Wikisource talk:WikiProject 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Style Manual/Archive 1

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"This ligature should be used whenever the letters "ae" are found together, such as with the name Encyclopædia Britannica, and this standard was followed by the original editors of this work." In fact the opposite is true, in the articles it generally wasn't used; and specifically not in the Greek or Latin derived words. The only consistent use seems to be in the name of the EB itself, and in the introductions; a few French words use Œ and a few Old English / Norse use Æ - it might just be proper nouns. A quick survey:

Text which does not use the ligature:

  • aegean, aeneas, aelioan, aether (etc., etc.),
  • athenaeum, mycenae, and encyclopaedia
  • oestrus, oesophagus, onomatopoeia
  • Classified Table of Contents (29:879)

Text which uses the ligature:

  • The prefatory note, first volume
  • Preface to the index
  • Ætheling, Æthelred

A look through the index is a relatively easy way to check a lot of words.

Well, not sure if it's been read by anyone but it's been here long enough, and it's clear cut enough, to make the change in the project page. 20:08, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Just a thought... but would it have been more expensive to do the printing/copysetting back then with ligatures? Putting them in the body text may have been a lot of work. I wonder if we could ask them? GregRobson 19:46, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

At that time (1908-11) the Linotype and the Monotype were used extensively in printing, and it was simply a matter of pushing the right keyboard button. It would be a matter of following the house style, so it looks as though the copy was not marked up for it. Presumably the copy would have been typewritten first before editing and final editing and keying - in into the casting machines. Typewriters don't have dipthongs, of course. The Prefatary note and the preface to the Index would have been written pretty well last of all, just before publication. It looks as though it was only used otherwise for the names of old English Kings. Therefore the change to the wording should be made. Also going back through the existing articles making any changes. Apwoolrich 20:55, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I have recently come across Richard Cœur de Lion (vol 1 p 154 and of course vol 23 p 294), manœuvre (vol 7 p 849) and Œuvres poétiques (vol 7 p 851) so I think it's fair to add that French words and loan-words should also be ligated, even if œ is rare in 21st-century French. I think a better rule would be "observe carefully what's printed and represent that", and I modified the project page accordingly. I don't think we can intuit whether inconsistencies between articles are intentional or not. DavidBrooks (talk) 00:29, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Why the big Capital letters?[edit]

The Encyclopedia Brittanica doesn´t use them. They do look nice I must admit, but they make for some extra work as well. -- 11:48, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

As I recall, it was adopted when the WS project first started, before many of us got here. I don't like it as I feel we ought to be aiming to produce the text as near the original as possible. Once we admit this sort of change where will it stop. The only places where a change is OK is in formatting - the layout of any notes and the references section, for instance. I found the other day that PG had split an original article making two new ones from an admittedly long text, leading to its being added it two pieces here with no indication they were once one. Apwoolrich 12:51, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Alternate Heading[edit]

When alternate names are given for the subject of the article (In the Britannica), then a style similiar to this: " , or RALPH" is used.

written thus: , or R<small>ALPH</small> 

There is nothing in the style guide stating so though. I´ve seen other users using that format as well. -- 12:03, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Could you give examples where and in what circumstances? I'm only aware of editors using the < big > tags for the introduction of each article.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:08, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
This is not used for headings, but when a seperate article is referenced, like the re-link in 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aard-vark. Also we have a template for small caps that you can use like this {{small-caps|Ralph}} to produce Ralph.--BirgitteSB 12:45, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Here is an example of what I mean. The {{small-caps|Ralph}} looks just as good to me, but it still would need to be written into the Style manual. Under "Entries" I´d add something along the lines of: In case alternate names are given as here: AGAS, RADULPH, or RALPH, use {{small-caps|Ralph}} for the alternate name(s). 08:58, 4 May 2006 (UTC) Oh, heres an example from a different user (which I had copied, by the way). 09:00, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

The small-caps template only looks good when it's used for links to other pages from EB1911. I still think that it should only be used that way, and we should bolden the alternate names for something/-one.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 15:32, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Linking Protocol[edit]

I was wondering if there is a standard for what to link to if you've got two sources. For instance, an article references Peru. I could either link to the current Wikipedia page or to the Wikisource:EB1911 page that has not been input yet but will appear one day.Banjee ca 22:04, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Do you mean an EB1911 article references Peru? If that is the case, unless there is something like "(See Peru)" or "Peru (q.v.)" I would not link at all to anywhere. There's no reason to link to WP for something like Peru; this is a type of interwiki link that more detracts from the rest of the article than helps and should (in my opinion) be avoided if possible. If there is something like "Peru (q.v.)", then there is an EB1911 article on Peru, so creating a link doesn't hurt. I do links like that a lot when I proofread encyclopedia pages.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 03:45, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
In the above example, is the "Peru" linked, or the "q.v."? I've seen it both ways. --Bwpach (talk) 14:30, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there is a standard for this. In your example I would tend to put the link at "Peru", though I have sometimes gone the other way in the past. I don't see a convincing argument in favour of either technique, so use what you're comfortable with. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:38, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Text Quality[edit]

