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User talk:Ro Thorpe/Archive 3

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Hi Ro, I deleted the Archive 2 page because I don't think it will let you move to a page to one that exists. I put a new archive box in, too - {{archive box}} in you new talk page. Let's see what happens! D. Matt Innis 00:57, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

PJ Proby

Why did you move this to P.J. Proby? Style guides recommend that title with initials no longer use full stops. It's PJ Proby not P.J. Proby. Meg Ireland 22:38, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

  • PS: Archive your Talk page please. It's too long. Meg Ireland 22:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that must be referring to initals like ABC, CBS, PVC, initials only. People's names must have the stops.
I don't know how to archive, but you're welcome to do it, or tell me how. Ro Thorpe 22:50, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
No, they list people's names as examples. Meg Ireland 22:58, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Ro, can I ask what system you are using? I've always used BE with the New Oxford Style Guide as my source. The OSG states: "no dots and no spaces in initials". Meg Ireland 23:26, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm about 99% certain that CZ style is to use A.J. Leibling, A.E. Housman, but ABC, NATO etc. I'll try to find some examples. Hayford Peirce 23:36, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent). A *very* quick search found P.G. Wodehouse, C.S. Lewis, C.S. Forester, and B. P. Koirala of Nepal. So I'm sure that there are many others. And that this is the accepted CZ style. Therefore Ro was correct to move the article to P.J. Proby. Hayford Peirce 23:44, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Hayford. Hope that's OK/O.K. with you, Meg. Ro Thorpe 23:50, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Rheaux tried to wipe me out with an edit conflict, but I managed to recover the following:
In Article Mechanics, we find:
Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage [edit]

Strunk and White's Elements of Style is useful; the first edition is available here.

For American English, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style for matters of formatting, punctuation, etc. and Garner's Dictionary of American English Usage for issues of usage.

For British English, consult Fowler's Modern English Usage.
I have just consulted my own copy of Fowler's, and throughout he uses the periods when giving people's names. So CZ is telling us to use Fowlers, and Fowlers tells us to use the period. Hayford Peirce 23:57, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
More examples: G.K. Chesterton, G.W.F. Hegel, and R. James Woolsey. In Wikipedia, all names have the periods, including the quinessential British historian A.J.P. Taylor. Hayford Peirce 00:09, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I have to say I'm mighty relieved, even if I'm wiping you out again (cue surfing music...) Ro Thorpe 00:16, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
(Restoring this comment below which was removed during Hayford's page move):
Is there a reason Hayford when I talk to someone on CZ you always butt in? It's becoming exceedingly annoying. If I wanted to talk to you I would have left a message on your Talk page, not Ro's.
I have moved it because I really can't be bothered arguing semantics anymore. At least I left a comment on your Talk page, something which was not afforded me. Meg Ireland 02:41, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Meg, I'm afraid that you have a distorted view of what CZ is -- the talk pages are there for precisely that reason: Talk. If you want to have a *private* conversation with another member of CZ, then email that person privately. As long as you direct your comments to Ro's talk page (or to any other Citizen's, I, and any other Citizen have a perfect right to read it and to add our own comments to it. If you were to send messages to me on my *own* talk page, then Ro, and Larry Sanger, and a gazillion other people are welcome to come and add to it. Hayford Peirce 03:26, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay then Hayford in future I will email only instead, btw on wikipedia P.G. Wodehouse, C.S. Lewis, C.S. Forester all have spaces between the initials, so the article title should be eg. P. G. Wodehouse not P.G. Wodehouse, according to the Chicago Manual of Style (2003): "The space between initials should be the same as the space between the last initial and the name ... with or without periods". (p. 312) Meg Ireland 03:36, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Let me drop in, as well :-) Shouldn't it be full names (usually) for the main title, at least for those names the person used himself? e.g. Gilbert K. Chesterton. (I agree that G. K. Chesterton - with two space - does not look well, so that initials in sequence should not be separated by spaces). But in the case of "PJ Proby" or "P J Proby" this seems to be a pseudonym or artist's name, and as such, I think, it should not be changed -- it is a sort of a "trademark" that should be used as used by himself. Peter Schmitt 09:33, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
It depends entirely upon what the person is generally known by. A.P.J. Taylor, the historian, and A.J. Cronin, the writer, for instance, are *always* written about and identified in that way. Chesterton appears to be a toss-up -- a Bing search lists 2.5 million for the Gilbert K. and 2.4 million for the G.K. C.S. Lewis, I would say, is also *always* identified that way. As for Proby, I've never heard of him and don't have a clue as to who he is or what he does or what he calls himself. Hayford Peirce 14:45, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
This Gilbert K. Chesterton is new to me. Whatever next, Percival J. Proby? Ro Thorpe 15:56, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know PJ Proby, either. But I looked at the CZ page about him. Peter Schmitt 17:00, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Gilbert K. is new to me also, but it seems to be in wide use, at least according to Bing. You can try Googling it to see what turns up. (PS, I think that G.B. Shaw and George Bernard are probably both used widely, but I'm not gonna bother to Bing it.Hayford Peirce 17:11, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Whenever possible I would use neither Bing nor Google, but the version used in the books (title page and/or signature on the foreword). Peter Schmitt 17:35, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Not a bad suggestion, Peter. But it blows your Gilbert K. out of the water. If you go to the book section of Amazon and type in G.K. Chesterton you get 12,600 hits. With Gilbert K. you get 875. And *most* of the book covers that I saw say G.K.... Hayford Peirce 17:58, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent) In the 60s when I first saw them, I was surprised to see Penguin Books had 'Bernard Shaw' without the 'George'. Ro Thorpe 17:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Strange. Like having a book with the author being "Conan Doyle". Hayford Peirce 17:59, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

('Unindent' Why?) Yes, although WP on Conan Doyle says: 'The origin of this compound name is uncertain', whereas 'Bernard' clearly was a 'middle name' in the usual, given, sense. Ro Thorpe 18:10, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

To tell the uninitiated that, yes, I meant to end the on-going indentation wars and to start things over again from the left margin, not that I did this by mistake or ignorance. Or willfulness. Yes, the Conan Doyle business is a true Victorian mystery to me. It seems to me that when I was a kid most people referred to him as Doyle. But that as the years went by he became more and more often Conan Doyle. Hayford Peirce 18:20, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I did not know about Chesterton, but since I remembered the Gilbert (but not the Keith) I took this as an example. Peter Schmitt 18:34, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


OK, Robert. I will. I had not realized the error. Thanks for the warning.

Greetings from the neighbor country. --Javier Abellán Sánchez 09:19, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Talk page creation

David Volk has said, if I understand correctly, that there can be a bug in "definitions needed" if the default is accepted and a talk page is created immediately after metadata is saved. As a result, I make a practice of creating metadata, going back to the main page, creating the definition, and only then creating the talk page. In general, I don't need to have them created for me while I'm in the process of setting up an article; there may be a reason why I don't create them immediately. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:14, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

King Kamehameha I

I have no objections to the edits you made, and indeed thank you for taking the time to do so.

