Template talk:Distinguish

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Could someone please remove the TfD notification? Thanks! Red Slash 22:36, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Already done by Redrose64. SiBr4 (talk) 22:56, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes check.svg Done --Redrose64 (talk) 22:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 9 July 2014[edit]

Please tag this page for speedy deletion under CSD:T3 as it is technically identical to Template:For. Thank you. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:54, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: It's clear from the recently-closed Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2014 July 6#Template:Distinguish that it is not the same. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:59, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
compare Template:Distinguish to Template:For shows that they are technically identical except for line spacing and synonymous terms. Your still open TfD does not outweigh the technical comparison showing them to be the same. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 23:16, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: Codename Lisa has undone the TfD closure. You should express your concerns there, since doing so here fragments the discussion and may be seen as WP:FORUMSHOPping. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:28, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 10 July 2014 - Put the deletion tag in doc[edit]

Putting the deletion tag in the template itself just broke many articles. Please put it in the documentation please!? Instead of the template itself. Or otherwise risk confusing articles.

DSCrowned (talk) 06:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: There is a reason for placing the deletion notice directly on the template. It is to inform editors of the deletion discussion who might not otherwise know that the discussion is underway. Sorry, but this is standard practice. Hopefully the discussion will end very soon and things will get back to normal. Thank you for you concern! Joys! – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 08:25, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 14 July 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Per consensus in the latest TfD, the template should be left with the original wording, Not to be confused with.... Therefore the cuurent wording is against consensus, and should be reverted.Forbidden User (talk) 05:35, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose - current wording ("o be distinguished from") is appropriate. --Netoholic @ 06:25, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
It may be, but there is no consensus on adopting the new wording in the TfD, and I don't think discussion here (if there is one) can acquire a higher level of consensus in the foreseeable future. As this template is highly visible, we should not change it without strong consensus.Forbidden User (talk) 07:30, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. I would also oppose this change for the same reason that Forbidden User noted above. If I moved too quickly with this modification, then perhaps we should see this as an exception to the usual "change it back to status quo pending outcome of discussion". And this for the very reason that it is highly visible and drains the server for each and every modification. May I suggest that if there is strong objection to its present wording, then further discussion is warranted. And yet it wouldn't hurt to let the present wording stand pending the outcome of that talk. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 09:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
There is an outcome. See the TfD close. If it didn't say that it is to be kept as-is, I'd be less inclined to this request.Forbidden User (talk) 10:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I should clarify that "we should not change it wthout strong consensus" is talking about changing from Not to be confused with to To be distinguished from.Forbidden User (talk) 10:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes check.svg Done Template editors are only allowed to perform non-controversial edits and this edit is evidently not non-controversial. Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 11:22, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── FYI: Please help improve this template at the request for comment below. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 17:37, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


Wouldn't it be better to write

To be distinguished from subject1 and subject2 instead of To be distinguished from subject1 or subject2?

--Fluffystar (talk) 08:19, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, grammartically and is better, as or is used in negative statements. In Not to be confused with..., it makes use of or.Forbidden User (talk) 08:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Good suggestion! I should have changed or to and when the wording was modified, so it is now Yes check.svg Done. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 09:29, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: Actually, it got reverted when I was reverting another edit by PE, but I didn't reinstate it because both forms are correct enough in this context and per MOS:STABILITY and the associated ArbCom ruling, editors must not switch between two correct forms. If you want to change one of the forms, you must first show that it is wrong, not "sub-optimal".
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 11:32, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
'or' makes no sense. it means you can choose between two or more options whereas you should distinguish all terms. --Fluffystar (talk) 11:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Not to be confused with... is a negative statement, which requires the use of or. Should a positive statement be used in future, and will be a better choice.Forbidden User (talk) 12:06, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Please fix the number of brackets![edit]

Not to be confused with Wikipedia:Example.

