Disputatio:Beniaminus Franklinius

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Nomina[fontem recensere]

De hoc nomine, etiam Washingtonius et Jeffersonius, dissentio. Deriuantur ab sola una fonte, tardiore et leui, et in mente mea considerare non possunt Latina normatiua. Lectores, consuetudinum nostrum cogniti, plus magis expectare uolunt Franklin etc. quam Franklinius. Addo quoque euphonia in hoc casu quaerit Franklinus et non Franklinius, etsi nomina in '-on' iudicio meo -onius possunt. Pantocrator 04:59, 24 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)

"sola una fonte" — Cf. etiam De electricitate vindice Ioannis Beccariae e Scholis Piis ad Beniaminum Franklinium Virum de Re Electrica, 1766/1767. (Nonnumquam scribitur '...ad Beniaminum Franklinum'). ¶ "tardior et levis" ... Utrum hunc librum legisti? ¶ "consuetudinum nostrum cogniti, plus magis expectare uolunt Franklin" — Sed mos noster semper erat uti nominibus Latinis ubi iam adsunt. Franklinio saec. XVIII vivente, cur non expectent nomen Latinum? ¶ "euphonia in hoc casu quaerit Franklinus" — Euphonia? nisi fontem profers, dicere formam esse euphoniorem quam aliam est "original research"; neque porro est euphonia magni momenti in nominibus accipendis, nisi hae nomina fingamus—sed apud Vicipaediam nolumus fingere. —Mucius Tever 14:56, 24 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Tamen tua fons est ad Beniaminum Franklinium, non demonstrans nomen usum uirem ipsum. Opera sunt iudicanda de repraesentatione communitatis Latini, nonne? In hoc casu iudicium meum uindicatum possit. Cognomina iam non Latinisanda in saec. 18, ut scis, ergo 'Franklin' eadem regula sequitur. Illud ultimum neglegi, quod arguo pro Franklin non Franklinus. Pantocrator 17:04, 24 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
"non demonstrans nomen usum uirem ipsum" — Usus viri non interest si vir ipse non nomine Latino usus est; lege VP:TNP. "Cognomina iam non Latinisanda in saec. 18," — Habesne fontem ita dicentem? —Mucius Tever 15:33, 25 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Argumentum quoque applicat utra nomina Washingtonius et Jeffersonius, quos addatur Hamiltonius, Hancockius, et Randolphius, tota ex eodem fonte. Puto enim hanc fontem non 'reliabilem' debere, ut omnia nomina ex una similes considerandes, et clare nomina hominum hoc tempore non diversa scribere debent, quia factum accidentale in hoc libro dicunt. Pantocrator 19:24, 24 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Iterum rogo, utrum Georgii Washingtonii Vitam legisti? Qua re negas hunc librum esse fidum? Nil significat si negas nisi rationem des, fontem proferens, non tantum opinionem tuam: melius est dicere, e.c. "hoc commentarium de Vita dicit 'Names are Latinized in this Life with little uniformity'; alibi nomina Latinizata sunt, alibi non—etiam altera vitia Latinitatis eius hic tractantur." (N.B. In eodem loco tamen dicitur "this Latinizing of names is not only expedient, but often necessary;" quod indicat anno 1836, ubi hoc commentarium scriptum est, Latinizatio nominum adhuc non fuit necopinata—et regulas habuerunt, e.c. ubi dicitur "Dux here should be omitted, and the name Howe, should have a Latin termination".) —Mucius Tever 15:33, 25 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
That page is criticizing the Latin of the book! If the Latinisation there is inconsistent, that's all the more reason not to use it. Our standard, as you know, is not to change the surnames of modern people, unless they have a standard Latin form. This does not constitute a standard. Pantocrator 19:01, 25 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
"That page is criticizing the Latin of the book!" — Yes, that's what I said. Why the exclamation of surprise? "If the Latinisation there is inconsistent, that's all the more reason not to use it." — As I said, the inconsistency they note is with whether he Latinizes a name throughout the book or not. The review criticizing his Latinity faults him, in regards to names, for not Latinizing more often—barring their comment on the scarcity of -us compared to -ius, they would have preferred to see "Franklinius" etc. throughout the book. This is the opposite of your position. —Mucius Tever 20:30, 25 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Once again, we ordinarily do not change the surnames of modern people. A single non-authoritative book giving Latin forms to a number of famous people is not cause for departure for our standard. If we don't make up Latin names, then we shouldn't allow anyone else to do so either. Pantocrator 20:48, 25 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Noli fingere only concerns Wikipedia, others do be allowed to make up Latin names. We are a tertiary source, others aren't. --Gabriel Svoboda 14:57, 26 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Pantocrator doesn't understand Vicipaedia's policy on latinizing names. It has been and continues to be that *attested latin names* are always preferred (including latinized last names); they are especially preferred if in use in the period during which the person lived (even if not by them); otherwise only the first name is latinized (if a clear traditional latinization exists).
That is not what our policy page says. It rather says something closer to my contention, though I admit it's not entirely clear. Nowhere does it say that we must use a Latinisation that appears in any Latin source. In this case, these Latinised forms are clearly not established to the degree, that say, Renatus Cartesius is (see the discussion there). In addition, they are not consistent. _Any_ source would be expected to, when taking about prominent Americans of that time period, be expected to Latinise all that can be or none. In fact, this book was critized for just such an inconsistency. And our policy and common sense say none should be preferred. Pantocrator 22:20, 26 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
In general, users should avoid speaking authoritatively about something that they do not know about. You only create confusion.--130.215.96.180 19:47, 26 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