Just for my own future reference, is there a rule or policy regarding this, or is it merely an unspoken rule, or perhaps a difference in British and American english writing styles?Drew R. Smith 01:39, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

If you mean the capital letters, no, it's not to do with British/American, it's about title case and normal case. The headings are supposed to be in normal case, though a lot of people here at CZ don't seem to be too bothered about this. But it is important to distinguish between proper names and other words in an encyclopedia. Thus 'Kamehameha' in the header above. It's usually done correctly at Wikipedia, where they have robots on the case, if I am not mistaken.
I was about to put in some okinas also. Since they aren't part of standard English and therefore cannot go in the article titles (someone will I hope soon correct me if I'm wrong about this) I was going to put in some piped links, with the okina version on the right, so it shows up in your article but doesn't affect the titles when the articles come to be written... Ro Thorpe 01:53, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for clearing that up. I was under the impression that headings were treated like titles of books, with every word uppercase, save for small words...
As for the okinas, no, I don't believe they can be put into the article titles, which is why I usually use a backtick for links instead. Also, we now have the {{okina}} template, which produces an okina that is readable by all browsers. This doesnt work with links either, for example Hawaiʻi, but does work in plain text like this Hawaiʻi. The only reason I haven't been using it is because it is a pain to type out {{okina}} every time. Once the article is complete, I will go through and replace all the instances of the backtick with this template.Drew R. Smith 01:58, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I stand corrected. Apparently it does work with links. It still doesn't work with article titles though, so you would have to use [[Hawaii|Hawai{{okina}}i]] instead of [[Hawai{{okina}}i]] which produces [[Hawaiʻi]].Drew R. Smith 02:00, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
In the meantime, I have Moved everything to a new article with the word King at the end -- CZ convention is NOT to call an article King Hayford III but Hayford III, King. etc....
Well, I'm wrong again, as usual. CZ does not USE the word KING in article titles, no matter *where* it's located. So I'll move it again....
Sorry I haven't replied sooner, Drew - internet connexion went away last night. Yes, that's right about capital letters: our headers are not titles.
The okinas look very nice...
So no Kings in titles any more? Thanks, Hayford. Ro Thorpe 12:58, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
You're lucky your connection only goes down once in awhile. I'm sharing internet with my neighboors (legally, I pay a third of the bill) but the router is located in their house, so I get the shaft sometimes. I can only reliably get a connection at night.Drew R. Smith 13:21, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
What a drag! Ro Thorpe 13:32, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I think I'm done with this article. Would you look over it and see if anything really stands out to you?Drew R. Smith 01:39, 6 August 2009 (UTC)


It seems to me that in lotsa Brit thrillers the bad guys (usually, but occasionally the good guys) are always trying to use "nutters" to incapacitate the other guy. I guess that in 'Merkin this would be known as a "head butt" but one doesn't see it very often in fiction, just in rasslin'. (And related uses, like "He nutted me," or "He tried to nut me.") If you said in 'Merkin that someone gave me a nutter, the other person would probably be puzzled, then decide that you had been kicked in the crotch (crutch, as per an earlier discussion.) Whaddya think, old myte? Hayford Peirce 22:48, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, I've seen, particularly in the John Brock books, phrases like, "I was desperate, so I gave him a nutter." "He tried to nut me." "He nutted me and I staggered back." In 'Merkin-type books, "head butt" would be used in all cases, I think, BUT I don't think it's used much in our more manly, hehe, type of fightin', at least not in the books I myself tend to read. I suppose it's possible that Matt Helm, in the clutches of a 400-lb. giant, gives him a head butt to break his nose, but it would be a rare occurence. At least in the books that *I* read....
As for Andy, he has a *long* ways to go to catch up to Fred. But, even so, it's still remarkable. Read the Fred Perry article, most of which I did -- old Jack Kramer sure doesn't have a good word to say for him, except that he was one of the six best who ever lived. And that he destroyed a couple of generations of English forehands.... Hayford Peirce 23:51, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, if it's just 60s slang and no more, we'll forget about it. But just about the time I discovered John Brock, I rented a telly for a month so that I could watch the Wimbledon Fortnight of 1968. My distinct recollection is that Jack was on one channel, babbling away as only a 'Merkin TV sportscaster can babble, and Fred was on the other, commercial channel, I think, saying about two words per set. I certainly didn't listen to it on the radio, so, at least for that one year, he was definitely on the telly. As I went for my evening stroll tonight, I pondered how to best rewrite the Fred article -- the cretins at WP have left their paw marks all over it.... Hayford Peirce 01:37, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
I'll probably start by just moving some stuff around -- the WP cretins always want things in newspaper-type format, so the context vanishes and things that *I* think are important get dumped off into some separate section down at the bottom. Please feel free to jump in once I get going, which will probably be later today. Hayford Peirce 16:44, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

CZ: Naming conventions

Ro, the deletion of the text you restored was vetted on the talk page. Please restore. Thanks. Russell D. Jones 20:25, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Fora and Fauna

Heaux, eaux Rheaux! Yer ryte, myte, you do not exist at the Fora. But this is a privilege, not a ryte, hehe. Being a member of CZ does not *automatically* make you a member of the Fora. For that you have to register all over again. But it's easy, I think. (I just deleted someone named "Nemesis" who joined a couple of hours ago.)

Just go to the Fora main space and click on register. Then put in your correct name, ie, Ro Thorpe and your email address. THEN at some point, maybe right away, follow these boilerplate instructions that I am always giving to new members:

Welcome aboard! To conform to our rules for participants in these Forums, would you kindly go to the little tab in the middle of this page that says Profile, then go to Forum Profile Information on the left side of the screen (under MODIFY PROFILE), then scroll on down to the bottom of the screen and where it says Signature, and put in something more or less like:

My CZ user page:

This will enable your profile to be easily viewed by anyone who reads one of your messages here in the Forums. And thereby enables us, up to a point, at least, to make some sort of initial judgment about how much credence/deference/respect/belief/etc./etc. to give to anything you happen to post since there are always new people joining our discussions....


That ought to get you in and running. Have fun! Hayford Peirce 15:58, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

I'll transfer it, although you probably could with a cut and paste. Is it for the thread about Caps? Hayford Peirce 17:13, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
It's fine, myte, ryte in the ryte plyce! It's just that it's on the top of *page two*. You gotta click on the little No. 1 at the middle top to go to the previous page.... Hayford Peirce 17:15, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Okie, those are good points that you make, and correct. Now, you gotta go back to your account and follow the instructions above so that your CZ link shows up at the bottom of your messages. Thanks! Hayford Peirce 17:17, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
If you've arrived at the Custom Title: Signature box on the Profile Information page, don't you see a blank white box (not too big?). You ought to be able to paste into it:
My CZ user page:
Or you could leave off the "My CZ user page" line -- it's the second one that's essential. Then save at the bottom of the page by clicking on "Change profile" Hayford Peirce 17:46, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Should my instructions be rewritten to make them clearer? This is the boilerplate I've been sticking into the Fora threads whenever someone shows up and doesn't put in a sig -- some of them don't *want* to do it (don't ask) but most of them don't seem to have much trouble doing it once they're goaded into actually doing so. But I'm sure that they could be clarified. If so, have a go at it -- I just keep an RTF file of the text that I paste in as necessary. Hayford Peirce 18:03, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the input -- I'll see what I can do with it. I gotta say, I never originally spent much time writing these instructions, just threw them together more or less from memory.... Hayford Peirce 22:18, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Charter drafting committee

You've got my vote. Anyone who edits articles on Roland Kirk, Nico, and Howlin' Wolf is obviously a person of quality and distinction. Raymond Arritt 00:57, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Charter drafting candidacy

Hi Ro,

Thanks for accepting your nomination to be a candidate for election to the drafting committee for the Citizendium charter.

If you'd like, there is a provision in the plan that provides a place for you to compose a position statement. You are not required to do this in order to be a candidate for election to the committee, but it would be helpful to others during the voting period. Even if you don't compose a statement before the election period concludes, should you be elected it might be helpful for other members of the committee to know what you feel are the most important issues to address with the draft. You can find a red link to the page where you can write your statement here, along with instructions for doing so.

