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perpetual issue: ncships and the definite articleEdit

This edit identified ship names without the definite article as the preferred form. Two days later, this edit refined that part of WP:NCSHIPS. Both of these edits were made in October 2012 and both as the result of discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (ships)/Archive 4 § Use of "The" in front of ships' names. Another modification was made in February 2013 at this edit. I don't know if that change was discussed.

At this edit, the 'preferred' / 'not recommended' annotation was removed. Before removal, the annotation had stood for 7 years, 10 months, and 28 days or 7 years, 7 months, and 6 days (however you want to gauge it). Because that portion of NCSHIPS had been stable for so long, I reverted noting the discussion mentioned above.

My revert was reverted. I'll not play that game. I believe that the revert of my revert should be overturned. After the seven-year-standing text is restored, we should discuss here to see if there is consensus to change the definite article advice.

Trappist the monk (talk) 17:36, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

  • I am inclined to agree. Contentious changes to longstanding guidelines should not be made w/o consensus. -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:42, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
P.S. I have dropped a courtesy notification on Broichmore's talk page. And FTR the question of the definitive article and ship names is on my top ten list of perpetual wiki debates about which I could not possibly care less. But again, longstanding guidelines on a contentious topic should not be changed unilaterally. -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:56, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with prefixing the name of a ship in the text narrative with the definite article. In fact it's good grammatical practise, used to vary the monotony of a script.Limiting search to 5 minutes unearthed these articles of a current incident concerning the Rhosus.
BBC News
BBC News
The Guardian
New York Times
Apple News
There has never been consensus on these pages for a style change concerning this issue, and indeed WP:NCSHIPS was amended to show a restriction on using it by an unwanted, unelected intervention by a biased editor.
Leaving it in place is wrong because it is fundamentally incorrect and flies in the face of ordinary usage by the majority of the population. It doesn't matter how long a thing has been here if it is biased and wrong, it requires changing. Broichmore (talk) 18:39, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
This project should not be dictating a preference between two equally valid stylistic conventions. Any new editor who is accustomed to using the definite article before a ship's name will write in that style, and this project has no authority to change that. We tolerate stylistic variations in spelling and grammar (not to mention references) in general and there is nothing special about the difference between "The Queen Elizabeth" and "Queen Elizabeth" that requires legislation to insist that only one variant is correct. There will be times where the use of the definite article is actually helpful. Try parsing "After the launching ceremony, Queen Elizabeth slipped gracefully into the water". Then tell mt that the definite article wouldn't improve it. --RexxS (talk) 18:52, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Comment: I think it should neither be a "ban" nor encouragement to use the definite article. Context should govern in my view and Broichmore has a good point above with "used to vary the monotony" of text. Whatever the DANFS style may be it can be monotonous in the extreme with some sort of rule against flowing text. As an example "X, Y and Z formed a convoy with escorts A and B" seems fine and to me becomes a bit stilted if "The X, . . ." while "a torpedo fired by U hit the A amidships" also seems better than "a torpedo fired by U hit A . . . " Palmeira (talk) 19:04, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I can't see any point in forcing a house style. Let editors decide what sounds best, vessel name-by-name, depending on the sentence and context. Quoting Emerson somewhat out of context, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds". (By-the-way, "The HMS Pinafore" is generally poor style, while "the USS Caine" is generally good style.) I would hate to see editors being driven out of substantive editing because they were tired of being pecked at; in the ships area there are thousands of stories still to be told and only a handful of us trying to tell them. Acad Ronin (talk) 21:16, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Revert the reversion - only because the editor should have gotten consensus before making the change. I could care less one way or another, just as long as we go one way or the other. Personally I believe we should follow the format of the FAC on ships, because the opposite will leave a whole host of editors inserting definite articles into previously stable content. We are an encyclopedia, all the articles should look the same way, otherwise this is just a collection of essays. But either way, with or without definite articles, make a choice. Being all wishy-washy will lead to this discussion resurfacing again every couple of years. Until there is a hard and fast rule, like WP:SHE4SHIPS, we will be right back down this rabbit hole when another ancient mariner or a young gun decides that they do not like the current format. Llammakey (talk) 12:59, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Just imagine what it would have been like if Kirk started out with "These are the voyages of starship Enterprise ..." Is that the world we want for our children? Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria! –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 13:17, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Llammakey suggests we go "one way or another" which is a one size fits all of the past. One format for certain parts of an article, title and infobox in particular makes sense — I support no "the" in those. In text it is a bad "solution" because it forces stilted style in text and even somoe ridiculous applications. As for Deacon Vorbis example? Nope. Perfect example of a ridiculous, forced style. First, "These are the voyages of starship Enterprise example. The definite article in that applies to "starship": "These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Now take a hard rule that the definite article must apply: "These are the voyages of the starship the Enterprise where "starship" needs the word and Enterprise gets it by "rule" — ridiculous. So would be some cases when the rule denied "the Enterprise" in certain cases. Palmeira (talk) 14:26, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
    It wasn't a serious example; I was just poking some fun at the inanity that is Wikipedia, sometimes. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:29, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Now that I can understand! These endless, circular, opinion arguments are often ridiculous. That applies in particular when rule making comes to text style and not just formulaic items such as titles and infoboxes. That said, your example offered an opportunity to show how inane a hard rule could be. Palmeira (talk) 14:40, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Just to be pedantic, "starship" is a noun adjunct and therefore does not take an article. Consider "These are the voyages of a starship called the Enterprise". Martin of Sheffield (talk) 16:35, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Good point; however, just to be colloquial, few if any viewers (or readers) would find "These are the voyages of Enterprise" or "These are the voyages of the Enterprise" awkward — assuming context has been set as a ship of some sort — thus demonstrating that a rigid rule is probably unwise. Palmeira (talk) 18:21, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree that both are acceptable, and that should be the hard-and-fast rule. Although I favour "no-the" where it reads OK, I find that adding the article is necessary/preferable from time to time, for the various reasons outlined above. We should not imply a strong preference, but focus on readability.Davidships (talk) 18:06, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
  • One time when we don't need to use "the" is when it is part of the ship's name, such as The Second Snark. Mjroots (talk) 18:27, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Mjroots! I have a special warm place for little working vessels, particularly with teak and brass intact. So with a wee dram of Laphroaig (link for those that do not know this distinctive one with a hint of seaweed) in hand I got to toast the The Second Snark with a grin for the memories of teak, brass and a hardy little vessel warm in the chill and stormy Western Isle waters. Somewhere I have a photo of dark stormy (so rough lashed down things broke lashings) skies, a patch of light and a rainbow with one of the outer Hebrides in the background. So, with grin continued for the memories and a finger pointing at the usages such as the McNeil for an individual should we use the double the for the unique vessel The Second Snark? Palmeira (talk) 04:34, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
Never mind the "the"s, you're painting such a poetic scene that if it weren't morning I'd break out my own Laphroaig and join you (virtually). :-) Martin of Sheffield (talk) 08:06, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
Must say I prefer the smoky, peaty flavour of Lagavulin myself. Mjroots (talk) 16:59, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
Mmmm, Lagavulin :-) Hidden behind the Laphroaig in my drinks cabinet is a bottle of Bruichladdich "Peat" for special events like New Year only. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 18:44, 15 September 2020 (UTC) Oh what the heck, you lot seem to have made some Bruichladdich jump out of the bottle and into a glass. Can't think how! :-) Martin of Sheffield (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
Smoke and peat for me, aided by hand warming in a stem glass, but Laphroaig is "something else" that I do like for a bit of the sea. There is another of those island malts with sea taste and touch of iodine, peat with some seaweed as fuel if I recall. The name I cannot recall at the moment. Anyway, an entire Dick Francis novel was based on the very distinctive taste of Laphroaig. Crooks scamming the racecourses with imitations were outed by the "once you taste Laphroaig you never forget" (paraphrase from memory) character of the malt. Keep a bottle just for that. Off ship in a remote port, walking in a cold wind driven rain, a little hotel, warm resident's bar with a coal fire (its own smell) and deep chairs and bottle with "Interesting name. Let me try that." Memories — and a diversion from whether "the" or "not the" and SS/MV/TSS, prefixes and suffixes in perpetual discussion till a fine, old malt ages in its barrel. Palmeira (talk) 18:54, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