Due to some edit-warring a couple brackets have disappeared. Can an administrator please fix this? - FakirNL (talk) 11:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Not edit-warring. I guess the last editor made a mistake. Contacting the editor concerned.Forbidden User (talk) 11:54, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Please fix ASAP. It was obviously protected at the wrong revision. Unfortunately I'm unsure which is the correct revision. But the current revision is broken. Atlas-maker (talk) 11:58, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Hmm. Didn't know multi-diff revert can do that. I thought I was reverting to a clean version. Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 11:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I liked "To be distinguished from' more. It is less intrusive to the reader than 'Not to be confused with'. --Fluffystar (talk) 12:06, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I was a bit fast called it "edit-warring", but it is a much used template and it's important to be cautious with it. Anyway, thanks for fixing! - FakirNL (talk) 12:16, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Previous TfD was against that. Perhaps another can be raised, but usually at least two weeks later.Forbidden User (talk) 12:18, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Hello, FakirNL. For a series of change to be called edit warring, the element of non-collegiality must be present. In case of templates, the instructions of template editors like me are clear: Template editors are forbidden from abusing their privileges to enforce a certain change and block ordinary Wikipedians' opposition. Hence, at the slightest sight of opposition, one must revert to a clean version and start a discussion. Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 12:37, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I was wrong calling it "edit warring". - FakirNL (talk) 12:40, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Request for comment – 14 July 2014[edit]

Responding to the request at WP:ANRFC. This RfC evaluated a proposal previously discussed both in the linked TfD, though no consensus for a change was found at the time, and in the linked edit request as well.

The result is that the proposal is opposed. The main arguments were that the proposed wording is a positive statement rather than a negative one (in support), and that the proposed wording is awkward, less clear, or unusual style (in opposition). It is not really necessary or relevant to distinguish between "no consensus" and "consensus against" here, as the outcome is the same, although there was significantly more opposition than support. Some other possible wordings were discussed, although none to the degree that would be necessary to implement a change, so further discussion may be useful. Sunrise (talk) 06:42, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I would like to see the wording of this template modified...

Not to be confused with... or...
To be distinguished from... and...

Discussion regarding this proposal may be found at:

I made this change earlier with the thought that the wording itself, which I've been planning to change for awhile, would not be controversial. As can be seen, I was apparently wrong and have been reverted. Rather than begin a whole new Tfd at a later date, I would prefer first to open this RfC. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 17:20, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


