Wikipedia:Simple talk

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Enable Extension:NewUserMessage here on Simple Wikipedia[change source]

Hi! Dear community, Please install NewUserMessage extension here on Simple Wikipedia. It will helpful to send welcome messages to the talk pages of newly created wiki accounts. I would like to please all user to give their support or oppose for the proposal. Thanks for your concern. Regards, Tulsi Bhagat (Talk) 09:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Question: Does this extension add a message automatically, or does an editor have to take some action for the message to be left? --Auntof6 (talk)
@Auntof6: Gud question ! Yeah, this extension adds a message automatically whenever a new account is created. Thank you :) -- Tulsi Bhagat (Talk) 10:47, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Support[change source]

Oppose[change source]

  • Oppose - I still believe welcoming users is something best suited for humans to do. This is a small wiki and there should not be any problems with "keeping up the load", so to speak. Also, not all new users should be automatically welcomed. Current configuration on Wikimedia for this particular extension is that users automatically created by CentralAuth will be welcomed (if your account is unified by SUL, and you visit this wiki for the first time), and as much as I don't like to say this, we have over fair share of editors who were banned on EN, coming here to cause trouble. That number seems to be going up lately. Chenzw  Talk  11:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We don't want editors manually welcoming new users right away, so we certainly wouldn't want it automated. Besides that, we have so few editors here that I wouldn't want to install something nonessential that would have to be maintained. --Auntof6 (talk) 17:23, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This would give us far too many talk pages of users who never changed a page, and using Twinkle to welcome users is quick enough anyway. J991 18:19, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose We actually do not want every new user to get an automated welcome message. That is very impersonal, we also only like users that have shown they have made some edits to actually get welcome messages so this would be counter to community consensus. -DJSasso (talk) 13:17, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Comments[change source]

Install Extension:WikiLove here on Simple Wikipedia[change source]

Hi! Dear community, Please install WikiLove extension here on Simple Wikipedia. It will very helpful to send barnstars, offering food, kittens, Ice-creams etc. to the talk pages of user which creates friendly love, co-operation among the users. WikiLove extension message group translations has already finished. See here ( I would like to please all user to give their support or oppose for the proposal. Thanks for your concern. Regards, Tulsi Bhagat (Talk) 11:26, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Support[change source]

Oppose[change source]

  • Oppose -- This, instead of writing articles? Pointless. (talk) 11:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We've discussed this before, more than once. This would be another nonessential item that would have to be maintained. We can give barnstars and other things already without this extension. --Auntof6 (talk) 17:36, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I haven't seen very many barnstars and awards given out, and as Auntof6 mentioned, we can send them without the wikilove extension. eurodyne (talk) 18:05, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Ugh...I disliked this idea since I first saw it on the English Wikipedia. Who needs pretend kittens? J991 18:19, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's just not needed. User:Rus793 (talk) 00:52, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons that can be found in previous discussions. Just an unnecessary feature. If you want to thank someone just go to their talk page and thank them. -DJSasso (talk) 13:16, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Comments[change source]

Simple words not so simple[change source]