And yet another insult. Pantocrator 22:20, 26 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Is it me or is it that Pantocrator's response to any criticism is to falsely claim that he is being insulted in order to put the person who disagrees on the defensive? I object to this. It is a form of abuse as insidious as any form of outright vandalism because it automatically makes the criticism the subject rather than what is being criticised, personal issues rather than Vicipaedia issues. It is very disruptive and wasteful of people's time as the necessity of writing this should make evident to all. It is due to the recent prevalence of this sort of "behavior" that many Vicipaedians have recently expressed an increasing unwillingness to participate in the project. This has to be deciseively addressed. I hope Pantocrator disengages from this disruptive behavior.--24.107.235.195 23:18, 26 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
As Andrew noster said in the Taberna, I have no time or inteterst in reading the book, but I would believe that the author has done his research, and that the book itself is a reliable source (thus we should follow its reference according to VP:TNP). Pantocrator, I would urge you to find a printed criticism or review of the book in which the research of the author is attacked before you continue any further with this issue, as it seems to me that it is your opinion on the book and the author's research the only base for your argument.--Xaverius 09:50, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
You are misunderstanding my argument; I will grant the quality of the book. No matter how good the book is, however, it can't be considered an authority on Latin names! All the people I'm disputing were dead by then, and Latin was no longer a significant language anywhere. I assume we're agreed that the author did coin those names himself by adding the Latin termination, and that's all that matters to my argument. You know that VP:TNP specifically states we should use usual Latin names and there is no way in hell that publication in this book constitutes that. Pantocrator 10:14, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
I see your point now. I still do not see why you consider that the author coined the Latin version himself. On the usual part of VP:TNP, yes, we are on quicksands here. But if we have one source, we should follow it! There are many times in which we do have only one source for a Latin term. I find it difficult to believe tha B. Franklin did not have his name latinised elsewhere - there must be coins, medals or inscriptions (alas all probably in the States). --Xaverius 10:37, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
I have searched Google and found Franklinius is actually attested in scientific Latin sources; however Franklin is also used in Latin. Because of Google's lack of a Latin language option, I can't tell which is more common, I had to search for the full name and indeed only the accusative form is not automatically converted by Google into the plain form. However, for the other names mentioned above, the Latin form does not seem to exist apart from Glass's book and dircet references to it. I would for consistency use the English form for all of them; but even if you think Franklinius is justified based on those attestations, the others are not.
I don't know what form, if any, Franklin himself used or preferred, which would obviously be relevant. For example, I created Torbern Bergman with the un-Latinised name as that's what he himself used, even though there are sources that use Bergmannius.
This entirely disagrees with your position asserted here [1]. --Ioscius 11:12, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
But funnily enough, both get argued against. What does that say?
That you were wrong both times? --Ioscius 11:43, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Actually, they do not disagree. That was about _given names_, this about _surnames_. We agree that our standard treats the two entirely differently. In both cases I argue for a consistent standard. If there is a standard form of a name in Latin, or one that can be taken as standard, then it should be used. On the other hand, modern surnames do not have standard Latin forms, and for centuries Latin surnames have been a matter of personal choice. Pantocrator 11:28, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Actually they disagree entirely.
Here you say, "I don't know what form, if any, Franklin himself used or preferred, which would obviously be relevant.
There you say, "As for names, I do not think, and have said so, that her own usage, or even that of her contemporaries, should be determining. The idea that one should control the spelling of one's own name is a modern barbarism that's wholly inappropriate for Latin, the eternal language.
If that doesn't disagree with itself, I don't know what does. --Ioscius 11:43, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Then too, over in Taberna, our friend insists that the "question is whether publication in a single source of whatever quality consitutes a reason to adopt the Latin form." Careful readers will note that "a single source" is to be read as meaning "at least two sources"; either that, or Mucius's source above—<<"sola una fonte"—Cf. etiam De electricitate vindice Ioannis Beccariae e Scholis Piis ad Beniaminum Franklinium Virum de Re Electrica, 1766/1767.>>—is to be waved away as irrelevant. IacobusAmor 12:01, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Of course not, which is why I mentioned it. But there are no such other sources for the 5 other Latin names I mentioned as coming from this source, which is the point. And since my argument there was general, and not about this one name, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the statement. You are falsely accusing me of lying. Pantocrator 12:05, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
