Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

Contents

Archives

Old discussions

Much old discussion is at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (anglicization).

Archive 1

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 1

  • Sections before the start of the POLL (Feb 19, 2003 - 7 April 2005) Last posting 7 October 2005
    • Accents
    • Naming policy
    • Good or Bad?
    • The problem with anglicisations
    • English names or local names for universities ?
    • Conventions for transliteration
      • Transliteration methods used on Wikipedia
    • Diacritic marks in article titles
    • Proposal
      • Spelling of non-English terms on Wikipedia
      • Comments
      • Göring → Goering
      • Tucson
      • Time to discard this policy
      • PBS' last edit

Archive 2

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 2

  • Sections immidiatly after the POLL (12 Apr 2005 - 10 August 2005) last posting 8 October 2005
    • Suggestion for increasing granularity
      • Wiggle room needed
    • With/without diacritics: how about "anything goes if you can prove you can clean up your own mess?"
    • Wrongtitle excess
    • Existence versus common.
    • Even foreign words used as foreign words need to be fully Anglicized - Jimbo Wales
    • Native spelling
    • Write for the reader

Archive 3

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 3 Contains:

  • Straw poll re. diacritics;
  • Some discussions re. less common letter signs:
    • ß (as used in German)
    • þ and ð (as used in Old English, Icelandic and Old Norse)

Archive 4

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 4

  • Examples
    • A German-English example
    • A French-English example
    • A French/English-English example
    • A Norse/Old English-English example
  • Diacritics, South Slavic languages
    • A Polish/French-English example
    • An American/South Slavic roots/Belgian-English example
    • A German/Italian-English example
    • An Estonian-English example
    • A Czech/Bohemian-English example
    • A Polish-English example
  • Another attempt to build a consensus
  • Haukurth's proposal
  • Standardized names across all wikis?
  • Giving "native versions"
  • Hawaiian English in Hawaiʻi articles
    • HOAX regarding Hawaiian English
  • Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)
  • Proposing "Spelling according to first edition in English"
  • Francis's recent additions
  • Are diacritics part of everyday English?
  • Dispute or discussion?
  • Article titles for books in foreign languages
  • Quotes in secn "Disputed issues"
  • Jogaila of Lithuania/ Władysław II Jagiełło
  • English Wikipedia's page names for Polish rulers
    • Table
  • Using diacritics (or national alphabet) in the name of the article
  • New guidelines which may impact on this and other guidelines
  • Fresh meat arriving
  • Universities and Colleges in other languages
  • reliable published sources
  • What is 'Latin alphabet'?
    • Related poll
  • Huh?
  • Proposal for new general naming convention for non-English proper names
  • Poll on some German street
  • Umlaut and ß sources
  • Poll on deciding English spelling of the word "Voivodship / Voivodeship"

Archive 5

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 5

  • Foreign Artwork
  • Korean native names
  • Clear transliteration guideline
  • "Native names"
  • Scottish monarchs
  • Japanese help
  • German names using ß
    • this ß thing
    • Consistency
    • Related poll
  • Stale active discussion
  • Input desired
  • Artwork naming conventions
  • What is this "Latin" alphabet?
  • Burma v. Myanmar
  • Ælfric and other Old English names
    • Change article name and scope?
    • Æ/æ/Œ/œ - rules proposal
  • Proposed change to WP:NAME
  • Inclusion of non-native languages other than English
  • Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Funny Foreign Squiggles
  • Naming of organisations
  • Proposal to amend video games to this statement:
  • Major dispute.
  • Page move - Vossstrasse
  • Squamish/Sḵwxwú7mesh
  • Proposed addendum - Non-Latin disambiguation
  • Proposed clarification
  • Page move
  • Missing section
  • Languages of the Nordic countries

Question about 東北大學

I'd like to ask for some opinions on the naming of this page - 東北大學. Currently it is a disambiguation page. I understand that sometimes non-Latin characters in title names may be unavoidable. But 東北大學 literally translates as "Northwestern University", and there's already a disambiguation page for that (Northeastern University (disambiguation)). So is 東北大學 really necessary as its own page or should it just redirect to Northeastern University (disambiguation)? Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 21:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I've started an AFD, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/東北大學 - Hello World! 16:48, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Ok. And what do you think of the following:

Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 03:07, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

All of the characters in these links are rendered as question marks (using standard install of Firefox 2.0.0.9) -- which as far as I'm concerned reinforces the point that article titles should use English characters. olderwiser 03:15, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Most people who are literate in the character sets represented by those bytes you see as question marks, and who regularly read in that character set on their computers --- the same people to whom those disambiguation pages will be most useful --- will have the requisite fonts installed. cab (talk) 13:38, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, however, it was not clear from the post that all of ? character articles are disambiguation pages. But even so, this is the English language wikipedia -- persons using the EN wikipedia can be expected to have some proficiency of English in addition to whatever other languages they might know. I don't see that EN:WP has any obligation to make EN pages intelligible in non-English character sets. Brief transliterations are fine and even redirects from foreign character names, but sorry, I don't see the need for such pages. olderwiser 14:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Having proficiency in English, and even being a native English speaker, doesn't mean that you will know the name of every Chinese/Korean/Japanese proper noun or culturally-specific concept in English --- they may be transcribed under any system or in an ad-hoc fashion, part transcribed and part translated, or entirely translated in any number of idiosyncratic ways. I don't want to play an exponentially-expanding guessing game every time I see something in Chinese and want to read more about the topic in English. In many cases, someone might not even know how to transcribe the name (e.g. they read in Chinese about a Japanese or Korean topic, but don't speak Korean or Japanese in the first place to know how the name should be transcribed). Hence the need for redirects from foreign character names.
I fail to see how disambiguations on foreign-character titles are anything but a natural extension of this problem. Plenty of topics belonging to one of the Chinese character-using languages share their Chinese character names with other topics from other Chinese character-using languages. Picking e.g. Mandarin Chinese as the title of the disambiguation page, using that to transcribe, and redirecting Japanese and Korean transcriptions to that title is far less sensible and more confusing than admitting non-Latin character disambiguation page names. The Korean transcription should redirect to the Korean-related topic, the Japanese to the Japanese topic, and the Chinese to the Chinese topic. Only in the case where there's genuine uncertainty about what the user is likely to be looking for --- that is, when he entered some Chinese characters, which are a valid title in multiple languages --- should he be getting a disambiguation page.
Also I don't have any idea where "obligation" comes into it --- these pages are useful to a subset of enwiki users and will be maintained by that subset, while not interfering with normal functioning for the rest of the user base. cab (talk) 15:33, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

British and Irish medieval names

A disagreement has emerged over the form of name to use for various early British and Irish historical figures. The main two links for the current debate are:

There are links in those to some prior discussions.

The relevant sentence of this guideline is "If you are talking about a person, country, town, film, book, or video game, use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works."

There appear to be two issues. First, how much relative weight should be given to scholarly sources versus popular sources in determining what the "most commonly used" version is? Second, does the use of one form in the title precludes the use of another form within the article to refer to the subject of the article?

I'm going to create two subsections here since the points seem distinct, and then after I post here I'll notify a few editors I know who have an interest in this kind of article. Please notify anyone else you think would be interested in this topic. Mike Christie (talk) 20:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Scholarly and modern vs. popular sources

For the first question, consider Æthelberht of Kent. A search on Google Books finds the following counts:

  • "Æthelberht of Kent": 3 hits
  • "Æthelbert of Kent": 0 hits
  • "Aethelberht of Kent": 238 hits
  • "Aethelbert of Kent": 142 hits
  • "Ethelberht of Kent": 665 hits
  • "Ethelbert of Kent": 282 hits

However, a look at the sources shows that the "Ethelbert" usages are by and large in older books. I looked in a dozen or so recent works on Anglo-Saxon history, and found that "Æthelberht" is clearly the most commonly used spelling, despite the numbers above. (Here's a link to the WP:RM move request I made for it back in June, with the counts.) The works included purely scholarly texts such as Dorothy Whitelock's "English Historical Documents", modern works such as Kirby's "Earliest English Kings", and introductory books aimed at the layman such as Peter Hunter Blair's "An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England". I don't think anyone who has read even a couple of layman's works in the field of Anglo-Saxon history would think "Ethelbert" was the standard form; but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that in general English usage (such as church calendars, or names of churches) the most common form was "Ethelbert". (I'm a layman myself; I've no academic background in history at all.) So what does "most commonly used" mean here?

Some kings such as Alfred the Great are too widely known by some specific version of their name for any alternative to be sensible. I think very few early kings are really that well known, though. Constantine II of Scotland, who is one of the articles in question, is not even close to being that famous; I'm part Scots, and interested in medieval history, and I'd never heard of him before I read this article.

Michael Sanders has also argued that the Gaelic names are harder to understand for English readers (and this is the English Wikipedia). I think he's at least partly right, but I don't think that is a key point: if a reader of a Wikipedia article looks up the subject in a book cited in that article, they should not be astonished to discover a different name is generally used in the literature for that topic. Mike Christie (talk) 20:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to say myself that the issue is in this case is concentrating less on "which forms of name should be used in the title" and more on "which form of name should be used in the article": the Scottish monarchs from Kenneth I all use the English forms of name for the arcticle title; however, their article text until roughly William I uses Gaelic forms contradictory to the existing article titles (thus Constantine II of Scotland's article consistently referred to him within the text as 'Constantín'). Michael Sanders 21:08, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Let's try a search for the last 10 years:

  • 63 hits for Aethelberht Kent date:1998-2008
  • 171 hits for Ethelberht Kent date:1998-2008

But this doesn't give us the true picture because Æ is often mis-OCRed. So let's try a few searches for errors:

  • 72 hits for thelberht Kent date:1998-2008
  • 18 hits for Tthelberht Kent date:1998-2008
  • 9 hits for Ithelberht Kent date:1998-2008

But some of the most common error readings for Æthelberht will show up in our search for Ethelberht. Indeed, the top hit when I search for Ethelberht is something which has the reading "/Ethelberht", an OCR-error for Æthelberht. Unforunately Google Books doesn't allow us to filter out "/Ethelberht" and "^Ethelberht" (common erraneous readings of Æthelberht) from the actual Ethelberhts. Haukur (talk) 23:50, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Use of one term within another article

What started this was not a move; Michael simply brought the contents of various articles in line with their titles. See the edit history of Constantine II of Scotland; Michael did this on quite a few articles and the result was an edit war.

The question came up on Constantine's talk page: see this section (last couple of paragraphs). I personally would prefer consistency between the article title and the contents, but Angus convinced me then that the scholarship does not correspond to the article name so I saw no reason to misrepresent the scholarship in the article by enforcing the use of "Constantine". My reasoning was that the article name is for reader convenience, but the article contents must reflect scholarship.

I now think it would be better to make them consistent, but that the best way to do so would be to move the article to the less familiar name, "Constantín mac Áeda". Redirects can solve the problem of readers looking for "Constantine II of Scotland". Mike Christie (talk) 20:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

However, wikipedia conventions such as WP:Common name state that the name most readers would be searching for should be used for article titles: "Constantin mac Aeda", in other words, should only be used if most readers will be looking for him rather than "Constantine II of Scotland". Michael Sanders 21:10, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Repeating some three times may make it true but it won't make it verifiable. Not necessarily "Constantine", definitely not "II", definitely not "Scotland", but the "of" is unexceptionable. If the fact that Gaelic names means that patronyms appearing in the genitive case might confuse people (not a problem with Irish articles) or the use of "mac" might do likewise (again not a problem with Irish articles, nor is "ap" in Welsh ones), then "X son of Y" avoids this. But so long as article naming relies largely on the usage in tertiary references, contradictions between the article titles and their content will be an occasional and unavoidable hazard. When that happens, naming policies shouldn't be a reason to present an outdated vision of any subject, whether it's the backwater that is early historic Scotland or something more important. Whether you like it or not, titles like Constantine I of Scotland, Constantine II of Scotland, Donald I of Scotland, &c, &c, say something to our [readers which the contents do not support. Writing around these misleading article names does not help editors and I doubt that the results will help readers. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:14, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Not necessarily Constantine II of Scotland, but commonly accepted as Constantine II of Scotland. It's more important that readers find articles where they expect them to be than that they are baffled by technically correct names which serve to confuse rather than differentiate people. Furthermore, sources often disagree in their choice of name (look at Catherine of Aragon) - that doesn't require using a different name form in the body than in the title. And when, furthermore, there is apparently no agreement on what form of name to be used (modern vs contemporary Gaelic) it seems slightly disingenuous to claim that using unheard of (outside Scotland) patronymics and Gaelic name forms for the Kings of Scots rather than the standard Anglicised regnal titles is in any sense more 'honest'. Michael Sanders 23:49, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Incidentally, it turns out this was all discussed before last year, at Talk:Malcolm III of Scotland/Archive One. It was, apparently, agreed that the English forms should be used. Clearly this fell through the cracks somewhere. Michael Sanders 03:02, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

There is a major problem when an article entitled Donald I of Scotland seems to the average reader to be about someone else. The article must be rewritten or retitled, but something must change. Srnec (talk) 17:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how the lack of reality of the ordinal, or whatever, is something which ought to be dealt with at the level of article title and name used in the text. Major, recent, scholarly reference sources, whose purpose is similar to that of wikipedia, use the anglicized forms and the traditional ordinals. Note specifically my old favorite the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. That specialist monographs tend towards gaelic forms, etc., strikes me as irrelevant, as their purpose is quite different from ours. The article on Constantine II in the ODNB is by Dauvit Broun, a major historian of medieval Scotland. I don't know what forms he uses in his own publications, but he has clearly at least acquiesced in use of the more familiar forms for his work in the ODNB, presumably on the basis that different standards are applicable to specialist work and general reference materials. Given that wikipedia is a less scholarly, more generalist work than the ODNB, I don't see what basis there is for being more pedantic about names. john k (talk) 18:59, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I'll never support moving an article to a non-English name. As for using non-English names within an article? In the infobox- have the English name then non-English name underneath it in brackets. In opening line- have English name, then non-English name in brackets. GoodDay (talk) 19:21, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
John, you characterize these namings as "pedantry". You think the editors who favour these names, never mind the dozens of salaried scholars who use these names, are pedants, or do you think it more likely they have a list of reasons? Actually, they have reasons, none of which are ever mentioned by any of the Use English Everywhere proponents. There are many, among which it is the norm in insular historiography, from which Scotland lagged behind until the 1990s, and is necessary when the subject becomes much discussed in depth, which it really didn't become until recently. I could go into other reasons, but I know wikipedia talk pages have familiarised you with them enough for now. Google searches are not going to make the absurdity of these names both in themselves and in comparison to other insular lands any more palatable to the editors who have good non-pedantic reasons for favouring them. You at least must have realised this already, no? Lets get you to the nitty-gritty. There is no king in the period before David I where you'd need more than two A4 pages in 12 font to fit all the original source information, and usually you won't need a quarter of that. These kings have no tellable factual narratives. Any article on them more than 2 paragraphs long will need to be highly scholarly. What you seem to want is for editors of these articles to diverge from the names used in virtually all the sources they will consult. And for what? To protect them from being confused by the foreigness of Mael Coluim or Cinaed? This won't work. Your Mael Brigtes, Gilla Comgains, and all the other scores of such names, cannot be made familiar. It's a foreign culture ... as foreign to any Scot as to any American. One has to get used to these things. These kings unfortunately suffer by being at the early stage of king-lists of a modern nation, and have suffered from the imposition of modern formality misleading at even the most basic level. In reality, these kings can't be decently covered in any depth and be easily comprehensible to the "layman" who doesn't have the interest or mental patience to comprehend some foreign names. Wikipedia is not similar to other popular reference works. It's almost infinitely expandable, and there comes a point when one has to abandon the back of cereal boxes as sources. BTW, Broun uses the native forms in all his publications. I've found out that those spellings there are editorial, and the reasoning behind it is to follow the DNB, which used the Anglicized forms; i.e. it was not an issue of difficulty or editorial philosophy regarding anglicization. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:34, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

If it's a foreign culture, then that makes WP:UE even more pertinent. There's no article for Carlos el Hechizado. The case is clearly one of common name - and the names most commonly used for the Scottish monarchs (with the exception of the obscure-even-by-Scottish standards such as Culen or Aed) are the anglicised forms. As it is, you appear to be claiming that using anglicised forms instead of Gaelic forms will lead to the articles being 'dumbed down'. It won't. It will just make them consistent and logical, rather than looking like someone's been on a POINT spree. Michael Sanders 21:21, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Who's arguing for Carlos el Hechizado? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:25, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Nobody, thankfully, the references to the well-known Malcolm III of Scotland as Máel Coluim mac Donnchada are quite bad enough. Michael Sanders 21:28, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
You don't like using the latter form, we know that. Do you have a point beyond that, that might convince others who don't already agree with you? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:30, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't particularly care for "Mael Coluim mac Donnchada", but since you've expressed your distaste for the form "Malcolm" I think it's quits there. The point remains, English-language wikipedia uses English forms. "Mael Coluim mac Donnchada" is not an English form, it is a Gaelic form, and a Gaelic form that is rarely used. You can characterise commonly used names as deriving from cereal boxes as much as you like, and sneer at those who don't know much about Scottish history, and criticise the straw man you set up as the "layman"; the point remains, these names are known and used far more commonly in the English forms than in the Gaelic forms, so it is illogical and inconsistent to use the Gaelic forms; all it does is create shoddy articles that read badly because not even the article subject is described by his or her article name. Michael Sanders 21:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't have a problem with "Malcolm" if it didn't cause so many problems, though I won't lie, I'd still use Mael Coluim if I had to give a preference. The articles on the Scottish kings are actually very good content wise now, and that's mostly because of the heroic work of Angus. I'm still waiting for you to add any content to these articles which isn't dubious. It's unfortunately a difficult area, and you'll need to move beyond the Pears Junior Encyclopaedia and the dictionaries of Names if you really want to add anything useful. This is not meant as an insult ... a genius wouldn't be able to add anything helpful using those sources. If there are actually many grammar difficulties, then you should help out in that. It would look much better if you did. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 12:01, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Certainly "Duncan" and "Malcolm" are going to remain the preferred forms for just about ever, because of Shakespeare. I don't see how this is any more incorrect than Mark Antony or Pompey. The arguments made against anglicization apply against pretty much all anglicization - scholarly sources more and more use non-anglicized forms for all monarchs, not just gaelic-named ones. And, as Michael says, there really isn't anything unscientific about using anglicized forms. I don't see how referring to Shakespeare's "Duncan" as "Donnchad" is anything but the exact kind of pedantry that would lead to Marcus Antonius, or Friedrich Barbarossa, or whatever else you want to have. It seems to be, at the moment, a relatively more popular form of pedantry, and, of course, pedantry plays a large role in scholarly usage - pretty much all changes in nomenclature are essentially due to pedantic concerns. Anyway, I've lost my train of thought. john k (talk) 22:33, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
The national language of Scotland has been English, or a form of English, since the early Middle Ages. What seems utterly pedantic to me is providing a Gaelic form for, say, Anne, or James (any of them). It would be a bit like providing an Anglo-Saxon form for, say, Edward VIII (which would be Eadward). TharkunColl (talk) 00:04, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
You must have a rather bizarre definition of Early Middle Ages if you believe that age starts in the 15th century. At any rate, on the issue of providing (modern) Gaelic forms of the names of all kings (which is not what this discussion is about), this is ubiquitous in wikipedia. Gaelic was still the language of roughly half the population until about 1500, and never fell below a 1/4 or perhaps a 1/3rd (depending on how the statistics are evaluated) at any time before the Scottish kingdom was absorbed. Compare, say, the List of Lithuanian rulers, where "Ruthenian" (i.e Rus'ian) and Polish (bizarrely) forms are given in addition to Lithuanian spellings. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:51, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

I was feeling rather pleased with myself when I read here someone saying: "[k]nowing nothing about the subject matter, I was able to jump right in and comprehend the history and significance". But now I learn that I was making articles "look as though they've been got at by a vandal suffering from WP:POINT or POV". Worse yet, I've produced "shoddy articles that read badly because not even the article subject is described by his or her article name". That Encarta's article followed the same "common name" page title and "pedantic academic name" content as had been followed here is apparently no excuse for shoddy, unreadable near-vandalism. I certainly appreciate the resounding endorsement. Angus McLellan (Talk) 01:48, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Well of course, whenever anyone is in doubt, they automatically cry, "I must go to Encarta!". Not. We don't decide the style of articles based on encarta, we decide it based on our own conventions and rules, and our own sense of what is appropriate. You and Deacon appear to be the sole pair who consider naming an article "Macbeth of Scotland" and then consistently referring to him within it by the unheard of "Mac Bethad mac Findleach", and, in general, preferring an obscure name over a commonly recognised name. If an article is not describing its subject, then, yes, I'm sorry, it is shoddy. Michael Sanders 01:54, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Michael, as you know, I and the anon IP who posted at the original discussion both agree with Angus and the Deacon on this. And shoddy is simply incorrect, and insulting too. Please try to use less inflammatory language. Mike Christie (talk) 03:16, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
And the anon is who? Furthermore, you are arguing the usage of the most common name - e.g. Æthelbert. You are not, so far as I can see, arguing for the use of names which contradict the most common name form. Michael Sanders 03:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I fully agree with both Angus and the Deacon on the points they've made. The anon appeared to do so too; and if I recall correctly a fifth editor posted at one of the pages in at least partial support. The anon's opinion is valid input, unless there is some rule I'm not aware of about anons not participating in discussions. But the main point is that reasonable people can agree with Angus and the Deacon here. It is not an irrational position. As for "Æthelberht", I'm arguing for the most common name in recent, reliable secondary sources. That is definitely not the same as the most common in general use and historical scholarly works, which would certainly be "Ethelbert". A similar standard here seems likely (per the only apparent experts who have commented) to lead to the position stated by Angus and the Deacon. Regardless, I'd appreciate it if you'd apologize to Angus for your use of language. Angus has made enormously valuable contributions to Wikipedia, and the particular article in question recently made FA. You're entitled to your opinion, and your point of view may even prevail here, but please consider your language a little more carefully. There is no need for you to be rude to other good faith contributors. Mike Christie (talk) 04:09, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
The anglicised forms are as frequently used in recent reliable secondary sources as the Gaelic forms, so that's hardly relevant. Michael Sanders 16:30, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
(Oh, and also? I'm not aware of having said anything so rude as "oh my ... your ignorance of this topic is breathtaking, not even a slightly valid comparison" in the course of this discussion.) Michael Sanders 16:33, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I haven't been able to keep up with every single post and don't know who said that, but I agree it's not very polite. I doubt I'll comment again on politeness, about you or anyone else, since I don't think I have much more to contribute to this debate, but I am glad to see John K (below) provide a reasoned disagreement without a trace of emotion. I hope anyone who's been less than polite on either side of this debate can follow his lead. (John's not the only civil editor here; he's just an example.) Mike Christie (talk) 18:27, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Certainly both sides stake out reasonable positions, and I'd want to distance myself from Michael's more extreme comments. At the same time, I don't see what advantage "Mac Bethad" has over the familiar "Macbeth," or that "Mael Coluim" has over "Malcolm". So long as we explain that "Malcolm," etc., are anglicizations not used by contemporaries, I don't see that there's a problem. We do that in lots and lots of cases. We hellenize the names of Persian kings. We hebraize the names of the more familiar Assyrian and Babylonian kings. We latinize greek names, and we anglicize the names of various ancient greeks and romans. We anglicize the names of most monarchs. We latinize the names of many early modern figures. In this case, where Gaelic is barely used anymore, and where the English names have centuries of use behind them, I don't see what advantage less familiar, more difficult to pronounce, Gaelic forms has. john k (talk) 06:20, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

(Quick exclaimer: None of the following is intended to be rude). "Pedantry" is a derogatory word which implies a thoughtless loyalty to detail of little importance for its own sake. John, there are advantages to using these forms beyond pedantry. I'm really disappointed I have to repeat some of them, to you of all people. It's artificial, crude and looks silly as soon as any of those articles go into any detail or put in a broader and integrated insular context. Now if you don't share that feeling, then fair enough, you don't share that feeling. But for me, it is bothersome to talk about Donald III of Scotland in the same article as his contemporary King over the water, Domnall Ua Lochlainn. What message is this sending to the intelligent reader? Their name is identical, there is no difference in historical importance. Their kingships were just as customary and disputed. The way in which this practice misleads people means it is not comparable to, say, Marc Anthony or Pompey. And John, as a fair man, can you please explain to people that this has nothing to do with nationalism. Much of the actual opposition on wikipedia to these names come from British people, more often than not Scots, hostile (for their own reasons) to Gaelic. I fear that inappropriate suspicions of nationalism and misplaced perceptions of pedantry are actually damaging dialogue here; this is a matter of editorial philosophy as applied to Scotland's early kings, with reference to them and their relevant context, which is Domnall Ua Lochlainn and such topics, not Marc Anthony. Given that almost all the sources which a good wikipedian would want our editors to use in these articles employ natives forms, you're asking editors to actively anglicize the names of kings in order to apply a vague editorial philosophy which emerged without reference to these kings and this problem. Also, a side question, does it not bother you at least a little that no-one on wikipedia who has actually contributed to these articles agrees with your views? Do you have an explanation for this beyond the reasons they (or we) have given, or beyond nationalism and pedantry? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:51, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Donald III was also a contemporary of William Rufus, King of England - or in his own language, Guillaume le Roux. Or how about the former English king, still very much alive in the 1090s, Eadgar Æþeling - or in modern form, Edgar the Atheling. Or does your policy only extend to speakers of Celtic languages? And if so, when does it become no longer appropriate? The Bruces and Stewarts were certainly not Celts (in fact they had mostly Norman ancestry and spoke English), yet you had Gaelic versions of their names. You even had a Gaelic version of the name of William of Orange! How is this possibly useful or justified? TharkunColl (talk) 13:08, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid you are confusing different issues. The Gaelic names of all Scottish kings, not put there by me (although I reformatted them), were there because Gaelic is and was a major language of the Scottish kingdom at all periods. That has nothing to do with this topic, and is a entirely different consideration from native names for the Gaelic kings of Alba, used by almost all historians who write about them today. As for the descent of the Bruces and Stewarts, if you take the kings and trace their actual ancestry, you'll realise your belief comes from cultural fallacy, that of Agnatic seniority. As for language, we don't know that they adopted English until the 14th century. All of this is not relevant to this discussion though. And blatant irrelevancies such as these, by diverting energy and distracting from issues, can only hamper progress here, as I've learn through experience on wiki. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 13:32, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Gaelic is not a major language of Scotland and hasn't been for many hundreds of years. Indeed it was never a majority language and only rose to promince because it was the language spoken by the early kings, after they had conquered the Picts. The Bruces and Stewarts were Norman by ancestry because they inherited Norman attitudes and culture. And since the 14th was when they came to power your assertion that that was when English became the language of the kings fits exactly. TharkunColl (talk) 13:38, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Gaelic is not a major language of modern Scotland, but it was a major language of the Scottish kingdom for all of its existence, the majority language language before the 15th cent, and the only major language before the 12th century. This is not relevant here though, as the issue you're pursuing concerns the Scottish monarchs page and isn't editorially related to this discussion. Because I'm such a great guy though, I've followed this Here on your talk page. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:14, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmm...the issue of usage of names of contemporary Irish monarchs is indeed problematic. One option to resolve this would be to use anglicized versions of their names - Rory O'Connor, and so forth - but I get the sense that almost no scholarly literature does this anymore. That being said, Domnall Ua Lochlainn is not, in fact, discussed in Donald III of Scotland. Nor is Donald III mentioned in Domnall Ua Lochlainn. So this concern seems largely theoretical, at this point. And I'm not sure why the same issue doesn't apply to Romans. We talk about Horace and Virgil as contemporaries of people with normal, non-anglicized, Roman names. Obviously there's not quite the same issue of people with the same name treated differently. But this comes up, too. Friedrich Schiller is a contemporary of Frederick the Great, in spite of the fact that they both have exactly the same name - Friedrich. Again, there is an increasing tendency for more scholarly works to stick with the original, but this hasn't migrated to more popular works. In his own writing, a historian obviously can do whatever they like in terms of nomenclature, in order to make whatever point he wants. Wikipedia, though, is a collective venture, and the primary contributors to articles aren't necessarily going to get their way, especially about issues with larger implications, like this one. In terms of article contributors, then, I don't find this to be sufficient - all other things being equal, the major contributors are entitled to some deference, but all other things are not equal. In any event, this is not strictly true. The article was written using the anglicized names, and remained that way until a year and a half ago, so far as I can gather. By "people who have contributed to this article" you mean basically yourself and Angus. I greatly respect the amount of work that you and Angus have put into medieval Scottish history articles, but I don't think that's sufficient on this issue. All this being said, I don't think it would be disastrous to leave the articles as you have written them. I would prefer it be otherwise, but if there's a strong consensus the other way, that's fine. But I'd prefer to just give the gaelic forms in the intro, and to use the anglicized forms otherwise. john k (talk) 15:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Like John said: we use the system of "common name" in the Roman articles. Nobody thinks it odd that the son of "Pompey" is "Sextus Pompeius", or that "Mark Antony" is the son of "Antonius", and I doubt many people would bat an eyelid if Livy was described as writing about Livius. We use the most common names of the people we write of, regardless of how euphonius it sounds in an article: at least that is a practice used for centuries, and generally accepted as sensible, instead of this artificial "all the Scots Kings used English names when Malcolm IV died" (and that practice is sanctioned by who?). Michael Sanders 16:46, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, it isn't very usual in Roman scholarship to use Marcus Antonius or Cnaeus Pompeius, it is usual to use Mael Coluim mac Donnchada. It wouldn't be an issue if no-one used these forms, but literally no scholar today writing specifically on these kings would use Malcolm MacDuncan. Anyways, are parallels with Frederick the Great and Mark Anthony really helpful? People actually have heard of these guys, they are figures of world historical importance. You think Cinaed mac Duib is comparable? As was said elsewhere, these guys have no common English names because they aren't commonly known. Sure, the internet is spammed with king lists and crummy royalty pages derived from tertiary sources, but that doesn't mean they are commonly known. John, there were articles using anglicized forms a year and a half ago. These articles weren't worth having though, though for reasons little to do with name forms. Use of the forms when these articles got properly written was innocent obedience to the sources that were used. The article titles were then seen as odd. It became obvious this might be an issue when attempts to change the article titles in accordance met with such hostility, and since then the modus vivendi in operation has been English titles, native in text ... an idea which if you'll remember got quite alot of support from the section of wikipedians who favoured retention of the anglicized titles. I think Angus, myself and I assume yours truly are all rather fed up with this issue; Michael Sanders is new and has the energy and innocence to press it, but ultimately I think it is obvious that no consensus is actually ever gonna be reached. Funnily enough, without reference to this particular issue, I'd guess there are probably as many if not more serious users on wiki who prefer native forms for names as who favour "Use English", they just haven't been the ones frequenting the guidelines pages.
Anyways, you are fond of using the Macbeth play in your argument. Well, if you were to do that surely Gruoch should be moved to Lady Macbeth, because all but a few ordinary educated people have ever heard of Gruoch, but most of 'em know Lady Macbeth. And Shakespeare would not have thought of Domnall Ban as Donald III, but as Donald V. Back in the day they numbered through agnatic descent, not office holding, and that aside, the Scottish king list was much longer until the early modern period when the first few hundred kings were discarded, and MacAlpin was chosen as the first king because of a few medieval myths. Cinaed had previously just been another Scottish king, and before that, just another Scoto-Pictish king; it was far more usual in the original myths from the 11th century-9th century to trace Scotic domination of Albania ("Scotland") to Fergus Mor and Aedan mac Gabrain, who were believed to have conquered the Picts, than Cinaed mac Ailpin. The only reason Cinaed emerged as the favored myth is because it was the one Anglo-Norman writers picked up on in the 12th century. The last scholar to have believed Cinaed mac Ailpin did actually conquer the Picts was John Bannerman, who retired nearly a decade ago; no present scholar believes in it, and it is historical consensus that Pictland and Scotland (both called Alba) were the same state, the rest is gradual cultural change and is dynastic. But we digress slightly, although I should say that this seems to be one of the main reasons Angus is unhappy with the numberings.
The issue is often one of theory, but in theory there is no difference between theory and practice. ;) Domnall Ua Lochlainn and Domnall Ban, most often known in tertiary works as Donald Bane, not Donald III, was just an example of two names that could and often do appear in the same articles; the Cinaeds ("Kenneth"), Donnchads ("Duncan") and other Domnalls have the same problem, and there is no shortage of other people also with those names. There's just a double standards that leads to loads of problems. Scottish rulers get anglicized en masse in "popular" works, Welsh, Irish and, yes, even most English rulers don't! Yes, that's from the dynamics of the real world which wiki has to accept ... like there was almost no scholarship on Scotland between Skene and the 1980s, but it causes all the problems already enumerated for editors of an encyclopedia like this. How is this going to be resolved? I personally am keener than ever for an answer, because the issue is now very boring to me. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 09:49, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

A simple modus vivendi is to simply accept that the article text should conform to the article titles. The simplest thing to do is to attempt to move the Scottish monarchs and other relevant persons to the Scottish titles. If, as you say, the Scottish forms are the most common form, they will be changed, and the text can conform to the Scottish forms. If, however, the move attempt fails, and the titles remain at the English forms, then the text should be modified to reflect the titles. Michael Sanders 13:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I remain to be convinced, however, that it is at all an issue that "Donald III" and "Domnall ua Lochlann" will appear in the same article - they use different naming forms, and come from different cultures anyway, so your argument is flawed; and, besides, we do that all the time in Roman articles, where, as I pointed out above, the well known Mark Antony is the son of the little heard of Marcus Antonius. It's just an application of rationality.
(Oh and incidentally? People have heard of Kenneth MacAlpin - under that name - and people have definitely heard of Macbeth and Malcolm III. They are consistently referred to under that name - whereas the historical wife of Macbeth is not consistently referred to as 'Lady Macbeth', and Donalbane is not consistently referred to as 'Donald V'. Who cares what Shakespeare thought, only what people think today - and the Anglicisations are the terms of choice by most writers.) Michael Sanders 13:16, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, the appear in the same article now. They do indeed, contrary to your assertion, come from the same culture, a serious point you've missed. Moreover, these Scottish kings aren't consistently referred to by anything, as you would learn if you did any serious reading. As was said and repeated many times, most of the sources used for those articles do not employ the names you prefer. Ignoring that won't make it go away. Fair enough, you have a number of issues with these forms; but as you have discovered, we have issues with your forms too? Are you looking for a compromise, or for total triumph here? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 13:28, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I gave you sources which use the English forms, prompting you to accuse me of aiming for the Lowest Common Denominator. And it is by those forms that the Scottish kings are consistently referred to. (And by the 11th century, Scottish and Irish culture were rather different. As, indeed, the differing 'mac' (son of) vs 'ua' (grandson of) demonstrates. Michael Sanders 13:58, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
No, no, no ... not that Ua and Mac would ever tell you anything, but you're thinking of a 12th century divergence (see Bannerman, "Macduff of Fife"), mac names were always used in Ireland, and they used Ua names extensively in Galloway. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
You haven't responded to the point - general sources refer to them by their English name-forms, because that is what readers expect to see. Michael Sanders 14:09, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I and others have responded to that point dozens of times. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
With what? Lines of Succession uses the English. 1066 uses the English. Marion Campbell uses the English. Pears Encyclopaedia uses the English. God, Terry Deary uses the English, which should tell you what preconceptions young people are going to be coming to the articles with. And any google search will demonstrate that the English forms are far more widely used than the Gaelic forms. Michael Sanders 14:16, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
And the scores of decent sources who use forms such as Mael Coluim and Cinaed use English to. Your point is not new, and repeating it won't take anything much further. See above convo. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:19, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

And yet you don't name these sources, or specify how many people will actually be reading them. Michael Sanders 14:24, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Erm ... I have. Virtually all the sources used for all those articles. Audience? Everyone who reads those. I'm afraid if you're after exact numbers you'll need to contact all those publishers and all the libraries who stock and lend them. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:27, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Erm...at least one of those sources (in one of the articles on King David) refers to King Malcolm. It has a title featuring the name "Malcolm". The wikipedia article in question, however, uses "Mael Coluim". How many more of your sources actually use English? Michael Sanders 14:55, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Secondary source examples

I hadn't planned to post again but it occurred to me that it would be useful to make a list of what sources use what forms. I've been through the reference sections of Kenneth I of Scotland and Constantine II of Scotland, and looked up the use of Cináed or Kenneth in the books cited there. If a book isn't listed below it's either over 50 years old (and I would contend should not be a source for usage information), or there is no text visible on Google Books, or it does not mention either form. Here's what I found; perhaps others with access to relevant texts can add more. I think the list should ideally be restricted to sources that could be used to write a Wikipedia article; i.e. reliable secondary sources. Technically that would exclude the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England, as they are tertiary, but those both do get used as sources so I left them in. Mike Christie (talk) 20:21, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

  • M.O. Anderson, Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland: appears to use both Cináed and Kenneth
  • D. Broun & T.O. Clancy, Spes Scotorum: Hope of Scots. Saint Columba, Iona and Scotland: Cináed per the Deacon's comments above; several other works by Broun are in the list and those would use Cináed too, presumably.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Kenneth
  • Sally M. Foster, Picts, Gaels and Scots: Early Historic Scotland: Cináed
  • D.P. Kirby, Earliest English Kings: Cináedh mac Ailpín
  • M. Lapidge, Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England: Cináed
  • A. Smyth, Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80–1000: Kenneth
  • A. Woolf, From Pictland to Alba, 789–1070: Cináed
In terms of usage, it is tertiary sources, I think, on which we ought to model ourselves. john k (talk) 22:39, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
(It's also illogical to exclude sources over 50 years old, which you seem to suggest means that they aren't going to be read. Or are you suggesting that nobody reads Gibbon or Suetonius? )Michael Sanders 22:50, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
This is an encyclopaedia. A work to be used in general reference by all and sundry. Therefore, we should be following general rather than scholarly usage, since we should be aiming to make the articles accessible to all - and you can assume that anyone familiar with the Gaelic forms will also be familiar with the English forms, and therefore will have no trouble understanding who is meant by "Kenneth I", whereas you cannot make the assumption that the majority of readers familiar with the English forms will be familiar with the Gaelic forms. To put it bluntly - if you are writing about a figure who is well-known by a certain name, you are not using the correct name if the majority of people do not recognise the name, or expect a different name. Michael Sanders 23:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
But they don't. Besides everything else, there is almost no means today of reading about these kings today without encountering their real names. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 09:52, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
The present ODNB mentions Cináed mac Alpin once in a several page article on "Kenneth I". Some readers will come to us from the large numbers of sources that don't mention the Gaelic at all; many will have missed a single reference, or have had their eyes glaze over at the Gaelic. We should serve the general readers, and not specialists. I note that it is by Marjorie O. Anderson, and is presumably her judgment of what tertiary literature should do. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Deacon's suggestion

  • Anglicized or English names should be used in the title and body of articles on Scottish kings where there is a clear superiority in usage
  • In any Scottish king article where the forename of the king is Scottish, it should be stated explicitly at the beginning of that article that the English form is an anglicization. For example,
    Mac Bethad mac Findlaích (died 15 August 1057), known in English today as Macbeth,
  • Whenever another Scottish king is first introduced into a text, his Gaelic name and patronymic should be besides placed in brackets. This does not need to be repeated. E.g.:
    When Canute the Great came north in 1031 to accept the submission of King Malcolm II (Máel Coluim mac Cináeda), King Malcolm ...
  • Whenever in a royal article a non regal person with a Scottish name occurs, it should not be actively Anglicized if there is no clear superiority of usage in published literature or occurs with a patronymic. A probable anglicization or English translation can be placed in brackets upon its first occurence, so long as it is readily available and useful. E.g.
    Macbeth was the son of Findláech mac Ruaidrí (Finlay, son Ruadri), Mormaer of Moray.

