Wikipedia talk:WikiProject The Beatles/Style

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<Please remove this section after actioning>

Time to split/archive this talkpage?[edit]

Should we now consider either splitting the ongoing t/T debate into its own page, or archiving the remainder. I would prefer splitting as I think policy discussion should be kept in the open and be available for further discussion, however the current matter does seem to be taking up most of the space. Er... if there is consensus would somebody kindly do the deed (I'm only here for the bunfights, don'cha know?) LessHeard vanU 22:08, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

British English[edit]

"UK/US spelling" thread moved from Talk:The Beatles[edit]

Just a note: I don't believe the British have really decided on -ize versus -ise. There is apparently a movement afoot among certain British publications to revert to -ize, apparently on the theory that it more accurately reflects the Greek origine of the suffix. For a more learned discussion, please see http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ise1.htm.McTavidge 04:31, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

We just seem to have went through a revert cycle over -ize/-ise spelling... Maybe the talk page should carry a notice at the top that this article uses UK spelling rather than US to avoid that? ++Lar: t/c 16:48, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Works for me, although I'm not sure how many would see it. A quick revert cycle with appropriate edit comments is not a big deal as far as I'm concerned. John (Jwy) 17:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Fine by me, but as a Brit I would say that wouldn't I :) No, seriously, I think an article on The Beatles should use UK English (Scouse even? :P), just as an article on his Bobness should go the other way. A talk page notice might not be a bad idea, if there's a template knocking around. --kingboyk 22:36, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I bet there is but it may be a bit hard to find... We could knock one up that was Beatles specific if you don't find it. ++Lar: t/c 01:27, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
It's not a perfect fit, maybe, but there's {{British-English}}. It could be modified slightly, if necessary. (Special:Allpages is a great way to find templates.) -GTBacchus(talk) 01:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
We could hack that one I think. Cut it down a lot by removing perhaps ", and some terms (including {{{1}}}) that are used in it differ from, or are not used in, American English". Now here's an idea - if we imported it into {{WPBeatles}} it will instantly appear on over 50 Beatles related Talk pages! --kingboyk 01:55, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
There are a (very) few Beatles articles that I expect would be properly written in American English, so some sort of qualifier would be in order there but ya, good find. I'd be willing to hack this template's contents into {{WPBeatles}} if that's the thinking. I like the idea of it flashing up there all of a sudden. (other projects use some of their templates as ways to notify broadly, for example the membership template can have a list of urgent tasks or whatever)... LMK if you want me to give it a go. Its either that or work on the classification tables, or AfD something... (as for Special:Allpages, nod. I use it all the time but the problem is figuring out what a template might start with to narrow the search...) Note: this would be a big change as it would make the box somewhat bigger. So some more feedback would be good. ++Lar: t/c 02:13, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
We could shrink it, while importing it... shall we move this discussion to Template talk:WPBeatles? -GTBacchus(talk) 02:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

"Importing content from Template:British-English" thread copied from Template talk:WPBeatles[edit]

The idea was mooted at Talk:The Beatles of adding a bit to this template to indicate that Beatles articles should be written in British English. Opinions? -GTBacchus(talk) 02:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I would want to see the content kept inside the tan box, with a heading that suggest that more guidelines might be coming along. But ya, seems a good idea. Before we do it would like to hear more thoughts from other project participants. ++Lar: t/c 02:28, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I'll have a play in my sandbox if you like. Can then delete or do a history merge depending on if people disprove/approve. --kingboyk 02:51, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
A history merge may be a bit of overkill to just see what it looks like, you can just paste the change in to the real template once we like it, presumably... but sure! Sounds good. ++Lar: t/c 02:54, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Ya, I meant once it had been approved and hacked about. It's currently in User:Kingboyk/Sandbox but read only for a few mins pse. --kingboyk 02:59, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I think the current text (modded and edited down) of {{British-English}} should be inside the upper tan box as a bullet point under the heading "suggested article guidelines" (coming up with at least one more guideline would help make sense of that I guess) Maybe you're working on it! If you don't follow, LMK and I'll have a go... ++Lar: t/c 03:06, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Hack away. --kingboyk 03:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Ok. I will. ++Lar: t/c 03:06, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Personally I like it seperate. My reason for including it in the template was ease of propogation. YMMV. --kingboyk 03:07, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm thinking it's just one of several guidelines we'll want to introduce though... we don't want to cruft all the articles up with a bunch of boxes because they included one template. The guideline text should be smaller but I was messing about with font and div and small and stuff to no effect. If it's the ONLY guideline, then ya. See how it looks now and then say what you think (I added another guideline bullet, it may not be a keeper but it gives an idea.++Lar: t/c 03:16, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Nice job. Is there any way of adding an optional argument to turn the British English message off for articles to which it probably shouldn't apply (of which there won't be many, if any)? I'm pretty sure there is but I forget (qif??). --kingboyk 03:21, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
{{qif}} should do it, I think but I forget too. There's also a way to do it with css (class "hidden structure) I expect, see {{Infobox Bridge}} for example. (that includes things if a parm IS present, we want the opposite though...) before you copy it over let me have a hack by using table cell formatting to see if I can get the text smaller. Probably time to archive off all the stuff that I commented out back when (the cover image we can't use, for example) too... Gimme a few min. However now that we've both been hacking, ya, technically under GFDL a history merge is needed... ++Lar: t/c 03:34, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
We can leave it in the sandbox until we have at least a 3rd opinion (and until you're done) and then I can move it into place. Trust me I'm a wiki-doctor! (Lar shudders) --kingboyk 03:36, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Ya, but are you in National Health or private practice? Trust you??? You've been reading talk:Seduction Community and its links again haven't you? OK, give it a boo, it's at 80%. Reformatted but not all the commented out stuff removed yet. I did not do the qif thing though... Try including it from some other page as a test, and point us back here will ya? (this whole convo will redlink once we're done I guess) Totally down with waiting for the final surgery till we hear from others. ++Lar: t/c 03:47, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
As is often the case, I've no idea what you're talking about so will just vaguely agree! :P I've read "The Game" though - cracking read. OK, I'll take a look. Convo won't so much redlink as point to whatever garbage happens to me in my sandbox at any given moment :) --kingboyk 03:58, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

<-- I think it's too small, but I'm sick of my own voice so let's wait until User:GTBacchus comes back or someone else shows up with an opinion. --kingboyk 04:00, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

It may well be too small... I had it at 85% and decided to "push it" to 80%... even 90% would make it seem smaller and therefore not the dominant part of the box so that's certainly an option. I'm done for now, then... we've got time of course. What I mean by try including it from some other page is just to do an inclusion as a test to see what it looks like included (we're looking at it when the "noinclude" switches are tripped)... go here: User:Lar/Sandbox to see it included. ++Lar: t/c 04:15, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm personally wondering about the need to include this at all. I'm pretty sure the guidelines (or is it policy) are that all articles should be in what is termed 'British English' by default, unless the subject of the article is based in a country which speaks a different dialect of English. I think it might be best to simply state that the articles in question are part of the project, and re-enforce the policy on the main project page (along with the note on categories). Has there been much trouble regarding dialects? --Mal 05:17, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure about that, I actually seem to recall the opposite, that all articles are to be in American English (WM foundation is a Florida corporation, Jimbo is a US citizen, etc.) unless the subject is based in a country which speaks a different dialect... 98% of these articles (but not all, articles on American record company activities or memorable US shows, to make up some examples, which I have no idea of their existance or not) are British english subject matter. But I don't have a cite to back me up at the moment. Good thing we're doing this in sandboxes then, I guess. I'm not too sussed if we ditch it. Or ref some project standards guideline, as suggested below. The advantage of having it in the box is that it's in sight. Out of sight, out of mind. Links you have to follow don't always get followed, so some inyourface-ness may be good, if it's polite. ++Lar: t/c 05:37, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
PS, here's some cites... style actually is as given here: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Usage_and_spelling (read at least through

"National Varieties of English" and here Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(spelling) ... so I wasn't quite right, but close. ++Lar

  • Articles should use the same dialect throughout.
  • If an article's subject has a strong tie to a specific region/dialect, it should use that dialect.
  • If there's no strong tie, try to find synonyms that can be used in any dialect.
  • If no such words can be agreed upon, the dialect of the first significant contributor (not a stub) should be used.

Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English --kingboyk 06:47, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Afterthought: if people are determined that some note about English usages should be mentioned in the template, then how about a simple note saying "For editing guidelines see pageX" where pageX contains the editing guidelines for this project (and the page is obviously wiki'ed). --Mal 05:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

That's not the guidelines at all. The guidelines are that the dialect of the original author is retained, unless the article is on persons/places/concepts which are geographical. I prefer the seperate box though, I think, because it's a Wikipedia policy not ours. (See Talk:The Beatles for how this discussion arose, by the way). --kingboyk 05:30, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
You still like the separate box better? it doesn't always apply, and as soon as we mod it, it's our sub-policy, not overall project. ++Lar: t/c 05:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I see. OK - in that case I still think the suggestion I made in my afterthought makes sense. --Mal 05:53, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

lol, I'm getting a headache now. Nothing suggested so far has been outrageous or disagreeable so somebody please be bold :) If that involves moving a sandbox and restoring page history give me a shout. --kingboyk 06:01, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Exceptions[edit]

Any exceptions can be discussed here. --kingboyk 19:57, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

"The" Beatles[edit]

'"The" vs. "the"' thread moved from Talk:The Beatles[edit]

I was under the impression that within a sentence, the the in front of a group name does not need to be capitalized. You wouldn't write "I really like The Beatles" just as you wouldn't write "I really like The Dallas Cowboys." This needs to be fixed in the article. —simpatico hi 19:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

  • They were "The" Beatles not "Beatles", like "The" Kinks, "The" Who, not the "Who," "the" Dallas Cowboys, is correct, "the" Beatles is not.Lion King 19:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I realize that, but when referring to a group within a sentence it's not necessary to capitalize the the portion of the name. Just like you wouldn't type Beauty and The Beast. In all the Beatles books I have, they are referred to as "the Beatles" when in the middle of a sentence. —simpatico hi 19:34, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The Beatles is a NAME, "the" in Beauty and "the" Beast, connects Beauty with the Beast. It is obvious that you and your books, are North American.Lion King 20:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes I am, and I didn't realize there was a difference in grammar on this point between other English-speaking countries... —simpatico hi 20:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • There is no difference in grammar, all names must have capital letters, as I've said, "The Beatles" was their name, they were not "Beatles". Had they been called "Beatles", then "the" Beatles would be correct. Best wishes, Lion King 21:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If there's no difference in grammar, then why are all my professionally edited Beatles books consistently "wrong" in this respect? —simpatico hi 21:59, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The official name of the Dallas Cowboys isn't The Dallas Cowboys. The Beatles are The Beatles officially and legally. Kingturtle 21:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I can see both sides of this one, but what convinces me that it should be The is 1) the Beatles just looks strange to me, 2) WP:MOS-T has an example Rodin's 'The Thinker' which would seem to be a similar context, 3) the horse's mouth (Henry?): [The Beatles Official site]. John (Jwy) 01:13, 24 January 2006 (UTC) (sorry, for got to sign last time).
  • Even at the official site, they are inconsistent. . . John (Jwy) 01:13, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • 1) the Beatles just looks strange to me
The Beatles looks strange to me, that's how I noticed it
2) WP:MOS-T has an example Rodin's 'The Thinker' which would seem to be a similar context
"The Thinker" is the title of a work of art, which is why it requires quotations and capitalization. I think the fact that all of the Beatles books I skimmed used the Beatles shows that this is the proper capitalization in the professional editing world. Grammar on websites is not regulated. Also, if "The" is inextricably linked to the Beatles' name, why do we say "Beatles music" and "Beatles books" and "Beatles memorabilia"? Yes, they are "The Beatles," but the "the" is only there when necessary, because "Beatles" is a proper name (see definition 1g of "the"). —simpatico hi 03:07, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. "The Beatles" is a title of a band. When the word "the" appears in a title, it is not capitalized, unless it is the first word. Which, in this case, it is. The Beatles is the band's name; the has to be capitalized. And believe me, going through and changing all the "the"s in the article takes a damn long time. Seriously.--jfg284 you were saying? 20:58, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • No, "The Beatles" is not a title at all, otherwise it would be put in quotations or italics. It's a proper name, and when you have "the" in your proper name it needn't be capitalized. I used the example of Beauty and the Beast because of the Beast's name more than the mid-title "the." —simpatico hi 00:12, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
This is correct. When the first letter in a title or name,(The Beatles) wherever it appears in a sentence it is always capitalised. That's what I was taught and for what it's worth, I'm English. Lion King 22:28, 24 January 2006 (UTC) PS "I've got a whole bunch of Beatles records," - incorrect, "I have almost all of The Beatles records," - correct. Lion King
...almost all The Beatles' records! Don't forget that apostrophe! Davidpatrick 23:01, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Well said sir! One must never forget the apostrophe! Lion King 23:16, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Would someone please explain to me why none of my Beatles books use this seemingly correct grammatical convention? I have 7 of them, and I checked them all. I refuse to believe a bunch of hobby-editors at a website would know better than professionally trained and well-paid editors at a publishing house. If you look at the definition of "the" I linked above[1], the Beatles' "the" fits the definition of an article preceding a proper name. —simpatico hi 00:03, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
"Beatles" is not their proper name. --jfg284 you were saying? 00:12, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I understand that, but the convention is that when a proper name begins with "the" it doesn't need to be capitalized mid-sentence. Here's evidence: Beatles' Biography at RollingStone.com, Beatles' Biography at AllMusic.com, and most importantly the frickin' Encyclopaedia Britannica (which doesn't capitalize the "the" at all). —simpatico hi 00:21, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I have checked the entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and their entry "the Beatles, Beatles, the" is incorrect. Correct usage, "Bob was startled by the way The Beatles had reinvented rock'n'roll, rejuvenating the music he had listened to as a teenager." Source - "Down the Highway - The Life of Bob Dylan" by Howard Sounes published 2001 Doubleday. Index: Beatles, The. Lion King 02:38, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Not all of these are the ones I have, but these are some Beatles books that have the "Search Inside" function at Amazon. To be fair, I did come across one book that had "The Beatles," by I think majority rules. I could link to more if you'd like, but I have homework... —simpatico hi 04:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Okay, what's important here would be consistency within Wikipedia, so I would suggest whatever the choice, we might suggest the Wikipedia policy pages be updated to suggest that choice. Either way doesn't detract from my understanding of the topic, so I'm not really concerned either way.

But, I did some homework. I have a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style (14th Edition). Chapter 7.2:

Modern publishers of works in the English language, American perhaps more than British, usually discourage excessive use of capital letters in text. . .

And in almost all non-first-word-in-the-sentence examples they have lower case on the, including the Crown, the Sun King, etc. There are various group names (the Congress of the United States, etc.) but nothing in the specific category of something like a pop band. But under 7.135 (part of Books and periodicals), we have (after discussing dropping a title's initial article entirely when it made the sentence awkward):

An initial article that does not offend the syntax may be retained as part of the title (except in newspaper titles):
In The Old Curiosity Shop, Dickens. . .
or
In the Old Curiosity Shop, Dickens. . .

So this very American style book leans toward the Beatles, but with an opening for The Beatles.

As they are an English band, however, I would want to see the English style book (is there one?) checked as it looks like we Yanks are a bit shyer about the capitals.

