User talk:Pathoschild/Archives/2006-01

Requests for administrator intervention

Update on sockpuppets

I noticed that the other day you blocked Missionary as a confessed sockpuppet. That was only one of the whole fleet of sockpuppets that user was using (seven accounts in total), as listed by Kelly Martin at User_talk:Kelly_Martin/Archive9#Sockpuppet_checkuser_request. You may wish to block the rest of the sockpuppets.Tommstein 09:35, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

All identified sockpuppets have been blocked; thanks for pointing them out. // Pathoschild 17:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for blocking them.Tommstein 04:03, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

a troll

After vandalizing Belarusian language and History of Belarus article (and totally dirupting editing of these two articles), the Russian troll Kuban Kazak continued his activities on the article about my native town Vorsha ([1]). I would like to ask Wikipedia admins and Wikipedia community members as what I should do in such a situation. Thank you very much. --rydel 02:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Responses to admin actions

Einstein false-info block

I do not believe that user deserved to be blocked for his/her attempts to edit the Einstein page. Though the matters they are discussing are controversial, I think their edits are also a far cry from vandalism, and am concerned that their blocking is based around content and not method. Given these reasons, it seems to me that the rationales provided in blocking them do not justify the punishment given.
Moreover, discussion on the matter is underway on the talk page, and I am concerned that this user will not be able to cite their sources during the interim. Lucidish 06:14, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

As you can see from the user's talk page, they have quite a history of vandalism. They've added contested information many times despite opposition and reverting by other editors. Having reached no agreement on the talk page, continuing to add them to the article is bad faith. However, I'm willing to reduce the block to 24 hours with a warning. // Pathoschild 07:11, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid that, upon closer examination, a number of those accusations are suspicious for the very same reason that the present accusation is.
Many of the additions are cases of bad faith editing, sure. But not vandalism. Indeed, I was able to find only a single instance of clear and obvious vandalism on that history page. Lucidish 17:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Precisely because it isn't necessarily clear whether this is a case of POV pushing or of vandalism, I've reduced the block as mentioned above. Further such edits after a clear warning to desist will be considered vadalism, however. // Pathoschild 17:29, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Good. But to reiterate, this user appears to be attempting to correct a POV bias, not to instill one. I hope you will keep this in mind. Lucidish 20:39, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I see that you have reverted an edit done by, thanks for clearing out the silly edit. I do not know much about 'vandalbots', what are they ? (The name suggests that they are not nice)Cadmium 21:02, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

A vandalbot is a script that automatically makes specific edits. It can be used to edit a large number of pages at a high rate, potentially causing significant disruption. Vandalbot attacks are easily dealt with by administrators, but difficult to address for editors. You can read the Vandalbot article on Meta-Wiki for more information. // Pathoschild 15:42, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Open proxy

Hi there. I was wondering what the correspondence was relating to your unblocking of User:; your unblock message is unusual. We don't let even legitimate contributors edit through open or insecure proxies for the reasons in {{blocked proxy}}, but I was wondering if it had been demonstrated to you that it was not, in fact, an open proxy. When I came across the address the other day, I re-blocked it, and now I get an email saying someone has spoken with you before about it. -Splashtalk 16:01, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I've just been checking with various people I trust (on IRC, not something I normally do) and none of them are able to demonstrate the openness of this proxy anymore. Not even at the IP in the original blocking message. So I have lifted my block of it. It does, however, appear to have sent out quite a bit of spam in the past to Google Groups and the like, so its edits are worth watching. Thanks for your time. -Splashtalk 16:23, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

User:Vinni-Puh's linkspam

prompted by some of his interwiki additions, I discovered that he did the same vandalism across the other wikipedia languages! See the current version of :cs:Amin Maalouf, for example! Is there an automatic tool to auto-retract all his creepy linkspam vandalism across the wikis? --BACbKA 09:19, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