While trying to find a definitive list of words considered simple I found multiple overlapping lists that include obvious omissions and also include words that seem dated, at best. I am referring to the original list of 850 or so basic English words plus the various extensions and addendums, as listed here. This page is referenced on the main landing page, and does not explain how basic English is different from simple English. I am proposing that a master list of simple English words be compiled and published as an official guideline. This would not be a single-source list (that cannot or should not be changed), but rather a consensus-based list of words that are appropriate for this project, that can be amended or extended in the future, and that do not need additional explanation when used. This would include the original list or lists of words plus common forms of those words (such as plurals of singular nouns, different verb forms, etc.). Such a list would not be an article, subject to the usual rules for citing sources, but once complete, those who propose that specific words be added should be prepared to justify the addition with something beyond their own belief that the word is simple. Finally, the list should be just that: a list. There should not be any explanatory comments, alphabetical section headers, etc. The idea is to make a list that can be copied and pasted and not need additional formatting or cleanup to be used for other purposes. Etamni | ✉   02:46, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it's possible to make a definitive list of simple words (just as it's not possible to make a list of all words that are too complex). English has hundreds of thousands of words, and to be definitive, we'd have to evaluate all of them. We use the lists you refer to as a starting point because they're established lists, but not everyone sticks to them. It's also reasonable to include the plurals, etc. that you mention (I don't know why they weren't included in the first place, unless it was to limit the size of the list).
Determining what words are simple is tricky. Many English words have multiple meanings, and some of the meanings are simple and others are not. That's why less-ambiguous words are preferred, like difficult instead of hard when you mean the opposite of easy. Another example is tail: it's simple when it means part of an animal, but not when it means sexual intercourse or a person who is following someone. You can't explain that in a plain list: you have to look at context. (Of course, that's a limitation of the existing lists, too.)
What we could do is expand Wikipedia:Examples of simpler English to include more examples (not that it would ever be comprehensive). I probably do as much simplifying as anyone else, so I could try to add common things I see to that page. --Auntof6 (talk) 07:30, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
There's so much to good writing which is not captured by a word list. Much good advice is available in the how-to books by Strunk & White, Gowers, Flesch and others (see their En wiki pages). An editor hoping to improve should read at least two of these. In general, the standard of written English on English wiki is appalling, so it's often a big job to "translate" it for us. The problems of long, complex, badly written sentences are a real challenge. You often need to rethink what it is that they are trying to say, and then write it simply. — This unsigned comment was added by Macdonald-ross (talk • changes) at 08:21 16 November 2015.
Of course, you both are correct. I failed to mention the rationale behind the suggestion but will do so now. I've reviewed the methods mentioned elsewhere for using an exception list within Microsoft Word to quickly identify words that may need further explanation. That method effectively disables the built-in spell checker and needs to be manually enabled and disabled as the user moves between documents that are being edited for this project and everything else that he or she wants to edit. I have some skill with writing macros that use Microsoft's VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and have completed a significant amount of work on a macro (that will be shared under CC BY SA when it's done) that can take a document and quickly highlight words that are not on a predetermined list, as well as other rules-based highlighting (such as highlighting common conjunctions, first- and second-person pronouns, and other predetermined problematic words or phrases.) I am also planning to have it exclude from highlighting anything that is contained within ref tags as well. In order to work correctly, the user needs to have a text file (ANSI format) that contains the words for comparison. Thus the need for a definitive list. I certainly understand that the English language is very complicated and that idioms, homonyms, synonyms, and the like, all contribute to confusion on the part of some who are still learning the language. This tool is not capable of addressing all of those, but will (hopefully) be capable of providing a starting point for those who wish to simplify existing text, either from here or from En-Wiki. Etamni | ✉   09:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Ah. I've heard of a couple of similar things. One is setting up simple or basic English as a separate language in Word. The other is a Firefox add-on that flags words that aren't, um... I think words that aren't in the Basic Englidh list, but I'm not sure exactly. --Auntof6 (talk) 09:53, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah there is a Firefox dictionary for Simple English that does a similar thing. I believe it uses our different word lists and anything not in them gets underlined to indicate they might be complex. I don't really use it myself as I just use common sense instead of automating it. -DJSasso (talk) 13:20, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

There are different word lists; the big problem with word lists is how to "count" the words. Say "have" is on the list, do the other forms ("has","had","having") count as separate words or don't they? If I take the BNC 2000 corpus (2000 most common spoken words), I get 7581 forms. I am in the process of writing a Java application that will help with simplifying. It uses Java 8, and currently supports 7 different word lists (BNC1000,2000,3000,4000,BE850,BE1000,BE1500).The problem is though, that we will likely need subject-specific lists, for different articles.Also note, that the focus should be on explaining well, and not on using a given word list. There are examples, where using a word list is making a text more difficult to understand. --Eptalon (talk) 20:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Ultimately, the responsibility for writing good articles rests with the author of those articles. The tool I am developing is just that, a tool. It will give an editor a starting point for simplifying an article. It isn't intended to imply that only certain words can be used, but is instead intended to highlight words that may be problematic (i.e. words not on the list, or words from a separate list of known problematic words or phrases). The original BE lists are 75 years old, and due to the fluid nature of the language, are a bit out of date. Tags on the pages listing these original BE words clearly indicate that the lists should not be changed as they are based on a single source. These two points: The need for a list of words accepted by community consensus as being appropriate for our intended (modern) audience, plus the shortcomings of the current BE word list, led me to start looking for a more definitive list. I have found none on the site, and expect that if there was such a list here, someone would have pointed it out already. I've reviewed lists of words from outside Wikipedia but am reluctant to use any of them without community consensus that they are appropriate. Etamni | ✉   08:51, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Current "Do you know"[change source]