Comment: I'm not particularly fond of this solution, but as said on Curb Your Enthusiasm, a good compromise is not supposed to satisfy both, and I dislike all this conflict more than the anglicization. This proposal introduces the reader to the names the readers will encounter in modern historiographic literature, but retains Anglicized forms, per concerns expressed about the "average reader". It avoids anglicization for its own sake, so there's no need to play with Aed, Cuilen and Dub, which do not have forms more common in English than their original, primarily because none of them are well known or are popular modern forenames. And particularly important for me, by explicitly pointing out that the name is anglicized, it doesn't give the impression that the pre-"Feudal" Scots used different names from other Gaelic speakers or were the only people in the British Isles to have modern English names, and the reader understands well what is going on. Anyways, I trust this should be acceptable. It will at least eliminate conflict from the popular monarch articles. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:21, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Checked it over: I prefer the English as prominant (with Gaelic in a secondary style). I can't even pronounce those Gaelic names. I don't want the Gaelic names banished, just don't want them prominant. Having said all that, I'll accept whatever the majority wishes. GoodDay (talk) 16:46, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Comment - thank you Deacon for being reasonable, and your suggestions make sense. I'd like to set out my own views about your proposed compromise:
1) Agree absolutely.
2) I'd prefer "Macbeth (Gaelic: Mac Bethad mac Findlaích, "Macbeth son of Findleach", died 15 August 1057)", which conforms to the standard practice of placing the form used for the article title first, and also explains the Gaelic form to any readers not only unfamiliar with it but unaware of the patronymic system, but I can live with your suggested version if it proves a sticking point.
3) The Gaelic form should only be shown in-text as an alternative if it would look strange not to. In an article on Canute, or even Saint Margaret, one wouldn't expect a solitary Gaelic form bravely waving its little flag against an overwhelming presence of English, so the addition of the bracketed form would appear strange; on the other hand, in an article using overwhelming Gaelic forms, it would appear less strange (e.g. Crinan, father of Duncan I).
4) Agree - Victorianism is unnecessary, although there are some cases (e.g. Uen of the Picts, or the Cumbric Welsh figures) where variant name-forms would be acceptable; however, others, such as Olaf Sihtricsson, should not be unreasonably Gaelicised if they are more commonly known by another name. Michael Sanders 17:00, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Here's an oportunity for the both of you to combine your points. Don't rip each other to pieces (I peeked at both your personal talk pages). You both care alot about this Gaelic topic, don't let it die in the graveyard of personal differances. GoodDay (talk) 17:57, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
This appears to be a waste of time. The proposal concedes everything, leaves no Use English issues and is still rejected. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:01, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Why is it a waste of time, Deacon? No unnecessary anglicisation of men and women known principally by Gaelic names, and bracketed Gaelic forms when introducing anglicised persons in principally Gaelic articles...I'd say we're both making concessions there. Michael Sanders 18:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
@ Michael: 2) is necessary for a number of reasons, covered earlier by myself and (actually, below) by David Lauder. One of the main arguments put by my side is that these Anglicized names mislead readers. Many readers will think Cinaed mac Dub was actually called Kenneth when his contemporary Cináed ua hArtacáin was called Cinaed. There was no K in any insular language before the Normans! Moreover, these names are not modern Gaelic, and presenting like that indicates that they are modern Gaelic equivalents. These are their actual names in their own language, and they are not modern Gaelic. Moreover, these names are used extensively in English. Because of the length and quality of most of these articles now, readers will not move beyond these articles without encountering their natives names. In most cases, it won't be explained that Mael Coluim is anglicized as Malcolm or Cinaed as Kenneth. So putting the guy's real name in brackets in the intro to an article in your way suggests one will only encounter them in another language where, as it happens, they'll never encounter them. The Gaelic version of Mael Coluim/Malcolm is Maol Chaluim or Calum, not Mael Coluim. I could go on. I don't think point 2) is a real concession on your part. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:23, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Is it not falsifying history to claim that there is a single authoritative spelling of these names for that time? In the articles themselves here, alternate spellings (I thing Kenyd/Cenyd was one) are used, and a lot of the original sources appear to be in Latin. I'd suggest the following: "Malcolm III (Mediaeval Gaelic: Mael Coluim mac Donnchada; Modern Gaelic: Maol Chaluim...), and perhaps a note to the bottom of the page explaining ("Malcolm" is the commonly used name, "Mael Coluim" was the name as used in Gaelic at the time, Maol Choluim is the modern Gaelic form that is rarely used in modern literature regarding him...); but as it is, placing the Gaelic form first is as much a falsehood, since it suggests that that is an authoritative form, which isn't (particularly with the Constantines) the case. Michael Sanders 20:26, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not with you on this I'm afraid, for reasons states above. The medieval names are not of incidental importance, as stated above. As for Constantine, that's not really a Scottish name (see phraseology in the solution), so is a bad example. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:33, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd be more comfortable with that if there weren't three different Gaelicisations floating around wikipedia, apparently chosen purely by whim. Furthermore, the value of mediaeval vs modern usages is debatable - nobody talks about King Loys of France. But, as I said, although I'd prefer 2) as I've stated, it's not massively important to me - if we can all agree on the rest, I'd be happy. Michael Sanders 20:40, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Glad to hear you are willing to compromise after all. For the name Constantine, I have seen many more than three "Gaelicization"s of the name, e.g. Custantin, Constantin, Causantin (the most common and well established), Caustantin, and a few others. All the indigenous Gaelic names are standardized as they can be lodged in standardised Gaelic orthography, and there will be almost no variation in the modern sources. Besides reasons of cultural empathy and coherent historiography, these names are the dominant ones in modern historiographic writing and are necessary for the reader; beyond that, they are an entirely different consideration from modern Gaelic names which might be included for different for reasons, another reason why the medieval and scholarly forms shouldn't be buried in incidental brackets at the beginning of an article. I'll digress for a minute, but don't let this distract to much, consensus now appears to be emerging. I notice that most users here unfamiliar with this field consistently confuse these two issues. Let me be clear ... we are dealing with early monarchs here, and modern names aren't really an issue ... though of course there's no harm in including them if they don't distract too much. Using medieval forms is peculiar to Scottish and Irish historiography ... partly because the spelling systems of Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic have diverged ... and so generalizing on this topic isn't gonna help. The modern spellings often differ drastically, even the names aren't always the same. E.g. Coinneach is not an accurate version of Cinead. It is inaccurate, but is the modern Gaelic equivalent. Anglicized Kenneth is ironically more accurate. Coinneach comes from the medieval Cainnech, an entirely different name, whereas Cinaed should produce Cionaodh. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:58, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Communicating with our readers is always an issue. All of this, if sourced, belongs in the article; but it should be called Kenneth. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:59, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Comment:We should all be attempting to do what is right as best we can. But this is the English-language Wikipedia. No-one, other than the tiniest (in real terms) group of Gaelic scholars knows our Scottish kings by these Gaelic names. That may not be acceptable to the Deacon et al but it is the truth. The Anglicisation of our culture over the past 800 years has meant that virtually ALL our histories have been written in English form and that is how most Scots know them (not to mention the rest of the world). I have absolutely no objection to the (Gaelic:....) being given. None at all. But the article titles should be in the English form and in the body of the article the Gaelic should be in brackets. (If there was a Gaelic Wikipedia I would argue for it to be in Gaelic with possibly the English in brackets). Regards, David Lauder (talk) 18:06, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad you agree with the proposal. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing the majority is for English (Gaelic) in the content & infoboxes. GoodDay (talk) 18:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I and at least 4 other users don't. It's a concession at I am prepared to accept. We don't know yet about the others. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:24, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I would certainly support Deacon's compromise proposal. john k (talk) 19:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd also support Deacon's proposal. I'd be interested to hear from Angus McLellan, since he is one of the more prolific writers of these articles. Mike Christie (talk) 19:29, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Michael Sanders reservation on first line name order at point #2, but also agree that this should not sink the proposal. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I support Deacon's proposal as a very reasonable compromies. Perhaps footnotes or some such device will be needed to explain all this to readers? By that I mean that the variations in medeival Gaelic, the difference from modern Scots Gaelic, the contemporary Latinisations, the accuracy/origin of the Anglicisations, the meaning of truly Gaelic names, and the fact that some names (e.g. Causantin and Amlaib) aren't Gaelic. We talk a lot about this on the talk pages and then we talk about how to best serve the reader in terms of understanding, accuracy, readability, yet we never seem to provide him or her with the all the background information which we discuss. Srnec (talk) 23:05, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I also support the proposal in general. My main concern is about point #1. Is it always going to be possible to agree on what constitutes "clear superiority in usage". Deb (talk) 17:52, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not really seeing what the compromise is here, but perhaps I'm being dim. What it looks like to me is that those who wish for national myth and obsolete anglicisations to be perpetuated until doomsday are to have their way in all things. Further, based on recent editing, it seems that things like Template:Scottish Monarchs and List of Scottish monarchs are to embody these same myths because "Kenneth I of Scotland" is clearly the first king of Scotland. Well, the article name says so, doesn't it, and how can we argue with that? Scotland was, and is, and forever will be, founded in 843. Any attempt to tell another story is nationalist propaganda or academic pedantry. I'll acquiesce in this solution, but I consider it a huge step backwards at the very time that Encarta is in the process of adopting Gaelic names. That's as far as I'll go. I do not and will not accept that the title of a Wikipedia article, decided as it is by reliance on tradition and counting the usages in outdated, never especially reliable tertiary sources, and what is little more than a voting process, can have any bearing at all on the content of the article, nor on whether the article belongs in a category, list or template of Xs. "Lists, whether they are embedded lists or stand-alone lists, are encyclopedic content as are paragraphs and articles, and they are equally subject to Wikipedia's content policies such as Verifiability, No original research, Neutral point of view, and others" (thus Wikipedia:Lists; similar in Wikipedia:Categorization). Angus McLellan (Talk) 20:21, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't get it - what's the compromise? What do those who prefer the Anglicized forms have to give up? I thought we already had a compromise - where the title is Anglicized but the references in the text are not. Haukur (talk) 22:24, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Using an anglicised title and Gaelic in-body isn't a compromise, it's paying lip-service. As it is, I and several others above expressed a preference for placing the English form at the start, and simply bracketing the Gaelic form; we have accepted Deacon's preference for placing the Gaelic form first and emphasising that the English form is an anglicisation (to avoid readers thinking that the anglicised monarchs were actually named in English). That is in itself is something I'm not very happy about (you saw my original preference of style), but it's something I'm prepared to accept, and so apparently are the other editors above. Michael Sanders 22:32, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Paying lip-service? To what? If some people want to use the Gaelic forms throughout and some people want to use the Anglicized forms throughout, then using one set in the titles and the others in the body of the article is indeed a compromise, involving a significant sacrifice from both parties - I don't see how you can reasonably argue against that. As for placing the Gaelic form first, well, why aren't you doing it, then? Your edit, where you cited this section, still has Constantine rather than Constantín as the first word of the article.[1] Haukur (talk) 22:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Using an anglicised title and a Gaelic inbody is just paying lip-service to the Common name Policy - a pretence that the name by which the person is most commonly known is being used, whilst not in fact using it. Now, you can see Kenneth I of Scotland for how the compromise system is going to work; you can also see Constantine I of Scotland, where Deacon (who I have to say I'm grateful to for being willing, if not pleased, to make this compromise) laid it out in the manner I copied in Constantine II of Scotland (I think because 'Constantine', unlike 'Kenneth' or 'Malcolm' is not natively Gaelic and has no one common form. I don't know. Ask Deacon.) Michael Sanders 22:57, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
It's not lip-service to the common name policy - the common name policy only applies to the titles to begin with and its whole rationale is geared to them. Look at Wikipedia:UCN#Rationale. "We want to maximize the likelihood of being listed in external search engines ... search engines will often give greater weight to the contents of the title than to the body of the page" and "We want to maximize the incidence that people who make a link guessing the article name". It's clearly just talking about the title. Haukur (talk) 23:18, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
It is poor form to have an article titled one thing, and then to use a completely different form in the article text, without good reason. If we have an article at Achilles, we shouldn't call him "Akhilleus," for instance, even though the latter is a more accurate transliteration of the original Greek. If the common name policy isn't to apply to how we refer to people in the article itself, what policy are we supposed to use? How is it to be determined? If "common name" plays no part, then who is to stop a pedant in the Achilles article from insisting that we call him "Akhilleus" throughout, because that is his "correct" name? (Note: I understand that the situation here is different, and more complicated, than the Achilles/Akhilleus example. I do think, though, that Haukur's claim that the most common name rule has no place in terms of determining article text would lead to exactly that kind of thing.) john k (talk) 07:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd be more convinced that the broader community agreed with these strident claims if Jogaila didn't appear all over the place as Władysław II Jagiełło, even on the front page. No doubt there'll be a good reason for that. I can't wait to here what it might be. Angus McLellan (Talk) 15:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
That's not a good comparison. Polish nationalists have Henryk Sienkiewicz and 20 times the cumulative revert power of insular medievalists. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 15:29, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
The article appears to be at Jogaila...It refers to him as "Jogaila" before 1386, and by his baptismal name thereafter. I don't see a problem with this. The Poles have traditionally been a strong vector of resistance to normal naming policies, but this seems far less true now than it once was. john k (talk) 03:32, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

How about we sweeten the deal and add some moves, so we can get rid of the anachronistic "of Scotland" for those Pictish kings? Haukur (talk) 23:00, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

You could probably move "Kenneth I" to "Kenneth MacAlpin" - I'd imagine that that, like "Hugh Capet", is more commonly used than his regnal form. But the others (i.e. the successors of Donald I up to Donald II)? They are commonly called "X of Scotland". There would be no replacement most common name for them; any name would have to be created, and would thus be as artificial as "x of Scotland", which at least has the advantage of usage and tradition. Michael Sanders 23:06, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I still prefer the Gaelic being secondary to the English, in the opening line & infobox (as this is English Wikipedia). Oh well, I'm in the minorty on this topic, consensus is for the compromise. GoodDay (talk) 23:25, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Am I missing something? The infoboxes in the purported sample articles have the Anglicized versions first. Haukur (talk) 23:34, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Yep infobox is great, the opening sentence is not. But that's my problem. GoodDay (talk) 23:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that infoboxes had been mentioned in the compromise, and since monarch infoboxes are definitively 'royal' rather than 'personal', it seemed important to prioritise the 'x plus ordinal' over the personal 'x son of y'. Is that a problem? Michael Sanders 23:42, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Isn't the compromise: Infobox in English primary style & opening context in Gaelic primary style? GoodDay (talk) 23:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I've proposed a move of these kings on Talk:Kenneth I of Scotland. Everyone is invited to contribute. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:35, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Kings preceeding Edgar of Scotland

Deacon has made a request that the kings from Kenneth MacAlpin to Duncan II (and also Constantine of the Picts) be moved to Gaelic article titles - e.g. Malcolm III of Scotland to "Mael Coluim mac Donnchada". I advise you all to go to Talk:Kenneth I of Scotland and express your approval or disapproval. Michael Sanders 17:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm completely against these proposed page movements. It's bad enough we've given Gaelic prominance within the content. This is the English Wikipedia not the Gaelic Wikipedia. The English names are more commonly used. GoodDay (talk) 17:40, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid that is the truth, GoodDay, unpallatable as it may be to some. I tried to make this point somewhere above (amongst all the semantics). Regards, David Lauder (talk) 18:33, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

When to mention foreign names

'Article titles should use the Latin alphabet, not any other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters. However, any non-Latin-alphabet native name should be given within the first line of the article (with a Latin-alphabet transliteration if the English name does not correspond to a transliteration of the native name). Also, a non-Latin-alphabet redirect could be created to link to the actual Latin-alphabet-titled article.'

This leaves me a bit confused. The way it reads would suggest that most articles should include stuff like: Red (rouge in French, rode in Dutch, 赤い in Japanese....) etc... But of course this is silly.

Just when is it relevant to have local names? Obvious ones are of course for instance the names of Chinese people, places in Russia, etc...but is there a better definition then just people and places?

What of historical events? I notice for isntance the Franco-Prussian war doesn't mention it is called the Guerre Franco-Prussienne but the first Sino-Japanese war (not the 2nd though) does include the Chinese and Japanese names.

To my mind including foreign names would only be relevant if they are particularly different and its noted what they mean in English but of course this is just what I think, what is the official view?--Him and a dog 15:46, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I would read this as commonly used or mentioned in English writing on the subject (hence include Sverige, Roma in Sweden or Rome). This may be a bit verbose to spell out; but is there a real problem? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
There is a discussion on this subject: do we include Rumania in Romania? see Talk:Romania#Approval poll. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Franz Josef Strauss

There has just been a lengthy, double, move discussion, in which the wording of the lead here came up; see the section here. The lead could use some work, both to reflect this decision (using Strauss and, say, Tenedos, as counterexamples to Beneš?) and to clarify the last paragraph. If read carefully, it does say that we should use local names if they are in a Latin alphabet and there is no common English name; but it is not obvious. Comments? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:24, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I've done a draft of what I mean. I hope this is clearer; it is not intended to change guidance at all. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:40, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Your draft looks good. It makes it even clearer that Franz Josef Strauß should have stayed where it was. "If the local form of the name is in a variety of the Latin alphabet (as with French, Turkish, or Icelandic) and there is no usual English form, use the local form" applies precisely to that case. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 19:08, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
How exactly do you manage to read If the local form of the name is in a variety of the Latin alphabet (as with French, Turkish, or Icelandic) and there is no usual English form, use the local form. (italics added, as perhaps we should) as supporting a name which no English work of general reference uses (and which is unintelligible to many English speakers), in preference to the name that all of them use? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:16, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Exactly by the phrase you highlight: since there is no usual English form of "Franz Joseph Strauß", we use the local form. The in-house style guides of other publishers have no bearing on the case. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 17:43, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
But there is a "usual English form" of his name: Strauss. The evidence is overwhelming. Yes, I know, you believe that that's not an English form of his name, it's a misspelling of a German name. I think after two years I've finally come to understand the logic of you and those who share your view, but I respectfully disagree. It doesn't even matter if the common use of Strauss is the result of transliteration, a misspelling, or an anti-German conspiracy. What matters is that Strauss has become the common English usage. The purpose of WP:UE is not to correct possible linguistic errors as you or I may see them, but rather, to assure that readers of the English Wikipedia encounter standard English usage in our articles. This phrase about what to do when no usual English form exists was intended to guide us for what to do when there really is no English form. For example, if there is a town that has not been written about in English language publications, but someone decides to create a Wikipedia article about said town, what do we do then? Well, in such cases, we follow the above policy. But that is hardly the case with FJS; he has been the subject of dozens of books (or more), thousands of periodical articles, and as such, his name has acquired a standard English usage. You would seek to overturn that standard usage becuase you hold to what I regard as a rather technical (not to say questionable) interpretation of the above rule. Unschool (talk) 18:29, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
The evidence presented on the talk page only shows that there are publications that never use ß. English-language publications that do use ß (such as Germany Today: A Student's Dictionary ISBN 0-340-66305-7) spell his name Strauß. If you want to show that "Strauss" is the "usual English form" of his name, you have to separate that from the editorial decision whether to use ß or not, and show that there are publications that use ß in other words, but not in his name. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 21:17, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
We're talking about what constitutes standard English usage. The New York Times, the BBC, the english-language version of Der Spiegel, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and countless (not literally, of course) publications with circulation and/or readership totals in the tens of millions spell it Strauss, and you offer up Germany Today: A Student's Dictionary as a retort to show that Strauß is as standard as Strauss? The publisher of your chosen work describes it like this:
this Student's Dictionary covers the key words of modern Germany. It offers detailed entries on contemporary German politics, economy, society and culture, providing a wealth of information and analysis. Compiled by a team of university specialists in German studies, the Dictionary has been designed for students taking courses on contemporary Germany, for those taking a "year out" in Germany, and for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of German affairs than that offered by traditional language dictionaries.
This should have equal weight to the above? Oh, I'm not saying that you can't find another book or two or even fifty. But we are talking about standard English usage, that is, what the typical English speaker is going to be most accustomed to—not what polyglots and linguists will be accustomed to, but the ordinary reader of the encyclopedia. You've given us a source with such a specialized audience that it simply has very little bearing on the discussion, in my judgement. Unschool (talk) 21:53, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I never said the student's dictionary should have "equal weight" to the other publications. I said the evidence of those illustrious publications does not show that "Strauss" is standard English usage, rather the evidence only shows that those publications have made the editorial decision not to use ß at all. Publications that have made the editorial decision to use ß also use it in "Strauß". The only way to show that "Strauss" is standard English usage is to show that publications that do use ß in some names (such as Weißenburg or Darß) do not use it in the name "Franz Josef Strauss". But I doubt such publications will ever be found—publishers are far more likely to simply either use the ß everywhere it's used locally, or never use it all. (More on this below.) —Angr If you've written a quality article... 13:44, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
True, you never said that they should have equal weight; it merely seemed like a reasonable inference. Now, as to this assertion of yours that the use of Strauss in all of these publication merely constitutes "the editorial decision not to use ß at all", I think you are probably correct. But I don't see that as making any difference. Let's presume that that is, indeed, the case, that the editors of the vast majority of popularly-read publications have made such an editorial decision? So what? For better or for worse, they have pushed standard English usage away from the use of non-English characters. This is hardly surprising. It may be disappointing for those who want to include non-English characters, but there you have it. Lacking an English Academy, English is what is commonly and popularly used, not what you or I think it should use. Of course there will be some variation; slang, spelling conventions, even grammar may all vary from place to place and even person to person. There will undoubtedly always be issues upon which it will be impossible to determine what constitutes general English usage, because of said variations. But there are far more things on which it is clear what constitutes general use, and, as the tonne of evidence demonstrates, Strauss is one of those things. I suppose this is why it needs to be decided issue by issue. I mean, I would personally rather have a rule that said we either use ß or don't, but I have been persuaded by others that a case-by-case basis is the most fair way to do things. I just don't like the chaos (and these never-ending battles) that result. Unschool (talk) 00:26, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Since there's no consensus on the extent to which þ, ß, etc. should be used, I think the most straightforward and accurate thing is to simply say that names and article titles that are not in any form of the Latin alphabet always do require transliteration. We already note that there's no consensus about what to do with þ and ß. That's clearly true, so any language that will be taken by many editors as implying a consensus one way or the other should be avoided. --Reuben (talk) 22:51, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
There are three views: that we should always use thorn and eszett where the corresponding foreign languages do, that we should never do so, and that we should do so when English usually does. The third middling view is held by distinctly more users than the other two combined. Whether this is consensus is a largely verbal question. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:43, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Right since there's not a consensus to always use thorn and eszett or never to do so (or for the middle view either, perhaps), we should avoid language that can be taken as implying such a consensus. Since some editors take the language about names in the Latin alphabet not requiring a transliteration to mean that thorn and eszett are totally non-problematic, when in fact there's no such consensus, the wording should be changed. I think the simplest way is to simply say that names not in the Latin alphabet do require transliteration, since that's the main thing and not controversial. --Reuben (talk) 23:20, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
The "middle view" makes no sense. This cannot be solved on a case-by-case basis: standard English usage is determined by the actual practice of publishers, who would never be so inconsistent as to use ß and þ in some cases where they're used locally, but not others. Rather, publishers use them either everywhere or nowhere. The only way this dispute could ever be solved on Wikipedia would be to reach consensus to use them either everywhere or nowhere; but of course that consensus will never be reached. (Not that that matters to the anti-ß faction; after all, they got Franz Josef Strauß moved to Franz Josef Strauss despite the absence of consensus, so maybe they can push their side through without consensus here too.) The only compromise I can think of is the one currently in place for British and American spelling (in articles not particularly associated with any one country): the usage of the original author is retained for the rest of the article's history. Any request to a move a page containing "ß" to its "ss" equivalent (or "þ" to "th", etc.), or vice versa, should be speedily closed as being in violation of the peace agreement. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 13:44, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
To me, that sounds like the point of view with of someone who sounds scorned. It is completely unfair to true English usage. We should not give such weights to arguments that pander to everything but real English usage. Whatever is used in English should be used, even if it is a misspelling in German or whatever other language. Charles 14:54, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
It is silly to even speak of "true English usage" when the articles affected are virtually never discussed in English-language literature. The vast majority of English speakers have never heard of Weißenburg in Bayern, or Darß, or Franz Josef Strauß, and the vast majority of English-language writing doesn't mention them. You can't say "whatever is used in English should be used" when nothing is used in English because these people and places are virtually only ever discussed in German. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 15:07, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Angr, you have advanced some thoughtful points in the past, but this one appears quite specious to me. Name one topic that is mentioned in the "vast majority of English-language writing". Pick up one million separate articles or books or whatever, and I am quite sure that there is no topic—not George W. Bush, not the Vietnam War, nothing—that is mentioned in over half (read: majority) of them. Yes, I know, that's not what you were saying. But you came across like you were flailing about looking for a point, and as such, your meaning was not totally clear. Now was your point that a majority of English speakers have never heard of Weißenburg in Bayern? I'll grant you that, but so what? The majority of English speakers have never heard of Tojo either, but that doesn't mean we're going to write his name as "東條 英機". And please don't pull out the old saw that that's different, because it doesn't use a non-Latin alphabet. The fact is, if it somehow became standard use in English language publications to write his name as 東條 英機, then it wouldn't matter. (I used to see frequent references to the СССР, despite the fact that that was Cyrillic. Not enough that it became standard English usage, but a lot more people understood СССР than would understand Strauß.) Anyway, we're not writing these articles for the people who already know the topic, we're writing them for every English speaker whom might someday come across this article. This isn't an exclusive club for polyglots. Unschool (talk) 00:46, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not talking about cases like Weissenburg or Darss, I am talking about cases which are clear cut like Strauss. But even in cases like Weissenburg and Darss, the few people who do speak about it in English do have an effect on the English usage. Can you say without a doubt that nothing has ever been said about Weissenburg and Darss in English? Charles 15:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
And I am saying Strauß is no clearer-cut a case than Weißenburg and Darß are. And for all three, I am saying not enough has been written in English to be making grand pronouncements about "true English usage". —Angr If you've written a quality article... 20:35, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • This is inconsistent with Talk:Franz Josef Strauss#Evidence. You are entitled to whatever arguments you want; you are not entitled to invent your facts. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:16, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I must say, Angr, that I disagree with your assertion on the commonality of JSF in English publications. While I will agree that the majority of Americans have never heard of him, on this side of the pond at least he was certainly one of the five or at least ten most promiment Germans during the existence of West Germany. Anyone even remotely aware of German politics was aware of him, and many articles were written of him. (He also featured prominently in textbooks on post-war Germany, though I will readily acknowledge that textbooks on German government can hardly be used to determine General English Usage.) Unschool (talk) 00:52, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

English-speaking world

The simplest thing is surely for us to be using those naming patterns which are overwhelmingly used in the English-speaking world, and have been for centuries. Translations of names, personal or geographical, are not always going to be universal, but where there are names which pop up throughout our history books in a particular form, I suggest we stick to it, otherwise everyone coming to Wikipedia for one small reason and who does not wish to spend a great amount of time investigating matters is going to find nothing or leave being very confused. Regards, David Lauder (talk) 19:10, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:28, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Seconded. Unschool (talk) 07:54, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Tripled. GoodDay (talk) 18:40, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Quadrupled. Michael Sanders 20:48, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

The cases where there is a name that is overwhelmingly used in the English-speaking world and has been for centuries are not where the problem usually lies. The problem lies with names that are virtually unknown in the English-speaking world and thus have no established English version. The current guideline says that in such cases, the local form (or a romanization of it, if the local form is not in the Latin alphabet) is to be used, but some people have misinterpreted that to mean "use no letters not used in native English words". There is, however, occasionally also a problem with place names that traditionally had English versions, but those English versions are no longer widely used. I'm thinking of things like "Ratisbon" for Regensburg and "Brunswick" for Braunschweig. The former is now completely obsolete in English, the latter heavily obsolescent. Other names, like Turin for Torino, are still widely used but look like they might be headed down the road to obsolescence (to judge by the number of English-speaking journalists who referred to that city by its Italian name in their coverage of the Winter Olympics there). —Angr If you've written a quality article... 19:34, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

And an added problem is that the situation isn't always as clear-cut as that! For example, taking your example of Regensburg - I've definitely heard people talking about Ratisbon in a modern context, but most of the modern books on the Carolingians reference that city as Regensburg (although I don't think I've seen any from beyond about 1900 using "Aix-la-Chapelle" in place of "Aachen"). But the rule of thumb in general should be the name which would give least surprise to readers in an English context (since this is English language wikipedia) - and where such examples as Regensburg/Ratisbon and Turin/Torino exist, where there is obvious dual use, discussion should be used rather than applying a procrustean rule (and, by the same token, that should not give carte blanche to a few who favour an obscure name form to argue that it should be used. So far as I know, nobody uses Aix-la-Chapelle these days (except me, because I'm eccentric like that)). Michael Sanders 20:48, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Brunswick is not "heavily obsolescent". False claims of fact are not helpful. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Okay then, wholly obsolete. I have actually never heard an English speaker refer to the city as anything other than "Braunschweig". —Angr If you've written a quality article... 17:47, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
      • I have never heard an English-speaker, including my classmate who had lived in Göttingen, refer to it as anything but Brunswick; I would not do so myself, and I would not expect anyone who did not speak German to understand me if I did. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:44, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
        • I think if you were talking to English-speakers living in Germany and told them you were visiting "Brunswick", they would say, "Where?" I for one would probably think you meant Brunswick, Georgia. Cologne and Munich, yes, and Berlin with its English pronunciation, but never "Brunswick". —Angr If you've written a quality article... 21:08, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
          • We do not pander to English speakers in Germany only. Nice try at confusing the matter though. I have always known that Brunswick was in Germany, that New Brunswick was named after its ruling house, etc. What you "think" as an individual may not be reflection of wider English usage. Charles 14:58, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
            • Neither do we "pander to" English speakers outside Germany only. English speakers in Germany are the ones most likely to be discussing the place, so their usage is more indicative of what's currently widespread. Since English speakers outside Germany rarely have occasion to talk or write about Braunschweig, they don't have as clear an intuition on common usage regarding it. I've lived in Germany for 11 years and have met hundreds of Brits and Americans at work and at church and I have seriously never heard anyone talk about the modern city as "Brunswick". It would be like calling Aachen "Aix-la-Chapelle" or Istanbul "Constantinople". —Angr If you've written a quality article... 15:14, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
              • Think about it this way: What percentage of English speakers in this world are in Germany? Most likely or not, you can't prove it. English speakers in Germany may "most likely" be at least bilingual. "Most likely" they'd be speaking in German, not in English. When I was being spoken to in English by Germans in Germany, they would still say "München", even if the English form is Munich. They didn't do it intentionally, but they did it nonetheless. What's this about intuition? People in Germany are more likely to call German cities by German names. But hey, less than 50% of the world's English speakers live there. Charles 15:32, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

well, we cannot decide individual cases on this page. Here, we are supposed to lay out the general principles of how to decide a case. There will always be difficult decisions no matter what we do. I do not think that it is controversial to have the article on the German city reside at Braunschweig, already for reasons of disambiguation: we would need to move it to Brunswick, Germany, because Brunswick is a disambiguation page. Braunschweig is clearly superior to Brunswick, Germany. If this is disputed, a solution needs to be carved out at Talk:Braunschweig, not here. --dab (𒁳) 15:23, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I see this has already been discussed at great length, back in 2003. There can always be a rehash of that discussion, but the arguments already brought forward will need to be taken into account. dab (𒁳) 15:27, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Braunschweig just started out as an example. I was trying to make the point that David Lauder's suggestion at the top of this thread, "The simplest thing is surely for us to be using those naming patterns which are overwhelmingly used in the English-speaking world, and have been for centuries", is overly simplistic, because not all names have patterns that are overwhelmingly used in the English-speaking world and have been for centuries. Some names (like "Darß" and "Franz Josef Strauß") are extremely rarely used in the English-speaking world at all (so that looking for "standard English usage" in their case is meaningless), and some names (like "Ratisbon" and "Aix-la-Chapelle") were previously used for centuries, but aren't anymore. I included Brunswick only as an example of a formerly common English name that is no longer widely used (because I've never heard it used by an English speaker, whether living in Germany or elsewhere), and the others disagree that it's a relevant example. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 20:47, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
The case of Brunswick is a case of gross historical ignorance. Brunswick is how at one time the English Head of Electorate of Hanover state used to refer to the city! How can anyone say that no English equivalent exists? To this day there are numerous places in the UK and other English speaking countries that use the name. An entire suburb is called Brunswick in Melbourne, Australia that I know of, and this is why Black Brunswickers--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 07:57, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Dnipropetrovsk/Dnepropetrovsk

The article for Dnipropetrovsk gives these conventions a thorough test. The name is somewhat used in English, there's something of a preference, it depends on which sources, the official transcription from Ukrainian is a third name again, and the difference is based on Russian (earlier national association and ongoing local language) versus Ukrainian (the city's current status). I have no idea which way the debate should go, but the discussion should be informative here. 70.15.116.59 (talk) 16:35, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

WP:NCGN has more detailed conventions, which are likely to be more helpful. (As far as I can see, the present edit is fine.) Whether English has adapted to the change in administration is a factual question (NCGN has tests to help decide it); I would be cautious in changing, as with Kiev, where the official transliteration of Ukrainian is not yet established. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


Diacritics January 2008

I have altered Edvard Beneš to Groix as the page say: "There is disagreement over what article title to use when a native name uses the Latin alphabet with diacritics (or "accent marks") but general English usage omits the diacritics." So an example using diacritics should not appear on the page.--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 07:19, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Currency name guidelines

Current guidelines at WP:WikiProject Numismatics that call for currency articles to be at their native rather than English names appear to be an attempt to supersede WP:UE. Please discuss proposed changes at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Numismatics/Style#Guidelines change proposal. — AjaxSmack 23:04, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Disagreement negates general principle?