I've been putting in the {{textquality}} template and adding the text quality stuff to the discussion page as per Is that appropriate?? I don't see it in this style guide, but it is in the general guidance. Banjee ca 01:36, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it's entirely appropriate. It's not in the manual, because Wikisource:Text quality is general to all of WS, so what it says there will apply to everything (including EB1911) unless explicitly stated otherwise. The Style Manual is only specific to EB1911, so it would be a bit redundant (in my opinion) to add it there as well.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 01:44, 24 May 2006 (UTC)


Why the change in the format? Why not just keep as close to the formatting of the original as possible on these things? It's not as though these authorities will generally be useful to a modern reader. John Kenney 03:42, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you, we should not be changing the formatting. I will be changing this in the style manual, the see and see also section as well. Psychless 23:08, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Model article[edit]

It would be nice to have link to a model article, one where all the formatting and style is according to the manual. Editors could use it as a template and it would save time to just see what it looks like done the right way instead of having to read through the whole manual.-- 04:35, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes that is a good suggestion. One of the problems is that the style guide changes now and again meaning that pages which were originally following it, become out of date (e.g. see this edit [1]). The article 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abscond which you edited is a fairly good example, and I have linked the page scans on the talk page which is normally useful. 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abbey is a good example of an article with subpages. I'm also trying to find an example which links the title of books etc. to their wikisource page. Hope this is a good starter. Suicidalhamster 10:36, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Good point about the changing standards and thanks for the example. I'll remeber to take it with a dash of salt regarding the changes.--RDBury (talk) 09:05, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Image placement[edit]

EB always places small images at the edge of the page, which may be either left or right depending on which column it's in. This rule doesn't mean much in a web page but I'm thinking the rule here should be the same as for shoulder headings, since EB uses the same rule for both.--RDBury (talk) 09:14, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Vol. 2 navigation[edit]

Vol. 2 currently has 250+ article links in navigation pages and about 4 orphans articles waiting for the list to be filled in before they can be placed properly. It seemed to need better organization so I put the orphans as a sublist on the main list. (See 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Vol 2 ANDROS to AUSTRIA.) It could be a standard for volumes where a good chunk, but not all of the article links have been created.--RDBury (talk) 01:19, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Distinguishing multiple articles with the same name[edit]

EB sometimes has more than one article with the same name. An example of this is Apollodorus. The de facto standard seems to be to put some sort of distinguishing phrase in parentheses after the title so make a unique name for the Wiki version. For example, I used Apollodorus (painter), Apollodorus (grammarian), Apollodorus (of Carystus), and Apollodorus (of Damascus). Since the phrase isn't part of the original, it will have to be to some extent up to the discretion of the editor as to what to use, but something based on the first few words of the article would be appropriate. I think something should be added to the Entries section to make this "official".--RDBury (talk) 13:40, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I added this to the guideline since there weren't any objections. The standard should be spelled out, since otherwise it will be done inconsistently. I'm estimating there will be several hundred articles with duplicate names.--RDBury (talk) 15:40, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Sure, and I'm glad that you're leaving the choice of disambiguating term to the editor. For persons, I still prefer using dates since that is less likely to conflict with what might be used by another editor distinguishing the same two people from a different encyclopedia. Eclecticology (talk) 17:30, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Dates are important for determining which article gets linked to which, Apollodorus is a case in point. (There are a dozen entries in the Apollodorus disambiguation page on Wikipedia.) But the editor only needs to worry about them when the links are being added, and the dates are in the text to make the determination. The computers won't care what's used to distinguish the articles, but it's nice to use something short and meaningful since it will appear at the top of the page.--RDBury (talk) 12:35, 1 February 2009 (UTC)


Perhaps there should be a note on the use of Greek and Greek diacritics. Monotonic diacritics have only been in use since 1986, EB uses the now obsolete polytonic diacritics. The characters needed should be in the Greek section of the special characters, but some extra care is needed because some of the diacritics are quite similar to each other. There are some minor differences between modern Unicode and EB typography as well. For example the Unicode ῶ appears in EB as ω with a lengthened, inverted breve, something like this . See Greek diacritics. Also, can anyone tell if EB Italicizes Greek as it does with other foreign languages? I've tried both ways and neither looks right to me.--RDBury (talk) 14:40, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

