatisfied with. Stick to the primary purpose of this guideline. Thank you.--Huaiwei (talk) 16:32, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I do think that pointers to informative discussion elsewhere can be useful and I think we need to remain calm and focus on the edits rather than the editor. Alice 19:13, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Infobox vs lead

Attempt at a neutral statement of the options:

  1. Keep all languages listed in the first sentence and list them in the infobox. (The previous status quo.)
  2. Keep English and Chinese, remove Malay and Tamil from first sentence. Keep all languages in infobox.
  3. Remove all alternate languages, keep them in the infobox. (The original change proposal.)
  4. Remove languages from infobox, keep them in the lead.
  • * *

I, personally, think that option 3 is clearly the best approach. WP:LEAD states that:

  • "The lead section should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article"
  • "Significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article"
  • "The relative emphasis given to material in the lead should reflect its relative importance to the subject"
  • "Avoid lengthy paragraphs and over-specific descriptions, especially if it is not central to the main facts of whatever the article describes."

I, personally, feel that article names in other languages are not among "the most important points", as they are "not covered in the remainder of the article" and instead qualify as "over-specific descriptions". Hence they do not belong in the lead, and should instead go in the infobox. As illustration, compare my proposal:

Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SINICAO: WSSS) or simply Changi Airport, is a major aviation hub in Asia, particularly in the Southeast Asian region, and is the main airport in Singapore. Located in Changi on a 13 km² (3,200 acre) site, it is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north-east from the commercial centre.

With the present text:

Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SINICAO: WSSS) (Malay: Lapangan Terbang Changi Singapura; Chinese: 新加坡樟宜机场; pinyin: Xīnjiāpō Zhāngyí Jīchǎng; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் சாங்கி விமானநிலையம) or simply Changi Airport, is a major aviation hub in Asia, particularly in the Southeast Asian region, and is the main airport in Singapore. Located in Changi on a 13 km² (3,200 acre) site, it is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north-east from the commercial centre.

Comments? Jpatokal (talk) 14:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps a more sensible (and mature) approach in this regard should be one whereby you summarise the concerns from both fronts and present them in an NPOV manner for discussion here. Your comments above appear to be provoking a recurrence of past debates.--Huaiwei (talk) 16:35, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Summary added. And I'm attempting to solve the past debate here. Jpatokal (talk) 23:39, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Nonsense. I clearly mentioned "summarising the concerns", and not merely the result. All you bothered to do was present your case without presenting the opposing view. A very "genuine" attempt to "solve" a part debate indeed.--Huaiwei (talk) 18:33, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
If you have concerns, then please go ahead and summarize them. Jpatokal (talk) 20:50, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I would love to see how you are able to present both sides of the argument in an NPOV manner, since you found it within your liberty to actually include policy decisions in this proposed guideline before consulting the community. For instance, have you consulted with anyone in deciding the order of languages to be displayed? Just how NPOV are you to consider yourself the rightful person to make such critical proposal decisions for the Singaporean community?--Huaiwei (talk) 15:17, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I know you would love to see me try, so you can nitpick it to death, and that's why I'm not going to play that game with you.
So. I have my POV, and I have presented it. Now it's your turn to present yours, and convince the august members of our assembly that it's better. Jpatokal (talk) 20:41, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