If you have any questions, just let me know. --Joe Quick 15:25, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Woof! Arf! Snuffle! Lick!

C'est moi, c'est moi, I blush to confess.... Aleta Curry 01:41, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


Mr. Thrope, those were very nice edits. I don't know why I didn't catch them before. Thank you. (Chunbum Park 18:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC))

I'll swap you mine if you'll swop me yours

Don't the Brits write "swop" while we benighted Merkins write "swap"? On the other hand, we Merkins don't say, "Swap as in trap". Yours is definitely the winner in this match-up. Hayford Peirce 18:53, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

MW gives 'swop' as a chiefly British variant, Oxford redirects to 'swap' and puts 'swop' after it. Interesting one, I never was sure of it. Ro Thorpe 23:26, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
As for the 'trap', see W#Use in English, para 5! Ro Thorpe 23:31, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Ro, your letter pages are looking great. As to swop, I have never used that variant and always used swap. I grew up in the south of England, possibly it is used as swop in the north. I don't know though. Chris Day 17:04, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks for the encouragement, Chris. 'Swop' I associate with my London-suburb childhood, and I think for a time later I assumed it was incorrect, so I have the same habit as you. Incidentally, I only discovered your comment by chance at the bottom of the Recent changes page, there was no 'you have new messages' thing, strange... Ro Thorpe 19:00, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
You're right, that is strange. Which skin are you using right now? I have noticed a few problems but I'm pretty sure that i get a new message notifications. Chris Day 19:15, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Pinkwich5, the default one. I changed from the Wikipedia-like one 2-3 months ago: I must have had notifications with it. Ro Thorpe 19:34, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Wot? Wat!

Sending a quick ‘hello’ out to all of you who wanted a weekend write-a-thon. Also, a nudge, push, and a shove to all those who haven’t made it out in a while. This Sunday, 10th January, is your Big Chance. Party theme is ‘stubs’. Now, what could be easier? Write about anything you want! (At least come on over and say ‘hi’—we’ve all been much too quiet lately and I rather miss everybody.) Aleta Curry 20:46, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks II

Thanks for the quick clean-up. I had actually meant "from the age of four", but it works the way you changed it anyhow. Cheers. --Mal McKee 02:57, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

You're most welcome.
Chris, and or anyone else who may be watching, I'm still not getting 'you have message' notifications with the Pinkwich skin (which I like too much to change). Ro Thorpe 23:54, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I have been using pinkwich after our last discussion, but then I forgot to note if I get the new message note or not. Can you leave me a note so I can check it.
While I'm here. Have there been any problems to your pages since Daniel and I added the misspellings options to the navigation tool? Chris Day 03:03, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
No problems, thanks. Ro Thorpe 17:47, 9 February 2010 (UTC) - Except for the colour, too much like retro. I've asked Daniel to change it. Ro Thorpe 17:49, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Done. --Daniel Mietchen 20:40, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I just did a test and I do see the new message prompt at the top of my page. Chris Day 05:49, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
No, I still don't get the prompt, strange. Instead I watch this page... Ro Thorpe 17:47, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I can't explain it. Possibly Daniel may have an inkling? Chris Day 17:50, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
No, I also never noticed messages left for me under Pinkwich. Was one of the strongest reasons for me to avoid it ever since. --Daniel Mietchen 20:40, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
This is the thing that drives me nuts about wiki's in general; possibly this holds true for all programming but this is my only experience. What we see on the screen depends so much on the browser and/or operating system. I guess this will not improve with time. Chris Day 16:28, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Ro, that edit you made to the template was perfect. It should work fine. If it didn't at first it might be because of a cache issue with your computer. Chris Day 18:05, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

That must be the reason; anyway, it's fine now. As you say above, '...drives me nuts...'! Ro Thorpe 18:10, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

To hyphen or not to hyphen

Ro, what is your opinion on this: hyphen? --Peter Schmitt 14:37, 24 March 2010 (UTC) ~

Which is more readable, 'a multi-player game' or 'a multiplayer game'? I'd go for the former: the latter is too much like 'multiplier', plus the hyphen suggests a slight pause. Ro Thorpe 15:20, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I think that I agree with Eaux Noble Rheault, for the reasons given. Hayford Peirce 15:44, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Definately "multiplayer" without the hyphen within the video games industry at least. Publishers, leading developer resource sites, leading game review sites, universities and just about everyone else in the indusry do not use a hyphen. --Chris Key 15:50, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, then, if people in the industry are comfortable with it, that trumps whatever Hayford & I think. C'est l'habitude! Ro Thorpe 16:19, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

caps on "the"

Hi, Rheaux! I had a long argument at WP years ago on the Kingston Trio page, but lost. Hmm, that discussion is now apparently gone. Anyway, I said, and still say, that in the middle of a sentence it is "the Kingston Trio," "the Weavers", etc. That is the way the NYT does it. It is *also* the way that the Kingston Trio themselves referred to themselves on ALL their early record covers. I have them all, so I know. At some point, however, at least the K-Trio had themselves *registered* as The Kingston Trio, with a Cap on the The. So all the WP imbeciles now use the cap with, at least, them. The last time one of them died, however, the NYT still used the lower case. I think that in our own Kingston Trio article I mention this. I don't think that I have any Weaver albums in which the The is in caps. I feel pretty confident that most manuals of style will back me up on this. Hayford Peirce 19:05, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, your remarks about 'WP imbeciles' have been ringing in my ears. I didn't think you would be willing to engage them again, but mention of the Holy Chicago reminded me of Meg, and perhaps she'll be in the mood to put the boot in. No sooner do I make the point & get a couple of people to agree with me, then along comes someone promising a survey, ready to sacrifice literacy on the altar of bogus democracy! Ro Thorpe 19:42, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how yer ancient ticker can stand the pace over there -- my blood pressure was probably twice as high during the time I wuz there.... I *know* that I had this *lengthy* argument somewhere over there, citing album after album, source after source, all to no avail.... Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down! Hayford Peirce 20:06, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I just found this on, I guess, an archived talk page: Hayford Peirce 20:21, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Further to the debate: I just looked carefully at the WP K-trio article and I seem to have won the battle after all! After I left, in May of Ought Seven, it looks as if some kind soul actually rewrote the whole thing to use lowercase. Can't believe that anyone at WP could have been so rational! Hayford Peirce 20:41, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

English for elementary geometry

Ro, in Ellipse the following question arose: Is it more usual to reflect "about" a line or "in" a line?
Similarly, would you rather translate "over" a vector (direction and length) or "by" it (or something else)?
See also this talk. --Peter Schmitt 23:19, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Elementary geometry, eh? Well, I got an average maths pass at GCE O level, and it was a lot more elementary than that. Perhaps Hayford would know, he used to write sci-fi... Anyway, there must be a native anglophone who knows geometry at CZ...mustn't there? Best of luck. Ro Thorpe 01:50, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Elementary, my dear Rheault! I had already looked at this request, and, having "reflected" like Adonis looking into the pond, threw up my hands in disgust, anguish, and bafflement. I don't have the faintest, faintest, faintest clue to what they're even talking about! I certainly wish you, and everyone else, the best of British luck with it! Hayford Peirce 02:16, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, anyway. However, both of you should not feel discouraged. Mathematics uses "strange" language (sometimes), but it is,sssss nevertheless, derived from common language, and you are experts of its "look and feel". --Peter Schmitt 09:19, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

User list status

I have just started this forum topic, which you might want to have a look at. Thanks. John Stephenson 09:41, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Lower case letters at the start of a sentence