I support the revert of Trappist the monk per the reasons given. As for the use of the definite article, I find its use clunky and tiresome to read, so support maintaining non-use as the "preferred" option. I also think it's important to maintain overall consistency, which is another reason for having a preferred option. However, per Davidships, its use nonetheless is almost unavoidable in certain circumstances, so a little flexibility in imposing the preferred usage is also not inappropriate. Gatoclass (talk) 10:45, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

My views are basically in alignment with Gatoclass; I don't generally like it, but I'm happy with a little flexibility. Parsecboy (talk) 11:56, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I've reverted the guideline to the status quo version until this discussion is resolved. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:16, 15 September 2020 (UTC)
  • And I've put a {{disputed tag}} on it to make its uncertain status clear. Andrew🐉(talk) 17:29, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Strike The disputed guideline clearly lacks consensus. The Starship Enterprise line proves that it's nonsense and so should boldly go away. Per our policy, WP:NOTLAW, prescriptive guidelines are improper because a tiny cabal has no authority to tell the rest of us how to write plain English. Per WP:CREEP, we don't want excessive clutter and regulation because people won't read or follow it. Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar by avoiding orthodoxy and allowing his captains to use their own good sense and initiative. The offending guidance should be stricken. Andrew🐉(talk) 16:23, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - I have no problem with the definite article being used unless it’s used before HMS (or HMAS, HMCS, HMSAS etc) because the His Majesty Ship isn't good English. Note MOS only forbids the use of the definite article before the prefix (presumably for the reason I’ve given above) and when mentioning a ship for the first time (presumably because the MOS also says a prefix should be used on those occasions). At all other times, says the MOS, its usage is "not generally needed" but it is not "technically wrong". Therefore, unless using the prefix or introducing the ship for the first time, one is free to use the definitive article and, under those circumstances, removal of it is unnecessary.--Ykraps (talk) 16:46, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I was entirely unaware that this was a "perpetual issue" like ship pronouns. While I tend not to use it myself, I'm with Ykraps on this issue. No change is needed as the MOS is not prescriptive other than regarding usage before a prefix.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 20:01, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

In all the above the conclusion appears to be, that with some exceptions, the use is allowable at the discretion of editors. Can that be agreed to? Or is this to be another "perpetual discussion" without conclusion — to carry on the fine drink comments — to age as was a smaller than giant casks of Port I once saw in Vila Nova de Gaia that was laid down before the United States declared independence with an aroma evident in that part of the bodega justifying its sparing use as ancient aroma and taste in the brand's finest products. Palmeira (talk) 12:32, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

As I said, I strongly favour maintaining non-use as the "preferred" option, because not to have a preferred option will inevitably lead to a great deal of inconsistency between one style and another, and I think that can only be disconcerting and confusing to the readership. I can accept use of the definite article where the context makes its non-use awkward, for example, Davidships' example of Queen Elizabeth above (although of course, in that case one could just substitute QE with a pronoun to avoid the problem). In my opinion, no ship article should ever start with the definite article, nor should articles randomly switch between one style and another for no obvious reason. So basically, I'm in favour of "preferred" as the status quo, with perhaps some slight modification allowing use of the definite article where it improves readability. Gatoclass (talk) 15:36, 23 September 2020 (UTC)
But in the interests of compromise, I could probably also accept something along the lines of respecting the preference of the original author, where they indicate a preference. Gatoclass (talk) 16:01, 23 September 2020 (UTC)
Both RexxS Palmeira are correct it is not the projects prerogative to dictate style of English grammar conventions.
I was incorrect in my opening statement that WP:NCSHIPS was amended to show a restriction on using it by an unwanted, unelected intervention by a biased editor. However what was written there was clumsy, the meaning was simply to say no to the ‘’definite article’’ on first mention of the Ships name at the start of the text. Clearly that needs to be amended because there is no restriction on its use in the following text. Had I been there when first proposed I would have objected even to banning it at the start of the text. It is the norm in English to start the text with ‘’The’’ unless ‘’Her‘’ or ‘’His’’ is the case. Sturmvogel is correct in all he says except that use before the prefix, why should we different. It is a needless petty rule to apply something different here from the norm, even for style reasons. I would prefer to have it done away with, as any exception to the rules of the language leads to confusion and inconsistency in usage. Use of the definite article enhances readability, that’s just one of the reasons why it is the most common word in the English language.