In the same vein, we might want to double check the same references at The English Amazon Site to see if they English editions capitalize differently (I checked one - they had the Beatles). John (Jwy) 06:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

  • God Save The Queen's English! God Save Us From The Septic's! Lion King 10:03, 25 January 2006 (UTC) P.S.Capitalise with a Z? You lot are 'aving a larf! Lion King

Lion King, blame this guy.--jfg284 you were saying? 17:14, 25 January 2006 :You blame him.Lion King

  • God Save the Colourful Theatres! I'm sorry, I didn't realise... ;) —simpatico hi 10:45, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Prithy, dost thou speak of Bridie's Fire? Lion King
  • Wot? Bollocks! —simpatico hi 16:04, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • would you care to explain this outburst? Lion King 16:21, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Jumping in as a fellow north american, i'll point out that such an outburst is, by our standards, not an outburst at all. It's seen more as a standard British interjection. Bollocks just doesn't carry the same clout here as it does there (or, at least, as I am under the impression it does over there.)--jfg284 you were saying? 21:38, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Dear north american, why have you edited your original post? To make my response (which I've blanked) look aggresive, rather than jocular? Don't try to Donald me mate. Lion King 14:59, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Totally agree about having the WP style guide reflect some kind of standard with this. I searched and searched for some grammatical guidelines on it, and was shocked not to find any, especially with so many band articles on here. I couldn't even find much on the web at large. Also, I agree that if there is a national difference in grammar here this article should reflect the English convention. Thanks for looking that up. —simpatico hi 10:35, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • That's all well and good, but you haven't told me why you use a Z instead of an S. Lion King 11:00, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Too much reading of the Chicago Manual of Style. I'll have to get me a copy of Ye Olde Manchester Manual Of Style. John (Jwy) 15:22, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


The Beatles Anthology book refers to them as "The Beatles" throughout, but Hunter Davies' biography (the 1981 edition) uses "the Beatles". I also recently got a book about The Verve (or the Verve, if you prefer) from the library, which capitalises all the thes in band names.

Personally I tend to use a lower-case "the" in band names and in the middle of titles, but a capital letter at the start of titles. For example, "I recently read the book The Lord of the Rings", not the Lord of the Rings, the Lord of the Rings or The Lord Of The Rings. I'd say, "I really like the Beatles' albums The Beatles and With the Beatles." Actually, I'd refer to the first one as The White Album, but you get the point. :)

I've also somehow got it into my head that in song titles, every letter should be capitalised: "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".

I don't know what to think now. :) --Nick RTalk 12:42, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm not an English major, so this is purely opinion, but...The way I see it, "The Beatles" should be used whenever you are referring to the group as a whole, and when they're being specifically addressed. For example, "I really like The Beatles", or "Among the influential bands of the 60's were The Beatles." However, I also think "Beatles" may be considered a word on its own, used to describe individual members ("George was a Beatle") and things that are related to The Beatles ("I have several Beatles records"). And you know how we say things like "Beatles-esque", and not "The Beatles-esque"? Also, I think that although "the Beatles" could be used in certain situations it should be used sparingly...Eg. "Paul McCartney was one of the Beatles" or "Paul McCartney was one of The Beatles"...The first example seems to refer to Beatles as in each individual member, and Paul being among those members, so it seems to make sense. The second applies Paul as being part of The Beatles taken as a whole. It seems to make sense as well. But the only reason I would lean to capitalizing "The" is for consistency. What do you think? Stapler 9 42

  • My two shillings' worth: The confusion above seems based on a multiple (contextual) usage of a word. The word The is the first word in the name of the band, The Beatles. Any mention of the band, qua band should be capitalised. There were also four Beatles (or five or six, whatever). Any usage of the collective noun, "Beatles," should only have the noun capitalised, not the associated article. Analogy: Sue and Fred Millers have a daughter they named The. "I went to the movies with The Millers" means I shared popcorn with the daughter of Sue and Fred; "I went to the movies with the Millers" means I accompanied one or more members of the family. ergo, "John was a Beatle" is correct; "John was a member of The Beatles" is correct; "John was a The Beatles" is not; "John was a member of the Beatles" is not. Just an opinion. Kevin/Last1in 19:22, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree, Strongly! Lion King 19:33, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

"The Beatles or the Beatles?" thread moved from Talk:The Beatles[edit]

"The "t" in "the" does not need to be capitalized. I encourage you to look at an style dictionary or article/essay/book on the Beatles" - well that told me, didn't it?! [2] So, anyway, we ought to standardise on one or the other - "The Beatles" or "the Beatles"? I think he's wrong, as policy actually lists "The Beatles" - Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(definite_and_indefinite_articles_at_beginning_of_name)#Names_of_bands_and_groups --kingboyk 17:09, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

God here we go again! You are right Mr. Kingboyk, see the Beatles v The Beatles further up the page. I thought this one had been resolved! Lion King 17:20, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah OK mate, thanks for the headsup (Talk:The_Beatles#.22The.22_vs._.22the.22). I'm in agreement with you so it may be a Brit/US thing (I think all words in song titles should be capitalised). On this particular point, it would seem that existing WP policy (the link I provided earlier) says "The Beatles", there's a good argument for capitalising The ("The" is part of their name), but many if not most published sources use "the" (with the very notable exception of The Beatles' own Anthology). Is that a fair summation?
Either way, let's make a Project policy one way or the other and then stick to it. Inconsistency is bad. --kingboyk 17:41, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree, consistency is paramount. In my opinion the last point made by user Kevin/Lastin in the previous dicussion, hits the nail on the head. I feel that it's irrefutable. Lion King 18:11, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what Kevin said, but how about this: http://www.beatles.com. "Welcome to the official website of The Beatles."
While the "t" is sometimes lower case on The Beatles' official site, that only seems to occur when quoting someone (usually Derek Taylor's biography).
It is standard practice when determining usage to allow those whose logo it is to make such determinations (e.g., Barneys New York has no apostrophe or comma. Caesars Palace has no apostrophe. Macy's does.) It seems to me that if The Beatles capitalize the "T," then a capital T it is. At least that's how we did it when I was a proofreader in advertising. Carlo 18:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Kevin's comments are not straightforward; they're at the end of the section Talk:The_Beatles#.22The.22_vs._.22the.22. Could someone try and construct a draft policy from the debate above? It would seem to be "The Beatles", with certain exceptions. --kingboyk 18:52, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I also agree with Kevin. Carlo 19:21, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Agree, what Kevin is saying is, "Sue and Fred Millers have a daughter that they name "The". "I went to the movies with "The" Millers means I shared popcorn with the daughter of Sue and Fred". "I went to the movies with "the" Millers", means I accompanied one or more members of the family. Therefore, "John was a member of "The" Beatles", is correct, "John was a "The" Beatles", is not. "John was a member of "the" Beatles", is not. "John was "a" Beatle", is correct. "The" Beatles was their name just like "The" Millers.Lion King 19:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't matter how many times you repeat the Millers example matey I still don't understand it! :-) Can you just knock up a policy? Or is it simply "The Beatles", full stop? --kingboyk 19:57, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
It's "The Beatles". Full stop, period, wiv knobs on! Lion King 20:43, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I've invited the editor whose diff I provided to come over here and debate it (Talk:Brian Epstein). I say we let this thread run a few days and if we have consensus make the outcome a Project policy. --kingboyk 21:01, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
It is also proper grammer. "The Beatles" is the proper noun name of the group, and should be us as such when refering to the group as a singular item. When referring to the components (that would be John, Paul, George and Ringo) or aspects of the band then grammer dictates that one of the "the's" would become redundant as in "Stuart Sutcliffe was an early member of the The Beatles." (this is how the grammer in some European languages would have it, though!) and since the former "the" takes precedence over the latter "The" then the correct use is "...early member of the Beatles." Hmmm... I think the "Miller" example is easier to understand, even though it is not made clear whether the popcorn was plain, salted or sweetened.LessHeard vanU 09:24, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Rodger dodger kingie! Cheers, Lion King 21:07, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I'll see your "Rodger dodger" and raise you a Big 10-4! --kingboyk 21:45, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Listen, you whinging poms, don't pin this kerfluffle on UK/US differences, ok? I'm all in favor of "The" rather than "the"... That said, Carlo says above: "It is standard practice when determining usage to allow those whose logo it is to make such determinations (e.g., Barneys New York has no apostrophe or comma...)" WP does not do things that way, because if it did, you'd find the main LEGO article at LEGO instead of that page being a redirect to Lego. THAT said, I agree with Steve/Kingboyk, let this discussion run its course, and then add the outcome to project policy, just like we did on British/US English spelling variation (we chose British for obvious reasons), and let the greater WP rage on as it likes. ++Lar: t/c 13:38, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Oi, I'm not a Prisoner of Mother England, I'm English by birth, Millwall by the grace of God! Lion King 14:27, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
And I live in the Duchy of Cornwall (er... although I am pure British mongrel by birth and inclination!)"Whars thar sayin' too?"LessHeard vanU 15:23, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
You live in Cornwall? You lucky Pastie! Lion King 15:30, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
The Beatles. Thank you. TommyBoy76 17:55, 9 April 2006 (UTC)TommyBoy6

Alright, I think consensus is clear, it's "The Beatles", so let's make it Project policy. Can I just ask (and apologies in advance for being a pain in the arse), but are there any exceptions (e.g. "each of the Beatles")? I'll probably do an AWB run sometime to bring consistency to the articles so I need to know if I should change every instance of "the Beatles" or whether some discretion is required. --kingboyk 21:20, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

No exceptions, "each of "The" Beatles". John was "a" Beatle, Beatles' records' etc, fine, yeah? Lion King 21:31, 10 April 2006 (UTC) Oh, I'm forgetting With the Beatles which is of course, the official title of the album.
OK mate, cheers. --kingboyk 22:07, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I think "each of the Beatles" might be an exception. I'm not an grammatician but it sounds like maybe? Here's why.. we would say "each Beatle had a distinctive style" as easily as "each of the Beatles had a distinctive style" right? No strong feelings though. ++Lar: t/c 22:10, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
"Each of "the" Beatles" is still refering to their name. "Each Beatle" is correct. Cheers, Lion King 22:24, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Who'd'a thunk that a band name could be so confusing?? Any other definite articles that need to be discussed? I couldn't find any... I'll have to read a couple times more. TommyBoy76 01:39, 11 April 2006 (UTC)TommyBoy76

Exceptions to the "The Beatles" rule[edit]

I am not ready to draft the policy text yet because, not being a grammatician, I can't clearly articulate the rule for the exceptions. But I am SURE there are some out there. I think they, or some of them, revolve around possessives, as I alluded to in the thread above. I would on the other hand be comfortable with a statement of "no exceptions unless someone presents a case for the exception that's clearly articulated and which is a rule that can be applied consistently" or something like that... ++Lar: t/c 19:49, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I think I may have something. I started an AWB run yesterday, and "The Beatles" looked bad in quite a few places so I gave up for the evening. I thought of the following example as a possible exception when I was in bed last night:

  1. "John is a Beatle. Paul is a Beatle. George is a Beatle. Ringo is a Beatle. Interviewed individually, the [four] Beatles all said..." (imagine the "four" isn't there).

Would it not be the case, then, that it's "The Beatles" when referring to the name of the group as a proper noun, but not when it is used to indicate four (or even two or more) individuals who are Beatles? This might also extend to the possessive. Comments? --kingboyk 17:26, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Sounds about right to me, yeah... Is there a grammatician in the house? (I'm not a grammatician but I play one on TV) ++Lar: t/c 17:40, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I have a MA from University College London in Modern English Language and am a former proofreader and copyeditor and current music editor for Amazon.com. Does that count? :) Looks like I've come a bit late to this particular party :) but in my professional work we never capitalize the "the" in band names, never ever. Maybe it's just an American thing, as alluded to above, but by American standards I think it looks unprofessional. If it's more standard in the U.K. that's fine, as it's already been decided British English should be used on Beatles articles. To answer the particular question, Kingboy's exception is correct and necessary. --Lukobe 06:40, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that. What we really need now is an opinion from an expert in British English, since we plan to write most articles in that dialect. (I must confess to absent-mindedly typing "the Beatles" often enough, and I'm sure that not only in the case I provided but others too it's the correct form). We seem to be in a bit of a mess over this one so I've annotated it as "still a draft". --kingboyk 04:05, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
To not capitalise "The" in a band's name is incorrect, I'm not a grammarian but "The Beatles" is a name, it was their name. Had they been called "Beatles", it would be fine to say, "I heard "the" Beatles on the radio last night", or "all four of "the" Beatles on the radio" etc. To say, "the" four Beatles is correct, but one cannot "imagine" that "four" isn't there because it IS. "The" in The Beatles name, is just as important as "Beatles" and needs to be capitalised. Cheers Lion King 18:14, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
LionKing, "incorrect" in what sense, if you're not a grammarian? --Lukobe 22:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Are you on the wind up or what? Lion King 23:37, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely not. I'm just trying to figure out on what basis you consider "the Beatles" to be "incorrect" if it's not on a grammatical one.

I'd still like to see what a British style manual (comparable to Chicago in the U.S.) has to say about the matter. --Lukobe 03:43, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

What makes "The" less important than "Beatles"?. Lion King 10:56, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
It's an article. --Lukobe 18:39, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
The Beatles is correct as that is their legal name, and I believe it is registered as a trade name - as is "Beatles" - which would be pointless if it were not correct terminology. In discussing the group you are also discussing the legal entity and British law insists on the correct title within context. Grammaticians may argue semantics, but the name is established under Company Law.LessHeard vanU 20:25, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Company law doesn't control writing style, at least not in this context. If Apple cares to sue Wikipedia for writing "the Beatles" and not "The Beatles," that's something else entirely. --Lukobe 22:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Why even consider putting Wikipedia in such a position in the first place? They are The Beatles. Lion King 23:20, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I would still like to know what generally accepted British writing style is in cases like this. I don't think Wikipedia should go against it. How do the Times, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Sun, Evening Standard, Economist, and FT spell band names when they have occasion to? And how do books put out by reputable publishers do it? That is what Wikipedia should do. Fear not, Apple will never sue over something like this. --Lukobe 18:39, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
That would be The Times, The Guardian, The Independant, etc. would it not?LessHeard vanU 22:07, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
"The Beatles Off The Record" by Keith Badman, which has 496 pages, does not at anytime refer to "the" Beatles once, only "The" Beatles. Right, that's my lot, I've had this bollocks on and off for months. Lion King 19:46, 24 April 2006 (UTC) P.S. I think you mean Apple Corps.
Who published The Beatles Off the Record? --Lukobe 20:52, 24 April 2006 (UTC) P.S. I meant what I wrote, "Apple," which is short for "Apple Corps" and which you understood.
BTW Are you telling me that when you were a guest in my fair City, you never read an English newspaper? Lion King-Ombunis Press.
I read the Times, Evening Standard, and Independent quite regularly and still read The Economist. Can't remember how they feel about this particular issue. BTW, you mean Omnibus Press? I'd be more interested in what Cambridge, Oxford, Penguin, HarperCollins, etc. do. --Lukobe 21:27, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Spotted the deliberate mistook then? Well done! I don't feel anyone will convince you that you are wrong, so go and find someone else to play with son, I'm very bored with you Bye bye. Lion King 21:39, 24 April 2006 (UTC)[3]
I'd be a pretty poor copyeditor if I hadn't, no? I must say I find your attitude interesting, as I've done my best not to insult you here; I don't see why you are trying to do that to me. Coincidentally, "I don't feel anyone will convince you that you are wrong" applies from me to you as well :) The thing is, when it comes to questions like this, what is "right" or "wrong" depends on dominant usage, not necessarily "logic"; which is why I've said I think my version is correct for US English and which is why I repeat my call for someone to come up with a source for UK English standards. I don't see what I've said that you can actually disagree with...I've never said anything definitive about UK English style, have I?
Fascinating... --Lukobe 05:23, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
To write the Beatles and not The Beatles would be like writing "the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra", They are "The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra", same goes for "The Beatles". "Beatlemad" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 84.67.161.12 (talkcontribs) .
That's a circular argument, because of course I would contend that it should be "the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" :) --Lukobe 17:29, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Why the hell has my IP been revealed? I never gave my permission - who do I report this to???. "BeatlesVERYmad" And don't reveal this one! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.67.220.2 (talkcontribs)
Your IP appears in the "history" log, whether you sign your comments or not, if you don't have a username or haven't logged on.LessHeard vanU 22:03, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. If you don't want your IP address revealed, sign up for an account and then post from it... --Lukobe 22:57, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