There is none to my knowledge. It's possible to blacklist a URL so that it cannot be added to Wikipedia, but this is unfeasible for a webhost domain. If you find any other accounts used for this, please tell me and I'll manually remove any linkspam. Thanks. // Pathoschild 18:26, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
For vandalism on other wikis, it would be best to report linkspam accounts to administrators there with a link to the vandalism in progress report. // Pathoschild 19:12, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

if I write "punk" on a talk page...

why would you assume that that message doesn't necessarily make sense to the person that received it within a certain context? I don't want to ignore the whole idea of treating people nicely on 'pedia and whatnot but some people may have certain things in common and thus "get the gist" of a message even one as simple as "punk", or "punkazz" as a bit of a hello. RC patrol's one thing. anyway, lemme know if you think I'm completely round the bend or what. yaaa. 21:56, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

According to the entry for Punk in the Wiktionary, the applicable definitions are both potentially offensive: a worthless person, or a prostitute. In the context (or lack thereof), it is unlikely to be interpreted as members of a social or musical movement. Similarly, punkazz is a derivative of punkass, a negative neologism referring to hypocrisy or sexual servitude (according to the urban dictionary entry). Particularly on an IP talk page potentially shared by thousands of users (not just editors), such terms are more likely to confuse or offend than welcome. If you can demonstrate their friendly use as greetings towards total strangers, I'm willing to listen. ;) // Pathoschild 22:25, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
hey. sorry I took so long to get back. this is a follow up to this. 1. you reference urbandictionay? I didn't know it'd come so far. it's meant to be a little offensive. people joke around some. people can take a little jab or tease sometimes. it's locker room stuff. rule out "punk the lifestyle" 2. I have some idea of whom I'm writing to, if you don't. it's not 1000's of people. that's kinda the point. might I confuse with my drive-bys? maybe, if the authors ever see them. while I believe in being welcoming, it is not always top priority. these users are not a proper welcome away from starting productive stays here, I reckon. I could be wrong. you'r an admin. maybe you know something about the IP's that I don't. either way: wikipedia has and enemy that slinks and tweeks and wants to hurt your content again. thankz for the neologism link tho. 06:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Content dispute on Brown hair

I don't understand why we can't put a picture of an dark brown Eurasian female. The brown haired female was longer than the other picture. We need a new picture. (Oahc 12:52, 11 January 2006 (UTC))

A brunette cleary says any female with dark brown what is exactly wrong with the Eurasian female...she has dark brown hair...she's the perfect example of an brunette...(Oahc 12:54, 11 January 2006 (UTC))

Please resolve your dispute with the other concerned parties; I only protected the page due to the reversion war. If you have any questions, I'll do the best I can to answer them; unfortunately, I don't have time at the moment to mediate a content dispute. // Pathoschild 17:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for page move

Could you please explain your custom namespace at Archives:List of U.S. foreign interventions since 1945? I've moved the page to Talk:List of U.S. foreign interventions since 1945/Archives/2006/01 and updated the links to it appropriately. :) // Pathoschild 06:24, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

thanks for naming the archive correctly! Travb 06:27, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
You're welcome. :) // Pathoschild 06:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Working Man's Barnstar for WP:VIP work

I hereby award you the Working Man's Barnstar for your exhaustive and probably really boring efforts to clear the backlog at WP:VIP and make the page actually usable again. Bravo! Mo0[talk] 03:27, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

VIP report (user:aolanaonwaswronglyaccused)

This message concerns your Vandalism in progress report for User:aolanaonwaswronglyaccused. Although the edit you cited does seem like blatant vandalism, it seems the underlying dispute runs much deeper than that. Please follow the dispute resolution process to resolve your dispute, resorting to arbitration if the other steps fail. // Pathoschild 04:17, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't remember making one in the first place...Chooserr 06:39, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
That's understandable, considering how long ago it was posted; WP:VIP was neglected for a while until I streamlined it. The report in question can vew viewed as oldid 31862413, with aolanaonwaswronglyaccused's response as oldid 31864256. // Pathoschild 07:09, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Your decision to freeze Belarusian language

