# Talk:Encyclopedia

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## UK usage of Encyclopedia

The UK, in practice, uses "encyclopedia" justs like the USA. It is considered the modern spelling. For evidence see Oxford University Press - Encyclopedia. This is the same University that published the OED. The days of England using ae are history. See also similar discussion on "Medieval" at Wikipedia:WikiProject Middle Ages/British spelling of Medieval. Webster's is outdated. --Stbalbach 00:52, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but why did you delete my comment? American dictionaries say that "encyclopaedia" is "chiefly British," meaning that it's mostly used in Britain. This does not imply that it's widely used; it might be used a little, but in the U.S. is practically never used, and that's what makes it chiefly British. This aside, data from the British National Corpus (1990s) give almost equal frequencies for "encyclopedia" and "encyclopaedia." My comment was in fact about U.S. (not UK) usage of the word, and Webster's is not wrong IMO. --JackLumber 07:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
You could interpret it that way; but if you read it literally, like most people do/will, it says the British chiefly use the ae spelling. Webster's is not an authority, there are all sorts of dictionaries, why this particular one? Also this is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary, we draw from any and all sources to determine article content, it's not like dictionaries have special authority that trumps others, they are just one piece. In fact dictionaries suffer from the same problem of all print media, they become out of date. Finally this is the English Wikipedia so we write for a broader audience not just the USA. --Stbalbach 14:50, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

The following phrase in the article note:

... although rarely so, the modern British spelling of encyclopedia is the same as in the US.

is unsupported by references provided, uncorroborated, and contradicted by the commentary above; it is also unclear given the prior clause. Until its validity can be demonstrated, I will continue to remove this contentious phrase. And users should think twice before supporting and (re)adding nonsense to articles by pointing the finger. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 02:53, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

No one in the UK publishes material today using the ae spelling of encyclopedia except in rare cases - it is simply outdated. I've show so with numerous links -- if the current catalog of the Oxford University Press (publishers of the OED) is not good enough for you, what exactly do you want? If you can show publishers in the UK using "ae" on recently published works, please show me. The commentary above only shows that it was done in the past, and done so today only rarely. As for the "prior clause", I guess you are referring to the "chiefly british" line? that is an American dictionary talking about it's usage in America, and saying where you see it at all, would be in Britain. But it says nothing about how common its usage is in the UK, not to mention it is out of date. -- Stbalbach 03:06, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
That is not the point: this is an opinion that, no matter how true it might be, is unsourced – provide a reference to support this claim. Though neither search of this sole publisher is authoritative, a counter-search reveals numerous current (fewer) instances of "encyclopaedia". You might be able to demonstrate this or that with links, but it does not prove what the 'modern' British spelling is and, thus, is unverifiable. (Note: I've no difficulty including verifiable notions per Webster's or any reputable source.) If anything: the syntax of this phrase given the prior one is, effectively, gibberish ... and little above allays that. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 03:11, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
<indent follows to left>

According to the OED (2nd ed 1989) twin entry for "encyclopædia/encyclopedia" it says:

The spelling with æ has been preserved from becoming obs. by the fact that many of the works so called have Latin titles, as Encyclopædia Britannica

Meaning, if it has a Latin title (Britannica is Latin), than the Latin spelling is preserved, otherwise it would be obsolete. "ae" is just a typeset issue for the Latin æ (the OED does not even list "ae" at all, just "æ"). In fact we should not be using "ae" in Wikipedia since we have the font available for æ -- Stbalbach 04:15, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Better; thank you! I've tweaked the revised edition: viz. "many", not all, and readding the notation regarding the permissibility of both spellings in the OED and Webster's.
Stemming from that, "encyclopedia ... (also encyclopaedia)" is indicated in the entry, at least, for my 2001 single-volume edition of the New Oxford Dictionary of English (ISBN 0-19-860441-6) – which is partially produced using the Arial font (as indicated upfront) – so arguably ae is still appropriate to use in any venue and we should when necessary (e.g., citations). E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 06:59, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok looks good. Can we safely say that the "æ" is still preserved, but in names that are Latin? (the "product name" thing is something I made up earlier not realizing the Latin name explanation from OED). And that "ae" is simply a typesetting short-cut for æ? (what else is it?). -- Stbalbach 17:56, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Great. Well, it isn't preserved merely in Latin names, hence my change. Arguably, EB is a Latin holdover but is an English title. The same can be said (even more so) for lengthy/combination titles: The Oxford Encyclopaedia of European Community Law, for example. We've sufficiently covered off on the ligature issue here. methinks: added details can/should be dealt with in the dedicated article (the character is called "ash") instead. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 20:45, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipaedia (wikipædia?) - where common sense is defined but not applied. flux.books 13:00, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