T::here is no place or need for the definite article in the title or infobox.

I’m still struggling to understand why Trappist the monk reverted the clarification of when it had been manifestly pointed out here and elsewhere that a restriction to the use of the definite article is fundamentally incorrect.
Llammakey’s assertions are astounding. We are an encyclopaedia, all the articles should look the same way (yes, they should employ all the rules of English grammar as appropriate), otherwise this is just a collection of essays (exactly that’s what it ‘’is’’, a collection of essays. Just that.) A hard and fast rule does not apply and is not called for. An encyclopaedia is an exemplar of the language it is written in, and is obligated to make full use of its correct grammar.
The line in the MOS, that its usage is "not generally needed" but it is not "technically wrong". Should be deleted. It’s prejudicial and wrong. it’s usage before HMS (or HMAS, HMCS, HMSAS etc) is and always has been incorrect.
Gatoclass’s assertion that its use is clunky and tiresome to read to completely wrong it is indeed the very opposite. He makes the comment that he ‘’strongly favour(s) maintaining non-use as the "preferred" option, because not to have a preferred option will inevitably lead to a great deal of inconsistency between one style and another, and I think that can only be disconcerting and confusing to the readership’’. This is completely absurd we are the one anomaly in the entirety of Wikipedia. It is this project (ships) that is the anomaly and it’s wrong. We are a source of confusion to new contributors. The only other place it appears is in some articles on Indian rivers; articles not written by people born to the language.
Gatoclass also says ‘’ I could probably also accept something along the lines of respecting the preference of the original author’’. Yes, that’s good point, so we can revert all the places where this incorrect rule has been enforced, in articles where it was originally employed.
Finally we have lost ship editors through this and other similar issues. In the fallout of people have been upset. Articles have not been written because of it. Also there are editors who have had to change their style and write against their beliefs because of erroneous enforcement of this rule.
The perception held by many is this is one of those anomalies in the MOS that has been used by certain editors in a trollish fashion to harass and bully others. Another is the use or non-use of capitals in titles. Well we can’t do something about that because it was written in as a rule, whereas this thing about the definite article, is just a mistaken interpretation of the MOS. Please resist starting a discussion on titling at this stage.
Its one thing to visit an article and edit out code errors and inappropriate use of the apostrophe ‘’S’’, it’s quite another to correct grammar (when it’s correct).
Despite the criticism of some that this is a trivial matter, I would remind you that use of the definite article and indeed grammar generally is one of the tricks we employ to redesign text to avoid challenges of plagiarism.
We have a duty as contributors to defend the English language. Broichmore (talk) 18:11, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Care to name some of these users who have quit the project over use of the definite article? I'd be very surprised if you could, particularly given that its use is not actually prohibited. Gatoclass (talk) 09:28, 10 October 2020 (UTC)

For some reason, RexxS has decided to attempt to force a result here, despite the fact that we haven't come to a conclusion, as far as I can tell. Interested editors are invited to keep flogging the horse here. Parsecboy (talk) 15:27, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

I added an example of where the use of a definite article is preferable English (Nelson's flagship was the Victory) to illustrate a different construction, such as the use of a ship name in a predicate, rather than as the subject. If we're going to have examples, we should at least be honest enough to supply a range of examples showing where the definite article might be used to advantage as well as the one that shows where omission would be preferred. Guidance must document best practice in full, not just cherry-picked examples that reflect one limited viewpoint. --RexxS (talk) 16:57, 11 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No comment on the merits of this discussion, but the behaviour of two admins on Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ships) today was frankly unbelievable. All reverts after the first were inappropriate and constitute edit warring. Please behave responsibly, thank you — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:54, 11 October 2020 (UTC)
    Protected for 1 month. Use the talk page to reach agreement please. If it is resolved earlier, protection can be lifted. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:02, 11 October 2020 (UTC)
Parsecboy says no consensus reached? All voters agree not to use the definite article the before a gender prefix (her/his) or when introducing a ship for the first time; i.e., at the beginning of the lead section. A count at this moment gives 9 votes supporting the motion for otherwise restriction in text. 6 1/2 voters are ambivalent either way, it's Okay to use it. 1 1/2 or 2 at the most are against. How many more editors are required to keep flogging this horse here? MSGJ Broichmore (talk) 11:07, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
Gender prefix?! You're confused; people were referring to ship prefixes like USS, HMS, etc.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 11:33, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
Sturmvogel 66 I mean prefixes Her and His only. You can write, The sailing Ship Foo, The steam ship Foo, the United States ship Foo, you cannot write the Her Majesty's ship... So there are 4 genders, mmm. So I should have written it, as before the gender prefixes her or his. Broichmore (talk) 12:16, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
Briochmore, have you compared what you said here with what RexxS added on the naming conventions? Parsecboy (talk) 11:56, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

