Here tooEdit

Happy New Year Xover, and thanks for all your help!
—doubling up as a talkback message ~:) ——SerialNumber54129


I read that you use your thumbs for yes-no questions. Here is an enjoyable exercise for them that may brighten your day. Which famous newspaper editor took issue with the statement that newspaper editors were an aloof crowd that "rarely if ever […] find themselves down among the blood and heat where the libel actions grow"? Jonathan de Boyne Pollard (talk) 09:31, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

The premise is flawed: The Signpost is not a newspaper so there can be no question of privilege, qualified or not. And if any actual journalist had been accused of writing that piece, wherever it was published, they would have sued the accuser for libel. --Xover (talk) 12:49, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Cultural references to OpheliaEdit

Like the Othello-rose, I couldn't actully find a source stating that 171 Ophelia was named after the Danish girl. So if you have one. NASA was helpful with the moon.

Also, per Ophelia: "Unlike virtually all Hamlet characters, Ophelia's name is not Danish." They don't sound very Danish. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:19, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

@Gråbergs Gråa Sång:
  • Schmadel, Lutz D. (2013). "(171) Ophelia". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 44. ISBN 9783662066157.
Recall that -(i)us is typical of Latin-ization of names in official contexts, and the original legend Shakespeare mined for this was passed down through the 13-century Gesta Danorum that was written Latin. Claudius could be from Klaus or Claes, Polonius from Poul, and so forth. But I don't think it's true that the majority of these are Danish, or at least not originally Danish. Gertrude is obviously germanic. Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are German and Dutch imports (granted there are a lot of those in .dk and .se nobles). Marcellus, Barnardo, Francisco, and Reynaldo are Italianate. And Fortinbras doesn't even resemble any Scandinavian name. --Xover (talk) 06:53, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Excellent. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:11, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Something you may want to look and/or sigh at: Shakespeare and YouTube.
I found some indication that Ophelia is unusually popular (for a Shakespeare-heroine with not that many lines) in pop-cult/whatever [1], maybe that should be expanded on, somehow. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:57, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
This [2] may or may not be an improvement, putting it here in case you have an opinion on it. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 19:02, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

You deserve thisEdit

With a better beer though. Ringnes perhaps? Till topps! I like Kilkenny, myself. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:14, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Books & Bytes – Issue 35, July – August 2019Edit

  The Wikipedia Library

Books & Bytes
Issue 35, July – August 2019

  • Wikimania
  • We're building something great, but..
  • Wikimedia and Libraries User Group update
  • A Wikibrarian's story
  • Bytes in brief

Read the full newsletter

On behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 06:58, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

Precious anniversaryEdit

A year ago ...
contemplation, immodesty
and gratification
... you were recipient
no. 2036 of Precious,
a prize of QAI!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:45, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Thank you so much Gerda. I can speak for nobody else, but for myself your work on this may quite possibly be the most impactful single effort on the project. Forced to choose I would rate it more critical than NPP entire! It is very very much appreciated! --Xover (talk) 10:59, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, blushing, but my work on this would not have been happened without those who began (2007) and continued, - Rlevse the longest. I miss him. We block and desysop the wrong people ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:14, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Scripts++ Newsletter – Issue 9Edit

Scripts++ Newsletter – Issue 10Edit

A survey to improve the community consultation outreach processEdit


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Thank you for your participation, Kbrown (WMF) 10:45, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

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Books & Bytes – Issue 36Edit

  The Wikipedia Library

Books & Bytes
Issue 36, September – October 2019

Read the full newsletter

Sent by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 05:21, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

Scripts++ Newsletter – Issue 11Edit


  Damon Runyon's short story "Dancing Dan's Christmas" is a fun read if you have the time. Right from the start it extols the virtues of the hot Tom and Jerry

This hot Tom and Jerry is an old-time drink that is once used by one and all in this country to celebrate Christmas with, and in fact it is once so popular that many people think Christmas is invented only to furnish an excuse for hot Tom and Jerry, although of course this is by no means true.

No matter what concoction is your favorite to imbibe during this festive season I would like to toast you with it and to thank you for all your work here at the 'pedia this past year. Best wishes for your 2020 as well Xover. MarnetteD|Talk 17:13, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Hi MarnetteD, and Gråbergs Gråa Sång who posted just below you. Below, Alan brought to my mind holliday greetings and inadvertently reminded me of the fact that I had not properly thanked you for, nor even acknowledged, your holliday greetings here. I did, of course, see them at the time, but my head was elsewhere entirely, as per typical for that time of year. So despite the criminal lateness, please accept my apolgies, my thanks for your kindness and care, and the same well wishes for you both!
PS. Mine's a Gløgg! :) --Xover (talk) 09:41, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

God Jul och Gott Nytt År!Edit

Please enjoy these messages from our readers! Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:14, 20 December 2019 (UTC)


Hi, Xover. I recently came across your nifty template, {{sfd}}. I certainly have not studied up on its use, or any discussion thereof, but I wonder if it doesn't have a piece missing: In analogous situations (e.g. {{sfn}}) the short footnote leads to a full citation of the text in question within the article. That is, without going off-wiki, I can see all the bibliographic details of the citation right there in the article. This is not the case with {{sfd}}, which goes external without any bibliographic detail (e.g. "at Folger Digital Texts") occurring in the article. It seems to me that at least a minimal acknowledgement of the source (such as is afforded by {{Internet Archive}} and {{Librivox book}}) would be, not only useful, but necessary to comply with WP:CITE.