In every single non-american book I've read it has been spelled encyclopaedia. Although one very recent wildlife encylclopaedia CD did spell it encyclopedia, but for some reason used american spellings alongside british ones in some cases. 01:17, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm aware this has been dead for a while, but I'd just like to add that while publishers may be normalising the spelling of encyclopaedia to the American spelling (something which is happening in many other cases to assure a world-wide "standard" English), I am yet to see someone from the UK using "encyclopedia" in place of "encyclopaedia" in normal usage. In fact, I have to tell myself NOT to put the "a" in when accessing Wikipedia. I know this gives no proof, but it's just my experience of the way the word is used in this country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.109.204.106 (talk) 17:57, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Again I'd just like to add my weight to the use of 'encyclopaedia' certainly not being "outdated" in the UK as some are suggesting and is in fact (apart from online) the only spelling I ever come across in the UK. The non-US books I have checked all use 'encyclopaedia' and a quick check on two British websites - BBC News and The Times Online - also show the use of 'encyclopaedia' in every case. (I still all too often type 'Wikipaedia' in my browser too...) 90.197.153.237 14:28, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

## 3RR

User:83.131.51.211 has been given notice on his talk page concerning WP:3RR; his edits today appear to be in violation. I haven't (yet) written him up at WP:ANI, but any subsequent revisions of the article likely merit a block. --EngineerScotty 23:17, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

## encyclopedia etymology

According to this books time-line of encyclopedias: [1]

1541 Ringelbach uses the word "Encyclopaedia" in the title of his Lucubrationes

..which is half-right, it is not "Ringelbach" but "Joachimus Fortius Ringelbergius" (or "Ringelberg") who published "Lucubrationes vel potius absolutissima kyklopaideia" (Basle, 1541). -- Stbalbach 01:51, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

• Right now, it says the word was first used in 1541. The word was used in French in 1532 by François Rabelais in his Pantagruel to describe a general education.[2] The OED says it was used in English in 1531 by Sir Thomas Elyot in The boke named The gouernour: "The circle of doctrine..is in one worde of greke Encyclopedia." According to The circle of knowledge; encyclopaedias past and present, compiled and with an introductory essay by James M. Wells. in Greek times enklikios paedia was used to describe a general education. Writers like Aristotle are called "encyclopedic writers" because of the broadness of their writing. The Espasa says that Ringelbergius was the first to use it in a title of a work.--Primetime 03:44, 5 May 2006 (UTC) P.S. I just checked and it looks like Elyot was the first to combine the two words. P.P.S. Maybe I'm wrong. Sources conflict, so I'll leave it alone.
With tweaks, this works for me. I was actually going to comment on this after reading the 1911 v. of EB, but I lacked the willpower at the time. ;) E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 07:32, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

The word had already been recorded in English in 1531, meaning "course of construction," thought to be a false reading by Latin authors of the Greek enkyklios paideia taken as "general education". The modern sense of a "reference work arranged alphabetically" is from 1644(though it has a precursor in Antiquity, the Origines by St. Isodorus of Seville), and is also often applied specifically to the French "Encylopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des Sciences, des Artes, et des Métiers" (1751-65), long known as 'the' Encyclopaedia, edited by the so-called 'encyclopedists'.