I respectfully beg to differ. He has presented both sides accurately. So why not write versions of the Changi airport article in all the official languages of Singapore, instead of messing up the English version? This is a better use of your time if you want to honor those other languages and make it more accessible to people who speak those other languages. That makes far more sense. --Filll (talk) 17:29, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Shall I then I respectively ask you to quote from his message the views presented to support the existing structure? You have spoken your view, and that is respectively your view. There are other views to consider, even if they are not aligned with yours, including a basic recognition of the fact that each country may have the liberty to present country-related articles relevant to their circumstance, and that not all users recognise the importance placed on multilinguism in other countries. This is not something new to wikipedia, and all I ask is for your to recognise and respect that.--Huaiwei (talk) 03:43, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe using the guidelines in WP:LEAD is completely apposite. In other contexts, things like a person's height, date of birth, nickname are in the lead but not mentioned in the body. So it is conceivable and indeed normal that what is in the lead may not be in the body. The argument for exclusion can only emanate from aesthetics (clutter), and/or non-repetition (if there is an infobox), and/or information of peripheral usefulness. Chensiyuan (talk) 04:01, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Re: only English words should be used in the English encyclopedia -- does not comport with practice. Right about every WP article on a country has the country's name in the country's official language stated in the lead. It just so happens that Singapore has four official languages. I'm looking at other MOS written for other countries and the case for paranthesising the names in other languages is not dented in the least. A matter of locus standi, at bottom. Chensiyuan (talk) 04:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
You are purposely muddying the issue. I have no problem with 4 or 10 different names in other languages, abbreviations, transliterations, pronounciation guides, notes, etc. However, no more than a couple of these can go in the first sentence in the LEAD or else the LEAD becomes unreadable and inaccessible. What is wrong with the infobox? Do you hate the infobox? Many other language versions of Wikipedia use the infobox to display all the languages and other information for Changi airport. Will you mount a campaign in 10 or 20 other languages and attack them all as racist and unfair and so on and force them to change? If not, why not? Why just English?
And the argument about making it welcoming and useful for those from other language backgrounds, which I have heard over and over, does not make much sense when you do not have articles, or articles as complete, in all 4 of the official languages on Changi airport on Wikipedia. THAT would help people that speak the other 4 languages far more than this nonsense and fighting and quarreling. The fact that it has not been done, really speaks volumes for the sincerity of people trying to push this change.--Filll (talk) 05:48, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course. Your hot air rhetoric is most relevant. Big time LOL. Your contributions to WP have been tremendous!! Chensiyuan (talk) 07:46, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Your bloviation is unbecoming. Someone who has contributed to a bunch of pointless articles on unencyclopedic sports themes has no place to gloat. Please try to control yourself before you embarass yourself further. And I will thank you not to misrepresent my points further and make it even clearer that you suffer from assorted mental lacunae and a paucity of ratiocination.--Filll (talk) 19:13, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
And your bombastical reaction seeks to...impress?--Huaiwei (talk) 18:29, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Btw, that in-line multilingual names exists is actually the pre-existing condition, and those who believe they should be retained are not exactly the ones "pushing for a change".--Huaiwei (talk) 08:50, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Before you demand to implement something in policy, have you considered whether it is feasible to apply your proposal in all Singapore-related articles? Do infoboxes exist in all such articles? And you obviously have problems understanding the basic premise of having in-line multi-lingual names. They are actually there for those who do not speak the other three language, and not for those who do.--Huaiwei (talk) 07:28, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I am not demanding a change in policy. I am asking for the implementation of common sense, however. Of course, if there is no infobox, then this is not feasible (well, duh!...wow I am blinded by your mental acuity...). So the purpose of putting the name in the other 3 languages (or 4, in the case of the vast majority of users of the ENGLISH Wikipedia, which is what this is) is for the "benefit" of those who do not understand them. Pray tell, what is that benefit? And you mean to tell me that these people, all of them, are much too stupid to read the text in an infobox? Wow...that sounds a bit racist and derogatory to me. It does not sound respectful to people who do not have your linguistic skills. You assume they have to see the text in the front sentence, creating an inaccessible sentence that is unreadable, instead of in a list in the infobox. That makes a lot of sense. Well, not really. But nice try....--Filll (talk) 19:13, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Talking about racism, perhaps you may wish to share your nationality and ethnic background? Since you appear to be greatly concerned about how one country chooses to present its information, I suppose there must be something driving your enthusiasm?--Huaiwei (talk) 03:43, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I think it important that we do try vigorously (and in a civil fashion) to get our own house in order and reach workable and sensible compromises here that we can point to if editors "parachuting in" (perhaps from Hong Kong or Macau? - weak grin) start to make wholesale and unwarranted changes to relatively stable articles. Alice 19:23, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Singaporeans with Chinese names

The guideline states "Article titles should follow Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese). In particular, this means that names will normally be written in the local form, not in Pinyin (e.g., "Lee Kuan Yew", not "Li Guangyao")." However, the Chinese naming convention actually says we "should reference the name more familiar to most English readers" and does not give a clear preference for "local forms" of names. In this regard, while "Lee Kuan Yew" is clearly more well-known in English, names of many Chinese artists, including Huang Biren, Chen Liping and Huang Wenyong, etc, are regularly used in its pinyin form. It may thus be best to emphasise on commonality than the particular system of romanisation used?--Huaiwei (talk) 15:47, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

That's a useful observation. Do you have a suggested alternative wording? — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:06, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I have taken the plunge and partly rewrittern the section to address the above. Feel free to edit or comment as necessary. Cheers!--Huaiwei (talk) 17:58, 13 November 2008 (UTC)