The "diacritics disagreement" clause seems to be being cited as defeating the general principle of using the common English spelling in suitable sources. See in particular the discussion on (and at) Novak Đoković, where it seems to be acknowledged that the current spelling doesn't follow this principle, but that this is somehow OK anyway, because some people don't want it that way. (Note that this isn't quite the same issue anyway, since it's not a matter of "omitting" the dash from the đ, as transliterating it (as "dj"), as is standard practice, for this individual, and indeed otherwise.) It's a good thing to note areas of past disagreement and likely sensitively. It's a bad thing for that to become a blanket exception to a long-established rule, without consensus so to do. Alai (talk) 01:16, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I strongly dispute the outcome of Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Disputed_issues.
How is it possible for any other outcome to have eventuated if the number of non-English speakers on the planet is greater then that of the English speakers? In simple (or complex) statistical probability terms no other outcome was possible, and therefore the conclusion is unenforceable since the negative outcome was easily forecast before the poll was taken.
I would suggest that only those editors that use English as part of their primary language of communication would be the only eligible editors to make such a decision. However, considering the decision will influence what the general English speaking reader will see on their screens, only those that completed English language basic literacy education system can be true judges of what is acceptable in use by Wikipedia.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 14:16, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Imposition of this convention on wholly non-English objects and concepts

This convention is the cause of much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It allows obstreperous users to insist on the Anglicization of terms describing non-English objects and concepts, in spite of the fact that this can introduce false statements and blatant contradictions, along with removing content and making the article much more difficult to write. The vast majority of the time, it is perfectly possible to write an article without using non-English terms. However, it is almost impossible to write an accurate, all encompassing article about a non-English "thing" without using the local terminology. Most of the time, no Anglicized terms exist and we get along just fine. Unfortunately, sometimes Anglicized terms do exist and, suddenly, this convention is invoked and we're expected to dumb down the article in order to comply. I have spent a good bit of time writing articles on currencies (see List of currencies to get an idea of the scale of this project) and, on occasions, we have been able to stave off this convention with our own, which boiled down to "use the local name" (see the history of Wikipedia:WikiProject_Numismatics/Style). This has now been obliterated in order to comply with this convention, resulting in (so far) a few articles being messed up. I’ve no doubt the situation will degrade with time. Of course, all serious Wikipedians are used to the general degradation of articles due to vandalism and inept but earnest editing. We spend a lot of effort keeping articles in trim. However, when an article is changed to remove the local terminology, just because someone has decided to apply this convention, it’s very difficult to tidy things up because they claim to be applying "god's will". I see I'm not the first, and I'll sadly probably not be the last to make this plea, but let's at least look at how Wikipedia would be changed if we allowed the use of local terminology to describe entirely non-English things.
Dove1950 (talk) 22:05, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I concur with much of your sentiments. Insistence on this convention in many places lowers the quality of articles. From my own experience the early Scottish kings have suffered immensely from this, the guidelines asking editors to depart from scholarly usage and to enforce a great deal of cognitive dissonance for no reason other than these cumbersome and hence often misapplied guidelines. These guidelines also have a hardcore following of "enforcers" who have given us clumsy absurdities like Hither Pomerania rather than the accurate and more popular (even in English) Vorpommern, etc, etc, etc. When dealing with this issue, it often feels like one is dealing with religious fanatics telling us we have to wear clown's noses because it says so in their scripture. Obviously, such a statement is unfair slightly and doesn't apply to the vast majority of situations, but it often feels that way. I myself support UE in spirit, but only for people, places and things that are actually well known. If I had my way, as I surely never will, the key first test would be "is it popularly well known", only then ... only after that ... would I bring google tests and such stuff in to test "most common name". I'm afraid wikipedia is now a very popular site and influences usage perhaps more than any source in the world, and it is therefore quite ridiculous to elevate and to perpetuate little-used anglicizations in the face of overwhelming local, native or scholarly use. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Dove1950 and Deacon, I can see that this policy frustrates you, and I sincerely hope that it's not frustrating to the extent that it stops you from contributing. However, as, perhaps, one of the "enforcers" Deacon so colorfully describes, I feel I have to defend the policy. Mainly I ask that you take a broader view, one which encompasses the entire English speaking community. I know little about Scottish kings and little more about currency, but I do know that what might seem like a "clumsy absurdity" to you as an expert might be the opposite for the general reader. In fact, your term might be the clumsy absurdity to the wider community for which wikipedia is written. If, in fact, the term you prefer is "more popular (even in English)", then there is nothing in this policy that should prevent your term from being the article title. And certainly, if it's not the title, then your term should be mentioned in the text for the general edification of our readership; once again, there's nothing in this policy which should obstruct this. Erudy (talk) 15:29, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
To put Dove1950's assertions into perspective, no one who disagrees with Dove1950 is saying to "remove the local terminology". The local terminology, including in the local non-Latin-based script, is prominently mentioned in the first line of currency articles. Example: "The renminbi (simplified Chinese: 人民币; traditional Chinese: 人民幣; pinyin: rénmínbì; literally 'people's currency')...". What people who disagree with Dove1950 are arguing is what name the article should fall under. We argue that Dutch guilder is a better name for the article on the Netherlands' pre-Euro currency instead of the Dutch-English hodge-podge of Dutch gulden. Why? Because that's what most respected and reliable English language source like CNN, NYT, BBC are using. Heck, even Dutch themselves use "guilder" when speaking in English. --seav (talk) 02:03, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with Dove1950's assertation that the "use local name" has been oblirated under the new proposals that was put into place at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Numismatics/Style. Basically, the new guidelines allows the title of currencies to follow the local English name for the currency, first and foremost. This defaults to the New Taiwan dollar (based on the currency issuing authority on that island) and the Brunei dollar (printed on the back of the currency, used by local media and websites, used locally in business, etc.). According to the new guidelines, the pre-euro currency for the Netherlands should be the Dutch guilder, which is absolutely appropriate because it's what the Dutch refer to their currency in English - even the Central Bank of the Netherlands uses that term on its English webpage - see Rules for exchanging guilder notes, for example. The majority of users on the Numismatics discussion rejected the notion to name pages with a hodge-podge of names that is partially english and partially non-english (e.g. Dutch gulden instead of Dutch guilder). Dove1950, however desires, that those articles be named with the meaningless and incorrect names. Dove1950 was recently warned and blocked for disruptive editing (i.e. moving Dutch guilder back to Dutch gulden, etc.) to prove his point despite consensus being reached on those moves at WP:RM. Now he seeks to overturn WP:UE to so that he may get his way and his view of how the title of those currencies should be meaningless (in partial english and partial non-english) may prevail. I find Dove1950 to be a good editor, but I disagree with his viewpoint regarding the naming of these currency articles and the means and methods he is using to force his opinion on the rest of these articles. --Novelty (talk) 12:41, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
This guideline is like all other style guidelines: it must be approached with common sense, which allows one to determine if and when it applies and when one should make the occasional exception. It certainly isn't applied universally at Wikipedia, nor should it be (if it were, Renminbi would be at the rather silly title People's currency!) I've often applied this guideline to the titles of articles about operas, and have found at least three categories exist:
  1. Titles such as Der Freischütz and La traviata, whose titles are effectively untranslatable. These clearly must remain in the original languages.
  2. Titles such as Il trovatore and Götterdämmerung, that certainly can be translated, but generally are not. These article titles should remain in the original languages, this guideline notwithstanding.
  3. Titles such as Le nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte, that are commonly translated into English. Here there is a case to be made for English titles based on this guideline (but even here, the English title should be in reasonably common usage to trump the original language).
My point is that this guideline should be applied with attention to common English usage and not used blindly. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 21:32, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Heimstern, just for the record, I don't think that any of your examples represents an exception to this guideline. Actually, it's a great example of its usefulness and flexibility. The rule is not to crudely translate any non-English words into English, but to title the article according to what it is normally refered to in English. If Il trovatore is represented that way in English, that's what the title should be. As you suggest, Le nozze di Figaro is commonly refered to as The Marriage of Figaro in English, and our title is duly The Marriage of Figaro. The goal of the guideline is not to dictate that we "always use the local name", or "always use most anglified name possible", it's to use the name most commonly used in English. Erudy (talk) 02:12, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with what you're saying largely. I wasn't saying that this guideline always requires Anglicized names, nor am I stating skepticism about the guideline, but rather that applying the guide properly requires some judgment. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 02:24, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
We seem to have drifted somewhat from my original points. Perhaps that's because I've tapped into a vein of serious irritation. To reiterate, I'm asking why we should be forced to use Anglicized terminology, wherever it exists, despite the fact that it does not exist for all non-English "things". We therefore create a two tiered encyclopaedia, where we are free to use the correct, local terminology unless, at some time in the past, an Anglicized set of terms has been constructed or evolved. In my sphere, this means that we can use the local terminology for the Austro-Hungarian gulden but not for the Dutch gulden. I'm not sure what Novelty means by "Dove1950, however desires, that those articles be named with the meaningless and incorrect names." I can think of no more meaningful title for an article discussing a Dutch currency whose name, gulden, is written clearly on its banknotes, than Dutch gulden. Nor can I think of any better way to describe a note which has "10 GULDEN" written on it than as a 10 gulden note. For trying to correct these obvious mistakes, I was blocked by an over-enthusiastic administrator. All because of the fact that, whether intended or not, this convention is treated like holy writ. I'm not trying to overturn this convention all together, only when it is applied to wholly non-English "things". I don't want to see the article London moved to Londres, for example. This convention has its place, but editors must know what that place is. To Erudy, I would pose the following question. Is it the purpose of an encyclopaedia to tell people what they already know or to tell them the truth? That might sound extreme, but there will be cases where using Anglicized terms actually stops the true facts from being expressed. There are certainly many cases where using Anglicized terms makes it much more difficult to get the true picture across clearly. One would hope that this could be avoided by the application of common sense but, sadly, there are editors who are more interested in blindly applying conventions. To avoid this, it has to be written into the convention that this is neither its purpose nor its intention.
Dove1950 (talk) 23:28, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Meaningless and Incorrect because the juxaposition of an English word (Dutch) with a non-English one (Gulden) makes no sense in the English language. As we have already discussed, the currency used on the island of Taiwan does not have New Taiwan dollar printed on it, but rather the term Xintaibi where Xintai = New Taiwan, but bi does not equal dollar. Should we then be racist and say that anything printed in roman letters on the note (e.g. 10 GULDEN) gets included into wikipedia, but if it's printed in non-Roman numerals (e.g. Xintaibi), we can safely ignore it? I think that is why WP:UE was formulated - to arrive at a NPOV stance regarding naming in the English wikipedia. Otherwise, we'd be favouring one ethnic group over another. Take, for example the Indian rupee which has more than a dozen names printed on the currency alone in the various Indian languages. Which "local name" printed on the currency should we use on the English wikipedia? Bengali perhaps, and then the currency should be moved to Indian taka? How do we choose? Thanks to WP:UE we use the English term for the currency which is the rupee. Yes, the rupee is printed on the currency in roman letters as well, so there should be no disambiguity as to what to call the currency in English.
I would also like to point out a comment I made elsewhere that User:Dove1950 have not responded to: Why would one question the English language use of the word guilder in reference to the pre-euro currency of the Netherlands? The Dutch refer to their currency as the guilder in English. The non-Dutch speaking peoples refer to the currency as the guilder in English. Even the Central Bank of the Netherlands uses the term guilder on its English webpage - see Rules for exchanging guilder notes, for example. Are you saying that the Dutch people and the Netherlands Central Bank is wrong? --Novelty (talk) 00:28, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
It is one of the purposes of this English Wikipedia to be written in English, not Dutch. We English-speakers have called the Dutch coin the guilder since the middle ages, just as we have called its makers the Dutch in preference to the Netherlanders. We intend to communicate with English-speakers, with as few articifial pieces of pedantry as we can manage. Our articles are hard enough to comprehend with the burden of a foreign language. Dove1950 is determined not to understand this, and I regret his determination. If anyone else can explain it to him, please join in. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:45, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
It is the purpose of any encyclopaedia to accurately represent what is being discussed. This cannot be done when the proper nomenclature is made unavailable. Pedantry is a very nasty way of saying that you want articles to be dumbed down. Our articles are hard enough to comprehend with the burden of a foreign language. How do you expect to improve an article by removing the accurate nomenclature? If communication is our intent, we have to use the correct terminology all the time, not just when an Anglicized version doesn't exist.
Dove1950 (talk) 00:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Taking up Novelty's points, whether the websites you refer to are wrong or not depends upon their purpose. The purpose of this website is to act as an encyclopaedia. That implies accuracy and completeness. It does not imply that nomenclature should be altered. In the case of the gulden, it doesn't even need transliterating. I have never advocated the complete removal of the word guilder and "Dutch guilder" always redirected to "Dutch gulden". With regard the question of the inclusion of non-Latin script terms, I see no reason to bring the question of racism into play. That just strikes me as scare mongering. When a non-Latin script is used, the best solution (and the one often used) is to transliterate the names into the Latin script, when possible using a recognized standard, such as Pinyin. This, alongside the original terms given clearly at the beginning of the article, allows those who have no knowledge of the non-Latin script to read the article. As to the question of linguistic juxtaposition, what about Spanish peseta? "Peseta" is a Spanish word (originally, it would seem, Catalan), whilst "Spanish" is an English word, yet no one complains. I suspect that you may respond that peseta has been "adopted" by the English language but so has gulden. I have several English language books that exclusively use gulden as the name of the Dutch and other currencies. Guilder may have been used more frequently in English but that does not make its continued, exclusive use accurate. What's more, overall, gulden was by far the more common name. When it comes to cases where multiple names are in use, we will always have a problem, regardless of whether or not there is an English name. At present, we do tend to be biased towards names printed in English but that doesn't mean that we should remain biased in this way. Bias is, in wikispeak, a form of POV, and we all know that's a no-no. I've split off what follows as it seems to be separate to this discussion.
Dove1950 (talk) 22:40, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
But what is so inaccurate about the English word "guilder"? English sources like the BBC and CNN refer to the Dutch currency as "guilder" and the Dutch themselves use that term when speaking in English. So its English name is quite accurate and naming the article the "Dutch guilder" implies that that's what the English-speaking world calls the pre-Euro currency of the Netherlands, which is part of the _descriptive_ (not prescriptive) nature of Wikipedia.
Furthermore, you are mis-characterizing NPOV. This is the English Wikipedia and an English "bias" is something quite obvious that should be done. Besides, the NPOV policy doesn't mean that bias should be avoided but rather to express the various sides of an issue proportional to their mainstream acceptance (so the meaning of individual statements in articles are biased in themselves but they are balanced by other statements elsewhere--properly attributed of course). You yourself admitted that "guilder" is more often used in English and in the spirit of NPOV, this implies that "guilder" should be the article's name.--seav (talk) 15:06, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

What's inaccurate is that guilder was never once used on the currency. Since the article is about the currency, what's written on the currency should take precedence. Let's try and look at this issue from the perspective of a user of Wikipedia. There are a number of ways a reader may come to an article. In the case of something like a currency, they may be going to the country and wanting to know what's used there. Alternatively, they may have come across an example of the currency and want to know more about it. In both these cases, it's the local name that will be far more useful to them than the Anglicized name. This goes for most other "things" which are only used by non-English speakers. From an academic perspective, an Anglicized name is of little interest. Numismatists are far more concerned with the physical form of the currency and historians will have local sources which they are in need of explaining. It's very clear that some non-English "things" pick up Anglicized names but to claim that these are more accurate than the original names is a bit cheeky to say the least. In reality, these "names" are no better than nicknames, with no official standing. There are plenty of examples where English speakers are having to get used to using local names (Uluru, Mumbai, Beijing) because it is increasingly recognized that we English speakers have no right to go around applying "our" names to everything.
Dove1950 (talk) 22:17, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

"Having to" rather overstates the case, as no one required English speakers to stop saying "Bombay" and "Peking"; it's just the way things have worked out in the development of the language. The process of names gravitating more and more toward local ones is certainly real, but it does not occur evenly throughout the language, leading to some instances, such as Beijing, where the local name has clearly superseded the older English one, and others like "guilder" where the Anglicized name remains the more common one. It is not Wikipedia's job to decide which name is right, but rather to determine, as well as possible, which is the most common English form and primarily use that one, as this is an English encyclopedia. Of course, other forms should also be recognized in the article. The notion that the commonly-used English name has no status unless it is the local name is just untrue; very often, non-local names are simply considered standard (try telling the average person on the street of an Anglophone nation that you've been to Zhongguo and you won't get very far, nor will you find an entry in many English dictionaries for it). Heimstern Läufer (talk) 06:31, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
As an encyclopaedia, shouldn't we be putting accuracy to the forefront? When a "thing" is entirely non-English, oughtn't we to use its local, non-English name first and foremost? That way we present the reality of the "situation" and we don't put our description through linguistic filters. Such filters help very few of our users. At best, they can be said to act as an opening for users who only know the Anglicized name. That's served by a redirect. Wikipedia can then give such users the real nomenclature.
Dove1950 (talk) 20:38, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, that would require a change in WP:UE, first of all. Secondly, what many of us regard as important is the content, and making that content as accessible as possible to English monoglots. Using foreign characters in ostensibly English-language articles creates only a distraction which intereferes with learning the actual content. Having said that, policy very properly requires that the native name be listed as quickly as possible in the opening sentence, so that readers understand that in the native language of the subject a different spelling is used. Unschool (talk) 22:16, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Question for Dove1950. Do you think the article name for Sodium should be Natrium instead? Sodium is the English name, Natrium is the nomenclature. Likewise, should elephant be renamed as Elephantidae instead? Again elephant is an english name for a non-English object. It's scientific nomenclature is Elephantidae. --Novelty (talk) 22:25, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
To Unschool, my response is that, in many cases, no foreign characters are required in order to give the correct, local name of "things". If you are referring to diacritics, they in no way obscure the ability of an English monoglot to read the text, even if the pronunciation in their head is incorrect. I would not advocate the use of non-Latin scripts throughout an article, as this requires rather more knowledge than can reasonably be assumed. In such cases, a transliteration should be used, thereby most closely matching the actual nomenclature.
To Novelty, as I have a doctorate in chemistry, I can assure him/her that natrium is not the "nomenclature" for sodium. Na is the symbol, that is all. As to elephant, there are in fact several species of elephants, each with a systematic common name and a systematic Latin name. If Wikipedia chooses to use the systematic common names, there is no loss of clarity or precision. Sadly, there is loss of clarity and precision when pre-existing, non-English names are Anglicized.
Dove1950 (talk) 16:31, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
IMHO, diacritics have been forced on English speaking Wiki laymen (like myself). From my PoV, this 'forcement' is an arrogant move. PS: Did I mention by the way, that I despise 'diacritics' on English Wikipedia? GoodDay (talk) 16:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Another discussion

The answer to your question is a fairly simple one.
  • English is a language in its own right.
  • English is an evolved language.
  • Over millennia the population of (what is now called) the United Kingdom had been very vocabulary inclusionist. The modern English language is possibly the most multilingual of all languages in Europe, if not the World.
  • The standardisation of the English modern written system as used in the English educational institutions is based on 26 letters.
  • A perceived weakness in terms of vocalisation of the borrowed words, it remains the standard usage in all countries where the English language is the official language of communication.
  • The rationale for this requires perspective. When the modern English usage was standardised, during the 19th century, it was the standard official means of communication and administration of the British Empire.
  • The decision based in common sense to retain the simple 26 letter alphabet was made because the inclusion of all possible vocalisations of the other languages used in the British Empire into the alphabet would have made the teaching of the English complex beyond the ability of the average general speaker
  • The inclusion of all possible vocalisations of the other languages used in the British Empire into the alphabet would have been contradictory to the goal of increasing general literacy of the English speaking population.
  • Given that the English Wikipedia has broadly similar goals in terms of education to the 19th century English educators goal of increasing general literacy, common sense yet again suggests that learning for the general English speaking audience is easier when the reader is doing so in the language they were exposed to as part of their education curricula.
This does not preclude readers from learning other languages, but recognises that the average individual is incapable of learning more then a few (2-3) languages, and therefore non-Anglisization of the words borrowed into the English vocabulary is a rather forceful imposition on the general reader, something contrary to the Wikipedia policy (hence Wikipedias).--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:09, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
You are wrong about the supposed "standardisation" to the basic 26 letter alphabet. May I point out List of English words with diacritics and, maybe more surprisingly, List of U.S. cities with diacritics? You also keep confusing learning of a few variant character forms with learning a new language. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
This section is an extention of Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Numismatics/Style; it does deal with genuinely foreign words, like ringgit or gulden. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:59, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I beg your pardon if I inadvertently interrupted a numismatics discussion. However, maybe I can contribute here also. The case of the Soviet ruble is similar to the Indian currency, but more complicated. The English word for Soviet currency was the ruble, but the ruble was differently named in every one of the Soviet republics, officially. However, rubles from different republics were interchangeable. And yet the English traveller only needed to know the "ruble".--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 03:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
You keep saying I am wrong, but you keep failing to provide proof.
Have you read English words with diacritics or the English_language#Written_accents?
Plese note the physical limitation of the fact that "In most cases it is acceptable to leave out the marks, especially in digital communications where the QWERTY keyboard lacks any marked letters."
  • Are you an authority on general English language usage teaching in an English speaking country?
All US city names in the List of U.S. cities with diacritics are borrowing from Spanish with two exceptions (German and Swedish). I note that a variant for Cañon City given on [2] is Canyon City, but obviously the city administration achieved consensus that they would rather be known by the German name then the English name. Canyon is still the common English usage form for a topographic feature as far as I'm aware. The decision by the city administration can easily be challenged under the US Constitution which assures English as the official language of the country. Speaking of the List of US city names with diacritics, it would have helped if the compiler used the GNIS to verify his/her facts.
  • In any case, you can not use the exceptions as a basis for general guideline, never mind policy--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 01:49, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
As before, I've made my points. No, the US does not have an official language[3], as also indicated in our article on the Languages of the United States. Cañon is borrowed from Spanish, not German. In fact, none of the names on the list (before or after you pruned it) is borrowed from German. Wikipedia is not limited to topics, words or characters available to the average 12th-grader. As you seem to be determined to continue by unsupported assertions ad nauseam, let me answer with an appeal to authority: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." English is a complex language with many idiosyncrasies. Wikipedia is descriptive, not prescriptive. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 02:37, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, the official language issue is being challenged by amending the US Constitution. The site you pointed to also lists states that have adopted English as official languages. However, the default language of the US Federal Government is English. Just try getting anything done in German or French, or Mandarin or Spanish. Its actually hard enough to accomplish anything in English.
I must apologise for a bit of a trap, but Canyon in Spanish is cañón and not cañon. So maybe its Mexican Spanish, or "local" Spanish, who knows. Maybe they should have followed WP:UE? I pruned the list because it was not factual as per WP:V.
How have you determined who is the average user of Wikipedia? May I remind you that the minimum qualification for contributing to, and editing, encyclopaedias that begun as printed versions (i.e. Britannica) was on at least a post-graduate level of educational achievement, and this is not a requirement for Wikipedia editors either. However, the average user represents policy and not guideline, so you need to argue that out in Village Pump also. Unsurprisingly those needing more information are those lacking it, who are likely to be the younger segment of the World's population. Are you trying to convince me with truisms?
My assertions are liberally supported. Every source I have consulted, and can list here for your verification, confirms that the English alphabet has 26 letters. Conversely you have failed to disprove this, or cite sources Wikipedia:Citing sources despite numerous requests.
Albert Einstein was not an expert on linguistics (do you need citation?), however he was Jewish, and probably if he was asked to interpret the statement you quoted, he would have said that the English alphabet is simple enough with 26 letters, and need not be as simple as the Hebrew alphabet with 22(23) letters. I doubt he would have suggested expanding it to include every accented letter from every other European language. However, this may be your definition of "as simple as possible". Seems fairly complicated to me, but I never claimed to be a genius. By the way, the definition of genius is "explaining complexity simply".
English is a complex language with many idiosyncrasies, but this does not extend to its alphabet.
I am so very glad that we at last agree on something. Wikipedia is descriptive, and Descriptive linguistics is "the work of analyzing and describing how language is spoken (or how it was spoken in the past) by a group of people in a speech community."
However, the use of English alphabet is a part of the Prescriptive linguistics, which "can refer both to the codification and the enforcement of rules governing how a language is to be used. These rules can cover such topics as standards for spelling and grammar or syntax; or rules for what is deemed socially or politically correct. It includes the mechanisms for establishing and maintaining an interregional language or a standardized spelling system." As you will note in Prescriptive#Education,
==Education==

Literacy and first language teaching in schools is traditionally prescriptive. Both educators and parents often agree that mastery of the language is one of the goals of education. Since the 1970s there has been a widespread trend to balance this with other priorities, such as encouraging children to find their own forms of expression and be creative also with non-standard speech-patterns. Nevertheless, the acquisition of spoken and written skills in normative language varieties remains a key aim of schools around the world.

[[Second language acquisition|Foreign language teaching]] is necessarily prescriptive. Here the students have no prior idiom of their own in the target language and are entirely focused on the acquisition of norms laid down by others.
By definition you are one of the "others" (not to be confused with Others (Lost)), or people who are trying to lay down the norms by which English speakers must acquire knowledge of other languages if they are to use Wikipedia. Since it is an intellectual impossibility (Intellectual dishonesty?) to learn how to use a part of any given language's alphabet without learning the alphabet and the context of its use within that language, you are in fact imposing on the English speaker the need to learn any number of alphabets to use the Wikipedia, which is conceived and designed for use by English speakers with no prerequisite knowledge of other languages.
Based on this imposition, it then allows other non-English speakers to accuse English speakers who fail to learn other languages as being "ignorant" and "dummies". Indeed, partial use of non-English characters without their respective languages' context would qualify for linguistic ignorance ("I only know how to type these, not the rest of Spanish, Swedish, Czech, etc."). And yet I see that you are yourself very average in linguistic proficiency, limited to only two languages!
Since we touched on the US, I may quote "It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." Eleanor Roosevelt--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 04:37, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to rename English Wikipedia into International Wikipedia; merge all Wikipedia

This was originally posted to my chosen project (Military History) talk page, but I was directed by the project coordinator to address the issue here. As pointed out by another user, my intention is for the Wikipedia power-that-be to either reinforce the existing policies, or to scrap them entirely.

Naming of articles in English Wikipedia

There is an ongoing process by various editors to change the spelling of place names in article titles to non-English spelling, including use of non-English fonts. This does nothing other then initiate edit wars and title disputes since it does not inform the reader, and still required inclusion of the English name of the place/event in the article so the English speaker can find it.

While this is definitely against the letter and spirit of the various Wikipedia policies and guidelines (national and European Union policies are often sighted), the lengthy discussions that have taken place on various talk pages lead nowhere, and the nationalisation (dare I say "Balkanisation") of articles continues despite all reasonable arguments and citation of various Wikipedia policies. The administrative support is IMHO generally lacking, bureaucratic and eventually ineffective.

I would like to request that the MilHist project participants decide once and for all how the articles are to be named:

  • by their common English names, spelled in English (even where they are not common), as used in the historical period covered by the article

or

  • in the language currently used in the area, using the appropriate national font.

Once decided, this decision needs to be included as an explicit policy in the project, and not a guideline in the Style Guide.

Thank you--mrg3105mrg3105 If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 03:48, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

This is properly a matter for WP:NAMCON, I think, rather than for the project; it reaches far beyond our scope to the general Wikipedia-wide naming conventions. Certainly, anything we develop would need to eventually go into the main policy anyways; so there's little point in not bringing the full weight of the central forum to bear from the outset. Kirill 05:36, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I see no point. The more people are involved the less chance there less chance there is of a decision being reached. Having looked at similar "discussions" the decisions were not reached for a year, and some resulted in no consensus. Pointing out that there are existing Wikipedia-wide is also fruitless. In any case, what "central forum" would that be? To me Wikipedia bureaucracy seems labyrinthine, and I have too little time as it is to engage in it. However, if this is what you would like to do, please go ahead by all means. I'll be happy with consensus in this forum. Hopefully enough people will care about the issue to express themselves on the subject.--mrg3105mrg3105 If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 08:03, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
The point is that WikiProjects do not have the authority to override central policies by their local consensus. What you're trying to do is change WP:NAMCON#Use English words; the matter needs to be discussed there rather than here if you want the end result to be binding on anyone. Kirill 13:09, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Is User:mrg3105 advocating a change to WP:NAMCON#Use English words or the enforcement of it? I've noticed that this is a difficult policy to enforce. For example, the article on Casimir Pulaski is titled under his Polish name, Kazimierz Pułaski, rather than his name in English, as policy would suggest. A move to the English title was proposed in the past but blocked, apparently by Polish editors. Nationalism seems to trump policy on these matters. I think the "Use English" policy is dying a slow death, which means the "English Wikipedia" is transforming into the "International Wikipedia", for better or worse. But, as Kirill says, this is a discussion for another place. —Kevin Myers 15:48, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I have to say I agree that WP:UE and such is dying a slow hideous death by 1000 cuts, however Kirill is right, discussing it here won't have any effect on that, it will merely establish consensus within one project. If Mrg wants to propose a new part of the policy around English to address a specific abuse and it is workable? Heck, I'm happy to vote for him, but this is not really the place yeah. Though, there are certain very specific cases that perhaps MilHist should look at if they are currently outside the guidelines etc. Narson (talk) 16:12, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Further, the outcome of the discussion in one article ended in the suggestion that all English speakers are ignorant

Name

I am dismayed that you have moved the name of the article to include the ń character. I have nothing against the Polish alphabet - but this is the English language Wiki, and in the English language the city is known as "Poznan", and references to the battle written in English also use "Poznan". Ziemke and Duffy's works are examples of this. I kindly request you move article's name to the original title. "Battle of Poznań" would be good as a redirect for the occasional Polish user of the English Wiki. --W. B. Wilson (talk) 04:43, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

The name of the city is Poznań. When you succeed in moving it to Poznan, I promise I will support moving the battle back to battle of Poznan (1945).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 05:13, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Piotrus, that is disingenuous. This is an English-language Wiki. In English works, the city's name -is- Poznan with no characters used from other languages. See, for example, the article Munich. The name of the article for the city is given in its English name which makes good sense for users of an English Wiki, even though the city's residents call it München.
Frankly, your name move is unhelpful and exactly the sort of thing that kicks off edit wars. I've seen very fine editing on your part and find it hard to understand both your edit and your attitude in this case.
And rest assured I know the Polish name for Poznan and many other Polish locales as well. I am no enemy of Poland. It is simply that are some rules that make sense for an English-language Wiki, and imposing foreign language characters on article names makes little sense. --W. B. Wilson (talk) 17:11, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
W. B. The issue of diacritics has been discussed in the past. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) notes the issue is has not been resolved but there were more in favor of diacritics in titles than not. See also Wikipedia:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics) and note it was rejected. Finally, use of diacritics has become a standard practice over the years. If you feel strongly about it, feel free to start a WP:RM to the original title; I believe the one with diacritic is more correct.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:05, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. My time here, however, is limited and I prefer not to spend it engaging Wikipedia processes in cases that in my consideration are fairly obvious. For the same reason, I find edit wars to be wasted time.
This article may become what it will. --W. B. Wilson (talk) 18:23, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Personally I consider the naming disputes a giant waste of time compared to creating content so I hope this indeed will not be a major issue.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:15, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Naming disputes are created by people like yourself who insist on nationalisation of English Wikipedia. This is regardless of the fact that I will still type in Poznan every time because I am not going to change the keyboard layout for every instance I need to look at a location in Poland. However, there is such a thing called History, and it is recorded regardless of personal preferences of those who try to rewrite it.--mrg3105mrg3105 If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 03:19, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I resent being accused of nationalism. Please mind WP:AGF and WP:NPA. Redirects where created for a reason, and we are not going to be dumbing down complex words to simple ones. I don't have é on my keyboard, but I certainly don't mind café. And I don't expect you to type Poznań with ń, but it is the name of the city, not Poznan. Thousands of English language publications agree. My, nationalism is on the rise, indeed.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 14:39, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no ń in English, or café for that matter. There is no need for a redirect if the title of the article is Battle of Poznan. Changing an English title into a Polish one is nationalising of the title. WP:AGF and WP:NPA have nothing to do with it! You are changing the spelling from English to Polish. What would you call it?!--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 04:54, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Being correct.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 05:21, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
But you are only correct in Polish! In English, and we are editing in English Wikipedia, you are not correct. You would also not be correct in Russian, Turkish, Hindu, and Chinese to name a few. Do you see my point? You are imposing your own POV and spelling convention on the English language users, and using redirects for which there is absolutely no need.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 05:45, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Please show me a policy that this name contradicts. And WP:UE is invalid since in my post from 14:39, 15 February 2008 above I have shown that the ń version is extensively used in English. Hence it is Poznan that is the misspelling (or a Redirect from title without diacritics, to be precise). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:04, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect Piotr, you have not shown anything! Please see here [[4]] for use of accents in English and English words with diacritics. I also refer you to the English alphabet. If I choose to write cafe, no one is going to fault me for it in common English usage. It is just unreasonable to impose the need to have knowledge of all the different languages that use diacritics on the English language users of Wikipedia. That would be the result of what you are suggesting if applied consistently throughout the English Wikipedia projects. --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 06:35, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, the world is bigger then just its English speaking part. This is also why we have redirects. I don't expect most English speakers to know most diacritics. That doesn't mean they don't exist in English language. Ignorance is not an excuse.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:55, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that non-use of diacritics is a sign of ignorance?! Not one school in Australia teaches it, and I got though a university degree without using it while being taught by lecturers from six different countries! Redirects are also used for disambiguation of English events (in this case) and the tag is {{R from historic name}}. However if you see the page Wikipedia:Redirect#Alternative_names you will see the example Byzantium, Istanbul and Constantinople, and not {lang-tr|İstanbul}--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 07:31, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
There exists another of my attempts to restore use of English place name Iaşi-Chişinău Offensive with no success other then a resultant banning of myself for incivility due to my unwillingness to accept the obstinacy and simple dishonesty of the arguments and methods being used to retain a name that in no way reflects English usage.
If this issue can not be resolved here, I would like to be directed to another Wikipedia policy-enforcing/making area that can --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flack, you're not over the target. 07:55, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I am currently (yet again!) having this debate in this case with the article name Zoran Zigic. To date every single source in the article are UN sources and none of them use "Žigić". I can not understand why some editors wish to foist Funny Foreign Squiggles onto words in English unless they are commonly used in English. I think Zigic did awful things,[5] but for me, (and I suspect for many English monoglots) the use of squiggles on the page diverts the mind from the important information the article is conveying.