After racking my brains, the only scenario I could come up with is if a non-UK, variant English speaking culture, editor contributed a Beatles specific article relating to that country. For example, if a US editor was to produce an article called "John Lennon's New York" then it would follow that naming and grammer conventions would follow the native grammer style - especially in that the article is as much about NY as it is Lennon.LessHeard vanU 12:35, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

(More of a British vs US English question this one; once we've decided on the or The Beatles there's no changing it regardless of the article subject). Possibly, but John Lennon was British and we've agreed to use British English for all articles unless there is a very good reason why not to, for consistency mostly. What I'm saying is, normal Wikipedia practice would be to stick with the original author's choice of venacular, but we've elected to override that guideline in some cases. It would have to be listed as a possible exception and discussed rather than being an automatic "default to American style". --kingboyk 11:09, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, it is a possible exception; the example of "JL's NY" is still relevant, I feel, since if it is an article regarding New York landmarks with annotations as to what Lennon did there, then it really is an article about NY which we would like to include since it is based around a subject fundemental to the project - possibly written by an editor with no knowledge of the project (for instance, just as a series of "(subjects) New York". We should not demand that it should be written to project policy - as it was not part of the project when created - and most likely should very politely ask of the contributors if they minded it was included. Long point short; if it was written outside of The Beatles ambit, and only deals with The Beatles as part of the subject matter, then we should be careful about applying our policy without us initiating discussion. I'm not being picky ('onest, guv'nor), just providing an example where automatic application of policy may not be correct.LessHeard vanU 20:52, 19 May 2006 (UTC)ps. There is an article about US/UK differences in grammer/spelling styles; I've considered bringing the The/the question up on the talk page if the matter continues to be raised - although it shouldn't effect policy in the meantime. I'm all for discussing it, as long as there is no edit war.
I really think we should go for consistency... That said, I'm interested to hear the result of your enquiry, not least because "the" or "The" has come up on The KLF's Featured Article candidacy too! (rolls eyes). --kingboyk 09:54, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
(this section is even more difficult to insert edits than to read it) The early concensus is that "the" should be capitalised as it is part of the proper noun. Examples given were The Independent newspaper and, perhaps very importantly, The Who. However, the respondees are UK and they suggested I contact a US editor who contributes to the UK/US Differences article for an opinion. I have done so, and hope that a response will shortly be posted on the talk page. In the meantime, it appears we should continue with "our" naming policy, as it is consistent with an article regarding one of The Beatles contemporaries. Oh yeah, and I made two spelling mistakes in my initial request - and they were pointed out (grin)!LessHeard vanU 13:53, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
That's a great idea. Post here letting us know if you post it there, will you? I'd like to see what they have to say. --Lukobe 21:07, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I've asked it at Talk:American_and_British_English_differences and hope I've taken a neutral tone (or at least commented where my sympathies lie). I've not referred to The Beatles but given similar examples - close enough to be definative - since I don't want to expand the discussion to within these pages. If the answer is that it is a difference of UK/US style then the project policy defines the correct use; if there is no (definative) answer then we need look at other avenues, and if it is our grammatical error then we will just have to bite the bullet and say that it stays as The Beatles cos that's just the way it is! (or change it, I suppose).*grin*LessHeard vanU 22:29, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
One doesn't need to be American. What about "The" New York Times, "The" Wall Street Journal, "The" Washington Post, and "The" Byrds? Why "the" Beatles? It's "The" Beatles, just like "The" Rolling Stones. Vera, Chuck & Dave 16:16, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
It is a matter of finding a definative authority, so ending the ongoing debate; The policy is established. We need to have everything properly authenticated to get the article back to its "featured" status standard.LessHeard vanU 19:36, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

The US editor responded by commenting that not only did he consider that "the" should be capitalised as per UK English, but that it would be true for some proper nouns in US English. Whilst he demurs that he is a grammarian, I think we can now proceed on the basis that the case for capitalisation is proven. Lukobe, whilst there indeed may be reference books supporting your contentions, I think this discourse has now been exhausted. If you feel you can contribute to The Beatle articles under the existing grammatical policy, your help would be welcome.LessHeard vanU 00:28, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

I can and will; thanks, LHvU :) ==Lukobe 04:12, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you want to formalise your involvement, plonk your name onto the Participants list. If you don't, that's cool too! :) --kingboyk 04:23, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Never mind articles, biogs or web sites, just take a look at Ringo's Bass Drum - what's it say? "The" Beatles or "the" Beatles? At least HE knew what their name was! Vera, Chuck and Dave.
That is an excellent point.LessHeard vanU 13:49, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
No it's not :) The word "the," like any other word, is always capitalized when it begins a sentence. --Lukobe 19:00, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
It isn't a sentence, it is a name/title; and that is why the "The" is capitalised.LessHeard vanU 21:46, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe I missed where this was discussed, but from the band's album covers, it's not obvious to me that they considered the word "The" an essential part of their name. Note that the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album to which a great deal of attention was paid to the production of the cover, shows the band name as "BEATLES" instead of "THE BEATLES". The word "The" was similarly omitted from the front cover of Beatles for Sale and Magical Mystery Tour. Obviously, several of the band's albums do refer to them as The Beatles as opposed to just Beatles (and other album covers do not display the band name at all on the front), but this just suggests to me that the band considered the word "The" in their name to be optional. --Metropolitan90 05:07, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Excellent point :) --Lukobe 05:22, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Except, it says The Beatles on the labels. Vera, Chuck & Dave 08:42, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

IMHO... this whole non-issue ("the" vs. "The") is a bunch of damned hairsplitting, and I notice that while a few folks fastidiously change "the" to "The" when the word "Beatles" follows, REGARDLESS OF THE CONTEXT OR HOW MANY TIMES THE NAME HAS ALREADY BEEN MENTIONED AND/OR CAPITALISED, this is not done with any other bands; not even within the same article. This is time- and space-wasting... not to mention a bit hypocritical. Zephyrad 23:19, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

One can write: "Chuck us "the" jam, I want to make a buttie", but not: "I think "the" Jam are a rubbish band". It's their NAME and "The" needs to be capitalised wherever and whenever it appears in a sentence - I was taught that shortly after we'd stopped writing with crayons! Vera, Chuck & Dave 13:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I never wrote with crayons... I coloured with mine, and wrote with a pen, or pencil as needed. And you still haven't answered my point: While I see where you and others have gone around to site after site to implement this Non-Issue with the "The" thing... none of you with this same wild hair are capitalising the T for ANY OTHER BANDS, even within the SAME ARTICLE (eg. "The Remo Four"). So, are we to believe the Beatles are the ONLY band who should get this alleged "show of appreciation"? Sounds like hypocrisy to me. Zephyrad 22:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I haven't got wild hair, it's very neat, otherwise I couldn't get me helmet on :) All the best, Vera, Chuck & Dave 12:15, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
The reference is to "a wild hair"... oh, sorry, "A Wild Hair", in this case had by more than one person. Best also, but let's not talk further. Zephyrad 20:33, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
A very good idea, as you seem completly devoid of a sense of humour. Vera, Chuck & Dave 21:20, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Even though I still disagree with it, this seems to be settled policy on the project. But that is a good question--why don't the other bands get the same treatment? --Lukobe 22:50, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
PS Zephyrad, you're not going to convince them. I'm a professional music editor with a MA in English linguistics and they didn't listen to me :) --Lukobe 22:50, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
You might be right... after all, you can lead a horse to water... I'd like to see these folks start telling Poli Sci writers they must henceforth say "The President", "The Prime Minister", "The Senate", etc. in every last case? Having to see The every Flipping Time is Awkward and Ridiculous. (And still hypocritical, as in "By the time The Beatles met the Monkees"... wtf?!) We don't see "Last night Governor Whoever spoke, and The Governor's topics included..." Wanna be honest, guys? Make it all or none... or even better, go by CONTEXT! Zephyrad 20:33, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
This, and related articles, falls under the policy of the project regarding The Beatles. After discussion, and the referring of the matter to third parties, it was decided to continue the naming policy regarding The Beatles. Not any other band - just The Beatles. Members of this project may feel strongly about the appropriate capitalisation of the definative in differing bands, but would not wish to impose those views without consultation/concensus. Therefore, other bands names would be left in the style as per the original contributor - per Wiki policy - whether it be correct by the users native version of English or an incorrect application of same.LessHeard vanU 23:29, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that sounds like somebody's cue to get the stable shovel... things are getting kinda deep in here. Zephyrad 20:33, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
How many times are you going to prat on about about your degree - we believe you, it's not like your'e saying you were awarded the Victoria Cross. Vera, Chuck & Dave 23:18, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Politeness please - we are all one happy family on The Beatles Project and don't you forget it!!! (grin)LessHeard vanU 23:31, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh aye, only having a joke, All You Need Is Love, da da da da da ...All tergether now! :) Vera, Chuck & Dave 23:52, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Prate, you mean? I don't consider it such--I was just pointing out to the newcomer that he was wasting his time arguing the point, since my credentials weren't enough to convince you guys, and that he should do the same as me and just give in. --Lukobe 21:01, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Only having a joke pal, no offence intented I can assure you Vera, Chuck & Dave GM

Are we all still going on about this? Or are you lot just taking the piss out of each other? It's the longest discussion in the whole project about the very smallest thing. :). I think next month we should nominate it for "running project joke of the month"... ++Lar: t/c 22:07, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Reopening the debate[edit]

So, did someone ask for an expert in British English? I was a proofreader who worked to Hart’s Rules, have had 19 years in publishing and editing, and I have to agree with my American colleague above, plus the half-dozen books that Simpatico claims she has in her possession. I can’t believe this was such a long thread and how the capitalization proponents were so stubborn, coming up with weak arguments with little place in English usage, in my opinion.
   The perfect example is the United States: you always use it with the definite article, yet it is never capitalized mid-sentence. One of the few exceptions that come to mind is The Hague. Lukobe, you asked for an equivalent of Chicago above: Hart’s Rules, at least the edition I have, is unclear on this particular matter.
   Hart’s does discuss one matter, addressed to those citing titles such as those of newspapers and magazines. If the definite article is attributable to the rest of the title, then it is capitalized (and italicized). But at the same time, musical groups do not tend to be considered ‘works’ in the same context, according to most house styles and authorities. So if one is to adopt a British standard, and Hart’s is very well regarded in the UK, then it suggests there is no difference between the US and the UK on this issue.
   And if the copy editors who worked on the books Simpatico cites are wrong, and if the Amazon.com editor with the master’s degree is wrong, and if I am wrong (and I have a master’s, too), then why even seek the opinions of professionals here? Among professionals, it does appear the lowercase usage outnumbers the capitalized ones; it is only among amateurs that the professional usage is slammed! Thus, we have reached, above, a conclusion that is at complete odds with what most publishing houses would adopt.
   So let the pros be wrong. In which case, Ringo Starr’s site, which uses the lowercase[4] must also be wrong. George doesn’t seem to mention it. John Lennon’s people must be wrong on their official site.[5] Brian Epstein’s site is wrong.[6] Only Paul McCartney capitalizes.[7] So perhaps Paul is right, and Ringo, John (and Yoko) and Brian are wrong?
   On that logic, The Times[8] proofreaders and subeditors must also be wrong. As are The Independent[9], The Guardian[10], The Daily Telegraph[11] and even The Sun.[12] All British newspapers are wrong.
   Someone mentioned that the quotations on the Beatles’ official site used lowercase—since these are cited from a professionally edited publication, doesn’t that tell you something? But even those pages not from Derek Taylor’s book there appear to be all lowercase, at least on the pages I see. So the Beatles’ official site is wrong.
   I know I will get plenty of criticism from those who have never set foot inside the publishing industry. Fine. Criticize the professionals, but note how your beloved Beatles themselves have used it on their sites, with the exception of Sir Paul. (Or, will Lion King now tell me that John’s, Ringo’s, Brian’s and the Beatles’ sites do not count?)—Jack Yan 12:27, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