Hi Ro, I understand that you are the language expert around here, so I have a question. The company eBay starts it's name with a lower-case 'e'. If I started a sentence with the word 'eBay', should the 'e' be capitalised? --Chris Key 01:59, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes. I don't see any good reason to make exceptions. Reminds me of the person at Wikipedia who wanted Neu's name to appear throughout their article as NEU! just because their album covers have it like that - and indeed the exclamation mark is still there. EBay it is. Ro Thorpe 13:05, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
A little late but I will state I disagree. The spelling of a business name should follow the lead of the business involved. It's their corporate identity. For example: Lands' End (name created by mistake but it's now their name) K Mart, eBay, and so on. Mary Ash 01:56, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Brit-'Merkin talk -- you stand on yer head, I'll stand on mine

I was reminded by the NYT this morning that we hyperactive 'Merkins "run for election" while you more reticent Brits "stand for election".... Hayford Peirce 16:31, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, well, surprised we didn't have it, good one. Ro Thorpe 22:26, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

a question of Caps

Ho, there, cher maître! After a 10-year gap, I'm finally at work again on a new story about Joe Caneili, my ex-Foreign Legion sergeant-major who's a private detective in Tahiti. So far in this story I've been writing stuff like, "For a battered old Legionnaire, I was etc. etc." But I was just now looking through some of the earlier stories, some of them in their actual published version, and I see that I had "and I'll see if I can remember the old legionnaire two-step." Whaddaya think -- should it have caps for stuff like " Just then, two Legionnaires came into the bar" or not? I'm a guy who likes caps, but if I didn't use them in the first five stories it probably means that I really shouldn't be using them now.... Hayford Peirce 16:52, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, if you haven't used them in the earlier stories, consistency would require...
As for what I think, aha ahem, 'tis an area I have been thinking about...I more or less settled on the general/particular policy as outlined in the Ro-bot section at the bottom of my user page. But as to when you stop saying 'the President' and change to 'the president', that seems to be a matter of authorial choice, so I leave it to you. And indeed it's good to see you're writing again, wishing all the very best for Joe & his investigations. Ro Thorpe 23:34, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's an arguable point, and I used to argue about it with copyeditors for my novels (not for magazine short stories -- they had house rules and you couldn't argue). I would write something like: "If we're talking about Colonel Wilson, say, we can then have a sentence that reads: The Colonel walked into the room and told the other colonels to stay in their chairs. I used to have my own internal rules, generally using more Caps rather than less. I guess that in this case I'll lower-case "legionnaire", to be consistent with the earlier ones. (Which may have been done by copyeditors, for all I know.) Thanks for the good wishes -- I sure hope that maybe this one story will break the log-jam that has crippled me now for a decade.... Hayford Peirce 23:56, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

World of Warcraft

What do you think about this: "Player vs. Player" versus "player-vs-player"? --Peter Schmitt 11:16, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

a modest English breakfast for an Alfred Hitchcock-type director called Albert McCobb

Heaux, eaux Noble Rheaux! Tell me what you think of Mr. Condon's version of an English breakfast at [1]! I haven't bothered to look any of the items up, but I imagine that at least some of them actually exist.... Hayford Peirce 18:47, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Not sure, but it's a terrific pastiche. Good thing I've just got back from the Chinese. Mushroom ketchup, mmm, I can hear Homer Simpson yummeeing... Ro Thorpe 00:18, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I believe that until the 20th century many *other* kinds of ketchup actually did exist -- I've seen recipes for them, so that one is surely very likely. I've googled two other other odd-sounding names and they too exist, although just barely. Condon *loved* recondite facts, and although he could make stuff up, I'll bet he actually did see all of these names somewhere.... Hayford Peirce 04:06, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Right, time for my humble Portuguese lunch... Ro Thorpe 13:29, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

a truly world-class simile from The Ecstasy Business

This may be as good as anything else he ever concocted: Anent a butch hairdresser who answers the phone, "She had a voice like a tuba encased in Orson Welles's stomach." Hayford Peirce 23:05, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Just read it in the changes to the article! (Yes, it's terrific.) The you-have-messages thingy is very inconspicuous, don't you think? Ro Thorpe 23:56, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Like a tarantula on a piece of angel food cake, as I think Raymond Chandler wrote.... Hayford Peirce 00:09, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Hot and cold running something or other

Have we got Chaud-froid in our list of Froggy words in English? It may be too recondite or not in general usage.... Hayford Peirce 19:38, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Well, it won't be the first time something I'd never heard of goes in that list... Ro Thorpe 21:03, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
On the one hand, it is NOT in M-W, either in the regular words, or in the Foreign Words and Phrases at the back. On the other hand, we *do* have an article about it, or will have shortly. It's obviously not something you see very often at the Kentucky Fried Chicken, or anywhere outside a wedding buffet, probably, but there is NO English word for it. So it's your call, myte.... Hayford Peirce 21:08, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, if there's to be an article... Ro Thorpe 22:34, 7 July 2010 (UTC) - There already is, and I've already looked at it...!


I'm a firm believer in Caps, of course, but *correct* Caps. Compared to the average WP denizen, CZ people are all professors of grammar at Harvard. Sure, some mistakes are made, but, I would say, after being here for three years, that the balance between Too Many Caps and not enough caps is just about even. We can always find cases to correct, but I don't think it is a major problem. Certainly I see no evidence that our native German-speakers, who write *superbly* in English, use too many Caps, which is what *might* be expected.... Hayford Peirce 02:21, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

'Compared to the average WP denizen, CZ people are all professors of grammar at Harvard.' Quite so, that's seems to be the trouble. Anyway, I've suggested HAZOP for the title, but no breath-holding... Ro Thorpe 14:12, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps the German speakers Trade their Caps when here. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:27, 29 July 2010 (UTC)


Mine is taking his annual vacation, and I'm sure that yours will be too one of these days, so I'm having to lay out my clothes myself (he's also the valet, poor chap). In the meantime, what do you think is the correct French word, maitre d'hotel or majordome? I used the former in my book Napoleon Disentimed because that's what my dictionary said. But I've always wondered about it. A Google search for "Liliane Bettencourt" and "maitre d'hotel" got 34,000 hits, with "majordome" it got 54,000.... Hayford Peirce 21:19, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Just checked my 2-volume Larousse Universel -- they define each one by the other, so to speak.... Hayford Peirce 21:22, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Depends whether you live in a hotel or a mere domus, perhaps. Ro Thorpe 22:21, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Naw, they're both used for the head domestique in *large* establishments, but *probably* the majordome would be slightly above the maitre d'hotel, whose duties also include the dining room. So I probably should have used majordome in my book. But, as you can tell from the Liliane B. hoohah, even the French themselves aren't certain as to which should be used. Hayford Peirce 22:40, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, French WP uses 'majordome' to describe the household butler.
"* Les Vestiges du jour (en anglais, Remains of the Day) de James Ivory (1993) : avec Anthony Hopkins (le majordome M. Stevens) et Emma Thompson (la gouvernante Miss Kenton)."
"Jeeves n'est pas un majordome, c'est un valet de chambre, ce que les britanniques nomment plaisamment le « gentleman personnel du gentleman »."
Aleta Curry 03:45, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Merci! It's still compliqué and probably never to be resolved, like many other language questions in every language. Hayford Peirce 04:14, 19 July 2010 (UTC)


Ro, do you agree with this change? --Peter Schmitt 09:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

a question of commas

HHheaux Heault Noble Rheaux! Could you take a look at Betty Crocker and the "In 1936, New York artist...." I myself don't think we need the comma there. I can see her justification for it, but even so.... Danke! Hayford Peirce 20:01, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Eh bien, M. Éfforte, no, those commas are not strictly necessary, even though one of them was mine (after 1928). I notice that Mary, incorrigible as ever, has just reinserted one! I suppose it's a matter of taste, really. I know you like to put in serial commas that I am in the habit of omitting - but I've put a couple in myself in WP recently, where the items are really long, and go on and on and on and on, and then proceed to go even further on... Ro Thorpe 20:34, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I removed both of them. But the hell with it, it's obviously a question of taste. Grazie! Hayford Peirce 20:43, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Taste, and insufficient diagnostics. After all, for another punctuation mark, we have the colonoscopy. --Howard C. Berkowitz 00:30, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! A tad jumpy after my intro to Citizendium. Also, it's been 30+ years since I've been in a college classroom where I received my humble B.A. in English/Communications.

