I will have to think some more before I can offer anything that might
hopefully be constructive, but for now I will just compliment both
Gutza and Danutz for bringing the issue to us with thoughtful
explanations and reasons. I personally think that this is the most
important thing: to work together with reason and love to find a
solution that is satisfactory to everyone.
It occurs to me just now that in many cases, what we ought to have is
something in the software similar to a "hard link" versus a "soft
link" in Unix. Let me explain.
Right now, we have the concept of a "redirect". The redirect is like
a soft link in Unix, i.e. the redirected term is "inferior" in some
sense to the "real" name. Without making any formal comment on
whether I think the decision is right or not, the redirect of "Eskimo"
to "Inuit" is a reasonable example -- "Eskimo" is not the preferred
term, so it is redirected to "Inuit".
But another way of going about this would be to have a way in the
software to form a special bond between two terms so that the two are
existentially equal from the point of view of end users of the
website. Rather than being a redirect from a less preferred to a more
preferred term, the two would be totally equal and linked.
This does not solve the problem of what words to use in the body of
the article, so perhaps it would be pointless. But it would resolve
the issue of people feeling that the redirect itself is a commentary
on the validity of one use. (Sometimes we _are_ commenting on the
validity of one use, and that's fine in some cases. For example, we
might redirect the common name of some species into the scientific
name, to promote general consistency of our naming conventions for
But really, as I started out saying, I don't think I have anything
really brilliant to offer in terms of solving the problem, except my
usual guidance that thoughtfulness, caring, reason, love, and respect
are the way forward.
/>/ article in question is the one about Jesus. The Romanian (Eastern)
/>/ Orthodox Church says that the name should be spelled "Iisus Hristos".
/>/ Other religions in Romania (mainly Catholic branches) say that the
/>/ Romanian name is Isus Cristos.
/>/ Anyhow, the dispute is basically not about the language itself,
/>/ because all religions who dispute the name do it in Romanian. On a
/>/ side note, to put your mind at ease before you assume it as being the
/>/ case, no Magyars are involved in the dispute itself.
I'm glad that you've clearly identified. I thought that your approach
in your approach in your first letter was needlessly evasive.
Personally, I was guessing something based on the speech differences
between Romanian and Moldovan, but now I realize that it has to do with
the Greeks and that there is no imminent Eskimo uprising in Timisoara.
:/-) People do bring these issues out of nowhere when they are left to
/guess about the problem.
Going with the majority (Google or otherwise) is never satisfactory.
That breeds the tyranny of the majority. In English these problems have
been numerous in relation to usages by the British and Americans.
French, Spanish and Portuguese also encounter differences between
European and New World versions.
I would be asking questions like: How does the secular press deal with
the issue? How was it dealt with in communist days? (Say what you might
about them, I can't imagine that an atheist organization would favour
one religion over the other.)
_Ok, I might be wrong or subjective here (I'm actually fuming), but what
*do* you imagine such an atheist organization would do? I am trying
really hard not to be sarcastic here, so please excuse me if some
sarcasm gets through, but what do you imagine an atheist organization
would favor? Now now, let's keep things into perspective, think about an
"atheist organization" which is trying to doctor you into believing
whatever they say. Talk to me, Saintonge, you seem to know how this
works, you tell me what such an organization does! If I may "say what I
might", the way you put it, I will tell you that they DIDN'T GIVE A SHIT
ABOUT RELIGION! Sorry, was that too tough for your cute little theory?
Then I will tell you a little more, Mr. Theory Man: not only did they
give a shit about it, they actually resented it. They took down
churches. They forced people to work during holy days. They changed the
names of saints. They condemned you for cherishing your saints. Now you
tell me, how can such an "atheist organization" relate to the discussion
What does the Romanian Academy have to say about the matter?
_Nothing, they don't regulate these things. If they were somehow forced
to actually take a stand, they would probably promote the BOR naming.
(BOR = The Romanian Orthodox Church)
Is there such a thing as an "official" religion in Romania?
_Yes, the Eastern Orthodox religion.
I can see that the Orthodox version is based on a transliteration from
the Greek, but how did the other version come to be what it is.
(Romanian, after all, is still a romance language.)
_The "other" version came to be due to whatever reasons the Catholic
Church in Romania decided. Can't you see that all this is more or less
arbitrary? Do you really think that the BOR version is really what one
would call "orthodox" in the ethimological sense? No, it's just a
conventional name for the same religious and historical person, that's all.
If reviewing all these question does not give *clear* guidance, you
should accept both.
_Sorry to formulate it this way, but your solution is really cute. Did
you actually take the time to read the original message?_
For each article where the question is relevant, the first form
introduced in that article should have precedence.
_Sorry, I might be off on this one, but IMHO the sentence above doesn't
say anything practical. Yes, the first form always has precedence
because it's the first, but what do you mean? Honestly not being sarcastic._
I hope I'm posting this on the right list, don't know where else to
turn. We have a minor dispute on the Romanian Wikipedia and I'd like to
ask for your advice. The dispute refers to the naming of an article
(would prefer not to specify which article, but it's a sensitive topic
with people). Now, there are two spellings proposed for the article
name: the one widely accepted in Romania and another one which is
preferred by a Romanian minority.
Some people say that the article should be named the way the Romanian
majority spells it, others say it should be named as the minority spells
it, as to respect the rights of the minority, and most importantly
Wikiquette. The article topic itself is not per se relevant to neither
the minority nor the majority in particular. Of course that in both
cases a redirect will be made from the "other" spelling to the main
article, regardless of which will remain as the main article and which
remains as a redirect.
Is there an official standing on this issue? Have other people been
confronted similar disputes? How did you resolve them? Which of the
options above would you personally prefer if you were to decide?
It is relatively clear that article names cannot be decided completely neutrally. We sometimes have to choose one, and the choice could be deemed "biased" by some outsiders who don't understand the technical aspect of our wiki.
On Japanese Wikipedia, we have guidelines (a bit different from en), but there are many cases where those guidelines cannot give us the answer.
For those cases, what we can do, it seems, are:
- make sure major alternative spellings are redirected to the article.
- make sure major alternative spellings are mentioned in the article, and given explanations following NPOV policy. Readers will know, if they read the article, that the article is not written in support of either spelling.
- come to an agreement among the users involved in the editing that this issue cannot be solved neutrally, and we should let wikilove lead us for the success of the project.
Hope it helps.