My Netscape browser on Windows Me just shows question marks for Greek with diacritics, so I've been leaving them off for now. There is a Greek template which assists the display, and that is what I've been using after, like you, experimenting with bold and italics, neither of which seemed satisfactory; but leaving it as is seemed too unemphasized compared to the original. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 16:39, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I had no problem seeing Greek before migrating from Netscape to Firefox. Check your browser settings to make sure that it is set to read UTF-8. You would need to do more if you wanted to see various Asian scripts, but Greek and Cyrillic scripts should be accommodated easily. Ααβγδε, Ααβγδε, Ααβγδε, and Ααβγδε all seem distinct to me, so I do wonder about introducing a new template whose necessity is less than obvious. Eclecticology (talk) 19:14, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I misspoke. I use Firefox 1.0.6, not Netscape, and I checked the settings and they are UTF-8. I have no problem distinguishing different font styles, it's just the characters with diacritics that show up as ?. Template:Greek appears to use a different font which seems more legible: Ααβγδε (with template) vs. Ααβγδε (without template). Initially I thought the Greek was bolded in Britannica, but later it seemed to me to have about the same weight as the English, so I just use the template without italics or bold. Looking again (in Hercules) it seems slightly italicized and slightly bolded. Ααβγδε (italicizing the Greek template) seems to greatly over do it, as does Ααβγδε (bolding the Greek template), so I think I will just continue using the template without italicizing and bolding. And I will look into another browser and/or platform to see if I can make headway on the diacritics. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 15:56, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
I looked at 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/German language and the single Greek word "ἐθνικω̑ς" there. (Here copy and pasted from the article itself.) The epsilon was taken from the drop-down menu, and the special omega required a combining diacritic. Pasting that into the template gives this: ἐθνικω̑ς. Are the diacritics showing up for you? Do any of the Greek letters in the drop-down menu below the edit box provide problems? I agree that in the original EB the Greek does appear italicized, but the script itself is distinct enough from Roman script to provide the needed contrast. I do find that the template bolds the Greek, even when that was not required by the text. Sorry if I tend to find this template unnecessary. Eclecticology (talk) 19:04, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
ω̑ shows up, but the first character in your word is a ?. In the edit box, except for the plain (no diacritics) Greek and the first diacritic in each group (for example ά), everything is question marks. Seeing an omega with a hat is great progress for me! It does not show up in the edit box. I have left a note on the Talk page for the articles where I leave out the diacritics. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 18:17, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Excellent! We're making progress! Saying that you can see ά is very informative. You can probably also see ϊ, ΐ, ΰ, and ϋ but for the fact that these have been omitted from the toolbox. Go to w:Greek diacritics. Scroll down to where you can see the two side-by-side versions of the Lord's prayer. You should be able to see the monotonic version perfectly, and have the polytonic version full of question marks. This tells me that you only have the regular Greek fonts uploaded in your operating system. The full extended Greek set should be available from Microsoft. (It's not part of the standard setup because they can't imagine that anyone in his right mind would want to use polytonic Greek.) Alternatively, this font is available from several places listed in the External links to the Greek diacritics article. Hope this helps. Eclecticology (talk) 23:19, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Thank you. I copied a Unicode font (LinuxLibertine) I found on the net into my fonts directory and now I can see all the characters. A great improvement. Now I can begin to understand RDBury's comments. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 19:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
RDBury, Like I said to Eclecticology, I think EB slightly italicizes the Greek, and slightly bolds it, but the italicized and bolded fonts on my machine seem to way overdo it, so I am not bothering with it. I think we should continue using polytonic diacritics the way EB does since that is still possible. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 19:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
The Greek alphabet doesn't distinguish between italic and roman types; Greek letters themselves are usually printed slightly inclined to the right, especially in fonts used for Ancient Greek rather than Modern Greek. (Modern Greek fonts are often assimilated to the Latin alphabet, having completely vertical lines and distinguishing between serif and sans-serif fonts.) At any rate, even though the Greek will look slightly italicized to people used to the Latin alphabet, it shouldn't be set as italics. As for "ω̑ ", it's just a typographical variant of ῶ; there's no semantic distinction between the circumflex that looks like an inverted breve and the circumflex that looks like a tilde. So when you see the inverted breve in the Britannica, please just set it with the precomposed characters like ῶ. Angr 22:31, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, the typographical style that EB uses is hard to duplicate on the computer so I guess there are bound to be some cases where the text looks sightly different. Getting it semantically correct is the important thing.--RDBury (talk) 13:12, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Typos in the original[edit]

Any thoughts on what to do with obvious typos in the original text? I've found several so far, the most glaring is 'familar' for 'familiar' in the Mathematics article. I've been correcting them and noting the change with a hidden comment for future editors.--RDBury (talk) 13:44, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