You were responding to Andrew's point, when he said: "I understood the question to be whether the particular source used for Franklin's name should be treated as reliable or not." Then there, as here, you committed rhetoric, diverting & distracting, and effectively wasting this reader's time. IacobusAmor 12:23, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
And I first said that I considered that point irrelevant, and was not discussing it; then I moved on to the actual issue. There's no rhetorical trick there. If you don't want to waste time you shouldn't be bringing up this sort of meta-argument. Pantocrator 12:32, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
There is nothing more to say; I explained it above and you choose not to listen. Pantocrator 11:55, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Finally, I would guess (not having looked at the book) that perhaps Glass thought that having indeclinable forms was annoying enough that it justified adding '-ius' to names, but that's not relevant here, as we already have most persons here with indeclinable surnames. Pantocrator 11:08, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
As I recall from the discussion preceeding the formulation of the rule (perhaps someone can find it as I am uncertain) 'usual' was intended to help people decide between two latin names if they existed. Franklin is english not latin; Franklinius and Franklinus would be latin; but Franklinius is the usual *latin name*.(notice how I qualify what I said to indicate my level of certainty/uncertainty)--130.215.96.180 11:38, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
But that would be absurd. If we found, for the sake of argument, a thousand Latin books using Washington against the one with Washingtonius, we should use the latter? And no, there does not seem to be any discussion of this on the disputatione. Pantocrator 11:55, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
I can't find the discussion to which Anon refers (I don't say it's not there, only that I can't find it!) But the rule says in Latin "Si nomen Latinum habet natura vel communi vel suo ipsius usu acceptum, utere eo", and the English from which this was translated says "If a person already has a Latin name, either by birth or in common use, or used by the person himself, use it". So, in response to Pantocrator's example, "if we found, for the sake of argument, a thousand Latin books using Washington against the one with Washingtonius", we would use Washington because Washingtonius would not be the name in common use. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:30, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
This is expanding for too long, when in the end is rather simple. We do have an attested Latin name (with two different sources). There may be others, but haven't been found/mentioned/referenced. As there is this one attested Latin form and there is no other usual name in Latin, our norms rule that Franklinius it is. If these others are found/referenced, they can have a place in the page too, no problem there.--Xaverius 12:53, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Certainly both forms should be mentioned, but I think Franklin should come first. As I said, Latin sources with Franklin do exist, and I'm sure I could find more if Google had a Latin option. Look, for instance, at the three templates at the bottom of this article: doesn't it look rather odd that Franklinius is the only name with a Latin ending (also Washingtonius in one)? There need not be any 'usual' Latin form for people that lived when and where Latin was not a usual language. Finally, this discussion applies more to the other 5 names and to any others that may be Latinized based on this or similar sources - at least those should be lemmatized in their vernacular forms. Pantocrator 13:09, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
The point is: Franklin (indec) is not Latin but English. The usual practice today is to not translate or Latinize surnames. This is unfortunate because if anything surnames are MORE important to Latinize than first names. If a credible Latin source exists for a Latinize surname then it should be followed as the first choice. Perhaps someone can find where this has been discussed before.--24.107.235.195 23:43, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
I do not think this has been discussed before, and I think it's important to get straight. Your contention, that Latinizing surnames is important per se, contradicts our policy and the convention of Latin writers for centuries; indeed, Glass's Life of Washington was really an exception to that.
As for my argument about consistency: suppose Glass had mentioned, say, Carolus Carroll. He probably would have referred to him at least once, then, as Carrollius; according to your standard, we would then have to change the title of that article. But since he was not mentioned, we must use Carroll. That's clearly a silly standard, that would change someone's name depending on whether he was mentioned in a single work, not written by the subject himself. (Yes, I know there are other source for Franklinius; I'm now discussing the others.) Pantocrator 00:15, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Nothing silly about it. If someone was close enough to the sphere of Latin knowledge to appear in it with a Latin surname, then there we have it; if not, their name is "foreign" to the "Latin culture" and goes untranslated. It would be even more silly to set an arbitrary limit — appearances in two works? three? fifty? On what grounds would one invent a number? "Qui decidit, inter / perfectos veteresque referri debet an inter / vilis atque novos?"[2]Mucius Tever 11:11, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
How can a book written in 1835, after everyone mentioned in it was dead, affect their status in 'the sphere of Latin knowledge', whatever that is? Once again, your argument might work for Franklin, but not for the other 5 names mentioned above. There is no need to stipulate a number of works, though it should be more than one, but to consider how influential they were in attributing a Latin name to the person. Pantocrator 11:25, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)