I applaud you, and I maintain: This is a stupid, hypocritical policy point that needs to go away, and I have not seen or heard a single argument from the "The" people (sorry, The "The" people) that convinces me otherwise. What I've seen from their side is a lack of education and depth of thought on the (non-)matter, and more than enough personal attacks over it. I will be quite happy when this ridiculous attempt at an issue is finished for good. Zephyrad 19:54, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
It is over - and a while back. Firstly, it is Project Policy (which means biting ones tongue where the majority has agreed on something) and, secondly, I got the opinion of a group of people who edit the American and British English differences page and particularly one US editor who concurred it was correct. The only people who are keeping this debate going is those who appear are unable to understand the concept of consensus, or to read the entire debate, or just plain don't like capitalising the 't' in The Beatles.LessHeard vanU 20:33, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Like I said. And if you ask a bunch of oil people whether oil should be abandoned for cleaner fuels... Zephyrad 21:09, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
...and if you want to know what to do with the dark sticky liquid that is coming out of the ground you go ask...?LessHeard vanU 21:19, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
What consensus? All I see are a bunch of people who have never set foot inside the publishing world band together to insist that the earth is flat, in the face of overwhelming professional evidence to the contrary. If that is project policy, LessHeard vanU, then it reinforces my impression of Wikipedia: a place where credible evidence is ignored in favour of mob rule.
   You cannot reach a true conclusion if your evidence is flawed. You should also respect those who have given up their time to provide you some credible evidence.
   If fresh, credible evidence is not accepted here, and people are not open-minded enough to consider it, then Wikipedia is the place where the earth will always be flat.
   And your ‘group of people’, what are their qualifications? Let me do this in bold, as you have: your US grammarian is outnumbered by one American English, and now, one British English, professional, not to mention, now, every single editor or subeditor of every single major national newspaper in the United Kingdom.
   As editors, you have a responsibility to the public, especially children who will use this service, to do what is right, not what the mob says. If the mob believes it should be The Beatle’s, complete with apostrophe, does this become project policy? By your reckoning, yes.
   Furthermore, there were queries above asking for the viewpoint of a professional who works with British English. You did not have that in reaching your conclusions. You now have it. If it means nothing, then don’t ask for it. If individual Beatles’ sites mean nothing, and if every major “quality” newspaper in the UK means nothing, and heck, if even American newspapers mean nothing, then that is a shame. (I still think it daft that of the months you all argued above, none of you were capable of checking Google to check out everyday usage by newspapers—or, you did, but decided that all of it should be conveniently ignored.)
   I will draw my own conclusions as to what Wikipedia is in that context.
   But please do not make assumptions against me for being unable to accept consensus. I offered what you asked above. Just say what you want to say: the person with a contrary, authoritative viewpoint, one that was actually asked for, one that upsets mob rule at Wikipedia, is not welcome.
   Indeed, our own standards have changed at my company with the shift in English usage for words like website, which prior to 2004, The Concise Oxford Dictionary listed as two words. I have an open enough mind to allow changes. It seems that Wikipedia, collectively, shuts itself off to the real world.
   Zephyrad, I have to concur. In an academic world, credible research is always considered, even after conclusions are drawn. Silly me, I thought an encyclopædia was academic, even one edited by hobbyists. I had expected the hobbyists would like to aspire to professional standards, but it appears from this dialogue, I have erred totally. In addition, authority, credibility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to create a collegial editorial environment—the things that are required in a real publishing environment—also seem, based on the above, to be foreign to Wikipedia.—Jack Yan 23:32, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, well - if you are that anxious to open up the debate... I will see if any of the other hobbyists care to make any comments; since it us flat earthers that will have to trawl through the project pages to make any changes decided upon. I will mention it in the newsletter I contribute to, in case this page is not watched.
I would comment that The Beatles were operative in a different era, when different styles of grammar prevailed. I'm not suggesting that period type language constructions should reflect subject in all instances, but The Beatles are still living history and much of their product (and commentary of same) exists in its original form.
Lastly, you seem unduly irate that a member of a group of people (who are able to maintain a friendly working environment over a topic) has not responded to your professional derived comments with gratitude. I suggest that you take a few deep breathes, exhale slowly, climb off your lofty perch and attempt to speak to the unenlightened masses in a civil manner. In time you may be able to communicate your concerns in a manner which we understand.LessHeard vanU 00:27, 23 December 2006 (UTC)(see my next comment)
Ha ha. I was not the one to fire the first salvo about those of us who are ‘unable to understand the concept of consensus, or to read the entire debate, or just plain don't like capitalising the 't' in The Beatles’. What did you expect? If you didn’t expect someone to fire one back at you, then don’t begin the battle. And yet you claim that you have a friendly attitude, and that I do not? The pot calls the kettle black. I see you have continued to take a little dig rather than advance the argument. That is fine by me.
   This is not about someone being irate—you misinterpret my tone, as well as completely ignore the arguments presented. I am hardly surprised. But whatever your agenda, let me at least respond to the substance of your latest argument.
   First, if we all do agree on a consensus in light of this credible evidence, I would be happy to change the main page. So I do not know what you mean by your comment about flat earthers trawling through the pages. I am sure Zephyrad and others would be as willing.
   Secondly, the era in which the Beatles operated takes us away from the main discussion. Of course the Beatles are living history. If I read you correctly, you imply there were different, varying styles of grammar in the 1960s. I would argue that there was greater consensus in publishing then, because fewer people were involved, and those that were tended to go through rigorous apprenticeships in composition and typesetting. I will grant you that Taylor’s book is older than the newspapers I cite, though I do not see that as relevant: the issue here is what is current usage in the English language. Numerous people have been presenting over the last year on what is accepted current usage, only to have it ignored for a hasty and ill-advised ‘consensus’.
   I am not sure how much clearer I can be. Two of three individual Beatles who have mentioned the Beatles on their sites use lowercase for the definite article, as does Brian Epstein. The Beatles themselves do on their official site. Every “quality” newspaper in the UK does. Now you have the additional opinion of another professional, added to those of two others, who also take the lowercase position.
   So I ask you to ‘take a few deep breaths, exhale slowly and climb off your lofty perch’. Hey, I’m just trying to help here. I have no agenda. Bites unnecessary.
   The only mystery that I would not mind solved right now is why all this evidence appears to be unacceptable to you. Regardless of how you interpret my tone, I say there appears to be a great deal of substance to it in trying to answer editors’ queries here.
   Let us open it up to others in light of this evidence.—Jack Yan 05:53, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
LessHeard vanU, I have just read your discussion at the American and British English differences’ discussions’ page. Many of the examples given are covered by my first comment on this page, with my example of the United States. Titles of works where the definite article is attributable to the remainder do capitalize The; however, musical groups and other entities, including nations, are not considered to be ‘works’. This appears to be a clear rule. As mentioned, there are exceptions, but not many in accepted English usage, and the Oxford University Press, plus every other recognized house style in the UK, certainly, make none for the Beatles.
   I shall be interested to know what the same people might think if you were to tell them the Beatles were the subject of your query. I realize one editor suggested The Who there. But on the contrary, the Rotary Club example given there suggests otherwise. So your discussion there is as inconclusive as the one here, in the absence of a professional opinion.—Jack Yan 00:00, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah, a civil comment (but I'll keep my original response above).
As stated above I will throw it open to the other Project members. It would require a great deal of proof-reading/amending if it is to be done (and it hasn't seemed to have effected those people considering articles for GA/FA status - or commented upon when articles have been referred and failed in FA reviews). Without reviewing what was written when I requested an opinion, I seem to recall that The Who was mentioned as an example (edit - memory does serve, re your amendment). Whatever. Let's see some other responses.LessHeard vanU 00:27, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
This is my third attempt at a response (keep getting conflicts!)LessHeard vanU 00:27, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, please do keep your original comment. You are correct: the Who was raised as an example by one editor that I saw in your discussion and that person did use The Who. But the same person also used the Rotary Club in the same response. So it is inconclusive.—Jack Yan 05:53, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

The Chicago Manual of Style has an online Q&A forum in which this question has been asked and answered (the editors go for "the") (see http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/CMS_FAQ/CapitalizationTitles/CapitalizationTitles34.html). The example given there of the band "the The" shows the odd result that can come from capitalizing the article in this context. My sense is that there has been an increase, over time, in the article's capitalization, and I associate it in particular with the efforts by Apple to protect and strengthen the Beatle brand. An aspect of this effort seems to be a conscious campaign to project a consistent brand image using the stylized "The Beatles" logo borrowed from Ringo's bass drum. I first noticed this around the time of the Anthology project, and Apple seems to have been fairly consistent in its use of this logo since then. Apple also seems to have been pretty consistent in capitalizing the article in ordinary text as well since that time. I view this tendency on Apple's part -- i.e., to capitalize the article in ordinary text -- as Apple simply promoting consistency in the presentation of the brand. I think, moreover, that this has influenced a newer generation of Beatles writers, who I suspect see in the Apple usage an authoritative arbiter. My concern, however, is that what we're really seeing here is merely "brand management" on Apple's part. If Apple wants to manage the brand, that's fine, but it's their business, not ours -- we're not bound by their stylistic choices.McTavidge 05:22, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

My God, this debate is still going on?? --Lukobe 08:07, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
There is a lot of heat but not much light in the discussion above. The policy decision seems to have been reached by appealing to unnamed authorities whose credentials we can't verify, rather than to style books, etc. My citation above to the Chicago Manual is, I believe, the only such citation in this whole debate. I would like to see a contrary authority cited.McTavidge 21:34, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I went to a fair bit of trouble of this a few months back, and got an answer from some Wikipedians whose expertise lays in the matter of differences in US/UK English (and presumably use sources as austere as those quoted above). They confirmed that capitalising the t is correct in UK English. Most, if not all, of those editors who are British are familiar and comfortable in this use, and repectfully suggest that other editors follow the policy of using the language of the original (or in this case, the subject matter) editor. As regards the Chicago style, I would suggest that this has a bias in North American use and application. As said, I will raise this issue in the next newsletter.LessHeard vanU 22:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
The Times (of London), on its online style guide (see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2941-561,00.html), asks and answers this question (specifically, it happens, in reference to the Beatles), and goes for "the". Here is an excerpt: "Beatles, the, no need to cap the unless at the start of a sentence; similarly the Rolling Stones and the Manic Street Preachers etc." Now if that's not a UK English authority, I don't know what is.McTavidge 03:17, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Hurrah, and one more ray of light on This point of nonsense. If there were anything that would drive me off contributing to Wikipedia, it would be having To put up with This ongoing crap, and watching amateurs try To dictate policy that serves nothing but To make them feel better, while it makes The relevant pages look amateurish. (It is also The primary reason I have never joined Wikipedia's Beatles project. I do not approach musical topics as a fan; I approach them as a trained, experienced professional. While I appreciate fan enthusiasm, it has a nasty tendency to get in the way of serious work.) Your degree of fandom/worship/devotion/whatever should not be confused with "right", much less smarts, folks. Lennon and Harrison are not going to rest any easier, or McCartney or Starr become any richer or more famous, for those capital Ts; neither will any of them suffer if/WHEN this policy is reversed. I have still not seen A single convincing argument for capitalisation. All the arguments I've seen for it to date are just QED that This policy point is promoted by lay people blind with fandom and hypocrisy. (And I laugh at every single grammar and spelling mistake they make, in their efforts.) I look forward to The day Those Ts get fixed, once and for all. Zephyrad 08:32, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Twit!LessHeard vanU 13:38, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Ooh, a personal attack. Obviously I'm wrong... not. QED, pal. Zephyrad 17:24, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
An observation, relating to infantile capitalising of (nearly) every initial t in the previous comment and immoderate language regarding other editors, based in humour... LessHeard vanU 20:00, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
...which continues to prove my point. (An allegedly "funny" personal attack is still a personal attack.) Zephyrad 20:16, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
"...having To put up with This ongoing crap, and watching amateurs try To dictate policy that serves nothing but To make them feel better...", "...should not be confused with "right", much less smarts, folks.", "is promoted by lay people blind with fandom and hypocrisy..." and "I laugh at every single grammar and spelling mistake they make, in their efforts." does not overflow with good faith and/or respect - but I guess that your opinion of your own infallability allows you to attack the efforts and opinions of those who may differ from you. Either we are making personal attacks, or we are commenting on our observations. Your tone has been dismissive, and your language deplorable, from the beginning; but you complain at the first instance of a perceived attack. Try sticking to the point you are making, and avoid the insulting comments, and you may get a reasonable response.LessHeard vanU 21:43, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Yet another example (out there on the Internet for all to see during this entire debate, I suspect) of a UK English authority, the Guardian newspaper's online style guide, also coming out in favor of lowercase for bands (and, again, using the Beatles specifically as an example). An excerpt: "lc for newspapers (the Guardian), magazines (the New Statesman), pubs (the Coach and Horses), rock bands (the Beatles, the Black Eyed Peas, the The), sports grounds (the Oval); uc for books (The Lord of the Rings), films (The Matrix), poems (The Waste Land), television shows (The West Wing), and placenames (The Hague, La Coruña, La Rochelle)." See http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide/page/0,,184833,00.html and scroll down to "the." McTavidge 22:00, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I continue to applaud you... and laugh at others, who show themselves up. Thanks for posting yet another educated example. Zephyrad 22:11, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll copy the link over to the Newsletter (along with the previous one supplied).LessHeard vanU 22:15, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I have no strong feelings about the question itself but I DO have some strong feelings about the way this convo has unfolded. I'd rather we all try our best to remain collegial, if possible. Some of us have some strides to make in that regard, I think, and hopefully that's all that's needed to get things back on track. Really, this isn't worth getting mean about, is it? Thanks. ++Lar: t/c 22:25, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The newsletter has now been sent out noting the points discussed above, and requesting both references/citations with contributions if available and the use of polite language. LessHeard vanU 21:42, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
You all know how I feel: lowercase the 't'. See my old comments above. To recap my credentials, this is coming from someone who currently works as an editor in music journalism, albeit in the US, but also one who has a master's in English linguistics from a British university and has studied the differences between UK and US English and has worked as a proofreader and copyeditor in the past. I don't want to duplicate citations. --Lukobe 19:26, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
It does seem that the case for the lowercase is proven; certainly there is no authority (other than the previous time it was discussed) that has been cited for capitalisation. Now all it needs is concensus from project members (just a few agreeing with fewer or no dissentions) and a plan of action. I still would like for some other people to comment, as there is likely to be some resistance. If no further comment is made I will add something to the next newsletter along the lines of "as no grounds for keeping the capitalisation of the 'T' has been provided it has been decided to adopt the new spelling as project policy..." and wait for the reaction. Again, it might be best if a couple of other people agreed to it before it is sent. LessHeard vanU 13:37, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
As a journalistically-trained, published writer, I agree... politely. Zephyrad 14:14, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

So, where are we? Again, looks to me as if the only citations to authority have supported lowercase "t." What's the process for calling it? Thanks.McTavidge 03:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

No argument for not using lowercase "t"[edit]

As requested in Newsletter 9 and commented in Newsletter 10 there has been no authorities given for keeping the capitalisation of the letter t of the in "the Beatles". The authorities for lower case are The Times and The Guardian, which cover the range of British English use.

I will now proceed to put in motion the adoption of lower case use as Project Policy. If someone can develop a bot or other means to do this task then please do so! LessHeard vanU 22:17, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

er, I wasn't thinking this was a big new issue, and if I had been, I would have spoken up in favour of keeping the initial letter uppercased... It's not a huge deal but I'm not seeing any compelling serious arguments for it being lowercase. The Guardian notwithstanding. ++Lar: t/c 23:56, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
The proponents of using lowercase have cited two examples of British style guides, and noted that other commentaries on the Beatles also use lowercase. Other than the opinion of a wikipedia grammarian I have found no authority for continuing the use of uppercase. Your and my preferences are irrelevant, really; we can only go with what can be proven/shown. I did make requests both here and in the newsletters for debate, and none was forthcoming. It appears that consensus, in the absence of opposing views, was created.
I hope that editors are noting that I am arguing for lowercase on the basis of evidence presented, and not out of personal preference. LessHeard vanU 01:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
And the same "policy" will also apply to Coca Cola then? Vera, Chuck & Dave 02:04, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Forget it, life's too short! Vera, Chuck & Dave
So it has been decided that evidence points to lowercase, yes? Please let this be the case, after over a year of arguing. If we are still taking votes (or however this is being decided), obviously, mine is for lowercase, due to what I see as definitive evidence from style authorities in both the US and UK, as well as my own observations. For what it's worth. —simpatico talk 05:53, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Did you read the next section, Simpatico? Comment please on the trade mark issue. Steelbeard1 11:40, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

"The Beatles" is a registered trade mark[edit]

I think I found the citation which trumps everything at [13] Steelbeard1 03:46, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Songs[edit]

Other discussion[edit]

New page[edit]

So far I think we have two style policies, right:

  • British English, not US English, with rare (I can't think of ANY in use so far) exceptions...
  • "The Beatles" is almost always correct, "the Beatles" almost always isn't... (see above topic)

What other areas need (or already have) policy?

