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Pinus contorta latifolia (Lodgepole Pine) twig
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1RRThis user prefers discussing changes on the talk page rather than engaging in an edit war.
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nl-1Deze gebruiker bezit beginnende kennis van het Nederlands.
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Committed identity: 138c47efb78b28ef5b3a8ddf36958dae720b61c9 is a SHA-1 commitment to this user's real-life identity.

Multilicense -- see below. Today's date: October 4, 2023 h

My essays:


I oppose personal attacks, incivility and any words which are likely to cause the recipient to feel hurt or uncomfortable, unless they feel uncomfortable purely because they're losing a well-argued debate.

I see three very important reasons to keep incivility to a minimum:

  • It causes suffering.
  • It causes good editors to leave the project.
  • It fosters an environment in which debates are won by intimidation rather than by reasoning – which is less likely to produce a truly NPOV encyclopedia.

When I speak out against incivility, I'm surprised by how often my action seems to be interpreted as a method of trying to support one side of a debate. Is that behaviour really that common? I've spoken out against incivility by those on the same side of a debate as myself, by those on the opposite side, and by those in debates I'm not involved in. I see opposing incivility as a separate matter from participating in the debate itself.

Sometimes people may not realize that they are being uncivil, or the extent to which their words hurt.

See also DefendEachOther.

The "What, Where, Why" method of content discussion[edit]

This is a way of carrying on content discussions and can be used to help enforce content policies and guidelines such as WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV. The method is very basic: simply to include the following in a single article talk page edit:

  • What: quote the words (and wikitext) that you want to add to (or delete from, or change in) an article.
  • Where: specify where in the article the words are to go.
  • Why: give arguments, based on reliable sources, policies and guidelines, as to why you think this material should be included.

It's good to put these three things all in one edit, preferably on an article talk page, and preferably as the beginning of a new thread with a meaningful section heading. After having done that, you can then give a diff or in some other way refer back to that edit, here and there on the article talk page, rather than repeating the same arguments and rather than obscuring the content discussion with comments about other editors (which are better kept off article talk pages).

The purpose of doing this is to bring other editors into the discussion. Many article talk page discussions are hard to follow: comments assume that others already know what's being talked about. New editors have to invest a fair amount of time to get involved. But when a message is presented in a prominent and well-organized way, then others can get involved; and if one version is clearly better supported by policy than another, then bringing in more editors will tend to help enforce the policy, since the new editors will see that.

Don't expect administrators to enforce content policies; content policies are generally enforced by ordinary editors, or by administrators acting as ordinary "involved editors" and not using their admin tools on that article. The role of administrators is to do things like protect pages in an impartial way, not (except in limited cases e.g. some situations involving BLP) to decide which version of an article is more NPOV: editors do that by working together and finding consensus or at least compromise.

A mediator-like role[edit]

On Wikipedia I often find myself filling a mediator-like role (mediator-like, but not with all the attributes of a mediator). This tends to occur naturally, depending on the situation. However, if you see me doing this, please don't jump to the conclusion that I'm agreeing to act as a neutral mediator. Unless I say otherwise very explicitly (and as I write this, I don't think I've ever yet done so on Wikipedia), I'm not agreeing to act in a neutral role as a mediator. Instead, what often happens is that I don't feel as strongly about one POV or another as other editors do, or I understand both POVs, so I naturally fill a mediator role. I enjoy helping others arrive at consensus or compromises. However, I retain the right to express my opinions about article content just as much as any other editor. I might have a relatively neutral position on some things but not on other things, or I might change my mind over time: in fact, I believe it's good to change one's mind in response to arguments presented by other editors: that's part of the process of arriving at consensus. So don't be surprised if I start expressing opinions on content disputes too. I encourage others, too, to take on a mediator-like role more often, perhaps by choosing to edit articles where one doesn't have a lot of very strong opinions about the subject matter.

Choice of words[edit]

Rather than the phrase "bad block", I prefer more neutral terminology such as "I oppose the block" or "I propose overturning the block", which expresses an opinion without implying that the admin had done something objectively wrong.

Simple English Wikiquote[edit]

I was a bureaucrat on Simple English Wikiquote, but the project has been closed.

More quotes[edit]


Neutral point of view[edit]

Assumption of good faith[edit]

Original research[edit]

Fun and inspiration[edit]


In talk page discussions, I tend to reset the indentation to the left margin when there are more than about 7 to 10 colons. I prefer that other editors also refrain from putting more than about 10 colons, since it gets hard to read stuff when it's all squashed into the right margin.


Re use of the word "vote": I know perfectly well that a "vote" is not a vote. Er, that is, that those thingies people post in discussions are not votes. I just use the word "vote" as a convenient term to mean "thingy", not to mean "a thingy is a vote," which I don't mean, because it isn't, and even if it were, I prefer to represent a statement with a sentence rather than with a word. Voting wouldn't work on a sockpuppet-prone wiki.

