Disputatio Vicipaediae:De orthographia

E Vicipaedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Numeri Romani[fontem recensere]

N.B. Haec movi e pagina Disputatio Vicipaediae:Numeri Romani
Vide etiam: Vicipaedia:Taberna#Roman_numerals.2Fnumeri_romani

I thought I'd put it up here, as Roland and I have been discussing this. The current accepted policy is to use roman numerals only for articles about numbers themselves. All other usages should be in arabic. Whom does this not satisfy, and why? My reasons for using arabic are these:

  1. They are infinitely easier to read.
  2. They are almost always smaller than their roman counterparts.
  3. Mathematics with roman numerals is unfeasible to someone without great training.
  4. We use several modern orthographical variations to classical orthodoxy, such as spaces, commas, periods, colons, semicolons, the letter v, lowercase letters etc... IHOPENOONEISSUGGESTINGWEDOAWAYWITHTHESEITHINKTHATWOULDBETHEHEIGHTOFABSURDITY. If not, we should accept arabic numerals as a supremely useful development in the history of mathematics, akin to the invention of the alphabet's influence on modern language.

Any thoughts?

Putavi id hic ponere, ita de eo Roland et ego conloquebamur. Ratio quae ad tempus accepta est numeris romanis uti fere pro paginas de numeris ipsibus scribendo. In modis omnibus aliis, opportet arabicis. Quoi haec non placet et quia? Rationes meae pro arabicis utendo sunt hae:

  1. Perfaciliores sunt lectu.
  2. Fere semper parviores.
  3. Mathematica vix potest facier sine docendo magnum
  4. Adhibemus hic plurimas inventiones recentes orthographicas insimiles moribus classicis, it spatia, commas, punctos, colones, semicolones, litteram v, litteras parvas, etc... SPERONEMOSUGGEREHASDIMITTESUMMUMPUTEMHOCABSURDITATISESSE. Si non, debemus arabicos accipere quam inventiones utillisimas in historia mathematicarum, sicut vocalia in historia abecedarii.

Cogitationes ullas?

--Ioshus Rocchio 15:34, 7 Maii 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for using some "U"s ... ;-) Ok, these are reasons why you do not want to write or read (i. e. "decode") Roman numbers. I think we have to face, that Roman numbers are funny - or maybe are even fun - and some people like to see it. And they are awaiting to see it especially here. (Maybe like people think, that Austrians are wearing Lederhosen, are riding a Lippizaner and communicate by yodelling.) Obviously this is not encyclopaedic, however, it has some of the spirit old manuscripts show: The monks had fun with writing the books, they drawed little pictures and decorated the letters, sometimes in a way which decreased readability. In that time writing and reading was not something for everybody and the people had time enough to decipher the writings. In our days books are just for providing information, aren't they? They shall offer precise, clear information and it shall be possible to pick up the information quickly and without annoying extra noise. This attitude is even mirrored in other aspects: The wording, the use of "modern" fonts, the use of summaries etc. - I must admit, that I think Roman numbers are a nice decoration for a text and that the Roman numbers are not my biggest problem when I want to read a Latin text. ;-) I think the question is: Why does nowadays someone write some information down in Latin and not in English? It is something more than just the intention to provide information? Just providing information is being encyclopaedic. A word which I avoid. I am looking for a word for "providing relevant and some irrelevant information which is either correct or tagged as dubious, which can be proofed and which is offered in a manner that makes it attractive for the reader". That's not at all what people understand by "encyclopaedic". So, what are we awaiting from this encyclopaedia (sic!)? P. S.: I myself do not like to write or decode Roman numbers, but I think these are aspects which should be considered. --Roland2 21:50, 7 Maii 2006 (UTC)
It's hard not to have POV on this issue. If we decide it attractive to some readers, how do we encourage edits? Myh inclination would always be to delete roman numerals and use arabic ones. I would not be overly inclined to do something like replace CCX with [[210]] ([[CCX]]), because I think it looks sloppy and doesn't help any modern reader, accept the few who care to have fluency with roman numerals. First and foremost we are a provider of information, and hardly an organization that caters to fancy and whimsicalness. Roman numerals, as has been argued, detract from the ready conveyance of information. As such, if not shunned, policy should certainly be to have arabic numerals first and then roman as an afterthought. But I still think we should discourage their use altogether, as Tbook said, we need to have a unified system.--Ioshus Rocchio 01:34, 8 Maii 2006 (UTC)
One more thing about this. If we wanted to get down to it and use a Roman system of dates including Roman numerals, we would have to use an AUC or a co. form of the date. Thus an event in America in 1977 would be CCI auc, or Carter et Mondale praesidentibus. We still would not be using Roman numerals the way that some do here.--Ioshus Rocchio 12:39, 8 Maii 2006 (UTC)
Vide etiam: Vicipaedia:Numeri Romani --Roland2 18:54, 8 Maii 2006 (UTC)
Actually I should mention that I thought the practice had been that articles about the numbers themselves were to be named, not numbered, e.g. viginti rather than XX, or duo rather than II, which seems more sensible. It is hard to tell though, as from the early days some user created identical content on all three titles (name, Arabic numeral and Roman numeral) for many numbers, and they have been cleaned up differently by different people. In general I tend to discourage Roman numerals and replace them with Arabic ones, because people are generally much less, 'fluent' I should say, with Roman numerals, meaning they are harder to read and errors are more likely to creep in and go unnoticed longer. —Myces Tiberinus 22:42, 10 Maii 2006 (UTC)
Definitely, I wouldn't be able to tell at a moment's glance what any roman numeral over 500 would be. I think naming articles about numbers themselves with the actual number name makes infinitely more sense.--Ioshus Rocchio 02:41, 11 Maii 2006 (UTC)
Though, shouldn't duo rather be binio?

--Ioshus Rocchio 03:28, 11 Maii 2006 (UTC)

Puto quod pro numeris annorum etiam numeros Romanos uti possumus. (Nunc magnopere facilia sunt: MM, MMI, MMII etc.) Hic usus erat per saecula saeculorum in multis ecclesiis et in aedificiis publicis in multis civitatibus. Etiam simpliciter quaestio exercitionis est romanos numeros legendi. Alex1011 14:50, 14 Maii 2006 (UTC)

That's exactly what we were arguing, that no, it isn't at all easy to read. Simple numbers like 200, yes easy, long ones not easy at all. As far as saying the church used it for years, you're right, but the church has never really had understandability as their prime objective. I mean they thought the worl was flat for 1000 years, their precedent is not really my icon. To use roman numerals for years would require the renaming of all the articles on years, and would require many edits to existing articles. Note that the policy has been around year for years to use arabic numerals and use roman for basically nothing, we are debating here whether there is a good reason to change policy. That roman numerals are easy for you to read and use I do not think equates a good reason to change.--Ioshus Rocchio 15:18, 14 Maii 2006 (UTC)

Latin Spelling[fontem recensere]

For ease of reference, several attempts have been made to organise a bit the spelling debate so that it can be followed better. This has been done by simply cutting and pasting all the relevant interventions (without of course editing them in any way) and arranging them into sections and subsections, under titles which try to be as clarifying as possible. Some users have not seen the usefulness of this arrangement; so, although a greater part of the discussion will be found under this heading, readers are reminded that some of the arguments are still scattered elsewhere throughout the page and are requested to look for those too. Avitus 05:05, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

The letters j and v[fontem recensere]

Analysis of the present rules[fontem recensere]

De 'J' et 'j': Quare nobis sint haec litterae non utendae? Ratio, quae pristinam nobis linguam scribendam postulat, varia est namque nobis 'u' et 'v' licet verum numquam, nempe, 'j' uti. Hancne absurditatem e humanistis, qui ad Ciceronem simulandum ita intenderunt ut loqui cogitareque latine nec amplius possent, nunc sequebimur simul latinam ecclesiae, quae notitiam latine loquendi non nullos saeclos adeo servavit, negligemus? Porro, nos si vellimus latina sicut lingua viventi uti, tunc mentes convortamus ad linguam saeclos multos dictam ac scriptam quodsi abolere enim hanc linguam denique mallis, aurem quippe ad humanistos adhibeas, modum linguae evertendae scientes.

Quamquam Latinitas tua vix intellegitur, respondere conabor:
Dicis: Ratio, quae pristinam nobis linguam scribendam postulat, varia est namque nobis 'u' et 'v' licet verum numquam, nempe, 'j' uti. Ignosce, sed distantia inter duas litteras I, alteram minoris alteram vero majoris longitudinis, est prisca multoque antiquior quam distantia inter duas litteras V, ergo, si "pristinam linguam" vis adhibere, distinguere deberes inter i et j et non inter u et v.
Dicis: Hancne absurditatem e humanistis, qui ad Ciceronem simulandum ita intenderunt ut loqui cogitareque latine nec amplius possent, nunc sequebimur simul latinam ecclesiae, quae notitiam latine loquendi non nullos saeclos adeo servavit, negligemus? Tantum conjicere possum quid híc velis dicere, si putas híc agi de pugna inter traditionem Humanisticam et traditionem Ecclesiasticam, totá erras viá. Primum omnium, Latinitas est una omnium, amice. Factiones non sunt. Plerique Humanistæ Christiani erant. Ceterum orthographia Latina non pertinet ad religionem, regulas suas habere debet secundum traditionem propriam et rationem linguisticam.
Dicis: Porro, nos si vellimus latina sicut lingua viventi uti, tunc mentes convortamus ad linguam saeclos multos dictam ac scriptam quodsi abolere enim hanc linguam denique mallis, aurem quippe ad humanistos adhibeas, modum linguae evertendae scientes. Denuo, híc non disputas de rationibus orthographicis, sed de præjudiciis quibusdam tuis secundum quæ Humanistæ aboleverunt usum linguæ Latinæ. Hæc est mera opinio.
Si vis respicere traditionem orthographicam ecclesiasticam, mitte Humanistas, amice, et respice quæso veram traditionem orthographicam ecclesiasticam. Ego, in meo "Missali Romano ex decreto SS. Concilii Tridentini restituto, S. Pii V Pontificis Maximi jussu edito, aliorum Pontificum cura recognito, a Pio X reformato et Benedicti XV auctoritate vulgato, editione XIX, juxta Typicam Vaticanam, Ratisbonæ, sumptibus et typis Friderici Pustet, S. Sedis Apostolicæ et S. Rituum Congr. typographi", planissimé video et u et v et i et j et æ et œ: CANON MISSÆ Finita præfatione, Sacerdos extendens, elevans aliquantulum et jungens manus, elevansque ad cælum oculos, et statim demittens, profunde inclinatus ante Altare, manibus super eo positis, dicit.... Eandem orthographiam video in aliis meis libris ecclesiasticis.
Disputatio ergo inter i et j, u et v nihil habet cum re ecclesiasticá. Traditio ecclesiastica per sæcula respexit litteras i et j et u et v et æ et œ.
Videamus ergo nunc quid dicant regulæ istæ absurdæ quæ in hac paginá nescioquis (quis enim se putat dominum esse Latinitatis?) scripsit:
Noli uti litteris J et j!
Curnam opus est signo exclamationis?
Ratio: Litterae recentes J et j non in numero alphabeti linguae Latinae aetatis classicae sunt.
At hæc ratio valet etiam pro litteris u et v. Attamen in illis litteris disputandis mentio hujus rei non fit. Ceterum, ut supra dixi, distantia inter duas litteras I, alteram minoris alteram vero majoris longitudinis, prisca est multoque antiquior quam distantia inter duas litteras V.
Multi eis nunc utuntur, sed Vicipaedia non id facit
Et quis est rex vel imperator qui hanc legem tulit? Si "multi utuntur", quis potest vetare quominus et híc utamur? Quá auctoritate?
quod sine illis verisimilitudo errorum orthographicorum minor est.
Hæc ratio est absurda et speciosa. Quisnam umquam errores orthographicos fecit inter i et j? Ceterum, hac quidem ratione, etiam abolenda esset littera h, ne errores ortograficos admitteremus.
Praeterea sic paginas invenire facilius est.
Minimé quidem. Nam plures quærebunt "Juno" vel "justitia", quia ita talia verba scribuntur in omnibus linguis occidentalibus, quam "Iuno" vel "iustitia".
Utere litteris U, u et V, v!
Denuo, cur opus est signo exclamationis si argumenta fundantur in ratione potius quam in imperio despotico? In aliis normis non necessarium visum est tale signum.
Ratio: Quamquam litterae U et u etiam non classicae sunt, Vicipaedia tamen eas ab V et v distinguit.
Ah! Hæc est ergo ratio: "Vicipedia distinguit quia Vicipedia distinguit". Optima ratio! Optima explicatio! Quod potius valet: "quia ego dico!".
Etiam Wheelock's Latin, unus e potissimis libris linguae Latinae in scholis Civitatium Unitarum Americae id facit.
Ah! Ergo quia quidam liber scholasticus Americanus ad usum discipulorum talem usum adhibet, tunc totus orbis terrarum debet talem usum adhibere. Quid vero de sæculari traditione Latiná?
Ergo scribe verbum, neque uerbum neque verbvm. Huic regulae exceptio est: verba in maiusculis, praecipue loci allati et inscriptiones, e.g.: DIS DEABVSQVE
Ah! Regula est tam luculenta et perspicua ut in litteris majusculis non valeat! Optima regula!
Ignosce, sed ego puto me posse multum adjuvare ut hæc encyclopædia floreat et augeatur, nempe cujus Latinitas melior sit quam multorum (et —si per te licet— quam tua): paratus sum multa scribere, optimá Latinitate; sed si quidam ignorantes absurdas suas orthographicas regulas imponunt, paginarumque quas ego scribo orthographiam immutant, equidem rem totam deponam.
Velim primum scire quis se arrogaverit auctoritatem ut regulas orthographicas suas reliquis imponeret, et secundum eum rogare ut has regulas deleat. Si non licet distinguere inter i et j, tunc non licet distinguere inter u et v; et si licet distinguere inter u et v, tunc licet distinguere inter i et j.
Omnis qui linguam Latinam cognovit facile legit scripta aut cum J j V v Æ æ Œ œ aut sine J j V v Æ æ Œ œ. Regulae sunt utiles quia regularitas orthographiae adiuvat scriptoribus, editoribus, lectoribus et (apud situm interretialem) praecipue quaestoribus.
Non respondes rogatis meis, sed ego respondebo tibi: cum facile sit cuicumque legere Latiné variis scribendi moribus, tamen tu ipse profiteris regularitatem quandam adjuvare. Regularitas vero debet adhiberi regulis rationabilibus, non absurdis. Quæ nunc sunt, absurda sunt, nam neque respiciunt traditionem sæcularem linguæ Latinæ scribendæ (neque humanisticæ neque ecclesiasticæ, ut supra demonstravi), neque naturam linguæ Latinæ respiciunt (nam neque plus neque minus naturam consonanticam habet Latiné j quam v).
Ergo suadeo disputantibus anonymis primum paginas Vicipaedicas scribere: cur? et quia paginae encyclopaedicae multo utiliores sunt quam disputationes scholasticae, et quia facilius persuademur ab expertis quam ab advenis. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:25, 27 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Certé! Sed ego jam scripsi paginas! Et quidam ignorantes venerunt et luculentam meam Latinitatem pessimis "correctionibus" inquinaverunt. Bene scio Wikipædiam esse omnibus apertam, et hocc accipio; sed si ipsæ regulæ editoriæ sunt malæ, frustratio jam est maxima. Si non vultis accipere distinctionem inter i/j, fiat; sed tunc neque inter u et v distinguendum erit. Multi sané sunt editores qui sine j neque v publicent libros, et is erat usus antiquus. Quamquam mihi utilius videtur distinguere inter vocales et consonantes, et hic est usus sæcularis, paratus tamen sum ut redeamus ad usús priscos si ita placet. Quod neque ego neque multi optimi Latinitiatis cultores poterimus umquam accipere est usus mancus ubi altera semivocalis accipitur altera vero non. Hocc est absurdum! Ego talibus normis orthographicis numquam scribam. Et si quæ scribo immutantur, propositum híc collaborandi relinquam.
Si iam scripsisti paginas, optime -- quia valde bene scribis! Sed si re vera dicis "si quæ scribo immutantur, propositum híc collaborandi relinquam" tibi valere iubeo, volens nolens. Licet nemini apud Vicipaediam sic imperare. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 17:05, 27 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Ita, usor ignote, videris mihi in animo habere pugnam incipere, magis quam rationes disputare. Peritia linguae nostrae, quam certe habes, non tantum facit Vicipaedianum utilem. Labores, quaeso, nobiscum, nec contra . . . --Ioscius (disp) 17:36, 27 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Quæso legatis quæ scripsi. Minimé volo pugnam incipere. Immo nihil malo quam hanc Latinam encyclopædiam quam optimam luculentissimamque efficere. At tantum possum collaborare sub legibus justis, non sub legibus absurdis et imperio arbitrario. Eá de causá volui primum scire quis scripserit (et quot) eas leges et quá auctoritate. Volui etiam rogare ut argumenta mea æquo animo considerentur, et, si juxta sæcularem (non unius diei) traditionem Latinam et rationabilia sunt, mutentur eæ leges. Vobiscum delibero, non contra vos. Vobiscum agere volo, ne ergo et vos me oppugnetis. Ceterum, nomen meum est A. Gratius Avitus, de quo si plura scire volueritis, Google vos adjuvare incipere poterit. Avitus 18:38, 27 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