I believe, this was not a very wise decision, especially considering the fact that you froze the Kuban Kazak's version. There was no reversal war, at least not in a conventional sense. It was one lying Russian POV-pusher, named Kuban Kazak, who knows nothing about Belarusan language, and there were many Wikipedia editors who tried to block and revert his unreasonable additions. Kind regards, a native speaker and the owner of the linguistic Belarusan website site. --rydel 18:13, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Pathoschild! Thanks for your attention to the article. Still, I would suggest to protect a more complete version until the dispute is solved. (see my explanation on the talk page).--AndriyK 18:33, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Rydel: The dispute on that page was indeed a reversion war in the conventional sense, as far as I can tell. Most edit summaries for the last fifty revisions includes either the term revert (or equivalent), a comment to the person who made the last revert, or both. That you and other editors disagree with the other editor's position is irrelevant, since there wouldn't be a dispute if you didn't. Please see the dispute resolution process, which includes a process to allow community input on a user's actions.
AndriyK: I or another administrator will willingly make any changes that are undisputed or clearly correct. However, I cannot specifically protect one revision over others unless it's clearly superior from the point of view of our manual of style or policies and guidelines. As the protection template specifies, "Protection is not an endorsement of the current page version". // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 18:50, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
The Belarusian language article has been erroneously reported as Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress. In fact the article has been in the process of edition (and of course per Wikipedia:Protection policy: Admins must not protect pages they are actively engaged in editing, except in the case of simple vandalism.). At the same time the article was subject to a POV based revert war. Have you looked at the article's history before protecting it ? I'm afraid that blocking the article resulted in even more difficult situation than before. Can you please take a closer look at it and suggest the correct steps to resolve it. Obviously this was not a content dispute but a POV pushing revert war. --Lysytalk 18:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
My protection of the page was within the protection policy's provisions, specifically Enforcing a "cool down" period to stop an "edit war," upon request. If the content dispute stems from POV pushing, please file a request for comment against the user if other steps in the dispute resolution process have failed to resolve the dispute. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 19:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
From my experience the RFC will not help in this case, as the article is of marginal interest of other than the already involved editors. I'm sincerely afraid that RFC would only lead to antagonizing the situation. I think I'll pass and let the Russian POV pusher win. Maybe somebody else will have more faith in starting an RFC. --Lysytalk 21:07, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Responses to editor actions

List syntax in user warning templates

Hello - {{Idw}} was edited by you stating that its being standardized. The format that it is using now (with a list and not adding a header) I dont think makes it work very well. When i am tagging peoples talk pages with this notice, I use the + symbol knowing I dont have to add a section name and it will post fine. Now when i do this it just adds onto the last section with a nice little 1. next to it and looks out of place. I would suggest reverting it back. --Admrboltz (T | C) 06:00, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I standardised them for use in warning lists (such as on's talk page). Since many people seem to use them as stand-alone messages, I'll restore the headers; those templates can be standardised after some discussion on the subject. // Pathoschild 06:10, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I also support reverting the lot of them; I'll hit Template:Nothanks-vanity myself, but if you could do the rest I'd appreciate it. Melchoir 09:31, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Melchoir, there is no need to revert "the lot of them"; as I said above, I've already restored the headers and removed the list syntax on all but the one you "hit", which I seem to have forgotten. // Pathoschild 09:39, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I didn't understand the independence of the edits. As for all the other templates, I appreciate that you intend to remove the list syntax, but it seems you haven't... yet? Melchoir 09:43, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I meant remove the list syntax on the idw-related templates; I misunderstood your comment. The application of list syntax has been made to a large number of templates among other improvements; particularly since I consider that the list syntax is justified, I'm very reluctant to edit out the syntax and even more reluctant to blanket revert all my other changes. Several users have questioned these edits, so I invite discussion here. If the community is against the list syntax, I will remove it myself. My justification is quoted from a template_talk page:

Particularly in the case of blatant vandals, warnings are most often used in lists, whether or not list syntax is used: there are several warnings one after another in chronological order until the user stops or is blocked. Most Wikipedians who use warning templates are either unaware of the list syntax or don't care about warning organisation, such that every of the several hundred pages where the list organisation is now used must be periodically formatted. Implementing the list syntax into the template simplifies organisation of talk pages, particularly those with many warnings. For an example of the list form, see's talk page; particularly, compare the ease with which an administrator can overview the intervention process to the difficulty in doing so without the list organisation (oldid 30781449).