In related news, I've recently begun fixing something that's been bugging me for a long time: on Wikipedia, it is virtually the rule that quotations from poems do NOT have a citation (or if they do, merely line numbers, nothing bibliographical). I mean, they have to, but they don't. So I'm plugging away (and doing a little formatting while I'm at it). It's a project for a lifetime, and I'm confident that my interest -- or I -- will give out before it's done, but I'm hoping that one day I'll at least reach a critical mass, where if someone is using an existing article as a model, there's some reasonable chance that they see a properly formatted and cited verse quote! Cheers. Phil wink (talk) 22:12, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

@Phil wink: Hey Phil. Good to hear from you!
{{sfd}} is intended to be used essentially like {{sfn}}, which doesn't generate a full citation either (the s in both cases stands for "short"). You therefore need to provide a full citation separately, as I have done on e.g. Falstaff. This approach was chosen based on what we landed on for the main Shakespeare play articles in the FAC process (cf. Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet): where we cite a critical edition we cite it as a book by the editors of that edition, and where we cite the actual text of the play we cite the play as such, in the short citation, and explain the edition of the play we used in prose in the "Notes and references" section. The Folger Digital editions are just one among a gazillion freely available online editions, but it has the advantage of being professionally edited by a recognized expert in the field (Barbara Mowat, now sadly passed away).
Our poem and play quotation templates are—or were last I checked—pretty poorly adapted to the use, and none of them encourage any sane form of citation. I've toyed with the idea of making dedicated templates for quoting the plays and poems of Shakespeare, where proper citation would be a first-class design goal, but never got around to it (and I'm currently spending most of my wikitime over on Wikisource due to an acute case of being fed up with enwp). At least for the use cases I have in mind, making a proper citation mandatory (as in, "will spit out huge honkin' red error messages if missing") would be emminently appropriate: both WP:V/WP:CITE and WP:MOS essentially make citation and attribution mandatory for all quotes. I see no reason play and poem quotes should be exempt from that. --Xover (talk) 08:52, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
RE:sfd: I buy that. But a lot hangs on the editor inserting an adequate note, and I guess what I happened upon were articles like William de Ros, 6th Baron Ros in which no such note appears -- here, the situation is just as I described, not as your proper use case indicates. Some documentation on the template page might go a long way here... better yet, a simple template (e.g. "{{sfd note}}") that contains boilerplate with the correct formatting, which could just be placed above a reflist. Never underestimate the ability of humans to do the right thing when the right thing is made unbelievably easy for them to do. Having said that, I'm well aware of just how much I'm paying you to fulfill my wishes. On a side note, I feel like over the decades Folger has gained the reputation of being a cheap edition for high school. But I've had occasion to look into the Mowat/Werstein editions a bit (and the editors themselves), and I think they are proper high-quality texts. I've only scratched the surface of their website, but it too appears high-quality, and more open than we should probably expect from an organization that is, in fact, trying to sell books. So I'm very pleased that you're encouraging the use of this resource.
RE:quotes: Huh, I never thought of a programmatically required citation, possibly because the main "template" used to indicate quotes is just one " and then another ", which will never require anything. But while I doubt it would fly in the community, it is a beautiful dream. My approach is not absolutely consistent (nor, I think, should it be) but in case you have any advice, A Little Boy Lost is a pretty typical example of me adding a full citation, and Religious Musings of short+full citations. I'm sorry to hear that Wikipedia is pissing you off, but very pleased that you've made a lateral move, rather than just walking away. Cheers. Phil wink (talk) 17:12, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
@Phil wink: On de Ros I believe that was a deliberate choice on the part of that article's main author, and I think that's generally fine under various guidelines. WP:V can in theory be satisfied with just an URL, even though I would argue strongly in favour of including as much bibliographic detail as possible in any actual article (in fact, that position is what dragged me into my most recent mire of frustration). In any case, yes, I do owe the project better (or, in fact, any) docs for {{sfd}}. A companion template to spit out the boilerplate is a good idea too, but will have to think on how that would work.
The Folger editions are, textually, at the very least "good enough", and (IIRC) contain just enough critical apparatus (i.e. "not too much") and are accessible enough for all general readers; which is who we are supposed to be writing for. For anyone just getting into Shakespeare I highly recommend them. And since the Folger very much has their head on straight on openness (they even tried to get a collaboration going with Wikipedia a few years back, but sadly it was during my wilderness years when I was burned out by the SAQ conflicts, and nobody else stepped up to take them up on it), and the digital editions have excellent linkability, I feel this is something we could reasonably standardise on (unlike the other gazillion online versions).
On A Little Boy Lost/Religious Musings I don't have any particular sage advice. I expanded the other full ref on "A Little Boy Lost" just to illustrate how I would do it (lots and lots of data, essentially). And on articles like "Religious Musings" I would have definitely have gone for {{sfn}} (or one of the {{harv}} variants) even if the existing short cites didn't use it, unless someone actively objected to it (I suspect that particular article's original author might, but it was ten years ago so I quite possibly would try anyway). But, yeah, I think we generally agree on this topic.
For short inline quotes the issue needs to be handled by MoS and similar: and, indeed, there the pendulum has swung recently, such that there is now religious fervor for in-prose attribution of quotes in addition to requiring a cite for every quote (as has been the case for yonks years). This leads to horribly awkward prose, but then "brilliant prose" was dropped from the FA criteria so we can't really expect much in that department in any case. We do, though, have quite a lot of block quotes—and particularly, of course, in the area you and I tend to do most of our work—where I have never been satisfied with the available technical plumbing. The <poem>…</poem> mediawiki tag is just a horribly overengineered <pre>…</pre> with extra problems added, and all the {{quote}} etc. are designed for a different use case and subsequently diluted down to be able to cover the general case. My thought is that it should be possible to design something specifically for quotes from plays and poems, that encourages both proper attribution and citation. And that good such will lead to adoption organically and making the citation required there will dramatically increase coverage. But I haven't actually dug into the tecnical details there, and play and (especially) poem formatting is notoriously hard to do well in a dynamic and fluid medium like HTML.
PS. Appreciate the sentiment in re the lateral move; and, no worries, I'll get over myself eventually and get back to the sisyphusean task of improving Wikipedia's coverage of Shakespeare.
PPS. If you're interested in making poetry like Coleridge's more accessible, and giving Wikipedia a better place to link for the texts, you might want to consider taking on a transcription project for it over on Wikisource. WS has some half-decent plumbing (MediaWiki extensions) to make the task of transcribing scanned books somewhat saner, and facilities for hosting multiple editions of the same work. It is also a task that can actually be completed, unlike trying to prevent Wikipedia's articles from slow atrophy into grey goo. I'd obviously be happy to help with the technicalities. --Xover (talk) 08:06, 10 January 2020 (UTC)