On the importance of spelling[fontem recensere]

Orthographia = res parva

φορτασσε μεα ρατιο, σκριβενς λινγυαμ λατιναμ κυμ ορθογραφια Γραεκα, λυξ χοκ ιν αργυμεντυμ φερατ. Νοννε εστ χαεκ ετιαμ λινγυα Λατινα?

Вел ин ортхографиa Руссика. Нихиломинус, сцрибо Латине. Ерго, ут видетур, лингуа ИПСА дефинит лингуам, хауд аутем ортхографиa.

Dein, rogo, si orthographia linguam non definit, quid est pessimi in nostras orthographiae regulas adhibendo? Erit lingua Latina etiam sine ligaturis, sine accentibus, et sine j.

Et sine v. Nulla est ergo causa ut arbitrariá lege imperetis v sed non j.
Et nulla causa non imperemus.
Est opinio tua quam olim disces exprimere Latiné.

Sunt, Avite, super 14 000 commentationes apud nos. Tibi consentior, multas scriptas esse mala Latinitate. At omnes scriptae sunt (ut speramus) cum orthographia simili.

Simili stupiditate, recté dicis.
Iterum pugnam praefers quam rem solutam.
Hæc scripsi jam dudum. Rem ego ducebam præteritam. Tute redis ad litem.

Sunt MULTI hoc in mundo qui cum eadem orthographia Latinum sermonem scribunt.

Vos autem vultis ut sint OMNES. Equidem non ero.
Non omnes, at nostri censores.
Latiné discere debes ut intellegas quæ scripsi.

Est etiam nostra traditio, quae quinque annos exstat. Si velis pars esse nostrae traditionis, ESTO! Nisi, APAGE! Estne hoc tam difficile intellectu?

Malo esse pars LATINÆ traditionis quam "VESTRÆ". Interea, pergam scribere in aliis Wikipædiis, ubi rationabilitas viget. "VOS" perditis.
Heu, perdidi et nescii.
Multa nescis, amice. Aliquando animadvertes et discere incipere poteris.

Quippe, ut Latinitate meliore scribis, spero te adhibiturum. At, amabo te, animadverte. Tellus haud finierit, superbia tua demissa.

Neque tuá, lepidissime, neque tuá. Ceterum magis ignoscenda est superbia in magistro quam in discipulo: vis discere nec discere vis.

--Ioscius (disp) 14:49, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Valete. Avitus 18:41, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

The various spelling traditions[fontem recensere]

IacobusAmor wrote elsewhere: So far as a quick perusal of reputably published Latin texts shows, about the only typographical way in which the style of Vicipaedia differs from the standards of modern Classical scholarship is that Vicipaedia capitalizes the first word of each sentence: the current style of the Loeb series capitalizes only the first word of paragraphs (and proper nouns) and sets the first word of other sentences in lowercase; it eschews the letter "J," but uses consonantal "V." This is the same style as that of Fisher's edition of Taciti Annales ab excessu divi Augusti (Oxford, 1906). Similarly, the Teubner 1917 edition of Horace (available online) eschews the letter "J," but uses consonantal "V." Two widely read general studies—Palmer's The Latin Language (1954) and Baldi's The Foundations of Latin (2002)—eschew the letter "J," as do, for example, Adams's The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (1982), such a venerable tome as Bradley's Arnold (1938), and such a linguistically echt study as Devine & Stephens's Latin Word Order (Oxford, 2006). Googling shows that The Classical Review was eschewing "J" so long ago as 1891. None of these works deploys ligatures (æ, œ), and none deploys acute accents over selected vowels. Vicipaedians will, I'm sure, be willing to consider a thoughtfully presented case against all this, but merely calling it absurd and attributing it to modern Italian sensibilities doesn't constitute an argument. I myself love the look of ligatures (which to Ioscius, you'll recall, seem "ugly"), but they defeat Vicipaedia's search engine (if you searched for Caesar and Vicipaedia spelled him exclusively as Cæsar, you wouldn't find him)—and that seems like a sufficient reason to avoid them, at least for the moment. IacobusAmor 11:23, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

You are right, many reputable books can be put forward that have adopted the i/u/v spelling. Who is going to deny that? Only many more can be put forward that follow the i/j/u/v one. I don't think the argument should be put in statistical terms; but, if so, I'm confident that the i/j/u/v system defeats the i/u/v one throughout history. Latin has a long history. Only if you just consider books printed in this century, and especially in English-speaking countries, may the i/u/v system be more widespread than the i/j/u/v. This is a tendency that we can choose to reinforce or to counterbalance. The decision is ours, and should be carefully considered and poised. All I am trying to do is to advocate a balance and freedom of choice. Others advocate reinforcement and heavy-handedness. The main difference is that I put forward solid historical and philological arguments, whereas the others rely just on "this is what most people are doing".
Well, in fact, it's also debatable whether that's what most people are doing, and even more debatable whether it is what the best people are doing. If we are to follow what reputable philologists are doing, then the answer may not be the i/j/u/v system, but then it is certainly not the i/u/v one either, because I can put forward to you as important a landmark as P.G.W. Glare's Oxford Latin Dictionary, which follows a third widespread system, and one which makes much more philological sense than the i/u/v one, and that's the simpler and really classical i/u spelling system. You mention the Loeb collection, I can mention the Oxford Classical Texts, which has a higher standard of scholarship and where you will find, along indeed with a few editors that stick to the i/u/v system, a majority of others who follow the i/u one, from Lindsay's Plautus to Winterbottom's Quintilian, through Mynors's Virgil.
We cannot deny the existence of various spelling traditions. We can choose to grant freedom or to enforce one tradition. Granting freedom is of course the least intrusive, and the option other languages have chosen, like the English Wikipedia, which cannot be dismissed as an example of malpractice. This open option should be completely acceptable to anyone but the most unrepentant control freaks.
If, on the other hand, we want to enforce one system, then we must be very careful, because we will irritate not a few people. In that case, we need choose on really solid grounds, not because I like it or because it so appears on the textbook I used at school, which are the shameful arguments that appear in the Auxilium pro editione (Latine) page and which have been repeated here. From the three major options available (i/j/u/v, i/u/v and i/u), there are some that have a more solid historical and philological justification and others that have less (not to say none), and we have to consider this carefully. No one can deny that the i/u system is the truest to classical spelling. No one can deny that the i/j/u/v one is the truest to Latin pronunciation. No one can deny that the other one is philologically unjustifiable from the point of view of Latin.
Is that a dig at me, Avite? I mentioned the textbooks from which I learned Latin. I didn't use this as an argument in favour of any spelling system: I said that it was why I personally found the current system here easy to adopt when I arrived. What's "shameful" in that? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:13, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Goodness, no! I'm really sorry I seem to have made everybody so paranoid. No, Andrew, the allusion is to the "rationale" given for the prohibition of the letter j and the acceptance of v in the Auxilium pro editione (latine) page, where the only reason given to substantitate the use of u/v after i/j has been prohibited is that Etiam Wheelock's Latin, unus e potissimis libris linguae Latinae in scholis Civitatium Unitarum Americae id facit. Great! Avitus 19:38, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
My mistake. With regard to the cogency of Wheelock, we are in agreement. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:45, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
The only one given, but as we have gone at lengths to demonstrate, not the only reason out there.
So, thinking rationally, the options we have, from best to worst are: 1. Leaving spelling freedom,
I disagree that this is the best policy. We pick a style and stick with it. You do not open 10 different pages of Britannica to see 10 different orthographical styles. Nor here.
2. Adopting the classical spelling i/u,
Wouldn't ruffle my feathers so much if that were what was happening, when I arrived, and before we had 14K articles.
Adopting the phonetically-transparent system i/j/u/v, and
4. Adopting the recent Anglo-Italian system i/u/v. So far we are obliged, by some wrongly conceived laws most fiercely defended by some Latin students with gross deficiencies in their knowledge of Latin, to subject ourselves to the yoke of the worst of the four options. All I'm proposing is an upgrading to a more acceptable option.
JUst wondering who these people with gross deficiencies are, and why, if we are they, you want to work with us in the first place . . . ? --Ioscius (disp) 13:40, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Curate ut valeatis. Avitus 12:33, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I forgot to add: of course I understand what you say about ligatures, and completely support the policy to resolve them. This is a completely different issue. I'm sorry if I have given the impression that I am advocating a complete change of all the spelling rules. All I'm trying to discuss is the j/v issue. Avitus 13:59, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I find that clarification useful: I was worried about the ligatures, Avite.
OK, that's sorted then.
As I now explain below, the ligatures are not really a problem we need to worry about in any case. Avitus 17:46, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Well, as I too have explained below, I don't agree. But if no one's proposing them, that's fine! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:03, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Which leads me to my main question at the moment, and something about which I have asked several times already but has not been clarified: how do we reach a conclusion on this? i.e. who has the final authority to rewrite the spelling rules (should they need any rewriting) and when and how is this going to happen (if at all)? are we going to cast a vote and let majorities crush minorities or are we going to work towards a consensus? yesterday I broke down and could no longer keep track of the arguments and counterarguments, and some other people (in my user's discussion page) have already said that the discussion has become so complicated that they don't even know which spelling options I'm advocating, how are we going to come to a properly informed decision on this if that's the case? Avitus 08:47, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
That question is relevant to other pages as well as this one. For the present I'll give my answer on your talk page, Avite. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:20, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
On the j/v issue, you are right that our standard is illogical.
That's all that counts for me. I cannot bear such yoke.
I have accepted it, however (and continue to do so) for 4 reasons:
  1. Least important, I personally find it easy to adopt because I was taught Latin with precisely this spelling system (although neither my teachers nor my textbooks were Italian!)
Least important indeed. I was not though. In any case, this is neither here nor there.
It is a bit here, wouldn't you say? You like your system, others like theirs. It's all a matter of opinion, it seems . . . You just don't like that some of us don't like your opinion.
  1. It is very commonly used
But this has been answered above.
  1. There is a practical problem with the alternative I would otherwise personally prefer (to rule out both j and v: but that entails pairing capital V and lower-case u, which would be damned difficult to explain to a computer)
As I said, I have no problem to endorse your preferred i/u option. It is not my preferred one, but it is one preferred by the best classical scholars too, so no problem there. Regarding the techincal hiccup, am not an expert in this area, but if pairing V and u is techincally impossible (I don't know), then another philologically acceptable option has to be chosen, but not an absurd one.
In any case, it cannot be such a difficult matter when the present illogical law, in a further display of absurdity, goes on to say Huic regulae exceptio est: verba in maiusculis, praecipue loci allati et inscriptiones, e.g.: DIS DEABVSQVE, which would appear to make it explainable to a computer that capital V does pair up with lower-case u. Why is something technically difficult if I propose it, but not if it is actually sanctioned by the present laws? Can we not discuss things rationally? Or nothing I say is now ever going to be considered in its own terms? Avitus 21:06, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Why do you think that just because we don't agree means we haven't considered?--Ioscius (disp) 13:40, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
There is an answer to this (as UV makes clear below), an answer that Avitus didn't think of. Text that has V in place of u, because it is in all caps, actually does not show up correctly in searches. Therefore, the less such text the better. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 22:46, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I don't know which answer you say I hadn't thought of, but nevermind. Let's address below what is below. Avitus 08:52, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
  1. Most important, I think writing good stuff is more useful to the world in general than trying to change spelling rules. (I admire both Shakespeare and Shaw, but I think Shakespeare was the wiser of the two.)
Probably. This would launch us into a philosophical discussion though. For me, writing good stuff includes writing it in philologically acceptable spelling.
I understand your wish to have things as perfect as possible ab initio. But we have to remember (I too had to remember this -- I only arrived here a year ago) that for everyone else this is not the initium; there is an existing practice. We could even appear imperious if immediately on arrival we announce: "I'll stay, but only if I can choose the rules". We have to make ourselves needed -- perhaps even loved! -- before we can safely open a negotiation using that gambit. At least, that's my view. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:24, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you say, and above all appreciate your sensible approach to this whole discussion, but my view is slightly different, and for me having the j accepted or at least getting the v eliminated with it, and in general ensuring a philologically sensible standard, is an issue I cannot pass over. Avitus 15:47, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I think "absurd" may be too strong. It has been used by many good Latinists. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:13, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
For me, it's a synonym of "illogical", which you yourself have used. Andrew, let's not make this a matter of petty distinctions between words. I am sure by now you are not that kind of person. Let's stick to the word "illogical" if you prefer. It's is no big deal for me. Avitus 17:39, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Again, as I have said, just because something does not follow your logic, does not make it illogical.--Ioscius (disp) 13:40, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Comparison with spelling regulations in other Wikipedias, especially the English one[fontem recensere]