(exdented) "How can a book written in 1835, after everyone mentioned in it was dead, affect ..." — You do remember that the majority of history is written after the fact? You would lose quite a lot of names if you threw out everything in Latin that wasn't contemporary to the writer—including, for example, everyone described to live before about 200 BC.

The situation is different in modern times, that's all. Before the Renaissance, everyone important had a Latinized name, and all important historical sources are in Latin. Today, everyone is better known in their vernacular name than any Latin version, and there is a standard of admitting unchanged surnames into Latin.
Besides, if you're going to treat this book as a work of history, it doesn't deserve to be mentioned on the scale of importance since hardly anyone read Latin in 1835. Pantocrator 00:29, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that argument can go both ways. If hardly anyone was reading Latin in 1835 (and the people who managed to publish books in Latin in the 19th century, such as Gauss, Peano, Egilssonius, etc. might disagree) then, with the scope of the contemporary literature being smaller, it would have been de rigueur to be familiar with larger proportions of it than if ten times as much was being published — the same as we here are likely to be familiar at least the titles of most of the Latin books translated over the past several years — so the book could easily have more importance than it would have in an earlier age. Incidentally, I notice Egilsson is another modern name you translated from an attested form (as preferred by VP:TNP) to a form with no authority cited—so this is two of them so far. Again, what makes these names so special that a published and apparently well-known book is not good enough support for their Latinization, while you get to rename men of the same era based on your intuition alone? —Mucius Tever 05:27, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Well, hardly anyone was reading Latin seriously in 1835 except in a few academic fields, as you note. But to scholars Glass's book would be useless as there are far better sources for all it describes in English. That's what I meant about the trivial nature of the work. As for Egilsson, we have a page (I can't find it now) that says that patronymics should be translated; and I only followed that. Since patronymics are not surnames, it doesn't apply here. Pantocrator 12:33, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
"to scholars Glass's book would be useless as there are far better sources for all it describes in English" — Irrelevant. If the audience was English-speaking scholars who can read Latin, the value of the book would be in the Latin (thus the names would have more weight than otherwise), and if the audience is non-English-speaking scholars who can read Latin, then those "far better sources" in English would be inaccessible — again, the value of the book is that it is in Latin.
You implied that it was important because it had historical value. When I argue against that, now you say that its value is 'because of the Latin'. But I don't think that things are valuable just for being in Latin. If they don't contain original information, or an original arrangment of existing information (as this book doesn't), then they should at least be widely read or influential. Pantocrator 03:19, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
"You implied that it was important because it had historical value." What? Where? I said—or rather implied—that it was a work of history[[3]; but generally the value in a work that makes it better than another one is what it brings to the table that's new. In that sense only the first history of anything will have that historical value. Later histories repeating the same information would only have value in regards to how accessible they are or how the author phrases what he writes. "If they don't contain original information, or an original arrangment of existing information (as this book doesn't), then they should at least be widely read or influential." Even if I granted that (but of course it would be silly to, as the whole point of this discussion is that you are asserting that the names in it are original information) I've already cited a source asserting it was widely read. Do you have information to the contrary? I don't think you've cited anything in this discussion to support your opinions. —Mucius Tever 13:40, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's an exaggeration to say that the first history of something is 100% reliable and the final word. I never claimed such a position; merely that this work is not used for its historical value, which you agreed to. I do not consider names new information, not in this sense, so I'm not contradicting myself. Finally, as for it being widely read, it may have been in a certain segment of the Latin community, but that article you quote is so sarcastic in tone I wouldn't believe one thing out of it. Pantocrator 10:53, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"that's an exaggeration to say that the first history of something is 100% reliable and the final word" — What, where on earth did I say this? I will restate it — the first time information appears in a history, it has historical value, and later histories repeating that information only have value in how they are written and read. I don't deny the existence of later histories with additional or different information, but the point is a later history without new or different information can still be more useful and influential than the original — a translation, for example.
You just said above that 'only the first history of anything has that historical value.' So you're just contradicting yourself. A translation may be widely read, but it has no independent historical value, and for practical purposes, this work can be considered a translation. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"that article you quote is so sarcastic in tone I wouldn't believe one thing out of it" — Well, people disagree with you on the effect of that reviewer's criticisms; it's been said that his work is "startlingly fresh, incisive, and original", and "it was largely [his thoroughness of method and pungency of style] that gained him his early reputation, and won the admiring commendation of such men as J.P. Kennedy, J.K. Paulding, Washington Irving, and Beverley Tucker, and that carried his name far and wide as the first and most eminent American critic of the day."[4] But all right, let's say you don't like Poe. Take the Cyclopaedia of American Literature: "Its latinity has generally met the approval of scholars, and it has been used as a text-book by teachers."[5] Or The Southern Literary Messenger — though critical at points of the idea of the book, still states the book was influential enough that "it has already done wonders in the cause of the Classics"[6]. —Mucius Tever 17:09, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
This has absolutely nothing to do with Poe. In fact I didn't even know who wrote it when I made that criticism, nor should it matter. Once again, the general reputation of the book has nothing to do with its naming conventions, and so is irrelevant. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"we have a page (I can't find it now) that says that patronymics should be translated" — The talk page on VP:TNP, I think, was where it was first brought up. It was asserted that translation of patronymics was standard in Russian (and a source was offered to confirm it). It seems that some people used that precedent to start translating patronymics in other languages, but doubts have since been raised on the Taberna questioning the propriety of this, as sources were offered showing other countries may or may not follow the Russians on this point. Regardless, surname or not, I understand that attested forms are generally to be preferred over invented ones (even ones invented according to our policies). —Mucius Tever 17:00, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)