  • Support as nom. Some editors appear to feel that the present wording is too negative for Wikipedia. I myself feel that the content should be consistent with the template's name. There was a time when the content was consistent with the name, but then it was changed to "Not to be confused with...". This would be a good time to return the content of template "Distinguish" to a wording consistent with its name. (I'll be going out of town on Wednesday, the 16th, for about a week, so please enjoy the discussion!)
  • Oppose. The old wording is definitely better. As for the TfD, it was a hostile environment full of eye-poking and ear-pulling; I know it for a fact from good authority that several people refrained from participating in the side discussions to maintain their own dignity. (As I said early in my identity discussion when I signed up with Wikipedia, I come from a family of Wikipedians; this TfD attracted our attention good and proper.) Therefore, any seemingly side-consensus obtained there is automatically null and void. Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 18:05, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is another good reason to have an RfC and perhaps draw fresh (and more civil) discussion from non- or less-involved editors. Joys! – Paine  18:14, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose the new wording is not clear and there is nothing wrong with the old wording. JDDJS (talk) 18:49, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Definitely an improvement, and will likely avoid future TFDs for the wording issue. --Netoholic @ 19:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It looks like the template was originally created with the wording "Not to be confused with..." [1] The template is certainly not negative and it is clearer than the proposed change. I see no reason to modify it. Piguy101 (talk) 21:54, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I totally support using "To be distinguished from..." for the fact it is one word less than "Not to be confused with" or "Should not be confused with" I thus support the Distinguish2 template. WikiPro1981X (talk) 10:59, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
{{Distinguish2}} is a separate issue. We should focus ourselves on {{Distinguish}}.Forbidden User (talk) 12:00, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The new wording is not as clear, and there is nothing negative or biting or patronising in pointing out two or more similar names may be confused. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:07, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
    • That seems to be a matter of opinion, and if other people perceive the current wording as negative or patronizing, why not avoid that perception? --R'n'B (call me Russ) 15:43, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Because none of the other proposed wordings are as clear and concise. The fact that some editors choose to take personal offence at wording which describes topics rather than readers is not a good enough reason to degrade the utility of the hatnote.
        If somebody comes up with an alternative wording which is at least as clear as the current one, then I will reconsider. So far as I am concerned, the important issue is that hatnotes are a vital navigational tool which is speed-read. They need to be as clear and concise as a roadsign, which doesn't say "please make sure to reduce your speed and come to halt". It says "stop" ... and any driver who finds that "bitey" can either get over themselves or get fined. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:52, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "To be distinguished from" is horrible usage, and sounds like nothing any native English speaker would utter except in parody. "Not to be confused with" is the common, colloquial English usage for exactly this scenario, and carries absolutely no inherent judgement. But if you feel the need to get rid the grammatical negative, use "Often confused with ... or ..." or "Commonly confused with ... or ..." VanIsaacWScont 01:00, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. "To be distinguished from' sounds less intrusive to the reader than 'Not to be confused with'. It is also a common rhetoric concept to avoid negative statements and prefer positive ones. 'Different from' is also a very good alternative as long as we avoid the old wording. If there is no majority to support that change than perhaps we should create a Distinguish3 template and let editors decide for themselves. --Fluffystar (talk) 19:36, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Not a bad idea, though the new template'd be more vulnerable to speedy deletion.Forbidden User (talk) 13:30, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The present wording conveys, clearly, compactly and in natural English, the message that this template has traditionally been used to convey. There's nothing to stop anyone from using the {{hatnote}} template, or creating other templates if they really want, to express slightly varying messages. W. P. Uzer (talk) 11:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There's nothing wrong with the current wording. "To be distinguished from" sounds awkward and makes the purpose of the template more difficult to determine. ~jenrzzz (talk) 06:39, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose To be frank, nobody uses phrases like 'To be distinguished from' in everyday speech. 'Not to be confused' is a phrase that many people use in speeches, talks, discussions, and writing. I feel that the existing one is more appropriate for Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. --Rsrikanth05 (talk) 06:14, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose The new wording is more clunky, less understandable and less natural. —Tom Morris (talk) 07:51, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

I would like to make a comment toward JDDJS' rationale above. If one believes the proposed wording is "not clear", then maybe someone might please indicate another similar wording that is clear? I ask this because I believe there is clearly something wrong with the present wording when some editors feel that it "talks down" to readers (comments from the Tfd), and at least two editors (myself, and please see the discussion at the edit request above, where is found Netoholic's opinion that the proposed wording is "appropriate") who feel that the proposed wording is better than the present content. "Right" and "wrong" in this context are of course "opinions", so I am not saying that JDDJS' opinion is necessarily wrong, yet there was clear and definite disagreement with that opinion at the Tfd and in above discussions on this page. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 19:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