The general convention is to maintain the original typos, since we're presenting the original editions rather than a new one. —Pathoschild 20:41:33, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
My procedure has been to correct the typo in the word and add immediately adjacent {{Annotation|originally ...}} with the way the word originally appeared. I have seen some editors just correct things silently, but I think some note should be made, otherwise it just gets propagated when people use the EB material elsewhere. I have not seen a convention stated anywhere, but I have not read through the general Wikisource editor's instructions yet. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 18:04, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that the best way to handle these is to leave the error in place and mark it with "[sic!]". This warns the reader without presuming how the error should be corrected. In many cases the correction will be obvious, but not always. We even need to allow for the situation where the "error" really was intended. Eclecticology (talk) 21:06, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

The "detail" sections[edit]

A feature of the original text is that often some paragraphs and sections are de-emphasized by printing them in a smaller font. To me this looks like a characteristic feature of EB1911 which should be mimiced somehow, although until now I have just ignored it. I have now made my first attempt to show these differences in French Revolution by marking these paragraphs with <small style="line-height:1em"> before the paragraph and </small> after the paragraph. Resorting to HTML markup seems rather primitive to me, and the text seems a bit too small with this approach, but it seems like the style manual should have some standard way of handling this. Maybe there's a template somewhere? Bob Burkhardt (talk) 19:57, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the smaller text should be shown as such. Using the "small" HTML markup is the easiest way to do that. It is indeed somewhat primitive, and if someone comes up with a more sophisticated approach that's just fine. Nevertheless, it should never be considered wrong to use the primitive technique. Those who want to upgrade the presentation can always do that later. Eclecticology (talk) 21:17, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I am experimenting with Template:EB1911 Fine Print which I wrote. It shrinks the text less, but oddly does not work in the last section of French Revolution although it works fine in earlier sections. I will resolve that before I put it in the style manual. It is very simple now, and perhaps it needs includeonly or noinclude or whatever which I need to read up on as I have not written a template before this one. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 23:55, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

You used your template for the earlier batch of small print, but the html "small" instruction for the batch at the end. Eclecticology (talk) 00:51, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I have fixed this, and now it is used for the batch at the end as well. The problem was an exotic HTML page-relative anchor I was using, and I just decided to remove the anchor. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 15:10, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Template:EB1911 Fine Print seems to be working OK now. I have just done basic testing at this point, but it seems to work well enough I put it on the style page. The template also comes with documentation. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 15:10, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Good. Perhaps it could be generalized to Template:Fine Print so that it could be used in situations other than EB. Eclecticology (talk) 18:40, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking of something like Template:Font Size which would have a percentage scale factor as a parameter. A scale of 75% would make the text three-quarters size. A scale of 200% would double the size of the text. A scale of 100% would not change anything. It seems an obvious thing to have, and I was surprised I couldn't find something like this around the wiki space. Maybe I just didn't look in the right place. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 16:31, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I suppose you could also have a variable parameter for the line height included in your original template. There have been various templates to try dealing with this kind of thing, but they mostly seem to deal only with bits of the problem. Eclecticology (talk) 20:27, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I try to set the line height so lines are relatively spaced as they are without the template. That the line height did not automatically adapt when I changed the size using <small> indicates to me that the default setting for line height is in pixels rather than a font-based metric like em. The latter seems preferable to me since it automatically adapts to changed sizes in the fonts. I think line height should be left to a separate template since it may be preferable to eliminate it in the proposed Font Size template if wiki defaults move to font-based metrics. It is actually kind of a nuisance that it would have to be set in a Font Size template: the only reason it is set is to keep people from being surprised when the line height does not adapt to the new font size automatically. Leaving out a line height parameter would keep the Font Size template simple and its operation in consonance with its label. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 15:24, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Great! I'm a minimalist at heart, so that if we can live completely without a parameter I'm just as happy to see it gone. Eclecticology (talk) 18:08, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
I have created this template and called it {{font-size-x}} to contrast it with {{font-size}}. Any further queries on {{font-size-x}} should probably be directed to its talk page? Seems like we are getting off topic at this location. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 18:59, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Experimenting with {{font-size-x}} showed me that {{EB1911 Fine Print}} proportionally reduces the line height and prompted me to change the latter template so it still proportionally reduces the line height, but not quite so much. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 18:59, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure whether the sections you're talking about are really meant to be smaller or if it's just an artefact of the editing/typesetting process. Is the font used really smaller or are the lines just close together? If the latter then maybe there was a last-minute addition to the text and they crowded the lines together to avoid having to re-typeset the whole volume. I went into the Tim Starling scans and actually measured the difference between the line spacing and height of the capitals between the two types of text. The capitals were slightly smaller, about the same as going from a 12pt. to an 11pt. font, and the line to line height was about 20% smaller. The fact that the font is smaller leads me to believe that it's really meant to be finer print, but difference being so slight is causing some doubts. In any case, it appears that the finer print is nearly always used in footnotes and bibliographies, but other than that I don't see a consistent pattern. The mathematics article is one where it seems to go back and forth between the two sizes; see [2].--RDBury (talk) 15:00, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't seem like a last-minute cram technique to me. This would be a rather slap-dash approach for such a distinguished publication. To me it is indicating portions of the article which can be omitted in a summary examination, and what portions are aimed at readers looking for more depth of treatment. Most of the time, these sections seem to fall toward the end of the article, but there are some where, like you say, they are scattered throughout the article. Either way, it seems a technique for emphasis to me. I imagine the side effect of saving space was not unwelcome, but I don't think the sections chosen for "saving space" were just chosen randomly. Maybe there are some words on it in a "how to read" section in EB1911 somewhere? Certainly there have been some articles where I have been surprised to see the technique not used, that is I see long detailed treatments that seem to beg for the "fine print" but are set the same way as the rest of the article. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 21:47, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
The space-saving theory is not that far-fetched. This treatment may vary from one printing of the 11th edition to another. It appears to be the case in some printings of the 9th edition that were americanized. I have also run into it a few examples of it in the second printing (1930) of the 14th edition. Using smaller print to de-emphasize less important material makes sense, but doesn't explain all such uses. Any substantive change to a page could not normally be allowed to affect other pages because that would mean re-setting the type on those other pages. I've already run into this practice in the Dictionary of National Biography and the Century Dictionary. We shouldn't be mystified by the EB's distinguished status; after all, until Wikipedia came along it was difficult to challenge anything that they did. Eclecticology (talk) 07:51, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I am surprised not to find a mention of such a visible artifact in looking over the prefatory material to EB1911, but it could be they thought it was self-evident that emphasis was the goal,(citation needed) but it could be they just didn't want to dwell on the necessaries for getting out an encyclopaedia on time and within budget.(citation needed) I notice the Catholic Encylopaedia (1913) has fine print sections as well. Well maybe someone will write an article about it in Wikipedia and point me to some verifiable citations. In the meantime, I will cling to my pet theory, though not without doubts. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 22:17, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Shoulder Headings[edit]