++Lar: t/c 21:40, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to redraft the two policies you mentioned (with a placeholder for exceptions to the British English rule), and leave a placeholder/very rough draft for a policy on songs (notability thereof and articles on) for use later. On the talk page I intend to paste in the threads that exist on other pages where we discussed the policies we've agreed upon. I'll do later tonight or (perhaps more likely) tommorow. It's all up in the (fading) brain at the moment but don't worry, it's all planned out :-) --kingboyk 21:55, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. I advocate when you redact that you MOVE the convo threads here, and only leave links behind, pointing here. ++Lar: t/c 22:07, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I see you copied them... I may go back and delete the copied parts if I remember/have time unless someone strongly objects. Well done on bringing them here though! ++Lar: t/c 18:49, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
No, I moved them, with the sole exception of the template talk thread which contains technical talk about the template (and with that one, I left a message saying please direct future policy chat here, and leave technical chat there). Any other threads which are still in place == a mistake. --kingboyk 19:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
OK cool! My reading too fast then I guess, sorry! ++Lar: t/c 19:40, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Beatles members names.[edit]

I think there are too many individual references to "Paul", "John", and "Ringo" (but not so many to poor old "George"). I am not certain of Wiki format, but I feel that the band members should individually be initially referred to by their full name (first and surname) or surname only, and only then be referred by their first name** within the same article, section etc. This would appear to be more formal, thus better for an encyclopedia. Obvious exceptions would be "John, Paul, George and Ringo" and "John and Yoko", since these appelations are already well known. Perhaps we had best have a concensus before agreeing (or not) to this naming policy?LessHeard vanU 21:50, 12 April 2006 (UTC) **Just to be clear, did you actually mean "surname" there? Cos if you didn't, I'm not agreeing with you I'm taking the opposite sides :) If we refer to our subjects by their first names it's like we're mates with them; whereas the tone we should strive for is that of the neutral chronicler (alright, with a bit of fan enthusiasm perhaps :)) --kingboyk 17:06, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

It's a good point and I agree with you; I change such references when I find them. We don't need a policy on it though as it's already in the style guide (Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(biographies)#Subsequent_uses_of_names). Note that McCartney can be referred to as "Sir Paul", although that imho should only be in articles about his activities post-Knighthood and (my preference) where he needs to be distinguished from another McCartney such as his wife.
The idea here is to document policy where it differs from Wikipedia guidelines or where the Wikipedia guidelines are ambiguous. The style guide is quite clear so that's enough. --kingboyk 22:01, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I actually thought the general WP policy was to use surname only (not forename only) after the first mention which was always full name... which I support, in general. Are we proposing using forenames after the first mention as a project exception? (as the policy is written only "Sir Paul" would be forenamed, the rest would be "Starr", "Harrison", "Lennon" ...) ++Lar: t/c 22:15, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm in agreement with the WP policy in this one, and that should include "McCartney" except for the cases I mentioned. --kingboyk 22:22, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I just had a look at the style policy - so that is clear. This is my modus operandi, I'm afraid; I try and pick up policy and standards as I go, although I usually find that I write to that style most times.LessHeard vanU 12:30, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
When faced with so many rules, many of which are pedantic, I think of WP:IAR (ignore all rules!) :) --kingboyk 17:06, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I wished that there were not many rules for this. Think of WP:IAR! --Siva1979Talk to me 09:02, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I'm rather tired of seeing "Sir" in front of Paul's name. I don't know what it adds to the discussion to be constantly reminded that he was knighted. Moreover, we didn't call him "Mr." McCartney pre-knighthood; why should we start in with the titles now? Besides, it strikes me as contrary to the Beatles' basically egalitarian perspective to point out his elevated "rank."McTavidge 05:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Paul should be referred to everywhere as "McCartney" except for the first mention in an article, where he should be referred to as "Paul McCartney." "Sir Paul" should never be necessary except when distinguishing him from another McCartney--and in such cases I think it should be "Paul" not "Sir Paul." My opinion. --Lukobe 08:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Policy regarding female editors[edit]

Obviously the first question is "do we even need a policy regarding female editors?", possibly followed by "why is this question being asked?". I thought about this before proposing the heading, and my simple answer is that I feel we need some female NPOV in the articles. I am aware that NPOV is by defination gender indifferent, but I think that some articles fall within the NPOV criteria yet are orientated toward a male perspective of "relevance"/"importance". All I am suggesting is that the Project policy makes clear that contributions from either gender are welcome, which in itself may make the Project more attractive to female (would be) editors. The subject matter of the Project profoundly influenced, and was influenced by, the female experience during and after its lifespan - it may be good to get some of that perspective within the articles.

I have carefully thought about bringing this up - so if your response is scorn or bewilderment please don't hesitate to respond accordingly. I would rather this point be debated and rejected now than to have reason to wish it had been aired previously at some later date.LessHeard vanU 21:20, 24 May 2006 (UTC) (male - if that matters)

Hmm... Can't argue with your point about influence, and - as an aside - one of the nicest and most knowledgeable Beatle-people I ever met was of the female gender (saki from rec.music.beatles, who I had the pleasure of meeting in LA back in 1996!). I'm not sure we need a policy on it. Wikipedia is all about editing for all and equal opportunity (as evidenced by the number of young admins we have). We must be careful not to encourage instruction creep. All that said, if folks think there is a genuine problem which needs to be addressed, and have some wording or solution in mind, I'm listening... --kingboyk 21:28, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
We have some excellent people on project, doing great work on recording facts and figures on record sales, chronologies, influences, instruments played and all sorts of splendid lists and so forth. It is all just a little.... "uninvolved"(?). These people (The Beatles - not necessarily the editors) were amongst the most desirable individuals in Western culture for some considerable time, but comments on their sex appeal, the grooming of their early image to suit the tastes of their female fans (and how their later choices in image reflected the changing perceptions of the same fans), their (non)role in womens liberation of the time, are largely absent. I suppose I could do a bit of research, find some good sources and references, and write a piece - but there would be no true perspective...
As I commented, it may just be that our policy affirms that of Wiki in the inclusiveness of all - which may have the effect of bringing on board editors who may have otherwise not considered it.(ps. Wouldn't it be good if someone else other than Lar - welcome as he always is - responded?)LessHeard vanU
I didn't know Lar had responded! Thing is, you see, I don't have a TV, so when most people are watching Eastenders or whatever, I'm surfing my watchlist! I'll shut up now. --kingboyk 22:24, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we need a policy per se. But maybe some offsides encouragment?... if you know some, ask them to put their hand in when you are talking to them informally. I'm sure our articles have systemic bias as do many. Technophilic, white, male, western culture centric, etc. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. As for TV, we have 4 in our house but I never watch them except if I'm eating. WP is where it is at. Er, wait, I WASN'T supposed to respond? Oops. ++Lar: t/c 22:32, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Of course you were expected to respond!*grin* It was that one starts to expect "the usual suspects" when one floats an idea around here. Thank (the deity/belief system of your choice) Lukobe joined in!!LessHeard vanU 12:42, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I think making this project policy would be duplicative of Wikipedia policy. Basically I'm with Lar. ++Lukobe 22:55, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Been thinking about this. Policy should be a last resort: where's there a problem with inconsistency, for example. So: Policy, no. But, how about adding it to the mission statement or to some other section on the Project Page? --kingboyk 09:58, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. Mission Statement seems reasonable. Hmmm... must have a peek at systemic bias, which I guess is what I think I may have been detecting.LessHeard vanU 12:42, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:How to create policy[edit]

Although that page is itself tagged as "a guideline only and not policy" should we be following the guidance there? Or are we happy that we have had enough community discussion and review to have our Project's policies stick? (I personally think the above threads answer my question in the affirmative, but "policy wonks" (copyright Lar) might not agree with me). Comments? --kingboyk 12:00, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, we're not creating WP wide policy. Putting it on a page of our own, tagging it as project policy, and gently persuading non project members to go along (see above, someone may be in need of a bit of gentle persuasion) is the way to go I think. (and this just came up at the Fraternities project, they're struggling with special notability guidelines) ++Lar: t/c 14:34, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Wait, what policy are we talking about here? --Lukobe 19:00, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Erm, the attached page! --kingboyk 19:11, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Female editors? --Lukobe 21:45, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
No, the attached article only, not the talk page. I think that particular idea got vetoed as nice but unnecessary. --kingboyk 21:51, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia, Consensus, The Beatles and Project Policy[edit]

I was going to step away from this, since I was only going by the rules and I didn't want to get into a big dispute (especially with editors who I respect and have enjoyed working with), but recent events have brought me back.

The debate about naming the convention regarding the capitalisation or not of the letter "t" of the in t/The Beatles has been going on for a while. I have endured the snide remarks of a Twit, and have engaged in civil debate with some others who continued to question Project policy regarding the issue. I pointed out the need to establish a reasonable argument for their viewpoint over and above that of some professional knowledge so there could be a debate. When they did provide reasonable grounds for reopening the debate I used the offices of the Beatles Newsletter Issue 9:Issue of the Month to request comment, debate on the matter. There was no response. In the next Newsletter Issue 10:Issue of last Month I commented that there had been no response, and that the Project policy would be altered to use of the lowercase. Again, nobody other than the proponents responded. After a brief while I did as I said I would, and amended the Policy.

Belated reaction[edit]

The new Policy is not to the liking of some of the editors involved the the Beatles Project (as the previous one was not to others.) After the policy was implemented reasons and arguments for retaining the previous convention were given. Authorities were cited and some discussion was created. Very recently more than one editor has edited Beatles related articles specifically to reflect the previous policy.

My Comments[edit]

My preference is to capitalise the letter t of the in the Beatles.

Wikipedia has very few rules; two of the most important relate to consensus and verifiability.

Wikipedia:WikiProject The Beatles has a specific area for the implementation (following debate and consensus) of Policy. The associate talkpage records the debate and the arguments used in reaching Policy decisions. The Project also maintains the principle of abiding by the rules that have been agreed, and the fundemental Wikipedia ethos of consensus.

My Observations[edit]

No recent discussion occurred when the matter of the use of lowercase or uppercase was notified in two Newsletters, other than between myself and the proponets of lowercase at the Policy talkpage. Since Policy implementation discussion has only occurred on the talkpages of concerned editors, or on the talkpages of some of the articles, and not at the Policy talkpage.

More than one editor has unilaterally decided to ignore the new Policy, going so far as to amend articles to reflect the previous convention.

My Conclusion(s)[edit]

The Beatles Project is being disrupted by editors who I personally know to be conscientious and dedicated contributors of long and good standing. In that there is now occurring what might be considered vandalism (the knowing altering of articles in a manner that is against Wikipedian and Project rules and policy), likely as a result of their strongly held views, I believe that this matter needs urgent addressing. I am copying this to the Policy talkpage, and to all the editors involved in formulating the new policy and the recent opponents. I suggest that this debate is taken there, and that this matter is decided in a civil manner in accordance with the principles of Wikipedia.


I am deeply saddened that it has come to this. I am depressed that editors (people) whose integrity and civility (not to say sheer fun) I had been proud to be associated with have acted in (what I see as) bad faith and flagrant disregard for the rules and guidelines of both Wikipedia and The Beatles Project. LessHeard vanU 23:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

My Conclusions[edit]

I agree -- it really is too bad that things have taken this turn. It didn't have to go this way. It's actually embarrassing at this point.McTavidge 01:07, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

People are going around changing the Beatles back to The Beatles? Maybe a RFC needs to be filed against such editors. Yes, all discussion should be here. Lukobe 01:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I spent several hours changing the following pages: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, among several others. It's pretty discouraging that with a click of a button someone can undo all that effort.McTavidge 03:38, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I vehemently oppose filing any RFC against any editor in this matter. This is a co-operative effort and this Project does not need schisms. It may be that an independent arbiter may be needed to ensure that practice complies with Wikipedia rules, but the debate needs to be civilly conducted here, and consensus reached. LessHeard vanU 13:54, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

There is no rush to change the to The or vice versa. Let's try to come to a general consensus and then change stuff. I think that would really be for the best. Let's also try not to get into too much arguments over this. It's a relatively minor point really, and there is no need for snippy commentary or hard feelings. This is a wiki. Policy changes. Further, because it's a wiki we have time to get things right, there is no rush. Let's go slow, talk collegially and figure out what to do. ++Lar: t/c 17:14, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

The "The/the" policy reevaluation[edit]

Thanks for your new comments on the "The/the" dispute. Strong legal citations have emerged which indicate that "The Beatles" should be used as it is a registered trademark. Check out this discussion [14] which includes a link to the UK Patent Office which proves that "The Beatles" as well as "Beatles" are registered trade marks of Apple Corps Ltd. The actual link is at [15]. So does legal reasons trump grammatical reasons? Steelbeard1 03:34, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Now that was refreshing, Steelbeard1 -- in your last sentence above, you actually asked the question that matters (i.e., whether "legal reasons trump grammatical reasons") rather than assuming the answer and proceeding from there.McTavidge 04:57, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Incidentally, the citation you give to the UK Patent Office's record of the Beatles TM filing doesn't show what you purport that it shows. It shows the following: THE BEATLES, BEATLES, Beatles [DRUM LOGO], The Beatles [DRUM LOGO]. You could just as readily argue from this that the intent was to get trademark protection for THE BEATLES and that we therefore should always put it in all caps.McTavidge 05:03, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I would comment that the filing of the trademark for Beatles singular possibly recognises that the preceding lowercase "the" is a alternative correct rendition of the band name. I still believe that the appropriate avenues for determining which is (more) correct would be English Language guides (not just style, but how it is taught as a science) or a premier dictionary. Unfortunately, the OED requires membership. The online dictionaries I have found are split 50/50 (three to three) between lower and upper case. Another resource may be a standard text on how Proper Nouns are expressed in British English (providing that it can be agreed that the the is part of the band name) LessHeard vanU 14:02, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The UK Patent Office link shows there are separate filings for both "Beatles" and "The Beatles". The actual link for "The Beatles" is for Beatle merchandise. The full list of trade marks owned by Apple Corps Ltd is at [16] and note in the individual "Beatles" entries that the trade marks are for use of the terms "Beatles" and "The Beatles". As "The Beatles" is a registered trademark as proven by the UK Patent Office links, I again ask if legal reasons trump grammatical reasons. Steelbeard1 15:05, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I am not a lawyer, so I cannot say for certain. I was, however, involved in company law a couple of decades back. Whilst a company may register itself under a name (and the right to that name belongs to said company) the company may well be known as somthing else, e.g. Company X trading as Y & Z Corporation. The company may then be known as Y & Z Corporation, even to the extent of establishing it as a trading name and having some protection to the right of the name under law. This is why I believe that the bands lawyers were very canny in Trademarking all the variations they could. Registering a Trademark, thus protecting the right to use the form of words, may not indicate the primacy of that name use; it is to stop other people from being able to use it. As I said, however, it may take legal opinion to see if a Trademark has precedence over style guides and/or grammatical standards. LessHeard vanU 21:03, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Considering that neither Apple Corps, McCartney, Starr, nor the estates of Lennon and Harrison have ever brought suit or made a complaint against any newspaper or other media outlet, or the producers of any stylebook or style guide, for not making it a capital T each and every time... I don't think changing the policy is going to be a problem. And it appears some of the amateur writers are continuing to act as amateurs in this matter. It's a shame. Zephyrad 00:36, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Alan Clayson isn't an amateur writer, and in all four of his books concerning each member of the band, The Beatles is capitalised throughout. Vera, Chuck & Dave 01:36, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Is Alan Clayson the one going around changing Wikipedia pages, against the new policy? (And if Alan Clayson jumped off the roof...) Zephyrad 02:42, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Nor have they to protect the use of the lowercase, so that argument doesn't prove anything. Even an amateur can see that. I feel that Trademarking or registering a name, and its variations, is a legal device and no indication that any one style is preferred. LessHeard vanU 13:09, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. It's all legalities and has nothing to do with actual style and usage, which is what we should be concerned with. --Lukobe 21:51, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Policy[edit]

So this is where you're all hanging out... I didn't know it was here until I stumbled on it by accident—I'm usually too busy to go window shopping.

Well, it seems as if Vera and I have been singled out as nothing short of "definite article" vandals for our stance, when we have cited our position. To create all this hullaballoo over an 'article' is taking the word pedantic to new extremes. Can we take a step back and look at this in the cold light of day? To wit:

  • How many articles need improving?
  • How many have lost FA status?
  • Is the amount of work being put into this discussion equal to the the amount of edits being done to improve articles?