"argument might work for Franklin, but not for the other 5 names" — How come? What's special about Benjamin Franklin's name that makes my argument apply to him and no-one else? My arguments haven't concerned his name specifically—and my evidence is a different matter.

Because, as shown here, Franklinius also has contemporary citations, in scientific sources (we don't know, though, how many used Franklin in Latin because of the impossibility of a Google search that way); the other names do not. Pantocrator 00:29, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
As I said, my arguments are not the same thing as my evidence. —Mucius Tever 05:27, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)

"consider how influential they were in attributing a Latin name to the person" — Certainly. But I doubt there's an authority we can cite influence from, some index with lists like "so-and-so invented name X and was read by Y number of people, Z of whom in turn used name X because of him, directly or indirectly; N occurrences of the name are believed to be independent inventions..." (Google is certainly not that index, not least because of its limited sample size.) Any of those numbers should factor into an influence rating, but who, again, would decide a limit, and on what grounds? —Mucius Tever 16:24, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)

Yes, we can't establish an exact quantitative discrimination. But that hardly means the discrimination can't be made or doesn't exist. There are people that say that, because we can't set any specific time at which a child becomes an adult, that there is no difference between a child and an adult (I've argued with some). That is absurd, however, and is not unlike your attempt above. I guess it can be thought of this way: if someone that generally knew a lot about Washington (let's say) was called on to write something about him in Latin at any time in the past century, and is he was not in the habit of (as we are not) making up his own Latin forms and knew the standard for transcribing modern names, how likely is it that he would use Washingtonius? The answer is obvious. Pantocrator 00:29, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Obvious in what direction? You're arguing that a person who knew a lot about Washington and who knew enough Latin to be asked to translate something wouldn't be familiar with a Latin biography of the man...on what grounds? A rebuttal to the critical review I linked earlier notes that the book "has become already a favorite text-book in most of our classical schools" — so certainly someone has noted the book has influence. Additionally for the case of Washingtonius (since we have wandered to this topic) Google discovers a few instances of a short poem inspired by Houdon's sculpture, in which is "Exprimit heroas tres Washingtonius unus"[7]; likewise the name is Latinized in examples in a couple of Latin grammars — [8] and [9] (which latter has, to strengthen the case of Washingtonius in particular, his name Latinized alongside un-Latinized forms like Adams and Hancock). —Mucius Tever 05:27, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
And that example further demonstrates inconsistent Latinization of names. Note that Hancock did become Hancockius to Glass. The only good answer is to have one standard and not debate endlessly things that none of us can be sure of. I think it's reasonable to say that Americans should not get Latin surnames unless they themselves have used them in publication. Pantocrator 12:33, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
"that example further demonstrates inconsistent Latinization of names. Note that Hancock did become Hancockius to Glass." — Irrelevant, actually. The VP:TNP rule doesn't say use the name most commonly or consistently used in Latin (which might indeed give the edge to 'Washington' indecl.) — it says if the person has a Latin name commonly used, to use that name. The point of the rules as I wrote them is to prefer Latinized names to foreign names (which was already our practice) and to discourage invention of Latinized names (which quite a lot of people were doing, and often poorly).
The policy makes no mention of whether a Latin form should be preferred over a non-Latinized form used in Latin. Nor should it. The same cause that makes us not want to make up out own Latinizations should make us not want to use Latinizations not well enough supported. And the relevance of my comment is that it shows more inconsistency.Pantocrator 03:19, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
"The policy makes no mention of whether a Latin form should be preferred over a non-Latinized form used in Latin." Shouldn't have to. It explicitly says "si nomen Latinum habet ... utere eo"/"if the person already has a Latin name ... use it" (and lists several ways a person might acquire one). If someone tells you to use a hammer to pound in a nail, they shouldn't have to list screwdrivers, wrenches, and sponges as things not to pound the nail in with. At any rate I stated that the inconsistency is irrelevant because consistency of use of a native name over a Latin one is not a criterion, and there's a reason for that—as you yourself know, authors often don't venture to Latinize names. They may choose to stick to attested names, and if they don't know of previous attested forms, they may not choose to create new ones. That's our practice, for example. But if we know a name is attested, and in particular if it has been repeated elsewhere, what authority do we have not to use it?Mucius Tever 13:40, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