I think the default should be the English alphabet unless there is clear evidence that funny foreign squiggles are usually used in verifiable reliable English sources and I would support changing this guideline to make that clear. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 15:36, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I checked the first five Google Books hits for Zoran Zigic, four of them use the diacritics, all are in English.[6] Haukur (talk) 22:06, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
That is odd because when I run it not one of the first five (or more) use diacritics. I am not sure what "lr=&hl=is" brings to the party but try running it as http://books.google.com/books?&q=Zoran+Zigic returns "Books 1 - 10 of 65 on Zoran Zigic." while http://books.google.com/books?&q=Zoran+Žigić returns "Books 1 - 10 of 20 on Zoran Žigić." . All of the first page of 10 books return with Zigic are books, while all of the books returned with Žigić are not books but trail documents published by the ICTY:
  • In the Trial Chamber: Decision on Zoran Žigić's Motion for Rescinding ... by International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 - 2001 "22 February 2001."
  • In the Trial Chamber: Decision on Prosecution Notice of Affidavit Evidence ... by International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 - 2000 "30 October 2001."
  • Before a Bench of the Appeals Chamber: Decision on Motion of the Accused ... 2000 "22 November 2000."
  • ... (and so on).
--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 01:30, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
That's odd. When I run it as http://books.google.com/books?&q=Zoran+Zigic I still get the first four out of five with the diacritics, to wit, Annotated leading cases of international criminal tribunals, This Time We Knew, Supranational Criminal Prosecution of Sexual Violence and The UN International Criminal Tribunals. Haukur (talk) 10:12, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Sigh! Haukur, I had not followed any of the links because the text on all the pages return with the search is squiggle free. So given your last posting I looked at the text in the links returned and unfortunately some have two squiggles some have none some only on the Ž and some only on the ć. Searching using [ Zoran-Zigic ] returns 51 books while searching using [ Zoran-Zigic -Zoran-Žigić ] reduced the number of books from 51 to 50. So it seems a Google book search is of little use in this case. :-( --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 11:01, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, OCR errors complicate this. I think one of the single-squiggle pages most likely has a typo since the name has both squiggles elsewhere on the page. Anyway, I don't have any real statistics here but it seems that diacritics in this name do see some use in printed English language sources. Haukur (talk) 11:29, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Of course, "some use in printed English language sources" is not the point, is it? WP:UE says to "use the most commonly used English version". So as long as there is an English language version, that trumps all else, right? (Or am I completely missing the point?) Unschool (talk) 04:22, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
The version with both diacritics may well be the one most commonly used in English texts. Haukur (talk) 07:46, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to butt in, but doesn't use of OCR text create the problem of copyright? Aside from that, the issue is also, who is doing the mandatory editing OCR texts require during proof-reading process?--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 06:16, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
You lost me there. Copyright? Mandatory editing? I don't think Google proofreads their stuff, that would be hugely expensive and probably wouldn't be a good use of resources. Haukur (talk) 07:46, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Not all Google OCR processed texts are copyright free. So, their reproduction infringes copyright. Google has an agreement with its clients.
There is no 100% correct OCR application, so editing is mandatory to avoid spelling errors when the software "corrects" incorrectly using its algorithms.
Google does not proofread its online texts. This is why some of the older texts are notoriously difficult to work with due to aged damage, funny fonts, and imperfect placement of the original into the machine where the binding interferes with the scanning process.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 14:22, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Dia critics 4.0: Write English or Dia critics

[This discussion partially copied from User_talk:Stephan_Schulz#A_majority_.28but_no_consensus.29_support_diacrits --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:25, 18 February 2008 (UTC)]

I strongly dispute the outcome of Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Disputed_issues.
How is it possible for any other outcome to have eventuated if the number of non-English --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:52, 19 February 2008 (UTC)speakers on the planet is greater then that of the English speakers? In simple (or complex) statistical probability terms no other outcome was possible, and therefore the conclusion is unenforceable since the negative outcome was easily forecast before the poll was taken.
I would suggest that only those editors that use English as part of their primary language of communication would be the only eligible editors to make such a decision. However, considering the decision will influence what the general English speaking reader will see on their screens, only those that completed English language basic literacy education system can be true judges of what is acceptable in use by Wikipedia.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 14:16, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
No. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:37, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

== A majority (but no consensus) support diacrits ==

Hi Stephan. I'm not exactly sure why you reverted my edit. Latin alphabet does not use diacritics either, but it seemed logical to me that the Use English policy would refer to the English alphabet. As I pointed out in the edit note, the Latin alphabet is the alphabet used in the Latin Language, which is the official language of the City state of Vatican. If you check the official language use for the 53 English language user countries, you will see that all state English as the official language and hence English alphabet. --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 13:35, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi Mrg. If you check out Latin alphabet, you will see that this term is not restricted to the original Roman alphabet, but includes the close derivatives like German (with umlauts ä,Ü,...), French (with accents, á, û), Scandinavian (with ligatures æ, œ, and weird constructions I cannot even name like ø ;-). As the discussion in Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Disputed_issues shows, there is no consensus about this issue, and a majority seems to support the use of diacritics. Your edit would preclude this discussion, which is why I reverted it. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:45, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, in that case Stephen the policy needs to be made more explicit. Derivatives are not part of the alphabet, which as everyone knows consists only of letters. It so happens that in the English alphabet there are no derivatives. Would you like me to start a vote on how many letters there are in the English (or Latin) alphabet? I would not want to embarrass you in this way.
The problem is not in the alphabet, but in the unwillingness of some editors to use English despite clear policy to do so. I am now in the position of having to learn Romanian, Polish, and a swag of other languages because I happen to write history of the Second World War on the Eastern Front in English. And yet there is absolutely no need for me to do so, nor for Wikipedia readers to face unfamiliar alphabets. There will always be exceptions, but not in the English alphabet use. Please reconsider undoing the edit. Cheers--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 14:02, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about the misunderstanding, but ä, ø and so on are letters. The alphabets that use them are, as a whole, derived from the ancient Latin script, and are considered Latin alphabets. I know how many letters there are in the English alphabet, and I'm not easily embarrassed. Do you know how many letters there are in the original latin alphabet? As for your concern about names: Proper names cannot always be translated into other languages. Some names have well-known English translations (München/Munich or Bruxelles/Brussels come to mind) or transliterations (Beijing/Peking), others don't have them. In some cases we even use a transliteration of a translation of the original version ("Christ" is an example). Many place names, especially for smaller places, have no standard English version. If you work on Eastern European articles, you will have to deal with variant Latin scripts. What's so bad about some learning anyways? And no, you do not have to learn Polish (a language), just some simple letters.
Anyways, if you want the policy changed, the right place is not here, but on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English), where the community can chime in. I don't know if this will lead to another result than before, but it is the best venue. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:33, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah Stephen, but do YOU know how many average Wikipedia readers know how many letters there was in the original Latin? I dare say Latin is a rarely selected elective language of study in most English speaking education systems altogether. "ä, ø and so on" are not letters. Please refer to the Modern basic Latin alphabet with which some of the more educated English speakers may be familiar with. This alphabet, like the English alphabet, does not contain "ä, ø and so on".
We are not concerned with your scholarly exceptions brilliant though they may be. How would the average English reader type them on their keyboard is the question? Would they type München or Munich? Given that the vast majority of English speaking education systems I am aware of prefer to teach Munich, there is no need to complicate the lives of millions by suggesting that they had wasted their time learning English through school, college, university and wherever else they may have gained their English usage.
For those "Many place names, especially for smaller places, have no standard English version." there exists Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_%28geographic_names%29#Use_English, to quote:
"If no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English, use the local official name. Foreign names should be used only if there are no established English names; most places which are notable, in Wikipedia's sense, do have established English names, which often are the local name. Rationale for historical usage should be explained on the article's talk page and in the name's section of the article about the geographical place in question."
I don't need to "deal with variant Latin scripts". If I shall choose to publish they will be edited out anyway because the average person will not be able to read them, and the average editor (using Common sense) will take a dim view of requiring a footnote for every non-English word I use, which would have to be many. There is absolutely no need to learn other languages when writing in English using the English alphabet for the English readership. The analogy for this is that most jockeys do not learn to ride the camel, the donkey the yak, the elephant and so on because they can be ridden in a race. Most are satisfied with the more common Equus caballus. Kapish?--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 15:11, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
München is a case where a separate English name exists. The question is whether you accept Munchen, which is plain wrong and will probably not even be recognized by many readers. The established English name may very well be written in an extended alphabet. A current discussion is at talk: Priština. The name is spelled both with and without the Caron in English language sources. The version with the accent has the advantage of warning the reader that the obvious pronunciation is probably wrong. However, its easy to recognize the name in either variant. And, by the way, having grown up (computer-wise) on SUN UNIX workstations, I've never used a keyboard with funky characters - and yet I manage to write not only my native German, but all the examples shown so far. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:12, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Stephen, I really sympathise with you. You want things just right. However, you, me and Weikipedia are constrained. This constraint is based on the lowest acceptable denominator of the basic English alphabet use by the vast majority of English users who access Wikipedia. The constraint is imposed by the standards of the English speaking world's education systems' curricula.
As I see it you have several options.
  • 1. Petition to have the standard English alphabet changed
  • 2. Petition to initiate English teaching reform in World's education systems
  • 3. Petition that all Wikipedia users are mandated to receive free online tutorials in use of extended English alphabet use.
As of right now you represent a bias POV contrary to WP:NPOV, based on either your superior education or intelligence or both. I will address the assertion that English speakers are on average ignorant as proposed by Piotr from Poland, but you should know better. When created Wikipedia:About, the concept was to provide information for a diverse range of people, including those unaware of the number of letters in the ancient Latin alphabet or those that have "grown up (computer-wise) on SUN UNIX workstations". Neither are standards applied to Wikipedia user participation, or editor for that matter.
So, unless
  • A. You disagree that the Modern English (or Latin) alphabet consists of 26 letters
or
  • B. That Wikipedia policy explicitly requires English language users to know other languages to access it
please revert my edit to reflect this in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) that "Article titles should use the English alphabet". Thank you--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 23:13, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

(dedent) Sorry, but you are wrong. Yes, the basic modern English alphabet has 26 characters. But no, not all words used in the English language are universally written in this basic script. See Encyclopædia, medievæl, café. Especially loan words and names often carry over some or all of their accents. And no, we do not cater to the "lowest acceptable denominator". We have an article on Mathematics of general relativity. Check that for some funny characters that need a lot of learning to understand. No, you do not need to "know another language" to access the English language Wikipedia, even if it contains words like Tübingen, Priština, Besançon or Motörhead. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:06, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Of course misinterpreting what I said is easy, but anytime you state that someone is wrong, you are required to offer sourced proof to the contrary.

However, to clarify what we do agree on:

  • You agree that the basic modern English alphabet has 26 characters
  • You agree that loan words and names often carry over some or all of their accents (into English usage)
  • You agree (by extension of logic from your statements) that accents used in loan words are not in the English alphabet
  • You agree that Wikipedia users "do not need to "know another language" to access the English language Wikipedia"
The statement that "We have an article on Mathematics of general relativity. Check that for some funny characters that need a lot of learning to understand." only supports a position that advocates compulsory provision by education system curricula of the knowledge of Mathematics of general relativity. I think this is a worthwhile cause for you to advocate in the general society, and I will wholeheartedly support this position should you choose to take this mission.
The statement "no, not all words used in the English language are universally written in this basic script. See Encyclopædia, medievæl, café." actually proves nothing.
The first is now a part of the British vs American English usage
while the last appears to be a matter of preference in the general society as in for example here [7].
No results were found in Wikipedia for a search on medievæl, and it is unused in many of the more obvious articles that may contain the spelling. You may want to enlighten the editors in those talk pages also, as you have enlightened me. However, it is not common usage of the spelling.

Based on your statements above, and the great many things we agree on, I would like to request that you

  • Please provide proof that most English language education systems include spelling with diacritics as part of their curricula for ages 7 to 18.
and
Failing that, I would appreciate if you kindly please revert my edit to reflect this in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) that "Article titles should use the English alphabet".

thank you --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:52, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but this is getting tedious. I don't agree that all words used in the English language are spelled in the basic 26-letter English alphabet. I hope you agree that loan words are part of the English language? I don't agree with your assumption that we must cater to some particular low standard. I don't agree that school curricula are a useful guide here. Do you claim that a significant group of computer-literate readers has trouble understanding the spelling "café"? If not, you have no argument for universal discarding of accented characters. I don't claim that "a majority of English language readers commonly engage in Mathematics of general relativity discussion and reading", but neither do they deal with obscure Eastern European place names. And I certainly claim that more readers will be able to reasonably cope with Priština than with . Wikipedia should not assume that its readers are stupid. If you want an encyclop(e|æ)dia that goes out of its way to avoid complicated language, try the Simple English Wikipedia. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 01:25, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Angr, Stephan and Piotr, for what it's worth, though I don't believe this discussion -- which we've had about thrice already -- will lead us to any new conclusions except for the fact that the community is divided on this issue and will likely remain so for some time. —Nightstallion 01:30, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Firstly to answer Stephan:
If the discussion is getting tedious, then why do you feel so strongly about something that bores you?
I never asked you if "all words used in the English language are spelled in the basic 26-letter English alphabet." This is about the use of English alphabet and not all alphabets used to spell all loan words.
I agree that loan words are a part of the English language, but lets not get into the very messy world of English etymology which I suspect you know you can't win. There are way too many borrowed words in English which are not only not spelled in the original form, but have since change their meaning.
I did not suggest that "we must cater to some particular low standard", but only the standard accepted as a qualification of basic average literacy in the English speaking world, usually attained at the age of 16-18. Most 16-18 year olds today are computer literate, but may not have your finesse in use of loan words or dexterity for keyboard use. Indeed some Wikipedians may be physically handicapped, and although I would not suggest that they are not coping, I see no reason to make it harder for them.
You may be interested that if more readers "will be able to reasonably cope with Priština" because they want to travel there, they will find it here http://wikitravel.org/en/Pristina (I suspect this will be speedily moved soon). They may of course try here http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Republic_of_Serbia/Pristina-720377/TravelGuide-Pristina.html

or here http://search.lonelyplanet.com/search.do?Ntt=Pri%C5%A1tina&x=17&y=13 where I receive the message "You searched for: Priština, corrected to: pristina (32 results)"

I dare say you prove the point with since it uses the Greek alphabet.
I agree that Wikipedia should not assume that all readers are stupid, or ignorant. However, neither should it assume proficiency in any language other then English, or nay educational standard reached above that of the basic literacy levels required for matriculation/graduation from high school.
In any case, we seemingly do agree on many things already including that a majority of English language readers do not commonly engage in Mathematics of general relativity discussion and reading.
Your rather elitist assertion that most English language education systems should include spelling with diacritics as part of their curricula is not confirmed by any widely available curricula. This means that the interpretation of the Wikipedia policy according to you is not substantiated by the Real world. In the real world there are wide scopes in use of English and educational levels reached by individuals, some very low, and some very high. The high school diploma, in the USA as the largest single English speaking country, represents the neutral state of this scope, and a minimum reasonable expectation for the individual to participate in a majority of social activities, including Internet use and accessing Wikipedia. Your argument does not represent Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view in the process of trying to prove that the modern English (or Latin) alphabet contains more then 26 letters.
Therefore I would like to again respectfully request that unless you can show that the modern English (or Latin) alphabet contains more then 26 letters'
Please
I would appreciate if you kindly revert my edit to reflect this in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) that "Article titles should use the English alphabet".

thank you --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 03:49, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Welcome to the discussion Nightstallion. I haven't seen Angr here yet, but just to clarify:
  • You agree with Piotr that all English speakers who do not use diacritics in their every day typing are ignorant?
  • You agree with Stephen that the modern English (and Latin) alphabet has more then 26 letters?
I would welcome you pointing me to where these two issues have been discussed before, although I am aware of the discussion on diacritics use in English language Wikipedia. Diacritics use in English Wikipedia is not the subject of this discussion.
Evidently we have already reached several new conclusions in the discussion, one of which of significant note is that a majority of English language readers should not commonly engage in Mathematics of general relativity discussion and reading to improve their English language skills , though it would improve their knowledge of the Greek alphabet.
Far from dividing community, I seem to be uniting it in the use of English alphabet (as intended) rather then the use of every alphabet used in, for example, the 256 Wikimedia wikis, including this one http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagina_prima

However, I look forward to hearing your arguments and your citation of sources to support Stephen's and Piotr's POVs.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 04:12, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

This discussion is not productive. I know you misrepresent my reasonably clearly stated positions over and over, and you seem to have contracted a bad case of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. I've made my arguments, and I'm satisfied that a neutral reader will understand my position on this topic. As far as I can see it, your ceterum censeo has not yet convinced the senate, or anybody else. It certainly has not convinced me. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:16, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
You position is explicit.
  • You do not agree that the English language alphabet is the only alphabet that can be used to write all words used in English by English speakers using its 26 letters.
  • You think that as soon as a loan word is borrowed from another language into the English vocabulary, the letters used by that language are automatically added to the English alphabet.
  • You think that the vast majority of English speakers commonly use borrowed loan words and write them in their original language form.
  • You assert that the names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for ‘’editors’’ over ‘’readers’’, and for a ‘’specialists’’ over ‘’general audience’’.

Do I have a correct understanding of your position?--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 08:40, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

0/4. But I am interested in which of my statements lead you to arrive at each of these points. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:58, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, I apologise for misunderstanding. For fear of misinterpreting you again, I would like to ask you to to address those four points to reflect your thinking and interpretation of Wikipedia policy, guidelines and conventions, preferably in sentence length equaling that in the points.
However, mostly I would like to know if you still think that the English language has more then 26 letters.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 09:22, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Are English speakers ignorant ?

Ignorance is not an excuse. We are not an encyclopedia for dummies and we have redirects, hence we should not be afraid to use redirects when needed. Google Print shows that on average half of the books in English language use diacritics, so it is not like we are an exception.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:28, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

It is not ignorance and to suggest it does not help you case for building a consensus among editors. For example the Economist style guide suggests (ESG: Accents)

Put the accents and cedillas on French names and words, umlauts on German ones, accents and tildes on Spanish ones, and accents, cedillas and tildes on Portuguese ones: Françoise de Panafieu, Wolfgang Schäuble, Federico Peña. Leave the accents off other foreign names.

This is presumably because the educated readership of the Economist can be expected to know something of those languages, but no one really can expect a person to know all letter and accents in all the Alphabets derived from the Latin for example how many English speakers would know the difference between "z" "ź", "ż","ž", and "ẓ"?

How about a compromise similar to the exception in Monarchical titles for cognomens:

Article titles should use the English alphabet unless a clear majority of English language verifiable reliable sources use names that include other letters in the Latin alphabet. Other writing systems, such as syllabaries or Chinese characters, should not be used. ...

--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 18:21, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, I would like to warn User:Piotrus that insulting the entire English user base by calling them ignorant and dummies, which is not going to win him any barnstars. Please consider this a second warning (see the first assertion of ignorance earlier).
Secondly, most users hopefully use Wikipedia to enlighten themselves, as intended by the Wikipedia creators, so you are clearly wrong an this matter. The fact that both the Wikipedia and the Internet were created by English speakers kind of confirms this.
Thirdly, Google tools are not an accepted means of proving or disproving anything. It is a Web search engine. It may be popular, but it is just that, not a library, not an academic authority, not a source (with exception of its own operations and technology). Google is a useful tool only in providing source citations.
It is false to state that "on average half of the books in English language use diacritics" because:
  • a. Google Print does not access half of the books in English
  • b. Wikipedia does not work of statistical averages of sources in this case, but on mean, and sometimes other statistical concepts applied to users.
  • c. Even if all English texts on Google Print used diacritics, but none of the English speakers were taught how to read these, which is the case before us, the statement would still be as meaningless as the diacritics to the proverbial English speaking users.
I would therefore like to ask you politely to retract your assertions that all English speakers are ignorant and that Wikipedia is "not for dummies".--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 23:13, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I thought you liked taking flak :) You misunderstood my comments; I am not asserting that all users are ignorant, only most (this holds true for any language; let me just repeat words of a certain genius: Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity). In any case I can only agree with various users cited in the section above, and direct those who find diacritics too complex to Simple English Wikipedia, per Stephan comments. PS. Philip, I believe this consensus is a rule per WP:NCGN which I helped to create, and is being followed quite often. PSS. For the record, it was not me who created the offensive heading for this section, building a straw man. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:27, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Taking flak means one is over the target. It does not extend to enjoyment of the event.
Your words were "Ignorance is not an excuse." Since there was no statement to qualify the number of English speakers, logically it included everyone. Stating that "most" were ignorant narrows it don to somewhere between 51% and 99%. Do you think this is better?
I dare say that Albert Einstein can not be said to be an expert on the use of English language, or human psychology and cognitive intelligence. I also note that the infinity of the Universe is still a theory.
Please note that "The Simple English Wikipedia was started as a response to needs of English learners (EAL students) and English teachers." It is therefore a fallacy bordering on an insult to suggest that the average English speaker should learn their own language. It is an insult coming from a German and a Polish speaker such as Stephan and yourself. It may be time that both of you learned that diacritics are not taught to native English speakers because they are not part of the standard modern English alphabet.
Please familiarise yourself with the concept of "straw man". The opening line says "A straw man [[logical argument | argument]] is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position." Your position was that "Ignorance is not an excuse." in reference to English speaking users of the English Wikipedia. The logical inference is therefore that English speaking users can not fathom diacritics because they are ignorant of them. However facts do not support either your assertion, or that of Stephan that the English alphabet contains more then 26 letters.
There is Worldwide consensus that
  • A. Diacritics are not taught as part of the English language curricula in the countries where the English language is the official language.
and
  • B. That the standard modern English language alphabet consists of 26 letters.
Given this consensus, and the inability to provide proof to the contrary by anyone, the position will be proposed in the Wikipedia:Village pump for inclusion in the Wikipedia policy because it has become obvious that it will be misinterpreted and generally abused as a common sense guideline.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 22:42, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
All of that is highly irrelevant and I dispute this proposal -- there are many words which, by definition, *ONLY* exist in the diacritic-containing form; not using the diacritics doesn't make those words "more English", it just makes them *wrong*. —Nightstallion 08:54, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
All of which is highly irrelevant? (a rather sweeping statement)
I also know lots of words that only exist in diacritic form, mostly borrowed from other languages in the modern period of English development.
However, that is not the point of the discussion.
  • Do the vast majority of Wikipedia English speaking readers type using diacritics for the vast majority of their writing?
This is not a wrong/right case. I never advocated some words being more English then others. --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 09:26, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
It's not a question of whether they type it -- it's a question of whether they'll be able to read it, and as long as we're using the Latin alphabet (which we will be, no matter how many diacritics we use and keep using), they will be able to read Mladić just as well as Mladic -- with the only difference that Mladić is actually the correct name, while Mladic is wrong. —Nightstallion 12:58, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm all for the eradication of Diacritics from the English Wikipedia. Particularly those annoying 'squares' symbols (example: the Lubomir Visnovsky article). GoodDay (talk) 21:34, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Dear Nightstallion.
  • Are we editing in VocalWiki?
There is the Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia. "Spoken articles make Wikipedia content available to those who can understand English, but cannot read it." therefore "Incorrect pronunciation can mislead non-English-speaking users". Those who can read it, read what the others type!
  • Do most users use a vocal means of input to interface with Wikipedia? No.
  • Where does it say that the condition of using Wikipedia is dependent on the average English reader's ability to vocalise the read content? Some articles provide a vocalisation, but do they provide vocalisation of all content everywhere?
For the vast majority of all Wikipedias readers everywhere, the keyboard is still the primary means of input, and then screen is the primary means of receiving output for Wikipedia access. The human intellect has no limits, but my typing speed is not as good as that of others. Where is Data when one needs it(!)?
The simple truth is that most English readers start with the title of the article, and...find it looks "funny"!
The diacritics were invented for vocalisation enhancements to standardise the disparate dialects in specific global regions and countries. They may even have been intended (note to myself to cite!) for foreigners to use the language correctly so they can be understood during interactions. They were not adopted by the "ignorant" [[Category:English inventors]] "dummies" in England, which was their free choice! Even the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish coped with it.
  • However, where the interaction is not vocalised, diacritics serve no purpose!
Moreover, where the interaction is not intended to be between users of language other then English, the intended language of English Wikipedia use, why would one expect the readers to learn how to vocalise in a language they are not expected to use?
I hope you have really good answers. (You may send it in type)
PS. Bondi, Syndey, Australia is arguably the most miltilingual place in Australia. In one survey several years ago 163 languages were found to be spoken by visitors during one summer season. We, the locals talk to them all ;O)--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:34, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
It's not simply a question of whether the content is spoken or not. The letters with diacritics are considered to be different graphemes, and therefore dropping the diacritics effectively results in an incorrect word. That's all there is to it, and as far as I'm concerned, correctness is at least as important as the principle of least astonishment. —Nightstallion 08:34, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't disagree with you that the accents are necessary to correctly pronounce the word. However, I have no wish to repeat myself. And this is besides the assertion by Stephan that letters with accents were somehow a part of the English alphabet. Most are (recent) additions to their own language alphabets, and not all are ordered as part of the basic alphabet either.
Accents simply have no function in an online encyclopaedia unless it is used to learn a language. One is not going to get a better appreciation of Polish because they can say Warsaw more correctly. Nor will it help them if they are trying to organise a trip there.

No English speaker can learn any language from Wikipedia article titles!

Arguing that accents are essential, is unrealistic and counter-factual.
As to whether "dropping the diacritics effectively results in an incorrect word", this is not true. In most cases correct English words do exist even if they are incorrect in the "mother tongue". For example Russian words will never be correct in English. Why would any other language be different, or should be differently treated? Are you saying that Latin-alphabet languages have some sort of "superiority" in how they are treated in Wikipedia because they happen to share the basic alphabet with English?
What do you think the rationale for this statement is "Article titles should use the Latin alphabet, not any other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters."?--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 09:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
That's quite simple: Names of things in other languages using the Latin alphabet can be written in their most correct form, i.e. including diacritics, easily, as no English speaker will have problems to read the correct version of the name including diacritics, whereas the names of things from languages not using the Latin alphabet are best presented using the most accepted standard of transliteration into the Latin alphabet. That's the rationale for the statement -- there's not much sense in discussing this once every four months, but it seems to be necessary to do so for some people... ;)Nightstallion 14:00, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

As an English speaking layman of English Wikipedia? I feel diacritics have been forced on us. It's pure arrogance on the part of the pro-Diacritic editors IMHO, if they want diacritics in articles, let them edit at Swedish Wikipedia, Finnish Wikipedia, Czech Wikipedia etc. GoodDay (talk) 14:30, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I fully agree on this. We are editing the English Wikipedia, and English only has 26 letters. If editors what to give the native language spelling of articles as additional information that is fine but teh article name itself should only use the English alphabet. It is long past time to make this an official policy. --StuffOfInterest (talk) 14:56, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I propose limiting the 'diacritics' to the 'opening line' in an article. GoodDay (talk) 15:20, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I beg to differ, and as the last poll has shown (and yes, I know polls are evil and not the best way to decide things on Wikipedia), more than half of Wikipedians (who knew about the discussion etc.) also seem to. —Nightstallion 10:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
No poll can ever be used to resolve this because it would by default require participation of the user base, or the readers of Wikipadia for who's use it is designed, produced and exists. --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 23:58, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Groix

I have amended this exmaple of English using the local word to Paris (Berlin would also work) because we should use familiar examples where possible, and I see no reason to invite the argument whether Breton is the local language.

Similarly, I agree to replacing Tenedos with Mount Everest. We do in fact use Tenedos, but it will be less recognizable. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:06, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree that Paris is better than Grois and that Mount Everest is better than Tenedos. I'm not sure about Meissen, though. Haukur (talk) 23:01, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Exonyms and endonyms / Language and orthography

I am a newcomer to this discussion, and I do not have particularly strong feelings about the subject, but I feel that some people are getting a bit dense here. Would you like a cup of tea? Since the discussion is turning round in circles, I might as well advance two concepts which the discussants might find useful:

  • Exonym and endonym: How about making use of these concepts? For instance Cologne is the English exonym for the city of Köln. Exonyms are frequently found for towns and other entities of a certain relevance, for instance Cologne. The town of Bad Sülze on the other hand has not been very relevant for the English-speaking world, there are only three lines about it in Wikipedia. I would claim that there is no English exonym for that place, and all English speakers ever wanting to refer to that place would use the German endonym. What about a proposal: Use english exonyms where they exist, otherwise use the local endonym(s)? For non-Roman alphabets, a transliteration has to be given of course.
    • How does this differ from Use what English normally uses? When Bad Sülze is discussed in English, it is called that (even if I can only find once). That avoids use of learned words; it also avoids the question of whether English Paris is an exonym, as the pronunciation shows. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
      • I agree with you that it amounts to very much the same, a reformulation if you wish. The difference is that the term use is clarified to refer to lexicon, not to graphemes.Jasy jatere (talk) 19:48, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
  • May I draw your attention to the difference between language and orthography? One should clarify whether UE applies to a) English as a linguistic system of relating sound to meaning, or to b) English as a means to graphically represent words of any language, or c) to both. The question whether the English alphabet has 26 letters is only relevant to b). Since there are more languages than English in the world, which are sometimes not easy to render with 26 letters, I would be curious to hear good arguments for application of UE to b).
    • See Talk:Meissen. Many English speakers find Meißen unreadable; most find it surprising, which is a bad thing. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
      • OK, point taken for ß (which is not a diacritic). What about éẽêẽ etc? I cannot see unsurmountable problems here. Jasy jatere (talk) 19:48, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
          • It depends. Consider Stanislaw Ulam. In Polish, the l in the first name is crossed; in English (including his autobiography) it is not. Crossing it is pretension. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:33, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

As I understand UE, it should assure that users who know English find it easy to understand the content of a page. Hence I propose to use English exonyms wherever possible, and otherwise use endonyms. This applies to places like Cologne, but also to people like Friedrich der Große or Pāṇini. And let me close by expressing my faith in all British, American, South African and other school children to get the pronunciation of Pāṇini just right the first time they try more often than if they tried Worcester. Jasy jatere (talk) 18:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Actually, many of them come to school, especially in Worcestershire and Massachusetts, perfectly able to pronounce Worcester correctly. The second consonant of Pāṇini will be unknown to all of them, British, American, and South African alike. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Of course their pronunciation of Pāṇini will not be perfect, that was the point of that example. But the two diacritics will not cause difficulties in getting a good approximation, certainly when compared to Worcester. Jasy jatere (talk) 19:48, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Diacritics don't hurt per Jasy's argumentation. —Nightstallion 21:00, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
But they should be avoided when unused, as we avoid naïve or rôle (see WP:MOS). The objection to, say, İstanbul is that it's bad writing. By the same token, we should use Beneš or Göttingen. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:27, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
ACK. "Istanbul" is BTW the English exonym for "İstanbul". Things are different for İncirlik, which only has an endonym. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jasy jatere (talkcontribs) 16:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Precisely. That's why using it is bad writing, just like the Victorian travel book style skewered by Twain and Fowler: "I went down the Strasse to the Bahnhof, and left München under a dark and stormy night" contains three instances of the same pretension; the writer thinks he is showing off his profound knowledge of German, the reader is bored or confused. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:12, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
And that's where we disagree. —Nightstallion 22:46, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Diacritics have got to go & here's an example why - see this article Lubomir Visnovsky. -- GoodDay (talk) 22:52, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
That's computer-dependent; it registers just fine on my computer. But little square boxes, even only for some readers, is a real cost, which Jasy does not include. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:24, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
None of the diacritics in his name should display boxes if your browser is set up properly. Jasy jatere (talk) 18:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
What's a browser? GoodDay (talk) 20:37, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Ľubomír Višňovský

That guy certainly has a lot of diacritics. Still I fail to see the problem. English people will disregard them and pronounce "loobomir visnovsky".

Since when do we have a policy of Assuming Stupidity from the part of our readers? What stops an English-speaking person from learning to read Slovakian diacritics? If you argue that most English-speaking people are ignorant, we shouldn't have articles on quantum mechanics and other physics articles. bogdan (talk) 10:41, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

If you want to edit the article, you can use copy and paste, in the rare case that you want to create an article on an entity with lots of diacritics, there is a whole list of them just underneath the editing window. I mean this list:

Symbols: ~ | ¡ ¿ † ‡ ↔ ↑ ↓ • ¶ # ¹ ² ³ ½ ⅓ ⅔ ¼ ¾ ⅛ ⅜ ⅝ ⅞ ∞ ‘ “ ’ ” «» ¤ ₳ ฿ ₵ ¢ ₡ ₢ $ ₫ ₯ € ₠ ₣ ƒ ₴ ₭ ₤ ℳ ₥ ₦ № ₧ ₰ £ ៛ ₨ ₪ ৳ ₮ ₩ ¥ ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ Characters: Á á Ć ć É é Í í Ĺ ĺ Ń ń Ó ó Ŕ ŕ Ś ś Ú ú Ý ý Ź ź À à È è Ì ì Ò ò Ù ù  â Ĉ ĉ Ê ê Ĝ ĝ Ĥ ĥ Î î Ĵ ĵ Ô ô Ŝ ŝ Û û Ŵ ŵ Ŷ ŷ Ä ä Ë ë Ï ï Ö ö Ü ü Ÿ ÿ ß Ã ã Ẽ ẽ Ĩ ĩ Ñ ñ Õ õ Ũ ũ Ỹ ỹ Ç ç Ģ ģ Ķ ķ Ļ ļ Ņ ņ Ŗ ŗ Ş ş Ţ ţ Đ đ Ů ů Ǎ ǎ Č č Ď ď Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ľ ľ Ň ň Ǒ ǒ Ř ř Š š Ť ť Ǔ ǔ Ž ž Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū Ȳ ȳ Ǣ ǣ ǖ ǘ ǚ ǜ Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ğ ğ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ Ċ ċ Ė ė Ġ ġ İ ı Ż ż Ą ą Ę ę Į į Ǫ ǫ Ų ų Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṃ ṃ Ṇ ṇ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ Ł ł Ő ő Ű ű Ŀ ŀ Ħ ħ Ð ð Þ þ Œ œ Æ æ Ø ø Å å Ə ə • Greek: Ά ά Έ έ Ή ή Ί ί Ό ό Ύ ύ Ώ ώ Α α Β β Γ γ Δ δ Ε ε Ζ ζ Η η Θ θ Ι ι Κ κ Λ λ Μ μ Ν ν Ξ ξ Ο ο Π π Ρ ρ Σ σ ς Τ τ Υ υ Φ φ Χ χ Ψ ψ Ω ω • [] error: {{lang}}: no text (help) • (polytonic list) Cyrillic: А а Б б В в Г г Ґ ґ Ѓ ѓ Д д Ђ ђ Е е Ё ё Є є Ж ж З з Ѕ ѕ И и І і Ї ї Й й Ј ј К к Ќ ќ Л л Љ љ М м Н н Њ њ О о П п Р р С с Т т Ћ ћ У у Ў ў Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Џ џ Ш ш Щ щ Ъ ъ Ы ы Ь ь Э э Ю ю Я я IPA: t̪ d̪ ʈ ɖ ɟ ɡ ɢ ʡ ʔ ɸ ʃ ʒ ɕ ʑ ʂ ʐ ʝ ɣ ʁ ʕ ʜ ʢ ɦ ɱ ɳ ɲ ŋ ɴ ʋ ɹ ɻ ɰ ʙ ʀ ɾ ɽ ɫ ɬ ɮ ɺ ɭ ʎ ʟ ɥ ʍ ɧ ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ ʛ ʘ ǀ ǃ ǂ ǁ ɨ ʉ ɯ ɪ ʏ ʊ ɘ ɵ ɤ ə ɚ ɛ ɜ ɝ ɞ ʌ ɔ ɐ ɶ ɑ ɒ ʰ ʷ ʲ ˠ ˤ ⁿ ˡ ˈ ˌ ː ˑ ̪ •


Could someone please explain in more detail what the problems with Ľubomír Višňovský are with regard to

  • reading
It's an eye sore, I personally can't read 'squares' GoodDay (talk) 18:43, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
There isn't a single "square" on Ľubomír Višňovský when I view it. The problem is with your browser, not with Wikipedia. Elrith (talk) 01:55, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
  • editing
It's inconventient & annoying, as it calls for extra typing. GoodDay (talk) 18:43, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
You can freely type Lubomir Visnovsky, if you're incapable of copy-pasting Ľubomír Višňovský. Other editors will fill the diacritics in. Elrith (talk) 01:55, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
  • creating
All of the above. GoodDay (talk) 18:43, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Irrelevant. Other users will move Lubomis Visnovsky to Ľubomír Višňovský. Elrith (talk) 01:55, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
  • (moved from above)
Since when do we have a policy of Assuming Stupidity from the part of our readers? bogdan (talk) 10:41, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
We have a policy that understands the users are on average, "average".
Where is the policy that forces us to remove all content that an "average" reader will not understand? Are you lobbying to have all articles on quantum physics removed? Elrith (talk) 01:55, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
What stops an English-speaking person from learning to read Slovakian diacritics?bogdan (talk) 10:41, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, you see the problem is that Slovakian starts with S, and its way down the list of all the other languages they must learn according to you to read English language articles.
If you argue that most English-speaking people are ignorant, we shouldn't have articles on quantum mechanics and other physics articles. bogdan (talk) 10:41, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus argued that "most English-speaking people are ignorant".
Don't you mean "qúäňtǜṃ mechánics and other physics articles"? We are not questioning the Wikipedia reader's intelligence, only the degree to which Wikipedia can force then to read unfamiliar characters. There is no conclusive proof that knowledge of other languages develops the cognitive abilities required for mastery of complex problem solving.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 11:31, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Maybe there is already a good solution for those problems on wp, and the whole discussion is moot. (Still the solution could maybe feature more prominently). Jasy jatere (talk) 16:38, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

A compromise on Ice Hockey articles was reached months ago (I was a part of it). North American hockey articles 'leave out' diacritics while Non-North American hockey articles 'leave them in' (see Wikipedia: WikiProject Ice Hockey's guidelines. I've no clue if such a compromise would work across all of Wikipedia. GoodDay (talk) 16:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
It's a good sign that compromises can be reached. Could you maybe just cite some of the major problems people experienced when reading, editing or creating pages containing diacritics? It would be handy to have a list of all those things together. Just put them at the appropriate place in the bulleted list above. Thanks Jasy jatere (talk) 18:14, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually the compromise was the NHL articles not have them, not North American ones. And the only reason that was reached was that the NHL itself does not recognize them and does not put them on jersey's or in their publications. -Djsasso (talk) 17:31, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
The compromise was no diacritics on North American hockey related articles (except biographies). But, it doesn't matter anymore. GoodDay (talk) 18:07, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I believe as well, that Ownership is the core of these Diacritics disputes. Both sides feel that each other has Ownership issues with English Wikipedia. GoodDay (talk) 18:48, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
The reason the compromise is simply ridiculous is that it leads to players having their name spelled with the diacritics on some encyclopedia pages, and without them on some. Christian Bäckman is occasionally Christian Bäckman and occasionally Christian Backman. This is deeply unsatisfactory. Elrith (talk) 01:57, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually that I found this an interesting issue due to citing sources. Philip brought this issue up with respect to football players. The reference source for this is the player's shirt! The authority on how the spelling is used, is the club, and the League governing body for the sport. However, mostly the names on the shirts are used so the umpires/referees can read them since, by and large, spectators can't see the names in games like football though may be different with hockey smaller arenas. I tried doing a search for shirts, and found it hard to find back-of the shits images for football players in English clubs. Does any hockey League use non-English spelling on shirts?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 21:31, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
English Hockey Leagues in North America don't use non-English spelling on their sweaters. GoodDay (talk) 18:30, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
All major European ice hockey leagues, on the other hand, do. Elrith (talk) 01:55, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Angleterre

The French Wikipedia has Angleterre for England. Ignorant bloody foreigners, why can't they just call it England? TharkunColl (talk) 22:58, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

As long as Angleterre isn't used at English Wikipedia, it's OK. GoodDay (talk) 23:10, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
And some of the arguments on this page and elsewhere would indeed require fr:London; I think they do right to use Londres. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:49, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

alphabets and scripts

(moved from personal talk page with permission)

Hi Mrg3105,
regarding the use of English and Latin alphabets, there is some confusion going on. An alphabet is defined by the character set (glyphs. graphemes) it uses. Which language is written in this alphabet is not important. For instance, Kazakh can be written with the Latin, Cyrllic or Arabic alphabet. For these purposes, one can also call an alphabet a script or a writing system. The main scripts in use today in the world are the Latin alphabet, the [[Cyrillic alphabet[[, Devanagari, Chinese script etc.

