Talk:Srebrenica

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Massacre[edit]

Without the massacre, Srebrenica wouldn't be used that often in English. It was a rather small town with some history; after the massacre it was even smaller, but with a lot more history. --129.125.102.126 12:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe, but definitely not with the very definition you used. -- Liliana 12:36, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
That's quite possible, however most of the uses in English of "Srebrenica" aren't about the town, but rather about the massacre. --129.125.102.126 12:41, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Most uses of Chernobyl aren't about the town either, but we only have the town definition (and another, unrelated one). -- Liliana 13:29, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
It's common to use a place name to refer to something that happened there. But that's very much idiomatic. What makes "Chernobyl" mean "nuclear disaster at Chernobyl nuclear power plant of 1986" is the knowledge that a nuclear disaster did in fact occur there. It derives its idiomatic meaning from the context of history as it is known to us, and without that it would have no meaning other than a town. That context is obvious to us now, because we live within that historical context. But it may not be obvious to speakers in a few hundred years, nor to speakers in remote parts of the world. That speaks for including the definition, I think, and for Srebrenica too. —CodeCat 13:38, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
@Liliana:We have (and had for some time) "known as being the site of a nuclear accident" and "(by extension) A major nuclear-energy accident" which is related to the town. --129.125.102.126 14:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Eiffel Tower seems similar (mentioning that it's a famous tourist destination). Equinox 14:33, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
It's a little bit encyclopedic, but it's valuable information habitually disguised in this handful of sounds. So ditto CodeCat. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:13, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
In sentences such as "After Chernobyl, nuclear power was never seen as safe" are definitely referring to the incident, not to the town. We should include such a definition. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:20, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
You didn’t add a new definition about the massacre. What you did was expand an existing definition with only enough information to push your opinion that the Dutch assisted a horrible massacre. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:22, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
The Dutch troops assisted a massacre. Whether that massacre was (or all massacres are) horrible is POV. --129.125.102.126 22:23, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
A massacre occurred. Who planned or assisted or supported it is encyclopaedic. Your edit was political. For example, taking the Chernobyl from above, Wikipedia mentions that it happened "under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union". That's no doubt true, but it's detail. Equinox 22:26, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
The massacre happened under the direct jurisdiction of the Dutch troops. They (and only they) were allowed to use force, they were tasked with the protection of the people. They abused their privilege to separate elders, women and children from the victims of the massacre. --129.125.102.126 00:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)



Can we at least agree that there was a massacre? --129.125.102.126 01:24, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Ethnic cleansing[edit]

See also User talk:129.125.102.126.

While popular use of "Srebrenica" doesn't reference the Dutch — unfortunately, I think many people are ignorant that the Dutch were connected to the town in any way — it does reference the massacre as an ethnic one, when one Balkan ethnic group killed another Balkan ethnic group (during a war), compared to e.g. "Kent State", which was a US government massacre of a peace[ful] protest (half a world away from any warzone). This causes the place-names to be invoked under different circumstances: when police crush a college's Occupy encampment, "Kent State" is sometimes invoked (being a small hyperbole), "Srebrenica" is usually not (it's not a fit, and not only because it would be a large rhetorical escalation). In contrast, a line like "don't let Gaza become Srebrenica" would lose much of its meaning if changed to "don't let Gaza become Kent State". - -sche (discuss) 17:38, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

