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Best regards! Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 05:52, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

Labels of birdsEdit

Please do not make common nouns capitalized. Please review en:Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Archive_156#Bird_common_name_decapitalisation for the reasons why not. It is fairly evident that bird names should follow normal English rules. --Izno (talk) 23:32, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

And actually, any taxon common name. Please stop. --Izno (talk) 23:33, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
No. The scientific sources used on wikidata capitalise them (see e.g. here), they should be followed here. This is not en:wp. - MPF (talk) 23:37, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Also note that they are capitalised at Commons and Wikispecies, and were here before you started changing a few leading to a minor inconsistency with a few species. It is en:wp that is out of tune here. - MPF (talk) 23:39, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
No, you stop. You can review our own naming guidelines if you want, but you're clearly in the wrong here on a number of levels. Please review en.WP's rather large RFC on the point. English doesn't work that way, pretty clearly. --Izno (talk) 23:41, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Why? Out of approx 10,000 bird species, all but a tiny minority that you have edited are capitalised. You are creating the irregularity and inconsistency. All of the widely used ornithological sources (IOC, Clements, ITIS, etc.) capitalise. - MPF (talk) 23:43, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Help:Label#Capitalization is pretty clear why you should do it one way and not the other. Also, to rehash a major point of the RFC in question, which you clearly still haven't reviewed, ornithological sources are specialist sources and thus have a specific interest in varying how names appear because they are speaking to a certain crowd. Wikidata is not, and should hence follow the rules of normal English. (Review the help page.). That said, I have 0 issue with the current use of the "common name" property in the fashion you've added in many places. --Izno (talk) 23:49, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
As for that tiny minority, that's because when Wikidata imported the names and links originally in 2012, the en.WP's articles were capitalized. Since that RFC, most, if-not-all, pages have been decapitalized in their titles. --Izno (talk) 23:50, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
"Labels begin with a lowercase letter except for when uppercase is normally required or expected" - well, uppercase is normally required or expected in the case of bird species names, which are proper nouns. A Common Tern (Sterna hirundo, specifically) is not the same as a common tern (any Sterninae species that is abundant); this distinction is important. Wikidata is not bound by a poor decision made at en:wp. So please do not change any more, and restore the capitals you have removed. - MPF (talk) 23:57, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Erm, no, they clearly are not proper nouns. Regarding "normally required or expected": They are only so by people excessively interested in such things, but we are not those people nor are we developing a database (exclusively for) those people. Your comment on distinction is a comment on disambiguation--which is not an issue on Wikidata for exactly one reason, but it is one that should be of great interest because it's how Wikidata works: Explicit definition of the species of interest in both the statements and and in the description vice the statements of a genus (or higher level) in the statements as well as usually the description. Wikidata guideline are also that disambiguating statements are made in the description if not also the body proper of the item. So again, capitalization contrary to the rest of English is quite unnecessary. --Izno (talk) 00:20, 26 August 2016 (UTC)


Please do not merge taxa based on the same type. The items are needed for structural reasons. --Succu (talk) 15:32, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Common names of plants (and common names in general)Edit

What were you thinking with this (and dozens of similar edits)? The common name "bull thistle" was referenced; by changing it you're misrepresenting the source. You can add the BSBI's "Spear Thistle" and source it; multiple common names can be accommodated. It's extremely misleading to retain the USDA PLANTS reference while not using the common name shown in the reference. Plantdrew (talk) 23:19, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