Another use of "alphabet" is the choice of a subset of symbols of a writing system a particular language makes. The English alphabet in this sense for instance uses the Latin (or Roman) script, and uses the familiar letters a-z. The Italian alphabet in this sense also uses the Latin script, but has no k or w. German uses a-z, but also has ä, ö, ü and ß. These are letters not known to Latin, still German uses Latin script (and not Arabic, or Cyrillic, or Chinese). There is no such thing as an Italian script or an English script. You can get an overview of what are commonly considered members of the Latin script at Latin_characters_in_Unicode. Note that there is no English characters in Unicode.

To get to transliteration, transliteration means the rendering of text written in one script in another script. You can transliterate from Devanagari to Roman, from Japanese to Cyrillic, from Cree to Chinese, you get the picture. Note that the process of transliteration involves scripts, not the language particular alphabets.

You asked If Latin and English transliterations are the same, does it not make more sense to refer to English transliterations in an English Wikipedia and to Latin transliterations in the Latin Wikipedia?

It is not possible to transliterate anything into "English alphabet", because English has no alphabet in the first sense, i.e. a script. The script English uses is the Roman script, so transliterating to the script that English uses is the same as transliterating to the script that Latin uses. This script is commonly refered to as Latin script or Roman script, not as English script. So also the English wp should only use "transliteration into Latin script". I have to correct my edit summary to the extent that "English transliteration" is simply impossible, hence I shouldn't have stated that amounted to the same as Latin transliteration. If you want to know more about this, feel free to ask. There is also Wikipedia:WikiProject_Writing_systems, where you will find more information on this or get a second opinion Jasy jatere (talk) 16:24, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

“Which language is written in this alphabet is not important.” It is important to the reader.
Alphabet is not same as a script. Most English speakers understand a script to be a script (typeface). In this sense German had used many different scripts throughout its history that were very different to the modern (or old) English standard alphabet as taught in English language educations systems. “Unicode” is a relatively new IT-specific development which is not commonly taught to English speakers.
The “process of transliteration involves scripts, not the language particular alphabets.” This can only be said if you understand the meaning of script as a “writing system” which have changed throughout the history of different societies. Some are still changing.
If you look up the article writing system you will see that “some physical means of distinctly representing the symbols by application to a permanent or semi-permanent medium, so they may be interpreted (usually visually, but tactile systems have also been devised for the visually impaired)” is required. This needs to be edited because the keyboard, which is a physical means of input for representing symbols, represents a transitory medium either in the sense of screen output or the storage media used in the computer system. The standard modern English keyboard (UK or US) defines how the text is input, and interpreted. The physical means of the keyboard limits the script for the English user to the modern standard English alphabet.
Given this recent limitation, the English usage developed over centuries to transliterate (if imperfectly for vocalisation) other languages, often only from vocal sample due to lack of (standard) written systems in some societies.
Given that many written systems and the alphabets they use are still developing, if only due to political and social changes that influence them, it is impractical to impose non-English writing systems on the English speakers.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 21:48, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
[You may move this discussion elsewhere if you want].
There are different things which need to be distinguished: Writing system (eg Roman), language particular alphabet (English alphabet), grapheme-phoneme-correspondences, character encoding (ISO-8859-1, Unicode), font (Times New Roman, Sil Doulous IPA). German has used different writing systems (Roman and Sütterlin), basically the same alphabets in both writing systems, and of course as many fonts as you wish (I suppose you refer to Fraktur when you say that German used different scripts, but I may be wrong here).
Yet another thing is your keyboard layout. The standard US qwerty keyboard is useful for some characters, less so for others.
The physical means of the keyboard limits the script for the English user to the modern standard English alphabet. This is not true. I use the keyboard layout us_intl on a qwerty keyboard and I can do all kinds of things with it e.g. öïÝỹĉ just to put down a few. Furthermore, you can use KeyMan or scim to input other scripts with a qwerty keyboard (been there, done that), but most users never have to do so and so normally are not aware of that
You can actually also input English text with a German qwertz keyboard or a French azerty. Or you can input German with azerty, or French with qwertz, or French with qwerty.
Given that English uses the Roman writing system, and Slovak or Polish do as well, in those cases no one is imposing foreign writing systems upon the English speakers, just some foreign symbols. The case would be different if the names of Sumo wrestlers would only be given in Japanese script(s), and I agree with you that one should not impose such foreign writing systems on speakers of English. Jasy jatere (talk) 22:50, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
You can see that I have a low tolerance of people who insist on not To call a spade a spade.
  • How does modern standard English alphabet= us_intl? A standard keyboard either has 26 letters on it, or it does not. Since neither my keyboard, nor that of hundreds of millions of others has öïÝỹĉ, it is patently true that The physical means of the keyboard limits the script for the English user to the modern standard English alphabet. I can even be literal in this case! Patent: 207,559 (US) issued August 27, 1878 ;O)
English Wikipedia (the first Wikipedia) was designed for the average English reader. It is not a prerequisite of official Wikipedia Foundation Inc. policy to use any keyboard layout other then the standard US or UK keyboard. Until this is made an explicit Wikipedia policy, this remains a personal preference of the users, in this case yourself. Use of foreign symbols in English language content imposes the requirement on the reader to read it without any prior training provided by the standard education system in any English speaking country. English is not the official language of either Slovakia or Poland. It is impossible for an English typist, or a typist in any other language, using 56 possible different keyboard layouts. Hence the 256 language-specific Wikipedias.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 23:36, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Have you read alphabet and keyboard layout? Furthermore, your physical keyboard is different from key mappings. I can assure you that your keyboard is perfectly capable of producing öïÝỹĉ by just hitting two keys, just like any other English or American keyboard. If you want to, I can explain how to accomplish that feat. Furthermore, us_intl is one of the standard variants of the US keyboard layout, not some weird kind of hacker stuff.
As far as I can see, Wikipedia policy does not say anything about keyboard layouts users can/should/must use. Could you point out which policy you are refering to? For the time being, just use the one which suits your needs best.
I furthermore trust in you, given your general expressive and editing ability, that you have no big problems reading the word René Descartes as compared to Rene Descartes, even without having followed a thorough training course on the three French accents ´`^. As a side note, which you may wish too ignore, use of bold face does not contribute to the strength of your argument Jasy jatere (talk) 00:38, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Have you read Alt codes? "For heavy usage that justifies relearning key positions, a new keyboard layout is recommended." Editing in Wikipedia qualifies for "heavy usage" for most non-professional typists.
If you are feeling so generous with your time, maybe you should offer Wikipedia Foundation Inc. to instruct every new Wikipedia user on how their "physical keyboard is different from key mappings"?
By the way flattery will get you nowhere. Wikipedia was not created for my own personal use, so I'm not sure why you keep referring to me only. English Wikipedia is for everyone who speaks no other language then English (I'm excluded)! (See above - Are all English speakers ignorant? discussion)
I can't point you to a policy because "Wikipedia policy does not say anything about keyboard layouts users can/should/must use." Absence of this policy suggests that such a policy was not seen as necessary. Therefore, no other keyboard layout other then the standard is required. The US-international keyboard is only standard in the Netherlands and Brazil, neither of which are English speaking nations.
Why would I have to perform mental acrobatics every time I encounter an article with a non-English spelling? How does a change from e to é contribute to a better appreciation of the ideas of this philosopher by an English speaker? Does one have to be a linguist to be a philosopher? Does one have to be a linguist to use Wikipedia?
I found bold face useful in earlier discussions where I wanted to stress the focus of the arguments and facts being presented as one would when speaking. It is not intended as an intimidation, and is often encountered in English speech as a from of intonation that can not be illustrated with accents, but only with musical notation. --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 01:42, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

This point of mrg's, to me, is the central point that is lost on many of our friends whose first language is not native (and on some of our native English speakers with great expertise in foreign languages): How does a change from e to é contribute to a better appreciation of the ideas of this philosopher by an English speaker? Wikipedia is about learning about new ideas, not about learning a new language. My 2¢. Unschool (talk) 02:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

The question actually works the other way round as well How does a change from é to e contribute to a better appreciation of the ideas of this philosopher by an English speaker?. I would say both are pretty much neutral and do not have a big influence on the presentation of that gentleman's ideas.
What about Charlotte Brontë?
For a different case, consider the cities of Fürth and Furth. One has about 100,000 inhabitants, the other one 9,000. That diacritic surely contributes to the appreciation of the two cities by a speaker of English.Jasy jatere (talk) 08:31, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
That's an interesting point, and I wouldn't automatically reject the use of Fürth. But it's really beside the point, isn't it? After all, we oftentimes have to deal with people or cities that share the same name, and we need to find a way to distinguish them. So sure, the diacritical marking here helps to distinguish Fürth from Furth. But which Furth were you referring to? Are there not several? Are we consigned to assign some markings to each of them to make them distinct? Of course not. We'll distinguish them from one another, however we need to do it. And if a diacritical marking makes a particular distinction easier, I might be inclined to use it—but only if it already enjoyed common usage in English, which is what WP:UE is all about. Unschool (talk) 07:49, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Jasy jatere, where did you get your definition of alphabet from? You did not get it from the OED which says "1. a. The set of letters used in writing the Greek language; extended to those used by the Romans; and thence to any set of characters representing the simple sounds used in a language or in speech generally."

"The English alphabet in this sense for instance uses the Latin (or Roman) script, and uses the familiar letters a-z." You are using a circular argument, by arguing that letters invented for use in English are part of the Latin Alphabet, yet the W does not exist in the Classic Latin Alphabet. So one can just as easily argue that that what you are calling the Latin Alphabet is a construction for use in the computer industry and is an amalgamation of all those distinct alphabets originally derived from the Classic Latin Alphabet. Indeed one can argue that as the basic character set (ASCII) only contains English letters to call it the basic Latin alphabet when it consists of more than just the classical Latin letters needed for write English, shows a form of English language imperialism.

Jasy jatere you say "Note that there is no English characters in Unicode." Yet the English alphabet consists of 26 letters and to argue that all the characters in the Unicode are Latin is in my opinion not possible, for example ASCII (Basic unicode character set) consists of the 26 letters of the English alphabet and the rest -- over a hundred -- that are not in any alphabet, yet you are using unicode to define the Latin alphabet!

OED: 1.a Something written; a piece of writing., 2. a. Handwriting, the characters used in hand-writing (as distinguished from print). b. Typogr. (In full script type.) A kind of type devised to imitate the appearance of handwriting. d. A style of handwriting resembling typography, both in the shape of the characters and in their not being joined together. In full script-writing; cf. print-script s.v. PRINT n. 16a. (Freq. used in the teaching of young children.) 3. A kind of writing, a system of alphabetical or other written characters. There are other but they are more specialised so where did you get your definition from? There is nothing to say that a script in English uses anything but the 26 letters of the English alphabet. If it uses a different characters then most would not say that it was written in English. I think one could probably argue that if a word is used that is not in the OED then it is not an English word unless it is a proper noun and this is where all the debate about this issue on Wilkipeda seems to rest.

With this statement "The standard modern English keyboard (UK or US) defines how the text is input, and interpreted." I think you (mrg3105) have put the cart before the horse. The standard modern English keyboard (UK or US) is a reflection of the requirements needed to write English not what defines English. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:50, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Through the context of the discussion I would have though it was apparent that the standard modern English keyboard (UK or US) is how the text is input, and interpreted by the Wikipedia user. Its a tool that restricts what can be done with it. Cheers--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 10:09, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
That I can absolutely not agree with. There are countless ways to input even the most obscure characters, no matter what your physical keyboard mapping is. —Nightstallion 10:16, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
And you also have absolute proof that these "countless ways" are commonly used by the absolute majority of the average English-speaking Wikipedia user (reader/editor)?

PS. Lets hope you can count more then (Elizabeth Barrett Browning). PS. Her article has been really screwed up IMHO --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 10:30, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I thought you claimed that Wikipedia should be optimised for readers, not for editors and specialists -- so why does it matter whether the majority of readers have experience in inputting these characters? Apart from that, I highly doubt you'll be able to find absolute proof that an absolute majority of the average English-speaking users can't input these characters... And again, it's of no matter whether readers regularly input them, as we've got redirects from the wrong, diacritic-less names to the correct names for precisely this reason. —Nightstallion 13:15, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, to read something in Wikipedia one has to find it first. However, it is the intention of Wikipedia that every reader should maybe find the inclination to at some stage become an editor, even if a transitory one. Many hands make light work.
Yes, there are redirects, but the accent-less titles are by and large not wrong in English. They are only right in other languages. That is my point. You can not get something wrong in English using its standard modern alphabet because it has no accents as such. You, and others keep saying the entries are wrong, but they are not in English. In fact the redirects should be from the accented entries (to help non-English English Wikipedia users) to the English title. It should work in reverse in other language Wikipedias, and guess what, sometimes it does, in the pl-Wikipedia for Warsaw I get "angielska nazwa Warszawy", and sometimes it doesn't, for Lodz I do not get a Łódź! And yet we have a Łódź in the English Wikipedia!!! How weird is that?! And I guarantee that 9 out of 10 English speakers on the Planet will still say Lodz. What has been achieved? I see it as just a way to force English speakers to learn to read every language that uses accents, but in a very rote way.
By your way of thinking all non-Latin alphabet based languages are always wrong when transliterated into English. What you and others don't seem to understand is that non-use of accents is the way non-English words have been transliterated into English for hundreds of years. The only difference between Polish and Thai is that there is a greater likeness in the final form. However, make no mistake, the process is the same.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 14:36, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I disagree on a number of points. First of all, there is no "transliteration into English". Transliteration takes place between scripts, not between languages, and English is no script. Apart from that I disagree with your interpretation -- simply dropping accents does not instantly produce an exonym! —Nightstallion 17:14, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
The OED says transliteration is "The action or process of transliterating; the rendering of the letters or characters of one alphabet in those of another", it does not say that it is a process between scripts (and how are you defining a script because it does not seem to be the OED meanings I listed above?) So given the OED definition why can't there be transliteration into the English Alphabet? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 17:29, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Nightstallion is right. This is a non-issue, born of people being unaware of the difference between romanisation and anglicization. Thus, IAST for example is a transliteration scheme in the Latin alphabet, not some "English alphabet". Especially mrg3105 should read the articles I have just linked attentively before continuing to muddy the issue here. dab (𒁳) 17:24, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Dbachmann, would you mind being more specific on which of the three articles you linked I should read attentively? It seesm to me that sending me to read three articles is a great deal more "muddying" then making an "in point of fact" clear statement. However, moving right along...--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 23:48, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
"not some 'English alphabet'" are you implying that there is more than one English Alphabet? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 21:06, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
No, he's claiming that the use of the term "English alphabet" is nonsensical from a linguistic point of view, if I understand him correctly. Which I agree with. —Nightstallion 23:31, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Not quite nonsense; English is written in an alphabet which uses w and distinguishes i from j, u from v. The Romans did not; so the term does have a meaning, even if one rarely used. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:59, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
over 1000 books for English-Alphabet in Google Books and just under 7,000 entries in Google scholar. In comparison the phrase Latin-Alphabet returns about the same number of books in Google Books search and a Google Scholar search about 7,700. This I think shows that English Alphabet is more than "rarely used". --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 11:21, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for amendment

This is not an invitation to a poll.

Dbachmann, and everyone else who participated in this discussion so far. With all due respect, the series of arguments offered are based on exceptions to the "rule". I have been told that I'm wrong, but many arguments given do not "ring true". I have reviewed the arguments going back years (including one from Jimbo), and they have gone around in circles also. I'm going to present a few final points. Unless someone can convince me that I am fundamentally wrong in these points, I am going to re-word the first paragraph (re-wording proposal below), and would expect that the rest will do the right thing, and not undo the edit.
Here goes:

(please do not add to the points which are to serve as reference for further comments below them) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrg3105 (talkcontribs) 13:58, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

  • 2.Because it is not qualified, it can only refer to the alphabet of the Ancient Rome. (fact)
  • 3.However, the use of Latin alphabet has been applied by some editors to be arbitrarily inclusive of all Latin-based alphabets. (agreed?)
  • 4.The standard Latin alphabet has 23 letters. This made it impossible to use in English writing since the Middle Ages. (fact)
  • 5.Latin alphabet being referred to here is therefore the ISO basic Latin alphabet. (fact)
  • 6.That the Latin alphabet in the guideline is in fact the ISO basic Latin alphabet, has been left unsaid by the Naming convention (use English) guideline (agreed?)
  • 7.If ISO basic Latin alphabet was clearly stated, editors may find out that it is derived from the English alphabet standard known as the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, better known as ASCII (agreed?)
  • 8.ASCII is part of the Standard English curricula teaching of computer subjects from early age in all English-speaking countries. (fact?)
  • 9.ASCII is the standard used in Wikipedia design, which is why it was an obvious and therefore unstated choice, because it assumed good faith and common sense. (agreed?)
  • 10.There is no difference between the English alphabet (26 letters; no accents) and the ISO basic Latin alphabet (26 letters; no accents). (fact)
  • 11.A greater range of language vocalisation can be represented in the English language using its alphabet (26 letters; no accents) than the archaic Latin alphabet (23 letters). (fact)
  • 12.My suggestion to replace the archaic Latin alphabet with the more recent 1960s English alphabet for article titles was based on the idea that the guideline should reflect the standards under which Wikipedia is designed, the standards in which the users are taught to read, write, and type. (affirmation)
  • 13.Changing the paragraph to include all Latin-based alphabets as is the practice now will impose the need by all Wikipedia users to learn how to recognise, type, read and probably pronounce all non-English scripts. (agreed?)
  • 14.Adding accents to article titles does not add to the value of the information contained in the articles as a whole. (fact)
  • 15.Adding accents to article titles is not the correct way to introduce an English speaker to learn another language even if the reader is encouraged to do so (fact)
  • 16.The existing Wikipedia policy in Wikipedia:Naming conventions on the English Wikipedia is that “The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.” (fact)
  • 17.If the practice of editing article titles includes all Latin-based alphabets as is the practice now, it will be optimized for editors, and those with specialist knowledge of languages other then English. (fact)
  • 18.The above will reverse the existing Wikipedia policy, and will contradict not only the intention from creation of English Wikipedia of providing accessibility to all native English readers, but also contravene the spirit in which English Wikipedia is offered to the wider user base as a free and open source of knowledge.

I therefore propose the following wording for the relevant areas under discussion

"English Wikipedia convention is that article titles should use the modern standard 26 letter English alphabet where no existing commonly used English equivalent is available. No other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters can be used.

The rationale for this is that "as-a-native" vocalisation by using accents in the article title is not required by the average English speaking reader as a Wikipedia policy or convention precondition of use, and avoids possibility of claims of discrimination based on specialised language knowledge.

Any non-English alphabet native name should be given within the first line of the article (with an English alphabet transliteration if the English name does not correspond to a transliteration of the native name). Currently accepted Wikipedia standard should be used for the transliteration. To avoid name disputes, all versions of the names applied to the subject of the article should be given in the article, including the periods and contexts within which they applied, and if verifiable English sources can be provided.

A non-English alphabet redirect could be created to link to the actual English alphabet titled article."

Thank you for your patience--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 10:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

(Please refer to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines when replying)--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I fundamentally disagree. But if you want to make a proposal outlawing diacritics from article titles then it would help if you would just spell it out. The rationale for this is that "as-a-native" vocalisation by using accents in the article title is not required by the average English speaking reader as a Wikipedia policy or convention precondition of use, and avoids possibility of claims of discrimination based on specialised language knowledge. What does this even mean? What does vocalization have to do with anything? Haukur (talk) 10:57, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Haukurth, please. Do not insult me by just stating "I fundamentally disagree". It is difficult to continue a discussion with such fundamental non-specific views. I dare say anything "fundamental" is not encouraged in Wiki.
I am not trying to "outlaw" accents. There are English common names which do commonly use accents in English. There are always exceptions to the rule in English as I'm sure most will agree. The two exceptions in English use of archaic accents are the i and the j
Don't get so easily insulted, I'll formulate differently: I disagree with the part of your proposal and argument that I understand. I get that you don't want to disallow j from article titles but that doesn't move me forward a lot. What practical consequences do you intend your proposal to have? Haukur (talk) 12:07, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
"I disagree with the part of your proposal and argument that I understand" - which is?
Practical consequences are that article titles which have English equivalents would be renamed accordingly to introduce consistency into article titles (I know some editors don't believe in consistency). Article titles that do not have sourced English equivalents would be spelled out using the standard English alphabet. In both cases the First language term/word would be included in the introductory name section as I believe they are currently in any case. Unless someone designs a Bot to do this, it will take a bit of time to execute the change. --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 14:07, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I still don't get it. Does the "standard English alphabet" include é? Does it include á? Haukur (talk) 14:29, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Haukurth, the standard English alphabet dies not include é or á--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:17, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I think someone should start an article on English language anachronisms. ;O) --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 11:30, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Your argument that the diacritics and accents are useless for the readers because they don't know how to read them is flawed: you're assuming that all the English speakers are not only ignorant, but also stupid. People who are interested about a country/nation/language can learn how to pronounce them. bogdan (talk) 11:45, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I would firstly ask you to calm down, and review the points offered on which this proposal is based. Ability to read the article's title is not a prerequisite for accessing Wikipedia.
Also, please do not assume you know what I assume (I assume nothing). Assuming things has only negative connotations for both of use as the popular concept on the subject states.
None of my points are based on any assumptions about the intellectual abilities of the Wikipedia readership, or its editors; and how can they be?
People who are interested about a country, a nation or a language will find other means of learning then through article titles in Wikipedia.
I would suggest that a much better way to promote this learning is to prepare dedicated courses here [8].--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 12:17, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
What precisely are the benefits of this policy. It isn't clear. Furthermore you don't state if you are talking about accents, diacritics, or non-diacritic non-ASCII characters in the extended Latin alphabets. - Francis Tyers · 12:12, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
A this stage this is a proposed amendment to the guideline. I'm not sure which policy you refer to.
This proposal is not about accents, so I saw no reason to mention them. Its about the use of English alphabet in the English Wikipedia article titles.
Fransis, what is an "extended Latin alphabet"?--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 12:23, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
You mentioned accents over 5 times in your rundown above. The policy i'm talking about is your proposed amendment to the guideline, if it wasn't already clear. The extended Latin alphabets, including English can be found described here: Alphabets derived from the Latin. By the way, my name is spelt Francis, perhaps it might be worth learning the English alphabet before you start on the others? - Francis Tyers · 12:30, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no mention of accents in the proposal. Which specific point of the five would you like me to respond to?
Alphabets derived from the Latin are not "extended Latin alphabets. They are in fact national alphabets in their own right.
I apologise for mis-spelling your name. It was phonetically correct, so maybe it can be added to the list [9]--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 12:47, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
If you are struggling to type these Latin alphabet characters on your computer I would be willing to help you set it up correctly. - Francis Tyers · 12:32, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

***I will no longer respond to assumptions about myself or any other persons***--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 12:47, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Please reread what I said above about alphabets and writing systems, especially with regard to transliteration. I have not seen you comment on that yet.Jasy jatere (talk) 12:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
The wikipedia standard is not ASCII but unicode. Your proposal is equivalent to rolling back to 7-bit ASCII, which is about 1980s, I think.Jasy jatere (talk) 12:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Unicode 5.0, The BMP includes the following scripts Basic Latin (0000–007F) = ISO/IEC 646 = Keyboard_layout#US--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 13:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Unicode includes many more scripts than Basic LatinJasy jatere (talk) 14:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
While Basic Latin and ISO are equivalent, you cannot compare them to a keyboard layout. These are different things, just like you cannot compare a mile to a stopwatch.
Yes, Jasy jatere, but what you are asking is for every sprinter to be able to do far more then he or she is trained for, based on the argument that they wear same shoes on all occasions (true?)! --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I am not asking for anything, I am just correcting your mistaken belief that wp is based on ASCII. Jasy jatere (talk) 16:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I cannot believe that your cognitive abilities do not allow you to distinguish é from è. So there must be other problematic cases. Could you state them? Furthermore, it is no requirement to pronounce an article's name to access it. Try Szczecin, and you will find a lot of information in there, without the slightest clue how the city's name actually sounds.Jasy jatere (talk) 12:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

{{make_no_assumptions}}

Well, my assumption was that you could indeed distinguish é from è, and I can stop making that assumption if you so prefer. Still, it would be nice if you could cite some cases involving diacritics you find particularly problematic.

Bogdangiusca, why do you use the term ignorant? I doubt there is one in a one thousand monoglot English who would know the way to pronounce the majority accents given in the full Unicode Latin Alphabet -- most don't even know how to pronounce Southwark and of those that do the majority probably pronounce the "th" as an "f", however I bet far more know how to pronounce Southwark than know the differences between "z" "ź", "ż","ž" but this does not make them ignorant or in need of an education in accents. I think this is made clear by the Economist Style Guide] which only expects its educated readership to know some accents on French, German, Spanish and Portuguese "put the accents and cedillas on French names and words, umlauts on German ones, accents and tildes on Spanish ones, and accents, cedillas and tildes on Portuguese ones: Françoise de Panafieu, Wolfgang Schäuble, Federico Peña. Leave the accents off other foreign names. Any foreign word in italics should, however, be given its proper accents." But note the ESG does not sugges using ß or any other similar letter that does not appear in English.

I mentioned a possible compromise above but it got buried when the emphasis of the section was altered by adding a new heading "Are English speakers ignorant ?". I think the problem is emphasis, take for example Lech Wałęsa yes some English sources can be found that use "łę" but they are not common an I think using them in the article is like seeing an obvious spelling mistake (the primary reason for national varieties of English in the MOS), it distracts the mind from the information contained in the article. So I suggest a compromise based on the one for cognomens in Monarchical titles for cognomens:

Article titles should use the English alphabet unless a clear majority of English language verifiable reliable sources use names that include other letters in the Latin alphabet. Other writing systems, such as syllabaries or Chinese characters, should not be used. ...

--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 12:33, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with "clear majority". We should err on the side of the most correct, so being used in "a substantial part" of English sources should suffice to make using diacritics viable. —Nightstallion 12:40, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I just disagree with the reference to the Latin alphabet without further specifying which one since everyone seemingly has their own idea what that means --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 13:23, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with mrg, we should refer to Latin script, since this is the only thing which makes sense in that paragraph, given how it continues with syllabaries, transliterations and such. Jasy jatere (talk) 14:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
However, you disagree with use of the ISO standard usage?!--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:15, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes. If some entitiy had a name with a "q" with two dots above it and one below, that would still be Latin script. Not Greek, not Hebrew, simply Latin. Jasy jatere (talk) 16:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Because it is not qualified, it can only refer to the alphabet of the Ancient Rome. (fact)
please reread my comments above about alphabets and scripts. The current paragraph should be more precise and refer to "script" instead of "alphabet"Jasy jatere (talk) 12:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
If you have a point to make, make it.
It does surely not refer to ancient Rome, and you know that no wikipedian would ever have had the idea to prescribe the 23 letters of Latin. To quote from Latin alphabet: In modern usage, the term "Latin alphabet" is used for any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin. These variants may discard some letters (like the Rotokas alphabet) or add extra letters (like the Danish and Norwegian alphabet) to or from the classical Roman script. It is this meaning which is intended, nothing to do with Ancient RomeJasy jatere (talk) 14:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Latin alphabet being referred to here is therefore the ISO basic Latin alphabet. (fact)
Latin alphabet refers to the writing system, not to a set of charactersJasy jatere (talk) 12:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you go out and do a random poll in the street to see what "Latin alphabet" refers to.
Well, I guess no one would say "ISO basic Latin alphabet". I suspect people would answer sth like "ABC", or "the alphabet we use, not the Greek one, or the Arabic one". I also suspect that no one would say "letters from a-z, but no diacritics". Jasy jatere (talk) 14:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • That the Latin alphabet in the guideline is in fact the ISO basic Latin alphabet, has been left unsaid by the Naming convention (use English) guideline (agreed?)
I do not see this as following from what you said aboveJasy jatere (talk) 12:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
The guideline is using the 26 letter ISO basic Latin alphabet and not the 23 character archaic version.
  • ASCII is the standard used in Wikipedia design, which is why it was an obvious and therefore unstated choice, because it assumed good faith and common sense. (agreed?)
actually the standard is Unicode, as far as a I can see. I think this is the point where all you argumentation comes tumbling down. You can try to convince the wikipedia folks to get back to the 1980s and use 7-bit ASCII, but you will have a snowball's change in hell.
There was I recall a proof that "hell" is much colder then most suppose. In any case, so far as the user input is concerned the Unicode standard has meant very little to the average Wikipedia reader/editor. I see not reason to complicate the lives of many English speakers by having them learn the Unicode standards, do you?
actually, unicode makers their lives easier every day. Please read the page Unicode.
I would agree that Unicode makes life easier, but not in daily use of the average user. Most are not even aware of it! However, if you propose that knowledge of Unicode be the prerequisite for using Wikipedia as a matter of policy or even a guideline, I will certainly support your proposal. After all, Wikipedia is meant to broaden knowledge. I certainly would have appreciated it when I got my first Commodore 64 (showing my age here). Testing Microsoft DOS v1 was also a "bitch" without it, but thats life as they say.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:33, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Well that's just like integrated circuits then. Most people are not aware of them, but they make life easier. And you do not have to have knowledge of ICs to contribute to wp. And you do not need to read unicode codepages to use unicode, every operating system since Windows 2000 has unicode support. Jasy jatere (talk) 16:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Changing the paragraph to include all Latin-based alphabets as is the practice now will impose the need by all Wikipedia users to learn how to recognise, type, read and probably pronounce all non-English scripts. (agreed?)
you can read articles about Szczecin without the slightest idea how they are pronounced. Furthermore, there is a nice list of diacritics just below this window, so you can just click on them if you need them. Furthermore, I firmly believe that your eyesight is good enough to distinguish è and é.Jasy jatere (talk) 12:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Please re-read the proposal. I would again ask you not to make assumptions, particularly firm assumptions.
  • Adding accents to article titles is not the correct way to introduce an English speaker to learn another language even if the reader is encouraged to do so (fact)
this is not about learning other languages, Charlotte Brontë is English, for instance.Jasy jatere (talk) 12:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
We do not base guidelines on exceptions that took place before modern English alphabet and spelling were standardised, and before wide-ranging public education became entrenched in society. If someone complains that the name of Charlotte Brontë is mis-spelled in the article title, we shall have to deal with that when it happens.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 13:23, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
well, I am looking forward to seeing the rationale behind Brontë keeping the ë and René Descartes having to get rid of his é. But that's for later anywayJasy jatere (talk) 14:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I would not want you to wait with bated breath for long, so here are the answers:
  • Brontë is the historically correct English spelling for its period. Just like naming conventions apply to events, so do they apply to historical personal names. For example, any number of Old English names spoken by the Anglo-Saxons in England during the Dark Ages should be spelled in Runic if only because they were not English, England as a state not having evolved yet. However, we can not expect the average reader to be very fluent in this alphabet, can we? The names are therefore (hopefully) given in correct form in the introductory section of the article, but not in the title which uses the language of the reader, modern standard English, and not the article subject.
  • René is just a personal name. Its use is highly flexible depending on the society in which it is used. Wikipedia reflects this by having Rene refer to:
  • René, a french given name derived from the Latin name Renatus
  • René Auberjonois, American character actor
  • René Descartes, famous French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist
  • René Lévesque, Québec premier, journalist and founder of the Parti Québécois
  • René Magritte, famous painter of The Son of Man.
  • René Marqués, renowned short story writer and playwright
  • Rene Mederos, prominent Cuban poster artist and graphic designer
  • Rene Medvešek, Croatian actor
  • Rene Reyes, Major League Baseball center fielder and switch-hitter batter
  • Rene Robert, retired professional ice hockey centre
  • Rene Fonck, the most successful pilot of the Allies in WWI.
  • René (novella), by Chateaubriand
  • Rene, a Small Faces song.
Please note the form and spelling changes with use across cultures and genders
Names that are related to RENÉ:
REENA f English
REENE f English
REENIE f English
RENA f English
RENAE f English
RENÁTA f Hungarian, Czech, Slovak
RENATA f Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish, Czech, Croatian, Slovene, Late Roman
RENATE f German, Dutch
RENATO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
RENATUS m Late Roman
RENÉE f French
RENIE f English
RENITA f English
I'd say that the Rene when used in the title of the article would be perfectly acceptable given the encyclopaedia is an English one, and I'm sure our French colleagues will forgive us.
PS. Please consider this also a reply to your enquiry to Unschool in the matter of Fürth.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 01:10, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
well these people simply happen to have different names (René and Rene), and also show the power of disambiguation pages. Very much the same as Stephen/Steven indeedJasy jatere (talk) 16:44, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Nightstallion Your proposal of "a substantial part" would mean a minority of sources that is a breach of WP:NC common usage. As to Latin Alphabet I think the context and the lead of the Latin Alphabet article makes it clear what is meant but I could also live with:

Article titles should use the English alphabet unless a clear majority of English language verifiable reliable sources use names that include other letters in the modern Latin alphabet. Other writing systems, such as syllabaries or Chinese characters, should not be used. ...

or

Article titles should use the English alphabet unless a clear majority of English language verifiable reliable sources use names that include other letters in the modern Latin scripts. Other writing systems, such as syllabaries or Chinese characters, should not be used. ...

--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 14:54, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

So are there any objections to the new wording or can I put into the article? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 18:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi Philip, I though maybe to wait until end of weekend everywhere before amending the article paragraph in question. I'm assuming that your proposal is to modify the wording in the proposal I made to read:
"English Wikipedia convention is that article titles should use the English alphabet unless a clear majority of English language verifiable reliable sources use names that include other letters in the modern Latin scripts. No other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters can be used.
The rationale for this is that "as-a-native" vocalisation by using accents in the article title is not required by the average English speaking reader as a Wikipedia policy or convention precondition of use, and avoids possibility of claims of discrimination based on specialised language knowledge.
Any non-English alphabet native name should be given within the first line of the article (with an English alphabet transliteration if the English name does not correspond to a transliteration of the native name). Currently accepted Wikipedia standard should be used for the transliteration. To avoid name disputes, all versions of the names applied to the subject of the article should be given in the article, including the periods and contexts within which they applied, and if verifiable English sources can be provided.
A non-English alphabet redirect could be created to link to the actual English alphabet titled article."
  • My only problem is that a popular media source can be claimed to be verifiable, such as a newspaper, but it may not be authoritative, the policy being subject to independent editorial approval. The question then arises, which source is verifiable and authoritative? There are also political issues to consider. Ownership of an English publication by a non-English corporate entity may introduce a policy of English use in its publications which may be driven by policy made by individuals, or even governments which have an official language other then English, and use non-English terms. Having considered this, I would change my own formulation to:

English Wikipedia convention is that article titles should use the modern standard 26 letter English alphabet where no existing authoritative English equivalent is available from a clear majority of standard reference sources of English speaking countries. No other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters can be used.

  • The rationale is that an authoritative source is likely to be an officially adopted one in society via the education system, and therefore available to the wider readership, where as the reader may not be able to access a "clear majority" of sources even if available to an article researcher (such as newspapers, journals, and books on special subjects. Note that on some of the less known article subjects a clear majority of sources may be three books published in the 19th century and retained in special collections only, while at the opposite end of the spectrum the clear majority maybe a prolific coverage of the subject by online sources that had all adopted a reference to the subject which is erroneous, and non-authoritative (and often unverified) as has happened before.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 21:38, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

AEB1

________________________________ Final version of the proposal ________________________________

(If making alternative proposal wording suggestions, please copy whole paragraph and change new wording to italics)

"English Wikipedia convention is that article titles should use the modern standard 26 letter English alphabet where no existing authoritative English equivalent is available from a clear majority of standard reference sources of English speaking countries. No other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters can be used.

The rationale for this is that "as-a-native" vocalisation by using accents in the article title is not required by the average English speaking reader as a Wikipedia policy or convention precondition of use, and avoids possibility of claims of discrimination based on specialised language knowledge.

Any non-English alphabet native name should be given within the first line of the article (with an English alphabet transliteration if the English name does not correspond to a transliteration of the native name). Currently accepted Wikipedia standard should be used for the transliteration. To avoid name disputes, all versions of the names applied to the subject of the article should be given in the article, including the periods and contexts within which they applied, and if verifiable English sources can be provided.

A non-English alphabet redirect could be created to link to the actual English alphabet titled article."