Two mistakes, one grammatical and one substantive:

  1. Hugo Chavez (grammar): I wouldn't say " which he said ...", but rather "...where he said".
  2. Grover Cleveland: Actually, the Vice President who succeeded Lincoln after Lincoln's assassination, Andrew Johnson, was a Democrat. He had run with Lincoln on what was called the "National Union" ticket, which was more or less a national unity ticket, though there was a separate Democrat ticket as well. But Johnson himself was undoubtedly a Democrat, as the article on him points out. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I think the first point "in which he said" is the better grammar, but might not be as simple. As for the second I don't know enough about the topic. BTW you can edit all those things. You just have to find the location that is transcribed on the main page. -DJSasso (talk) 18:55, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
The problem with "in which" is that it seems to be referring to "in the United Nations", but it could also refer (in a grammatically incorrect way) to "in the speech at the United Nations". I thought "where" would be less ambiguous.
As far as Grover Cleveland goes, the source (which is the White House's web page) says he was the first Democrat elected after the Civil War, and that's true. So I'll change that one accordingly. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Second point  Done StevenJ81 (talk) 19:17, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Harassment consultation[change source]

Please help translate to your language

The Community Advocacy team the Wikimedia Foundation has opened a consultation on the topic of harassment on Meta. The consultation period is intended to run for one month from today, November 16, and end on December 17. Please share your thoughts there on harassment-related issues facing our communities and potential solutions. (Note: this consultation is not intended to evaluate specific cases of harassment, but rather to discuss the problem of harassment itself.)

Regards, Community Advocacy, Wikimedia Foundation

New template added[change source]

I've boldly added the "talk quotation" template that is used on En-Wiki. It was copied verbatim and the diff is referred to in the comments section. Documentation was also copied over and attributed in the same way. For those unfamiliar with it's use, this template is intended for talk and project pages, and is used when quoting another editor during a conversation. For example, if I write, {{tq|This is quoted text}} the result is This is quoted text. It is especially useful when quoting someone from a ways up the page on a long discussion, or when quoting policy, but it's use is not restricted on En-Wiki to these purposes. It is restricted to talk pages and project pages, however, so don't try to use it within articles. Etamni | ✉   11:37, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

New spate of vandalism by unregistered editors[change source]

We seem to be getting a lot of vandalism by IP editors (maybe from US schoolkids being on vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday?). Any help watching for and reverting it would be much appreciated. :) --Auntof6 (talk) 19:32, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Boy, you're not kidding! (Maybe college/university students; lower-school students are probably not off until this weekend.) StevenJ81 (talk) 20:16, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Yesterday, I worked partway through a list of "dead end" articles, adding interlinks to articles that had none. Today, I found one of those edits reverted. Not knowing what to expect, I opened the article and found that another editor had reverted back to a version by Auntof6 and that the version I had edited was the result of blanking more than five months ago by a vandal. On En-Wiki, that blanking would likely have been detected by ClueBot. For those not currently very active on En-Wiki, ClueBot has been tuned to the point that, while it sometimes misses some of the more subtle vandalism, it is very good at catching the overt instances like page blanking, the insertion of obscenities, etc. So the question is whether we should try to get ClueBot or something similar going here? Given that this project is also in English and the patterns of abuse are similar to those experienced at En-Wiki, I don't believe ClueBot would need much tuning to work correctly here, although there may be technical issues to resolve. Comments? Etamni | ✉   08:49, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
We have User:ChenzwBot. --Auntof6 (talk) 09:05, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
What kinds of vandalism is the bot watching for? Was it running when this edit was made? Etamni | ✉   09:32, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
IDK. @Chenzw: Can you answer this? --Auntof6 (talk) 09:37, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
ChenzwBot (previously User:Chris G Bot and User:GoblinBot4) works by checking edit diffs and edit summaries against a list of known "bad words" (regular expressions). This list is maintained by the operator (me). The above edit was not reverted because it did not match anything on the blacklist, not to mention that edit deltas (number of characters changed) are not monitored by the bot. User:ClueBot NG (different from User:ClueBot, which uses the "old" method to determine vandalism) is part of the newer generation which uses an artificial neural network and naive Bayes classifiers to evaluate edits for vandalism. It roughly means that we teach the bot what is vandalism and what is not by giving it diffs which have already been reviewed by a human as vandalism (or not), after which the bot will try to generalise and "learn" the "features" which makes an edit vandalism (or not). The bot's userpage on EN offers a more detailed explanation of how it works.
I have no objections with ClueBot NG taking over if someone manages to get it running here. However, it is unlikely to be me bringing it over, because of the lack of time I have to do the setup. Chenzw  Talk  11:28, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I have bot experience, but don't know the first thing about clue bot NG. Is nobody gonna volunteer? Krett12 (talk) 05:11, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm checking on some things related to this. Nothing will change immediately. Setting up a bot like ClueBot NG is not an undertaking to be lightly attempted. Etamni | ✉   06:07, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Should you be able to remove warnings off your own talk page?[change source]