We are ignoring the servicing of the car because we disagree about whether 'The' indicator light is faulty or not. There may be a concensus (between how many editors exactly?) but this problem/discussion will keep reappearing forever and ever, and there will definitely be no "Amen". Call us eccentric, stubborn, stupid, blind or dumb, but never call us vandals. andreasegde 14:05, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

P.S. We have already been called (supposed) vandals, and have seen that "Maybe an RFC needs to be filed against such editors". I am totally shocked at such a knee-jerk reaction. BTW, Vera and I are pushing the boundaries, because Paul, Freddie, Mimi, Julia and Neil have all gone from B to GA status, and "that band from Liverpool" are still GA. We are being chastised because of ONE SINGLE LETTER of the alphabet being changed from lower case to upper case. If you don't find that ridiculous, then I do. I think "that band from Liverpool's" project is in serious danger of collapsing in on itself amid petty bickering. andreasegde 14:46, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Trademark law doesn't turn on such things as capital letters and even (sometimes) spelling. If someone were to use, for instance, "the beatles" (all lowercase) or even "the beetles" (spelled differently and all lowercase) in commerce, that person would likely be infringing on the trademark, even though the infringing uses don't match any filed examples. This is so because the general test for trademark infringement is whether someone is using another's mark in a confusingly similar way, regardless of capitalization or, in certain cases (e.g., soundalikes) spelling. To say that the trademark is "The Beatles" (and, presumably, not "the Beatles") would necessarily imply that use of "the Beatles" wouldn't be an infringement of the mark, when clearly it must be. (What good would a trademark law be if it didn't protect against silly distinctions like these? You would see marks like "Zerox" and "Foard" and "Toiota," and Xerox, Ford, and Toyota would have no legal recourse to stop these confusingly similar marks.) Therefore, the choice of a capital "t" in the trademark filing is arbitrary and legally insignificant. Since it has no legal significance, it can't even begin to have any significance for English usage.McTavidge 17:44, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Try this analogy. "apple" is a generic fruit. "Apple" is The Beatles' record label and is a registered trademark. Steelbeard1 20:55, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I've tried the analogy, but it doesn't go anywhere. The point is that if I name my record company "apple records," I would still be infringing on their mark, uppercase or not.McTavidge 22:51, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Dear McTavidge, you have just proved our point. I quote your own words: "If someone were to use, for instance, "the beatles" (all lowercase) or even "the beetles" (spelled differently and all lowercase) [or 'the Beatles' - Wikipedia, for instance] in commerce, that person would likely be infringing on the trademark". We (supposed) vandals do not intend to infringe on that trademark. andreasegde 22:15, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I haven't just proved your point. The point is that how you write down the words in the trademark filing doesn't determine the legal protection you get -- it's simply irrelevant. As to the other point, there is no infringement that arises from writing an encyclopedia article. You only get infringement when you use the mark to pass yourselves off as the Beatles.McTavidge 22:51, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Before we go on with this, can I ask you a question? How many books about The Beatles do you own, and which? andreasegde 23:33, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Your apple/Apple analogy doesn't work, because the is an article...apple is a noun. This is a style question. Also, I suggested RFCs because it seemed people were violating policy without discussing why. And what does number of books have to do with it? Again, this is a style and usage question. --Lukobe 21:54, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't really have anything more to say about this issue than what I've said before. I think I've demonstrated why the t should be lowercase in the Beatles (except of course at the beginning of sentences, etc.)--if my arguments and those of those who agree with me aren't enough to convince you, so be it. This is about all the effort I want to put into this discussion. I don't believe any new ground is being covered this time round. --Lukobe 21:54, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
And, of course, just as I post that I realize I do have one more thing to say--there is something I think we could do that would make this entire discussion a lot more productive than it currently is now. Why have a Beatles-specific policy? This is a matter of Wikipedia style and should be expanded. It would be silly to have "The Beatles" but "the Kinks," "The Beach Boys" but "the Zombies," etc. What is needed is a Wikipedia-wide policy: To capitalize articles that are part of proper names, or not? That would be useful. Where can we start such a discussion? --Lukobe 22:20, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Using Little T is Project policy, so it is pointless questioning why other articles follow the same convention. Having said that, Wikipedia recognises that there may be differences in use of English in that there are two major differing styles of English, US and UK. There is a specific policy which says along the lines of "Use the style of Country of Origin for subject" or "The style of original Editor". The question of using only one version of English is a FAQ over at one of the Wikipedia help/guide pages, and is discounted as being against the Wikipedia ethos (specifically that it open to everyone and not just the practitioners of one style).
The Beatles Project, following Wikipedia guidelines, has a policy of using British English. Until recently, it was held that B.E. capitalised the letter T. How other articles derived their policy, or whether they even have one, is outside the remit of The Beatles Project. There is enough for editors to do here in improving articles and resolving policy to keep us all occupied. LessHeard vanU 12:41, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

The The[edit]

I found a great example. There was a band in the 80s called The The. Now, what do we do with that, I ask? andreasegde 23:42, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Why has no-one answered this question? andreasegde 14:37, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I think I will take the tack of answering questions but not re-explaining my own position. So here goes. In the band name you refer to above, the first the is the definite article; the second the is a proper noun. So the second the should be capitalized everywhere. The first the, well, that's what the debate's about. If you're for The Beatles, then you're for The The--if you're for the Beatles then you're for the The. --Lukobe 22:23, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Review[edit]

OK, time to review a little.

Books and articles -- There's clearly a divergence of views among those writing books and articles about the Beatles. Some capitalize, some don't. That's not a promising avenue of argument for either view.

Trademark -- Although it hasn't been articulated particularly clearly, the trademark-filing-based argument for capitalization seems to go something like this: The trademark filing shows an instance of capitalization. Therefore, this is "proof" that capitalization is "correct" and furthermore that any nonconforming usage is an infringement. Have I correctly summarized the argument? If not, let me know where I've strayed. I'd like to make sure I understand.

It would be helpful if one of the uppercase supporters would summarize my argument, just so we can be sure we're all really understanding each other.

Incidentally, I was away from this for about five hours today and in the interim someone posted anonymously a message about passing off an article (meaning the Beatles-related Wikipedia articles) as being about the Beatles, except that the "the" was capitalized in his or her comment. It was intended as a retort to me and as a gotcha (I was discussing the trademark law concept of passing off). This was interesting not only because it showed that the anonymous poster didn't really understand anything about trademark law and didn't seem to care that his comment betrayed his ignorance but also because Andreasegde incorrectly assumed I had posted the goofy comment and then deliriously cheered: "You did it again! You wrote "The Beatles" yourself. Game, Set, and Match." Come on -- can't this discussion be elevated above that level? Even if I had written and accidentally failed to sign the goofy comment, surely I didn't deserve the all-caps shout: "SIGN IN; DON'T JUST LEAVE A COMMENT."McTavidge 04:35, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

One more thing -- on infringement (since this keeps coming up). You can't "infringe" another's trademark (i.e., be liable for damages) unless you use the other's trademark as a trademark. See [17], the part that talks about non-trademark use.McTavidge 04:48, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

If the goofy remark thing was a mistake, I apologise, and you can have my set of The Beatles' bubble-gum cards. andreasegde 09:54, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

The state of play[edit]

  • 1. Professional dictionaries don't agree
  • 2. Book writers don't agree
  • 4. The Beatles' own pages don't agree (Macca's uses both)
  • 3. There is a contract that states 'The Beatles' 'Beatles' etc.. was trademarked

Now, who are we (AMATEUR editors) to state that there must be a fixed policy? If anyone dares to suggest that they know more about style, or have a firmer grasp on grammar than respected professional editors and writers (who don't agree with each other) or the people at FA (Macca's review) who didn't mention 'The/the' problem AT ALL, or even the Wikipedia editors who reviewed the last five GA articles, then I suggest a visit to the clinic to sort out their ego problems. Nobody cites it as a problem, apart from here. andreasegde 10:06, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Does it matter that at least one of us is a professional editor with a graduate degree in English linguistics? I would wager that that person does stand a good chance of knowing more about style and grammar than the FA reviewers and the GA reviewers. Other professional editors and writers, now, that's a different story--but there are varying styles and our job is to pick one for Wikipedia. --Lukobe 22:27, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
The good thing about a fixed policy is consistency, we are all reading from the same script. It would make Wikipedia appear more professional. I would prefer that someone gets the Oxford English Dictionary most recent definition, and examples of current English Language GCSE course work/books, so the use in Standard English can be found. If that agrees with the style guides (style, by definition, being more subject to change) then the question is answered. If it differs then we may need to discuss the primacy between academical and practical standards. LessHeard vanU 12:52, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. We need to look more professional. --Lukobe 22:27, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Nobody has a fixed policy in the real world. How can we expect to have one? And what about The The? Answer that one, and I will agree with everything. andreasegde 14:38, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Plenty of publishing houses and Web sites have fixed policies. --Lukobe 22:27, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I'll take that bait... the name has appeared as "the The" again and again, in the media, and in record outlets, if it wasn't actually sanctioned by the band. Putting the lowercase the first makes the capital The stand out. Zephyrad 14:55, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I thank you Sir, but... the band is called The The (on its own web page.) It should be called the The The, to be truly correct, and deeply pendantic. andreasegde 17:07, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't sound like agreement to me. It sounds like you have broken your word. Zephyrad 19:08, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I am wondering if what we are really disagreeing about is the defintiion of truly correct. Johnson & Johnson want you to refer to band-aids as Band-Aid(R) Brand Bandages, really--does that mean we should? --Lukobe 22:27, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to ask everyone to be a bit more collegial and a bit less "taking bait" or "challenging" if at all possible. The goal here is to get to an agreement that we all can work with, and to avoid warring. We're all here, presumably, because we love The Beatles, and because we want to make The Encyclopedia a better place. Let's plesae keep that in mind. Some of the recent exchanges aren't quite demonstrating the level of collegiality that I think will serve us best. ++Lar: t/c 20:49, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

The or the 'The' list[edit]

Please add to this list to clarify this problem, and so that we can finally have a POLICY:

  • I like The Beatles. (Correct)
  • I like The Beatles’ music. (Correct)
  • I like the music of The Beatles. (Correct)
  • I like Paul McCartney’s Beatles’ songs. (Correct)
  • I like Paul McCartney’s songs when he was in The Beatles. (Correct)
  • Many Beatles’ songs are ballads. (Correct)
  • Many of The Beatles’ songs are ballads. (Correct)
  • Many songs by The Beatles are ballads. (Correct)

ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 17:21, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

And here I go breaking my pledge. But oh well. This is how I would say it should go (note I also removed some of your apostrophes):
  • I like the Beatles.
  • I like the Beatles’ music.
  • I like the music of the Beatles.
  • I like Paul McCartney’s Beatles songs.
  • I like Paul McCartney’s songs when he was in the Beatles.
  • Many Beatles songs are ballads.
  • Many of the Beatles’ songs are ballads.
  • Many songs by the Beatles are ballads.

Note that if the band were the The, it would be the same: I like the The, I like the The's music, I like the music of the The, many The songs are ballads, many of the The's songs are ballads, many songs by the The are ballads, etc. --Lukobe 22:30, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I've got an album by t/The The. I think it is called "Mind Bomb" or similar. Appropriate, really. ;~) LessHeard vanU 11:45, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Oh bugger, are we now talking about apostrophes? ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 14:37, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Misused apostrophes are likely to make Wikipedia look even less professional than misused capital letters. --Lukobe 21:50, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

What's the argument for Big T? I can't seem to locate it[edit]

I've re-read the whole debate, going back forever ago. Now that the trademark argument has been thoroughly discounted (or if not, then Ringo and John (and sometimes Paul) are in big trouble with someone (I'm thinking of their web sites)), I think I see only two "arguments" for capital t: (1) some writers out there have used it and (2) some people just have a visceral reaction that it's "right." Is there more to it than that? Maybe I've missed something. If not, these hardly seem like a compelling pile of reasons to go with Big T, especially since so much has been said for Little T.McTavidge 06:11, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be a citable one, which is why I previously conceded the point and changed the project policy. I am still looking for one, and if a good enough authority comes up then the debate can be re-opened. I'm looking into Standard English, i.e. that which is taught in British schools (the policy that British English is used remaining paramount). Style guides may be considered to reflect trends and, especially for an international readership, be a vehicle for change rather than a reflection.
I would suggest that there would have been no debate a decade or so ago. The reason why many of the UK editors held such strong opinions is that this is what we had been taught; it was ingrained into our education that "Proper Nouns are Always Capitalised" and that the the in t/The Beatles formed part of their name (obviously, the naming conventions of one group wasn't part of the syllabus, but you know what I mean). The UK practice of using Little T seems to be both recent and (possibly) more prevalent in media and publishing than in academia and other general life. Of the six online dictionaries I found the Big/Little T split was 50/50, which indicates that both the convention is fairly new and that different original sources use different styles. Perhaps a ten or twenty years ago all UK references would have used the Big T. As with many things, searches tend to turn up the more recent changes and established standards can be more difficult to find.
In answer to your question of why UK editors were/are so adamant and resistant to change; it was because it was what we were taught from Infants (what is now called primary school) up to Higher Education. It formed the basis of our educations, and everything that followed. That is why some editors used it, and continue to think that way. I trust this explains the resistance to change by said editors. LessHeard vanU 12:24, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
LessHeard vanU: You've referred several times now to the online dictionary sources -- do you recall what they were? Just curious. Thanks. And, incidentally, as far as your tutoring in capital letters goes, I don't think you'd get any serious argument from anyone on either side of the debate or of the ocean that proper nouns are capitalized, either historically or recently. (In fact, the trend over time has been to capitalize less -- see the Wikipedia article on capitalization [18].) The issue is whether capitalization of the proper noun somehow reaches the associated article. Here's a funny-looking one that you get if the rule were that you capitalize the article appended to a proper noun: Sally likes Fords, but she bought A Volvo. Har!McTavidge 19:43, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
I have them on my userpage, but I shall copy them here.
i.1.lower
ii.2.lower
iii.1.Upper
iv.1.both in same article!(from an early Wikipedia article...)
iv.3.lower
v.2.Upper
vi.3.Upper
Where it only takes you to a generic page just type Beatles, otherwise it goes straight to the definition. I found other dictionaries but they either were copies of the above, didn't have "t/The" in the definition, or didn't mention the band (cribbed from Encyclopedia 1911 Edition, I would guess). My take on the matter is that t/The is part of the name and not an appendage, but I may be biased since I drive A volvo... LessHeard vanU 19:58, 18 February 2007 (UTC) ps. I have included the struck out definition.
As I see it, we're down to very little in support of Big T and lots in support of Little T. The online sources you cite don't help much, in part because some of them are just online encyclopedias anyway -- not respected sources of English usage. Style guides (check out the Wikipedia article) are likely the best readily available sources we're going to be able to put our hands on, and they're actually not so trendy as you suggest -- and they're really all that we have. Dictionaries tend to limit themselves to matters other than capitalization and other grammatical conventions, and in any case tend to be descriptive of what people are saying/writing rather than prescriptive of what people ought to be saying/writing. It strikes me that Big T is a preference in search of a justification -- sometimes it's the new thing (in which case new is good); sometimes it's the long-established usage (in which case old is good); sometimes it's what I was taught in the crib (in which case there's no citeable source for it); sometimes it's what Tony Barrrow wrote in the liner notes (but Derek Taylor didn't); sometimes it's what Bob Spitz (an American) wrote in his book (but Hunter Davies (an Englishman) didn't in his); and sometimes it's a US/UK difference (in which case we Americans can't really contribute to the debate anyway so what's the point?) (though that's a red herring actually -- there's plenty of UK Little T usage to contradict that view). We have been given three authoritative sources, each directly on point: the Economist's style guide, the Guardian's style guide, and the (very influential) Chicago Manual of Style. After all this, I guess I don't understand why we are still looking for a justification for Big T. McTavidge 05:07, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the dividing line is between enthusiasts who have written professionally (or been trained to do so) and adhere to professional writing standards, and fans who have not, and do not. I prefer to go by professional norms and reject amateur standards in writing, and will continue to do so – despite my being repeatedly labelled a "twit" for it by a certain individual, who missed my point in the first place, and continues to do so. (There is a big difference between lampooning a bad policy and showing its logical outcome, and insulting or attacking a person over it. I wish he understood that difference. While I have neither attacked nor insulted any person, I have borne repeated insults and snide commentary over this – let's face it – tempest in a teacup, from him and others.) Zephyrad 07:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
We aren't, I and a couple of others are looking for a reasonable authority. If it can't be found then we will say "fair do's" and continue editing to agreed policy, with the added benefit that any future transgressor or questioner can be directed to this discourse. There are likely to be further questions, since it seems that a lot of (older and/or UK) contributors were taught to that effect.
If a good authority can be found... Well, I recognised (albeit after some reluctance) the validity of the little t's proponents continued insistence to bring examples supporting their claims; I would expect the same in return. I realise that by finding a reasonable authority it does not mean that Big T will prevail, and my previous comment about the debate being available for future reference holds (as it would if it did prevail).
Lastly, Wikipedia works by both verification and consensus. It is sometimes true that consensus will work against standards as recognised by professional bodies and persons when verification is not (agreed to be) absolute. If those who abide by their professional learnings think that they should then sneer at and deride the amateurs who fail to agree with them, and write sarcastic retorts by over-emphasising the disputed style (whether they are familiar with WP:Point or not), then perhaps they ought to consider whether they are able to contribute to a Wiki.
I have, since policy changed, defended the current standard, I've even disputed with colleagues of long and friendly standing over the matter. As long as I am prepared to defend the application of the status quo, then surely I am allowed to test it?LessHeard vanU 20:06, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Yup, Z, that third paragraph was referring to you. You are almost as sensitive about slights as you are forgetful about those you feel free to throw about. Consider this; the case for Small T was considerably advanced by McTavidge who, supported by Lukobe, argued the case with civility and the recourse to references. Perhaps if you had engaged more civilly (or with a different Big T proponent than I, cos I'm an argumentative sod) you may got policy changed earlier. LessHeard vanU 20:06, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
This from a person who has stated he wants "as little interaction as possible" with me, yet he continues to throw bait. I have read WP:Point, and I do not see his; I did not disrupt Wikipedia in any way. (By the way, "aught" means zero. QED, again.) I appreciate this person's change of heart (and actions) regarding this policy, but I'm in no hurry to give him a great big kiss for it, since he has stated he does not want my interaction. (And he's one to talk about "civility" and "ability to contribute", in context.) Zephyrad 20:28, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
"little" does not mean "none", "want" does not preclude "require", and what has been proven? That I don't proof read my text, or that my education is deficient. Whatever, thanks for the typo mention; I will hopefully learn from it. LessHeard vanU 20:52, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Vote[edit]