// Pathoschild 09:51, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Okay, then I'll make my case against including # and * at the front of user talk templates here.
  • They're new. Humans are basically conservative; we fear change in established institutions. If Wikipedia:Wikiproject user warnings/Documentation had some consensus, I would understand implementing it, but this is too sudden.
  • They are minimally useful for the template adder. If you really want a #, why not type it yourself? Presumably you're already typing four braces and the subst: command along with the name of a template.
  • They will not make organization of talk pages created before the present any easier, since those pages presumably will have been subst:ed already.
  • They remove choice from the template user. I think this is clear.
  • Finally, the issue of merit: it just looks bad when there's only one tag on a page. What's the "1." doing there? If the user doesn't understand it, it will only add to the mystery and impersonal atmosphere many newbies complain about. Warning templates should try to be as personal-sounding as possible. If the user does understand it, that's even worse; it's proof that we expect them to become repeat offenders, and we're already preparing an itemized rap sheet against them.
So... yeah. Melchoir 10:15, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
RobertG awards this Random Acts of Kindness barnstar to Pathoschild for reverting vandalism to my user page

After I edited {{selftest}} you asked me to comment here. I oppose the addition of "#" to every warning template, because it renders them useless for any purpose other than putting them in a list, and I find the need for putting them in a list to be a rarity. I would have no objection to your creating an extra template (call it, say, {{selftest-l}}) which includes selftest with a # in front, but I can't say I think that it would be worth it - why not just type the # when it's needed in a list? Best regards, RobertGtalk 11:54, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Melchoir and RobertG on this one. I'll go as far as to say that list element should never be built into a warning template. If there's been some discussion on the issue other than in this space, point me to it. As it stands now, though, I don't see consensus in support of the change. –Abe Dashiell (t/c) 12:35, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Consensus is obviously against me on this, so I'll remove the list syntax from the templates. Please don't blanket revert, as that will undo other changes I've implemented. // Pathoschild 12:37, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. Though I firmly oppose hardwiring it into the templates themselves, I agree we would benefit from better organization in the warning process. Further clarity in the guidelines is a good idea, and perhaps the warning template wikiproject (which I didn't know existed) could help. –Abe Dashiell (t/c) 14:07, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Um, yes, what Abe said! Melchoir 14:18, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Abe and Melchior. RobertGtalk 14:41, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

HTML paragraphs in templates

I see you just inserted "HTML paragraphs" in {{Nothanks-sd}}. I have reverted. This is not standard wikipedia formatting. lease discuss why you think this is desireable before implemeting such changes. DES (talk) 18:01, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

If you'll check the talk page, you'll see I edit-conflicted your post with my justification for the HTML paragraphs. // Pathoschild 18:02, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I see. I have revertd my edit on the template. Sorry. DES (talk) 18:04, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. // Pathoschild 18:05, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Removal of emphasis in templates

I'm puzzled by your edits of some templates, particularly {{tl:Pinfo4}}. I understand why you did it, but the edits are seriously misguided and pretty much make the template unusable.