  Comment: The definite article is not required anywhere when the ship prefix or model names are used, as with 'USS Enterprise', 'CVN-80', and 'Enterprise-A' (the letter A serves as an ordinal).

The definite article is required when referring to a particular ship's name when not using its prefix: "the Enterprise", "the Titanic".

The definite article is required, though with this example: "the CVN-80 vessel", where the definite article relates to the word vessel.

When, for example, comparing CVN-65 and CVN-80, then one can, for the sake of easier readability, use the 65 or the 80, if the items have been made known before, that both are CVN-xx. But such a construct is more informal, and should not be used everywhere.

"These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise..." refers to this Enterprise being a starship; moreover, the definite article here might:

  • be tied to the word ship;
  • that it's a star-ship and not a sea-ship,
  • and is not tied to the word Enterprise.

On the unlikely occasion that the first an third points might not hold, then the rationale for "the Enterprise" would still apply, if then with an addition of the word starship.

HMS Queen Elizabeth goes without the definite article because of the prefix. If the prefix (HMS) is omitted, then the definite article should not be used in this case, because the word Queen serves in place of the prefix here. But it must be italicised. Therefore: "Queen Elizabeth sailed away".

Some confusion might arise with this:

"Queen Elizabeth sailed away on Queen Elizabeth."

The first being the monarch, the latter the ship. Apparently, it would even be grammatically correct.

But if we were to refer to the ship only by its name, then the definite article would apply with "the Elizabeth", or "the Victoria". In and of itself, it would not be grammatically incorrect, but I would discourage this use, if the name also contains a title, as it would be very, very informal, because the word Queen is omitted.

Otherwise, "the Elizabeth" and "the Victoria" would be reasonable, but only, if the ships' names would be standalone, and would not contain a title.

As soon as a title is included with a name, such as Miss Marple, or Sister Inviolata and Sister Euphemia, then the definite article is omitted.

Where the definite article is permitted and required, is this: "the USS Enterprise starship, "the HMS Queen Elizabeth battleship", "the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier", and so on. -Mardus /talk 11:50, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

I strongly oppose the "requirement" of either version. Parsecboy (talk) 11:57, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Me too. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 12:14, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Mardus That is a rather heavy over-analysis, in my opinion, and I do not agree with much of it. But be that is it may, it doesn't change either my general preference or acceptance that both options have their place (as already noted way up ↑). Davidships (talk) 13:08, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

What links? Technical question.Edit

The "What links here" is very useful for connections and clean up. It becomes useless with the templates in the bars on so many ship pages that link every ship in a class, list and sometimes only vaguely associated grouping. Filtering out actual article linkages from all these rote linkages is often not worth the effort. I've tried playing with "namespace" but those things are in the "Article" namespace. This is a clear case of a "benefit" canceling another, perhaps even more useful beneficial tool. I've just run into one, "Surviving ocean going ships," that links ships with on other connection and no mutual mention in most articles that is making in article links more work than worth while. Other than survival from a certain period there is no reason those ships should have linkages. Any work around? Palmeira (talk) 18:44, 28 September 2020 (UTC)

