Talk:patriotism

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
Green check.svg

The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


This page is severely POV. It extols patriotism as a virtue. Many Europeans would object to that. For us patriotism is the political system of lies and distortion, the very insanity that politicians used to lead us through the trenches of Verdun to the hell-fires of Auschwitz. Not a virtue at all. Jcwf 01:29, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Keep No WT:CFI rationale provided for deletion. Clearly in widespread use in the senses given. DCDuring TALK 02:04, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

As per NPOV is a legitimate reason for non-inclusion as is. The 'widespread use in sense given' is severely US-biased. The rest of the world does not necessarily think waterboarding is a virtue DC. Jcwf 02:48, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
OK I neutralized it a bit. Perhaps if both versions can be mentioned one could say it is neutral. Jcwf 02:57, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
It would need supporting citations. DCDuring TALK 03:02, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Neither the second nor the third sense fit with other dictionaries' definitions. I'm not familiar with them. Are they non-US senses? Cambridge Advanced learners and Longman's don't have them.
OnlineEtyD says that from mid c 18th century "patriot" was sometimes used pejoratively in the UK and that Johnson's 4th ed. had it sometimes used to mean "factitious disturber of the government". DCDuring TALK 03:51, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
That's factiousMichael Z. 2009-06-14 15:48 z
People are indoctrinated with the ideas of patriotism for only ONE REASON: because it serves the interests of the wealthy upper class: the plutocrats, who are not concerned at all about their country, nor any country in particular, since they belong to NO country...

not me, but an anglophone like you Jcwf 04:18, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

So what? What bearing does a citation from a source that is not durably archived have? The author doesn't seem to be an authority on lexicography. It does seem to be a use of the word patriotism in the first sense, but it is not usable. You seem to be getting off the point of an RfD.
I gather from what you've written that you are concerned with the consequences of other people acting out of patriotic motives. What does that have to do with this RfD, this definition, or Wiktionary?
People use the word patriotism proudly, indifferently, jestingly, angrily, hatefully, sneeringly, etc. but that doesn't change the definition. Wiktionary doesn't normally follow every possible emotion with which words are delivered or received. The focus for almost all words is on the referent. DCDuring TALK 04:54, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
"Is patriotism a mistake? I think that it is a mistake twice over: it is typically a grave moral error and its source is typically a state of mental confusion."

Page 3 of Patriotism and other mistakes By George Kateb Edition: illustrated Published by Yale University Press, 2006 ISBN 0300120494, 9780300120493

A durably archived quote.

Jcwf 05:19, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I do apologize if it does not conform with your patriotic POV. —This comment was unsigned.
Your apology should only be for failing to introduce citations that support your RfD and for bringing the RfD. I thank you for quotations that show that people who don't like patriotism or its consequences nevertheless use the word in accordance with the meaning dictionaries ascribe to it. That is how we know what they are talking about. After reviewing the quotations, I rest your case. DCDuring TALK 05:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
We are after all a dictionary and undeniably patriotism is a word in English. The citations we give are to demonstrate the word's meaning, not to get out own political bias across. Obviously we're not gonna delete it! --Mglovesfun 06:35, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I understand Jcwf's concern. Actually, it was not an RfD at all.
The definition might be improved a bit, in order to suggest that other countries are loved much less (or not loved at all): I feel that somebody loving not only his own country, but all other countries as well, and equally, cannot be called a patriot. Yet, the current definition might apply to him.
Providing two citations (one favourable to patriotism and one against patriotism) might help to understand the meaning better. Lmaltier 17:06, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I understand his concern, too, and might have been quite sympathetic had it not led to near-vandalism. For one thing, once an RfD tag is on an entry, it IS an RfD. If something else was intended, there was ample opportunity to express regret. If it is an RfD, then WT:CFI applies. NPOV at Wiktionary is simply about neutrally describing how the word is used. To say the entry definition, virtually identical to the wording in most dictionaries, is NPOV and then insert a grossly NPOV new definition suggests for "balance" suggests a complete misunderstanding of what a dictionary (or any reference work) is. If someone cannot control their hormones enough to remember what we are trying to do when they see a word whose meaning they don't like, then they ought to keep themselves away from such entries or from Wiktionary. There are plenty of blogs and Usenet groups for fighting ideological battles.
Keep and Move to RfV for citations of tagged senses. DCDuring TALK 17:54, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
You are right, but this could be resolved by improving the definition: it's not wrong, but incomplete, and therefore very misleading about the way this word is actually used. But it's not easy to build a perfect definition. Lmaltier 18:09, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
That is one of the reasons for an RfV. I would like advocates of a sense worded differently from other dictionaries to produce the citations which would enable a definition writer to see the usage they are talking about. It is not easy for someone unfamiliar with and skeptical about the sense to do the work required. Is the suggestion that there is a different referent? That usage has a predominately negative valence? That the definition should be worded to include some or all the consequences of patriotism? That there are regional differences? Each possibility can be addressed by collecting citations, thereby making a better Wiktionary. DCDuring TALK 18:47, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Of course, what people feel about this word may vary, there may be regional and personal differences about these feelings (e.g. I personally think to the Latin phrase w:Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori). However, as far as I know, sense 1 is the only sense, but the definition must be improved, for the reason mentioned above. Currently, it's normal that it may be felt as a serious POV issue. How could it be possible to prove that the meaning of the word is at least somewhat related to other countries vs one's own country? It's obvious to me, and it's probably clear from many citations, but citations cannot prove it. Lmaltier 21:04, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