@Plantdrew: I had tried to change the reference to BSBI, but 'save' was greyed out when I attempted to save; I had no option to add the correct reference. The BSBI names are the ones that should be listed as English (en); the USDA names should be tagged as American (en-us), as they are not used in England, but that option also appears not to work properly - MPF (talk) 23:45, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
There's a handful of common names sourced to Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (Q894631) if you check the What links here for that item. But it's probably not best practice to use the society itself as a source (rather than a database or publication from the society). As far as I'm aware, the BSBI database doesn't have stable links that can be used to access a taxon record from external sources, so that's a problem. Best solution might be to make an item for Stace's New Flora of the British Isles and use that as the source. Wikidata does have an item for Atlas of the British Flora (Q4816865), but that's pretty outdated. I'm not sure what to do for lack of support for en-us option. Plantdrew (talk) 01:04, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Plantdrew: Thanks! I don't know how to create a new item for Stace, would you be able to do it? On the lack of support for en-us, all those USDA names should be removed until it is sorted, as they give the misleading (and very offensive to English people) impression that they are the correct English names, which they are not. - MPF (talk) 01:20, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I haven't created any new items before, but I think I could create a item for Stace. Are there any online databases with stable links to taxon records that use BSBI names? A database with records that could be harvested by Wikidata would really be the best way to get BSBI's common names represented. I know GRIN Taxonomy for Plants (Q19576476) records names attributed to BSBI, but the BSBI standards for capitalization aren't followed there. The RHS plant database might be a usefully included in Wikidata, but while I assume they follow BSBI for common names, I also assume their coverage of native plants is far from complete.
I'd really like to see BSBI common names included in Wikidata. Birds aren't really my thing, but IOC names should be represented here as well (following IOC capitalization, not en.wikipedia). As with the BSBI database, the IOC database isn't very amenable to Wikidata links. I'd like to work with you to get these sources of common names represented.
However, I find very offensive the notion that any common English(-uk/au/nz/ca/za/us/in/...) names are correct or incorrect. Common names may be more or less useful for communicating about an organism in a particular region to a particular audience. BSBI names are more useful in communicating about plants in the British Isles. USDA PLANTS common name are more useful for communicating in the US, but less useful in the British Isles. You removed a sourced claim of "buttercup" as a common name for Caltha palustris, an application of "buttercup" more likely to cause confusion than enlightenment, and basically useless for communication anywhere in the world. Kudos for that edit, but I reject the notion that buttercup=Caltha palustris is in any way incorrect; that saoid recording it on Wikidata is confusing and likely does more harm than good.
Moving forward, if you want to remove any instances of taxon common name (P1843) referenced to USDA, go for it. I'll hold off for a few days on undoing your previous edits that replaced a USDA name with a BSBI name, while retaining (and thus misrepresenting) USDA as the source for that name. If you don't soon remove the USDA referenced common names you've changed, I intend to undo them, and add any existing BSBI name as an unreferenced instance of taxon common name (P1843), along with adding any missing BSBI/USDA labels. If we can come to an agreement about how to reference BSBI (i.e., an item for Stace if nothing else), I'll reference it in P1843. Can we work together on getting BSBI in without censoring USDA? Plantdrew (talk) 03:20, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@Plantdrew: Thanks! I'll get back to you on this in a day or two, been busy with other things - MPF (talk) 00:14, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
@Plantdrew: - sorry, been completely forgetting about this, until I got a whole set of alerts today. I've no objection to the USDA names being put back in, on the one condition, that it be made clear that they are NOT English names: the "(English)" assignation must be changed to "(American)", by listing the references under en-us or whatever the language code for American is. While for many plants (and animals), English and American names are the same, for others, they are not, and it is very damaging to Wikidata's reputation to get them mixed up - in several cases, serious offence can be caused to speakers of one language by mis-stating the name from the other language. Until this is done, the USDA names should really be removed as they are giving misleading information.
Also, on your above note about vernacular names being correct or not, this is definitely true for English; only the official standard BSBI names are correct, other names are incorrect. I am aware that different attitudes (your finding it "very offensive") apply in other areas / languages (notably USA / American), where your view holds; this is actually the most significant example of 'culture shock' that I have come across between England and the USA, one that it is extremely hard for people of either country to really comprehend the other's viewpoint. One important result is that when USDA use a different name to the official English name for an English native plant but call it an "English" name, it comes across (because a species has only one accepted English name) as a deliberate attempt by USDA to change our official name for us. The resulting feeling here is that USDA / Americans consider English people are 'such ignorant, backward savages that they can't be trusted to name their own native plants properly, and have to have it done for them by Americans' - something that is highly offensive to English people, even though it is presumably not intended from the American point of view. As you can see, a highly emotive topic! Hope this helps! - MPF (talk) 21:29, 26 October 2016 (UTC)