It is taken word for word from Online Etymology Dictionary which clearly is a copyright work. I have asked for citations, but since the "OED" provides none and is very vague, that seems improbable. So I've moved it here until someone can verify, expand and clarify with citations and specifics. --Stbalbach 13:27, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand why people keep removing the link to the article on wikipedia with no explanation and without addressing it here. The issue has been raised in talk so people shouldn't continue making the deletion without justifying it. Rlitwin 13:41, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

## Competition

Are Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encarta, and such traditional encyclopedias Wikipedia's competitors? Their so different. At their core, these are are traditional paper encyclopedias and wikipedia is a free-content online work. If so, how do we which encyclopedia is ahead. There is no market share or sales to base a comparison. I don't think you could compare number users or articles, accuracy of those articles, or hits to the website. Wikipedia is so different from Britannica. How do we know which encyclopedia is winning.--Wikiphilia 05:47, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Put it in an internal links section. Neopetslovette 17:40, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

## Four major elements

I don't see why we have four bullet points. The first one contains three parts:

• "Encyclopedias can be general [and] can also specialize in a particular field ..." - this seems to duplicate the second bullet about scope.
• ""General encyclopedias often contain guides on how to do a variety of things ...". While true, this does not define an encyclopedia. Neither does gazetteer.
• Examples like Britannica and Great Soviet. These do not describe "four major elements" and should be discussed in their appropriate context, as Britannica already is.

The last bullet point doesn't state any defining criterion for an encyclopedia but the mere fact that there are modern versions; it rather belongs in section Modern encyclopedias. Any objections if I delete these two bullets and move the examples that are not covered in context under See also? — Sebastian (talk) 22:13, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

## Well-rounded education?

Regarding this text:

enkyklios paideia, literally 'the things of boys/child in a circle', meaning "a general knowledge."

Which was recently modified to this:

enkyklia paideia, literally '[well] rounded education', meaning "a general knowledge."

I don't speak Greek, but I'm disappointed to learn the origins of "rounded education" does not derive from the picture of students sitting in a circle listening to Socrates or some ancient Greek sage. If this is not the case, where and how did "round" get associated with education? It must be a very old association based on some reason. -- Stbalbach 14:23, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

My source is very old, and I'm sorry it's German: Benselers Griechisch-Deutsches Schulwörterbuch, Leipzig und Berlin: B. G. Teubner, 1931.

• ἐγ-κύκλιος, kreisförmig, rund ..., od. allgemein: αἱ ἐγκύκλιοι (ἀρχαί) die gewöhnlichen, niedern Ämter, ἡ ἐ. διοίκησις die niedere Verwaltung, τά ἐγκύκλια μαθήματα, ἡ ἐγκ. παιδεία der Kreis der allgemeinen Wissenschaften und Künste, die jeder Grieche in der Jugend treiben mußte, allgemeine Bildung.
• παιδεία, ... 1) Auferziehung, Erziehung,, Unterweisung, Unterricht, Zucht ... 2) das durch Erziehung Gewonnene ..., wissenschaftliche Ausbildung, Bildung, Kenntnisse, Wissenschaft, Einsicht, Kunstfertigkeit, Ausübung der Kunst. 3) poet. Bildungsstätte, Schule, ...

Translation:

• ἐγ-κύκλιος, circular, round ..., or general: αἱ ἐγκύκλιοι (ἀρχαί) the common, lower offices, ἡ ἐ. διοίκησις the lower administration, τά ἐγκύκλια μαθήματα, ἡ ἐγκ. παιδεία the circle of general sciences and arts, which every Greek had to pursue in their youth. , general education.
• παιδεία, ... 1) education, instruction ... 2) that which has been gained through education ..., scientific learnedness, culture, knowledge, science, insight, skilfulness, practice of the arts. 3) poet.: institute of education, school, ...