I changed Template:EB1911 Shoulder Heading so it uses a font-based metric for spacing and italic bold rather than just bold. The documentation is also now displayed at the template. The font-based metric is useful when shoulder headings are used in conjunction with fine print: the margins and width are scaled according to the size of the font. I added italics since this is what EB1911 uses for shoulder headings. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 16:11, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

English translations of Latin, Greek and French[edit]

On the main project page, I mention providing translations for the Latin and French passages in 1911 Britannica, which the original omits. (Translations are not omitted for languages like German and Spanish.) I suggest a mouse-over technique would be good: the original text would be displayed with the rest of the original, and the translation would appear during a mouse-over of the foreign-language text. Even if you don't know these languages, and I don't know them very well, a passage can be marked with a translation of "translation needed". Or perhaps a special template should be used so the articles where translations are needed can be easily picked out. I think there is already a template to handle the mouse-over, and perhaps a derivative of it could handle marking text where translation is needed. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 14:57, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but I'm having trouble understanding the question. Could you please give examples of the problem? Wouldn't footnotes do just as well? Eclecticology (talk) 18:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
For example Benjamin Franklin in footnote 5 has a Latin phrase which is not translated. Certainly the English for this phrase is well known by some people, but I think I've run across more obscure phrases, and they are always left untranslated, whereas Spanish and German phrases invariably seem to be translated except sometimes for titles of publications. Frederick II has examples of both situations. At one point it states, “He once defined himself as ‘l'avocat du pauvre’ ...” with no translation for the French phrase; whereas later on it quotes Frederick as saying “Ah, my dear Sulzer,” replied the king, “you don't know this damned race” and immediately follows with the German (“Ach, mein lieber Sulzer, er kennt nicht diese verdammte Race”). If it were French or Latin, the foreign phrase would have been cited on its own with no English translation.
Footnotes don't seem the right approach to me since Britannica already uses them and it would be good to show as clearly as possible that these translations are a modern add-on. And some of the phrases are already in footnotes, for example the Franklin example cited above. Latin and French are not as well known among Britannica readers today as they were back then I believe. And new translations might also be useful for titles of books, although that might be a tall order. I'm just talking Latin and French quotations for now. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 18:04, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I imported the {{Tooltip}} template from Wikipedia to do this, and as examples I have used it in Benjamin Franklin to display a translation for a Latin phrase in the fifth footnote, and in Charles Francis Adams to display the full author's name over the initials. This doesn't seem like the last word to me. Still needed is a version of the template that puts the article in a special "Articles needing translation" category when the second argument of the template is missing. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 17:16, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I created two categories: Britannica articles needing translations and Britannica articles needing translations of Latin. I also thought of another nonintrusive means of providing a translation, which is to add something to the talk page. See Benjamin Franklin's talk page for an example. I like the tooltip approach since it advertises the availability of a translation better I think. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 18:18, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