Mary Ash 01:04, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

However vs but

You recently updated the Jet Set Willy article to, amongst other things, replace the word 'however' with the word 'but' in several places. I defer to your expertise in this situation, but (or should that be however?) I'm not sure why you made the changes. Are there any quick and easy rules as to when you should use 'but' or use 'however'? --Chris Key 21:41, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Yet let me say this.... Hayford Peirce 22:25, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Chris, thanks for asking!
'However' is an adverb and 'but' is a conjunction, so 'however' modifies the whole sentence while 'but' just introduces it. So with 'however', you need a comma: 'however, they later retracted that claim'; with 'but' you don't: 'but a solid item had been put in the way'. But my advice to you would be simply to ask yourself, whenever 'however' comes to mind, if 'but' wouldn't do the job instead.
Apart from that bad habit of yours, I enjoyed the article - I used to play that game, or something like it, a hundred years or so ago... Ro Thorpe 22:37, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Hayford, you blotted me out. But it's true what they say, there was my text at the bottom, as a 'diff'. I only had to open a new window... [Collapses in heap.] Ro Thorpe 22:41, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry about that, Ro! But glad to see that the bottom of the page box really does work! What a life-saver! I'm glad to see your learned discourse about "but" and "however" and I'll try to remember the distinction. I *think* that I have a pretty good intuitive feel for the two, though, without quite knowing why. My own advice is: "Never, or almost never, begin a sentence with 'However', except in informal discourse." Exceptions, of course, exist, but why ask for trouble? Hayford Peirce 22:51, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Ro, thanks for the helpful answer!
I believe I picked up the bad habit at school. I distinctly remember being told that you should never ever in a million years start a sentence with the word 'but'. Also, I was told that 'but' was quite informal and it was best to use 'however' in more formal writings. I always did find the English language to be complicated... --Chris Key 00:22, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I too learned that one must never begin a sentence (when writing) with And or But. But I wasn't told that However was an alternative, hehe....Hayford Peirce 00:24, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

It would be helpful for you to welcome new Astronomy author and editor

Ro, I think you will have a great deal in common with new author and editor Paul Shankland ! Please welcome him on his Talk page. Thanks, -- Milton Beychok 05:53, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Done. Ro Thorpe 17:50, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Could you check my spelling and grammar please?

Hi Ro. I have just created the new boards on the forums. Please could you check the names and descriptions for spelling and grammar mistakes? Leave a note here if you find any and I shall change them. Thank. --Chris Key 10:01, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Is that the page you get to immediately after clicking on 'Forums'? Ro Thorpe 17:56, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, so the first title is 'Governance issues' and the first description is "Discussion about issues regarding or specifically affecting Editors, Constables, Council Members or other official positions". --Chris Key 17:57, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
No mistakes, no problem. Ro Thorpe 18:06, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Woohoo! Thanks Ro. --Chris Key 18:20, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Except NO serial, Oxford, or Harvard commas, call 'em what you will -- a truly *serious* failing in MY opinion! Hayford Peirce 18:35, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Except that they aren't used in British English. --Chris Key 18:42, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Then why is one of the titles for them "Oxford comma"? Hayford Peirce 18:49, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

(undent)Because the Oxford University Press do insist on its usage, despite it not being used by most of the rest of Britain. From the little bit of checking I've just done, it seems that it is now classed as 'optional' but should only be used for complex lists.

"British English writers for the Oxford University Press often have to keep reminding themselves to use it." -

"Most schools in England, for example, teach that the Oxford Comma should never be used for simple lists" -

"Most British and Australian style guides also discourage use of the serial comma in simple lists, allowing it only "when its omission might either give rise to ambiguity or cause the last word or phrase to be construed with a preposition in the preceding phrase" (Australian Government's Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers)." -

--Chris Key 19:00, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

That's interesting research, Chris, and coincides with my feeling as expressed in 'a question of commas' above: necessary only when items are long. Ro Thorpe 19:36, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, don't forget "Eats, Shoots and Runs"! Did you purposely delete my earlier comment, Ro, or was that a mistake? 19:45, 30 July 2010 (UTC) ...said Hayford Peirce (talk) (Please sign your talk page posts by simply adding four tildes, ~~~~.)
Of course it was a mistake - I was looking at earlier versions and must have added to an out-of-date version - sorry! So does Ms Truss have something to say about serial commas? I have a copy right here. She must, surely. Ro Thorpe 19:55, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
That title is so much more funny when you call it by its actual title "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" --Chris Key 19:58, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Hayford's deleted comment: For what it's worth, neither the widely used Chicago Manual of Style or the NYT Manual of Style use it either. Poor, dumb losers.... Hayford Peirce 19:05, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Alas there's no index in the Truss book, but I'll have a look through it later. Ro Thorpe 20:07, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Amendment question

Hi, Ro, in the Forum discussion at,3306.0.html could you lend your opinion? Thanks! Hayford Peirce 15:34, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Done: I agree with 'amendment to'. Ro Thorpe 17:44, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

"The mind of a cad, and the pen of an angel"

Whoddaya think er Simon Raven, myte? I've got all ten of the Alms for Oblivions series but haven't read them for a long while. I ought to at least do a stub on him: Hayford Peirce 23:18, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Never read him, I'm afraid. Ro Thorpe 23:52, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah, well then, I'll have to write a little article about him to explicate God's ways to man. Hayford Peirce 00:14, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the Reuben sandwich fix

NM Mary Ash 20:26, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Pleasure, but what's NM? Ro Thorpe 20:29, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
NM means No MessageMary Ash 02:06, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Ro for the good edits!

I'll keep tossing articles out as I know you'll be making me look good. Much appreciated. Mary Ash 01:01, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Nice machine? Ro Thorpe 01:48, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Sockpuppet move

Thanks for saying it was quick. It took 2 move operations for me. Did you know MediaWiki can move pages over redirects? Andrew Steinborn 16:21, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

No, tell me - I might understand... Ro Thorpe 18:52, 7 August 2010 (UTC)


I downcased everything as I thought that's what was wanted here. I agree with you about the name and I would have up cased it. But like I wrote I thought this was a downcase place. Mary Ash 23:23, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

The names of dishes are not normally upper case. In the case of places of origin, the original language tends to dictate, so Wiener schnitzel, but costolette alla milanese - even though it must be 'Schnitzel' in German. Very confusing. Ro Thorpe 23:50, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

User page bio

I reverted back to my old user page to make sure I made the 50 word count. I love the String of Pearls way of writing things. My best editor Chuck Doud taught me that newspaper trick. It's a quick way to summarize information in a compact form. I am not trying to be difficult, but in the age of identity theft, I feel safer not providing too much personal information in one location. That's why I would prefer not having a resume online as it's a personal safety issue. Mary Ash 02:00, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

At least we know that it isn't "which"!