I see you are replacing English common names. That is not a good idea. If you want to add British English names, just add them, and leave the USDA common names. There is no particular reason why there cannot be a hundred common names in English, side by side. For all, I know there may well be plants that have a dozen official English names, in different parts of the globe. And there are also plenty of unofficial common names. If so desired, they can be given different status (preferred / normal / deprecated). Wikidata has room for all names that can be reliably referenced. - Brya (talk) 17:29, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Hi @Brya: - I've been adding English names; the ones I've been removing are not English (en) but American (en-us) names. As mentioned above, I have no objection to American names being added, so long as they are described as American names and not English names, which they are not. Unfortunately at the moment, Wikidata does not appear to support en-us, so until then, the American names should be removed to avoid causing confusion through erroneous language attribution. If you can get en-us enabled (as it is on e.g. Commons), that would be a big help, I don't know how to do it. - MPF (talk) 17:44, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
I have no idea if en-us will be introduced on Wikidata, and I don't really see that it does much good to have en-gb or en-ca. But if you just leave the existing names as they are the reader can see by the reference what he is dealing with. - Brya (talk) 17:57, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Hi @Brya: - I'd agree that en-gb is of no use, being superfluous (identical to en; English as used by English people), but en-ca, and en-us, en-au (Australian), en-in (Indian), en-nz (New Zealand), en-za (South African) and perhaps others would be valuable to add, as many species have different names in these languages / dialects, and it is important to record these differences accurately and conspicuously. It isn't at all easy to see by the reference what one is dealing with, as the references are hidden to casual view. - MPF (talk) 18:09, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
I've put in a request for adding them (if I've got the right place!) - MPF (talk) 18:23, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
There are no en-ca, en-gb, or en-us Wikipedia's, so I see no point on having them on Wikidata, but for all I know, there are areas where it is useful, although in that case, it would indeed be useful to have others as well. But there is no reason not to have several common names for a plant taxon in one single language (like, for example, five names in Welsh). - Brya (talk) 18:29, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
@Brya: - That is true of Wikipedias, though maybe there should be (I'd suspect English and American differ more from each other than do e.g. Norsk Bokmål [no] and Nynorsk [nn]). Yes, there are areas where it is useful; see for example on Commons, where en-us is enabled (e.g. Commons:Category:Uria lomvia, Brünnich's Guillemot in English and Thick-billed Murre in American). Of "But there is no reason not to have several common names for a plant taxon in one single language" maybe; but in English at least (different from American!), vernacular names for native species are standardised (BSBI for plants, IOC/BOU for birds, etc.), and have been for a long time - other names are very much archaic. I am not convinced there is much value in adding names dredged out of obscure 100-year-old books just to end up confusing people who will normally want to know what the correct (standard) name is, unless such additional names can be marked as 'obsolete' or 'archaic' or so on. I don't see any mechanism for doing so at the moment, though again, that probably would be a useful addition. - MPF (talk) 18:57, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
In my experience standardized common names are linked to political units, not to languages. And it is possible to mark "names dredged out of obscure 100-year-old books" as being of "deprecated rank". I don't really understand Commons as there is also an "international English" (or more than one), so Brünnich's Guillemot should be marked as the name in UK. - Brya (talk) 19:14, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
@Brya: - I'd disagree there; they are linked to national units (e.g. Britain, Australia), not to political units (British Conservative Party, British Labour Party, etc.). And of course those linguistic variants are equally linked to the national units. Of the Brünnich's Guillemot / Thick-billed Murre difference, IOC uses English roughly half the time, American roughly half the time - that's a deliberate even-handedness policy of theirs. I could equally well have cited Grey Plover / Black-bellied Plover, where IOC uses the English rather than the American. Marking names as deprecated is useful, I didn't know about that option, thanks for mentioning it! - MPF (talk) 20:29, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster, political unit: "a unit of territory defined by boundaries set by political authority and usually having a separate political organization." See also en:political division. - Brya (talk) 03:49, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
@Brya: - Comes to the same as what I meant by national units, so is the same as the language codes. So the language codes are valid for this. ;-) MPF (talk) 08:38, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