WP:IDONTLIKEIT is of course weaker arguments. Everyone joining should be noted. By the way, why isn't it a TfD?Forbidden User (talk) 07:12, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Got your idea on the TfD/RfC issue. Thanks!Forbidden User (talk) 07:43, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Pleasure! – Paine  09:50, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
PS. As you noted earlier, it is a bit too soon for another Tfd, and some might think it's like kadh. Let's see how this RfC turns out; it's still early and I remain optimistic. PS left by – Paine 
It's not a TfD because the proposal on the table is neither to delete nor merge, but to change the wording. TfD does not concern itself with the effects of a template (such as its wording) and the internal workings by which those effects are produced. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:18, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's not really a major mod, is it. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 11:42, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
TfD is not for any kind of modification, major or otherwise. The lead section of WP:TFD says "On this page, deletion or merging of templates (except as noted below) is discussed." (my emphasis). --Redrose64 (talk) 12:12, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't know if it's ok, but I have some more ideas:
  1. Different from (1) or (2)
  2. Note that it is different from (1) or (2)
  3. (From another user)Should not be confused with
Meanwhile, as it is a highly-visible template, only consensus with as much participants as the recent TfD can replace the decision at that time. Good day.Forbidden User (talk) 07:27, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Good ideas! Since 1 and 2 are more positive, maybe "and" would fit better than "or"? Just a thought. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 09:25, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Let's see what others think. I should insist that I'm just giving more choices besides the original and proposed wordings, not that I'm not neutral.Forbidden User (talk) 10:38, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm very supportive of 'Different from'. It is short, clear, positive and unobtrusive. --Fluffystar (talk) 19:40, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Additional comment I should clarify that "concise" means using the simplest expression to deliver a clear meaning. "Simpler"≠"fewer words" ; "clear" means that the expression is explicit and direct.Forbidden User (talk) 14:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: how about "For (a) similar title(s) with different meanings, see ...". The items in parentheses would be conditional on the number of parameters. I agree that "concise" does not necessarily mean "shortest". --R'n'B (call me Russ) 15:43, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
    • That's too similar to {{for}}, and so it would probably get this template deleted.Forbidden User (talk) 13:34, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm agnostic on the change. The new version is good because to me it's not quite as imperative, and it's also consistent with the name of the template. So those are pluses, I guess. But overall, as I said above (in section 26), I don't think there is ever a reason to use either the old or the new wording. There are a host of different choices that people could use that are a lot more helpful. Instead of saying something like "Apple redirects here. Not to be confused with Apple (company)," it would be so much more helpful for readers to say "This article is about the fruit. For the company, see Apple (company)." More relevantly to this exact discussion, even just "For the computing company, see Apple (company)" is a substantial improvement over "Not to be confused with Apple (company)" at the top of the fruit article. There are a lot of other informative template alternatives too. Yes, it is a lot of work to change these templates because they've been used a lot and you can't automate adding new fields. But just saying "not to be confused with" or "to be distinguished from" is not very informative to readers. So I feel like this proposed change is more of a step sideways than anything else. AgnosticAphid talk 02:25, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Further comment: Someone in an earlier deletion discussion suggested that "Not to be confused with" (or "to be distinguished from", as the case may be) would be especially appropriate for commonly misspelled article titles like capital and capitol. It's not a bad point. While I am partial to "for the building, see capitol" over "to be distinguished from capitol" atop capitAl, I am not exactly sure what you would put at the top of the article "capitOl." Certainly it would be awkward and verbose to say "for the word relating to either financing or the locale hosting the seat of government or a valuable resource, see capital". I'm sure there are other similar circumstances where having to specify the meaning of the not-to-be-confused-with article(s) would be difficult. But this is a narrow circumstance and I still think that this template should be discouraged when its use is at all avoidable. AgnosticAphid talk 02:46, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Another area where this template appears to be more concise than {{For}} is when there are 2 to 4 comparisons:
from Alkane
Not to be confused with Alkene, Alkyne, or Alkaline.
– Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 21:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"To Be Distinguished from"[edit]

I, too, seem to be an advocate of the "To be distinguished from" and "Should not be confused with" wording, although I would prefer the former since it's one word less than the latter or the original "Not to be confused with...". But, what I want to know is would it be OK to use the Distinguish2 template for the Phil Collen article?

My example is this:

To be distinguished from Phil Collins.


To be distinguished from Genesis drummer/singer Phil Collins.

or maybe even...

Should not be confused with Phil Collins.

What do you think? WikiPro1981X (talk) 08:23, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

The reason is probably misspelling, so {{distinguish}} is enough.Forbidden User (talk) 08:35, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
ありがと (thank you) for your advocacy, WikiPro1981X! All your hatnotes above would be acceptable and pretty much up to you which to use. Just remember that hatnotes should be as concise as possible, and that if something is already mentioned in the linked article, then readers who click will read it there.
And if you wouldn't mind, perhaps you could lend your welcome support in the above RfC? under the heading Survey? Thank you again! Joys! – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 10:06, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
How about
For the Genesis drummer and singer, see Phil Collins.
 ? I think it is much more helpful. In most instances the "for" title would be both more helpful and also shorter, which is like the holy grail of hatnotes, right? I would suggest avoiding the "to be distinguished from" or "not to be confused with" if possible. AgnosticAphid talk 02:57, 16 July 2014 (UTC)