Help put in interwikis: links between similar articles in different languages. One tool for doing this is: Flacus' Interwiki Link Checker . It's a fun and convenient way to quickly help add many interwikis. You choose two languages, and it shows you pairs of pages with the same name on two different language Wikipedias. You click "yes" or "no" to indicate whether they're about the same subject or not. You can go through many pages quickly. After a small number of people (3) agree that two pages are about the same subject, a bot puts an interwiki link between them.

Disambiguation link repair: You can help! -- Popups

Translation in progress: Safavid art fr:Art safavide

A userpage worth reading: User:Wetman

Pages I'm involved in editing or have been involved in editing include: AIDS | Shock wave | Talk:Birth control | Eicosanoid | Canada's Food Guide | Essential nutrient | Hellenistic art(translation) Derveni krater(translation) | Pain and nociception; Links among nutrition articles; disambiguation; some Statistics pages; some corporal punishment pages


User:Coppertwig/links Mingua; User:Coppertwig/Languages; User:Coppertwig/monobook.js; User:Coppertwig/popups.js( copied from Lupin and modified by Coppertwig (Do not use this version of popups! Use User:Lupin/popups.js; User:Coppertwig/Links to equilibrium Special:Allpages/User:Coppertwig

TeX template

P.S. template hackyglot template User:Coppertwig/testbox User:Coppertwig/sandbox3 User:Coppertwig/BirthControl infobox1 User:Coppertwig/BirthControl infobox2

How to fix double redirects after moving a page

Re templates: meta:ParserFunctions

I started on Wikipedia on Nov. 2, 2006. I'm also Coppertwig on meta and on a number of other projects.



  • Doing some French/English translation.
  • Adding citations to Corporal Punishment-related articles and thinking of merging/rearranging some of these articles
  • Minor contributions to statistics pages
  • Adding lots of redirects so I and others can find things, for example the pages of instructions and guidelines
  • Writing definitions for Simple English Wikipedia
  • Translated Canada's Food Guide page into French
  • Translating Hellenistic art into Simple English
  • Added minerals to the Hrvatski version of Essential Nutrient
  • Translated Essential Nutrient into French
  • Putting links among many nutrition-related articles in many languages
  • Other miscellaneous contributions

Ik kan enkel een klein beetje Nederlands spreken, tussen 0 en 1. Ich kann mehr Deutsch sprechen als Nederlands, zwischen 1 und 2. Hablo un poco de español, pero quiero apprendar más. I have access to TERMIUM, an extensive online French/English/Spanish phrase dictionary. More precise Babel might be en|fr-3|la-1.5|de-1.5|nl-0.5|grc-0.5|es-0.05.


  1. ^ Ash, A. and R. Gross, Fearless Symmetry, 2006.
  2. ^ Coppertwig's sister
  3. ^ Abd on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Elonka, 01:46, 5 August 2008
  4. ^ June 10, 1968 Official Statement by the then Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
  5. ^ cited in The Right to be Human, a Biography of Abraham Maslow, Edward Hoffman, p. 163
  6. ^ Jimbo Wales at User talk:Jimbo Wales, 22:51, 5 February 2008
  7. ^ GTBacchus at WT:Civility, 08:17, 8 October 2006
  8. ^ Igorberger, March 5, 2008 Emphasis mine.
  9. ^ Rodhullandemu on my talk page
  10. ^ GTBacchus at Wikipedia talk:Ignore all rules
  11. ^ The zeroeth law of Wikipedia. See Raul's laws.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Abd on User talk:Abd, 19 October, 2008. [1]
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ Gladwell, Malcolm (2002). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. U.S.A.: Little, Brown and Company. p. 174. ISBN 0-316-34662-4. {{cite book}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  16. ^ GTBacchus at Wikipedia talk:Ignore all rules
  17. ^ GTBacchus at Wikipedia talk:Assume good faith
  18. ^ GTBacchus at Wikipedia talk:Assume good faith
  19. ^ Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. [3]
  20. ^ Ramsey2006 09:09, 15 September 2007 (UTC) on Wikipedia talk:No original research. [4]
  21. ^ Blackworm at Talk:Circumcision, 20:57, 24 October 2008
  22. ^ WT:NOR on 17:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
  23. ^ Martin Prince in The Haw-Hawed Couple
  24. ^ From the song "Über den Wolken" by Reinhard Mey. This song, steadily popular in Germany since the 1970s, is about someone wistfully watching airplanes take off at an airport. lyrics at Mey's website.
  25. ^ Translation by Coppertwig.
  26. ^ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. p. 50–51. Beginner Books, a division of Random House Inc. 1960, 1988. New York, (simultaneously published in Toronto by Random House of Canada Limited). ISBN 0-394-80013-3
  27. ^ SwirlBoy39, private communication, 30 October, 2008
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