Sod it, let's have a vote from all the members, and if it comes down one or the other, I will abide by the policy. Democracy is a must. (When I say a vote, I mean a simple yes or no, and not an explanation... :) Can we agree on that? ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 14:34, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Er... No, I'm afraid. Specifically Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not mentions democracy, and rejects it. If the majority in an argument voted that the earth was flat you still wouldn't fall off the edge no matter how far you sailed. Verification and authorative references is what matters. Only when there are two, or more, differing good authorities is there a need for consensus, which may or may not be reached in a vote. LessHeard vanU 20:39, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
What he said. Reaching consensus is the preferred approach, not polling. Polls are evil. :) Full marks for trying everything to resolve this though, andreasegde... ++Lar: t/c 21:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I must also say no... and no vote, please. Zephyrad 21:55, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes indeed, full marks Andrea! Vera, Chuck & Dave 01:00, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I thought there was a consensus a few months ago when it was settled on "The Beatles". I wasn't in the loop when that was reversed and I'm sure several others were also out of the loop so the mess began again. I don't think there will be a consensus on the The/the dispute. Steelbeard1 21:32, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Good, so it's no vote. Fine by me, but could someone explain how FA articles are rated? I know the words are different, but Support and Oppose seem like voting to me. If 25 editors say no, and 10 say yes, then who gets concensus and policy? We are discussing the use of one single word here, and not a full-blown theory of something. ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 15:58, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

For the avoidance of doubt (re your comment below), the arguments that follow each vote are the criteria by which the poll is conducted; statements such as "I (don't) like it" carry no weight whatsoever. It is the number of people putting forward valid reasons for and against which count. It is still usually up to a smaller group of people who decide which arguments have carried the day, or whether there is no consensus. LessHeard vanU 22:08, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

OK, I've read it. Straw Poll or a Survey then? (Without committing ourselves to anything solid, BTW... :)) ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 16:24, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Special section[edit]

I have created a section at the top of my discussion page for evidence and citations for The Beatles. Please add to it when you have a fact, as it will be presented as a complete statement on the The Beatles' Policy talk page (but will not be presented as a vote, a straw poll, a survey, or anything at all that is binding - honest :) ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 17:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Hierarchy[edit]

"It is still usually up to a smaller group of people who decide which arguments have carried the day"... What does that mean? (as if I did not know).

  • Who are these people?
  • Why is their opinion regarded as the consensus?
  • Is there a hierarchy in Wikipedia? I thought "Anyone can edit" meant freedom (with in-line citations) and not control by a select few.
  • All contributors are equal, but some are more equal than others. Does this apply? ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 14:45, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I am seriously 'effed off about this. I will finish Mal Evans and get it to GA, and then seriously consider my position (which I don't have, because I'm not a part of the hierarchy, who do not reveal their positions.) ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 14:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Consensus means: 1. Majority of opinion: The consensus of the group was that they should meet twice a month. 2. General agreement or concord; harmony.
  • A minority that decides (for the oft-quoted Wikipedia word "consensus") does not own a dictionary, or blindly change its meaning (because they decide that it can mean whatever they want it to mean). ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 16:59, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
"Anyone can edit" definitely does not mean freedom (with citations)--not if we want Wikipedia to appear at least semi-professional. Anyone can edit--but that means anyone can revert your edits as well, and hopefully we're all doing it in the best interests of Wikipedia and its goals. See WP:WWIN: Wikipedia is neither democracy nor anarchy.
I wouldn't say your Orwell parody is quite accurate--we're all "equal," but some of us know more than others about certain things. When editing an article on engineering, for example, I will certainly defer to the opinions of experts in the field. And when it comes to questions of grammar, style, usage, and editing, I would think that my credentials would carry some weight.
There probably is a cabal but I don't think any of us on this project are a part of it.

--Lukobe 18:16, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Oh aye? And what credentials are they then La? Vera, Chuck & Dave 18:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
See above, but if you want them again, I'm a professional editor in the music field and have graduate and undergraduate degrees in English language and linguistics. --Lukobe 22:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
"in the best interests of Wikipedia and its goals." It seems that those goals are decided by a small group of people. Who are we? ThE bEaTLeS aka andreasegde 18:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The "smaller group of people" are generally experienced Wikipedians who have been dealing with such matters at AfD, FAR/FARC, GAR for a little time. They are self appointed much like groups of editors/admins appoint themselves as custodians of an, or group of, articles (such as Projects). As I understand it, the joining procedure is simple; you turn up and give your reasons as to why you feel the way you do (citing Wikipedia rules, policies, etc. really helps) on matters and after a while the other folk there give your opinions due weight.
Consider this, out of the many dozens (perhaps hundreds) who edit Beatles related articles there is only about a dozen individuals whose names keep cropping up in the talk pages and who are often seen reverting vandalism and correcting poor contributions in the various articles. I'm one of them. Nobody voted for me. LessHeard vanU 22:05, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Taking Stock[edit]

It's been about a week since I last suggested that the documented, verifiable support for Little T is significantly greater than that for Big T. I still don't see any documented support for Big T. The only new thing I've seen is a reference to a discussion in the Chambers Concise Dictionary on capitalization (on Andreasegde's talk page), but it's hard to tell from the summary on Andreasegde's talk page whether the definite article is intended (by Chambers) to be part of what's capitalized. Moreover, another Chambers text actually uses Little T in its article on the Beatles, so the first Chambers reference (such as it is) is canceled out by the second one. See [[19]]. So, I'm still not seeing any verifiable source for Big T. Am I misreading the situation?McTavidge 04:54, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

The little T used is not part of the article, it's a Lennon quote, but what you are missing is, if one types "the" Beatles into the search engine, it returns "The" Beatles. Chambers also states that all proper names, place names and words used as names - The Windy City, The Who, The Beatles, Old Father Thames, The Grim Reaper etc, must be capitalised. Vera, Chuck & Dave 12:37, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

BTW, There's a perfect example of misuse in the above post: "who edit Beatles related articles." - No, "articles related to The Beatles." Vera, Chuck & Dave

"Beatles-related articles" is perfectly good English. --Lukobe 20:48, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
If and when there is a decent enough authority to support the use of the Big T please be assured that everyone will be informed and the matter debated. Until there is then there is little to be gained by attempting to stymie discussion among the Big T proponents. LessHeard vanU 18:06, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
What, me stymie? Seriously, is that how I was perceived, as somehow putting a damper on Big T proponents' discussion? McTavidge 19:23, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
By nobody other than me, and I admit stymie was perhaps too strong a phrase. Put it another way, it might appear that you are advancing arguments for the retention of the current policy when it hasn't yet been found if there is any grounds for it to be debated, let alone challenged. It might be considered therefore that such comments may influence Big T proponents to abandon investigations/discussions into whether any reason to again debate the issue can be found. As I said, however, this is just a reaction on my part to the ongoing saga. Even if there is anything to it there is nothing really wrong in it, it may just be a bit premature and diverting effort from the articles themselves (speaking for myself, I've recently done little more than a little vandal patrolling outside of this matter). LessHeard vanU 21:31, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
I saw it that way too, a bit, rightly or wrongly. Please don't stymie discussion prematurely. ++Lar: t/c 21:40, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Okey dokey. I'll just, um, wait a bit. Just give me a sign. McTavidge 22:14, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

the The[edit]

Don't believe (in your wildest dreams) that this problem has been finished, and put to bed. It will continue for forever and ever, by many other editors. Have fun... andreasegde 22:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I am (having fun).McTavidge 02:54, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

A Hard Day's Night is the third album by "the" Beatles.? A Hard Day's Night - Studio album by "the" Beatles.? You certainly are having fun! Take a dekko at Out of Our Heads, Music from Big Pink, Who's Next, Kinda Kinks, Puzzle People, Animalisms, Stop! Stop! Stop!, Cut the Crap - get my drift Vera, Chuck & Dave 23:43, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Still having fun. And, incidentally, got the drift. They do look strange, don't they? McTavidge 02:08, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

ALOL! Vera, Chuck & Dave 13:18, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Har! (When is talk like a pirate day, anyway?)McTavidge 16:32, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Everyday in this loony bin pal! Vera, Chuck & Dave 17:22, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Arbitration[edit]

There is a serious problem on the Brian Epstein page that needs to be looked at by other editors. I politely request other editors to take a look at the article and the talk page to decide whether the article is defamatory to Epstein, and whether there is too much in it about his sexuality. andreasegde 18:15, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

The the - yes folks, it's here again[edit]

  • Brian Epstein signed a contract with the Beatles. He signed it with their individual consent, and they signed it as individual members of The Beatles. Point? Plural, and not collective.
  • Paul and John went to Paris, meaning that the Beatles who went to Paris were only two, and not the whole group.
  • The Beatles, meaning the Beatles that toured America (not 1, 2, 3, of them, but 4 of them) were The Beatles, because it was singular, meaning a whole entity.
  • This is a way of raising the debate to a new level, which includes both sides of the argument. andreasegde 20:38, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Can you couch your arguments in grammatical terms? --Lukobe 20:50, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Because, as has been stated by Vera, Chuck and Dave, the The is part of a title/name, but not applicable when writing about a number of the people involved. andreasegde 01:45, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
As a smaller number of people who believe this to be the case, myself, Vera Chuck and Dave, Crestville, and one or two others (who have been around Wikpedia long enough to know what we are talking about) have decided that the policy will be changed. We have not voted on this, and realise that many editors will disagree, but we have come to a consensus that we believe is best for Wikipedia and articles that feature The Beatles (as a group, and not as individual members in groups of two or three) and agree that when editors write about 1/2/ or 3 of The Beatles, they should called the Beatles, but collectively, The Beatles, as that was the band's name. This clears the air, and will be noted in the next Beatles' Newsletter. andreasegde 02:01, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I will give examples as to the use of:
  • I saw the Beatles (or a Beatle) at various times in London. Singular, plural, but not collective, because I saw them individually, and sometimes two, or three, but not the whole band.
  • I saw The Beatles [group] on TV. Collective, because it was the whole entity.
  • After The Beatles [collective] became successful, Alistair Taylor asked Evans why the Beatles [individually] had chosen... andreasegde 04:37, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
  • If you talk about the income of The Beatles, you mean the collective income, but the Beatles who earned the most were Lennon-McCartney.
  • "Lennon was considered the leader of the Beatles" is wrong, because he was the leader of The Beatles (collectively) and not individual members.

andreasegde 16:06, 17 March 2007 (UTC)


I don't care very much about The/the, but I think it's total BS that a subset of the group makes a decision and calls it concensus without involving the other side. This whole thing makes me wonder if I am wasting my time here. It's NOT IMPORTANT. We have a policy on it and people should follow it. If they don't like the policy, there are methods to change it, but until it changes via the process for doing so, it should be done per policy. Now people are editing articles and using their own approach rather than the policy. I like all you guys, at least via what you write in articles and talk pages, but I really disagree with this. F*** "The/the" and all the rest. John Cardinal 17:06, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Despite myself, I actually care about this stupid issue, but apart from that, I agree completely with John Cardinal. The so-called consensus of a subset doesn't begin to cut it. As to the substance of what's being suggested, it's subject to the same test of external, citable verifiability as the whole discussion. As noted previously, the only citations to authority given so far support Little T in all instances. I've never seen, anywhere, in any context (and I've read a lot of style manuals over a long period of time), any support for the distinction the subset is making, apparently out of thin air. McTavidge 17:24, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

So what you're saying is: "And Don't Forget To Breathe", is an album by "a" Static Lullaby, and not an album by A Static Lullaby? Yes? Vera, Chuck & Dave 17:57, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

  • The policy can be changed. It was changed before, and it has been changed again. The new policy reflects the correct use of the 'The' article, which raises the standard of Wikipedia. It only means that editors have to be careful about whether one uses the Beatles that worked on Real Love by Lennon, and the band called The Beatles. andreasegde 18:05, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
The last change involved discussion with input from both sides. This one didn't do that. It's a clear grab at power to change a decision that was unpopular with the group that changed it. If I have a little discussion with myself and I like my own opinion, that's enough for me to go change policy?
And I don't care if it "Noisy Lullaby" or "a Static Lullaby" or what. The project has a policy and people have changed it wihtout following the process.
This remains total BS and no slippery arguments can change it. John Cardinal 20:10, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
The policy was previously changed (and I did the deed) since only one of the groups was able to provide cited references (the stuff that gets a B standard article to GA and beyond) that supported their side of the argument. This was recorded and requests made for people with evidence countering the proposal to make representations. This did not happen, and no authority has since been found. I think that the T should be capitalised, as this is my understanding regarding proper nouns and my belief that "The" is part of the group name, and I can see the logic in the latest argument. What I can't see is the third party reference supporting this. I therefore do not believe that policy should be changed.
What I believe, however, is academic. I will have no part in this, nor any announcement in the newsletter. I'm outta here. LessHeard vanU 21:28, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
My style manual actually explicitly addresses this issue and uses a capital T, but it's Australian, not English. I'm studying editing as part of my current course, and from the editors I've spoken to there seems to be no argument in Australia that andreasegde's explanation above is correct (The Beatles when referring to the band, the Beatles when referring to members). Can't comment on English usage. ~Switch t c g 04:38, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
That's all irrelevant. We're not discussing which version of the/The/tHe/thE/THe/ThE/tHE/THE is right. We're talking about a small group acting unilaterally, ignoring established policy and the process for changing it. (I actually think "The Beatles" looks better, but I am not a professional copy editor. I prefer to follow people who know what they are doing than act on my own biases.) One important editor has evidently left the project over it, and I'm while I am a relative newcomer, I'm inclined to follow him. There are other worthy Wikiprojects where people don't kvetch over a nothing rule for weeks and then blow up the process because it didn't go their way. To say nothing of the non-Wiki world. John Cardinal 05:55, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
This is ridiculous. I'm with John Cardinal. Thanks, andreasegde. See y'all later. --Lukobe 01:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Andreasegde makes the following statements:

  • The policy can be changed. It was changed before, and it has been changed again.