Palmeira are you talking about {{Surviving ocean going ships}}? Mjroots (talk) 17:52, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Yes — as a particularly horrible example of interference when trying to find in-article text links for making sure of specific links and associations. An example is what I'm working on at present, USS Allegheny (ATA-179) with far more interesting associations than in the DANFS copy that existed. Ok, what does link to that particular ship elsewhere? Oh oh. Every ship in that massive list — pages for 1919 to 1970 — is shown (naturally) as a link but only one or two links may actually be specific associations with Allegheny. The only way I see at the moment is perhaps to delete those templates long enough to clean up actual textual links. It may be nice to have those associations, but for editors trying to correlate articles they make the tool useless. Good programming could probably fix that so that those mass and often tenuous associations are not shown in ordinary "What links here" lists — but then that is probably a long process. I was hoping someone knew another work around. Those things are a good example of something good for one purpose poisoning another. Palmeira (talk) 18:21, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Of course that does not work as all those other pages containing the template still link. As far as I am concerned the things introduce a real bug into the editing system. Palmeira (talk) 18:31, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
It does occur to me that {{Surviving ocean going ships}} ought to be a list rather than a navbox. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:40, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Or even a category. Neither would destroy the functionality of "What links here" as does the present situation. Clean up links after a move? Not with those things out there! Someone thought of a "nice feature" without doing the analysis of what impacts it would have on a basic system function — identifying textual page links for maintenance. It is not too bad for a ship class, there usually are not hundreds. When I went to show 500 survivors I got two pages, and the second was not a short page! So, we have upwards of 1,000 ships cross linking with nothing in common or cross references other than they survive and are located in that function. Bad idea. Palmeira (talk) 19:55, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
TFDed. --Izno (talk) 21:37, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
This "issue" is one that has been there a while. I vaguely recall the most recent VPT discussion saw someone make a script for it but can't find it on mobile right now. Meanwhile, if you are looking for links to an actual article, you can use Special:Search if you learn the basics of regular expressions. For example, here is a search for a basic link to World of Warcraft. I understand the issue is a bit harder with the variety of ship templates there are, and can probably scrape up a regex (or maybe Ttm can help with that workaround if necessary, since he haunts these waters). --Izno (talk) 18:50, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. It has irritated me a couple of times but I suppose I haven't hit anything on this scale (see above) before. I will give your suggestion a try. I am familiar with the function. I'd guess several variants of the name may be needed to find all instances. Palmeira (talk) 19:55, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

It seems to me that the issue is more of a technical one in nature. When clicking on "what links here", it would be useful the have links identified as being from articles, templates, talk pages, archives. It might also be a good idea to be able to have the displayed in a specific order (would suggest articles first, the rest can be thrashed out later). This might be something better raised at WP:VPT or another suitable venue. Mjroots (talk) 20:15, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

The first thing I tried was the upper right box labeled "Namespace" with an "Article" and a "Template" selection. "Article" does not filter out this sort of template because they are in the article space. Selection of "Template" works probably as intended. It liste the two templates that cause the problem. Wherever it needs to be raised, I'm not familiar with that sort of thing here, it seems to be somthing that completely nullifies the "What links here" utility that is so helpful in maintaining links. Palmeira (talk) 22:58, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Okay, did my homework. phab:T14396 is the ticket of interest if you wish to watch it for some indeterminate future. It has multiple workarounds. The first is the one I provided above. The second is User:PrimeHunter/Source links.js, which is a script version (one-click kind of thing) with a similar methodology to the first but a bit more wide-searching I think from a brief review. Third is the Template:Source links, which is essentially a template version of the first. --Izno (talk) 04:45, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

Larger problem: Since bringing this up I've begun noticing how the use of these things nullifies the utility of "What links here" for editing in many more cases and how so many are collections of pages with no direct relationship to the subject. For example I've run into several where one gets many "links" only because the ship is found in a list of shipwrecks by year or being built in a year or place masking any pages where there is an actual textual linkage. It is pretty much as if a needle catalog calls in fields of haystacks. In my view this nullification of a very useful edit/maintenance tool by another requires high level programming and policy review. As noted above, selecting "Template" in the upper right of "What links" does separately identify all templates that link. Therefore templates can be isolated. They may be subject to isolation from returning links in a regular "What links" result. How is such a functionality issue raised to a level so that it is addressed as a general Wikipedia functionality problem? Can someone with more knowledge and interest (I have little beyond content) in the workings here do that? Palmeira (talk) 12:11, 3 October 2020 (UTC)