For reference, the only other dictionary I could find that defines this at all (most dictionaries don't include the names of towns), this Oxford one, defines "Srebrenica" as "a town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina [] [which] was the scene of a massacre of thousands of Muslim men by Serb forces in 1995. It was finally included in Serb-held territory in the 1995 partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina." - -sche (discuss) 08:34, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Note the use of "Muslim" in the definition, which helps to understand "don't let Gaza become Srebrenica" and the uses next to Rawagede and Uruzgan in my examples below. --129.125.102.126 11:29, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
The Dutch know that Dutch troops were involved, so in the Netherlands one can read
  1. volkskrant.nl "Srebrenica, Holocaust, slavernij, Rawagede: heel veel spijt, weinig excuses" Srebrenica is used together with Rawagede.
  2. trouw.nl "Kok stapt op om Srebrenica" Kok (Dutch prime minister at that time) resigned because Dutch troops were supposed to protect the population; he wouldn't resign if, say, French troops would have been deployed.
  3. eenvandaag.nl "Wordt Uruzgan een nieuw Srebrenica?"
  4. nrc.nl "Uruzgan een tweede Srebrenica?"
Just referring to the meaning in English doesn't help, because (as you pointed out) English doesn't use "Srebrenica" like that. --129.125.102.126 11:29, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes it does: [1][2][3][4][5]. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:28, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
None of those references (except possible the first, which is inaccessible now) use Srebrenica to mean "we" (the speaker/writer and the hearers/readers, as members of a rather small nation) "were accomplices in the worst genocide of the last 50 years on our continent". --129.125.102.126 03:28, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
No word in any language means “we were accomplices in the worst genocide of the last 50 years on our continent”, because that is a non-linguistic and lexicographically irrelevant implication, not a meaning.
Suppose a Dutch mother gave birth to twins just as she was crossing the border between Europe and Asia; would the meaning for one brother be “we were accomplices in the worst genocide of the last 50 years on our continent” and “they were accomplices in the worst genocide of the last 50 years on their continent” for the other?
Suppose a new genocide occurs tomorrow in which more people die than in Srebrenica. Would the word Srebrenica automagically change it’s meaning to “we were accomplices in the second worst genocide of the last 50 years on our continent”?
If I move to the Netherlands and learn Dutch, what will the meaning of the word Srebrenica be to me? Will it be different than it is to Netherland-born speakers?
The answer to these questions is no. The word Srebrenica would still refer to the exact same massacre. — Ungoliant (Falai) 21:22, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Tell that to the Germans (try ausrotten or Endlösung). --129.125.102.126 00:33, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
No, of course not. But most speakers of the Dutch language are born in Europe. The meanings of words in Dutch are often defined by their experiences. --129.125.102.126 00:33, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I would hate the genocide, but if we (as in people with a Dutch passport) weren't implicated, that would be a nice change. But no more genocides would be a much nicer change. --129.125.102.126 00:33, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, like all words, your meaning for Srebrenica will be different from the meaning of other people. German even has an expression for it w:de:Gnade der späten Geburt. --129.125.102.126 00:33, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Of course it won't. Words never refer to the exact same thing. --129.125.102.126 00:33, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Please do not mangle my comments. If you want to reply to specific points, quote them.
You are confusing lexicographic meaning with emotional meaning. The word “dog” will be emotionally interpreted differently by someone who hates dogs and someone who love dogs, however, the lexicographic meaning is still “A mammal, Canis lupus familiaris” to both of them, if they are speakers of standard modern English.
Tell it to the Germans? Sure! Hey Germans, no word in any language means “we were accomplices in the worst genocide of the last 50 years on our continent”, because that is a non-linguistic and lexicographically irrelevant implication, not a meaning. — Ungoliant (Falai) 00:48, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
This discussion inspired me to search for examples of the phrase "another Srebrenica", which verifies that this (like "Vietnam") has a pluralisable common-noun sense. "Tweede Srebrenica" also seems to be used in enough newspapers to support a Dutch common noun. In English, the common noun is used alongside Babi Yar, and so seems to mean only "ethnic cleansing massacre, localized genocide", but in Dutch, it seems to be used especially of ethnic cleansing (or other?) massacres which occur when international organizations are nearby but do not act... this needs more research. - -sche (discuss) 21:20, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure whether such use indicates a common noun. If (say) Jan de Vries often wears (say) green clothes, a new person ("new" at an office, a bar, a school, or whatever) wearing green clothes could be called "de tweede Jan de Vries". It's even a mnemonic to know the gender of any proper noun: "het tweede Groningen", "de tweede IJssel" (only "de"/"het" in Dutch, unlike German "der"/"die"/"das"). --129.125.102.126 03:28, 9 January 2013 (UTC)