Jam aliquantulum scripsi contra tyrannidem orthographicam quæ in hac Wikipædia videtur regnare (vid. supra de J et j). Hactenus tantum argumenta mea fulta erant et exemplis traditionis Latinæ rationibusque philologicis. Magistratus vero Rocchius nullam aliam causam visus est invenire ne leges istæ in meliorem formam redigantur quam se nolle:

Non utimur littera J (alii credunt huic disputando, at nihilominus, nunc, non utimur).
Ego quidem censeo hoc disputandum. Si non mihi licet sive j et v úti, sive neque j neque v, ego híc non scribam. Absurdas tyrannides non tolero.
V, ita, j, non. Fortasse hic est "valere", et i in pace. Tyrannus non sum, modo magistratus regularum quae exstabant annos priusquam ego ipsea adveni.--Ioscius (disp) 20:57, 27 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Ergo leges non licet mutare si absurdæ patent esse?
Me nolle confiteor (hanc legem, ad minimum) . . . --Ioscius (disp) 23:05, 27 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Quid dicam? Non video rationem ut mutemus . . . est, si supra legas, res parva . . . Haud sum Vicipaedianus solus qui non vult hanc legem mutare. Modo circumspice. --Ioscius (disp) 14:59, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Rationem supra dedi. Si non vides, fortasse Latiné discere debes. Avitus 09:46, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Phew, can smell that reeking snideness through the internet. Someone may need a shower.--Ioscius (disp) 13:42, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Nunc vero inspexi quid faciant aliæ linguæ, præsertimque Anglica, cujus Wikipedia floret. Ut omnes scitis, sicut in Latina, et in lingua Anglica sunt variæ traditiones orthographicæ.

Hoc tamen nihil obstat quominus liceat scriptoribus úti boná libertate orthographica:


The English Wikipedia has no general preference for a major national variety of the language; none is more “correct” than the others, and users are asked to take into account that the differences between the varieties are superficial.

Oh, sapientissima verba! Hic tamen, usus litteræ j, quæ in paucis verbis apparet, non videtur res superficialis. Debent omnes tyrannidem unam sequi. Nulla accipitur libertas, nulla humanitas, nullus respectus traditionis Latinæ.

Lege attentissime: The English Wikipedia . . . sumusne The English Wikipedia? Minime. Sequimur percussionem nostri tympanistae. Et credemus constantiam in orthographia inter commentationes. Quidst tibi mali?--Ioscius (disp) 15:03, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Certé, sed tympanista es pessimus, amice. Ceterum, jam explicavi quid sit mali. Quidnam autem tibi sit non opus est rogem: Latinitatem ignoras. Avitus 09:46, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Bene, ego itero iteroque: nisi libertas datur ut úti possimus tam j quam v, ego híc non scribam.

Ego itero: Valeas.--Ioscius (disp) 15:03, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Noli curare, jam diu intellego te velle me abire. Abeant ergo philologiæ periti, ut encyclopædiæ possint potiri peregere petulantes studentes! Avitus 09:46, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Cur est tam difficile regulam malam in melius mutare?

Avitus 08:35, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Responsum dedi supra. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 10:29, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Quomodo potuisti dare supra responsum cum argumentum e comparatione cum aliis Wikipædiis nondum protulerim? Neque argumenta mea consideratis neque eis respondetis. Quid est hoc? Avitus 11:36, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Cur est tam difficile regulam malam in melius mutare? "quia facilius persuademur ab expertis quam ab advenis."
Hoc vero est argumentum "ad hominem". Argumenta debent considerari secundum rationabilitate eorum, non secundum quis ea dicat. Hocc equidem putaverim. Ceterum, bene scio me novus esse in Wikipædiá (novus quidem nomine dato, nam jam multa antea et legeram et scripseram), sed dedi nomen etiam ut pateret me jam multos annos pro Latinitate toto corde propugnare, et patet (puto) a non tam malá meá Latinitate me esse et expertus et peritus. Jam aliquot pagellas cœpi scribere nomine dato, sed, ut dixi, non possum tolerare ut Latinitas mea male et sine causá legitimá corrumpatur. Hoc bene intellexerunt editores Wikipedia Anglicæ, qui libertatem orthographicam dederunt usoribus. Nihil aliud rogo. Profecto erunt qui paginas meas mutabunt, sed non propter injustam legem orthographicam. Donec simili rationabilitate agamus in parte Latiná atque fit in parte Anglicá, erunt usores, sicut ego, quorum jura dignitasque erit conculcata. Quis potest se dare laboribus tempusque suum impendere sub his condicionibus? Sed itero: si argumenta respuitis quia ab "ignoto homine" veniunt, nescio quid dicam de vestrá humanitate. Avitus 12:05, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Citius legis. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:22, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
??? Avitus 12:42, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Dico hoc: in verbis quae infra sequuntur imperas ut puerulus qui proclamat se non ludere nisi regulis suis. Si enim re vera recusat, nihil conficit. Si autem ludit, facilius potest alios persuadere ut regulas mutarent. Suadeo tibi ludere. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:50, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Intellego, at non agitur híc de ludo nec de puerulis, agitur hominibus adultis et præsertim de sæculari traditione orthographicá Latiná, de bonis rationibus linguisticis et philologicis, et de cordatá flexibilitate quam aliæ linguæ demonstrant.
Ceterum, mente finge si in Wikipedia Anglicá haberent legem quá tantum orthographia Americaná liceret scribere et veniret quidam Anglus et vellet mutare eam legem ut majore libertate orthographicá scribere liceret. Americani dicerent: "tu scribe multas paginas et fortasse te auscultabimus, sed interea omnia quæ scribas mutabimus in orthographiam Americanam". Si post multas paginas scriptas ille redit ad imperatores et dicit: "bene, jam multa scripsi, quid nunc?", nonne illi possent dicere: "recte, sed pauci estis Angli, multo plures sumus Americani, ergo re verá non putamus legem esse mutandam". Ceterum, si tandem Americani concedunt, quid facere debebit ille miser Anglus, iterum relegat omnes paginas quas scripist ut restituat orthographiam suam? Nonne satis laboraverit? Debebit omnia bis perficere? Non. Melius est hæc res deliberentur ab initio, nempe quæ, ut dixi, non debent pertinere "ad hominem" (utrum qui res proponit multas paginas scribat necne), sed ad rationabilitatem ipsam propositionis, quæ non pendet a numero paginarum a me uno scriptis, quæ numquam poterunt esse tam multæ atque omnium aliorum, sed ab ipsa Latinitate, traditionem orthographicam, naturam phoneticam, et universalitatem. Etiam si ego hodie Wikipædiam relinquerem, hoc esset vobis considerandum. Ceterum, non ego solus nec primus mutationem istius legis rogavi. Non a me pendere debet tota res, sed ab ipsá boná Latinitate. Avitus 13:15, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Considero. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:20, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Vix sunt verba quibus gratias tibi agere possim! Quam plurimas ergo tibi ago! Avitus 13:26, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
nisi libertas datur ut úti possimus tam j quam v, ego híc non scribam. "Licet nemini apud Vicipaediam sic imperare." Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:45, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Ego nihil impero. Immo vero leges istæ imperant. Ego tantum dico quæ sentio. Si jura mea boná et traditá Latinitate scribendi absurdis et injustificatis legibus conculcantur, non possum scribere. Nihil impero. Tantum rogo ut quod rationabile visum est aliis linguis (i.e. respectum habere erga traditones orthographicas linguarum) etiam híc liceat. Qui imperant ii sunt qui prohibitiones imponunt, non qui libertatem poscunt. Avitus 12:05, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Ut apud alias Wikipedias, habes libertatem collaborationis. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:29, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Hocc est verum. Habeo etiam dignitatem, linguæque Latinæ maximum amorem. Avitus 12:42, 28 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Well, I said and I have been told to come to this page to follow the discussion:

The only thing I can say in this argument, that I have not followed in full, is cum Romae fueritis, Romano vivite more--Xaverius 11:27, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

I'll explain myself: I just wanted to say that if we have a series of conventions and ways of doing things {{About mores}}, it is probably a good idea to follow them. And sorry if I do not write in Latin, I just wanted to make my point clear.--Xaverius 12:06, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Unless you are more specific, I still don't know what discussion mores I'm failing to follow. Avitus 12:48, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I meant mores 105 and 106 (j and ligatures)--Xaverius 13:34, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Well, those are the specific points under discussion, not general discussion procedures, which I thought you meant. Regarding the j/v issue, the matter is sub judice. The arguments haven't been duly poised, and a final decision hasn't been reached as far as I've been made aware of. Regarding the ligatures, I continue to use them out of mere habit. I have no problem dropping them once we have reached a conclusion to the spelling discussion. But thanks for the clarification, anyway. Avitus 14:06, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Hi periodici Latinii solent more Vicipaediano de 'i' uti:
*Nuntii Latini (Finnia) (Nuntii Latini YLE)
*Nuntii Latini Vaticani
*Nuntii Latini Italici
*Emissiones Vocis Latinae
*Progetto Ovidio - attualità in latino
*Nuntii Latini a Primo Pestiensi Universitario Radiophono emissi
Hi periodici Latinii solent more de 'j' uti:
*Nuntii Latini Bremenses
Ut vides, plurimi more Vicipaediano de 'i' utuntur.--Rafaelgarcia 12:34, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Hæc omnia bene scio, amice, quippe qui sim pars activa communitatis Latiné loquentium. Vid. autem supra argumenta mea. Hæc omnia per dominatum Italicum possunt explanari. Ceterum, vos numeros iterum iterumque sequimini, ego rationem philologicam. Nihil aliud rogo nisi jus manendi cum Winterbottom, cum Mynors, cum Lindsay, cum optimis denique philologis, quod si non licet, equidem malo Latinitatem meam non inquinari. Avitus 12:48, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

In defence of flexibility[fontem recensere]

Tempestas in lagoena? Non solum in orthographia consistit lingua Latina. Vera medulla Latinitatis dependet a regulis grammaticis (morphologicis, syntacticis) recte observatis, ab emendato usu vocabulorum secundum genium linguae nostrae, a sententiis ita compositis, ut concinnus producatur sententiarum textus. His virtutibus excellet Avitus noster, quem equidem libentissime in numerum nostrum excipiam, etsi suos habeat mores. Cum ceterum tanta liberalitate patientiaque simus erga varietates grammaticas, quin et varietatem orthographicam toleremus, quae tamen non temeraria est sed internam cohaerentiam ostendit. Iam aspeximus necessitatem variarum litterarum notarumque diacriticarum in nominibus Francogallicis, Fennicis, &c adhibendarum. Ne infantem cum aqua abiecerimus! Avitum autem oportet illi principio nostro morigerari, quod quae scripserit ab aliis augeri et modice mutari poterunt. Unam difficultatem video ego quoque: si (puta) commentationem incipiat Avitus j littera ligaturisque usus, et ego deinde pergam sine ligaturis et sine j littera scribens, nonne farrago stilorum fiat? Neander 15:41, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Gratias quam plurimas tibi ago. Profecto accipio ut, sicut in aliis Wikipædiis fit, cuicumque liceat aliorum scripta immutare, dummodo non sit ista quasi obligatoria mutatio et lége arbitrariá imposita. Secundo, ut dixi supra, et ligaturarum omittendarum necessitatem facile intellego. Ceterum, quod de farragine stilorum dicis, optimé decreverunt Wikipedia Anglicæ correctores, ut supra vobis suggerebam:
The English Wikipedia has no general preference for a major national variety of the language; none is more “correct” than the others, and users are asked to take into account that the differences between the varieties are superficial. Cultural clashes over spelling and grammar are avoided by using four simple guidelines.
Consistency within articles
Each article consistently uses the same variety of English throughout; for example, center and centre are not used in the same article. The exceptions are:
* quotations (the original variety is retained);
* titles (the original spelling is used, for example United States Department of Defense and Australian Defence Force); and
* explicit comparisons of varieties of English.
Avitus 15:59, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I fully disagree with this ratio. Is this a cohesive encyclopaedia, as we endeavor to make it? Or is it a collection of pages haphazardly thrown together? Consistency through the whole encyclopaedia is something that we have been working to achieve. --Ioscius (disp) 13:44, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you call the most successful English Wikipedia an uncohesive mere collection of pages haphazardly thrown together ... may this Latin epigone be one day comparable to such a glorious collection of pages! Avitus 13:57, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Can we have a page per letter?[fontem recensere]

I have finally given in and gone back to producing some further pages (much fewer than I intend to continue to do when all this issue is sorted, but at least the ones that may be useful to shed some light on the spelling issue), as recommended. I have come upon a problem, which I guess I can consult here as it is relevant.

I have started to work on the article about the letter J and its history (as different from I). I have an initial stipula for it as I think it's called here. I then wanted to proceed to shed some more light on the history of the letter U (as different from V). Paradoxically, the letter J, which you here consider not worth distinguishing from the ancient I, has a separate page in the encyclopedia: I and J; whereas the letter U, which you here consider worth distinguishing from the ancient V, has no page of its own in the encyclopedia, but just a redirection instruction to the V page.

Please bear in mind that we are not talking here about pronunciation, but about a letter and its history, and that this has nothing to do with the spelling rules of this encyclopedia, but with the capability of this encyclopedia to have an article on each of the characters of the Latin alphabet as an alphabet used by scores of languages, and not only (Vicipaedian) Latin.

I therefore request that the U page is unlocked from the V page just as the J page is unlocked from the I one, and that we are allowed to write a separate article per letter of the contemporary Latin alphabet as it now exists independently of which language uses it, i.e. including I J U V W Ç and any other letters we may want to write an article on.