Yeah, I gotta say that I scoffed at the name too, and so, I would imagine, did everyone else in the world, including, most of all, the eight yclept individuals -- I'll bet they *hated* it!

As for "The Handsome Eight were eight amateur tennis players that signed with a New Orleans promoter" do you think that the "that" should be changed to "who" -- I think it can be argued either way.... Hayford Peirce 23:30, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Do whiches or thats float if tossed into the pond? Howard C. Berkowitz 23:35, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
It has been my great delight in life to argue with Hayford over which hunts. In this particular case, I'd favour 'who', but.... Aleta Curry 00:20, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Me too. Ro Thorpe 02:14, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I would write " The Handsome Eight is the name given to/used for (a group of) eight amateur tennis players ... " --Peter Schmitt 00:41, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm. Not bad, BUT, it adds a whole bunch of unnecessary words, or at least unnecessary in my own judgment. Although technically speaking, it *may* define them better. This is the sort of thing that Harold Ross at The New Yorker, or one of his super-precise copyeditors, might have suggested -- or ordered. Just to make sure that the dumb, unsophisticated readers of The New Yorker really and truly understood that it was just a made-up name given to a bunch of people as a promotional aid. Hehe.... Hayford Peirce 00:49, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
If one selects the avian-aided form of which hunting, presumably, rather than a falcon, one arranges for an owl to issue appropriate whos. It's probably best to use only one at a time, lest one have to determine whose who is that.Howard C. Berkowitz 01:05, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Lest one have to determine whose who is that which. Heheeheheheheheheheheeeeeeee Aleta Curry 02:54, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Hayford: It is probably the scientific style or of a mathematician, in particular, who is used make definitions and is anxious to avoid ambiguities .... --Peter Schmitt 16:25, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
In Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" he introduces the concept of Fair Witnesses, specially trained people whose testimony is accepted 100% in courts. Jubal says to a guy who is in his Fair Witness mode, "What color is that house on the hill over there?" He replies, "The sides that I can see are white." Here, in CZ, I don't think that degree of exactitude is always needed. If so, we would then have, "The Kingston Trio was the name given to a group of three young male singers who...." Instead of simply, "The Kingtson Trio were popular folk-singers who...." But I'm sure that Ross would have hired you as his chief copyeditor! (But, of course, en principe, I'm all for exactitude!) Hayford Peirce 16:48, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Hayford, I agree. I do not want to adopt this type of precision everywhere ... it would even make some texts more difficult to read. I do not know why, in this case, my impression was that the more involved version has a better flow ... I certainly would not have suggested it for the Kingston Trio. Why? I don't know. Perhaps because I know the Kingston Trio, but not the Handsome Eight? Or, more likely, because the sentence could also be read as "the handsome eight were ..." (not a given name)?
As for Heinlein (I read the novel long ago, but I do not remember these details): Can this be the origin of the old story of a philosopher, an astronomer, a physicist, and a mathematician seeing a black sheep? Or is it the other way round?
--Peter Schmitt 17:25, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
"The name of the song is called Haddocks' Eyes." Bruce M. Tindall 17:41, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
"The Three Tenors were Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and José Carreras ..." or "The Three Tenors was the name used by Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and José Carreras for their common performances" --Peter Schmitt 18:18, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) Peter has convinced me that at least in this case the lede should be rewritten, which I have already done. I guess that because I myself have *known* about the Handsome Eight for 42 years now that I originally wrote the lede as I did. Now I wonder what they were called in French, in German, in Dutch, etc? Hayford Peirce 18:33, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the title change

Thanks for the title change. In my mind I will always want to type titles with caps. To me it looks prettier LOL! Thanks for your help. Mary Ash 00:02, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Have you seen my reasons for favouring sentence case—on my user page? Ro Thorpe 01:13, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Inappropriate and inflammatory

Inappropriate and inflammatory. I also returned the speedy tag after Hayford removed it. I'm not sure of Citizendium policy concerning tag removal but I suspect that's left to the Constables not to authors.Mary Ash 17:19, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

And I have removed it again.
The article is coming along quite nicely. I'm in the middle of copyediting it. Ro Thorpe 17:44, 8 October 2010 (UTC)


How come this is Burma and not Myanmar? David Finn 12:51, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Answered on Burma talk page. Ro Thorpe 15:13, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

English as a Second Language

You say you worked for many years as an English teacher & that you lived abroad for some time. Were you doing ESL?

I've done some of that myself and wrote most of Wikitravel's Teaching English article. It occurs to me we need an article on that here, likely with a different slant than WT's overview for travellers, I'm working on other things here, though, and am unlikely to write it.

Are you interested either in doing an article here or in contributing to the one at WT? Sandy Harris 13:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Apologies for forgetting to answer this. But I'm no longer involved or interested in EFL, as it was in my case. Ro Thorpe 01:56, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Going cold turkey

Hi, Ro, could you take a look at: and offer your considered opinion when you have a moment? Many thanks! Hayford Peirce 22:06, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

That was a little awkward!

How did that get by me! Do keep a close eye on my work, I'm southern ;) D. Matt Innis 23:38, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I still don't like the lede: "UFOs are anything that hasn't been identified." They're called "Unidentified" in the first word, and then the last word says they're not identified. If someone didn't know what the word "identified" meant, the sentence would be meaningless. This is like writing, "A potato is a vegetable that is generally called a potato." Hayford Peirce 00:12, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
An Unidentified Flying Object is an unknown potato that is in the air for some reason. D. Matt Innis 00:56, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I will seek a solution from my unconscious while I sleep tonight and talk it over with Carl Jung.... Hayford Peirce 01:35, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Military air defense is more straightforward. There are several usages, but "bandit" most often means "we haven't identified it as friendly," with due regard that "friendly fire isn't". Skunks, vampires, and other critters are definitely not friendly but may not be fully identified. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:15, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
unknown airborn bandits skunks, lol.. no, keep thinking. D. Matt Innis 02:18, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Think of it this way....a flying skunk is better than a flying elephant, at least if you are underneath.
To be precise, a skunk is an unidentified submerged contact. Nevertheless, it gets a track identifier such as [Sierra] 45. Track IDs usually give information on the sensor(s) that detected the contact, and to some extent tell what we don't know (e.g., magnetic detection without sonar confirmation).
The Royal Navy did, in WWII, fire flying potatoes out of Holman Projectors. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:24, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

My name

Hello! The English version of my name was decided on by my dad, who noticed that certain names with "j" were written with "ch." I think that is a pattern that was brought about by some western linguists who derived "ch" from the Chinese "j," which is actually closer to Korean "jj." "Park" is indeed derived from "bak." It's funny how some people actually assumed I was of a mixed heritage because of my last name! I suspect that must originate from the 1920s when the immigration officers gave American versions of certain names, maybe to people who couldn't spell or write. Happy holidays! (Chunbum Park 22:25, 24 December 2010 (UTC))