Pycnonotus blanfordi / Pycnonotus conradiEdit

Please do not tamper with given references. --Succu (talk) 19:57, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Hi @Succu: - I was trying to update the item to IOC 6.4, but it didn't recognise IOC 6.4, only the now out-of-date IOC 6.3. The former Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi has now been split into two species, Irrawaddy Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi, and Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus conradi (formerly Pycnonotus blanfordi conradi). Your reverting my work has resulted in e.g. the incorrect English name now appearing in the VN table of Commons:Category:Pycnonotus blanfordi. Could you please repair this. - MPF (talk) 22:04, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Are your sure? --Succu (talk) 22:22, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
@Succu: Odd! No idea why it's missing from the Updates page, but it's in the main list for Pycnonotidae (scroll just under half way down) and was updated in the Commons genus category on 25 October. - MPF (talk) 23:20, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
The correct way is to create a new value and deprecate the old one. --Succu (talk) 10:45, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
@Succu: Except it hasn't solved the problem: (a) the erroneous English name still appears on Commons:Category:Pycnonotus blanfordi, and appears there linked when the correct name isn't (implying that the correct name is actually an incorrect addition), (b) on the item, it still appears conspicuously close to the top of the list of vernacular names with the correct name nearly invisible down at the bottom (who is going to scroll all the way down there??) and (c) even though your edit summary claims the old name has been deprecated, there is nothing on the item to indicate that it is deprecated. - MPF (talk) 11:27, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't know how your LUA module is implemented, but it should ignore deprecated statements as default. That's the way SPARQL and the property parser work. The deprecated status is indicated by small symbols, see Help:Ranking#How to apply ranks. Unfortunately new statements go to the bottom of the statement list and there is no way to sort them. For now we have to live with this. --Succu (talk) 15:13, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
@Succu: Thanks! I don't have a clue what lua modules, sparquls, and property parsers are. Of the new statements going to the bottom, why not edit the old one to show the update (as I'd tried to do but couldn't complete because of the lack of IOC 6.4 on wikidata), and then 're-add' the old one at the bottom? - MPF (talk) 15:32, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
Why to cure symptoms? --Succu (talk) 22:53, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
For the obvious reason: so that inaccurate or outdated information is removed, or if it must be retained, placed in a position where it is less visible than accurate and up-to-date information - MPF (talk) 23:07, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
„For the obvious reason:“: mind to give at least one referenced one ? --Succu (talk) 23:18, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
IOC 6.4 - MPF (talk) 23:25, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Odd referencesEdit

Hi MPF! It's a little bit odd to use a scientific society like Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (Q894631) together with stated in (P248). Please refer to something that was published by this society instead. --Succu (talk) 20:31, 22 November 2016 (UTC)


Why do you think the common name „white Egyptian lotus“ should be deprecated? --Succu (talk) 19:39, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