The final wording above has no outright objections to it. Is this accurate?--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 08:53, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I think your arguments against "verifiable reliable sources" are flawed, please see WP:SOURCES which is part of Wikipedia policy, trying to impose "standard reference sources of English speaking countries" is not supported by the Wikipedia verifiable policy.
Further English Alphabet links to a version with 26 letters so there is no need to state "modern standard 26 letter".
Your latest version does not support the use accent marks even if they usually used in verifiable reliable sources so removing modern Latin Alphabet leaves those words undefined because they are not other Alphabets or "writing systems". --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:49, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the WP:SOURCES earlier during the research of the issue I noted that
== Reliable sources ==
  • Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Reliable sources are necessary [referring] both to substantiate material within articles and to give gives credit to authors and publishers in order to avoid plagiarism and copyright violations. Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article and should be appropriate to the claims made: exceptional claims require exceptional sources.
  • All articles must adhere to Wikipedia's neutrality policy, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view. Tiny-minority views and fringe theories need not be included, except in articles devoted to them.
  • In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny involved in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the evidence and arguments of a particular work, the more reliable it is.
  • Academic and peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available, such as history, medicine and science. Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used in these areas, particularly if they are respected mainstream publications. The appropriateness of any source always depends on the context. Where there is disagreement between sources, their views should be clearly attributed in the text.
There are several problems with this policy.
  • There is a vast gap between peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks and magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. Not the least is the requirement by the editor to make a POV judgment call on respectability of a publishing house, or mainstream newspaper. Newspapers are a particular problem as I'm sure you know. Sales do not equal the greater degree of scrutiny involved in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the evidence and arguments of a particular work or make it more reliable.
My other problem is that nowhere is English mentioned in the policy! It is explicit only in
== Non-English sources WP:RSUE ==
  • Because this is the English Wikipedia, for the convenience of our readers, English-language sources should be used in preference to foreign-language sources, assuming the availability of an English-language source of equal quality, so that readers can easily verify that the source material has been used correctly.
  • There is only on type of source that provides cross-language quality comparative standard - multi-language dictionaries used for translation. Multi-language translation dictionaries are usually twice more expensive to produce than a single language dictionary, and are therefore the realm of the larger, more reputable dictionary publishers. They also usually require identification of official national standards of at least one country. Comprehensive dictionaries customarily include personal names, major geographic names, and other non-vocabulary terms.
  • Because my latest version does not support the use accent marks even if they usually used in verifiable reliable sources, the use of article titles becomes consistent throughout the encyclopaedia. On the very few exceptions where an English non-loan word does use an accent, it can be given in the article introduction. The rationale is that by ensuring consistency no further claims for use of accents can be initiated based on exceptions in English, which are rare, and rarely used in modern English. The word in its correct form would be used in the content text of course.
  • I found the need to state "modern standard 26 letter" because of earlier claims that the English alphabet does not contain 26 letters. The claim can emerge again, so I prefer to be explicit.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 11:22, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I still disagree with the ultimate objective of your new proposal: To remove diacritics from Wikipedia titles. By extension I also disagree with this proposal. The modern script in use for English does not only consist of twenty-six letters sans diacritics, but of twenty-six letters plus any diacritics applicable to them. —Nightstallion 11:12, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Your opposition was noted. However, the objective is not to remove accents, but to make English usage in the article titles standard and consistent as is expected by the vast majority of the people who use English Wikipedia.
Please see above on the explanation why the standard modern English alphabet uses only 26 letters.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 11:36, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
mrg3105, you may think that "There are several problems with [the WP:V ] policy" but this is a guideline and it must adhere to Wikipedia policies. There are many areas of society where reliable sources that cover such topics are not academic publications. For example the names of current English Premier League footballers --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 12:30, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Philip, not sure what you mean. Names follow naming guidelines. Consider Eric Cantona [10]. Fabregas is also not complaining about his name on the Arsenal site[11]. Only Arsène Wenger has insited on the French spelling of his name. Privelage of the role? In this case the rules of the League would be the authority. The League site [12] seems to use the English alphabet for player names. In any case, even UEFA regulations only use three languages for submission of player identification (10.03) so until this changes, I would assume that it is left to the national authorities which submit the uniforms for approval. The club names script choice is free, so the club which uses accents in its name can display it.[13]
However, I do agree there is ambiguity in the WP:V. This is why I make it quite explicit that "authoritative English equivalent is available from a clear majority of standard reference sources of English speaking countries". In the case of the football/soccer players, the authoritative English equivalent would be their English League authority which determines what is printed on the back of their shirts. The back of the shirts is what the club supporters use as a source of standard reference. Quite naturally a player during his or her career may have played in a number of clubs, not all in English spaking countires. The leagues that these clubs belong to will have different rules on the matter. Non-English players which have never played in the English clubs will have to use their names as it is spelled in English football reporting, which leaves it to the journalists to determine the spelling. I'm not familiar with UK newspapers, so I am not sure which scripts they use in publishing. In Australia only the English script is used.
Is this acceptable for you?--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 22:22, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
It may not be the explicitly stated intention of your proposal, but that is precisely the effect it would have if implemented as you propose it. —Nightstallion 15:58, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
That's a bit like saying that pouring petrol into the petrol tank has the purpose of making the car heavier. Its a necessary task to get the car from A to B.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 22:22, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
To mangle your faulty metaphor further, no -- it's only that way because you (and please kindly note that there's strong opposition to your proposal) insist on taking the car, as opposed to a hot-air balloon. —Nightstallion 23:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
There has been a great deal of discussion. Many people are aware of the discussion, and I have advised of the discussion outside of this talk page. So far the opposition has not offered convincing arguments, these being mostly focused on: assertion that the English alphabet has more then 26 letters, assumptions about me, assumptions about the English speaking populations and trying to define the English language based on exceptions, or non-English loan words.
I have asked (08:53, 25 February 2008 (UTC)) "The final wording above has no outright objections to it. Is this accurate?--mrg3105
All questions that were subsequently presented as objections were addressed.
While you have objected numerous times, you have failed to present valid arguments as to why the wording of the proposal should be changed.
In reply to the suggestion that my metaphor was faulty I only suggest that the majority of English speaking population, or indeed any population, use hot air balloons as a means of transit. Not only that, but hot air balloons do not use petrol! Now, to really offer a good argument to counter my metaphor you might have questioned whether most people use private cars or public transport, the answer to which is that all forms of land transport rely on a single standard, use of wheels. It is the size of the wheels that changes from type to type, and the choice is left tot he user. It is never imposed.
I strongly object to any form of imposition by editors of their own national standards on any standards that do not exist in Australia in particular, and in all English speaking countries by logical extension.
It is neither the intent, the spirit or the policy of English Wikipedia to impose this on English speaking readers. Your claims that I "just want to get rid of accents" is fallacious. My intent is to preserve English usage in Wikipedia consistent with the intent, the spirit or the policy of English Wikipedia and the national standards accepted in the education institutions and authorities of their respective countries. This is because English is a language in its own right, and does not arbitrarily import alphabet forms, word spelling, writing style, sentence structure and grammar from other writing systems when it imports loanwords. Over the history of modern English the trend has remained for predominant use of the 26 letters of the alphabet, and this is confirmed by the general use in English teaching of the language (few exceptions not withstanding).
This is not a new topic of discussion. This discussion has gone on since at least 2003, and has not resulted in a consensus because of the arsenal of exceptions available to the participants, some 80,000 from a total of over 500,000, and because no definition was ever offered, or user base surveyed. The extant present proposal has done all this. It:
  • Defines the English alphabet
  • Defines usage by English Wikipedia readership
  • Defines adherence to authority on the subject in case of exceptions
  • Removes need for language specialisation discrimination during editing
  • Retains provision for informing the reader on the original form (even in Runic)
  • The proposed amendment does not contravene any Wikipedia policies and guidelines
  • The proposed amendment supports adherence to the intent, the spirit or the policy of English Wikipedia

AEB2

With there being no further objections to the current proposal, it is therefore considered approved.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣♥♦ 00:52, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

(Please refer to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines when replying)--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Consensus does not work like this. I ignored the discussion because I felt you were just trying to disrupt Wikipedia and I said that sterile discussions with a troll are useless. I disagree with the proposal and I am sure that virtually every wikipedian from a country which uses diacritics will be against this. I'm sure that if someone announces the Eastern European noticeboards, you'll get plenty of people with whom to argue, but what's the point? bogdan (talk) 01:01, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
What Bogdan said. A number of people have tried to discuss with you here, but as you immediately declare all objections to be irrelevant, you're completely highjacking the process of seeking consensus. —Nightstallion 07:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Last chance. What people? What did they try to discuss? What are the objection? Please refer to the points on which the proposal is made.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Since you have substantially ignored every valid argument in favor of the spurious position that use of any more than 26 characters is an immense and unbearable burden, I see no point in rehashing these. The average English reader is not at the level of a Kindergarten pupil, and is well able to đęàļ with an extended character set. Maybe you should go on a crusade against the evil 26 Capital Letters, which are used extremely rarely and only serve to confuse? For the record, I object to your suggestion. It's a safe assumption that I will object to any proposal that e.g. "defines usage by English Wikipedia readership", as that is not an item open for definition. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:03, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

(Please refer to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines when replying)--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

SS1. Since you have substantially ignored every valid argument in favor of the spurious position that use of any more than 26 characters is an immense and unbearable burden, I see no point in rehashing these.
SS2. The average English reader is not at the level of a Kindergarten pupil, and is well able to đęàļ with an extended character set.
SS3. Maybe you should go on a crusade against the evil 26 Capital Letters, which are used extremely rarely and only serve to confuse?
SS4. For the record, I object to your suggestion. It's a safe assumption that I will object to any proposal that e.g. "defines usage by English Wikipedia readership", as that is not an item open for definition. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:03, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Answer to SS1. Not requiered because of statement I see no point in rehashing these.
  • Answer to SS1.2 There are about 379,529,000 English internet users. The usual average population breakdown (demographics) is 15% under 15yo, and 15% over 65yo. I'll assume that 5% represent 10-15 yo school kids. of the remaining 70%, 56% finished school before 1996.
In 1995 a survey in the USA found that "Data that described middle school foreign language programs were collected through a questionnaire sent to 300 of the nation's middle schools. These schools were chosen at random from 600 middle schools, most of which had been previously identified as exemplary (George & Oldaker, 1985). In all, 291 surveys were returned from individual teachers in 203 of the 300 schools. However, of all the schools responding, a total of only 146 schools, or 72% of the responding schools, reported an existing foreign language program."(A demographic profile of U.S. middle school foreign language teachers, Education, Winter 1997 by Jonita E Stepp)
I will venture to suggest that 20% of all school leavers before 1995 did not learn a second language as part fo their school education in a Wordlwide English spakeing population. Since a student younger then 15 is unlikely to achieve proficiency in a non-first language (exceptiong dual language societies such as US Hispanics), this means that right now 50% of English users probably do not have second language ability. However, how many of those I assumed did receive foreign language education are regular users of the foreign language? I can't imagine it would be more then half, or 25%. How many have knowledge of multiple languages, etc.? While I do not presume "Kindergarden knowledge" of other languages by Wikipedia readers, I also do not assume the majority that crave to learn a second language.
  • Answer to SS1.3 The 26 Capital Letters are the letters from which the small letters are derived.
  • Answer to SS1.4 The reason the "usage by English Wikipedia readership"..."is not an item open for definition" is because it is already defined in the Wikipedia policy Wikipedia:Naming conventions that “The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.”--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

this "proposal" is such a non-starter that I don't really see what there is to discuss. You lost me at "2. The Latin alphabet is the alphabet of 'Ancient Rome'". WTH? That's not a discussion, it's exasperating cluelessnes and refusal to read up information even when it is a click away. Article titles need to be looked at case-by-case. So that requires time and intelligence on the part of the editors: tough luck. In my book, this is uninformed nonsense. If you're going to cobble together a "proposal", please make sure you have a grasp of the issues involved first. dab (𒁳) 10:23, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, it started and it ended. You had participated.
  • If you would like to see where I connect Latin alphabet with Ancient Rome, just click.
  • Where does it say that "Article titles need to be looked at case-by-case"? You haven't said that before.
  • Where does it say that it "that requires time and intelligence on the part of the editors"?
  • What are the "issues involved" according to you? You have about 3 hours, so please reply.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:43, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

(Please refer to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines when replying)--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

In this incredibly spatially-disorganised discussion, allow me to make explicit here my opposition. I raised several issues below that have gone completely unaddressed, and those that have been addressed have been only superficially. There is no time limit on this discussion to be set by anybody; it will end in consensus either way, peter out without change to the guideline or it will continue indefinitely. Wikipedia has has the guideline in this form with remarkably little objection, considering how long it has existed in this form - there is no rush to change it. In its current format the amendments will be reverted as a majority of editors disagree with it - this is how consensus and the BRD cycle works. It doesn't matter if one editor remains unconvinced by the opposing arguments. Their job isn't to convince themselves that the opposition is wrong; their job is to convince the opposition. Knepflerle (talk) 11:23, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Knepflerle, see This is not an invitation to a poll. which is posted at the section header. Had you read the proposal, you would have seen it.
  • I really don't know what you mean by "spatially-disorganised discussion" because "Spatial measurements are used to quantify how far apart objects are, and temporal measurements are used to quantify how far apart events occur. However, these measurements are applied by our minds to categorize what we sense and are not an inherent part of the thing in itself." Space#In_philosophy. If you mean that we are "poles apart" (use simple English?) then you are wrong because you had not contributed to the discussion at all.
  • The procedure accepted around the World is that when someone makes a proposal, that proposal is discussed, and not a new proposal. A fictional story-telling based on one word is not one form of proposal discussion.
  • If you disagreed with the terms on which the proposal was made, state so and be explicit by quoting the relevant point and section of the proposal.
  • There is a time limit on the proposal. The proposal is accepted when no further objections or amendments to it are proposed.
  • A consensus is not reached by a poll, but by discussion that uses convincing arguments backed by facts. Given there are no more arguments to be had, and no further changes to amendments have been proposed, the consensus is deemed to be reached not because I say so, but because this is the logical conclusion that would be reached by anyone. Example: Five friends meet, and try to decide where to go for the afternoon. All make proposals, and after a while the proposal made by friend No.3 is accepted because others can think of no other reason that their proposal is better. If they continue the discussion indefinitely, the afternoon will go by, as will the rest of their lives, and they will grow old and die in the same place, still trying to decide where to go.
  • The current wording of the guideline is largely defined based on a straw poll. That guideline has changed, and polls are no longer acceptable a a means of resolving discussions.
  • In any case, the poll on which current state of affairs persists is based on a fallacious poll that could not have been fair because English speakers will always be outnumbered, and because the outcome contravened Wikipedia policy that the content is created for the readers and not the editors. Editors in a sense have no say in it! We serve the average Wikipedia reader regardless of our perception of our ability to express our IQ.
  • The poll was called "Proposal and straw poll regarding place names with diacritical marks". The proposal was "Whenever the most common English spelling is simply the native spelling with diacritical marks omitted, the native spelling should be used." Please note that the justification for the use of the accents was never made! Nor has the point been made that the "native" language of the English Wikipedia and its English speaking readers is, English! The readers take priority over the editors!My proposal has nothing to do with the accent marks! How many times should I repeat myself? However I included the rationale for why the accent marks are unnecessary just so future editors do not decide that I had made an irrational proposal.
  • WP:BRD is an essay "not a policy or guideline itself". See WP:CON which documents an official English Wikipedia policy, a widely accepted standard that all users should follow.
  • YOU have not participated in the discussion!!! How can I convince someone if they do not participate?!--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:00, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

You find a substantial number of arguments to address just one section below this one. I think any new proposal has to ponder all of these arguments, be they pro or con. You proposal has failed to do that. I therefore object to it, because you are ignoring other people's contributions to the discussion. Jasy jatere (talk) 16:50, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

  • The procedure accepted around the World is that when someone makes a proposal, the proposal is discussed, and not a new proposal. You went off on your own separate deliberation on the understanding about the level on which use of English in naming conventions applies. You are welcome to do so, but it did not address the proposal! This is kindergarten behavour where someone who doesn't like the rules of the game, rather then changing the rules, or trying to understand why the rules are so made, goes off and invents his/her own game! If you choose to exit the discussion after all your objections were answered with logical arguments and facts, what are my left to do but to assume that you have no more objections? I have asked if anyone has further objections, and you had none, other then to restate that you "object"! When you have a real proposal-changing argument backed by logic and facts, please resubmit it as a new proposal.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:00, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
You misunderstand how Wikipedia works, and you have not shown any ability to read for understanding, so it seems to be pointless to explain your misunderstandings once again. There is no consensus for your proposal, and you will not achieve consensus by repeating the same nonsense over and over again. Oh, and by the way, a pointless claim does not become a fact by adding (fact) to it. (FACT!) --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:23, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, thats an argument! "You don't understand, and I have no time to explain where you are wrong, therefore you are always wrong".
  • "In essence, silence implies consent if there is adequate exposure to the community."
  • "When there are disagreements, they are resolved through polite reasoning, cooperation, and if necessary, negotiation on talk pages, in an attempt to develop and maintain a neutral point of view which consensus can agree upon. If we find that a particular consensus happens often, we write it down as a guideline, to save people the time having to discuss the same principles over and over."
  • "In the rare situations where consensus is hard to find, the dispute resolution processes provide several other ways agreed by the community, to involve independent editors and more experienced help in the discussion, and to address the problems which prevent a consensus from arising." Unknown to you, I have advised several experienced editors of the discussion here.
  • "Being bold is useful to both starting a discussion and breaking a stalemate. Make a change, and use the feedback from that change to guide you in making further changes. If someone reverts your change, discuss it, and then offer another version to repeat the cycle until compromise and eventually consensus is reached. Don't ignore the arguments of other editors in a conflict though, or a healthy bold, revert, discuss cycle quickly turns into disruptive editing."
  • Have you offered alternative versions?
  • Have I ignored your arguments?
  • Have I engaged in a revert conflict?
  • "stubborn insistence on an eccentric position, with refusal to consider other viewpoints in good faith, is not justified under Wikipedia's consensus practice."
  • Is my proposal "eccentric"?
  • Have I refused to consider other viewpoints in good faith?
  • "Consensus is not immutable. It is reasonable, and sometimes necessary, for the community to change its mind. A small group making a decision does so on behalf of the community as a whole, at a point in time. If the community disagrees, the decision was badly founded, or views change, then the updated consensus replaces the old one." I suggest that he previous straw poll was badly founded.
  • "An issue decided in the past can always be discussed again, especially if there is new information or a question of policy being breached."
  • "Consensus does not mean that everyone agrees with the outcome; instead, it means that everyone agrees to abide by the outcome. "
  • "In practice, a lot of people look in on an issue and check to see if a (mere) majority exists in favor of their position. " and "you actually need to carefully consider the strength and quality of the arguments themselves (including any additional concerns that may have been raised along the way), the basis of objection of those who disagree, and in more complex situations, existing documentation in the project namespace should also be checked."
  • "Minority opinions typically reflect genuine concerns, and discussion should continue in an effort to try to negotiate the most favorable compromise that is still practical. In situations with a deadline, a perfect compromise may not have been reached by all participants at the deadline. Nevertheless, a course of action should be chosen that is likely to satisfy the most persons (rather than merely the majority)." My proposal represents a minority opinion of English speakers active online, but a majority of readers of English Wikipedia readers.
  • "Wikipedia decision making is not based on formal vote counting ("Wikipedia is not a majoritarian democracy"). This means that polling alone is not considered a means of decision-making, and it is certainly not a binding vote, and you do not need to abide by polls per se. Polling is generally discouraged, except in specialized processes such as AFD."
  • "a local debate on a WikiProject does not override the larger consensus behind a policy or guideline. The project cannot decide that for "their" articles, said policy does not apply."
  • Which of my claims is "pointless"?
You are welcome to initiate a request for comment if you have no time to enlighten me.
Was there something I left out?
I think this will be the last 24 hours before I make the edits. If you fail to agree to abide by the outcome, you have other avenues to oppose it, so rather then reverting (which can be done at any time) I suggest you follow the Wikipedia process of expressing yourself. --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:07, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I simply find it amazing how you manage to misinterpret and ignore universal opposition to your proposal. —Nightstallion 00:46, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Please note that on Wikipedia, consensus is determined by discussion, not voting, and it is the quality of arguments that counts, not the number of people supporting a position. --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 04:40, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Please define universal opposition.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:24, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
To the unsigned User:Kubigula who added "Consider reading about the deletion policy for a brief overview for the deletion process, and how we decide what to keep and what to delete. We hope you decide to stay and contribute even more. Thank you!" by editing a template message!!!
Please note that on Wikipedia, consensus is determined by discussion, not voting, and it is the quality of arguments that counts, not the number of people supporting a position.
Who do you refer to by we?
I in turn find it amazing that when asked a question, I fail to get an answer. Its difficult to maintain a discussion, so no wonder it seems one-sided, and why the policy says, "silence signifies consensus", and there is consensus on this in the community.
I also find it amazing that User:Kubigula points for guidance to deletion policy which was never contemplated in this discussion. NEVER THE LESS, I will humour you. Do you refer to this "These processes are not decided through a head count, so participants are encouraged to explain their opinion and refer to policy. The discussion lasts at least five days"?
Maybe I have taken this out of context? Please feel free to enlighten me. I have never proposed an article for deletion since I think in most cases an article can be salvaged if it has some worthwhile information for some significant group of general readers and falls within the Wikipedia policy and guidelines. The five day specification is not mentioned elsewhere though.
Just to bring you up on the discussion, my initial post was on 03:48, 15 February 2008 (UTC). Later sections were started by W. B. Wilson on 04:43, 14 February 2008 (UTC), carried over from a discssion with Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:25, 18 February 2008 (UTC), reflected on -Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| 17:28, 18 February 2008 (UTC) comment that all English speakers are ignorant, included a contribution by Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC) on exonyms and endonyms, another section started by GoodDay (talk) 18:43, 21 February 2008 (UTC), a brief comment on usage in French Wikipedia by TharkunColl (talk) 22:58, 21 February 2008 (UTC), a contribution on alphabets and scripts by Jasy jatere (talk) 16:24, 21 February 2008 (UTC), and only then my proposal on 10:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC).
However, if you are suggesting that I need to wait five days from date of proposal based deletion guidelines (which is not unreasonable), fine, I will wait until after 10:50, 28 February 2008 (UTC).--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 07:17, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
You will have to wait until there's consensus for a change -- which is not the case right now.
Regarding the opposition, I see about half a dozen people regularly contributing objections which you fail to address; then you proceed to resubmit your proposal, claiming that the objections were not relevant. That's a complete hijacking of the process of finding a consensus. —Nightstallion 09:04, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Which objections have I failed to address?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 04:33, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Consensus is not reached by starting new proposals.
However let's see how things stand in terms of agreement or disagreement with the proposal
  • Kirill agreed by pointing out the policy weeks ago here Wikipedia:NAMCON#Use_English_words, and I just wanted to match the wording here with the policy, so I don;t think he really disagreed.
  • Kevin seemed to agree with me
  • Narson though he agreed but disputed the place for the proposal (main policy article?)
  • W. B. Wilson agreed
  • Piotr disagreed by calling all English speakers ignorant and has not been heard from again.
  • Philip made an interesting solution, and largely agreed (the problem is newspapers IMHO)
  • Haukurth seem sot be uncertain
  • Stephan initially disagreed on the English language having more then 26 letters; now just says that I don't understand anything
  • Nightstallion disagrees, but I can't understand on which point, and what the alternative he/she proposes
  • GoodDay seems to agree with the proposal
  • StuffOfInterest agrees
  • Septentrionalis PMAnderson seems to agree
  • Jasy jatere probably disagrees, but only because he/she feels that I am not playing by the rules? I seem to think we have the philosophical ground to "walk" first
  • Bogdan agreed with Piotr, decided that I was a troll, and also left without addressing even one point I made
  • Unschool seems to agree with my points
  • I can't include several others in the above list, notably Knepflerle because they had not addressed the points made in the proposal, suggested alternatives or participated in the discussion.

Fleshing out the differences

(this section is not a part of the above proposal, but a separate deliberation on the understanding about the level on which use of English in naming conventions applies)

As I understand it, there is disagreement about the level on which UE applies. At least the following possible levels of application can be distinguished, starting from broad and going down to very narrow interpretations.

  • 1. UE applies to English as a linguistic system of form-meaning correspondences. Case in point: The Hague to be prefered over Den Haag.
  • 2. UE applies to the script English is written in, i.e the Roman script. Case in point: Thessaloniki to be prefered over Θεσσαλονίκη. If not further narrowed down, Meißen to be prefered over Meissen
  • 3a. UE applies to the subset of Roman script comprising all letters known to English speakers plus diacritics on them. Cases in point: René Descartes to be prefered over Rene Descartes, but Meissen to be prefered over Meißen, because e is known to speakers of English, but ß is not.
  • 3b. UE applies to all letters that can be input on a standard QWERTY keyboard in any variant of US_xxxx. Basically the same as one above, diacritics are no problem but ß is.
  • 4a. UE applies to the subset of Roman script known as the English alphabet (a-zA-Z). No diacritics. Case in point: Rene Descartes to be prefered over René Descartes, Charlotte Bronte to be prefered over Charlotte Brontë, Cerenkov radiation to be prefered over Čerenkov radiation, menage a trois to be prefered over ménage à trois.
  • 4b. UE applies to all letters that can be input on a standard QWERTY keyboard in the "basic" variant of US. Same as one above.

I think that everybody agrees on 1. and 2., the question is whether wikipedia should accept to narrow the interpretation down to 3. or 4. Jasy jatere (talk) 12:52, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I certainly do not agree with (2) Meißen to be preferred over Meissen --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 14:38, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
You are right, I could have been more precise. I meant everybody agreed on Thessaloniki to be prefered over Θεσσαλονίκη, The treatment of Meissen depends on the position on 3 and 4. I edited 2 so that it you should now be able to agree with it, I think 80.61.183.71 (talk) 16:13, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I prefer Thessalonica myself. This entire framework omits the position we presently state, and actually follow: do whatever English does: Meissen, but Groß Gerau. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:39, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
this is not a framework, the list is just intended to collect the arguments made on this talk page over and over again ad infinitum. If we have some structured table where the pros and cons are listed, it will be easier to refer to
UE applies to all letters that can be input on a standard QWERTY keyboard in any variant of US_xxxx. Basically the same as one above, diacritics are no problem but ß is.
ß can be typed on US_intl by pressing AltGr and s, and what else can be typed on US_intl is dependent on operating system and browser, so that point is completely flawed. - MTC (talk) 08:00, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I think we may be losing the raison d'etre for the standard described as common English usage, which is usability. There is therefore a balance to consider: common English usage for well-known places, native usage for less well-known places or ones with no wide usage of a transliterated name (or where diacritics are just stripped off out of habit, not for any other reason). I've mentioned elsewhere, there are many places in central Europe where only the current native spelling really makes sense to strip away Latin to Cyrillic to Latin double transliterations, etc. and where there are multiple English "variants" even in use today for a single place or geographic feature. At the end of the day, we want the reader to be able to (a) read article and (b) go to a book store, buy a map, and look up the places they read about. For much of Eastern/Central Europe, that involves native spelling. Without considering usability, the arguments on both sides are being conducted in a vacuum. My Windows keyboard is set up for English, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Romanian, Polish, German, and Russian (a bit more of a challenge to use). For the most part, right-alt (GRE) plus the letter gets the right version as the large majority of letters only have one diacritic in each language, e.g., ļ in Latvian, ł in Polish, so writing place names natively is not an issue anymore. Just a thought. —PētersV (talk) 02:26, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

arguments in favor of 2., not beyond

  • "correct" spelling
  • diacritics serve to disambiguate topics e.g. rose/rosé, Dauphine/Dauphiné, /Bo// (from Knepflerle) Jasy jatere (talk) 16:56, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • there is no well-defined transliteration scheme to get rid of diacritics. Should Jürgen become Jurgen or Juergen? (from knepflerle)Jasy jatere (talk) 17:32, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

arguments in favor of 3., not beyond

  • people get confused by ß, but not by à and é
  • some transliteration systems make use of letters that are in Roman script, but not within the range [a-zA-Z], for instance International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration, which has ū Ū ṛ Ṛ ṝ Ṝ ḷ Ḷ ḹ Ḹ, among others. There is no Anglicization of Sanskrit. Depriving lemmas of their diacritics would go against common scientific practice in the field since 1912. Jasy jatere (talk) 16:39, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

arguments in favor of 4.

  • basic layout on QWERTY computers. Users find it difficult to change layouts
  • people get confused by à and é
  • people cannot pronounce à and é
  • English only uses those letters
  • This is the alphabet taught in school in English-speaking countries
  • wikipedia users cannot be required to learn other languages
  • some people's browsers display boxes when encountering rare diacritics, like a w with a dieresis ("), i.e. ẅ.

Please include additional arguments above in the appropriate sections, but please discuss the validity of arguments below to keep the list of arguments neat. Jasy jatere (talk) 12:52, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

argument "correct spelling"

To me, this argument is paramount. An encyclopedia is meant to educate people about the facts, and not to dumb the orthography down. —Nightstallion 13:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

  • To me, this argument is fallacious. The correct English spelling of Meissen is Meissen, as the correct English spelling of Nuremberg is Nuremberg, and the correct English spelling of Florence is Florence. Meißen, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Firenze are linguistic facts, probably worth mentioning in the relevant geographic articles, but not their titles. This is one of the things interwiki links are good for; one of the problems with hypercorrection is the damage to Wikipedia as a whole. (Where is a German Wikipedian to find out about English preferences for Nuremberg, Meissen, and Florence if not here? His own wikipedia is unlikely to tell him; any more the Italian Wikipedia mentions Kalifornien.) 17:48, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
The argument "correct spelling" applies only where there is no English exonym, i.e. an English name for the town (or other entity). For Firenze and Nürnberg it is very clear that the correct way of rendering them in English is Florence and Nuremberg respectively. The question is what wp should do with towns and persons that do not have a clear-cut English name, like Düren. Should the diacritic remain or should it go? This is where the argument "correct spelling" kicks in. It argues that the most "correct" way to spell that town's name is "Düren" and that "Duren" would be "wrong"Jasy jatere (talk) 18:30, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
My point exactly. I'm 100% sure about Meissen vs Meißen, but I could be wrong there. —Nightstallion 12:39, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The claim about exonyms is almost a tautology; if the correct English spelling is not the local one, the English word must be an exonym ("almost" covers Paris, where the exonym and the endonym are spelled alike). Therefore this is substantially true, and entirely trivial. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:11, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Let's distinguish the cases 1) where foreign language and English are completely different (Firenze/Florence), 2) where they differ in the use of a diacritic, but the one without diacritic is the well established English name (Zurich/Zürich) and 3) where English has no name (Düren). The argument "correct spelling" will only apply to 3). How one can establish that English has no name for an entity will most likely be circular, in the sense that one checks texts and only finds the version with diacritics. On the other hand, the absence of an English exonym should be the null hypothesis for very local topics, say a small river in Turkey like Üçköprü.
All this amounts very much to the same as "Use what a majority of English sources use", I certainly agree. Use of a differently spelled exonym in English sources trumps local spelling. Still, technical limitations, notational convenience, or ignorance causing a different spelling do not create an instant exonym. Only if reputable sources with editorial skill use a different spelling will the name be a exonym (like Zurich, for instance) Jasy jatere (talk) 17:24, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
The claim here is that English cannot adopt Zürich, but only Zurich, as the English name. I do not believe this; English has adopted Göttingen.
The practical difference from what we do now would be to always adopt the non-local spelling where there is one; not only Zurich, but Lyons and Leghorn. I am tempted to endorse this, if only to watch the nationalist screaming when it is enforced; but even I think it more trouble than it is worth. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:37, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I actually do think that your suggestion to use the non-local spelling if there is one is a good one, provided that this spelling is not the result of technical limitations, notational convenience, or ignorance. And I do think that technical limitations, notational convenience and ignorance are common even among widely read sources if their focus happens to be sth else than the origin of the person under discussion.Jasy jatere (talk) 16:09, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I guarantee that if that phrasing is adopted, the cry will go up that Zurich is the result of "technical limitations... or ignorance".
Well, that can be countered by http://www.flughafen-zuerich.ch/ZRH/default.asp?ID_site=1&sp=de&hp=1, which has the ü in German but not in English. The airport people are neither ignorant, lazy or technically limited, as their German page proves
  • I'm not quite sure what notational convenience means here, although it sounds like several perfectly good reasons to adapt a foreign word. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:32, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I use "ss" as a notational convenience when typing German when I don't care about the ß. Some people never use capitals out of notational convenience. Very similar to laziness, I think Jasy jatere (talk) 14:31, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

argument "diacritics necessary for disambiguation"

argument "absence of agreed transliteration schema"

argument "people get confused by ß"

  • This is correct as a claim of fact; readers do. Every one (IIRC) of the Meissen discussions has included someone inveighing against Meiben.
This should not be surprising: the eszett combines two forms, the long s and the ornate z, both of which are archaic in English; indeed, confusing long s with f is a standard joke. Readers of English with no German (and, by WP:NC, our titles should be chosen for them) will not recognize as a combination of two Latin letters, and if by some chance they do, they will read it as sz - which was correct in Goethe's time, but apparently not now. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:08, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

argument "well established transliteration systems use diacritics"

Finnish is transliterated using "diacritics", or in this case the Finnish letters ä, ö and å. All English-language materials produced by the Finnish government or its agencies will use ä, ö and å in personal names and placenames. Any proposal to omit these in Wikipedia is contrary to practice by all informed translators of Finnish. Elrith (talk) 01:36, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

argument "people get confused by á, è, î etc"

  • á is not very different from a. Most people will make the link between á and the base letter.Jasy jatere (talk) 16:32, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Argument against: Is it really clear to the hypothetical uninformed reader that ı is a variant of i while is a variant of l? Is it clear to him that ð is a variant of d and not of o? Is it clear that ǫ is a variant of o and not of p? Is it clear what letters į, ų and y are variants of? Are these letters really any less confusing than ß or ə? Haukur (talk) 22:46, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
maybe one needs to distinguish between '`"~^ (non-touching and rather common) and ogoneks (touching and unfamiliar). I think that is a variant of l and not of some other letter is the null hypothesis, same for ı being a variant of i. I would not consider ð a (straightforward) variant of d since the shape of d is not present in it.Jasy jatere (talk) 17:30, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there are clearly some tricky issues here. For my part I think ı looks a bit like a short l and that looks a bit like an upside-down i. My main point is that I don't think there is a clear dividing line between a) variants of a-z and b) other letters present in Latin alphabets. I'm fine with using them all, ß included. But of course we should still use familiar English forms where those exist, e.g. Gauss rather than Gauß and Thor rather than Þórr. Haukur (talk) 23:32, 25 February 2008 (UTC) Corrected. I had the Gauss/Gauß example in the wrong order - hope that doesn't make non-sense of NS's agreement. Haukur (talk) 09:43, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree, yes. —Nightstallion 07:39, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
What's the point. Pro-diacritics editors have had control of English Wikipedia for awhile & they'll never give up that control. English speaking/reading editors will have to contiue to suffer uner the oppression. GoodDay (talk) 17:15, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
How does reading Niinistö instead of Niinisto oppress you? In my mind, it would be more sensible to argue that a Finnish speaker having to read Niinisto would be a form of cultural oppression. It may be news to you, but English is an international language and is not the property of countries that have made it their official language. Elrith (talk) 01:38, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
English is the property of those who speak it. The claim that it (and not, say, Basic English) is an international language is theft. Those who wish an International Wikipedia based on English are free to request the Foundation to create one; this Wikipedia is intended for English-speakers, just as the Finnish Wikipedia is intended for Finns. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:45, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

argument "keyboard problems on QWERTY"

  • There's no requirement to spell English correctly to contribute - other editors tidy up, and will add diacritics. It's how they got into the articles in the first place. (from Knepflerle) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jasy jatere (talkcontribs) 16:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

argument "pronunciation difficulties"

argument "alphabet taught in school"

argument "English does not use other letters"

argument "wikipedians cannot be required to learn foreign languages"

  • Where is the evidence that readers have to know French to read the word rosé, pied-à-terre[14], Besançon [15]? (from knepflerle) Jasy jatere (talk) 17:00, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

argument font problems

The Economist solution as a compromise

There is also the question if we go with the Economist idea that educated English people (at least those target readers of the Economist) should be aware of the usage in the other major world languages that are written in a modern Latin alphabet: "Put the accents and cedillas on French names and words, umlauts on German ones, accents and tildes on Spanish ones, and accents, cedillas and tildes on Portuguese ones: Françoise de Panafieu, Wolfgang Schäuble, Federico Peña. Leave the accents off other foreign names.Any foreign word in italics should, however, be given its proper accents.[16] --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 14:45, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

So, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese in and Polish, Swedish, Italian and Vietnamese out? I don't think this would go down too well here, it would probably be seen as imperialistic, chauvinistic or otherwise unfair. Haukur (talk) 15:07, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I would oppose using the Economist as a benchmark for guideline standardisation. Given the "over 1.2 million copies" sales, it represents a very small percentage of total English speaking global population. Someone else will then suggest the TIME which is the leading English-language newsmagazine in the world, with a weekly circulation of 4.3 million in the US and Canada, 555,000 across EMEA and more than 400,000 in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Another argument will emerge that the "Websites run by newspapers had an average of 60 million unique US visitors per month in 2007" [17]so their use should be the benchmark for a standard. This will devolve into the same arguments already presented numerous times in earlier discussions based on exceptions and trivia because the journalists are often the cause of the disagreement on which names/terms should be used! --mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 00:10, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
The question is not so much "Should we adopt the Economist's standards?" as "Do the Economist's standards have merit?" I think they do. At some point we must decide what can be expected of the English-language Wikipedia reader. This is not simple.wikipedia. Despite the fact that castle is an article on Wikipedia, unless it is an important point in another article I do not link it, b/c it is a common English word that I expect readers to understand without having to see its article. Can we expect readers to understand ç and é in French words and ñ in Spanish ones? I think the answer is yes. Can we expect them to understand diacritics in other languages? Not necessarily. Call it "imperialism" or "chauvinism", but more accurately its just history. French is an international language, Spanish is very common in the Anglophone USA, Polish is neither, so Polish diacritics are not comprehensible to most Anglophones and understandably so. Srnec (talk) 07:21, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Please do not misunderstand me. I think that Philip's proposal is an excellent one. There should be a widely known standard by which English speaking populations can be informed about the state of their language and its usage. Dictionaries used to provide this standard in societies, notably the Oxford Dictionary because it was authoritative. However, the situation now is that every English speaking nation has its own English standard, and a standard dictionary used by the education system. As an exercise, it may be worth while to produce a list of official English language reference for each English speaking nation. This is why I was not specific about this aspect of English guidance to the reader. Usually a reader will be aware of the standard English language reference if only by attending school. For example in the Australian state of Queensland the standard reference dictionary is the 10 year old The Macquarie Dictionary, 3rd edition, 1997. However, the Australian National Dictionary Centre conducts research into Australian English, and provides Oxford University Press with editorial expertise for their Australian dictionaries. It was established in 1988, and is jointly funded by the Australian National University and Oxford University Press Australia. Despite the enforcement of the Oxford publication, there is the Australian National Dictionary took ten years to compile. It is the product of the fullest and most detailed research ever undertaken into the history of the Australian English vocabulary. Staff at the Centre are currently working on a second edition of The Australian National Dictionary, due for completion around 2008.
The problem with what any of us thinks about what the general Wikipedia reader can and can't recognise is that it is a speculative POV. French may be an international language, and Spanish may be a widely used one, but neither are widely read by the English speaking populations around the World. And this is saying something when one considers Canada where the English population is constantly exposed to French, and Philippines where Spanish is used.--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 08:53, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm also against this, but likely for different reasons than mrg3105. ;)Nightstallion 12:40, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Oppose for my reasons given below, both methodological and ideological. It will create massive disambiguation problems, it can in some cases be original research, it stops English-speaking users in some cases using what they use in English, there's no simple way to decide "transliteration" to 26 letters... the list goes on, and on, and on. Furthermore, I have massive problems with a change that will noticeably affect a good proportion of articles in the encyclopaedia going through with the expressed support of a couple of editors and input from less than a dozen over barely a few days. This really needs much, much wider discussion than this and Wikipedia has survived thus far with diacritics - spending a while longer discussing this in a more public forum will not hurt. Knepflerle (talk) 14:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Pink wine

One day beer-drinking monoglot John Average feels a passion for deeper knowledge of viticulture after a particularly charming glass of pink wine he had at party. After some research he finds this is probably a rose wine, and the first few Google results include [18] [19] [20] [21] and [22].