I don't think you should. Maybe the policy should be that you must have a reason (stale, offensive, etc) Krett12 (talk) 05:09, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Users are given wide discretion on how they organize pages within user space. A user is presumed to have seen the warning, and it can still be found via the page history. A better practice is to archive old or outdated material, but consensus has never required that warnings be kept forever. Etamni | ✉   06:05, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't know. Right now I don't think there's a policy or guideline. Here are some miscellaneous thoughts:
  • Removal should be allowed if what's removed is archived.
  • Any rules should apply to both talk pages and their archives.
  • If removal without archiving is allowed, maybe it should be allowed only if it's a certain age. In the case of ongoing vandalism, editors who leave warnings should be able to see earlier warnings so they know what level of message to leave. Yes, the earlier warnings would be in the page history, but most people wouldn't think to check there.
  • IP talk pages: since every edit there is possibly by a different editor, no one really "owns" an IP talk page, so maybe removal from those shouldn't be allowed even if it's allowed elsewhere.
Just some thoughts. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:14, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
On En-Wiki, I've had a vandal post a warning to my talk page for reverting his (or her?) vandalism. I'd hate to have a policy that requires I keep that warning forever and ever. But if we exempt that kind of warning from a rule, then we get cases where those who were legitimately warned remove the warnings and claim they were vandalism. In any case, if we don't have a specific rule, then the policies and guidelines of En-Wiki apply. In this case, the relevant guideline is found here. (Nothing says we cannot make a different rule here, but we shouldn't make one just to make one -- I think there should be a good reason to have a different rule here.) Etamni | ✉   07:14, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
My main interest is to avoid the disruption of talk pages by vandals, whilst leaving them as free as possible for editors in good standing. IPs should not be allowed to remove or archive administrative notices, whether from admins or from trusted editors. IMO the notices should stay on the page permanently, but might be archived by an admin if page gets too long for convenience. IP's removal or cute edits to a warning are or should be grounds for removing talk page rights of the IP. Indirectly, this would give more benefits to registered editors, which would be good. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:54, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
What would define "trusted editors"? Would I count as one? Krett12 (talk) 17:13, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Arguably, anyone with autoconfirmed status could be called a trusted user. User:Rus793 (talk) 19:08, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Editor with rollbacker and patrolling rights, and/or editor with a good track record (of positive changes to articles, or accurate handling of vandals). Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:28, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I think maybe the term trusted here should mean any user giving a notice. In other words, I think the term "trusted" could have just been left off. If a user gets a notice they think is unwarranted, they could leave a reply to it explaining why they think so. --Auntof6 (talk) 19:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Whenever active archives are maintained, moving warnings to archive under the same rules as moving any other discussion to archive should certainly be acceptable. StevenJ81 (talk) 02:46, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Let's say an IP/new user comes along and gets a warning. They may reply & explain why it's unfair, but can't remove it. But experienced ones can? While I know that it's bad to divide us up but we shouldn't give it out in binary. Krett12 (talk) 05:15, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
In a case like that, I'd rather see both the warning and the response left on the page. In fact, I'd rather see that on a registered user's page as well. For one thing, the user might protest a warning that was actually valid. If removed, I think it should be by either the user who left the warning or by an admin. I don't think an uninvolved user should remove anything. Of course, none of this is currently a policy or guideline. --Auntof6 (talk) 08:25, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
A user can remove any warning from their page except a block/ban notice that is currently active, removing a warning is considered to be acknowledgement of the notice, warnings are not badges of dishonour meant to shame people so they can be removed. There is a guideline for this somewhere on en, and since we pull in all en guidelines where we don't have a contradictory one it applies here too. I can't remember at the moment what the guideline is so go ahead and take that with a grain of salt. IPs on the other hand are different because they don't "own" their talk page and warnings are typically meant to be left on them so admins can see a trend on warnings. -DJSasso (talk) 14:54, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, OK. That makes since. Krett12 (talk) 16:42, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Persondata template being removed[change source]