PS: I have raised the issue at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history where another particularly egregious example is given. SONAR calls in the template "Leonardo da Vinci" that includes — on the third page of 500 links — Lady with an Ermine. Talk about unrelated! Palmeira (talk) 12:40, 3 October 2020 (UTC)

This is unlikely to change without someone to work the already provided software ticket. And knowing the already-discussed issues with implementation in that ticket, it might not ever be able to be done. --Izno (talk) 12:43, 3 October 2020 (UTC)
Which is as I expected and feared. Our ships problem is dwarfed by the Leonardo da Vinci/SONAR/Lady with an Ermine/WHO knows what else problem! I know that I won't even attempt to maintain links or update after a move if those apples/oranges/orangutans/all living things/universe "links" show up. Palmeira (talk) 14:54, 3 October 2020 (UTC)
Possible work-around - comment out the template(s), preview, click on "what links here". Does that reduce the links to those actually in the article? Mjroots (talk) 15:21, 3 October 2020 (UTC)
No, that does not do it. The known effective workarounds have been provided. --Izno (talk) 15:25, 3 October 2020 (UTC)
Your comment in Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2020 September 29 gains traction. The "Leonardo da Vinci" one certainly fails
1 All articles within a template relate to a single, coherent subject.
3 The articles should refer to each other, to a reasonable extent.
I expect many coming out of what appears to be a Navbox template factory fail as well. Palmeira (talk) 15:51, 3 October 2020 (UTC)

Redirect ship name blunder deletion: USS Audacious (1913)Edit

There was no such ship and the name is a complete blunder, probably another "had a connection with a military op, i.e. must be USS" (A bit of discussion on the actual ship's talk page. Speedy deletion was declined. It is a dead page, had no real incoming links and likely there because of another blunder in a DAB page (That should also probably go). I looked over the deletion process. Bluntly I'm almost exclusively interested in content, not Wikipedia processes, and will just leave it as a memorial to poor research rather than divert time. Someone here already knowing the deletion process may like to teke that on. Palmeira (talk) 13:53, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

I've deleted it under WP:G6. Mjroots (talk) 14:00, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I got a decline for speedy citing some other criterion. Actual ship sort of interesting from a city of fond memories. Hope to find a bit more about the ship. Palmeira (talk) 14:06, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
@Palmeira: - I fixed the ref errors, added a cat and navbox. Was she a cargo ship or passenger ship? Mjroots (talk) 16:48, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. Both. Original construction was passenger/cargo but apparently primarily immigrant passengers. I ran across several references regarding Greek emigration and the ship (thus the original routing). That configuration apparently pretty much ended with WW I and the use as a barracks for wartime labor. I also ran across mentions about troops returning (U.S.? Still in migrant configuration?) aboard (blogs) postwar without much detail. The Monfalcone Museum page in Italian, the most detailed I found, notes the big change in 1936. The passenger capability became the usual incidental few of cargo ships and refrigeration for beef transport added. I did not even try to track characteristics for tonnage. Every modification altered that and there were several. So far I've been focusing on pre seizure but there may be bits about WSA days. I'd also be interested in finding seizure details. Almost all those interned Italian ships had crew related incidents ranging from one caught trying to smuggle a bottle of wine ashore to attempted scuttling. A part of my interest in ships, aside from personally having a few as "homes" for periods, is the window some of their histories provide to international and human events of significance but not well known. Austro-Hungarian Adriatic (Balkan) and Greek immigrant transport to the U.S.? I'd never given it thought. The shift in Adriatic shipping in 1919? Of course! Venice involved? Last time I was in Trieste the big object across the way outside our mooring was a beautiful ship with the great winged lion of Venice shining in gold on the stack. Palmeira (talk) 18:27, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Link to Greek migration blog. Interesting. "Trieste (the Greek Tergesti) which along with Venice and Vienna were the three major European 'Greek Centers' of the pre-1821 period. Trieste continued to have a significant Greek population as late as 1912." and "Unione Austro-Americana, known also as Cosulich Line" was one of the major migrant lines of the region. Another window. I did not know of those cities being "Greek centers" or of the Greek Orthodox cathedral I must have walked past several times. Palmeira (talk) 23:43, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Trieste was an independent city state from 1719-1891. Mjroots (talk) 12:28, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
I've moved that DAB page to a normal ship list title, with broadly the same content - I couldn't see any other Audacious ships that would be useful to add at this stage. Davidships (talk) 21:12, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