Thanks in advance. Avitus 16:15, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

No problem. Very good idea, too.
In any such case you can do it yourself: here's how. Type U (littera) into the search box and click Ire. You will see page V (littera), and just under the heading will be a message, something like redirected from U (littera). Now click on that U (littera). You will be taken to the actual redirect page. Choose the Edit tab. Remove the redirect, and type a proper article in its place. OK?Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:51, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Seems like a good idea. The caption of the illustration in the article J should add the century of origin, if known. First century? To my eye, the script looks quite similar to one of the scripts in the Vindolanda tablets (first & second centuries). Eventually, each letter should be illustrated by examples showing its palæographical history. IacobusAmor 17:06, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
¶ In the article, it might be worth mentioning that—aside from questions about Latin spelling itself—the perceived illegitimacy of "J" persists to our own time. Washington, DC, whose street grid has east-to-west thoroughfares named A Street, B Street, C Street, and so on, has no J Street (but most famously has K Street, L Street, and M Street, and President Woodrow Wilson used to live on S Street). IIRC, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, which number their companies A, B, C, and so on, have no Company J, though they most certainly have companies K, L, and M. IacobusAmor 17:18, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Now that we aren't beating a dead horse, I will resume the discussion. By all means, we should have a page for each letter, including U. I see nothing wrong with this at all, I think we should pages for every Greek letter, too, including digamma, shin, qoppa, etc. Nothing wrong with that, at all. I can also assure you, these letter pages are very old, and it might be that none here working still worked on them at all.--Ioscius (disp) 18:45, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)`
Thank you everyone for your replies, in particular to Andrew for the technical directions. I need to learn a lot regarding editing technicalities. The fragment is from the years 41-54. I'll add that. It is indeed a particularly representative example of spelling practices of the classical age, including the extensive use of apices, etc. I will indeed be working on adding loads of illustrations of the history of writing. To Iacobus: the word "illegitimacy" does in my opinion not reflect the issue at stake in the examples you provide. To Ioshus: to most people, beating a dead horse is precisely what we are all about here by writing an encyclopedia in Latin. It is my mission in life to beat that horse until it comes back to its full glory. Avitus 05:33, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
My renewed work has produced a couple of queries regarding editing techniques, but I will stop dealing with this here, as it is no longer relevant to this discussion. Can anyone with more experience just go to my user's discussion page and help me there? Thanks ever so much in advance. Avitus 09:49, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Ligatures and vowel length signs[fontem recensere]

The technical issue[fontem recensere]

One of the strongest arguments —the only one, really, you have to admit with me— to advocate absolute spelling uniformity in the context of an electronic encyclopedia like ours is the one based on the techincal issue of the traceabilty of the words, and this has been used in the previous days as an argument in favour of keeping the present spelling laws. Of course, if we a) write an article about a given concept or b) mention that given concept in the body of an article about something else, we all want that that article or mention comes up when we do a search either with the "ire" or the "quaerere" commands we find in the left-hand-side column. This is by the way. I want that too.

Now, IacobusAmor above said that if you searched for Caesar and Vicipaedia spelled him exclusively as Cæsar, you wouldn't find him. Well, this is not exactly the case. It is true that if you type "Cæsar" and press either "Ire" or "Quaere" you are not taken directly to the article Caesar (really a disambiguation page in any case), but the engine does retrieve all the articles where "Caesar" appears with no trouble, including of course the C. Iulius Caesar one in the first place (cf. Cæsar+Ire & Cæsar+Quaerere).

So, the engine has no problem to trace instances of words we type in the box with the ligatures æ and œ however much they appear withou the ligatures in the body of the articles. I should assume that the opposite is true, namely that words typed without the ligatures in the search engine box retrieve words written with a ligature in the body of the articles, although, since no such words have so far been allowed, we cannot immediately check this. We can check in other Wikipedias of languages that have ligatures though. In French, for instance, if you type in the search engine box "oeuvre", the engine does retrieve all instances of "œuvre", written with a ligature. Ligatures are therefore not a problem in order for a word in the body of an article to be traced by our search engines.

It is true though, as I said above, that we are not directly taken to the Caesar page, even if that page does actually exist. This is a minor problem though, which is resloved by a mere redirecting instruction. Again, playing with the French Wikipédia, anyone can see that, whether you search for "oeuvre" (without ligature) or for "œuvre" (with it) you are taken to the same page, that just has been given both URLs:



There is therefore no big techincal problem at all. Simply, instead of our magistrates going on correcting all instances of ligatures introduced by users in any articles, they would just have to make sure that those few articles where the title itself could possibly present a ligature, both options are provided, as for instance providing alongside:




This simple expedient, as I said, more simple than correcting all the instances of ligatures from the body of all articles in our encyclopedia, would be much more efficient than the present situation, as any searcher, whichever spelling they provided, would find what they are looking for.

The same happens with the apex, which I use, as Quintilian recommends (and which has here been called "accent" at some point). French has accents too, and not only one but three: acute, grave and circumflex. Well, whether you type "electricite" or "électricité", "Paques" or "Pâques", you are still taken to the same pages with the "Ire" command, and retrieve the same hits with the "Quaere" command:





The traceabilty of these words in the body of other articles is also not affected by the use of the accent or otherwise. So no real technical problem at all with the apices either.

I would therefore beg that the rest of the discussion follows along the lines of philological considerations alone, since the apparent technical problems with traceability are not really so. Whether I write aequus or æquus, liber or líber, the traceability of those words by our search engines can easily be made to remain exactly the same. Having that in mind, we now just need to consider which spelling laws will allow for a more authentic Latinity and one which is more in line with our rich, millenary tradition. Once more, where possible, and it does seem to be more than possible in the case of ligatures and apices, I'm all for more rather than less freedom of choice.

Curate ut valeatis optime!

Avitus 17:32, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Most excellent research! When I said "if you searched for Caesar and Vicipaedia spelled him exclusively as Cæsar, you wouldn't find him," I was merely repeating the gist of what a magistratus had once told me.
(Yes, I'd asked the same question about ligatures that you've asked.)
Good to see I'm not the only one after all.
Perhaps it was true at one time, but has been rendered obsolete by advances in technology. In any event, you've cleared that issue up nicely. Gratias tibi ago, amice. IacobusAmor 18:24, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Gratias et ego tibi, præsertim quod amicum me appellas, quod fere lacrimans lego. Utinam omnes mox intellegatis me neminem non amare qui amet Latinitatem. Avitus 20:41, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I'm impressed, too, but I'd like to hear a comment on these issues from someone who really understands the search engines better than (I suspect) any current participants do. Perhaps someone will look in.
Of course we need techincal support, although experimentation with the French Wikipèdia leaves no space to doubt that it is technically possible.
I am no expert in search engines either, but I can report that the "internals" of vicipaedia's search engine have been substantially overhauled around the beginning of July, so it is perfectly possible that the new search engine, code-named "Lucene Search 2.0" behaves slightly different from the previous version. As far as I understand, the search engine is capable of stripping all accents, so a search for Cáesar and for Càesâr should bring up the same results. Should any accents/ligatures etc. have been forgotten in the rewriting algorithm, it should be possible to bring this fact to the attention of the developers so that those characters will be stripped/converted as well. So, technically, the search engine does not prevent us from using diacritic marks
Thank you ever so much for your input and for confirming what I said regarding the unproblematic nature of apices and ligatures. When we were all persuaded that they would indeed pose a technical problem for word searches, I said that I had no problem giving them up. Now that it's obvious that that problem doesn't exist, it should also be obvious that the need to give up a practice that has been confirmed above is more respectful of the phonetic fabric of Latin and at the same time soundly supported by centuries of Latin spelling practice has also disappaired.
but it would not be able to cope with U=V as in augustus=AVGVSTVS.
Sure, the i/j/u/v issue is a completely different matter, that I had never aimed at mixing up with this other one. Let's discuss it separately.
The situation wrt search engine is to be distinguished from the article titles. Here, there is no conversion at all (apart from the casing of the first letter), so Caesar and caesar are okay but Càesar is not, unless a redirect is explicitly created for each spelling variant. --UV 22:24, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. As I also said above, the few article titles involving a ligature or vowel length mark would require a simple alternative, as in French:
The effort to do this doesn't compare with the effort to scan the whole text of all articles for spelling offences to make them conform to an unnecessarily narrow law. In fact, many such alternative headings already exist, only one of the alternatives remains unnecessarily unlinked to the relevant page:
As to ligatures, I think the only positive argument for them is tradition. Is that right?
Not really. Ligatures were used from ancient times in epigraphy (and I hope I'll soon be able to improve on the present article ligatures). The Romans used about any combination of letters, mostly to save dear writing space. In later times, in printing, some were kept, but mainly for aesthetic reasons, like æ and œ, but also ß (a combination of a long ∫ and a short s, still used in German), and many others like ct, fl, etc. which were written as one. As with i/j and u/v, the issue for us now-a-days is one of phonetic transparency. Whereas we can (and do) readily dispose of most ligatures, the two ones æ and œ are worth keeping because they have a phonetically distinctive value. The combination a+e in Latin is not always a dipthong as many people think: although it is in "aes", it is not in "aer", for instance; the same for o+e: dipthong in "poena", but not in "poeta". More people than necessary are unaware of this, precisely because many editors choose not to distinguish them in writing. If we use the ligature for the diphthong and not for the hiatus, we can clearly distinguish both cases, and this is what many editors had been doing for the last few centuries: æs, aer, pœna, poeta. Another way to distinguish the two cases is through the use of the diæresis in the hiatus, of course: aes, aër, poena, poëna. I don't mind which one you prefer, but I think it's helpful, especially for people who are still learning the language, to have the difference thus spelt out in one or the other way. Or do you all know immediately whether "aeneus", "aereus" or "aerius" have diphthongs or hiatuses? How much clear if I write, with centuries of Latin users, "aeneus", "æreus", "aerius" or "aëneus", "aereus", "aërius". And don't tell me you knew all along and don't need the spelling distinction, because not even my Latin professor back at university knew which one of the above three words included a diphthong and which an hiatus.
The same happens with my insistence in spelling out the difference between vocalic i and consonantal j actually. How many people I've heard pronouncing "iam" as dissyllabic (like the English name Ian), just because no one had written it to them as "jam" (like English yumm)! And I am talking from classics students to bishops. And how many people who then learn that "iam" is monosyllabic then go on and say "quoniam" in two syllables (quon.jam) when that word is instead trisyllabic, and the i there is a real vowel (quo.ni.am). All such problems wouldn't exist if we continued to spell out i from j as has been done for centuries.
As to accents, I must admit I don't know why and where Quintilian recommended them. Perhaps we need an article about that, Avite?
Yes, that's another one I'm dying to write, when illogical spelling stops being compulsory here. In the meantime, I had no problem to write it in the more spelling friendly English Wikipedia, s.v. apex.
With both ligatures and accents, my impression is that the tradition is stone dead. In printed Latin they have completely fallen out of use. I can't think I've seen a single printed book, after the early 19th century, that uses them. Possibly later examples exist, but statistically they must be negligible.
Latin is a universal language. You are not being universal, but only considering your particular regional usage. Ligatures are used in all four French and Spanish Latin school texbooks I have on my shelves, as well as in both my Tridentine and my Vatican missals, all printed in the second half of this century. The apex is another matter. Most school textbooks use the macron though. On top of that, many catholic liturgical books mark the stressed syllable with an acute accent.
Actually I wasn't being regional (I've worked with academic Latin published pretty widely across the world), but it's quite true that I wasn't really aware of those two "subcultures" -- school textbooks and liturgical books. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 22:01, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
The liturgical case is equivocal: my copy of the Liber Usualis (1963) does not use ligatures, it does use J/j, and it does make the distinctions we make among U/u/V/v. As Avitus points out, it uses an acute accent to mark stress (I assume as a crutch for semieducated clerics). IacobusAmor 22:07, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. What I am trying to say is that there are several spelling traditions, as you rightly point out, and that there is no reason not to accept that as far as is technically unproblematic.
So, to argue for accents and ligatures on Latin is to argue for a new look to Latin text, a look that will seem very strange to nearly all current students and readers of the language.
This is simply not true, as explained above.
Sorry, but encyclopedias don't work like that, and never have: they must adopt a generally accepted norm, so as (a) to encourage contributors and (b) not to discourage readers. Anyone who really argues for ligatures and accents in Latin text in Vicipaedia is as mad as a hatter. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:58, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the flattering comment. It appears that I am not the only one who wondered why we don't use ligatures. Also, maybe after my explanation above, including data that you were obviously ignorant of, you will think differently. Once more, there is no one generally accepted norm, or better, there are several established and accepted norms. Further than that, allowing for freedom to use ligatures or vowel quantity marks would not discourage contributors or encourage readers in any particular way. That's a ridiculous claim, I'm sorry to say. In fact, the opposit is true, as I am living proof of. Avitus 20:41, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes; but you, Avite, are living proof (you invited us to Google you, so I did) that you yourself, on another site, can live with strict style rules (in English) and with unusual orthographical rules (in Latin) differing from those you adopt here. Even you can adapt if you want to. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 21:10, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
If you want to be cryptic, we won't get anywhere. I don't know what you are talking about. Avitus 21:29, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
And just to eliminate any possible misunderstanding of my last comment, no one to my knowledge has argued for this! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:54, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Well, IacobusAmor for one has just said that he had the same query about ligatures as I did. Avitus 20:47, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Yes, he did. But if even Iacobus argued for ligatures and accents in Latin text in Vicipaedia I would regretfully conclude (contrary to other evidence) that even Iacobus is as mad as a hatter. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 21:10, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Look, I'm getting tired of this. I am almost forty years old, I cannot survive another day at the computer like this. Obviously, there is no will for any flexibility despite it being both technically unproblematic and philologically sound. Fine. I seem to be completely mentally deranged. Thanks. One thing is certain: I cannot continue to argue at this rate. You've burned me out. I've written thousands of words of explanation, all of them are sensible and reasonable, based on better philological knowledge than any of you have so far managed to demostrate. Yet I am mad. Great. You don't want to take any of it. Fine. I cannot keep writing. I'm sorry. You keep everything as it is. There is no room for improvement in this area. You have nothing to learn. Bye. And keep up the English! Avitus 21:29, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
You keep saying bye, and yet, keep coming back? What is the allure?--Ioscius (disp) 13:46, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Certainly not you, darling. Avitus 15:47, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Re "But if even Iacobus argued for ligatures and accents in Latin text in Vicipaedia I would regretfully conclude (contrary to other evidence) that even Iacobus is as mad as a hatter."—Ha! As I recall, it was a few months before Andrew's appearance (so that's why Andrew doesn't know about it), and I didn't so much argue for ligatures as express surprise that they weren't more common, especially since Æ appears in Vicipaedia's logo (and I'd vote to keep it there). I don't think I've mentioned accents. As everybody knows, arguments about spelling are traditional: Accius (b. 170 a.C.n.) is well-known for having had strong opinions on the subject, as did numerous later Classical authors. IacobusAmor 21:23, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
UV's information (above), combined with Avitus's point about the phonetic ambiguity of ae and oe in certain words, impels me to back down on this. I don't like the look of ligatures in this font, but maybe they are not quite mad after all. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 23:14, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. Can we please consider the technically unproblematic issue of ligatures and apices settled then (in the sense that freedom is given to contributors to use them or not as they please) and just see what's going to happen with j and v?
That's going too fast (I think). Here too (because your question raises a general issue) please see my comment on your talk page. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:20, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Oh, well, nevermind. Please someone answer my question above about the procedures to reach a practical conclusion. Regarding interventions in my user's page, I have begged four times at least for people to discuss these spelling issues here, which is also in line with recomendations from one of the magistrates aiming at not dispersing the one and same controversy throughout different pages. It's hard enough doing it in one. Thanks, Andrew. Avitus 09:40, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I'm not fond of (accustomed to) ligatures, though I can live with people who have their (non-obstrusive) idiosyncracies.
The more flexible we are the less obstrusive each other's idiosyncracies will be.
The phonological problem – <AE> and <OE> being now homosyllabic now heterosyllabic – that Avitus proposes to solve by means of ligature can be solved by using the diaeresis as well, as Avitus himself says: "How much clear if I write, with centuries of Latin users, "aeneus", "æreus", "aerius" or "aëneus", "aereus", "aërius"." The diaeresis is certainly tolerated by our system, and if it's tolerated by Avitus as well (as I read him promising), we seem to have reached something. (Or...?) It's clear that the writing system that is nowadays in common use in Latin text editions and the VL is very suboptimal from the phonological pov, but we can't go so far ahead of the band that we can't hear the music.
I have no problem with the diæresis, although I am not sure why we need to choose one or the other when both are equally tolerated by our system rather than one more than the other, and in fact the ligature is both more ancient (the Romans used the ligatures Æ and Œ among loads of others, but not the diæresis) and much more common a practice in printing than the diæresis. But if choosing an option which doesn't fully satisfy my is going to produce a greater satisfaction in others, then let's go for the diaeresis.
Way back in the '40ies and '50ies, there was a spirited academic controversy (summarised in part by W.S.Allen in his Vox Latina) regarding the phonological status of, i.a., the sounds [i][j][u][w] in Latin, and the upshot was, if I remember correctly, that [i] and [j] can be analysed as allophones of the /i/ phoneme (which means, theoretically, that the phonetic difference is negligible in the orthography), whereas such a complementary distribution can't be established for [u] and [w], meaning that they're separate phonemes, meaning that in an optimal writing system for Latin, separate symbolisations are called for. If memory serves (a few years ago, I lended my Allen to somebody obviously so fond of the book that it's going to be a book of no return ...), the mainstream orthography i, u, v is linguistically fully motivated. --Neander 01:39, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I know of that controversy, but it happens not to be true that [i] and [j] can be analysed as allophones of the /i/ phoneme. The difference in SERVI between "serui" and "servi", which makes /u/ and /v/ different phonemes in Latin, is the same as say in PERIERAT between "perierat" and "perjerat", which makes /i/ and /j/ different phonemes in Latin too.Avitus 09:35, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Oh, you found a minimal pair. Very good! But to establish your case, you'd better find more (as there are, for /u/:/v/). In the heydays of distributional analysis, the "once a phoneme, always a phoneme" principle was considered sufficient for establishing a phonemic opposition. That's an utterly problematic principle which I'm not going to take a mud bath on. But the thing is that "perjerat" is philologically questionable. I tried to find metrical cases to back up your "perjer..." but found only "peier..." (phonetically [pejjer...]). It seems that the standard word form was peiero [pejjero:] (and it's even etymologised as coming from the e-ablaut variant peies [pejjes] of peius [pejjus]). I still stand with my claim that you can't support your practice of writing j with a phonological argument. You may have other reasons, but they seem rather be matters of subjective taste. --Neander 21:10, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Well, it so happens that I do support that principle that it is not the number of cases you can come up with that make a phoneme a phoneme, but the capacity of a sound to produce distinction in a language. Cases like "perierat/perjerat" or "nunciam/nuncjam" demonstrate that the use of i or j can be distinctive in Latin, even if, for merely statistic reasons, not many cases can be found. I don't have a PhD in general linguistics, so you can probably take me wherever you want in this area; but if a very good knowledge of 10 languages and a not small acquaintance with 5 others is anything to go by, I'd say that all languages have phonemes that are more common and others that can be quite rare, and that that's neither here nor there. With your background, in the largely theoretical phonological arena, I'm sure you could probably stand with your claim for ever. My practical knowledge of not a little number of languages gives me confidence to think that I could stand I with mine for just as long. Rather than getting muddy in a new front, I would suggest forgetting about theoretical and unsettled phonological analyses and stick to the usual combination of solid phonetical considerations and attested spelling practices.
Now, regarding your querying the existence of "perjerare" itself, you can find it not only in literature, but also in inscriptions, cf. CIL 11.6711(3). As for metrical instances, you can find one in Lucanus (Bellum Civile, 6.749): "vos estis superi, Stygias qui perjerat undas?". I don't know whether, when you say that you have only found "pejer-", you are claiming that the above reading is wrong (of course perjer- and pejer- have exactly the same metrical structure, so both could fit in in any case we could put forward), but that's the reading Housman gives in his Oxford edition, the edition Glare considers most authoritative for the purposes of the Oxford Latin Dictionary. It is also a form, as I said, whose existence is supported by epigraphy.
Further than that, I find the qualification of all my previous philological argumentation as "a matter of subjective taste" misrepresentative of a careful analysis and consideration of Latin phonetics and the Latin spelling tradition. In any case, I would like to think that you still consider that, as you said elsewhere, in matters which seem difficult to settle, the greatest degree of least intrusive flexibility would appear to be the ideal choice, technology permitting. I hope we are still agreed on that. Avitus 10:22, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I agree that theoretical nitpicking is taking us nowhere. Phonological analysis is concerned with devising ideal (max economical) writing systems for languages that haven't got any. But no language with spontaneously grown spelling conventions, arisen from everyday needs, has such an ideal writing system. For me, both v/u/i and v/u/j/i are functionally good enough. On that basis I'm for flexibility. I's another matter, which works from the pov of bureaucracy. That's the kind of discussion I'd rather leave to others. I'm sorry if I misrepresented your considerations. That was not intended. Either I'm too superficial of too philosophical, but I think I see some subjective attachment, on both parts, to what one considers the Truth in this matter. I really hope this matter can be settled to everybody's respective satisfaction. Neander 13:57, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Neander optime maxime, utinam omnes híc haberent cum optimam veramque linguæ Latinæ scientiam tum prudentissimam humanitatem quas tu iterum iterumque ostendes! Tunc veré vigeret hæc encyclopædia omnesque optimi Latinistæ facile allicerentur ut collaborarent hóc opere augendo atque illustrando! Gratias quam plurimas tibi ago! Avitus 14:07, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
And, by the way, there now seems to be someone ( vandalisme teruggerol) vandalising this page (see history). Fabulous. Avitus 20:47, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Admonui. Si iterum peccarit, obstruam.--Ioscius (disp) 21:28, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Procedural considerations regarding amendment of policies[fontem recensere]