One category should be enough, with the language as a parameter. One should also be able to easily find what needs to be translated without scrolling through the entire article. I tend to prefer wiki-footnotes instead of talk page entries; read-only users often don't even know that talk pages exist. Thus in the Mandeville article, add a link to a wiki-footnote (in a separate series) where the Latin appears; the footnote itself will either have a translation of "translation needed". Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:07, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The more I think about it, one template for all situations, not just the EB, should be enough, especially since we are mostly talking about very short passages. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 03:14, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I've seen passages of at least a paragraph that needed translating in EB1911; so in EB1911 the passages are short, but not always very short. Most of the time very short. One template for all articles, EB1911 and not EB1911, makes sense. So how would you handle a phrase already in a footnote that needs translating (these are not so rare), as in Benjamin Franklin's footnote #5? Something like [Wikisource translation: translation goes here] following the text needing translation (I've inserted this so you can see how it looks)? And for situations where the phrase is not already in a footnote, putting the translation in a footnote would mean two sets of footnotes sometimes, since the people who like to throw around French and Latin seem to like footnotes as well. How would you differentiate the Wikisource footnotes from those that are part of the source text? An approach I can see (for a translation of a phrase not already in a footnote) is to preface the translation with "Wikisource translation:" in the footnote where it is translated, and in this situation, the brackets could be omitted. This would clearly differentiate it from a source footnote. I think the tooltip approach has more appeal. I agree about discarding the talk page approach. For the tooltip approach, I'd like to space out the dots in the underline a little more (to more clearly differentiate it from an underline), but otherwise I'm happy with it. When the template was used, if a translation wasn't present, it would automatically put the article in the appropriate "Articles needing translation" subcategory. For longer passages, I would apply the template sentence by sentence. Now that I see how the footnote approach might work, I could accommodate it. How about supporting both approaches, depending on the editor's preference? Using both at once, as I've done in Franklin, seems excessive, but one or the other, why not? Having language as a template parameter makes sense to me, but I would think it would make sense for the parameter to link into a corresponding category, all subcategories to be enclosed in a category "Articles needing translation". This is for the benefit of translators, who may be specialized in Latin or French or whatever untranslated languages lurk in other articles. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 19:39, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm a firm believer that each person works best within his own comfort zone. I might handle some of these things differently, but you are the one doing most of the actual work. Where I have used footnotes I have tended to hard-numbered footnotes. I would probably confuse myself if I were trying to synchronize the numbers of "cite-notes" and footnotes. What I have usually done is to have two series of notes: notes from the original text identified by numbers, and wiki notes identified by letters. One can even have wiki footnotes to the original footnotes! That said, and given that these translations are only a subset, the translation note at the end of an original note still works just as well. Tooltips also work, but an editor will not use that technique unless he already feels comfortable with it. As long as our contents for the 1911 EB are largely incomplete, any of these techniques should be acceptable. Uniformity can always be a feature for a later stage.

Having language subcategories for needed translations is fine, but I think that something like "passages needing translation" would be preferable. "Articles" in that context leaves the misapprehension that we want whole articles translated. We want editors who will go to the article, perform the translation, and be left with the feeling that they have accomplished something. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 22:37, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I have categories now corresponding to three languages, Greek, Latin and French, where I have identified articles which need translations. I don't anticipate more than this for Britannica. In the near future, I plan to install a footnote-based approach on the style page. When I put together a template for the template-based approach, I will mention that on the style page as an alternative. Two details came up: (1) there seems to be no default sort specified for articles; it seems to me it would be natural for {{EB1911}} to specify the default sort to be the name of the article. This would make category displays easier to look at instead of having everything fall under "1". The sorting of articles in the text quality categories (Category:25% etc.) would be affected, but I don't see this as a problem, and maybe it would help there as well. (2) Even after an article gets a translation, it seems like it would be useful to continuing to track it, so I would graduate an article from the "needing translations" category to a corresponding "with translations" category, and articles needing multiple translations might fall in both at the same time. I don't plan to formulate anything for all of Wikisource for now. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 19:52, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I have added a translation at 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Haro, Clameur de. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 04:59, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I tweaked a few things to make it obvious the translation is introduced by a Wikisource editor and also promoted it to a different category. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 15:13, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Inline links from Wikipedia[edit]