Because of the message it has to communicate the template needs to be long. However naked text running to three paragraphs in a posted message will not be read by the vast majority of people receiving it. I've worked with magazines and newspapers and have been directly involved in laying out text. Experts informed us that the apparent unreadability of an advertisement can be counterbalanced by doing certain things:

  • A clear 'hook' headline distinguished from the text either by size, use of graphics, capitalisation or inclusion of a line. (Experts recommended the use of a line to create a visual break, so the headline is not seen as part of the text, so making the text seem smaller as a portion of the page.)
  • The highlighting either through font or bolding of the key words. The reason for this is simple and vital. People will not instantly read the text. They may feel overwhelmed by it. Bolding the key words means that in a blurr of text, even if they read nothing else, a key message is communicated through the use of hook words. On the Pinfo4 template, the key words bolded were deliberately chosen. They were completely anonymous (to communicate what the complaint is about, and what rule they had breached), immediately blocked (which highlights that there actions could cause a negative reaction), immediately (which communicates that they must act quickly or may face an immediate block), not (to stress a mistake not to be made) and You may be blocked (again, to warn of ramifications if action isn't taken by them).

All of that was undone by your edit. Now the crucial visual hook messages are missing. The key words don't stand out. The headline is not separated and by including it in the text it makes it less communicative while adding to the apparent visual length of the message.

As designed, the message was created using hooks that around 90% would read, and which would then lead to 50% of people reading the full text. In the form you created it would be lucky to be read by 5%. Most will look at it, think what the fuck is this? and ignore it. In that form the template is next to useless and might as well be deleted.

The designs used are deliberate and based on practical experience of how to communicate in template and advertising form, where a complex message had to be communicate effectively but challengingly. Removing lines, graphics or bolding pretty much riduces carefully designed layouts to worthlessness. You may not have realised that the designs were so carefully throught through and based on practical communication experience in the media. They weren't simply haphazard layouts with unnecessary embellishments. Please be very careful not to lose the effectiveness of carefully laid out templates. FearÉIREANN \(caint) 19:54, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

The template design was obviously much more planned than I anticipated; I apologize. It seemed to me that the heavy use of emphasis in many templates renders emphasis onto meaninglessness, particularly when portions of nearly every sentence are emphasised. I'll bow to your apparent wisdom in this matter. :) // Pathoschild 03:28, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
No problem at all. I've learnt the tricks through years of graft in the media. The aim is to create a package so that key words and messages can't be missed and lure the reader into reading more. The intention is for them to say "completely anonymous . . . immediately blocked . . . immediately . . . not . . . You may be blocked Shit. This looks serious. I'd better read the whole thing." Similarly using standardised images for specific type of warnings (hands for some, the x for others) creates an instant recognisable grade for an image. So before they even read the thing the tone and message has been visually communicated. All vital messages should always be boxed too, ie, defamation warnings and block messages. Personally I think grade 4s should have a neutral box also. The point is to say clearly — you cannot ignore this message. You cannot miss this on your page. Or, from the point of the blocker, the person receiving the message cannot then say "I didn't see the message" (which is often said when minimised messages are used). That is also why I used striking colours for the humourous 'now stop it' series. The colours are deliverately intended to be friendly and informal, but with the final warning in neutral white to communicate a more serious message, the same colour used for the def... series and Vbc. FearÉIREANN \(caint) 19:35, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Your experience would be much appreciated in the WikiProject on user warnings, if you're interested. We've got a few members, but I'm the only active one and my expertise is with template coding. // Pathoschild 05:53, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

HTML comments and stuff

Hi Pathoschild. Sorry I reverted the text which you later put back. However, you should explain better what is going on, and why exactly what you are doing is needed. You left the comments:

standardising (list format, HTML comment))
(HTML paragraphs (compatibility with organised lists of warnings))

but it is not clear why those would be necessary, and what is the point. So, I wonder if you can explain. You can reply on this page. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 07:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