Changing things[fontem recensere]

(Writing here, because Avitus prefers that.)

Avitus, I am quite sure that I am one of these persons you really not want to talk to. That's sad. So I cannot help much, although I'd like to resolve this misunderstanding for the benefit of the project and you. But this would take some time and you needed to reduce your demands, what might seem impossible for you. However, it is sometimes better to get 80 % of 80 % than 0 % of 120 %. I do not want to give you advice, not even concerning worldly wisdom, although I might - or at least should - have some expertise in this field. But why not take this encyclopaedia as a game? Find out what you can effort when you make compromises. I fear there is really no chance to change the writing system here within months or even years. And the main reason is not ignorance or incompetence: There is no capacity for such actions. There are too few people who are editing here, see the list on page http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaLA.htm#wikipedians. And having a high edit count does not even mean you are a good contributor. In your eyes this might be a lost project. So, what do you have too lose, when you - just for this one project - break your principles and simply follow the local practice and contribute a bit here or there, explain what could be done better and enjoy that the people want to hear your opinion? Just relax and see what you might archive by spreading your ideas here: There will new Latin projects be founded in the future and you could have layed the foundation stone that other projects use other writing systems. Even if you do not want to write articles under these circumstances, you could help us with your knowledge and experience. And I think it will not be a defeat. It will be just something you might not have taken into account. We perfectly know your position now. So nobody can accuse your for the situation here. You will not do any harm to the Latin language, since you confirmed that the current practice is not "wrong". Just illogical. Lay back and relax. This site might not be perfect, but it can provide some sort of fun, also for people like me. For you it should be even easier to get some fun here. Latin is more than a writing style, isn't it? I understand your position and I can imagine what you feel. But these people are no idiots who could not do it better. It's all a big compromise. And it took long to get there. Here sometimes it takes months to change something. Consense and consistency seem to be very high values here and I cannot remember that we had ever a voting here about Latin issues. Just much talking and arguing and in the end a consense - which was often a compromise - or more talking some months later. Please, if possible, try it. During the debate so many facts have been mentioned and sources have been given which could go into an article about Latin writing systems over the centuries. I think such an article would be highly appreciated and you might be the right man to start it. Don't ask me what writing system to use for this article. I have an opinion, but you surely will not want to hear it ... ;-) --Rolandus 18:53, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

A new morning, a new attempt. Thanks for your words, Roland. First of all, I am sorry if it appears there are many persons here I don't want to talk to. For one thing, and to be honest, I no longer remember who has said what in all of this, so I have no reason not to want to talk to you in particular. If you opposed my views before, I just cannot remember at this point. Also, opposing my views is not a reason for me not to want to talk to someone. It has been obvious throughout the discussion that most people here are, as was to be expected, quite reasonable. They may not always be in full possession of the linguistic data and have a frustrating but natural tendecy to stick to the evil they know rather than perform some improvements, but they are overall reasonable and sensible people. So I don't think there are "persons" I really don't want to talk to here. If you push me, there may be perhaps one person who I still struggle to cope with, who I had the immense misfortune to have jump on me and my articles among the first and who seems to combine the paradoxical qualities of being one of the fiercest and most opinionated on what good Latin should or shouldn't be and at the same time one of the most ignorant of the Latin language (and several others he also feels free to correct). With the rest of the people here I may or may not be in disagreement, and express so, but I don't seem to experience any further problem to talk to them.
Ooh ooh, is it your darling? ;] --Ioscius (disp) 05:31, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Thanks also for your recommendations. They largely go along the lines of those already made by Andrew. You seem to want the benefits of my work and knowledge without accepting the implications of that knowledge. Unfortunately for me illogical and wrong do go hand in hand. I would like to write the article you mention, and I am in fact, and will continue to do so, contributing to such articles in the Wikipedias of various other languages, and many other articles at that, but I cannot put any amount of work here knowing that some people are going to run to challenge my completely legitimate spelling. I will repeat once more that I can take the expected changes (ideally improvements, if not always so) that all are entitled to perform in a free encyclopedia, but not ones which are irrationally enforeced under the compulsion and authority of a misconceived law. As I said before, as it is, I can only invest my energy (which as anyone else's is only limited) in this attempt to bring flexibility, or a more sensible rule, to the present editing practices. Your indication that such changes could take months or years fills me with utter dispair, but there is nothing else I can do. It should be clear by now that for me this is a crucial matter. The intensity with which other people defend the oposite views would appear to suggest that, although most say that spelling is a minor issue, they also consider it unnegotiable, in spite of being largely unproblematic from a technical point of view, and in spite of the fact that it has been proved that most of the support they originally gave to the present laws was based on rather poorly informed considerations. Avitus 09:35, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
You came back! again! you may not yet have learned to love Ioscius, but you must love some of us.
I love Latin and, as I said, I have no problem talking with the rest of you.
Avite, I think it's important to say these two things:
  1. the Wikimedia Foundation is nice enough to give us freedom to edit its wikis, with very few restrictions, and may even help us to create a wiki(a) of our own if we don't fit into any of the existing ones, but we aren't "entitled" to this freedom, as you seem to say above.
I don't think my discussion of the internal regulation of editorial practice affects our relationship with Wikimedia Foundation or that any entitlement in that respect has been suggested by me.
  1. somewhere above you spoke of your "linguistic rights" being infringed. When I remind you of Welsh and Native American children who were beaten and humiliated for speaking their language at school, and of Basques and Kurds who lived for decades under regimes that harshly punished the speaking of their language in public, I am sure you will be ashamed of your self-importance in talking of your linguistic rights when all you want to do is to spell Latin, on this one site to which you have come by your own choice, in a way that doesn't correspond with this site's currently accepted style rules. If I'm wrong about this, and you are not ashamed, I think you would do better to take that self-importance elsewhere. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:15, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Once again, I am shocked by the way you interpret my words. In asserting my linguistic rights I was making no attempt at saying that my situation was the same as the ones you mention whatsoever. I should have thought that one has linguistic rights whether one finds themselves in such situations or otherwise. It has nothing to do with self-importance nor, of course, with the implied lack of humanitarian awarenes. I'm really confused by what you say, Andrew. Avitus 12:45, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
That's a start. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:50, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Taking decisions on policy[fontem recensere]

We have been discussing Latin spelling for a long time now and I have been arguing for a change. I should assume that at some point there would come the time to make a decision as to whether the present policy should remain exactly as it is or should be modified (totally or partially, in the letter or in the spirit). I have been trying to find out how that decision or decisions would be taken, but what I'm told still sounds rather confusing to me.

Recently, for instance, I have been told by Rolandus (above) that there is really no chance to change the writing system here within months or even years. Of course, if change is in actual fact impossible to happen in any forseeable future, then we are all (not only me, but also all of you who have been following this discussion and arguing and counterarguing on philological grounds) wasting our time. To be honest, I struggle to believe this can be the case. The recent debate in the sense that some aspects of spelling like the use or otherwise of ligatures and diacritics would pose no technical difficulty and the fact that, in the case of diacritics, an agreement was actually reached and they are now being used extensively in many articles, would appear to suggest that an agreement at least in some such areas should be able to be reached much earlier than the suggested months and even years. The problem, once again, is how the process can be completed.

Recently too, Andrew Dalby (disputatio), in my usor's page, told me that a change could be indeed agreed on if there was a consensus. This, initially filled me with relief; but I was a bit more worried when he indicated that the consensus had to be reached by the "college" that consists of Vicipaedia editors. If by that is understood the total number of those who have contributed, contribute and are to contribute to the pages of this Wikipedia, this is obviously an indeterminate group of people, and it is therefore by definition impossible to secure a consensus among all of them: there doesn't exist a time when all contributors to the Latin Wikipedia will have got informed about this debate and expressed an opinion on it, as the number of contributors is infinite. This would be in line with the indication by Rolandus (above) that there is no capacity for such actions.

I once more struggle to believe that there is no capacity to take a decision on editing policy in this or any other Wikipedia, as they all have editing policies in place, and, surely, if they are improvable, there will be ways to carry out that improvement. As I indicate above, agreement on using diacritics was reached, for instance, and many present pages have names with diacritics in them. So agreement on editing policy is feasible, and there is capacity for such actions.