I wrote a template in Wikipedia called Template:Wikisource1911Enc Citation which allows an EB1911 article to be cited in the manner of a normal encyclopaedia reference. I find this preferable in situations where there are already boxes which refer to Wikisource and one more would probably add too much clutter. I thought I would run it by you all before putting it on the style page or giving it categories. See the template itself for documentation. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 19:54, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I have fully installed this template on Wikipedia. This mostly amounted to adding categories. I created a dummy version on Wikisource and upgraded the dummy version of {{Wikisource1911Enc}} so it more accurately reflects the Wikipedia version and has fuller documentation. The inline version fits in a lot more gracefully in many situations. I saw the commons template has a similar inline version, and I got the idea from a template for the Catholic Encyclopaedia, although that one is a lot more complex and flexible. I have also edited the narrative in the style manual to include this template. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 22:53, 30 January 2009 (UTC)


In some articles, the contributor is listed at the end in parenthesis by initials. It may not be apparent to the reader what this means. I have been linking the initials like this: (D. G. H.). Advantage: hover your mouse and you can tell that it is an author's name, and what the name is. Disadvantage: potential for lots of redlinks. Might it be better to link to that volume's table of contributors, or the overall list of contributors? --Bwpach (talk) 14:30, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Linking to the individual author is still best. The author page should be started and a link back to the article included in his works. Even if the author page isn't put together right away, one can still go to it where "what links here" will show other EB articles that we have by him. I have no problem with red links; they are merely pointers to what still needs to be done. For something like the they will be filled in as the project nears completion. Linking to those general pages will not encourage people to add the author pages. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:47, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

In response[edit]

In response to Dan Polansky, who reverted my edits twice, with the comments "I liked the outline." and "Then be so kind, a user with a redlinked user page, to work your changes into the nice-to-browse outline".

Yes, my user page is redlinked. Sorry I don't have a box to explain that I have an advanced level of English. Nonetheless, I stand by my 7,000 combined Wikisource/Wikipedia edits.

So you "like the outline"? The one that is formatted differently than the rest of the page? The thing is, you don't own it. And no, I won't "work my changes" into it. I'm done. If anyone else cares, here is what I did:

I differentiated between Article Name (what the page is called) and Title (the first word(s) or phrase that appears in bold.)
I moved the section on Categories towards the bottom since it's not in use.
I added a reference to the new template "EB1911 Article Link".

--Bwpach (talk) 18:58, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't use the categories except for flagging pages that need translations, but I have noticed some IP edits that have been inserting the other categories recently. I don't have the patience to put them in, but it would seem useful to have them at some point, and perhaps that will be a later stage of the project. I don't think we should deprecate them, as the current description seems to. But certainly I don't mind having the categories section at the bottom in any case. Thanks for your documentation efforts. I think many of your edits will be incorporated shortly. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 14:38, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Capitalization of disambiguating terms[edit]

I propose that disambiguating terms in article titles of EB1911 get capitalized. So I would move 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abbot, George (writer) to 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abbot, George (Writer). The rationale is that we use title case ("Eunuch Flute") in article titles, so we should also use it with disambiguating terms. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:26, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Entry titles: Titles of nobility[edit]

In addition to the boldface, I was incorporating the small caps portions which have titles of nobility etc. into the article nameentry title. After notifying me and getting my consent, Dan Polansky has moved all these articles so they just use the boldface portion in the name. I thought they read a little better with the small-caps portions, and for some it makes them much closer to the corresponding Wikipedia article name, but I can live with the changes. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 14:52, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

So I have lived with this change for a time, and I don't think it is useful. It is particularly awkward with the last name is repeated twice within the boldface, as in "Harcourt, Lewis Vernon Harcourt, 1st Viscount" where 1st Vicount is the only part in small caps. So I think a convention dropping the small-caps portion from the entry title is inadvisable. My convention would be to always keep it as part of the entry title. There are other encyclopedias (e.g. NIE) that use small caps for everything but the last name in biographical articles. In all cases, the small-caps just seem a device for aesthetics or to give secondary emphasis, but those portions seem to fit well in the entry title. On the rare occasions they don't, they can be dropped. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 20:16, 5 December 2010 (UTC)


Whether categories and categorization should be discussed on this talk page or on the talk page of the EB1911 project is unclear.

The section "Categories" of this page was declared outdated in this edit from 1 June 2008.