A user has started removing Template:Persondata from articles. This may be OK, but since the user didn't discuss it first, I'm mentioning it here in case anyone has any concerns about it. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:16, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

We don't normally use the template here. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:20, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Maybe you don't, but others do. It's certainly in a lot of articles. --Auntof6 (talk) 10:35, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah it's use is deprecated. It does need to be removed. I tend to just remove them as I edit pages naturally. It was replaced with the wikidata site. -DJSasso (talk) 14:51, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks, Dj. --Auntof6 (talk) 18:06, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I added a note to the documentation page there. But perhaps, DJSasso, you'd want to make sure it's accurate. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:29, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciation guide or audio in (every) article[change source]

Sometimes it is hard to guess the correct pronunciation(s) for a title of an article. I am a non-native speaker, and I have never heard the English pronunciation of the word Constantinople, for example. So I would be grateful if I could know the correct pronunciation without leaving an article when I am reading it (and sometimes reading it aloud). I wrote "every" in the title. But of course I am not much in need for pronunciation guides in articles like Red or Dog. Even so, if there is IPA or audio or even where (which syllable) to pronounce strongly in every article, it would be very helpful. That is, Rock and Sea are OK, it begins to be complicated in River and Flower, and in Earthquake we get really lost. I imagine it as "ree-vuh-r or rah-ee-vuh-r?" and "f-low-r? fl-au-r?" and finally, " the? -kyoo-ah-kee...?" (Maybe because of "ear," "smooth," "Q" and "catastrophe," respectively.)

Also I would like a lot of spoken articles. That is because to hear the correct sounds of English is the only way to make them correctly on my own. I need more spoken articles on Simple English Wikipedia than on English Wikipedia. I think that spoken audio of any article of any subject will be helpful if the sound is clear and the person speaks clearly and loudly.

Lastly, I tried to write the sentences above as simple as I could with my own English knowledge. I hope there is nothing ambiguous or rude there. I appreciate if you tell me when you find it.--Mulief (talk) 07:11, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

The problem with IPA is that it is way not simple, and even most graduates have never learnt it. The problem with the recordings is that we just do not have enough editors to do it regularly, and it has often been done poorly. Spoken articles, or introductions to articles, fail because they are almost never updated, and soon enough they do not match the text. There is a limit to what we can do, with about ten people writing content regularly (and another dozen occasionally). There is a role here for classroom teachers of English. They are in a better position to work on pronunciation. Incidentally, your written English is pretty good! Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:15, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Request for article review[change source]

Hello Wikipedia! I am a new user here and am not quite sure where to go. I have attempted to create two articles already (located here and here). Could one or more people please review these articles and give me feedback on how to improve? Thanks. The watchdog of networks (Woof! Woof!) 02:11, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Likely not notable enough for articles. And while I assume good faith, can't help but feel they are likely spam advertising. -DJSasso (talk) 12:53, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Agree. I would have tagged these for QD as advertising. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:36, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Your input requested on the proposed #FreeBassel banner campaign[change source]

This is a message regarding the proposed 2015 Free Bassel banner. Translations are available.

Hi everyone,

This is to inform all Wikimedia contributors that a straw poll seeking your involvement has just been started on Meta-Wiki.

As some of your might be aware, a small group of Wikimedia volunteers have proposed a banner campaign informing Wikipedia readers about the urgent situation of our fellow Wikipedian, open source software developer and Creative Commons activist, Bassel Khartabil. An exemplary banner and an explanatory page have now been prepared, and translated into about half a dozen languages by volunteer translators.

We are seeking your involvement to decide if the global Wikimedia community approves starting a banner campaign asking Wikipedia readers to call on the Syrian government to release Bassel from prison. We understand that a campaign like this would be unprecedented in Wikipedia's history, which is why we're seeking the widest possible consensus among the community.

Given Bassel's urgent situation and the resulting tight schedule, we ask everyone to get involved with the poll and the discussion to the widest possible extent, and to promote it among your communities as soon as possible.

(Apologies for writing in English; please kindly translate this message into your own language.)

Thank you for your participation!

Posted by the MediaWiki message delivery 21:47, 25 November 2015 (UTC) • TranslateGet help