An observant monoglot, he notices that several, nay the majority of sites use the spelling rosé. What do we think happens next?

  1. He fails to understand the entire site, it obviously being written in something other than English
  2. He fails to understand the word rosé whenever it occurs, the new letter he didn't learn at primary school completely throwing him
  3. He fails to understand the word rosé whenever it occurs, because he cannot pronounce it out loud/in his head. (Living at Cholmondley-Zzyzx House, Little Worcester, Arkansas fortunately causes him many fewer pronunciation and comprehension problems, being proper English sticking to the 26 familiar letters, but this is by-the-by)
  4. He looks at the bottle and also sees the spelling rosé. This looks very akin to the alternative spelling rose. He decides to investigate further.

I will now assume that our adventurer takes course 4. The reader may decide another path was more likely.

John navigates to Wikipedia, where he types in Rose wine in the sidebar, using the keys he has available and no knowledge of keyboard layouts (he's also a bit drunk by now) and presses enter. He arrives at a page that is titled with the same spelling of the wine that was on the bottle. The page uses the same spelling as the title (strangely logical), and the same spelling as the majority of sites he looked at. Having got so far, artistic licence allows us to assume that his comprehension of the article was not impaired. He might even feel that it could be useful to disambiguate rose wine from rosé wine, but English is full of ambiguities and as an average educated reader of English he is used to coping with heteronyms enough to get by in life. Satisfied, he finishes the bottle.

Issues:

  • Where is the evidence that readers have to know French to read the word rosé, pied-à-terre [23], Besançon [24]?
  • Where is the evidence that you need to be able to pronounce a word to read it? Are Zalaegerszeg or Pilisszentkereszt harder to understand as articles than Rétság or Pécs? I have no idea how to pronounce Naqoyqatsi, but it's great and diacritic-free.
  • Where is evidence of the hardness-to-read of different diacritics - is é fine in rosé because it comes from French, but causes insurmountable difficulty in Pécs? Brontë/Durrës? Or eating Pörkölt in Mönchengladbach. An "Economist-type" solution allows one and not the other. This change purports to offer consistency - but where's the consistency there? Is ė so much harder than é to read because it's not used in French/German/Spanish/Italian/English? If the reader understands its significance it helps them and provides extra information. If the reader does not understand it, it gets ignored.
  • Where is the requirement on editors to be able to enter these characters? There's no requirement to spell English correctly to contribute - other editors tidy up, and will add diacritics. It's how they got into the articles in the first place.
  • Where is the demand that keeping "English usage in the article titles standard and consistent as is expected by the vast majority of the people" is our number one principle? Or wanted at all? Does this vast majority of people feel strongly enough not to read Britannica, Encarta, the BBC, the New York Times, Time magazine...?
  • Where are these standard "transliteration methods" between different Latin alphabets? Is Jürgen going to become Jurgen or Juergen? What if one is mainly used in connection with one person, and another with another (never mind the fact that Jürgen might be used even more than either)? Where's the consistency there? What if, perish the thought, the diacritic version is genuinely more often used - are we going to invent "transliterations" not used elsewhere? Since when did Wikipedia become prescriptive rather than descriptive of language use?
  • What about cases where the diacritics serve to disambiguate topics e.g. rose/rosé, Dauphine/Dauphiné, /Bo//? When you collapse all these to diacriticless titles, you're sure going to need your vast majority of users to clean up the thousands and thousands of redirects. This is a serious issue.

I'm just not seeing the case for doing this or detailed plans for how this would be done in a practical way. Our current guideline is fine, as long as it is enforced correctly (i.e. using what English text use most, with evidence of this) and with redirects from everywhere relevant. To enforce the proposed version requires a lot of time, thought, planning and wider input first. Knepflerle (talk) 14:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Amen. I couldn't have put it better myself. —Nightstallion 15:58, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Very well stated. We should use well-known English names if available, but we should not invent out own transliterations. And we should be aware of the fact that English words and names may use more than 26 basic, unadorned characters. See Motörhead, Brontë, Café. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:17, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I finally had time to look up Motörhead! You are desperate!
"After being sacked from Hawkwind in 1975, supposedly for "doing the wrong drugs",[4] Lemmy decided to form a new band, originally to be called "Bastard". Doug Smith, the band's manager, advised him that, "It's unlikely that we're going to get on Top of the Pops with a name like 'Bastard'." Lemmy concurred and decided to call the band "Motörhead", inspired by the final song he had written for Hawkwind.[5] The name of the song "Motorhead" was derived from a slang term for an amphetamine user, the drug being the subject of the song." Hardly an authoritative source on English usage!--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:16, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
The only problem with this story is that it provides tacit authority of nameless individual non-English speaking Wikipedia editors to impose on the English speaking population how loan words are used in every day communication. I note that Australian wine industry has no problems exporting its rose wines [25].--mrg3105 (comms) If you're not taking any flak, you're not over the target. 22:55, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
As opposed to the nameless editor(s) who claim(s) native English speakers do not ever use diacritics and impose that on Wikipedia they never shall? Some sources may use rose wine, but the majority I found and every bottle I own use rosé. English speakers should be allowed to use on Wikipedia what they use and read in the outside world. Wikipedia should never impose usage, it should just describe and record it - which is exactly what the current policy allows when enforced correctly. Knepflerle (talk) 11:09, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
You are making a very bad point. Firstly rose is as much a name for the colour as rosé. Its a producer's choice what to put on the bottle, not the consumers', the subjects of discussion. Are you suggesting that the average Internet user is also a moderately large wine maker?
English speakers may "be allowed to to use on Wikipedia what they use and read in the outside world", but the outside World may not be so kind. Consider Champagne:
  • a. A sparkling white wine made from a blend of grapes, especially Chardonnay and pinot, produced in Champagne.
  • b. A similar sparkling wine made elsewhere.
Wikipedia has nothing to do with this! --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:29, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
In market economy, producers generally cater to the wishes of their consumers, or they go bankrupt. The wine industry does have some people surveying the market, I believe. Jasy jatere (talk) 16:18, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Are you basing Wikipedia guidelines on marketing surveys? Please demonstrate that wine drinkers prefer one spelling over another.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:06, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
the market has already proven that. If you think they are mistaken, you can make lots of money by selling rose wine, since that is what people really want. Jasy jatere (talk) 08:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Since you are not addressing knepflerle's other points, does this mean that you find them valid? In case you don't, I would be interested in reading your rebuttal. Jasy jatere (talk) 16:18, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I am not answering them because I find no reason to. What purpose do his points serve?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:06, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
They serve the purpose of countering your proposal. Since you prefer to be silent about them, you agree with them, which invalidates your proposal. Jasy jatere (talk) 08:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Precisely. —Nightstallion 09:02, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Precisely what?! There is no countering my proposal by Knepflerle! There is only a section called PINK WINE. The initiator of the PINK WINE is not even saying he is addressing my proposal, and the guideline for participating in discussion is to actually address the points made in the proposal and not to tell a story. Which point of my proposal was the basis for the PINK WINE story? In what way does it invalidate my proposal? Its a funny way to participate in a discussion by going off and starting one's own ;o)
If Knepflerle wants answers from me which are relevant to my proposal, please let him match his seven questions to any one of my 18 points, and we can discuss it. To me this seems the civil thing to do, never mind the logical.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:04, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
It's your onus to convince the other editors on this talk page to have your proposal accepted, not our onus to prove you wrong to avert your proposal. —Nightstallion 11:04, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

<<If we amend the start of the article with the wording I suggested above:

Article titles should use the English alphabet unless a clear majority of English language verifiable reliable sources use names that include other letters in the modern Latin alphabet. Other writing systems, such as syllabaries or Chinese characters, should not be used. ...

Then words like rose wine will be covered because if rosé is more common that rose then it will be used. But if it is not clear that the majority of verifiable reliable sources use rosé the rose would be used. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:44, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I think that wording is much more precise than the present one. I have a little problem with the formulation "clear majority", since the OED surely trumps tabloids. Wikipedia should aim at the OED level, not the tabloid one. Jasy jatere (talk) 14:37, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Capitalization of foreign language titles

Sorry to interrupt whatever is going on here but I've got a question about titles. Titles of foreign language works may be using Latin characters, but not be capitalized using English convention. Should the article name be capitalized as per English, or capitalized per the original language? -Freekee (talk) 17:44, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

If the title is in the original language, it should follow the rules of that language. When the title is translated to English, they should have capitalized titles, as per English rules. bogdan (talk) 22:43, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
With one exception. The Orlando Furioso is called exactly that in English, including the capitalized F; all the translations listed are so called. We should do likewise; furioso is pedantry. So elsewhere where the native title has been adopted into English: Do as English does. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:25, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Chances are, if the foreign language spelling has come into English, the capitalisation rules will be likewise imported and preserved. However it may not always be so - as User:Pmanderson points out, there are exceptions where a hybrid of foreign spelling/English capitalisation occurs. When in Rome/en.wiki do as the Romans/English speakers do - if English language texts predominantly change the capitalisation, change it here. If the text keep it, keep it here. That's precisely what WP:UE says. Knepflerle (talk) 14:56, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
In one article right now, the dispute is because in Hungarian, words are not capitalized. See Rossz csillag alatt született. This isn't strictly covered by this guideline, since the title already uses Latin characters. How certain are we that the words should be capitalized per English rules? -Freekee (talk) 06:10, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

proposal to change first sentence after table of contents

Hello fellow editors,
I think that there has been sufficient discussion the last days to exchange the relevant arguments as to whether "Latin alphabet" is intended to refer to the alphabet of Ancient Rome, consisting of 23 letters, or rather to the Latin script, consisting of the characters refered to as "Latin" in the context of character encoding (e.g Latin_characters_in_Unicode). I think that there is an emerging consesus that the second reading is the intended one.

I quote from Latin alphabet:
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. It evolved from the western variety of the Greek alphabet, called the Cumaean alphabet, and was initially developed by the ancient Romans in Classical Antiquity to write the Latin language.

[...]

In modern usage, the term "Latin alphabet" is used for any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin. These variants may discard some letters (like the Rotokas alphabet) or add extra letters (like the Danish and Norwegian alphabet) to or from the classical Roman script. Letter shapes have changed over the centuries, including the creation of entirely new lower case forms.''

For you reference I quote the sentence as it is now

Article titles should use the Latin alphabet, not any other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters.

I would like to make the sentence unambiguous by changing the word "alphabet" to the word "script", so that the new sentence would read

Article titles should use the Latin script, not any other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters.

The possibility to allow or disallow a portion of that code range (like diacritics), if there is consesus to do so, is not affected by this change. Please let me know whether you agree that this change would reflect consensus opinion. Jasy jatere (talk) 17:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


discussion

I agree for obvious reasons. —Nightstallion 19:33, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
That seems fine but I really don't think the current wording is a problem either. Until this week I had never thought it could be understood to mean the 23 letter alphabet of Ancient Rome. Haukur (talk) 22:38, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I do not think this helpful. It will only produce arguments on "what is a script?", even murkier than the present "what is an alphabet?". The primary meaning of script seems to me to be the difference between uncial and secretary hand, which is a matter of display and which we do not control at all. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:26, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Why do you think the discussions will be murkier with "script" than with "alphabet"? Could you sketch what a possible 'murky' argument could look like? And could you state inhowfar that would be worse than the present discussion about the letter W?
I think the context makes it very clear that we are not talking about handwriting. There is normally no handwriting on computer screens.Jasy jatere (talk) 21:20, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I think that, in this context, script is virtually meaningless. That is enough reason to oppose; but the entire shadowboxing discussion below is made worse by the use of script instead of alphabet. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:10, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to clarify the proposal.
  • In quoting that "In modern usage, the term "Latin alphabet" is used for any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin. These variants may discard some letters (like the Rotokas alphabet) or add extra letters (like the Danish and Norwegian alphabet) to or from the classical Roman script. Letter shapes have changed over the centuries, including the creation of entirely new lower case forms.", do you disagree that some letters in the English script have no corresponding script shapes in Latin script?
every single letter in the English alphabet is in Latin script. No letter in the English alphabet is in Greek script, or Hebrew, or anything else. Was that unclear?Jasy jatere (talk) 08:48, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


But the letter W is not in Latin script because its not in the Latin alphabet, right?
Pointless wordgames. Try to read for understanding, not for debate points. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:37, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, lets hear your "understanding" if mine is lacking according to you. Keep in mind though, one word game is Scrabble, and it is played with English letters and not Latin "script".--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:54, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Do you disagree with the Writing system statement that "Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that one must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to comprehend the text."?
For the Latin sounds represented by the various letters see Latin spelling and pronunciation; for the names of the letters in English see English alphabet.
I agree with the text. Other possible symbolic communication systems like traffic signs do not require knowledge of some natural language. A writing system can be associated to one language, like the Tamil alphabet, or to more languages, like the Cyrillic alphabet. Jasy jatere (talk) 08:48, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I meant this "...one must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to comprehend the text". If one uses a Latin Writing system, surely one has to understand the Latin language?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:25, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
No, obvious nonsense. A suggestion: If your first interpretation of a given text does not make sense, try some others. Language is ambiguous, but most of us manage to communication fine. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:37, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
That quote came from the Wikipedia article! I'm not interpreting anything here. It is the commonly accepted definition in linguistics! Communication is less ambiguous if everyone speaks the same language. Let's see how well we do if everyone speaks a different language.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:54, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
"That quote" is ..one must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to comprehend the text. Your misinterpretation is If one uses a Latin Writing system, surely one has to understand the Latin language?, which is plain and obvious nonsense. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:26, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
This proposal is (to quote):

"I would like to make the sentence unambiguous by changing the word "alphabet" to the word "script", so that the new sentence would read:"

"Article titles should use the Latin script, not any other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters."

Latin script refers to how Latin language is written using characters. Characters or graphemes which are "For example, in the Latin-based writing system of standard contemporary English, examples of graphemes include the majuscule and minuscule forms of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet (corresponding to various phonemes), marks of punctuation (mostly non-phonemic), and a few other symbols such as those for numerals (logograms for numbers)." from Writing_system#Basic_terminology.
Stephan, are you going to tell me that I did not understand, misinterpreted or quoted out of context again?! Are you going to tell me this is my POV?
Only if the change is to Latin-based script can you include the English language. However, the framing that includes "no other alphabets" will create MULTIPLE contradictions because there are lots of Latin-based alphabets! Still "plain and obvious nonsense"?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:53, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Do you disagree that "Roman cursive script, also called majuscule cursive and capitalis cursive, was the everyday form of handwriting used for writing letters, by merchants writing business accounts, by schoolchildren learning the Latin alphabet, and even emperors issuing commands. A more formal style of writing was based on Roman square capitals, but cursive was used for quicker, informal writing. It was most commonly used from about the 1st century BC to the 3rd century, but it probably existed earlier than that."
Cheers--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:50, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
whatever. Jasy jatere (talk) 08:48, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
whatever?! Do you mean "When in Rome, do whatever Romans do"?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:25, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Support proposal. The current wording has always bothered me. It is, however, unfortunate that Latin script redirects to Latin alphabet though so the difference may be lost on those who do not understand the difference between an alphabet and a script. Bendono (talk) 02:19, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Bendone, how do you understand the definitions of "alphabet" and "script"?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:46, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Bendono that the next thing to do is an overhaul of the page Latin alphabet in order to highlight the difference between the 23-letter alphabet and the much larger script. I will take care of that in the futureJasy jatere (talk) 08:48, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
"Much LARGER script"? You surely mean much e x p a n d e d alphabet? One can't get a larger script unless one uses larger font!--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:25, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

"Well, Oppose on the ground that the proposer fails to address questions regarding his/her proposal or participate in discussion.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:54, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

And now you're violating WP:POINT, too. Wonderful. sighsNightstallion 11:03, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah, a neigh from the dark.
Nightstallion, do you realise that WP:POINT can refer to
  • State your point; don't prove it experimentally
  • Gaming the system
  • Refusal to 'get the point'
  • Hoaxes
Could you not at least pipe me to the right section? Would it be too much for you to actually quote from the page?
You have already said that my proposal is about "getting rid of diacritic marks" which is not the point at all. Exactly how is it that I am being disruptive? Have the servers shut down? Have I prevented others from editing? Have I engaged in a revert or edit conflict? Are my abusing other participants? Please offer an example.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:25, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • mrg3105, to address your points one for one
  • read your talk page about the differences between alphabets and scripts. Then read it again. Then read it again. Then reconsider your question about W.
  • I fail to see how Roman square capitals have to do anything with the proposed move from alphabet to script. Your comments are completely beside the point
  • you are refusing to participate in a serious discussion when you misunderstand the meaning of "large". The sense of "large" in this context is perfectly fine and understandable. Your childish behaviour in this respect is disruptive and makes the real discussion difficult to follow. Please refrain from making childish contributions like this one, they disqualify you as a serious contributor to wikipedia and are a nuisance to other editors (as you might have noticed on this talk page).
  • Sorry to say, but I will no longer reply to childish "word game" contributions, poor logic and out-of-context quotations, according to WP:NOFEEDING. This being said, I would still like to discuss subject matters. Jasy jatere (talk) 11:41, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • You realise I don't have to take your word for anything? There are articles in Wikipedia that deal with alphabets and scripts that have been arrived at by independent editors, and have been reviewed until their content has reached the consensus you speak about so much. Everything I write is based on these articles although I could have quoted from my own library.
  • Script is something which is INSCRIBED. It is the physical act of writing. Alphabets do not need to be inscribed. They can be voiced. The English online writer uses an instrument to scribe in the digital medium called the keyboard. When it is used, it produces a script of English letters. Not Latin, not larger, but English. They do not need to be voiced, but they need to be read. The ability to recognise the characters is part and parcel of literacy. It has to do with learning how to write legibly so other can read what one wrote. It pays to learn how to inscribe well in one's language.
  • The rather poor example of the ROSE WINE applies to the keyboards also. If the average online user wants to go and get a keyboard, he/she can only ask for one made for US or UK use. In ether case the box will say ENGLISH, not Latin.
  • Why should I have to guess what you mean by "large" from the context? Use clear and explicit language with appropriate words and you will find me very reasonable. (and follow the talk guidelines to boot!)
  • Who is playing a word game? I have explicitly avoided using exceptions to prove a point as has been tried in every previous discussion, and this one by others. Using exceptions is the ultimate word game where opposing parties compete in finding more words to prove their point. Have I done so? Nope.
If you are going to say I use poor logic, be prepared to prove it. That is the point of a logical argument!
If you say I use out-of-context quotations, cite full quotations. (Also part of guidelines)
If you are going to call me a troll, show where my behaviour qualifies according to the Wikipedia guidelines.
Unless you are able to do these, you are just expressing your POV. Anyone can say anything and call people names. This is all that I have experienced so far. If these are the type of people who are writing the Wikipedia, I would not want to read it if I was paid to do so.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Roll call

Just curious, how many people are reading this but not participating?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:55, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

We'll (meaning 'English Wikipedia) never be rid of those 'diacritics'. The pro-diacritic editors have developed a 'group ownership' on this issue. They have control (and have had it for awhile) on English Wikipedia and will never give it up. We english-reading editors have no choice but to suffers under the 'diacritics' oppression. GoodDay (talk) 17:11, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi GoodDay. Its not really about the use of accents. No group ownership exists over the standards used by the vast number of education systems and institutions in the English speaking nations. Its only a matter of common sense.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:00, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
When I can't read something because of foreign symbols? It's not common-sense to me? It's takeover of the English alphabet, to appease non-English readers. This is the English Wikipedia, not the Internationl language Wikipedia. It doesn't really matter; those foreign symbols are here to stay & there's nothing I (or others like me) can do about. GoodDay (talk) 23:28, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
If yoü caññot read a text because of some fûnnÿ characters, may I suggest that you try harder? Inventing transliterations for names that do not have a common one would amount to original research, something Wikipedia explicitly forbids. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:41, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
What "foreign symbols"? The simple fact is that English is written with diacritics. Besides, English is not written with the English alphabet. If it were, you would not be able to use numbers or punctuation. It is written in the Latin script. If I am restricted to a particular subset of letters, then there I will not be able to write the articles that matter to me. Bendono (talk) 23:47, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
The English alphabet: Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz, as I've learned it. Again, it doesn't matter though. GoodDay (talk) 23:51, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is the English alphabet. But what is your point? English is not written in the English alphabet; it is written in the Latin script. Bendono (talk) 00:13, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Bendono, please explain to me what articles you will not be able to write if you are restricted to the English alphabet? I do not see World Book having this problem. But perhaps you can clarify? Unschool (talk) 00:10, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Conversely I would appreciate if Bendono could write World Wide Web in Latin script ;O)
Stephan. I am making a last appeal to your common sense. If a student uses Swedish spelling of Swedish geographical names in an English language essay for school work, the teacher is guaranteed to correct him/her because the language standard of an English education system or institution in an English language country is English. Use of Swedish spelling in an English language is only limited to specialist use: academia, travel, or special cultural participation. These do not represent general usage for reference of average readership of Wikipedia. It has nothing to do with your suggestion of my personal likes or dislikes.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:57, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
You keep making that unfounded claim. Do you have any evidence beyond your strongly held opinion? And for the umpteenths time: Wikipedia covers many topics not covered in elementary school. Whatever is taught in schools is of little relevance for this discussion. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:07, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Stephan, if you look at the proposal, you will see that the large majority of participants agreed with it. Two people who disagreed actually refused to participate in the discussion, but I still counted them although its not a poll.
If you disagree with the editing, please use another form of conflict resolutions, such as a request for comment, etc, rather then reverting.
PLEASE, do not put your words into my mouth!
  • I wrote language standard of an English education system or institution in an English language country is English
  • You wrote "Wikipedia covers many topics not covered in elementary school. Whatever is taught in schools is of little relevance for this discussion"
There is a vast gap between an elementary school and an education system that covers all types of schoold and an educational institution like a university. What you are doing is oversimplifying an opponent's argument, then attacking the simplified version.
What proof do you require? (For the record, this was not previously requested)
I will now undo your revert. Please be respectful and follow procedure rather then engaging in a revert conflict. Do not use me for a "straw man". --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:22, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I strongly suggest you refrain from reverting. It is clear that there is no consensus for your version. And please stop mixing up languages and alphabets.--Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:50, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, at my university (UW), I had a number of strict professors who rejected (English) papers (mostly history) without the proper diacritics. I was constantly told that dropping them at the college level is simply unacceptable. Bendono (talk) 00:13, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Please point me to a documented policy on this matter. Is this the accepted practice throughout the English speaking higher education institutions?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:22, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
From UW site (History faculty)
HIST 562 Ottoman History (3-6, max. 6)

Field course. Introduction to the major periods and problems of Ottoman history, 1300-1914, by acquainting the student with the major works in at least two languages. An attempt is made to teach some use of Ottoman materials. A minor problem is investigated in detail by every student. Prerequisite: knowledge of at least one major language besides English (French, German, Russian, or other). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrg3105 (talkcontribs) 00:36, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

This was not intended as a section for discussion. However Bendono, I refer you to the standard US or UK English alphabet keyboard. Please find any letters with accents on them. No box in which the keyboards are sold say "Latin keyboard" or even "Latin-based keyboard". No student in an English school or higher education institution are taught a "Latin-based language". You are restricted to using English in English Wikipedia except where the article calls for binging tot he readers attention on the Introduction section that a given name or term has a different-to-English spelling in another language. This is a reference source, and not a language course or a book. You should write articles that matter to the readers, not to you!--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:57, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Precisely. I desire to use English to write English. This morning I road the Chūō-Sōbu Line to work. The English signs properly have the diacritics. (They are even visible in the picture used in the article.) Surely you would prefer Chūō-Sōbu Line to 中央・総武 Line. If I were not allowed to use the diacritics, then I would not be able to write about the train line in English. Bendono (talk) 00:13, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I think almost everyone (I did run across one exception long ago) would agree that they prefer Chūō-Sōbu Line to 中央・総武 Line. The point is, though, that many editors and readers would prefer "Chuo-Sobu Line". over Chūō-Sōbu Line.Unschool (talk) 00:21, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
And I still don't understand your point. As I asked above, how does eliminating diacritics make it impossible for you to write in English? Plenty of other sources manage to do it. Unschool (talk) 00:23, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Because one is verifiably correct and the other is not. Did you look at the actual English sign? Bendono (talk) 00:29, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Sure, I saw the sign. But what makes any sign placed in a Japanese train station an authoritative implementation of English? I'm a bit more inclined to give a bit less weight to a sign created by the 東日本旅客鉄道株式会社 than I would to the usage of, say, the New York Times or The Economist. Does that make me silly? Unschool (talk) 00:55, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
In essence you are implying that the people who own the train line do not know how to write their own name in English. Yes, I do think that that is rather silly. Bendono (talk) 01:04, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Really? So somehow these Japanese are a greater authority that the Times or the OED? And, by the way, I'm not saying that I think that they're wrong. While I have seen cases of poor translation by English speakers trying to work with other languages, and (as an English speaker) many more of non-English natives mistranslating English (e.g., instructions written by someone for a product made in China with no sense of syntax), I actually presume that the train folk are probably "correct" in the sense that their spelling and diacritics follow the established rules of transliteration/translation. But holding that true does not mean that it automatically follows that this spelling or usage of theirs constitutes standard English usage. There are literally thousands of cases where names get written one "English" way in a non-English country but are written by authoritative English sources differently. WP:UE says that we go with the standard usage. The ostensible spellings employed by a Japanese rail company or a Russian retail store or even a French record label are almost entirely devoid of weight in these discussions. Unschool (talk) 01:20, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
(left) This distinguished patriot, one of two who spent a couple weeks trying to move Iwo Jima, is unlikely ever to acknowledge Unschool's point; but we are not the Tokyo subway system, we do not address their audience, and Japlish is not our standard of usage. Rather, we follow the English-speaking world as a whole, and attempt to communicate with them, using the terms they are familiar with. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:41, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah, you must mean like Encarta: Iwo To which beings with

Iwo To, formerly known as Iwo Jima, island of Japan [...]

Bendono (talk) 04:58, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
A dedicated patriot, supported by a Microsoft product. I'm underwhelmed. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:16, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I would ask that you refrain from the name calling. It is uncalled for and unproductive. Bendono (talk) 05:24, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah, so being called a patriot is "name calling". In the USA they have an Act of Congress called that name if I recall correctly. --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:37, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Pmanderson. Bendono, when not promoting Encarta or teaching English speakers English also spends time teaching Japanese language to the Japanese speakers, as in here. However, the Japanese language is apparently not limited by Bendono's imagination. In any case it seems to me that some articles will never change the name.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:37, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, when I read that Bendono actually thinks that we need to add diacritics to Tokyo, it does illuminate his stance for me. There's no way to know the origins of his feelings, of course, but I often have found in life that people with specialized knowledge often like to display it for others. I remember when I was younger, and had become quite fluent in Spanish (though I had never really learned to write in it well); I would sometimes impress my friends by going into Mexican restaurants owned and operated by non-Americans, and would carry on conversations with the hostesses and waiters in Spanish, and would order for all my friends in Spanish. They thought it was cool, but I am embarrassed by my behaviour now, and recognize it for the pompous act that it was. Those waiters were quite capable of talking with us in English, albeit in a thickly accented English, and I was just showing off. Sure, my Spanish was great, and my accent impeccable (as I surprised many a taxi driver in Mexico), but there was just no need for it; nothing was accomplished except that I got to show off my "superior" knowledge. Just like a reporter reporting from Nicaragua who talks in a standard Midwestern American dialect for everything he says, except when he says "Neek ah RAH wah". He does it because he can; but my question is, why doesn't he pronounce Beijing with a Mandarin accent or Mecca with an Arab accent? Because he can't. Yet we still understand "Beijing" and "Mecca", without the addition of the affected accent, just as we would understand "Nicaragua" if spoken in the same accent as the rest of his report. And just as we understand "Tokyo" without the diacritics. But some people learned some specialized knowledge and want to show the rest of us how ignorant we are. I, for one, am glad to have grown up. Unschool (talk) 05:26, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I thought the point of an encyclopedia was to share specialized knowledge? Elrith (talk) 01:29, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

:Give it up, pro-English Language editors (like me). It's a lost cause, they (pro-diacritics/symbols editors) have got the numbers (number of editors). Anything we put for vote, they'll stalemate it everytime. They've got control of English Wikipedia & will never let it go. Laymen editors like me, haven't got a chance.GoodDay (talk) 00:39, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I actually don't feel as strongly against diacritics as do some of you. What I object to is the horrendous logic employed by the anti-colloquial-English crowd, who basically say that traditional English supporters are uneducated morons who don't understand what's "right". Unschool (talk) 00:59, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks; you added five tildes instead of four. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:48, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
It is very annoying when the pro-diacritics/foreign symbols pushers seem to suggest we're idiots. GoodDay (talk) 01:15, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

*Puts up hand* I've been reading this but not participating too much, because I have nothing to add to the good arguments put up by Nightstallion and others. I am on the side of including diacritics and using the appropriate local name for everything. (I know, not a very common opinion.) - MTC (talk) 06:09, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Why don't the half-dozen of you petition the Wikimedia Foundation for an International Wikipedia, free of the galling constraint that you be actually intelligible to English speakers; then you could indulge in Meißen, Firenze, Tōkyō to your hearts' content. No one would understand you; but those valiant souls that tried would have plenty of information ladled down their throats, and this appears to be your chief aim in Wiki. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 06:42, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a difference in giving articles local names and writing articles in some kind of "international language". The reason we have different language Wikipedias is so the articles can be written in a single language on each Wikipedia. I fail to see how Firenze vs. Florence makes a difference to being able to have an intelligible article in English about a Italian city. Why should an Italian city have a different name in English? What language would you write an international Wikipedia in anyway? Aren't all Wikipedias international anyway? - MTC (talk) 09:58, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I think the purpose of this English-language Wikipedia is to "ladle information down our throats". Elrith (talk) 01:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Is that a masochistic acceptance, or a sadistic encouragement?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:53, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Is this meant to be a response to my first message? If so, then my message was neither, it was a statement of my position and a response to the original request to anyone to is/was "reading this but not participating". - MTC (talk) 06:13, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Nope, its a question to User:Elrith thought on what the purpose of the English language Wikipedia is.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:36, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
It's an increduluos response to the idea that Wikipedia currently contains too much relevant information in the form of diacritics, which must be removed. As far as I can tell, the user whose comment I was responding to was incensed at being given too much information, and I find that amazing. Elrith (talk) 20:47, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Stephan Schulz's position

Stephan,

Because you consistently refuted everything I have said, and consistently stated that I lack understanding, fail to offer logical arguments, and provide sources, I would like to ask you to please define:

  • 1. "consensus" according to current Wikipedia policy of it not being defined by polls or votes.
  • 2. "Latin alphabet".
  • 3. "English alphabet".

Please provide authoritative sources commonly available to any Wikipedia registered or unregistered user to support your definitions.

Thank you--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:46, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I suggest you start at WP:CONSENSUS. We also have a good article on Latin alphabet and a reasonable one on English alphabet. You should be aware of the fact that both terms are ambiguous.
As for my position, it's easy. For names written in any Latin alphabet, if there is at least one widely used English version of the name, we should use one of those (selected on the basis of usage level in reliable sources. E.g. Gothenburg, not Göteborg, Brussels, not Bruxelles, Rome, not Roma, Munich, not München, Brontë, not Bronte, Nuremberg, not Nürnberg. For that selection, it is irrelevant if the English version has diacrits or not. If there is no widely acknowledged English version, we should use the native version, not invent our own transliteration in violation of WP:OR. Thus Tübingen, Fürth, Besançon, Vallée du Bandama. This conforms to my understanding of current policy. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:32, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Stephan.
Please be assured that I can, and do read.
However, I am not interested at this stage in presenting anything I can read anywhere.
I am only interested in how you define these three concepts.
If you can not define them using your own words, please copy and paste from the article you cited, or copy from any other works available to you.
It seems to me that it is pointless to go on if we can not agree on the basic definition of concepts and terms involved, and since none I offer suffice, I am looking for your definitions as a (new) start.
For now I will call you positions as SSP1. and SSP2. We will address your positions:
  • P1. "if there is at least one widely used English version of the name, we should use one of those" :::and
  • P2. "If there is no widely acknowledged English version, we should use the native version, not invent our own transliteration in violation of WP:OR"
at a later stage.
I note your statement that these two positions conform to your understanding of current policy. In future, if you refer to a policy or a guideline, an essay or an article, could you please provide a link so that I may know which policy you refer to, and if possible provide the quoted paragraph from the relevant text. I would like to point out that my original edit was made to a guideline, and not a policy.
From the policy page Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Use_English_words I quote:

=== Use English words === Convention: Name your pages in English and place the native transliteration on the first line of the article unless the native form is more commonly recognized by readers than the English form.