I should. Thank you for your interest! Happy New Year! New Year's resolution: get one more article approved! (Chunbum Park 17:26, 28 December 2010 (UTC))
I don't think 'jj', 'gg', 'bb', 'dd', and 'ss' really exist in English. Maybe you could guess them by applying some sort of a transitive property (of multiplication) approach to 'bb', which sounds similar to 'ph', but with lips sealed in its initial position, rather than the upper teeth resting on the lower lips, or to 'dd,' which sounds similar 'th' (not as in "that," but as in "thorough"), bu with the tongue touching the mouth's ceiling, rather than the upper teeth.
'b' would be to bb, j to jj, g to gg, etc. So if you think of accentuated "ba" as "pha," then accentuated "ga" would be half way between "ca" and "ga," and accentuated "ja" would be half way between "ja" and "cha." "ssa" would be pronounced with a sort of a heavier, catapulted "s."
This video may help: Thanks for your interest! (Chunbum Park 20:49, 1 January 2011 (UTC))
He didn't do it right. This video is better: You could watch it from 7:00. (Chunbum Park 21:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC))
I think it is indeed possible to create silent letters in Korean. For example, if a word ended in 닳 (darh), then it would be read as 달 (dar)with some sort of condensed motion with the tongue to indicate the missing ㅎ (h). If it was followed by another syllable set, such as 아 (a), then it would be read as dar ha because the h would carry over to fill the empty sound made by the consonant ㅇ. (Chunbum Park 22:58, 2 January 2011 (UTC))
I am not sure what you mean by "only if." I would like to congratulate you though because you've woken me up from my long Citizendium break. (Chunbum Park 01:22, 3 January 2011 (UTC))

Thanks, I didn't realise that. Only 'if', as in 'if a word ended in 닳 (darh)...' But on reflection you probably mean that some words do. So sometimes 'h' is almost silent, right? Ro Thorpe 03:18, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually, in case of 닳, 닳 doesn't exist in Korean. Words that contain hidden consonants would only do so because they would be used to carry over to the empty consonants of the following syllable set; If ㅎ in 닳 had no use, wouldn't it make more sense to be written as 달? So you would be right in saying "only if" because silent syllable would not occur in real situations. (Chunbum Park 04:38, 3 January 2011 (UTC))
Thank you! I'm almost done with another painting. (Chunbum Park 23:19, 4 January 2011 (UTC))

Grammar help

It's been awhile since I've thought about the correct terms for this but I changed the capitalization of Author and Editor on the welcome page and my changes were reverted by Hayford. As the terms are not modifying a name i.e. Editor John Doe they should be lower case. The way it is written now it looks like Citizendium is a hick site as we don't know how to write using correct grammar. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think so. Thanks for helping me remember all the right stuff. Mary Ash 22:52, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Funny, I was just going to write you a note about that very thing when I got the 'have messages' sign. The reason we capitalise Author and Editor is that they have a special meaning at CZ that may include but is not quite the same as the regular definition(s). I'm rather proud of my little essay about this on my Wikipedia user page, which you can get to from my CZ one. It's similar to saying 'let's sit here in the sun', but 'the Earth goes round the Sun'---different contexts, slightly different meanings. Of course one could talk about 'Author Mary Ash' in much the same way. HTH. Ro Thorpe 23:07, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
OK that's fine but to someone making a first visit, and not knowing the CZ culture, it looks like CZ doesn't know how to write. Perhaps we could put an explanation in there some place. What do you think?Mary Ash 23:19, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking exactly that so I put in some links to clarify---see what you think now. Ro Thorpe 23:23, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
The links look terrific and then I added something about Authors and Editors are considered so special....blah, blah, blah. Hope that's not too over the top. My English major heart was crying as I want our writing to look top-notch and it didn't before. Thanks for your sage advice and help.Mary Ash 23:25, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Over the top, my choice of words, too! But you were right that those terms needed clarifying. Ro Thorpe 23:30, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, Ro's a step ahead of me, I seeAleta Curry 00:11, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Great minds... Ro Thorpe 00:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


While I don't have all the sources at and, I believe that which became Einsteinium did use the "a", as a pun on Project Panda. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:49, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I was too busy googling to notice it - thanks. Ro Thorpe 22:52, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Monty Hall problem

Hello, thanks for doing your stuff on Monty Hall problem, but how do we get the meta-data back? And the tags and stuff... I'm new here. Richard D. Gill 08:55, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

By the way, I think the Monty Hall Problem has about equal rights to Monty Hall problem, for precisely the same reason as in your essay on capitalization. As just one of many many problems, it's the Monty Hall problem. But as an entitity in its own right, it's proper name is Monty Hall Problem. Compare the theorem of Bayes and Bayes' Theorem. Richard D. Gill 08:58, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Financial Report as of March 15, 2011

Please read our Financial Report as of March 15, 2001 for complete details on our financial history and our current financial situation. If you have any questions, please ask them on CZ Talk:Donate. Milton Beychok 00:31, 18 March 2011 (UTC)


Want me to set up the formatting and cluster for the old boy, if you're out of practice? Howard C. Berkowitz 02:08, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

It's all yours. Ro Thorpe 02:32, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm pleased to see you edited the Reality article since this gave me a chance to see your wonderful pages and meet you here. Thanks to your profile page on Wikipedia, a question brewing in my mind has been answered: what should one do about trivial information about a topic, e.g., the Matrix movie-Descartes connection in the teaching of undergraduate philosophy? --Maria Cuervo 03:36, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your kind words. Certainly I can't see Trivia sections ever being acceptable at CZ, though I think they are just right for WP. I don't know the Matrix film, but googling suggests that the Descartes connexion might be an article in itself. Ro Thorpe 17:14, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Articles on basic linguistic concepts

Hi Ro, can you please take a look at Names (words)‎, Nouns and number‎ and Objects (things)‎? They all need an overhaul, starting from the page title to the way they are written. They have all been started by a newcomer, so the changes need some more explanation than usual. Thanks! --Daniel Mietchen 20:23, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I've seen them. I like the way Peter and Matt are dealing with it. Ro Thorpe 01:46, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your hives article edits

Thanks so much for your edits concerning the Hives article. I'm glad you caught my boo-boos. For the past five hours I've the equivalent of a 60 cycle hum ringing in my left ear. It's driving me crazy. Hopefully my doc will get this figured out as the sound is driving me nuts!!! So I guess my writing isn't up to snuff and I am glad you were able to make my work look good.Mary Ash 03:49, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

It's a pleasure to do the edits. I'm sorry to hear about your ear. It sounds really awful, and I hope you can get relief very soon. Ro Thorpe 23:37, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Please review Los Alamos National Laboratory for spelling, grammar, and whatever

Ro, I know you are busy in the EC, but I would very much appreciate it if you would review Los Alamos National Laboratory for spelling, grammar, and whatever else you think may be needed. Thanks, Milton Beychok 19:06, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello, Milt, I've only just seen this. Yes, I'll go through it tomorrow. Cheers, Ro Thorpe 01:18, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks a bunch for your edits. I guess that I must be "comma challenged". Milton Beychok 00:09, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
No---I just like to throw them around... Ro Thorpe 01:33, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

French/English help needed

Am working on another Caneili story. On page three we have: "the legionnaire who had sold it to me for not much more than a loaf of bread and a bottle of cheap red wine had assured me that 1962 was a truly great vintage for Deux Chevauxes...." Since I'm writing this in 'Merkin, I picture the ESS sound in my mind on the end of Chevaux but it sure looks funny to add the "es" to it. Woddya think, old myte? "Deux Chevauxs" sans "e", mebbe? Hayford Peirce 22:58, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