Perhaps what Andrew meant as the body of people who had to reach a consensus was those who are active editors according to the list Rolandus mentioned. That would make more sense, and, although 49 people are many people, that's at least a finite number. One could envisage a time when all of them could come to some agreement of minimums in this respect.

Having said that, it is possible that many of those people, physicists, architects, etc. are not philologically inclined nor do they really care enough about one or another outcome to participate in a discussion on spelling or to opine on these matters. Surely, if after having announced the discussion and having given a reasonable period of time to input any opinions, only a few people had participated in the debate, any agreement reached by that more reduced number of editors actively involved in the debate should be enough to secure a prosperous ammendment of the regulations. How can this not be the case?

I mean, if all the active editors who have been participating here agree that, for instance, the sentence "Etiam Wheelock's Latin, unus e potissimis libris linguae Latinae in scholis Civitatium Unitarum Americae id facit" is to be deleted (on a number of reasons that should be obvious by now), or that the exception "verba in maiusculis" should be removed because search engines cannot actually cope with such exceptions, then we could (anyone) proceed to change those sentences, and the change in the regulations would have surely been secured.

I mean, it's not that those laws haven't been changed before: http://la.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vicipaedia:Auxilium_pro_editione_%28latine%29&limit=100&action=history, is it? So change is possible.

Further than that, there is a body of magistrates. They have been chosen on the three sound grounds that:

usores certissimi, humanissimi, patientissimi sint
Latinitatem optimam habeant
Vicipaediae Latinae experti sint

Surely, should a chain of controversial ammendments and counterammendments start to develop, after the matter had been more than sufficiently discussed here from a more theoretical point of view and action started to happen, wouldn't the magistrates have to end up arbitrating on how to settle the matter? The consensus of the body of magistrates would in that case be the determinant factor in deciding what the final tenor of those regulations actually is. In this sense, securing a consensus of the magistrates does appear to be the final way to secure a change in the regulations. Isn't that the case?

Avitus 12:32, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

I think you understand wikis better than you pretend. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:38, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Getting consensus[fontem recensere]

  • When I said it will take months or years to change the writing system, I really meant it could take such a long time. Some topics have been discussed for a long time, before there was any practical consequence. The writing system could be one of these things which are - let's say - "hard" to change.
  • Normally, before taking any action, we try to reach consensus.
  • Every contributor can take part in this process. Who does not take part, has no voice and cannot be heard. So in fact you might guess which users are to be convinced. ;-)
  • And then there should be a good/realistic/practicable concept how to implement the proposed idea. "We should ..." often raises the question "And how shall we manage that?"

--Rolandus 15:17, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

De facilitate scribendi[fontem recensere]

Quare dicistis quod difficile est scribere pro Vicipaedia? Nonne facile est, si vellis scribere materna lengua? Nonne scribendum est, quod difficule est scribere pro Vicipaedia latinaliter? Hoc facile credendum est.

Fractiones decimales[fontem recensere]

¿cur "." et non ","? puto plurimes homines qui linguas romanicas dicunt "," uti. SI "," utitur. --Cimmerianus 20:38 apr 25, 2005 (UTC)

Not an answer, but a reference: en:Decimal separator. --Roland (disp.) 08:32, 12 Augusti 2006 (UTC)

Renaming[fontem recensere]

I propose to move this page to Commendationes paginarum rite scribendarum to suit the naming on the Pagina prima/nova. Any thoughts?--Rafaelgarcia 03:43, 9 Iunii 2007 (UTC)

See my thoughts on Disputatio Vicipaediae:Auxilium pro editione.--Ioshus (disp) 03:45, 9 Iunii 2007 (UTC)

What are we talking about?[fontem recensere]

Following the discussion, I have the impression that it has theoretical and practical aspects. Someone might say: Yes, there are better writing systems, nevertheless he might not support changing the system actually used in the Latin Wikipedia:

  • What is the best and most correct writing system for Latin?
  • Is there a "best" system?
  • Can this be measured/argued? Can this be proofen? Or is it evident? ;-)
  • What is the most traditional system?
  • What is the most developed system?
  • What were the most widely used systems over the centuries? Do we have statistics?
  • What systems are teached in school? Are there differences between countries? Over the time? Reasons?
  • What are the common systems on modern Latin Internet sites?
  • What are the most used systems in Latin literature? In modern Latin literature? What is modern Latin?
  • Does it count how many use a system or is it more relevant who uses a system?
  • Who uses what systems?
  • Is the writing system of the Latin Wikipedia "good enough"?
  • Should we - years ago - have choosen another system for the Latin WP? Why?
  • Shall we accept more than one writing systems in the Latin Wikipedia?
  • Shall we change the writing system of the Latin WP? If yes: How?

For me, I would say:

  1. We should have just ONE system.
  2. If (!) our system is good enough (is it?), we should not change it. We have 14.000 articles ...

--Rolandus 21:36, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

OK. Very good questions. Speaking for myself: Our system is among the most used in the 20th/21st century. It varies by just one letter (v) from the system currently adopted by most Latinist scholars -- and that difference doesn't matter much, because all of those scholars would also be familiar with our system. It varies from systems used in school textbooks, but these differ among themselves anyway -- there's no world standard. Therefore it is a good common denominator, and that matters, I say. Philology isn't everything. Personally I might have chosen the academic system (without v), but our system is a good one and I see absolutely no point in changing.
Very good questions indeed, but the arguments have been put forward already. I'd appreciate some movement towards a conclusion. Further than that, I find it bizarre that the variation on the v "doesn't matter much", whereas the variation on the "j" is unacceptable. Oh, well. I can tell you that any good Latin scholar will be familiar with any one and all of the three systems i/u, i/u/v and i/j/u/v. You very rightly say "there is no world standard". Now, what you then go on to say, that your system is a good one is not substantiated by the nature of the Latin language and the Latin spelling tradition, and your own words that it's "illogical". I don't understand why you seem to take a step forward and then two backwards every time. Nevermind. At the end of the day we can all keep saying "this little letter matters little" but "this little letter matters a lot". Is any agreement possible? How can the best option be that the better options (i/u or i/j/u/v) are repressed and the worst one of the three imposed to all and sundry? This is not acceptable. It cannot be.
I think it is not a good idea to allow variation (as in the English Wikipedia). It's different over there, with tens of thousands of editors each familiar with one of two systems. Most of our readers are less than totally familiar with the language anyway, and learners benefit from an unambiguous standard. Let it be ours. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 22:25, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Learners do not benefit, and this long discussion should be proof of it, from having the facts of the language and of its spelling tradition hidden from them. Avitus 10:00, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I guess this is why I reacted so strongly to Avitus' rhetoric: there is logic to it, just not his particular brand of it. I don't refute many of his points about the usefulness of some spelling conventions. In fact, I think English would benefit (or at least people learning English) would benefit greatly from a spelling reform. Why don't we? People who know the language know the language, as it were. I think tat's why we don't.
14 000 articles is a lot to change, when we have a system that is used by many Latin scholars, in many different types of publications, all over the world. It's not, perhaps, measurable which is the best system, but this one ain't broke. And as the saying goes, don't fix it.
My proposal does not involve changing the 14 000 articles of the encyclopedia, my request is just for a bit of flexibility.
Also, to comment on Dr. Dalby's point, over at the English Wikipedia, the laxness in spelling consistency might have a bit to do with political correctness. They allow it, simply to avoid long debates like this.
Well, because debates like this are justified. Because say the Americans cannot force the Europeans to use their own spelling habits. Because that would (is) completely unacceptable. As unacceptable there as it is here.
To comment on Avitus' point, I fully agree: I am tired of this, too. I'd like to get back to writing articles.--Ioscius (disp) 22:46, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Me too, when my linguistic rights are not conculcated. Avitus 09:58, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

For my point of view, I would support Avitus´ proposal to use the u/v/i/j-system for several reasons: I. The onliest institution which still uses latin in a bigger frame, the roman catholic church, prefers the differentiation between vowels and semiconsonants. We also should adhere to this, as this is, at least for me, the organisation with the biggest authority in the latin language. II. I´m german and in germany, most students learn the u/v/i/j-system. As I know, this is also true for the non-anglophonic europe. Furthermore, germanized latin terms like "Justiz" (justitia) are written with J, as you see (same for "justice" in english)! III. Several weeks ago, I visited an old benedictine monastery with inscriptions from the 17./18. century: "Non veni vocare justos, sed peccatores". You see, also here, the u/v/i/j-system is used, but interestingly no ligatures: "poenitientiam" in another inscription. Therefore, I would suggest not to use ligatures. IV. I´m biochemist and I´m intending to write articles concerning medical themes. In medecine, also the u/v/i/j-system is universally used: "Jejunum", "Jactatio". With kind regards

  1. The Vatican website doesn't normally use J (e.g. [1]). At any rate, the Roman use is not distinguishing between the vowels and the semivowels: the signs now used for consonants are used where the sound has, in their accent, become consonantal (as in the case of V, which the Italian accent pronounces like English V), and the vowels where it remains vocalic or semivocalic.
  2. Similar practice obtains for other languages; Latin words in English are spelled with a 'j' because they are traditionally pronounced with English 'j'. A lot of the choices the individual countries make in spelling languages is certainly due to their traditional pronunciations (while here at Vicipaedia, most people just assume people are speaking in classical norms, look down grudgingly on the Italianate ones, and completely ignore the rest).
  3. The 18th century practice may differ from the 21st century practice, just as it differs from the 1st century practice.
  4. Basically, much of the choice of orthography of Latin depends on the native language of the person using it. The problem for Vicipaedia is that we can't assume a common underlying language (our readers are not all to be assumed speaking German or English or French behind the scenes...) —Mucius Tever 02:37, 30 Iunii 2008 (UTC)

And what should we do with medical/botanical terms? No one I know would search "Jejunum" at "Ieiunum". At least at these topics for the sake of practicability and usability of Vicipaedia for non-classical philologists, it would be a very big benefit to allow the "j". By the way, is there any possibility to implement a dictionary of latin words which are commonly (in Italy, Germany etc.) spelled with "j" and afterwards implement a function for this at the "Praeferentiae meae" page? This would put an end to all linguistic discussions Monachus nobilis 08:51, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that the j must be used where it occurs in official botanical/zoological names, because it is a part of that special language. We don't write in botanical/zoological Latin all the time, but we have to treat it as setting the standard for species nomenclature.
I am not sure if the position is the same for anatomical terms. I don't know that in the 21st century there is any official Latin usage or any organization setting an orthographical standard. Perhaps that's my ignorance ... Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:14, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)
Overall, I disagree with that. Except when the j is to be pronounced as an english j rather than a latin i, there is no benefit to the J, and in such particular cases whole word would naturally have to be italiziced since the term is being treated as a foreign word, which not pronounced according to the usual Latin rules. There is no difference between this and allowing Jazz and Rock. The argument about the "search" not work doesn't hold any water, because just about anyone with a modicum of perspicacity would catch on to current spelling conventions; If their knowledge of latin is so bad, why would they be reading about the species in latin in the first place? And if anyone did feel strongly about helping out the search is such cases, creating a simple redirect of jejunum would more than adequately solve the problem. --Rafaelgarcia 09:56, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

I don´t think this has something to do with "bad knowledge of latin". The thing is that at classical german gymnasia (I´m german and I can only speak for this) latin is taught with using the "j" where the spelling custom puts it (like " Justitia", it´s not different from the english usage). So seeing "Iustitia" is very strange for us... This morning, I talked to a friend who is biologist (botany) about this topic, and she affirmed that she would never search for "Ieiunum", because all science books use "j" in latin botanical or medical expressions. As I´m biochemist myself, I can confirm this. And for anatomical expressions, there is the authoritative "Roche lexicon of medecine" which even prescribes to use "j" in Jejunum or similar. There is also an international Board for the anatomic terminology, but I don´t remember right now... But anyway, perhaps a smart technical solution with the dictionary, as I mentioned above, would be the best. Monachus nobilis 10:31, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

I'm with Rafael here. It wouldn't have occurred to me to look up ieiunum under jejunum. The reason it wouldn't have occurred to me is that the prevailing typographical convention in Vicipaedia, as in modern Latin scholarly publications everywhere (except evidently in botany & zoology), is to use i, not j. Even writers in modern languages—presumably including botanists & zoologists—don't spell the lowercase numbers seven & eight with a jay (vij & viij), as their forebears did. ¶ I'd be unlikely to be looking up the English word jejunum here at all. The classical Latin noun ieiunium [sic] means 'a fast, abstinence from food,' and has been used thus for more than a couple of millennia now; likewise the classical Latin adjective ieiunus, -a, -um: as such, these words should of course be spelled the way that other classical words are spelled. Why should the spelling of its latter-day derivative, the noun ieiunum, follow a different convention? And why should we be looking for ieiunum when we want the classical adjective but jejunum when we want the modern noun? ¶ Redirects can assist people using the searchbox to find words with a jay in them. ¶ The place in botanical & zoological nomenclature where a jay would probably be appropriate (according to yet another Vicipaedian convention) would be in cases involving Latin words formed from personal names, as in the genus Jacquinia and the species Arisaema jacquemontii. Such jays seem unobjectionable. ¶ For the record: the names of musical genres, like jazz and rock, are not ordinarily proper nouns (and are not therefore uppercased), and I see no reason why the English word jazz couldn't be Latinized as iaz, or iazz, or iazium, or iazzium, or whatever. IacobusAmor 10:47, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)
I'm indifferent to the choice of i/j or i (even though the former is sanctioned by almost universial practice in modern use of Latin, including Catholic Church publications (and use of Latin even in the Church is nowadays so limited that I would hardly consider it a leading authority on Latin). What I am sure about, however, is that German schools teaching Latin have to the best of my knowledge discarded the use of j for a long time (probably even for longer than British schools, where dictionaries have retained j well into the 20th century). It is easy enough to verify this by checking commonly used textbooks such as 'Ostia'. Of course, you can come across j's in Latin words in biology, history or law.--Ceylon 16:36, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

I´m not sure if this is not a very recent development, as two friends (one in Bayern and one in Nordrhein-Westfalen) of me passed their Abitur only a decennium ago and both learned only forms like "ejus" and "hujus" etc. And a colleague of me from Lithuania also. An additional point is, that, for example, Google wouldn´t find medical expressions normally written with j here in Vicipaedia. As my objective is to write about natural-scientific issues and perhaps so revitalizing the use of latin in a broader range, this could be counterproductive for us all.Monachus nobilis 19:15, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