It is ridiculous to delete the entire page because one definition has a partisan point of view. That definition has already been removed, and I have restored the quotation as it obviously fits into the primary sense. Merge the other sense or delete as duplicative. DAVilla 04:37, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that I grasp what version of the RfD process this is. I missed the "ridiculous" clause in the version I've read. If there is "ridiculousness" clause, who gets to apply it and how? DCDuring TALK 12:00, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I have inserted an {{rfd-sense}} tag to the first sense, which seems to have been the target of the objection AFAICT. It could be that the other sense was included. I have found citations for both of the remaining senses. The summarily deleted sense could be restored upon anyone's request. DCDuring TALK 16:05, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I have doubts about the second sense (concern for the common good of one's political community). At least the current citations do not support it. The first is about patriotism in each East European country (sense #1 type patriotism), the second about Irish patriotism (ditto). In the third example the attribute "European" is used to indicate that the word "patriotism" is used somewhat unorthodoxically, i.e. "patriotism" alone does not mean "concern for one's community" but the expression "European patriotism" does. --Hekaheka 22:57, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

I was focused on the "common welfare" part of the def. I agree with your assessment, though. The problem, IMO, is that there is not much dictionary support for any sense other than the first given. I was perfectly willing to go along with the gag in hopes that there was something new under the sun. Do you have any ideas of how to search for possible newer senses without getting swamped by the old one? DCDuring TALK 00:12, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
For me, the lack of dictionary support for the second sense indicates that it is a candidate for deletion unless supporting evidence can be found. I would not worry too much about searching for every possible sense in which a word has ever been used. If you have never heard it used that way, it is somebody else's business to prove it. This sense was added by User: Versageek, who is still active. Maybe we should ask him, if he can provide any citations. He may simply have erred, and might be just happy to correct his mistake. If he can prove it, even better. --Hekaheka 12:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
The request was about POV. In order to be more precise and more neutral, I would propose something like that:
  • Deep-rooted love of one's country (or, sometimes, alliance of countries), as opposed to other countries, in defence or wartime contexts
  • Such a kind of feeling in other contexts (e.g. economic patriotism)
The major difference is in the addition of as opposed to other countries. I think this is the key to understand the meaning of the word. Lmaltier 12:35, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the constructive suggestions. Perhaps a single sense, with an "especially":
deep-rooted [patriotism could be shallow or deep; deepness is not inherent]
love of one's country [I'd like to see this tested on some US states, Puerto Rico, various separatist situations]
(or, sometimes, alliance of countries), [Would this and other classes of non-national scope of application be better in a usage note, especially because of the repeated use of "country" below?]
as opposed to other countries, [Is this essential? alternative wording "in competition, contest, or conflict with other countries. Also the "war on terror" invokes patriotism without a "national" opponent.]
especially in defence or wartime contexts. [What about sports? and, um, linguistic nationalism? The alternative wording might eliminate the need for this phrase.]
I think the second sense can be dispensed with if we have language such as "in competition, contest, or conflict with other countries".
How about this as a one-sense, one-line alternative?
  • Love of one's country, especially in competition, contest, or conflict with others.
What would need to go in a usage note is reference to non-national (but still territorial?) scope for the term. DCDuring TALK 15:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
An ultra-simple suggestion:
  • Love of one's country.
The disputed formulation, BTW, is copied word-by-word from Webster's. --Hekaheka 16:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
DCDuring's suggestion seems about OK except for the "especially". I would change it to something like when. I'm convinced that the word is never used without an implicit reference to other countries, and this part was missing (which was the reason for the POV discussion). If somebody really loves his country, but loves all other countries as well, at the same level, he cannot be called a patriot, because it's not the meaning of the word. Webster's definition is incomplete (surprisingly, because most Webster's definitions are very good). Lmaltier 17:24, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
The trouble with implicit reference is that it leaves no evidence. Webster's 1913 definitions are not that good, IMO. Modern dictionaries are more brief, more along the straightforward lines suggested by Hekaheka. I have yet to see actual evidence that patriotism is used in the restrictive way you are advocating. DCDuring TALK 17:52, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Edit conflict, re HekaHeka:

Certainly better than Websters 1913. OK with me. Perhaps we should add "homeland" to "country". In writing about Africa or the Kurds or the Timorese, patriotism could easily be used without any qualifying adjective to refer to a patriotism not direct to a nation state. I have read about "local patriotism" concerning Afghanistan. DCDuring TALK 17:52, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, homeland might be better, although the meaning is about the same. About the restriction in meaning: do you really think that somebody could love all countries equally, even his own country's enemies, and still be called a patriot? It seems quite obvious to me (and to Jcwf too, clearly) that this addition to the definition is a key part of the meaning. Lmaltier 18:06, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that the word itself speaks to attitude toward other countries, except that, when as and if forced to choose, one would love no other homeland more. The empirical reality of the concomitants of patriotism and the pragmatics and rhetoric of "patriotism" are too long to fit in a sense line. Perhaps a usage note could get some of the basics, but much of this seems encyclopedic (not to mention potentially inflammatory). There is also the saying patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, probably includable as a proverb and a derived term of [[patriotism]] and which might be includable as a quotation, either on the entry page and certainly on the citations page. DCDuring TALK 19:04, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I would say "one would love one's homeland more". And even "much more". Patriotism necessarily implies that. This is why it may be considered as something good or as a danger (this sentence is encyclopedic, of course, and should not be included at all, but the definition should be complete). Lmaltier 19:40, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Kept - as far as I can see there never was a deletion debate here, was there? Mglovesfun (talk)

It has mostly blown over anyway. Perhaps everyone is not too unhappy with the outcome, tired of the matter, or too embarrassed to continue. The RfV for the second sense was not fully addressed. I will open an RfV-sense. DCDuring TALK 00:10, 13 September 2009 (UTC)


Request for verification[edit]

Keep tidy.svg

The following information has failed Wiktionary's verification process.

Failure to be verified may either mean that this information is fabricated, or is merely beyond our resources to confirm. We have archived here the disputed information, the verification discussion, and any documentation gathered so far, pending further evidence.
Do not re-add this information to the article without also submitting proof that it meets Wiktionary's criteria for inclusion. See also Wiktionary:Previously deleted entries.


Rfv-sense: Concern for the common good of one's political community. Not clear that the citations support that sense nor that other citations supporting the sense exist. DCDuring TALK 00:13, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

RFV failed, sense removed, citations moved up to main sense (which they all seem to fit). Honestly, I'm not completely sure what the now-failed sense actually meant, anyway. —RuakhTALK 01:10, 26 December 2009 (UTC)