This is the 2CV car, presumably. The one I rode in in the 1970s was a crate, certainly, but that cheap?! Anyway, "Deux Chevauxs" gets the required 'Shevoze' pronunciation, I reckon. But reading you again, it seems you'd prefer a three-syllable version, Shevozes, no? So that'll have to be "Chevauxes". So I think it depends on the pronunciation---but then I would, wouldn't I?
Good luck with the story, anyway. Ro Thorpe 01:43, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, this is a 1962 2CV that he bought in, oh, 1983 or '84. So it would probably have been pretty cheap. (In the Bay Area in the '80s there was a Deux Chevaux club. I saw one parked on the street near my apartment once, beautifully restored and with a million-dollar paint job. The California license plate (a "vanity" plate as they call them) was "POUBELLE", hehe.... Yes, I want the word to be pronounced "sher-voze" to rhyme with "hose" and "toes". So I think that the correct spelling would indeed be Chevauxs with just the S and not the E. Anyway, that's what I put into the second draft. By the time it reaches draft five or six, who knows what it will be? Hayford Peirce 16:22, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Good, we agree, "Chevauxs" it is, then. Ro Thorpe 16:58, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Please review Apollo program

Ro, would you please go over the Apollo program article in your usual thorough fashion? Thanks in advance, Milton Beychok 22:04, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Pleasure, will do, starting now. Ro Thorpe 01:26, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

my name

Hello. I changed the character on recommendation of my Chinese friends at RISD. They said the previous character means "criminal," which is a catastrophic mistake and also a bad omen, whereas it should have been a character meaning "lawful." Thank you very much. (Chunbum Park 02:22, 14 July 2011 (UTC))

Oh, right. Anyway, some might think that there's only one language there so I'm going to make some changes. If you don't like them though, do revert, after all it's your page... Cheers. Ro Thorpe 14:20, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh thank you for the nice change. I wasn't as clever. It feels great — like having your back massaged. (Chunbum Park 14:47, 14 July 2011 (UTC))

New Linguistics and Literature author

We have a new Linguistics and Literature author, named Adam Heidebrink. You may want to leave a welcome message on his Talk page. Milton Beychok 23:58, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Milt - done. Ro Thorpe 02:39, 16 July 2011 (UTC)


Dear Ro, I'd like to make you an offer that is not directly related to Citizendium. Unfortunately I can't find your e-mail. If you don't mind, please send me a first message to "- - -" and we could talk about it. Thank you in advance.--Domergue Sumien 13:32, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

OK, thanks, I've sent you a message. Ro Thorpe 00:55, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Infobox for planets

I left a request on the Talk page for the planet Uranus asking for the construction of an infobox for the planets. Daniel Mietchan volunteered to construct the template, but he needs to know what parameters to include. I have suggested the ones which I included in the tables which I added to the article, though perhaps the planetary globe data and the orbital data could be included in the same infobox.

In any case, would you take a look at the request and add your input to the discussion.

James F. Perry 00:01, 28 November 2011 (UTC)


Thanks Ro it's good to be back. Go see my newest contribution, that's my finger, and you'll know why I have not finished my second Kindle ebook in time for Christmas. Kind od hard to type now but I am getting there. Mary Ash 03:22, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Indeed & it's causing you to make typos. But fear not, I have corrected one there, and now I'm going to do the same on your user page... Ro Thorpe 18:41, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Pedos and paedos

I knew that the Brits use, more or less, paederasty, etc, but it was only yesterday that I saw a reference to "paedos". Makes sense, of course. Has this been covered in the US/Brit list? Hayford Peirce 19:01, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Not that specific example (which is tabloid-style slang), but there is (a)esthetic in Br/AmE, and p(a)edophile is in the alphabetical list for P. Ro Thorpe 19:08, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for encouraging beginners!

Thanks. I'm sure you are a kind teacher. (said User:Reza Baqeri)

Absolutely right I am. And I must teach you to sign your posts. To do so, please put four tildes (~~~~) to add your name and the time and date. Cheers, and happy editing, Ro Thorpe 21:08, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks again. I knew that but I forgot it, I always wonder why not automatic signing when user logged in? Reza Baqeri 03:48, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
That'd be very high tech. The other wikis that I know don't have automatic signing. Ro Thorpe 16:21, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm here pretty much every day

Hi Ro, I thought I should let you know that I stop most every day and read through the talk pages, fora, and constable wiki when I am not working with the election committee or MC behind the scenes. If you see someone that needs me, do send them to my talk page. I have it set to notify my email, which is the first to get my attention. I might have to wait until I have time to check out their request, but will get back to them as soon as possible. Thanks! D. Matt Innis 04:07, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

And there was I thinking you were enjoying a hard-earned Christmas break... Ro Thorpe 13:19, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Break? Haha, this is my break! :) D. Matt Innis 22:47, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! Ro

Thank you for making time to acknowledge my cat Andy. He was pretty special and much loved. Also thanks once again for the welcome. My wounded finger is almost healed and I am back typing with the best of them. If you have any ideas on how to proceed with the Tea Party article please let me know. I am mulling over including references to the Tea Party as being a populist group. If I can find the references I will clearly point how the Tea Party differs from the mainline Republican Party. The Republican Party was founded as an anti-slavery political party. Mary Ash 22:53, 29 December 2011 (UTC)


[2]: if you read the Charter you'll find it's nearly always included. Peter Jackson 10:29, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

My impression was that it had been quietly dropped some time ago. Anyway, David Finn has restored it. Ro Thorpe 15:23, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Many central themes of Citizendium have been quietly dropped over time - like editing the encyclopedia! I am sure you have noticed since yours is one of the few names that appears in recent changes. It must be a lonely pursuit, but well done for trying. Anyway, in this case there are so many uses of the term "the Citizendium", as well as the odd explanation of why it should have the the, that changing one or two instances could only add to the confusion. I'd happily support an official dropping of the the, however someone else can make the application to both councils in triplicate, wait until the next election for a reply and then make a referendum of it which shall be ignored by said councils who will then commission a study of what members we have left to see if they really meant what they just voted for. David Finn 19:00, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I always thought "the Citizendium" mannered. Wikipedia does not have a "the", so the world has deemed neither should CZ. As for editing the encyclopedia, thanks for your encouragement, and I must return the compliment. There is not much to do at WP these days except keep up with events and correct the inevitable language errors. CZ has enormous quantities of catching-up to do, but that'll continue to get less. As long as the funds keep coming, in 20 years or so it could be a roaring success, truly everyone's first choice for reliable, unvandalised general information (perhaps I'll hear about it on my deathbed). These things take time, councils or no councils. Ro Thorpe 00:02, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Ro, I hope your optimism is justified.
As for the "the": As a non-native speaker I do want to judge whether it should be used. But if those caring about language issues (Hayford and you, and ?) agree on dropping it then I would support the change. Unfortunately, in order to revise the Charter a referendum is needed but -- not talking about revising some rules -- the Charter would need copyediting, anyway. Should we prepare a referendum on a copyedited Charter? --Peter Schmitt 00:59, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
One of the first comments, or emails, I ever made to Larry was about how *strange* it seemed to be using the word "the" and that I really thought it should be dropped. I suppose that if I looked hard enough I could find his reply justifying its use. When I joined in May of '07, I thought it was stupid; here we are, coming up on five years later, and I *still* think it's stupid. And, since almost no one at all ever uses it, it is actually even stupider than it was five years ago. To me it's like those pedants who say, for one reason or another, "Newton invented the calculus," not "Newton invented calculus." I suppose that there's a reason for that also, but I have never seen a high school or college list of courses in which The Calculus 101 is mentioned....

[unindent] I think the justification for using 'the' is based on the fact that the word 'Citizendium' was created as a short form of 'Citizens' Compendium', for which 'the' is arguably required. However, language doesn't work like that; for example, we don't say 'the NASA' while still referring to it in full as 'the National Aeronautics and Space Administration'. John Stephenson 04:30, 22 January 2012 (UTC)