Hi, Xover. Just ambling around the Wiki pages, and I noticed that you have, to put it mildly, expressed disappointment in the English Wikipedia. No wonder I haven't seen you here much. You should know I think of you every time some issue arises about Shakespeare, and I reflect how valuable your input would be. I need only to remind you of the conversation we had last year about my own feelings of discouragement. I do hope you will find ways to glide back into the role you once played in the Shakespeare arena, which is sorely impoverished without you. In short, I miss you! Best wishes for the New Year, too, a bit belatedly. Regards, Alan W (talk) 03:45, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Alan. So good to hear from you!
You've made it your hobby to cheer me up and provide encouragement when I need it most it seems. :) It is most appreciated in any case.
I am still active on Wikimedia projects, I just spend most of my time over at Wikisource (sneaky subliminal advertisment) while my state of fed-uppedness with Wikipedia prevails (I'll get over it eventually, no worries). If you want my input on anything you should never hesitate to give me a ping or drop me a note. I'll make no representations regarding what value I might contribute, but what I can I most happily will!
A much belated Happy New Year to you as well Alan! --Xover (talk) 09:26, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Many thanks, Xover. You know it works both ways. You cheered me up and encouraged me when I was feeling pretty discouraged myself with some of the ways this project has worked out. Let's stay in touch! Best, Alan W (talk) 03:20, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

You might like this bookEdit

Hello X. Thanks for your message in the thread above. One set of friends threw a Yule party and served glogg. Very yummy!

I have been reading Tim Pigott-Smith's memoir Do You Know Who I Am? and I think it is well done. Within the first 30 pages he gives a nice tribute to the kind of repertory theatre that doesn't exist anymore. He also writes about being a young set and prop painter at the RSC in the early 60's when things like The War of the Roses and Marat/Sade were being staged for the first time. Page after page mentions actors whose names I recognize that he worked with when they were all early in their careers. Cheers and have a nice weekend. MarnetteD|Talk 17:05, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

I assume both of you have seen Cunk on Shakespeare? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:41, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Xover, MarnetteD: have emailed you both. Gråbergs Gråa Sång: could not. ——SN54129 18:09, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Serial Number 54129 and Gråbergs Gråa Sång! MarnetteD|Talk 18:34, 10 January 2020 (UTC)