The words you omitted by ellipsis are rather important, and you know it. They say 'in common sse', and it is exactly the question here what counts as 'common use'. We don't need any special authority not to use a certain source, as obviously no sensible writing would be possible under the opposite assumption. If an author decides not to Latinise names, why should we override him, especially since we have the same policy? Look at the list of Conditores Civitatum Foederatarum and tell me that some names don't stick out like sore thumbs. Pantocrator 10:53, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"The words you omitted by ellipsis are rather important, and you know it." —Yes, which is why I described their effect after the quotation, instead of ignoring them altogether. "They say 'in common sse', and it is exactly the question here what counts as 'common use'." — All right; so cite enough other Latin forms of the surnames in question to show the ones we are looking at are not the ones in common use. As it stands, for example, 100% of the sources cited that Latinize George's surname "Washington" do it as "Washingtonius", which hardly suggests uncommonness.
Of course, that's a ridiculous standard. First, there could be just one mention of someone's name in Latin and 1 of 1 would be 100%, yet not common. Second, there's no reason only Latinised forms should count; as I said below, that standard would mean that if a thousand mentions used Washington to one Washingtonius, we would have to use the latter. The only reply, from Andrew Dalby, agreed with me on that point. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"We don't need any special authority not to use a certain source, as obviously no sensible writing would be possible under the opposite assumption." — You'll need to explain this assertion, because it looks like you're encouraging cherry-picking. As an encyclopedia what grounds do we have to allow our own opinions—instead of citable information—to decide otherwise ordinary information from reliable sources is to be ignored, just because it doesn't agree with our opinions?
In fact doing so is unavoidable in an encyclopedia, since we can't mention everything. We can an often do cite alternative forms, and nothing says that just because we mention it, it must be first, and in the title. Finally names are not the same as factual information, anyway. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"If an author decides not to Latinise names, why should we override him, especially since we have the same policy?" —We don't have the same policy. Our policy is to use a Latinization if we know of one, and to avoid inventing one if we don't, save for a couple of exceptions (the most recent of which, the case of institutional names, I argued against on VP:TNP talk for some time).
The first policy is not correct. We do not have a policy of using any Latinisation we know of (see Disputatio:Blog for example). Also, there is nothing on Disputatio Vicipaediae:De nominibus propriis about 'institutional names'. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"Look at the list of Conditores Civitatum Foederatarum and tell me that some names don't stick out like sore thumbs." I'm looking at it, but I think you may have sorer thumbs than I do, to turn the phrase. Latinized names beside non-Latinized names are nothing unusual; look at Index despotarum Epiri, for example. —Mucius Tever 17:09, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
That is clearly not the same kind of thing at all. The Greek names on your list are not really Latinized, they're converted over from Greek to Latin by transliteration. On the other hand, my example is just a hundred or so names of people from the same ethnic origins and same time period, with no distinction relevant except that a few names have -ius stuck onto them, seemingly for no reason. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
So I perhaps disagree with Andrew on this point (if he meant it generally, not just for the example where there's only one source). As far as I'm aware, the Latinized form of Washington commonly used is Washingtonius (and not, say, *Vascinctonius or somesuch).
Indeed, and that's another point: the city and state are named for the person. If we're going to Latinize both of them, we should at least use the same form! Pantocrator 03:19, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Why? A shared etymon doesn't necessarily mean the same spelling; the ancients had names from foreign words take diverse forms themselves—one example would be Ulixes vs. the Odyssea named after him. —Mucius Tever 13:48, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but we should certainly avoid creating any more anomalies like that if we can. Since the general practice is to Latinize almost all geographical names, but not surnames, a solution is obvious. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
Obviously we can move to change the rule, but this is not the place for it, and it'll have wider consequences than just Americans if we do. "I think it's reasonable to say that Americans should not get Latin surnames unless they themselves have used them in publication." — Reasonable on what grounds? This hardly even follows on anything you've argued so far — your major argument as I understand it so far has had little to do with the people being written about, but is rather mostly about the quality of what people are writing and the kinds of things people expect to read. Such a measure, unless your reasoning is "just because they're Americans" is going to have wider consequences that would have to be discussed. —Mucius Tever 17:00, 29 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