This is silly and verges on being petulant. You can't just decide to change the policy -- you haven't even presented the ideas for debate!

  • The new policy reflects the "correct" use of the 'The' article, which raises the standard of Wikipedia.

"Correct" according to whom? You know this how? It looks like you reasoned your way to it -- which is great -- but I've yet to run across your style manual in a book store or library. And as to raising standards, you act as if you have a monopoly on "standards" -- as if that wasn't the same motivation behind Lukobe's and others' arguments for Little T.

And I really hope LessHeard and Lukobe don't leave for good over this stupid thing, although I can't say I blame them. I almost there myself. McTavidge 04:17, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I'll still edit the occasional article--I just don't think there's much point to trying to engage andreasegde anymore. I'm not finding this project structure particularly helpful when this sort of behavior takes place. --Lukobe 04:52, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Let's keep this in perspective[edit]

This is a nifty project, about a Fabulous Four, and I'd hate to see anything drive a wedge between the participants. Certainly nothing as unimportant as the The/the thing... let's keep working together, use consensus and keep our perspective. Thanks to everyone for all your hard work so far! ++Lar: t/c 23:25, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Uhh-err Missus[edit]

Well, that set the cat amongst the pigeons, didn't it? andreasegde 12:44, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

  • It seems that I put a spanner in the works, a ghost in the machine, disturbed the hornet's nest, went out on a limb, spoke before I was spoken to, was a child that should be seen and not heard, put my oar in, jabbed my elbow in some ribs, said my piece, stood up for what a lot of us believe, threw my cap in the ring, got up people's noses, did as others do unto me, stuck by my beliefs, and gave it some 'welly' (Wellington Boot).
  • I stand by the fact that the Beatles (individually, and sometimes in groups of two, three or four at times) recorded "The White Album", but it was released under the collective name of The Beatles. Lennon and McCartney were the Beatles who recorded the Ballad of John and Yoko, but they were not The Beatles, as a complete unit/entity, even though it was released as such... andreasegde 20:04, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
That's no fact but rather an opinion, one which I'm afraid you can't back up by citation. Honestly, I would rather see The Beatles everywhere than this mishmash. Why do I continue to engage you? Partially because I don't want you to misinterpret silence as acceptance. --Lukobe 22:34, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

To answer Lukobe's comment: Lennon and McCartney were the Beatles that recorded the Ballad of John and Yoko, and if you don't believe that, you should buy a book (ANY book at all, or Anytime At All)... andreasegde 01:11, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I would rather see The Beatles too, it's their Name. And as for silence being misintrerpreted, Our Silence was taken as approval, when further discussion on the decapitalisation of The was announced in the news letter, then when we realised that policy had been changed, and tried to respond, every effort was made to stymie discussion prematurely, and indeed it was, and an Admin had to come in and warn the main protaganist to stop doing it which was met with: "what me stymie, oh is that what you think I'm doing, oh no, honest I ain't boss." Oh, and if anyone wants to block andera, they take me with him OK?. Vera, Chuck & Dave 00:46, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • It means that Wikipedia can be better than every other book/web page that write that "the Beatles who were members of the Beatles" - meaning that they were members of themselves - is wrong. Would we not like that simple truth? I will also say that the Beatles that earned more money than the other Beatles (who were also members of The Beatles) were Lennnon and McCartney. andreasegde 23:11, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
    • "Better"? Would you like to reform English spelling while you're at it? For Wikipedia to be taken seriously it should conform to good style, not try to make new style. Using both The Beatles and the Beatles makes us look like a muddle. --Lukobe 04:43, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I am not here to cause trouble, but merely to clarify and to improve the situation. My intentions are true. If no-one believes that, they should then ask that I be blocked for ever and ever, Amen. That is all I can say. andreasegde 23:15, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oh, excuse me Sir/Miss, but the Beatles, who were on T.V. to announce the formation of Apple (Lennon and McCartney) were the Beatles (two of The Beatles) that announced it, were not The Beatles (meaning the whole band) George and Ringo were not there, were they? andreasegde 01:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not a copy editor, nor am I a member of this "project". However I do have a long history with the Beatles and the music that they made together.

Andreasegde has made NO citable arguements for his position. Over the time that I have looked on during this debate he has simply stated his opinion over and over again. No verifiable source has been credited. There is no doubt in my mind thus far that "the" is the correct way to go. No real sources for "The" have been put forward... even the trademark registration page was inconclusive as it did not put forth a standard within the same document. In such a case the standard article (ie: a, the, etc) style should probably be used.

Because I can argue that a dog has fur, and a cat has fur, therefore they are the same type of animal does not make it so. I may want some sort of reference to PROVE this to anyone else... that is all that anyone wants in this matter, proof. This is really silly!66.90.162.101 01:42, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

AND WHO ARE YOU? (Mr. Not-Signed-in....) I quote: "the standard article (ie: a, the, etc) style should probably..." Oh, dear - do I need to say more? Have you a had a Drive-in McDonalds lately? Make up your mind... andreasegde 01:46, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

What does that mean? can't one edit the encyclopedia that anyone can edit without prior authorization? I'm just putting in my two cents, no insults intended. Visually "The Beatles" makes more sense to me, but according to the citations that I've seen here, "the Beatles" seems to be better supported. If there is a great backing for "The" I'd "probably" like it better. 66.90.162.101 01:58, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I thank you, because you are a true user of English, and you reply instinctively. Please join The Beatles project, and get a user name (which can be funny if you want). andreasegde 02:05, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

So as a new comer, where would I look for references to support the "The" in this case? I'm sure if we get those out there many others would flock to support this "The". I don't think that I'll join, or get a user name though... thanks any way... don't care for the McDonalds drive-in thing, seems quite antagonistic and not very helpful to the process... and thanks for italicising my text (I think...) 66.90.162.101 02:15, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Chambers Conscise Dictionary - General Rules of Capitalisation.

Capitalise Proper Names, Place Names and Words used as Names,

Old Father Thames, The Windy City, The Grim Reaper, The Who, The Beatles etc. Vera, Chuck & Dave 13:58, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I recall running across what you're pointing to a while back on the internet somewhere. Could you give us the link to the page where this is discussed? Thanks. I can't find the entry again.McTavidge 03:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Alright Macca? Now, it was posted at "Chambers Online" but I can't find it now! I'll have a hunt 'round for it again a little later on - surely they wouldn't have taken it down??? Cheers, Vera, Chuck & Dave 11:38, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

That's your only citation? Come on, let's not go back and post exactly the same things we posted a few months back. --Lukobe 23:59, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Oops, thought I was in the "sandBox".Bone in thigh 22:36, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I started reading this discussion because I thought the topic was interesting, and had no view one way or the other. Rather, I was looking to learn. After wading through it all I must say I am persuaded by the lowercase camp. While I see the logic in the capital camp, the numerous citations from style guides that go into detail about context and give examples are compelling. The only citations I see for capital are simple rules for titles that don't address the context of the middle of a sentence. --LowRise 09:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

It is really very simple: "The Beatles" is a proper name, and it is also a "Trade Name", just like Coca Cola and should be teated as such, wherever it appears in a sentence. Vera, Chuck & Dave 15:37, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
If you go to [20] which is the United States Patent & Trademark Office and so a trademark search on "Beatles" as a 'word mark', the registered trademarks are for "The Beatles" Steelbeard1 16:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
So has been stated over and over on this page. I do not dispute that the name contains a capital T. The question, though, is how a proper noun (even trademark) beginning with "The" is to be used in the middle of a sentence in proper english. Several style guides referenced above seem to indicate that in the middle of a sentence it should be lowercase. I have not yet seen any citation from a style guide that indicates that it should be uppercase in the middle of a sentence. As such I find the argument for lowercase more compelling." --LowRise 17:48, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks LowRise. The law really has nothing to do with style--otherwise everyone would be writing "Brand-Aid Brand Bandages" instead of "bandaids." --Lukobe 18:37, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
What "style" is Spencer Leigh, Keith Badman and Alan Clayson using when they capitalise The Beatles where ever it appears in a sentence in their books? And never mind "sticking plasters", what about Coca Cola and The Who? Vera, Chuck & Dave
They are using their preferred style, one with which I disagree. As for your other examples: "Coca" isn't an article, so is irrelevant to the discussion, and I would use "the Who" just as I would use "the Beatles." --Lukobe 18:59, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
the Who? Vera, Chuck & Dave 19:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Except at the beginning of sentences, of course--the same 'little T' rule I proposed for the Beatles. --Lukobe 20:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Which Who? What Who? Who? Oh, you must mean that bunch of Cockney swines from Oxfordshire in London called The Who Vera, Chuck & Dave 20:53, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I assume those are the Who you're talking about. BTW, Oxfordshire isn't in London--of course you know that. --Lukobe 21:13, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
You made a correct assumption because I clarified it. BTW, don't you lot have a sense of humour? I thought you all understood "Monty Pie-thon" Vera, Chuck & Dave 22:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Are you insinuating I didn't know which Who you were talking about in the first place? Come on, give me some credit. Oh, and that joke isn't anywhere near lobster thermidor à crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provençal manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pâté, brandy, with a fried egg on top, and spam. --Lukobe 23:28, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Still My Guitar Gently Weeps.....George, Vera, Chuck & Dave

Hey, I don't mean to re-ignite this obviously long-debated issue, but I am new to this. I feel the policy is too broad. I think "T" and "t" are valid in different circumstances, as shown under the heading "The the - yes folks, it's here again". It cannot be a ruling on always "T" or "t". This link vaguely addresses it, I am getting an additional opinion by a High School English Coordinator. Bare in mind, the main Beatles article references The Ed Sullivan Show mid-sentence and Meet The Beatles; these use capital 'T's. Stu 11:21, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The opinion came back from the English coordinator as "Given that The Beatles is the group's name, 'The' should always have a capital T." I just thought I'd add it, since everyone was so keen for an official answer. Stu 10:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

A serious question[edit]

The Beatles' project has a policy, but why do we need a specific policy that only relates to this project and not to Wikipedia as a whole? As that is the case, why would it not be possible to start a project called "The uppercase definite article Beatles project" and create its own policy? (We all know what that would be, don't we?) This project is closing its eyes to what is happening elsewhere and is being dictatorial.

I would suggest looking at The Office, The Who, The Band, The Libertines, The Independent, The Observer, The Lancet, The The, and The Cure, which all use the uppercase definite article throughout their articles. Do they have projects that have a policy? I wonder what their policy is. Does this project's policy wish to disagree with all of them? andreasegde 16:08, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

A statement[edit]

As I am not a member of The Beatles' project, I see no reason to abide by its policy rules, as it does not represent Wikipedia as a whole, but insists on enforcing its own self-determined policy on contributors. I truly believe that this is dictatorial, and does not have anything to do with the true purpose of Wikipedia. The Beatles' project is a break-away group, and should be reminded of what Wikipedia really is. andreasegde 18:03, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree 100% with the above statement. Vera, Chuck & Dave 18:16, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Blanked and tagged as {{historical}}[edit]

What we had here was basically a set of style guidelines. Two of them - British English and citations - were uncontroversial, and have been moved to the main project page as guidelines rather than policy. The other - the/The - was of course very controversial; so controversial that continuing to debate it is a waste of time.

I consider this page to have been a failed experiment and have blanked it. I hope nobody will revert me, and that the departure of this page will see valuable contributors return and allow us to get on with the serious business of improving Wikipedia's coverage of the most important band in the history of popular music. --kingboyk 12:31, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I haven't been involved in the controversy over this but I have reverted the blanking - if the content isn't left there then it's likely that at some point in the future a similar proposal will be made causing more problems. Also lots of pages still link here, and it's useful to see what rationale people were using in their arguments. Unless it's going to be replaced with a new policy, then it should be left as is with the historical tag, or a {{rejected}} tag. QmunkE 08:47, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry but no. It was in this state when it went to the MFD, so that's how it stays. If people want to see how it looked they can click on that wonderful tab marked "History". --kingboyk 11:09, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

What happened?[edit]

I went on vacation and some things came up in real life, and the next thing I know (last night) we don't have a policy. Apart from the comments above ("A serious question" and "A statement"), was there any recent discussion that's been blanked or is otherwise archived? McTavidge 23:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

No. --kingboyk 23:10, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I should elaborate. I boldly blanked it as counter-productive and the cause of bad feeling. We don't need policies. The important stuff (citations and British English) has been moved to the main project page as guidelines.
Now, let's get on with writing featured articles. Mimi Smith is currently a FAC, why not get to work on John Lennon so the old battleaxe doesn't get the last laugh?* :) --kingboyk 23:17, 23 April 2007 (UTC) *personally I'd be quite amused if she did.

Nine-years-overdue cleanup[edit]

I did some very long-overdue cleanup to normalize this page with current policy and procedures.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:48, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Non-viable draft guidance[edit]

I'm moving this to the talk page:

Draft advice
Songs

At some point we will need advice on songs. It is proposed that we have basic advice along the lines of:

  • All Beatles songs from studio albums and singles are probably notable (i.e., the subject of serious coverage in multiple, independent reliable sources), but the WikiProject exercises discretion, and will merge an article on a song to that of the album or single on which it was first released, when the song itself cannot be turned into a serious, interesting encyclopedia article.

(This was after some attempted cleanup on it, before realizing it was futile. The original as of an hour ago dated to 2006, and read "At some point we will need a policy on songs. I would propose that we have a basic Project policy along the lines of: All Beatles songs are considered notable, but the Project chooses to exercise discretion and to merge articles on songs which cannot be turned into serious, interesting encyclopedia articles. kingboyk 19:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC)".)

A WikiProject can't set it's own "policy" on something like this (not just declaring things notable by fiat, but even making up merge rules), so this decade-old draft advice simply isn't viable. Merges are most often handled at the community level (e.g. at WP:AFD and in WP:RFCs), and any editor may start an article on anything, whether a wikiproject claiming "scope" over it agrees or not, if they have sufficient sources to do so.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:48, 29 February 2016 (UTC)