I tried to find an English on line source but was not successful. Are you aware of any? — Sebastian (talk) 20:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't have a source. This still leads us in circles, where and how did "circle" become associated with "education". Students sitting in a circle, physically and then symbolically, seems like a neat explanation. My ancient history is weak, but didn't the Greeks gather in a circular forum to hear orators in the center speak before casting votes with a pebble? -- Stbalbach 19:25, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I think you're misunderstanding something here. "Circle" never became associated with "education". It just so happens that the Greek word for "general" is derived from "circle". If you want to see it in terms of derivation, you can see two separate chains:
• circle $\Rarr$ round $\Rarr$ allround $\Rarr$ general
• child $\Rarr$ education $\Rarr$ knowledge
Then someone used "general knowledge" to describe an encyclopedia, which was when the two chains met. I wrote "well-rounded", because I felt it fits a bit better to "education" and to the Greek ideal, but you might as well write "allround knowledge". HTH, — Sebastian (talk) 19:51, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh ok yeah I missed that thanks for the clarification. -- Stbalbach 20:40, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

## Inaccurate

"the spellings encyclopaedia and encyclopedia both see common use, in British-/Commonwealth- and American-influenced sources, respectively." doesn't mean much. I guess it means "encyclopaedia is commonly used in the British Commonwealth, while encyclopedia is commonly used in the U.S." Not only is it inaccurate and awkwardly worded—it's just wrong. The two spellings are about equally used in the British National Corpus. And the Canadian Encyclopedia is a Commonwealth source. Webster's 3rd doesn't exactly say that "the digraph is rare in the U.S.," but rather regards encyclopaedia as an also-ran. JackLumber. 19:44, 12 December 2006 (UTC) Psychlopaedist: are you related to User:E Pluribus Anthony? JackLumber. 20:04, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The current version is also awkwardly worded: the prior version (I think) is intended to clearly distinguish between British/Commonwealth English and American English ... and the above seems just as subjective an assessment as any. Also-ran is rather obtuse wording. If clearer wording isn't produced, I will restore content from previously. Lastly: no, I'm not related to that user. Psychlopaedist 21:19, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
What I said is a *fact*—it's not a subjective assessment. See e.g. Pam Peters's Cambridge Guide to English Usage, page 181. That alleged "distinction" between British/Commonwealth and American is just phony. JackLumber. 21:53, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Please source it in the article then, as editors are supposed to do. Also note that there appears to have been at least some background/discussion about the original note (with some rigmarole), so I'll do a little digging and make edits if needed. Thanks. Psychlopaedist 21:55, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I just added a couple sources—to wit, Oxford, Chambers, Merriam-Webster, and American Heritage. Yet you and Anthony have a lots of things in common---the edit summary style (RE: ; cpyed), the latinate username (cf. Ex post factoid, Cogito ergo sumo), that space-ellipsis points-space " ... ", an interest in Canada, Quebec, Toronto, Asia, Southeastern Europe, geography, encyclopedias... JackLumber. 22:55, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Regarding your other points, I guess we do have things in common, but please note that the editorial abbreviations used are apparently fairly common in Wikipedia. Ah well. Beyond that, I can't comment further. Psychlopaedist 04:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

## Spelling variant used in title page not mentioned?

The article gives the variants of the word as "An encylopedia, encyclopaedia or (traditionally) encyclopædia". To be honest, I've never seen the first. A google search does bring a lot up, but does if I meant "encyclopedia". Is this what the article means, or is missing the second 'c' an actual variant? Jameshfisher 21:33, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that's a typo. Corticopia 22:08, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
For the record, the typo was introduced on March 6, 2007, and I see that it was fixed on March 31, 2007. 69.140.164.142 11:09, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

## Choose better word?

Where it says "Encyclopedias of at least one volume in size exist for most if not all Academic disciplines, including, typically, such narrow topics such as bioethics and African American history," I suggest substituting a better word for "narrow." 69.140.164.142 11:05, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