The HTML comments you speak of are used for two distinct purposes. The simplest to explain is the comment <!-- {{TemplateName}} -->, which identifies which template was used when it is subst'd. This allows editors to find and edit the template if they see a way to improve it; before the creation of :Category:User warning templates and the addition of those identifying comments, the only way to find the template was to ask editors who make use of it.
The purpose of the HTML comments that emulate wiki-doublespaces is tied to the addition of HTML paragraphs. For optimal intervention efficiency, talk pages with numerous warnings are organised into formatted lists sectioned by date; the most recent example on my watchlist is's talk page. Due to the way Wikipedia parses wikisyntax into HTML, list items are closed at any newline. Due to this, many templates will break any list they are placed in; the first paragraph will be in the list, the others out, and any subsequent templates in the list will begin a new list at 1. By using HTML paragraph syntax directly, Wikipedia's paragraph parsing is circumvented and multiple-paragraph templates can then be added to organised warning lists without problem. However, such templates must be on a single codeline, which is highly illegible to humans in edit view. For comments that use HTML paragraphs, HTML comments can be inserted to emulate the appearance of wikisyntax paragraphs and entirely restore legibility.
I apologize if any of this was unclear; I was originally working through the WikiProject on User Warnings which I founded for just this type of query, but pretty much gave up on it due to low participation. After the many queries I've had, I'll do my best to document the standardisation drive on the WikiProject pages. // Pathoschild 08:08, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I have my doubts on how helpful that will be, but I understand the motivation now. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:13, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Javascript problem

Drop us an email/note on talk page and I'll see what I can do. Alphax τεχ 15:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi. I'm trying to change some inline CSS using javascript; my total knowledge of javascript was accumulated overnight, so it's still a little patchy. Any help would be much appreciated. Specifically, what I'm having trouble with is having a link update the inline styles for the body.
<body id="body" style="background:#FFF;">
<a href="#" onclick="document.getElementById(body).style.setProperty('background','#000');"></a>
Thanks. // Pathoschild 16:53, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Meep. Have you read Devmo? Alphax τεχ 12:52, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Nope, I eventually just worked around it. ;) // Pathoschild 17:10, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Flexibility of user blocks

Hi, As you are an admin, I wonder if you can (briefly) advise me of the flexibility of blocks available. Does blocking an IP block *all* edits from that address, or only anon edits? Or do we have the choice of both?

Reason I mention is that the transparent web proxy my ISP routes requests through was blocked last night (as a result of another logged-in user's vandalism). I'd like to know *exactly* how restrictive blocks are if I'm going to request them for someone else... Fourohfour 11:05, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, I thought I'd already responded. When an administrator blocks an IP address, there's an autoblock feature that detects registered users operating from that address and blocks them as well. Ideally, this allows registered users to edit while preventing new sockpuppets of a blocked user from editing; in practice, the autoblock is rather glitchy, and IP blocks tend to affect most or all registered users from that address. On a related note, transparent proxies are blocked on detection until they can be demonstrated to be closed. // Pathoschild 17:17, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
No problem, thanks for the answer. Do you mean it blocks "newly" registered users (the rest of what you said makes more sense in that context). Fourohfour 17:59, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
That's what it should do, but instead it blocks all registered users. // Pathoschild 23:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Reporting open proxies

I've found some more; they're listed at User_talk:Kelly_Martin#Open_Proxy. Where should I make note of any more that I find? Alphax τεχ 04:10, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, it's you, is it? I guess a mixture of AN/I and Kelly Martin's talk page should see them get squelched. -Splashtalk 04:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
You can report open proxies to an administrator or at the WikiProject on open proxies. If you're interested, you're welcome to join the new WikiProject. // Pathoschild 04:24, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

On the Celestianpower problem

My response to your response:

You're mistaken here. Celestianpower blocked my account twice. Celestianpower stated that the first block was because of a 3RR violation although, and Celestianpower acknowleges in the block list, I didn't 'technically' violate 3RR, but the number of edits across a 34 hour period left blocking within Celestianpower's 'descretion'. How true all that is, I don't know. I didn't protest the ban and simply let the period of the ban expire.Please note, my protest is not against the first block.