Where spelling and transliteration of terms foreign to English language is required, the choice between anglicized and native spellings should follow English usage (e.g., Besançon, Edvard Beneš and Göttingen, but Nuremberg, delicatessen, and Florence). In particular, diacritics are optional, except where English overwhelmingly uses them, whether for disambiguation or for accurate pronunciation (résumé, café). However please note that pronunciation in Wikipedia is indicated using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Thank you--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:44, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

"I am only interested in how you define these three concepts." - I don't. I follow the generally accepted definitions. That's why I pointed you to them. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:51, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no definition of "consensus" on WP:CONSENSUS.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:15, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Search more thoroughly. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:25, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no word definition on the page WP:CONSENSUS, true or false?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:15, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
That would be a mu too. Haukur (talk) 14:05, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
So, you can not define any of these concepts yourself.
Would you agree that you hold everything in these three articles to be true?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:53, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Mu. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:56, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
You are being unreasonable, and in my humble opinion not exhibiting very much good faith. If you are not prepared to participate in a discussion, then your POV is not worth considering.
Forget definitions of the three above.
Since you can't cope with so much information, and you replies have declined to monosyllables, maybe you will agree that the accent marks are used to help human beings pronounce sounds? You can reply with 0 for yes, and 1 for no if you prefer. --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:15, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
0.5i. Leading and misleading questions are not helpful. You have, so far, completely failed to address any relevant points. The first one is how to transliterate into a 26 character alphabet if no standard transliteration exists, the second is to show any evidence that an ëxtéñdet Latin character set causes non-trivial problems for readers. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:24, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Obverse is also true! Every question is "leading", because it leads to an answer! In this case the answer needed to be either true, or false. Since you used your imagination to not offer an answer, the logical outcome is that you don't know it.
Firstly a standard transliteration does exist. A vast number of loawords (some 80,000) is found in the English language. 99% of these loanwords are written without accents.
There is ample proof that an accented Latin character causes non-trivial problems to the reader in English. There are about 500,000 words in the English vocabulary of which 80,000 are loanwords. Of these some 800 retain accents. The English society at all its levels rejected use of accents from the Middle Ages onwards despite strong attempts to introduce them right up to the 19th century! Statistical analysis and a trend over 1,000 years suggest that the remaining 800 words (mostly recent borrowings) will go the same way. What society does not want, it discards.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 14:10, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
This is getting a little too pointed for constructive discussion. Might it help if I provided the Shorter Oxford definition of 'consensus'?1
1. (Physics) General concord of different organs of the body in effecting a given purpose; sympathy.
2. Agreement in opinion. (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1973, p.403)
Thus in general I would interpret from (2) that all contributors should agree to a given proposal for there to exist a consensus. Regards to all. Buckshot06 (talk) 22:44, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
To quote Stephan Schulz, "Mu". Stephan does not accept anyone's definition of anything, except his own. We don't know what his own definition is, although it is found in the article. However, the article does not explicitly state what that definition is because it has no definition. It is therefore impossible to reach consensus when Stephan is in the discussion because one never knows how he defines this as a process or a concept as a whole.
In any case, opinions are not a tradeable currency in Wikipedia discussions.
It is not possible to achieve consensus where the consensus is based on false premise, and concerns non-participants, the users. Therefore, discussion is the only option, as is the Wikipedia guideline/policy.
Stephan is being obstructionist, and not clever as he seems to think he is.
Stephan, NEWSFLASH - you are not an authority on English language, and neither is Wikipedia!
Neither you, nor anyone in Wikipedia have the right to dictate how hundreds of millions of people should use English language, including writing it or speaking it. You will not impose the entirety of accented alphabets of Latin-based languages on either Wikipedia English speaking community, or the general global English speaking population.
If you continue to refuse to participate in a reasonable discussion, block my amendment to make the guideline more explicit, and not state your position clearly and explicitly, backed by facts that apply to the issue, I will take this proposal to the Village Pump for a policy proposal.
If the Village Pump participants fail to affirm that English Wikipedia should use English for the benefit of its intended readership, I will address the issue with the Wikipedia Foundation Inc.
If Wikipedia Foundation Inc. fails to affirm what is already a less-then-explicit policy, I will regrettably have to take the issue to the general online and printed media. Is this what you want?
Your position now is that the Wikipedia Foundation policy which prescribes use of English alphabet in English Wikipedia for use by English-speaking readers does not apply to encyclopaedia entry titles and article content because non-English alphabets and words must be used, they being more correct then the accent-truncated versions. This is largely based on your suggestion that the English alphabet consists of more then 26 letters and that there is no standard way to transliterate words foreign to the English language.
Your position is fallacious and unsustainable.
  • What the general English speaking user of Wikipedia is taught is not determined in Munich, Warsaw, or Prague, but in the education departments throughout the English speaking countries. It starts with the letter blocks, and ends with academic papers, and throughout the overwhelming volume of vocabulary used is that of unaccented English words.
  • Use of transliterated borrowed words (loanwords) has at least 1,000 years of history in the English language development. Of some 80,000 words in the 500,000 English vocabulary only some 800 have been retained in the accented form. Most are recent borrowings and anachronistic rarities. Despite historical influences on the English society from outside, and within, over this period to adopt accents, the adoption has been rejected by the English speaking society many times. Many countries where English is not the only official language have not chosen to adopt accented letters either. Think about that.
  • The primary purpose behind use of the accents in various languages is to ensure consistent pronunciation throughout a given society. The UK society alone has 48 dialects, where many hold their pronunciation very dear to their hears, and would not want to adopt other pronunciation. Lack of consistent pronunciation has not inhibited other cultures from adopting English as an official language. English has become the first global language of understanding despite not having accented alphabet. Clearly, it is not a hindrance.
  • The creation of the International Phonetic Alphabet has rendered the accents of various languages, whether Latin-based or not, archaic, and has largely replaced the national accent systems in language teaching. Diacritic marks in German are no longer necessary when vocal/oral language teaching resources are available. I can learn to speak perfect German having never seen German script, or even used it in writing. I don't need to know German at all to communicate in English!
  • Are the German education systems teaching German speaking populations how to use all Latin-based alphabets and their writing forms? I sincerely doubt it. If it did then the German Wikipedia entry for Osmanisches Reich would have read Osmanlı İmparatorluğu, right? After all, there are lots of Turkish speakers in Germany, and Turkish modern script is Latin-based, and Osmanlı İmparatorluğu is the correct name for the Ottoman Empire. In English there is a saying you may be familiar with that calls attention to the goose. "U"?
  • Use of national alphabet systems in the English reference work is therefore an imposition on the English speakers that discriminates not only on the basis of place of birth, or socio-economic circumstances of the average English user, but also against any and all non-Latin-based language users.
I suggest you reconsider your position. The only consequence of your obstinacy if you and others who support your position persist will be negative publicity for Wikipedia in the English media. Is this truly a "cause" to score points in? Do you care more for your ego and opinion, or for what the Wikipedia seeks to achieve - provide a reliable reference source for those who are unable to afford Britannica or Encarta?
Please consider the purpose of your position, what your motivations are, and whom they serve.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:30, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

(dedent. And can you please try to use a somewhat consistent indent level? Thanks!). Sorry, but I see little common ground even on the most basic points. Here. You say that you will escalate this via the village pump, the foundation, and the press, regardless of any possible consensus against you? This is not how Wikipedia works - in fact, this is more or less anathema to how it works. Good luck. Manifest destiny takes a few hundred years.

I get the feeling that you work under the assumption that reading a language requires the ability to vocalize unknown words from just the character sequence. That is a very wrong assumption. Many English readers may not know how to pronounce Priština, but they are likewise unable to deduce the pronunciation of "women" from the individual characters. Or consider the famous ghoti, usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw. Characters (and character sequences) represent sounds, but at best they approximate the pronunciation. And over time, or by incorporating loan words, spelling can and does become very detached from speaking. English is among the worst of languages, because of its large store of imported vocabulary.

If I find some time later, I will - once more and explicitly, as that seems to be the only way you understand it - discuss your original "points".

--Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:24, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Not at all. What I said is that I will escalate this proposal until I get a fair and civil discussion. If you want this see this discussion taken to the media, so be it. I did not want, nor expected to be in a discussion over such a triviality as to which language is use in an English language reference source.
However, where this discussion goes is not one of the "basic points"! You refused to address 18 basic points, and then refused to address three. Now you pick your own!
Your reference to Manifest destiny is truly astounding! Are you inferring that I am promoting the concept of "a belief in the natural superiority of what was then called the "Anglo-Saxon race," i.e., whites of English heritage"?! You really should be careful what you assume (I seem to be repeating myself here) about what anyone "thinks" and just base yourself on what I write.
Regardless of your opinion on English as a language, and philosophical musings on linguistics and cognitive processing, these are hardly the subjects of my proposal.
"Many English readers may not know how to pronounce Priština, but they are likewise unable to deduce the pronunciation of "women" from the individual characters." - This just makes no sense. I refer you to Crossword.
You have to start completing your sentences. As in "And over time, or by incorporating loan words, spelling can and does become very detached from speaking, thereby forming a distinct language, e.g. English." Are you familiar with that country to the West called France? The Franks used to be "germanic" also! I guess the French is not much good by your assessment because of their borrowing of Latin and Gallic? Are you familiar with the country to the South, Italy? The Northern Italy at one time was occupied by the invading "germanic" tribes also who incorporated the Latin and what remained of the Etruscan vocabularies. Guess they are not much "chop" on your scale either. Polish has a heap of borrowed words too. Is that language lacking in "goodness"? Romanians practically rewrote their vocabulary to become more "latin". It is almost impossible to tell what it really started as before the Romans came to the area. 60% of "Japanese" is Chinese, so it surely ranks as much worse then English with only 16% in foreign words. I guess other languages can't be as "pure" as German, right?
When you find some time? Would that be days, weeks, years? How about this - I implement the change subject to silence on the part of those who oppose it, which signifies your vaunted "consensus", and when you get time, and you address the points I made, and I find your arguments unchallengeable, then we can change it back?
PS. I am well aware of "how it works". I have not contributed for a year, but I have ranged widely and only now decided to start contributing. I can point to many "curious and interesting" places in Wikipedia "universe", but this one seems strangely appropriate in may ways. Of course neither of us come out faultless, which is something to consider.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:59, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Does your silence indicate agreement?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:42, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I must say it's too much work to weed through this entire section of argumentativeness. I thought Stephan's initial response to your query was quite reasonable. For the moment, let's leave "policy", "guidelines," "conventions" and statistical analysis of diacritics over the past 10 centuries aside. What is it for, exactly, that you are looking to accept silence as agreement?
   And I do hope that wasn't a serious question on your part, I personally take a rather dim view of editors who don't reach consensus and then when they have the last word (because others tire of responding), they conveniently interpret that as tacit affirmation of their position. —PētersV (talk) 01:58, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what "initial response" you refer to, but it was
"If you check out Latin alphabet, you will see that this term is not restricted to the original Roman alphabet, but includes the close derivatives like German (with umlauts ä,Ü,...), French (with accents, á, û), Scandinavian (with ligatures æ, œ, and weird constructions I cannot even name like ø ;-). As the discussion in Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Disputed_issues shows, there is no consensus about this issue, and a majority seems to support the use of diacritics. Your edit would preclude this discussion, which is why I reverted it. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:45, 18 February 2008 (UTC)" to my change of Latin alphabet to English alphabet.
Stephan's position is therefore that "Latin alphabet" in the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) in fact means "any Latin-based alphabet". He was also the first to raise the issue of diactritics, although I am the one being accused of "trying to get rid of diacritics". My perspective is quite different, and goes well beyond the actual letters. Because Stephan is invoking "consensus" , and on a completely different issue, maybe you would care to define what a consensus is, and how it applies to this proposed change since Stephan refused to do so.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 04:20, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Clueless on diacritics

The WP:MoS states that:

Use anglicized spellings; native spellings are an optional alternative if they use the English alphabet. The choice between anglicized and native spellings should follow English usage (Besançon, Edvard Beneš and Göttingen, but Nuremburg, role, naive, and Florence). In particular, diacritics are optional, except where English overwhelmingly uses them, whether for disambiguation or for accurate pronunciation (résumé, café).

So that allows for rose and rosé on one hand, but Tokyo (not Tōkyō). It would also suggest the use of Meissen instead of Meißen, since the former is is anglicized and the latter is not; an alternative ß is not in the usual English alphabet. The WP:MoS seems pretty clearcut to me and I think it should be adapted here. --Novelty (talk) 08:42, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

"In particular, diacritics are optional," does not seem like a solution to what we are discussing and the wording of "native spellings are an optional alternative if they use the English alphabet" would cause problems (e.g. Vienna and Wien) --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:50, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Ya know folks, the swiggles, the swirls & the dots are annoying enough. But, the 'squares'? absolutely have got to go. Even pro-diacritcs editors have got to concede that the 'squares' are overkill. GoodDay (talk) 16:35, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
The "squares" are due to limitations of your browser. You can't seriously be suggesting that Wikipedia be dumbed down to your Internet browser? Update your character sets and you'll be able to read just fine. Elrith (talk) 01:39, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, we can, and we should, insist that WP be dumbed down to the limitations of common browsers. We are intended to be readable by anyone, using a public or private computer; we should not be limited to the bleeding edge. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:50, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Having written part of that, I know it to be a compromise between views. It is not coherent, and useful only in preventing the nonsense that takes place when MOS can be read as imposing a Rule, which all good editors must defend. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:05, 28 February 2008 (UTC)


The MoS applies to the content of a page, whereas the naming conventions apply to the title, as far as I can see. One could surely think about unifying them somehow. Jasy jatere (talk) 13:41, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Point-by-point, as requested

Mrg3105 presented a list of points on which he somehow bases his proposal. I don't quite get his logic, but since he has repeatedly asked for a discussion of his assumptions, here it goes. Original statements have bullets and numbers, and are by Mrg3105. My comments are indented by two colons ("::"), and signed at the end. If you chime in, please also use consistent indention to keep this readable. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:22, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Obvious true, but irrelevant if you argue for a change of policy.
Of course I have not argued for a policy change
On this, I think many people disagree with you.
The paragraph is part of a guideline. I have no idea how "many people" or even you, can disagree with this.
  • 2.Because it is not qualified, it can only refer to the alphabet of the Ancient Rome. (fact)
This is obvious nonsense. This is not how the average reader interprets it, it is not how the linked article describes it, and this is not how the naming convention has been applied for years. This is where most editors stop taking you serious, see e.g. [26].
If it says "Latin alphabet", is the editor always expected to familiarise him or her self with the full text of the Latin alphabet article, or accept the opinion of one editor?
The first paragraph in the introduction to the article names it as the alphabet (sometimes called Roman) of the Ancient Rome.
"The editor" is expected to understand this paragraph based on his existing knowledge, and to apply good faith and inform himself if he does not. This is in particular true, if he wants to change a long-standing text. In general, if you want to participate in a discussion, its up to you to inform yourself about the basics.
The subsequent reference to modern usage says "In modern usage, the term "Latin alphabet" is used for any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin. These variants may discard some letters (like the Rotokas alphabet) or add extra letters (like the Danish and Norwegian alphabet) to or from the classical Roman script. Letter shapes have changed over the centuries, including the creation of entirely new lower case forms." "Any straightforward derivation" is a rather vague term, but the inclusion of 58 accent marks in a language is probably not considered straightforward my the average reader in any nation that uses a Latin-derived alphabet. If you are so insistent on using the Latin alphabet article as your supporting argument, why not be explicit and change the text in the Naming conventions (use English) from Latin alphabet to Latin-based alphabet?
I like the current version better. It is clear enough and shorter.
If you define Latin alphabet as used in Naming conventions (use English) as "any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin", then why not change the paragraph in the Naming conventions (use English) to reflect this, and say "Latin-based alphabets"? It is clearly not "clear enough", or we would not be having this discussion.
  • 3.However, the use of Latin alphabet has been applied by some editors to be arbitrarily inclusive of all Latin-based alphabets. (agreed?)
No, this is a combination of misrepresentation and straw man. To quote from Latin alphabet: "In modern usage, the term "Latin alphabet" is used for any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin." This is the standard meaning. There is noting arbitrary about it, and it is not (only) "some editors" that describe it so.
See above. The usage does not refer to Latin alphabet, but to "any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin". Naturally enough, in Polish, the Polish alphabet would be seen as a "straightforward derivation"! The vast majority of the use of non-English spelling has been used by editors who's first language is not English.
Is this apropos anything? And Besançon is the English spelling of that name...
What does Besancon have to do with anything here?! I am trying to understand what you think "Latin alphabet" means. To anyone usage in their native language would be the "straightforward derivation" of Latin due to greater familiarity. One can not be objective unless one knows all the Latin-based languages fluently. Are you such a person?
  • 4.The standard Latin alphabet has 23 letters. This made it impossible to use in English writing since the Middle Ages. (fact)
VVrong. It makes it impossible to vvrite all vvords vvith the cvrrent orthography, bvt there is no problem vvith vvriting vnderstandable English.
So, on the one hand you are arguing that only the "correct" form of the word must be used in Wikipedia, and on the other you are arguing that that the alphabet stipulated for this in the Naming conventions (use English) is incapable of providing correct orthography. Are you familiar with the concept of making contradictory statements? By the way, do you use an English spelling checker? Lots of words being underlined in your sentence that my spelling is having a problem understanding. Its the one that comes with Mozilla FireFox English version.
Do you have a point? I did not suggest that we should write Wikipedia with the ancient Roman alphabet. You made an absolute claim that one cannot write English in that alphabet, and I demonstrated that that claim is absolutely wrong. Do you deny that the text I wrote was in English? Which other language did I use? And what does your web browser or my spell checker have to do with this?
It is fallacious to claim you wrote in English since you decoupled the alphabet from the vocabulary! You vvrote English vvords in Latin ;O)
  • 5.Latin alphabet being referred to here is therefore the ISO basic Latin alphabet. (fact)
No, wrong and completely drawn out of thin air.
If the Latin alphabet "makes it impossible to vvrite all vvords vvith the cvrrent orthography", then what other possible alphabet can you be referring to other then the ISO basic Latin alphabet?
The Latin alphabet can do so just fine. The ancient Roman version of it cannot. In other words, Mu again.
But we are trying to understand which Latin alphabet you suggest in using in Wikipedia. So you DO suggest that the Ancient Latin alphabet should be used in the English Wikipedia?


  • 6.That the Latin alphabet in the guideline is in fact the ISO basic Latin alphabet, has been left unsaid by the Naming convention (use English) guideline (agreed?)
This is really a case for Mu. You start by an invalid assumption and conclude with a vacuous claim.
By your own admission Latin alphabet "makes it impossible to vvrite all vvords vvith the cvrrent orthography". No one writes English content in Wikipedia with the express intention of making its orthography not understandable, and therefore immediately subject to spelling correction. And yet, you insist that it is the Latin alphabet that must be used. I suggest that it is you who is making assumptions that any one will bother to read anything English written in Latin, and not ISO basic Latin. U!
No. You still insist on the refuted misreading of Latin alphabet to be restricted to 23 characters. No-one else does. If you want to communicate with us, can you please at least try to use common meanings and not your own inventions? Thanks.
Well, how many letters does the Latin Alphabet has in the Ancient version, and in the modern ISO Latin version? Who is "us" (again)? In English only the Queen refers to herself as "we". Maybe I should address you as "majesty"?
  • 7.If ISO basic Latin alphabet was clearly stated, editors may find out that it is derived from the English alphabet standard known as the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, better known as ASCII (agreed?)
Completely irrelevant.
It seems vaguely relevant to which keyboard the user purchases, one that uses English ASCII mapping or one that does not! For an experiment, go to a shop and see if the majority of keyboards sold in Germany are not labled Deutsch. Stating that someone's fact is irrelevant is the weakest argument there is.
Stating that a fact is irrelevant is a necessity. I can quote any number of trivially true facts that have no bearing on the case...1+1=2, 1+2=3, 1+3=4. That might work by way of the Chewbacca defense, but its not going to lead to a productive discussion.
Ok, which keyboards do you think most English speaking users use?
  • 8.ASCII is part of the Standard English curricula teaching of computer subjects from early age in all English-speaking countries. (fact?)
Almost certainly not. British pupils almost certainly use computers which support the £ even in basic applications.
My turn to say "irrelevant"! Both the Pound Sterling sign, and the octothorpe used before the £ became available on keyboards are part of the ASCII code, but are not taught as an alphabetic character. In fact it is not used as such in any alphabet that I know of. In any case, the sign does not occur in the Latin alphabet, or the Latin keyboard.
No, the £ sign never was part of the ASCII character set. The hash was and is, but that's a different character.
However, the fact remains that regardless of the use of the pound sign, the ASCII is part of the basic computer literacy teaching in English curricula. It is a basic prerequisite to introduction to computers.
  • 9.ASCII is the standard used in Wikipedia design, which is why it was an obvious and therefore unstated choice, because it assumed good faith and common sense. (agreed?)
Not at all. It is completely and technically wrong. If Wikipedia were based on ASCII, how could I possibly do this: üöëßΞØ?
Well, I concede that point because I was considering all possible users who may not be able to access some of the more demanding Wikipedia features due to their hardware/software configuration.
  • 10.There is no difference between the English alphabet (26 letters; no accents) and the ISO basic Latin alphabet (26 letters; no accents). (fact)
Arguably. "English alphabet" is not standardized. It is a reasonable interpretation, though.
Never say "arguably" without offering the argument. The difference between UK and US spelling does not create the issue of using different alphabets, but only different application of one alphabet in some (very few) cases.
So?

Because that one alphabet is the English 26 letter alphabet, and not Latin.

  • 11.A greater range of language vocalisation can be represented in the English language using its alphabet (26 letters; no accents) than the archaic Latin alphabet (23 letters). (fact)
No, completely wrong. It can be represented more conveniently, yes.
More conveniently? So it is your argument that modern English sounds the same as ancient Latin?!
Where does this non-sequitur come from? Are you aware of the fact that spelling and pronunciation are only loosely coupled? And that the same character in different languages represents quite different sounds?
I am aware, hence argue that English should be used because Latin in no way represents anything remotely familiar to most English speakers.
  • 12.My suggestion to replace the archaic Latin alphabet with the more recent 1960s English alphabet for article titles was based on the idea that the guideline should reflect the standards under which Wikipedia is designed, the standards in which the users are taught to read, write, and type. (affirmation)
And here is Mu again. The current version does not prescribe "the archaic Latin alphabet".
By your own admission Latin alphabet "makes it impossible to vvrite all vvords vvith the cvrrent orthography". If in your interpretation the Latin alphabet in the current wording does not represent the Ancient Latin, nor does it represent "any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin", i.e. any Latin-based alphabet, what does it represent?
Who said it does not "represent any straightforward derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin"?
So, the "current version does not prescribe "the archaic Latin alphabet" - refers to the standard ISO Latin alphabet, and yet although you agree per point 10 that English and ISO Latin are identical, you do not agree that English should be used instead of Latin?!
  • 13.Changing the paragraph to include all Latin-based alphabets as is the practice now will impose the need by all Wikipedia users to learn how to recognise, type, read and probably pronounce all non-English scripts. (agreed?)
No, very wrong. First, we are not talking about all non-English scripts, only about those using a Latin alphabet. And most English users by far have a sufficient knowledge to effectively read words in extended Latin character sets, so they do not need to learn it. As for typing: Again, it's a trivial burden to do it for article names, and irrelevant everywhere else - Wikignomes and redirects take care about this. As for pronunciation, no, why would you have to learn how to pronounce the characters? You will not correctly pronounce "Pristina", or even "women", for that, unless you already know how it is pronounced. Why then would you expect people to pronounce Priština correctly? But all this is fairly irrelevant anyways. Yes, some topics on Wikipedia are harder than others. Foreign place names are trivial compared to general relativity or trinity. That's not discrimination about people with little knowledge, but a challenge and a chance to remedy this.
This was an intentional trap to get you to admit that what you really refer to when supporting the use of Latin alphabet is "extended Latin character sets" which is same as stating Latin based alphabets, and not Latin alphabet alone.
All you have to prove now is that "most English users by far have a sufficient knowledge to effectively read words" using such sets. Unless you can offer this proof, your proposal is a definite WP:OR. I do not share your conviction that most English users are so knowledgeable.
If the use of "extended Latin character sets" is not, I strongly suspect, required for pronunciation, and the reader is not expected to be able to type them, then what is the purpose of using the native form of the word in the title or the text of the article? How do you make comparison of language with general relativity or trinity? One is not an option in communication, being a part of cultural inheritance and a core educational subject. The others are an optional academic pursuit and a set of personal beliefs. If there were ever two cases of comparing apples and oranges, this is surely them!
Luckily, I have to prove nothing. The fact that we happily (or unhappily for some) use diacrits is evidence plenty. You, on the other hand, have failed to present any applicable evidence - general ranting about loan-words being anglicized over time not withstanding.
Note that I have not asked you to prove anything, but only to answer a question - which you failed to do, again. I therefore assume that you agree with me, or that your statements are not backed by logic.
  • 14.Adding accents to article titles does not add to the value of the information contained in the articles as a whole. (fact)
Completely irrelevant. It makes an important part of information (the name of the subject) more accessible.
Actually this was not a question, but a statement. Its relevance is not up for judgment.
How is the name of the subject more accessible if you state yourself that "a trivial burden to do it for article names, and irrelevant everywhere else - Wikignomes and redirects take care about this"? Every time the article using non-English words is created, Wikignomes and redirects must be created also. The triviality of the data entry using unfamiliar character sets on a keyboard not intended for the input, by a user not usually trained for it, is yet to be proven from your statement that "most English users by far have a sufficient knowledge to effectively read words in extended Latin character sets".
Do you know what a wikignome is?
Yes, I referred to redirects, but changed my train of thought and forgot to delete Wikignomes. Why would one depend on someone maybe fixing the article at some later stage?
  • 15.Adding accents to article titles is not the correct way to introduce an English speaker to learn another language even if the reader is encouraged to do so (fact)
We are not "adding accents to titles", we use accents where they correspond to English usage or where no anglicized version exists. And, for the nth time, using accented characters is not remotely the same (or even similar) to "introduce an English speaker to learn another language".
So wherever there is English usage for a word, or where anglicized version exists, English version should be used as per policy? Why is this not the practice?
If Wikipedia is not "using accented characters is not remotely the same (or even similar) to "introduce an English speaker to learn another language", then where are the "most English users" gaining "sufficient knowledge to effectively read words in extended Latin character sets"?
Do you understand the difference between a language and a script?
Are you suggesting that my understanding will match yours? ;o) However, I again point to your proclivity to answer questions with questions, a sign of someone on a defensive if ever there was one. There is no need for you to feel defensive - just answer the questions.
  • 16.The existing Wikipedia policy in Wikipedia:Naming conventions on the English Wikipedia is that “The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.” (fact)
Yes.
And yet, the standard Latin alphabet has 23 letters and "makes it impossible to vvrite all vvords vvith the cvrrent orthography, bvt there is no problem vvith vvriting vnderstandable English."! Understandable by whom? Is this your understanding of the "straightforward derivation" acceptable by the "most English users"?
Yes. And I'm not really interested in "most English users", but in "most users".
But this is not the "most users" Wikipedia - its an English Wikipedia!
  • 17.If the practice of editing article titles includes all Latin-based alphabets as is the practice now, it will be optimized for editors, and those with specialist knowledge of languages other then English. (fact)
No, completely wrong. How do you arrive at that idea? It's not ruining valuable information. You can just as well say that general relativity optimized Wikipedia for specialists, as opposed to Newtonian physics, which is what the average reader may be used to.
In this case you just chose to ignore the fact. One has to know the language and be able to type in one to create non-English article titles, or add these in the article content. How is this relevant to "not ruining valuable information" or writing about specialist knowledge articles? All articles require some degree of specialist knowledge to create and edit, but not all require specialist knowledge to type and read.
Completely bogus. I don't know much French. I can type Besançon. I know no Polish, but I can type Władysław Gomułka. And being able to read these words is not something that requires specialist knowledge. Being able to pronounce them does need a small degree, but that is true regardless of which letters I use to spell them.
Ah, but you fell a fib. If you don't know French, it doesn't matter. What matters is, do you know English to write Besançon. Did you have innate from birth knowledge of this spelling? You did not. Rather, you looked it up in a dictionary. However, dictionaries change. In this version of another reference work http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Besancon, you will see a different spelling! Similarly with Gomulka, the English speaker will spell in English http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/POLgomulka.htm Seeing unusual characters will invariably cause confusion to English speakers in the same way as if I chose to write German words with Turkish characters in them, although both languages use Latin-based alphabets.Being able to read English requires no degree of specialist knowledge on the part of the average English reader, so why make the imposition?
  • 18.The above will reverse the existing Wikipedia policy, and will contradict not only the intention from creation of English Wikipedia of providing accessibility to all native English readers, but also contravene the spirit in which English Wikipedia is offered to the wider user base as a free and open source of knowledge.
I don't even fully understand this sentence. What is your reference ("the above")? And the purpose of Wikipedia is not "to provide accessibility to all native English readers", but to build a useful encyclopedia, or, more eloquently; "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." [27]. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:22, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
The "above" refers to the fact you ignored; that is the unfounded assertion you make that "most English users by far have a sufficient knowledge to effectively read words in extended Latin character sets".
Aha. Please be more clear in the future. Yes, I claim that. In fact, I think it's obviously evident from the current state.
If it is "evident", then could you provided the evidence that "most English users by far have a sufficient knowledge to effectively read words in extended Latin character sets"?

Well, I can see what I'm dealing with now. Someone who uses unfounded and self-contradictory statements, to ascribe meaning to terms he is neither able to define, nor substantiate.

I would welcome you defining the term consensus, but in all unlikelihood I would not get anything approaching a "straightforward derivation".

Are there any other opposer to the change I proposed, and please be more logical then Stephan.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:55, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I'll leave it to others to judge our respective comments for logic and consistency. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:31, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I tried to start reading through all the above text in order that I could give some balanced opinion on the arguments, but frankly I have given up and am a bit lost. I'm heartened however at the immense amount of time and effort people are willing to spend however refining the way wikipedia works on these issues. Mrg, Stephan, would you mind both summarising in one sentence your policy proposal or what you are arguing against? Regards Buckshot06 (talk) 21:30, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • To repeat from above, I support sticking with the current policy, which I understand roughly as follows: "For names written in any Latin alphabet, if there is at least one widely used English version of the name, we should use one of those (selected on the basis of usage level in reliable sources). E.g. Gothenburg, not Göteborg, Brussels, not Bruxelles, Rome, not Roma, Munich, not München, Brontë, not Bronte, Nuremberg, not Nürnberg. For that selection, it is irrelevant if the English version has diacrits or not. If there is no widely acknowledged English version, we should use the native version, not invent our own transliteration in violation of WP:OR. Thus Tübingen, Fürth, Besançon, Vallée du Bandama." --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:52, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
One small thing. Which WP page is that policy/guideline at? Buckshot06 (talk) 22:43, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
This one (i.e. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:49, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
My original edit was in the article [[Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) to change one word.
Instead of :"Article titles should use the Latin alphabet, not any other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters. However, any non-Latin-alphabet native name should be given within the first line of the article (with a Latin-alphabet transliteration if the English name does not correspond to a transliteration of the native name). Also, a non-Latin-alphabet redirect could be created to link to the actual Latin-alphabet-titled article."
I changed it to "Article titles should use the English alphabet, not any other alphabets or other writing systems such as syllabaries or Chinese characters. However, any non-Latin-alphabet native name should be given within the first line of the article (with a Latin-alphabet transliteration if the English name does not correspond to a transliteration of the native name). Also, a non-Latin-alphabet redirect could be created to link to the actual Latin-alphabet-titled article."
This was to reflect the policy that
However Stephan asserts that "most English users by far have a sufficient knowledge to effectively read words in extended Latin character sets" (he says "evidently"), and therefore

Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.

Note to point 16. above Stephan states that "I'm not really interested in "most English users", but in "most users"."

This is justified by the following principle:

The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.


Cheers--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:16, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

However, I can now see that Stephan is really doing God's work, and ultimately imposition of the need to use accents from every Latin-based language on the English speaking world will have positive consequences from my perspective, so I will no longer oppose use of whatever non-English speaking editors want to use. However, I now move my attention to Naming conventions of historical events. Cheers--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:16, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Thankyou Mrg. I appreciate the goal of your efforts is to improve the encyclopaedia. Please consider doing on your next focus by initiating a discussion on the talk page first, waiting a reasonable amount of time for comments, being prepared to modify your proposal in the light of others' thoughts, and then waiting for 'general agreement' or however the Shorter Oxford definition

of 'consensus' is that I dug up beforehand. Buckshot06 (talk) 01:28, 3 March 2008 (UTC)


Ok, so you are saying that rather then changing Latin to English, I should have followed the following process:

1. Ask on the talk page if English Wikipedia uses Latin or English. 2. Suggest that my thoughts on the matter is that English Wikipedia uses English, and that English has 26 letters. 3. Determine what "reasonable amount of time" is in the context of Wikipedia development. 4. Allow this time period to lapse to allow comments. 5. Modify my thoughts based on what others think although I have no way of verifying their expertise in the ability to determine what language English Wikipedia uses, and if they know the difference between English and Latin. 6. I then have to modify my "thoughts" on the knowledge of English by: a) That Latin means "any Latin-based language", and that English includes any word written with any Latin-based alphabet and so used in English vocabulary, and b) That majority of English speakers "evidently" know all other Latin-based languages and their scripts and use them freely on daily basis. 7. I should just accept this with no proof or sources offered other then a few words from a range of 500,000. 8. I should then accept a "general agreement" of what English is according to the number of views presented in the talk page whether a dozen, 50 or 500 Wikipedia editors, and ignore the usage as defined by educational systems of 56 nations who use English as official language. 9. Once the Wikipedia editors have agreed on what English is, this will be "written in stone" and henceforth whenever I encounter a word which is not written "correctly" in English because there is a more "correct" version in the native language, then that word will have to be changed...unless another "consensus" determines that the English word is the more commonly used word.

Buckshot06, this is nonsensical. One can not define English language by consensus of Wikipedia editors! One can not define anything by consensus. Consensus can only be based on "general agreement" that a given set of facts offer the best explanation for any given event, occurrence, concept, thought, proposal, course of action, etc.
This is particularly true for a reference work. For most people accessing Wikipedia, it is the final point of reference, or it is expected to be. For this reason a situation where one group insists on white while another on black can not result in a consensus declaration of grey.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:59, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

SEPERATION

I'm beginng to think that division is the only way. English Wikipedia should be divided into two Linguistic Wikipedia's. We need a English Wikipedia with no diacritic etc & an English Wikipedia with diacritics. One for each 'group of editors'. GoodDay (talk) 22:09, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Let's also make a version of English Wikipedia in which correct spelling is optional. bogdan (talk) 00:18, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Optional? that would be English Wikipedia with diacritics. GoodDay (talk) 13:56, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

List of accented words in English language. Elrith (talk) 20:49, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't expect my proposal to be accepted (I mean, it is quite radical). The way Teemu Selanne & Dominik Hasek are is annoying enough to me (but I can read them). But articles like Lubomir Visnovsky? is 'overkill'. GoodDay (talk) 21:01, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
My point is that your proposal is to divide Wikipedia into an English-language wikipedia and an English-language Wikipedia that censors all diacritics. English uses diacritics. Elrith (talk) 21:22, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I just figured that there'll never be a solution. Yes, some of the swiggles are needed (like the word résume). But, the Visnovsky page is too much. GoodDay (talk) 21:27, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

a goddes halve

Learn to pronounce 'Ljubljana' right, and I shall go round the city and wipe the diacritics off with my tongue for you. Until then, stay put. You don't have any right to insult us. --VKokielov (talk) 04:48, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Simply put 'Ljubljana' & next to it, the pronoucment. GoodDay (talk) 16:56, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Scope of "most commonly used English version"

Currently, the guideline states:

If you are talking about a person, country, town, film, book, or video game, use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works.

(Bold text for clarity only.) Is there a reason for the limitation to these kinds of subject? What about wars, rivers, games, musical instruments, ...? I propose to give this as the default rule for all kinds of subject:

If there is a name for the subject of the article that is commonly used used in English texts, use the most commonly used version in English texts as the name of the article.

It may be desirable to allow some exceptions, and getting a manageable list of workable exceptions will require some discussion and trial-and-error. Since there will be many borderline cases, it must be kept firmly in mind that these are only guidelines, not strict rules. The main point of my proposal is to make the use of commonly used designations in English the default choice also for other kinds of topics than those currently listed, unless there is some good reason for using another name.  --Lambiam 10:33, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I think that is the current intention. I would support changing the language to adequately reflect that. And I very much appreciate your non-absolutist flexibility! --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:46, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
With the proviso that the Latin alphabet is used, and not the English alphabet not doubt?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:07, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Again, consider my suggestion (above) - Seperation: Let's have 'two' English Wikipedias. GoodDay (talk) 15:01, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
That does not seem to be plausible. It would be easier for you to just modify your browser to translate all accented characters into plain ones. Or lobby the developers to make this a configurable option for rendering (via preferences). Both are technically fairly simple. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:03, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the best solution would be to 'eradicate' the diacritics from 'English Wikipedia'. But, we've (plural) agrued that over & over before. GoodDay (talk) 15:15, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I've got a new computer (a few days ago) & it doesn't show 'squares'; that brings down my stress levels a bit. But, I still consider 'seperation' an option. GoodDay (talk) 15:36, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I think this is a useful change, especially if people contrue anything outside of person, country, town, film, book, or video game to be exempt from this rule. How about the following:
If article's subject (whether it be a person, country, town, film, book, video game, or anything else) has a name that is most commonly used used in reliable English texts, use it as the name of the article.
Erudy (talk) 22:18, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
More simply, Use the most commonly used English version of the name of the subject for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. The only exception I can think of are a handful of cases where we have chosen consistency over always following frequency, as with British peers; and other reference works have done the same; that WP:IAR. Can anyone think of others? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:55, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Parques Reunidos

I recently created a new article titled Parques Reunidos, a Spanish company that operates amusement parks and the like throughout the world. The group owns several parks in the United States, so I found it notable enough to create an English-language article. If this came up in discussion, I just wanted to know if I would have the bearing to argue to keep the name as it is. Grsz11 (talk) 22:05, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, the name is fine. It's a proper noun, and hence not usually translated. After a quick glance at the article, I would suggest that you find some reliable sources - there currently is no source at all, and only one external link to the company website. Also, the language reads a bit like a sales prospectus (" highly competitive force in American amusement operations"). See WP:SELFPUB. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:12, 3 March 2008 (UTC)