It's reasonable on the grounds that it would hardly ever be clearly wrong, given the non-use of Latin in America. It's not anything special about being American. Pantocrator 03:19, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
"It's reasonable [on the grounds that it would hardly ever be clearly wrong, given the non-use of Latin in America] to say that Americans should not get Latin surnames unless they themselves have used them in publication" — I'm not sure I understand you, then. It looks like you want to throw out the baby with the bathwater at the same time that you're asserting that there is neither any bathwater nor any baby. I'm not sure the non-use of Latin in America can even be a factor—are you asserting your argument would be different if Glass were Italian? I doubt that would be sensible; one can get an education anywhere, and it seems foolish to condemn someone's writing by the mere place he sits down to write. Or perhaps you mean your argument would be different if Franklin were Italian? But there are many places and historical periods Latin was never used or common that we have no trouble writing about in Latin, and nobody has any problem with names like Confucius, Taprobane, or—to stretch the point—Luna. —Mucius Tever 13:40, 30 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
What you don't seem to acknowledge despite me repeating it over and over is that there is a standard of not altering modern surnames. Names like Confucius are santified by centuries of continuous and frequent use, even though modern Chinese people would not get Latin surnames. Finally, what does this have to do with 'condemning' his writing? Pantocrator 10:53, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
"What you don't seem to acknowledge despite me repeating it over and over is that there is a standard of not altering modern surnames." — People and works about them that were written centuries ago probably don't count as modern (though I'll grant a broad use of the term); nevertheless, the standard is not of "not altering modern surnames" anyway; our standard, following current practice, is not to make our own translations of unlatinized surnames—it just happens to be the case that modern surnames fall into this category most often, but there's nothing special about their being modern; the practice is the same for ancient names. "what does this have to do with 'condemning' his writing?" You have been pronouncing it to be wrong from the beginning of this discussion and your arguments against it have indeed included the location of the author. —Mucius Tever 17:09, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
Only one thing needs to be said here; there is absolutely no reason to state that arguing about naming practices is a judgement about his writing. I have constantly been saying that, and you have continually ignored me. Pantocrator 17:43, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)
Myces, you're not going to win an argument with a pantocrator. 71.178.159.245 11:16, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Mm, it's not just about winning. Debate helps one understand the meaning and consequences of one's precepts. —Mucius Tever 16:24, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Given that Mucius was the person who actually wrote the naming policy for us, there is no doubt that a once credibly attested latinized name for a person is intended to be used according to the Vicipaedia rule, unless some overriding concern arises that should be discussed. This should be evident from the wording of the rule in my opinion, but since it wasn't I think Mucius has done a sufficient job in clarifying what is meant. If Pantocrator wants to propose changing the rule, he should propose this on the appropriate page.
As regards the above 'endless debate', which has become so typical on this forum of late, I would like to note that in any discussion a satisfactory end can only be reached when all individuals concerned share the same fundamental values to which they jointly appeal for agreement: because Pantocrator does not know Latin, and because he has not previously undergone a formal study of the language and its literature, he has not acquired the values and resulting admiration of the manyfold aspects of the golden age classical world that everyone else on this forum shares because of their study. It is these values that have traditionally drawn people to the language. Pantocrator's avowed hatred of these values (and therefore of the Vicipaedia) has been expressed elsewhere and explicitly, e.g. [10]. Given the incompatibility of values, any argument is bound to be an exercise in wasting one's time.
What's more, the appropriateness of names and usages is something that the best Latinists have argued over incessantly without conclusion, for which reason only the most knowledgeable persons, with many years of study, should ever undertake to argue over names. Unfortunately, it is his limited Latin ability (limited to single words) that has drawn Pantocrator to focus on the naming of pages. Nevertheless, it is a subject above his abilities.--24.107.235.195 19:23, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)