Currently, some articles of EB1911 are categorized into the likes of Category:EB1911:Culture:Philosophy, Category:EB1911:Culture:Law, and Category:EB1911:Architecture:Buildings.

There is Wikisource:WikiProject_1911_Encyclopædia_Britannica/Category_hierarchy.

A recent action on categories is Wikisource talk:WikiProject 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica#Proposed deletion of EB1911 category structure from February 2010. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

My preference would be to leave the category structure in place. Some editors have put in significant work using them and constructing them and there is no harm in having the hierarchy available and in use in some articles I think. Eventually categorization is something that would be useful. As regards the proposal for a different set of categories, it is possible to work from two sets of categories. So I don't favor deleting categories. At a minimum, a new hierarchy should be put in place and agreed upon before the old one is deleted. And it may be editors prefer retaining two categorization systems, so the old one would not be deleted even when a new one is put in place. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 23:18, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Breaking up into multiple pages[edit]

See Wikisource_talk:WikiProject 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica#Breaking up into multiple pages. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:35, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Capital letters in headings[edit]

I propose that there should be no capital letters in headings at the beginning of each article (no RIVER but rather RIVER), and that the template {{bbsc}} gets deprecated in EB1911. This proposal conforms to (a) the current text of this style manual, (b) to the current practice seen in most EB1911 entries in Wikisource, (c) to the style used in the original scans. See also #Why the big Capital letters?. Keywords: Formatting of headwords, formatting of headings, format of headwords, format of headings. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

For that, it should be sufficient to alter the code behind the bbsc-template. Or we could introduce an EB1991-article-beginning-highlight-template, maybe with a bot. --Matthead (talk) 23:51, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
The template {{bbsc}} should IMHO be removed from EB1911 articles rather than altered. First, the template {{bbsc}} is also used outside EB1911. Second, the name {{bbsc}} indicates that the template formats in small-caps; removing small-caps formatting from the template would contradict its name. I see no serious disadvantage to the practice currently seen in many EB1911 articles of formatting the headings using boldface without a template, like '''RIVER'''. A new template would enforce consistency, but we can ensure formatting consistency without a template by reaching an agreement in this thread and in our editing practice.
Early on, many people have contributed in BBSC, and some have switched articles without formatting into BBSC. At some time in the Spring of 2008 there was a switch to non-small-caps boldface. This can be seen in the revision history of the articles; in the alphabetical sequence, 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aitzema, Lieuwe Van is one of the last to use BBSC formatting. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
The use of the template {{bbsc}} in article titles (or headings) was at some point prescribed in the style manual. It was removed from the style manual in this edit from 1 June 2008. This edit introduced the use of boldface into the style manual. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:11, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I would agree with removing the capitals, they look very odd as they are bolder as well as bigger. Unfortunately all the ones I did years ago in the Austria to Bassoon and Bréquigny to Calgary ranges used hard-coded <big></big> tags so it will take a bot to remove them.--Laverock ( Talk ) 11:42, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


I am putting page numbers into 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Germany it is very noticeable that the tables have been ported very badly (compare with examples in Project Gutenberg:Germany) Could someone with experience of this add a section to this manual of style on how best to replicate tables. -- PBS (talk) 12:52, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Came here for the same thing. There's actually an ugly gray format used in numerous pages, but I saw some articles that had much better white ones that looked just like the EB&srquo;s own style... I just can't seem to remember where. — LlywelynII 12:19, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Hey, I'm still working out the kinks, but I think the tables on page 1 of the United Kingdom article are pretty close to the original. It can involve a lot of typing if you do everything by hand, but if you get familiar with the {{ts}} template it gets pretty easy. — LlywelynII 00:01, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Found the original: AdamBMorgan (talkcontribs)'s edits to the Marines article. — LlywelynII 08:48, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

"Long" articles[edit]

Is there some maximum number of transclusions permitted in a single page? Wikisource keeps freaking out and refusing to load the code for United Kingdom so I'm going to have to break it up into multiple pages. (a) It's just table-heavy and would be more helpful on a single page, apart from the military discussion; (b) it would be good to know just why (/at what level) the system started freaking out and refusing to load the code. — LlywelynII 17:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Conflicting advice on titles[edit]

In the "Entry Titles" section of the document, it says: "Capitalize title in title case, such as in "Eunuch Flute" instead of "Eunuch flute" or "EUNUCH FLUTE"."

In the "Formatting" section, it says: The raw text often lists the title entry as: AAGENSEN, ANDREW This should be formatted as: AAGENSEN, ANDREW

Which approach am I supposed to follow, title case or all-caps? If (as I suspect) the first rule applies to the titles of other articles mentioned in the one you're editing, it should say so explicitly.Chuntuk (talk) 12:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)