Scholarly publications plus the Vatican (e.g., http://www.vatican.va/latin/popes_latin/j-xxiii/latin_hf_jxxiii.html) eschew the jay. What does Google do with redirects? IacobusAmor 19:31, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)
That question came up recently at Vicipaedia:Taberna#Articles about personal names. Search engines don't seem to index ordinary redirects. They do index "soft redirects". Thus, if you make a short page saying [in Latin] "Jejunum is the traditional spelling in medical Latin for Ieiunum", or "Nardostachys jatamansi is the official botanical Latin for what we are calling Nardostachys iatamansi", it will get indexed on Google, apparently. Usor:Rolandus ran a test. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:53, 1 Iulii 2008 (UTC)
First of all a reality check: since the j and i are pronounced identically in the consonantal position, why wouldn't anyone knowledgeable about Latin expect the letters to be interchangeable? After all Latin like Spanish and Italian is one of those languages you actually pronounce just it is actually written. I believe this convention was adopted in the 1960's by most latinists precisely because the pronunciation of i and j is the same. Second consider the need for uniformity in spelling; it would be a horrific thing for us if several different clashing spelling conventions were being used all over. If you adopt a given spelling convnetion you need to stick to it uniformly'. Are you really personally volunteering to go through all 21 000 pages to convert all the iam, cuius, huius, ius, etc.,, into their j'ed counter parts?? Even if you did, I still would object for the mess it would create on our nuper mutata list. Third, the spelling convention used here is the most popular one among latinists today: it is used everywhere including Germany; just visit your local bookstore and look at the latin-german dictionaries; and other learning materials. Why are you proposing that we expend so much energy fighting a world-wide spelling convention that nearly everyone has adopted? Fourth, a question about search engines: are the operations of search engines not associated with Vicpaedia really something we should be concerned with here? Isn't it Google's problem to take care of the different usages of i and j? --Rafaelgarcia 03:01, 2 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

One might see this indeed so, that Google hast to take care about it. But I doubt that they will do, because many people consider latin as a dead language without any use at all (which is of course nonsense, but it is a widespread opinion). If we can faciliate the visibility of Vicipaedia in the web by using common spelling for scientific terms, people will see that it is possible to write modern state-of-the-art texts in this "lingua aeterna" and this would perhaps make latin more popular.Monachus nobilis 06:56, 2 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

I think several issues (maybe three) are getting confused here.
  1. What people think looks right when they are reading Latin.
  2. How to increase the visibility of Latin, and Vicipaedia, on search engines.
  3. What different communities using modern Latin have set as common or official standards, with which other readers perforce become familiar.
I'll do no. 3 first. The standards differ. But very few people, except Latinists (and I will deal with them later), actually read tracts of botanical or zoological or anatomical or medieval or ecclesiastical or classical Latin. What they do is to look at Latin words, whether species names or anatomical terms or names of historical figures or cardinals or gods or whatever, and recognise them or not. Then they attempt to extract what they want from the article, its illustrations, its bibliography and cross-references, even maybe details out of the text. So, what matters to this group is, can they find the article? It's the spelling of the headword that matters to them, not the spelling of the whole text which they can hardly read anyway. Now, since the standards differ, we can't get it immediately right for all of them. What we can do for them is to incorporate alternative spellings in redirects (soft or hard), in the first sentence of articles, etc. Searches, in wikipedia or in Google, will then bring them to the right place.
No. 2: Vicipaedia usually comes up on the first page of a Google search for a search term for which other wikis don't have an entry! (an important qualification). Even if other wikis do have an entry, Vicipaedia will sometimes come up in the first two/three pages. That's my experience. I think we are amazingly lucky that this is the case, and doubt if we could improve the score very much, realistically; but using soft redirects for what we consider likely variants on a title would help a bit in some cases.
No. 1: What people have learned when learning Latin and what they think looks right when reading it. This is what we always argue about, because from time to time someone else, like Avitus (above) Monachus Nobilis (here and now!), comes along and says, "I am going to be a contributor but you people aren't doing it my way. Please change". "My way" is never quite the same, from one new contributor to the next. But, without any doubt, the absence of "j" is what disorients one large group: the presence of "v" is what disorients another large group. It is true that Vicipaedia has chosen an uncomfortable and scarcely-philologically-defensible middle way here: but one important thing to be said for the Vicipaedia way is that it does produce text that a third large group find perfectly comfortable. There are actually lots of people who learned Latin spelled just the way it's done here.
Now, to real Latinists, all this doesn't matter at all. If they ever look at Vicipaedia it will be to judge its Latinity and its usefulness (both scoring fairly low as yet, but "might improve"). They are used to dealing with these different spellings -- the Latin books they use, old and new, show all these variations and more -- and in many cases they probably don't even notice them any more.
I'm not arguing for one answer or anther (though personally I haven't seen any compelling reason to change our general practice). I'm just trying to sort out the different arguments. I don't think they will ever all lead in the same direction: I think, in any human cooperative endeavour, compromises are necessary! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:31, 2 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment Dr. Dalby. I don´t want to impose anything, dont´t get this wrong, I´m just asking for a little bit more flexibility. GreetingsMonachus nobilis 10:39, 2 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

I quite understand that. The points you make are really important. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 10:47, 2 Iulii 2008 (UTC)

Consonantal "I" in modern languages[fontem recensere]

In case anybody's interested, consonantal "I" doesn't look strange to many modern people: it occurs in (I should guess) hundreds of languages spoken in the Pacific. A few examples at hand:

iā < Eng. yard 'yard'
Iukaio < Lat. Iudæus 'Jew'
Iulai < Eng. July 'July'
iata < Eng. yard 'yard'
‘iato 'outrigger-boom'
‘ioe 'yes' <---Can be emphasized ('yes indeed') by making the i a looong vowel (‘iiioe), thereby showing an equivalence between the consonant & the vowel
Iopu < Eng. Job 'Job'
iunivesitē ?< Fr. université + Eng. 'university'

Those are Austronesian languages. A famous non-Austronesian culture (in the Sepik area of Papua New Guinea) is that of the Iatmul (rarely spelled Yatmul). Most of these languages don't have J in their alphabets. IacobusAmor 21:47, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

You don't have to go that far away! In Rumanian, a modern Romance language, the letter "i" can have a consonantal value too (as in "iepure", pronounced IPA [j]), which is different from the value of "j" (as in "jena", pronounced IPA [dʒ]). But we are considering Latin, its own nature as a language and its own spelling traditions. Yet, if you think this is support for the use of i as the consonant in Latin too, then we also need to have in mind that Rumanian consistently also uses the letter "u" as a consonant (as in "uita", pronounced IPA [w]), just as in Latin, and which is again different from the "v" (as in "vorbi", pronounced IPA [v]). Rumanian is therefore an example of consistent use of both i and u as consonants.
Further to that, the English Wikipedia article on Hawaiian doesn't indicate that Hawaiian has a consonantal [j] sound at all, the "i" in those words would therefore appear to be still vocalic. There is not enough information on Samoan, but the transcription of 'ioe there (eeoeh) and what you indicate yourself about that word in particular leaves room for doubt that the "i" is actually a consonant rather than still a vowel in any such position.
For convenience, these phonemes are usually analyzed as IPA /i/, but trust me: in actual speech, they can approximate the quality of IPA /j/. Likewise with "u" and "w": Sāmoan ua 'rain' is two syllables, /ua/, but uati 'watch, clock' ordinarily also comes out as two syllables: /wati/. Were Sāmoan Latin, our system would spell those words ua and vati, respectively.
Fair enough, as I said, these considerations are really only tangentially relevant to the issue of how Latin should be spelt.
¶ And on another tack, Avite, have you been here long enough to know that many of our readers are mentally pronouncing us as "Vee-chee-pay-dee-a"? Their mangling of the second syllable is an inevitable consequence of our founders' mistake in respecting Roman spelling too much and therefore transcribing /k/ as "c." In view (or, rather, in sound) of "church Latin," a spelling like that of Tocio seems like a careless blunder, and the word would be mispronounced less often if its spelling were Tokio. IacobusAmor 11:08, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Please allow me not to indulge in another spelling issue, I can just about cope with the j/v and ligatures and diacritics ones, but I sympathise with you.
¶ And on another tack, I had tried to tidy up the spelling discussion as instructed by Andrew Dalby (disputatio) on my user's page, but you seem to have reverted that with respect to two of the headings. Has this been inadvertently or you don't approve of the move to tidy up this overstretched discussion? Avitus 11:28, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Avite, either you are a careless reader or I have an alter ego. If you can find me instructing you to tidy up the spelling discussion, kindly quote the relevant message! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:53, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Apologies once again, Andrew, for misunderstanding and misrepresenting your suggestions in my user's page. Avitus 09:38, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Anything like that was inadvertent. I don't know anything about reverting (and don't know that I want to know)! IacobusAmor 12:38, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I think you did do this, Iacobe. Bad luck. But the only text that was lost was a tiny message of mine. I won't sue. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:14, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
In any case, as I said above, this is neither here nor there. Latin must be considered in its own terms, not according to how spelling works in Rumanian or in Italian or in Hawaiian or in Samoan. The language has a rich enough spelling tradition of its own I should have thought.
But you come back again to what many people here are basing their arguments on, namely on what "looks strange" or not. What looks strange or not depends on what one is used to. People with a more limited knowledge and exposure to the language, or accustomed only to the spelling traditions of only one given region of the world, are surely going to find strange things they have not seen before due to those shortcomings in their instruction but which are otherwise perfectly normal. This would appear to be not a good reason to impose restrictions on how the rest of the world is allowed to write Latin.
Avitus 08:39, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Style: technology will save the day![fontem recensere]

What Vicipædia needs is a user interface that will enable readers to see what they want to see: if readers so choose, it will automatically:

convert "ae" & "oe" to ligatures (or not);
convert consonantal "I" to "J" (or not);
convert "v" to "u" (or not);
convert all letters to CAPITALS (with "V" for "u") (or not);
convert dates to those of the Roman calendar (or not);
convert arabic numerals to Roman numerals (or not);
display any of numerous fonts.

In short: whatever style readers want is what they'll get. Such features may be a few years off, but technology will surely make them available. When it does, it won't matter whether the basic text has inconsistencies in these matters. Meanwhile, so long as Vicipædia remains a seeming analog of a print encyclopedia, it may be best for contributors to follow the rules of print and be as consistent as possible. Since Vicipædia has 14,000 articles that with fair consistency (yes, exceptions can be found) display the same style, it's probably best to let that style prevail—for now. IacobusAmor 21:43, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Actually such rules aren't far off at all. The English Wiktionary has had a few things like that implemented (I believe they have a setup where you can choose whether or not you want to see serial commas that have been marked as such, for example), and of course the Chinese Wikipedia AIUI automatically converts between various sets of characters (traditional to various simplified forms). — 22:45, 31 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Is that ligature you snuck in there a hint, Iacobe? =] --Ioscius (disp) 21:48, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
convert dates to those of the Roman calendar (or not);
convert arabic numerals to Roman numerals (or not);
display any of numerous fonts.

In short: whatever style readers want is what they'll get. Such features may be a few years off, but technology will surely make them available. When it does, it won't matter whether the basic text has inconsistencies in these matters. Meanwhile, so long as Vicipædia remains a seeming analog of a print encyclopedia, it may be best for contributors to follow the rules of print and be as consistent as possible. Since Vicipædia has 14,000 articles that with fair consistency (yes, exceptions can be found) display the same style, it's probably best to let that style prevail—for now. IacobusAmor 21:43, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Is that ligature you snuck in there a hint, Iacobe? =] --Ioscius (disp) 21:48, 1 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a strong argument. As a parallel example, I recall there is an aim on English Wikipedia to allow dates to be presented in the way that individuals prefer.
And one may be well advised to accept some small conformity in the meanwhile (in that case, being sure to link the dates properly; in our case, taking our chosen spelling system as a style rule) because it will make conversion to the libertarian future easier. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:15, 2 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing that in this "libertarian future", editors will have to use the u/v/i/j (without ligatures) system to write, so that all options would work technically - eventhough it would mean changing 5,000 articles, at least, just to fit the system? And about what Iacobus has predicted before about a split of Vicipaedia into neo and old Latin, I'm guessing such technical options would keep this Vicipaedia united, should they ever be invented, meaning the technology really could "save the day" :) --Harrissimo 15:26, 12 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
The rate of technological improvement is exponential: after several hundred thousand years of perceptibly accelerating progress, its graph is about to go asymptotic, and virtually everything will be possible, maybe by the 2040s. In particular, the wiki system will know & recognize all attested Latin words & forms and all unattested but regular Latin forms (it'll know, in fact, all words & forms in all recorded languages), so whether a text says iuvo or iuuo or juvo or juuo or IVVO will make no difference. IacobusAmor 23:25, 31 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I took up Iacobus' proposal from above – if you would like to try it out, go to praeferentiae meae and click on the "Gadgets" tab. There, you will be presented with a set of options (you can combine options, but not every combination makes sense).
Some notes on this:
  • This currently affects the main namespace and the category namespace only, not talk pages, pages in the Vicipaedia namespace etc. (but this can easily be extended to other namespaces if desired).
  • The technology is "stupid": If you decide to use œ, the system will also convert "poesis" to "pœsis".
  • If you receive any JavaScript errors, please tell me and I will try to fix it.
  • When editing, please continue to abide by the rules currently established, or we will get a horrible style mix.
Greetings, --UV 23:18, 25 Decembris 2007 (UTC)
Brilliant! This is fantastic work, UV and a million mactes to you! Luckily, the "stupid" technology will not have to prevail after we chose to use diaereses (so if we see a poesis now, it should be changed to poësis anyway). Do we need a Vicipaedia: page about these new gadgets, so not to confuse any new users? Harrissimo 11:52, 26 Decembris 2007 (UTC).
Good idea to add diaereses where appropriate, and good idea to add a Vicipaedia: page: Vicipaedia:Gadgets. Greetings, --UV 16:18, 26 Decembris 2007 (UTC)

Auxilium pro editione Latiné et Latiné?[fontem recensere]

Quid interest inter Auxilium pro editione, quod Latiné scriptum est, et Vicipaedia:Auxilium pro editione (latine), quod etiam Latiné scriptum est? Avitus 16:20, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Commendationes pro paginis bonis[fontem recensere]

I think this last section isn't specifically Latin. It belongs in Vicipaedia:Auxilium pro editione or perhaps in a separate page Vicipaedia:Pro paginis bonis. If others agree, maybe I'll move it. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:34, 12 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Good idea. I think we have a page somewhere on that. Maybe Vicipaedia:Pagina? Which should probably be moved to Vicipaedia:Commentatio.--Ioscius (disp) 15:09, 12 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Meanwhile I dump this section here out of Vicipaedia:Auxilium pro editione. I am about to merge it into Auxilium pro editione (latine): but I think some of it is here already ...
What does the first sentence below mean? Is it about choosing a singular form for a title? I don't get it. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:30, 13 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

=== Auxilium scribendi === Verba indicata numero singulari scribe. Si verbum numero plurali scribis, forma nexi interni est: <nowiki>[[verbum|verba]]

Etiam genitivum et genus indica in initio paginae, exemplum: Auxilium (-i, n.).