It's erroneous, the species is a water-lily (Nymphaea), not a lotus (Nelumbo) - MPF (talk) 20:40, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Forgot to add, it also needs to be tagged en-us (still unavailable), not en - MPF (talk) 20:48, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
So, according to your POV, United States Department of Agriculture (Q501542) has no right to claim this name for the U.S.? The language tag "en" is not reserved or equal to "en-gb". --Succu (talk) 21:29, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Of course they have the right to claim this name for the American language, if they really want to promote an error (in which case, they perhaps ought to reclassify it Nelumbo lotus, too; equally accurate for the likes of creationist ideologies). What they don't have the right to do is claim that this erroneous name is the correct English name, which English people be required to use - MPF (talk) 21:39, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Beside this: could you guide me to some official GB site for this kind of names? --Succu (talk) 21:49, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
BSBI have a species list (excel) here; you can also enter individual scientific names here or here (enter the scientific name in the search box, double-click on the result; stable link can then be copied (e.g. http://wbd.etibioinformatics.nl/bis/flora.php?selected=beschrijving&menuentry=soorten&id=3855 for Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare) - MPF (talk) 21:58, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
That BSBI? --Succu (talk) 22:07, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
The excel list yes, the others allied sites that (like all botanists and plant enthusiasts in Britain & EU) use the BSBI list for reference to English names - MPF (talk) 22:15, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Is it Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (Q894631)? --Succu (talk) 22:23, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, why the need to ask? - MPF (talk) 22:35, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
See above. --Succu (talk) 22:49, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
The idea that since Nymphaea lotus is a species of Nymphaea, water-lily, not Nelumbo, lotus, it couldn't have a common name like "white Egyptian lotus" is a quite logical one. However, it also is an idea that belongs to the late 19th, early 20th century. As a mainstream idea, it had died away by mid-century. By that time realism had set in, and primacy was given to existing common names. This pinciple is to be followed only when coining new names. - Brya (talk) 04:37, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
Errr, who came up with this nonsense "As a mainstream idea, it had died away by mid-century. By that time realism had set in, and primacy was given to existing common names"?? It hasn't died away, it is still applied in English by BSBI, and also in most other European languages, and is still applied in American as well as English in non-botanical life sciences, including ornithology, mammalogy, etc., etc., as well as geography, etc. (ever heard of anyone calling a lake "Joe's Hill", or a hill called "Blue Pond"?? - see what nonsense it actually is!). The recent dogma that sense like this mustn't apply seems to be a relatively recent one, likely connected to the religious right with their denial of evolution and desire to make evolution less visible by muddling names; as scientists we should all be resisting this view, and resisting it strongly. It isn't realism, it is anti-educational dumbing down. - MPF (talk) 22:32, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
Language is the way it is, and does not necessarily follow logic. So it is with names that become established in a language. There is no end of 'illogical' geographical names. There is nothing modern about this, and is millenia old. On the other hand, there was a temporary fad, with the advent of scientific names, that common names for plants should be forced to accord with scientific names (that is, with their scientific placement), but this did not last. It was hated too much by the general public, which is used to its Stinking Cedars, and does not want idiots messing with their beloved names. - Brya (talk) 05:02, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
"Fad"?? Nonsense. This sounds like something anti-truth out of the Trump or UKIP camps, out to ruin the educational advances that people had been making - MPF (talk) 11:17, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

instance of : taxonEdit


It is never a good idea to remove "instance of : taxon". Wikidata requires an "instance of" or "subclass of" in every item. So, "instance of : taxon" is a (redundant, but required) statement that the item contains a "taxon name : [...]" statement. It should be kept in the item, for anything that is, or has been used as, the correct name of a taxon.

The "instance of : synonym" in itself would be fine (preferably referenced), provided it is just added. In fact, there could be multiple "instance of : synonym" "of : [...]"'s, representing various sources. - Brya (talk) 04:48, 25 August 2018 (UTC)


Special:MergeItems. (conflict-error > delete conflicting entry) Seb az86556 (talk) 02:46, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Capitalisation in English labelsEdit

Hey, just so you know, the correct capitalisation is lower case in situations like this. Wikidata guideline is here: Help:Label#Capitalization. Thanks! Delsion23 (talk) 19:44, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

@Delusion23: - see the primary source under P1843 taxon common name further down the same page: capitalised, as at the primary source, IOC. Decapitalising it on the wikidata page also buggers up the imports from wikidata into Commons and other data users, where it needs to be capitalised as per the IOC source authority. In other words, "In the rare case that something intentionally breaks capitalization rules, the capitalization on Wikidata should reflect this, and not try and correct it": species names are, as a general rule, capitalised in formal use in English - MPF (talk) 20:54, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Argyrocytisus (Q4789960)Edit

With Argyrocytisus (Q4789960) and Argyrocytisus battandieri (Q3241488), my current understanding is that articles titled "Argyrocytisus" should be in the first item, and those titled "Argyrocytisus battandieri" should be in the second item? That then matches the Commons sitelinks to commons:Category:Argyrocytisus and commons:Category:Argyrocytisus battandieri respectively. This isn't a topic I know a lot about, though, so I'd appreciate feedback on this (and don't want to edit war)! (BTW, you may also be interested in commons:Commons:Village_pump/Proposals#Adding_the_Wikidata_Infobox_to_Taxon_categories.) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:09, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

@Mike Peel: - thanks for the heads up on the village pump discussion, I'd not seen it (I've added a comment now). I'm not sure what the convention is regarding wikidata linking for monotypic genera like this; I switched the two because I felt it was a bit silly having it so that interwiki links didn't operate between those wikipedias where monotypic genera are at the genus name (e.g. en:wiki), and those where it is at the species (e.g. de:wiki). But it isn't anything I feel strongly enough about to want to start an edit war :-) MPF (talk) 20:09, 12 November 2019 (UTC)