The second block is the reason for my protest. Both in my talk page and in the blocklist, Celestianpower cites "highly POV" as his/her justification for blocking me again for 31 hours.I challenged Celestianpower repeatedly to tell me in words exactly in what direction he/she found my POV to slant. I presume such justification would have to be supported with evidence. As always, I recieved nothing but silence from Celestianpower. From the other admins I spoke to, Celestianpower had no authority to block me on POV grounds. Even if he/she did, I expect that in good faith Celestianpower would be obliged to communicate with me instead of summarily blocking me. As I stated above, I have not seen Celestianpower engage in any discussions in the CNN talk page. He/she has not edited the article. For all I know, Celestianpower is not even conscious of the ongoings on the CNN page; and all that is assuming the best and that Celestianpower operates in good faith.

Pathoschild, since you're involved here, I'd ask you to go to the CNN entry and inspect the "Controversy/bias" section. Since part of Celestianpower's allegation is that my editing practices have been highly POV, a sound judgement cannot be made without looking into whether or not that allegation carries weight. Check out that section. Look at how it was constructed prior to my first edits on that page. Then go to the talk page and read my corrosponding criticism of how that section was structured, and particularly the POV nature in which sources were misquoted and misinterpreted. Then go to my last edits before the second ban was applied. Then tell me which version seems more NPOV. And then I'd ask you what I've asked Celestianpower to do twice: based on the edits on the actual article, in which direction do you find my POV to slant? I expect the answer to be based on the article and not the discussion, and with actual references as to where I'm guilty of POV pushing.

I do stand by my statement that Celestianpower is incompetent. That's my good-faith interpretation of how this all worked out. The other possible explanation is that an otherwise competent admin has been highly malevolent in this case. Amibidhrohi 17:48, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I was asked to examine and comment on the situation; my judgement was that the administrator was mistaken, but that the mistake was from neither incompetence nor bad faith. Deep cross-examination of an editor's actions or of a content dispute often requires a large amount of time and effort; I'm relatively busy in several fields on Wikipedia and can dedicate neither to such an examination. If you would like to call into question the administrator's competence and adminship, please do so through the appropriate official channels, particularly a request for comment. Other members and administrators will thoroughly examine the administrator's actions. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 16:06, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Minor Grammatical error

Trying to post the details on that same page. Very short post. No URLs in it. When I go to save page it says that the page is protected by a spam filter. I know it cannot be anything in my short post. Is this a general page problem? If so do i just wait for it to resolve - shall I give you the info on this page - or shall I use the WP page you mentioned. Thanks. Davidpatrick 01:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid that I can't give a detailed response unless you provide more specifics regarding what page you're trying to edit and what you're trying to add. Posting to WP:AN is pretty much the same as approaching an individual administrator, such as myself, when we can usually take care of it without discussion; thus, it shouldn't be needed at this point. If you let me know the details, I'll be happy to help you. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 02:05, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi. First of all - just want you to know that my note on your talk page was not referring to the actual issue. It was to let you know that I had just encountered a separate problem on the Wikipedia:Help desk page when I was trying to give you the details of the grammatical problem. And I didn't want you to think I was inexplicably switching from the Help desk page to your personal talk page without a reason!
Anyway - now to the actual original problem. Thanks for the rapid response. It's a fairly minor error - but I suffered through grammar lessons at school so I feel I ought to share the little I learned! It's a line on the standard discussion page given to anon. users (ie those who are only identified by an IP address)
it reads: This is the discussion page for an anonymous user, identified by their numerical IP address. I believe that the use of the plural is incorrect. I think it should read: This is the discussion page for an anonymous user, identified by his/her numerical IP address or This is the discussion page for an anonymous user, identified by the user's numerical IP address.
Hope this wasn't too minor! Thanks Davidpatrick 02:15, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
No, that wasn't too minor. We really appreciate people pointing out errors like that - I'm surprised I didn't notice it myself, but it has been a while since I've read the anonymous talk page footer. It's fixed now. Don't hesistate to let me know about any other errors you find in system messages (MediaWiki:) or protected templates. Thanks a lot! Flcelloguy (A note?) 02:19, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Glad to help even on a small thing. My parents may think that their investment in my education wasn't entirely wasted! Davidpatrick 02:41, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi. I just noticed your edit to the MediaWiki page. 'They' is the most commonly-accepted gender-neutral pronoun, and it was used on that page as such. 'The user's' works as well, though, so it matters not. :) // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 04:13, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi. That wasn't a grammatical mistake; 'they' was used on that page as the most commonly-accepted gender-neutral pronoun. The new revision works just as well, so it matters not. :) // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 04:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Pathoschild dropped me the same note. I thought you might enjoy reading my friendly response.
Thanks for your note. Glad that you're not unduly worried by the change. The topic of singular/plural is one of those where there is certainly a common colloquial tradition of usage that is nonetheless gramatically erroneous.
eg if someone said this: If the person has a problem tell them to see me; It's just one person - so it is not correct to say THEM". It has to be: If the person has a problem tell him or her to see me or If the person has a problem tell the person to see me
Of course the erroneous usage has become commonplace - even cropping up in popular songs. The New York Times actually took Sting to task once on this particular point - describing "If You Love Somebody Set THEM Free" as "post-grammatical"!
Of course the lyric wouldn't scan so well if it was "If you love somebody - set him or her free"! Anyway - I hope my change didn't seem persnickety. Thanks. Davidpatrick 05:32, 18 January 2006 (UTC) Davidpatrick 05:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
No more gramatically erroneous that the singular use of 'you', a plural pronoun. ;) // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 05:41, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Hmmmm. Interesting point. Wiktionary defines "you":