This is getting ridiculously long and increasingly pointless. We have an attested Latin version of the name, and the rule says we should follow it. This is not the place to argue about the naming norms, and this discussion is going nowhere. If Pantocrator wants to argue for consistency against references (as far names are concerned), then do so in the adequate disputatio (which is not this one), and I will contrubite with my arguments. The unidentified user above might have been a bit over the top, but there is no need to continue an exchange of such comments. Considering that the argument on Franklin's surname is done, this debate is exceeding its limits, and I'll shut it. Other magistrates which think otherwise may lift this block, but this is diverting attention from proper contributions, by wasting time in arguing.--Xaverius 20:26, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)

You're right, Xaveri. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 21:10, 1 Maii 2010 (UTC)

Citations[fontem recensere]

Since it's really all down to what's attested:

Franklinius:
  • Ioannes Albertus Columbus, Naturalis philosophiae elementa, 1772. [11][12] etc., e.g. "Experimenti inventor Beniaminus Franklinius fuit, natione Anglus, Philadelphiae in Pensilvania Americae Provincia incola."
  • Some modern notes on the work of Seneca mention "Verulamius Baco et Franklinius" (Bacon and Franklin) [13] — possibly ambiguous, but when Francis Bacon is mentioned with a Franklin in English, it's generally Ben: [14]
  • Glass's Georgii Washingtonii Vita, and Beccaria's letter ad Beniaminum Franklin(i)um, as already cited.
Franklin:
  • Some numismatics, mostly French[15], e.g. "BENJ. FRANKLIN NATUS BOSTON. XVII JAN. MDCCV.".
  • Parts of Glass's Georgii Washingtonii Vita, as deprecated by the reviewer cited.
  • Diploma from Oxford: [16]. This is perhaps the most likely to reflect Franklin's own preference. Pantocrator 00:15, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
The link doesn't work, or at least I cannot see it--Xaverius 09:02, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it's only visible in certain jurisdictions. For that book I get the message "No preview available". Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:35, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
It works find for me. The book is "The Writings of Benjamin Franklin: 1789-1790", it is on page 207. I have looked through most of his stuff and can't find anything written by him in Latin. Pantocrator 10:26, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)

Add whatever. —Mucius Tever 23:47, 27 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)

I must emphasise again that this list applies only to Franklin and not for Glass's other Latinized names which have no real support. Pantocrator 00:15, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
As en.wiki's standard talk page banner would say — "This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Beniaminus Franklinius article." Addressing the matter of other people's names—especially people not even mentioned in this article, like Randolphius—would be best discussed on their own articles, so people interested in those articles, now and later, might see the relevant points, not just those of us who read everything that goes into the Disputatio namespace. To call the whole book into question might best be done in the Taberna discussion (or at something corresponding to en's WikiProjects, if we have anything such). Still, I suspect that the impression that most of these names lack support just comes from an insufficient amount of reference material being looked through — to see that Latinization of surnames was still in practice in the 18th century, one need only look at these persons' contemporaries, people such as Carolus Linnaeus, Eduardus Iennerus, Immanuel Kantius—heck, you yourself took initiative in translating Napoleon's di Buonaparte and moved him to Neapolio de Bonaparte (without a source), just because "it works"[17]. I don't see what is so "modern" (as you've said a couple of times now) about the names of Franklin et al. that prevents the possibility of their names being Latinized—and that would move you to say you'd actually rather ignore attested forms.[18] My only guess is perhaps it's because they're Americans? —Mucius Tever 05:01, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)
First, I did start a thread at the taberna, in Vicipaedia:Taberna#Categories et al.. Since this is one issue I agree it should be discussed at one place. We don't have any project pages as regrettably we don't have enough contributors to make it worthwhile.
Now the Latinisation of surnames in the 18th century was clearly variable. Yes, many still did it regularly, and many did not. Because of that, one can expect to find people both with and without Latin terminations on their last names. In such cases, it seems to me more aesthetic to prefer the form without unless the name appears Latin in form. The three examples you cite are all taken from the subject's own writings; and I will grant that we should accept that form unless there as a strong consensus of authority otherwise (as with Cartesius). I do think attested forms may be mentioned it the article, just not necessarily first.
Also, to be honest, I find the argument from consistency (which I give at the end of the section above) to be strongest of all.Pantocrator 10:26, 28 Aprilis 2010 (UTC)