Quae litterae sunt Latinae? Vide littera. Ligaturae (Æ æ) non sunt litterae. Sunt in tabularia Scandinavica, sed non in alia. Itaque difficiliora sunt scriptu.

V an U? Ambo. Scribe velum, non velvm. Scribe vulpes, non uulpes. Sic verba simplicius legi possunt.</nowiki>

Punctum Decimale et Comma decimalis[fontem recensere]

Apparet Vicpaediam non habere regulam de signo decimali claram. Ad paginis fundum, id dixit: Fractiones decimales: "." utere, non ".". et in pagina Anglice versa, id dixit: Decimal fractions: use a "," as decimal point instead of ".". Sed illud symbolum "," Anglice non est "decimal point" sed "decimal marker" vel "decimal comma". Etiam videtur versionem latinam ipsam se contradicere. Quid agamus de hoc? Sum laetus cum quolubet more decimali, sed debemus sumere morem quendam. --Rafaelgarcia 16:09, 14 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Recentissime disputavimus de hoc signo decimali, sed ubi? ... Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:19, 14 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Vide etiam Vicipaedia:Taberna/Tabularium 5#Numbers over One-Thousand.--Rafaelgarcia 16:28, 14 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I realize there will never be complete consensus on this topic but it is something that needs to be decided. I propose a vote. To be diplomatic I vote for the convention of Sir Newton and of the mainland Europeans, but I really don't care which one we choose.
I don't mind either, but I've put in a Newtonian vote. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:23, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

For 3.14159

  1. --Harrissimo 16:06, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
  2. --IacobusAmor 19:42, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC) (Let's go with SI and continue to use both styles.)
  3. --Andy85719 21:02, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

For 3,14159

  1. --Rafaelgarcia 15:55, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
  2. --Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:23, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
  3. --Alex1011 19:37, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I think we should avoid a voting if there is a possibility that we can
have consensus. Maybe we should put all the information about the topic
on a special page in the "Vicipaedia:" namespace: Vicipaedia:Fractiones decimales
--Rolandus 17:52, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
*I agree with Roland, here.--Ioscius (disp) 15:47, 19 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

We could look for attested Latin forms of the 18th century for example. That would probably be in favour of 3,14159. --Alex1011 18:36, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Newton and Euler used commas but Gauss used points. No research will decide which one to adopt. The SI, which reflects an international body of scientists worldwide, could not decide. So I don't think any amount of rational argument will ever decide. It's just a matter of what you like. Chocolate versus vanilla? Tea or coffee? Points or commas? On the other hand looking at some of our astronomy pages with a random mix of points and commas, I think we need to reach some sort of consensus, eventually, one way or the other.--Rafaelgarcia 18:57, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I think we should have the rational arguments listed before we try to find a decision. For example, when it comes to pairs of numbers we could have this: (3,5, 7,6). Which does not mean that I prefer 3.14159 ... I just wanted to give a reason for one choice. Newton/Euler/Gauss did not use computers. All programming languages I know use 3.14159. A reason, not a vote ;-) --Rolandus 19:49, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
From de:Dezimaltrennzeichen: Die erste bekannte Quelle für die Benutzung eines Dezimalpunktes ist dann 1492 die Schrift "Compendio del Abaco" von Francesco Pellos, einem italienischen Mathematiker. (means: The first known source for using a decimal point is "Compendio del Abaco" by Francesco Pellos, a writing from 1492 ...). --Rolandus 20:32, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
From de:Dezimaltrennzeichen: Johannes Kepler, Henry Briggs, Adriaan Vlacq (1600-1667) and Jerome Lalande used the decimal point. --Rolandus 20:35, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I don't know. I am not well versed in the proper use of decimals and commas of other countries. While Europe and South America Use the comma as a decimal point, North America, Britain, and Asia use the period or full stop as the decimal point. However, failure to decide on which one to use can be very confusing. I am already confused by the scientific pages that switch between blanks and decimal points and decimal commas. If you want to look at this problem at which method is accepted by the most people, you would have to choose the decimal point for China, India, the United States, Japan, Britain, Australia, and Canada all use it, a population of around 3.5 billion, a little over half the worlds population. I believe that Europe has a population of about 650 million, and there is less than a billion people in South America. The rest of the people use other systems. Personally, and no offense to anybody, but I think that the decimal comma seems like something pushed on Europe by the French, along with the rest of the international system in the same way the the U.S. has pushed the American billion on the rest of the world. As somebody above said, most calculators display a decimal point, computers operate using decimal points, and programming languages require decimal points. The comma simply appears because of some creative programming which often fails to work correctly. Also, I am curious how one would say out a number like pi in English using the comma system. If it is three point one four one five nine, does it become three comma one four one five nine? Andy85719 21:23, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
To answer your question, "3,4" is said "three comma four". I agree with what has been said that the best reason to prefer the decimal over the comma is its exclusive use in computer programming. It is also significant that when making a list of fractional numbers, a decimal point is easier to distinguish from a serial comma than a decimal comma. And finally I also agree most heartily that some pages, presently part SI, part comma and part point, are confusing and need to be cleaned up. This last reason is why I have brought up this issue, hopefully for it to be resolved. --Rafaelgarcia 21:52, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I would also like to add, insignificant as it may be, that I find the decimal comma very aesthetically displeasing. I'd rather see a neat 1 000 000.999 than 1 000 000,999 on Vicipaedia any day. I did like what Andrew suggested in the old Taberna about a raised decimal point but that's, sadly, very inconvenient for writers. --Harrissimo 21:58, 18 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

like avitus[fontem recensere]

I wonder if, since no one seems to feel terribly strrongly about it, like with i/u/v, we shouldn't just got with what seems to be the norm here already. I'm pretty sure the decimal stop is more common, in our articles, as such. I confess that I, like Harris, find the comma terribly aesthetically displeasing. This is not just some American influenced hangup, as I infinitely prefer the metric system and the 24 hour clock (these things make sense to me). The decimal makes sense to me because it is like in a sentence: commas tell you there is a continuation of a number (like in writing), decimal tells you the number stopped (again like in writing), and now there's a little more on at the end.
Anyways, all that preference nonsense aside, I'm still wondering if, policy-wise, we shouldn't make a descriptive rule (about the "mores" that we already have), than a prescriptive one.--Ioscius (disp) 15:55, 19 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

If we used the National varieties of English at the Manual of Style (EN) as an example [2], we could use the decimal point in Anglo-American etc. pages and the comma in European etc. The pretty definitive rule of that section is have consistency throughout and this is particularly applicable in this case, since seeing different decimals on one page just make it look a mess. What do you mean about the "mores", Iosci? --Harrissimo 23:21, 20 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
It would sound like a nice compromise, but what about science pages? Astronomy is neither English or French or Chinese. Shouldn't all the Astronomy pages have the same format? What does one use for International tables of per capita gross domestic product? I'm OK with a descriptive rule or recommendation rather than a hard and fast requirement. But, say, if there is a disagreement will people settle for "this is necessary for consistency in Astronomy pages"?--Rafaelgarcia 00:09, 21 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
The choice of the main editor maybe? - maybe even the choice of the creator of the page? If it was a British/American physicist's theory etc. it could be decimals (and vice-versa with Europeans). English Wiki says the page must have strong national ties to just be based on one system, but maybe we can pick up on smaller things to define this. International tables: As I said before, maybe the first/main editor can choose. I thought that maybe you could have commas for Europeans & other D.C. users and points for the rest. But that would take a lot of research and, as I said, there should be rigid consistency throughout articles, in my opinion. Fi you're making those pages you should use your preference (the comma?), I think. --Harrissimo 15:15, 21 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

No, no, no. Like with u/v/i, we need to pick a style and agree on it, throughout. Consistency is key to a proper encyclopedia. If you look in Britannica, you will not see different numbering conventions for different subjects. Nor should you here. --Ioscius (disp) 17:25, 21 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

So we should take a vote ;)? --Harrissimo 21:30, 21 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I see the smiley ... but let me say that we should generally avoid votings where we could have arguments. We should be able to give future users some reasons and not just say "there was a voting". --Rolandus 22:29, 21 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. The vast majority of users wouldn't vote if we held one, so Vicipadia's usors could be misrepresented. So I will decide to be a bit more neutral since, As Alex1011 said, the D.C. is probably used more in Latin and I don't want to be hindering this discussion too badly. --Harrissimo 23:43, 21 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I'm OK with whatever choice as I am sure all Vicipaedians would be. It isn't such a big deal which convention is chosen. However, I'm not sure that *convincing* argument can ever be made for either convention. We can say that the period is nicer when expressing lists of decimal numbers and is the sine qua non of computers and electronic calculators. But we can also say that commas were used by Sir Isaac in his latin writings and is the norm in almost all of europe, including Italy and Rome. The pluses evenly balance the minuses, as far as this Vicipaedian is concerned. I don't know about others, but I think this is what is what we refer to in the states as a "judgment call". Again I'm happy with whichever outcome of this decision process. But I do eagerly hope for an outcome one way or the other. Especially I will wait for a decision before creating any decimal laden tables of statistics.--Rafaelgarcia 23:50, 21 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Sir Isaac was a good Latinist. "Maybe they should give him three votes." (Quote :) I really don't mind, but I would be happy to follow his example. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 07:29, 22 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

New Year Resolution time[fontem recensere]

Are we ever going to decide on the decimal comma versus point?--Rafaelgarcia 02:08, 8 Ianuarii 2009 (UTC)

I strongly agree that we should decide. I will go with the consensus. Someone make a proposal? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:35, 8 Ianuarii 2009 (UTC)
For the record: I've checked the style of decimal numbers in all the interwiki links for our article Shawn Johnson. The Chinese, English, Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Vietnamese articles on this subject use the decimal point; only the Portuguese article uses the comma. At least for this subject, the decimal point—not the decimal comma—is the world's preferred style. IacobusAmor 13:44, 8 Ianuarii 2009 (UTC)
We need a uniform style for the entire encyclopedia. Latin has no preferred style, renown scientists from every age using both. In fact, Euler the most published in every country used both depending on the journals "house style". The critical fact arguing in factor of the decimal point, in my opinion is that programming languages all use the point rather than the comma. This is significant because any future article involving explaining computer commands and concept would have to use the decimal style within it, regardless of the style chosen for Vicipaedia as a whole. To keep us to just one style, I would therefore propose that we adopt the decimal point.--Rafaelgarcia 15:58, 8 Ianuarii 2009 (UTC)
Nemine contradicente, haec regula in paginam nunc imposui. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:12, 6 Ianuarii 2010 (UTC)

Diaereses[fontem recensere]

I have made a hidden rule in the page which reads:

 ===Utere diaeresibus  vel  et  vel !===
 Ratio: Oportet diaeresibus uti ne ligaturae in paginis nostris monstrentur si
 praeferentiae mutantur. Utere eis modo in textu paginae; nec in titulis nec in categoriis.
 Diaereses saepe in latinitate hodierna adhibentur quia confusionem vitant.

The reason why I have hidden the rule and written here is ust to check that everybody agrees. The diaereses are even more necessary now that we have "stupid" technology (read above) and the discussion in the taberna a while back suggests that most people are in favour of sing them (aer-/aër as well as generally common use). If you disagree or can improve the latinity of my sentence above, please do. Harrissimo 00:36, 13 Februarii 2008 (UTC).

I would generally favour using diareses, including in titles and categories. --UV 20:26, 13 Februarii 2008 (UTC)
This has now been hidden for five years, and diaereses seem to still be in favor. Shall we unveil it? Lesgles (disputatio) 18:00, 3 Martii 2014 (UTC)
I went ahead and did so, but I think this sentence still needs discussion: "Utere eis modo in textu paginae; nec in titulis nec in categoriis." We have diaereses in certain titles, e.g. Poësis. Should these be changed, or should we allow/require diaereses there too? Lesgles (disputatio) 18:31, 7 Martii 2014 (UTC)
I intended to reply and say "do it", so I'm glad you did.
Since Harrissimo wrote that, it has become easier both to search for pagenames with accents and to add categories without having to type out the full names, so the reason for making those two exceptions has perhaps disappeared. I think we should use diaereses, where appropriate, in pagenames and categories just as we do in text: they are necessary information about the pronunciation of the word. What do others think? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:11, 7 Martii 2014 (UTC)

Español[fontem recensere]

El artículo debería estar disponoble también en español[[Media:--Molinumdeventum. 18:49, 24 Aprilis 2009 (UTC)Exemplum.ogg]]

(Anno 2012 factum est.) Lesgles (disputatio) 18:00, 3 Martii 2014 (UTC)

De exceptionibus[fontem recensere]

I added a section on exceptions to the orthographic rules, since the page seemed to imply that we never use J. I'm wondering if the same should also apply to the Old English/Norse æ, e.g. Aegir. Quid censetis? Lesgles (disputatio) 18:31, 28 Martii 2014 (UTC)

Aliqua addidi ego: an recte?
De "æ" Anglosaxonico et Islandico consentio. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:58, 28 Martii 2014 (UTC)

De annis[fontem recensere]

In Disputatio:PEGIDA vidimus normam nostram de annis non claram fuisse; nunc cito partem de annis rescripsi, ut mori respondeat fere omnium Vicipaediae paginarum, quo aera Dionysiana, paucis exceptionibus, aliis aeris praefertur. Verba si quis emendare vult, quaeso ut emendet! Lesgles (disputatio) 21:00, 14 Iulii 2016 (UTC)

Verba proavi nostri Ioscii (supra scripta) recito: "we need to pick a style and agree on it, throughout. Consistency is key to a proper encyclopedia. If you look in Britannica, you will not see different numbering conventions for different subjects. Nor should you here." Si aliis aeris utimur (e.g. quando fontes citamus de Roma aut de rebus Islamicis) oportet semper annum Dionysium adnectere. An alii consentiunt? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:05, 15 Iulii 2016 (UTC)
I agree, and I suggest to add that other systems than BC/BCE/AD/CE should only be used when related to the subject of the article (adding AUC in an article about a Roman consul is fine, adding AUC in an article about a Spanish composer is not). --UV (disputatio) 21:58, 15 Iulii 2016 (UTC)
Would you say there's a specific year when the Roman Empire ceased to exist? If you would, what year? What do you say about the Eastern Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire? Did the Holy Roman Empire ever really cease to exist? To this day, Austria is called Österreich, which means "Eastern Empire." For comparison, note that the name of the Holy Roman Empire in German is Heiliges Römisches Reich. 19:20, 16 Iulii 2016 (UTC)