You was originally a plural form, the singular being thou. You gradually came to be used as the polite singular and was eventually generalized to the singular in all circumstances.

I think usage being "eventually generalized.... in all circumstances" is different to colloquial usage that hasn't been "generalized" and accepted by grammarians. The fact that "thou" (the original singular of "you") became abandoned in common parlance meant that there was no alternative. Whereas a person can still use his or her knowledge of grammar to be correct!

What dost thou think of that?! Davidpatrick 06:15, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

No doubt the end result, use of one pronoun at the exclusion of any other, is acceptable. There is also no doubt to me that, at some point before total exclusion of alternatives, the one is use by the majority becomes acceptable. The question lies in when it becomes acceptable to use in an encyclopedia. 'They' as a gender-neutral pronoun has a history extending back to the fourteenth century. Further, the term is recognised by most dictionaries and usage guides, although dictionaries append a 'usage problem' flag. This is quoted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:
Usage Note: The use of the third-person plural pronoun they to refer to a singular noun or pronoun is attested as early as 1300, and many admired writers have used they, them, themselves, and their to refer to singular nouns such as one, a person, an individual, and each. W.M. Thackeray, for example, wrote in Vanity Fair in 1848, “A person can't help their birth,” and more recent writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Anne Morrow Lindbergh have also used this construction, in sentences such as “To do a person in means to kill them,” and “When you love someone you do not love them all the time.” The practice is widespread and can be found in such mainstream publications as the Christian Science Monitor, Discover, and the Washington Post. The usage is so common in speech that it generally passes unnoticed.
The usage note goes on to mention that the panel disagrees with the use of the pronoun and that there is opposition to its use based on the traditional grammer rules. However, the underlined text above (underlines mine) seems to emphasise that singular they has become widely acceptable enough in both formal writing and informal speech to be considered part of the language. The only opposition to it seems to be a case of status quo ante; resisting something that is new simply because it is new. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 13:27, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Interesting. I guess I've always been inclined toward the "traditional" grammar, though it appears that it'll be a moot point. Anyways, though, I think the current wording should work; let me know if you disagree. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:56, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


I saw you revert that cuteness - how could you be so cruel, poor 'ickle foxy! (ROFL) :) --Alf melmac 14:01, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Too bad it was FireFox logged out, I was going to add it to my list of favourite vandal edits. :D // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 14:03, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Gah, must speak to him about his tastes then ;p (leaves stage right, chuckling loudly). --Alf melmac 14:14, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
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