GAR noticeEdit

HMS Hermione (1782), an article that you or your project may be interested in, has been nominated for an individual good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article. Hog Farm Bacon 20:56, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

Ship sponsorEdit

Hi. Who should be given in the infobox of ships as the sponsor? One who bestows the launching ceremony, or the commissioning ceremony? Pahlevun (talk) 07:15, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

In the Infobox usage guide, the sponsor is described as "the individual (usually a woman and sometimes referred to as a "launching lady") who does the whole ceremonial "smash-the-bottle,-launch-the-ship" thing as part of the launching ceremony". In the Finnish shipbuilding industry, this person is often referred to as the "grandmother" of the ship. Tupsumato (talk) 10:10, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
Elsewhere also as the "godmother", or indeed generically "sponsor" (not sure where they use "launching lady" - it sounds rather stilted). And it can happen at varying times: traditional launching from ways, float-out, delivery, introduction into service, or at some arbitrary point convenient to the chosen person or the owner's PR needs. It is usual for ships to only have one sponsor at a time (glitzy cruiseships may get a new style icon with a new owner). Anyway the key is "ceremony". And perhaps now that there are a few more CEOs in shipping, perhaps some husbands and sons may get a look-in. As for the infobox, I think that it's only really worth including if the person is notable. Davidships (talk) 21:47, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
I would question why the sponsor needs to be in the infobox - ship infoboxes are very long as is, and often overwhelm the article. Note that the appropriate ceremonials aren't always at launching - for example they weren't for the Imperial Russian Navy.Nigel Ish (talk) 08:45, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Agreed, unless it was someone notable, I don’t even mention it in the prose. The name of the non-notable daughter of some minor local politician isn’t of much use to the average reader. Parsecboy (talk) 09:32, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
I'd support deleting that info from the infoboxes.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 11:20, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Agree fully. Further, "notable" is very relative. A person may be very notable locally, within an industry, or company but in this ceremony it is usually their female representative as the actor. I would advocate deleting sponsor from infoboxes and including a sponsor in text only if the sponsor is otherwise notable or cited in a major source. I say that with some ruefulness as the whole "little woman" named only as "Mrs. Somebody of Importance" certainly highlights the mindset of the times of not so distant past. They and the occasional kid doing the honors are just "cute" additions in an old ceremony associated with the "birth" of a ship and, if I recall, possibly tracing to when a female or kid was sacrificed in such ceremonies. I would go further and also delete "Ship christened" because that can happen more than once in a hull's existence. Initial launch is not, thought there can be relaunches (sometimes after almost unrecognizable conversions*, and is equivalent to a birthday after a gestation period from keel laying. Palmeira (talk) 12:09, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
I think it can often depend on the type of vessel. Military units, particularly in the modern day place quite a lot of importance on the links with their Sponsor. I think it is less important or notable for civilian vessels. Woody (talk) 13:47, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Agree. Remove from infobox, only mention in prose if sponsor is notable. Also support taking Ship Christened out of infobox and prefer the phrase "formally named" in prose - in this multi faith world it seems strange to use such a phrase. Lyndaship (talk) 17:24, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
DISAGREE Nothing wrong with mentioning it. Considering it's just one line there is little reason to think it somehow makes the infobox or text bloated. But I see a bigger problem here - and it's constant attempts to discuss meaningless pointless petty issues like this or usage of 'the'. Frankly, it doesn't bode well for the project, who the hell wants to be continuously told what information to add and which one not to add? Crook1 (talk) 18:32, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
That's a bit harsh, Crook1, especially on the "who-the-hell" who asked the question (which has only come up here briefly once in recent years, and in a different context, I think). Davidships (talk) 01:48, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Relisted move requestEdit

An editor has requested for FFG(X) to be moved to another page. Since you had some involvement with Talk:FFG(X)#Requested move 9 October 2020, you might want to participate in the move discussion (if you have not already done so). BilCat (talk) 21:52, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

Return to the project page "WikiProject Ships".