## Ratings?

I suggest the article be expanded to include more information that would assist readers in making comparative judgments regarding the quality of the various encyclopædias that exist. If there are objective, published studies comparing the accuracy of Wikipedia with the accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica, for example, or the accuracy or comprehensiveness of different published encyclopædias, then please add citations (or if already mentioned in the existing citations, expand the text!) 69.140.164.142 11:19, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Done. See Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica. Any others should be done likewise as this is a general top-level summary article. -- Stbalbach 23:12, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

## Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity

The brethren of purity[1], Basra 960 wrote the influential Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity, which had enormous influence at the time. I would like to insert it in temporal order, which means it lies in the middle of an existing paragraph currently dominated by Christendom. Would anyone object if I refactored this? --Ancheta Wis 17:33, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

1. ^ Wightman (1953), Growth of Scientific Ideas

## 1911 encyc brit

Is this link correct? My computer comes up with an error message. I've tried several times to-day, and each time, it takes over three minutes before finally giving an error message. Kdammers 04:57, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

## Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of the most popular if not the must popular encyclopdia in the world, there should be a headline on Wikipedia and other online encycopedia's, not links to them, but information about them. Nikro 02:04, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

## In fiction

Encyclopedias play a role in fiction and popular culture. Just think of the Encyclopedia Galactica in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or the essays of Jorge Luis Borges. Some other articles have a section on "Xyz in popular culture" or similar. How or where should this be expressed with regards to encyclopedias (and dictionaries, for that matter)? Is there already an article on this subject? Hmm... there is a category:Fictional encyclopedias. But no article? --LA2 08:55, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I noticed a link to Encyclopaedia and Hypertext in the External links section. Is this important enough to include in the article? Foxjwill 04:02, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

## Bartholomeus Anglicus / Bartholomeus de Glanvilla

In the History / Early Encyclopedias section, the author of the 1240ish De Proprietatibus Rerum is erroneously given as Bartholomeus de Glanvilla. On the follow-through link, however, it is explained that this 14th (!) century monk was often confused with the 13th (!) century Bartholomeus Anglicus, the actual author of the encyclopedia. Could this please be changed? Thank you.62.131.11.37 13:38, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi! I wanted to link to a Celtic encyclopedia but when I wrote "Celtic encyclopedia" withtin the tag the Wiki code returned the phrase "encyclopedia". Consequently, I had to write "Celtic Celtic encyclopedia" to achieve "Celtic encyclopedia" and this feels a bit awkward. Could anybody please tell me why it is necessary to ignore the first word before encyclopedia? Sponsianus 22:50, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

## Purpose

I always think of encyclopedias as having a moral or cultural purpose. That is they are intended to somehow make the world a better place, not being just a way to sell books. Could something about the purpose encyclopedias are put together be mentioned in the article? Thanks. Steve Dufour 05:56, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

## ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία

Shouldn't the second letter in "ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία" be a Nu, "ν"? Why is it a Gamma? Or did the G become an N? I know this is more of a Greek question than a question regarding the word encyclopedia, but alas I feel if I asked it there no one would know what I was talking about. Feel free to send me a personal response if you don't want to crowd the talk page. Merç. Arthurian Legend (talk) 18:27, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

## Mention of the Suda

Should the entry include mention of the byzantine encyclopedia? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suda Gimme danger (talk) 03:20, 9 June 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lordmick (talk • contribs) 16:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

## Difficult to use.

Wikipedia is very difficult to use,there are no easy shortcuts for everything,that means that their search engine could not respond to every thing with full details,other than that its an phonetic inception of new idea. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Leftypowernap (talk • contribs) 23:02, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

## New developments

There is a new development in encyclopedias that has been brought about by the internet, and that ought to be mentioned in the article. Apart from the growth of Wikipedia and About.com which can be thought of as alternative encyclopedias with a popular input, there are a growing number of micro-sites, such as Universe Review, kNOW, and Knowledge 2008, which, though not authoritative or exhaustive like the large encyclopedias, are closer in spirit to the original cyclopedias of the Renaissance, and whose aim is to provide an all-round education/summary/broad overview of knowledge. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.210.228.195 (talk) 08:16, 31 March 2008 (UTC)