Wikipedia:Naming conventions (plurals)

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In general, Wikipedia articles have singular titles—for example, our article on everyone's favorite canine is located at dog, not dogs. This rule exists to promote consistency in our article titles.

Exceptions exist for two general types of articles.

Exceptions[edit]

There are two main types of exceptions to this rule:

In rare circumstances, we ignore the rules here in order to make the encyclopedia better. Note that in any case, these rules only apply to articles; categories are almost always given plural titles and many templates are as well.

Primary topic[edit]

See also: WP:DIFFCAPS
Shortcut:

Since most articles (like Chair) are at the singular, the normal situation is that a plural redirects to its singular. For instance, Chairs is a redirect page, taking readers directly to Chair. For the rare articles that are in the plural, like Seattle Seahawks, there should normally be a redirect from the singular form (Seattle Seahawk). Such redirects can bear their respective templates, as well: {{R from plural}} or {{R from singular}}.

Sometimes, however, a plural form will establish a separate primary topic. Windows does not go to Window, but rather to Microsoft Windows; Snicker redirects to Laughter, but the same does not apply to Snickers, which is about the candy. It may also be the case that a singular form (Axe, Paper) has a primary topic, while a plural form (Axes, Papers) does not.

Discussion and consensus among editors, possibly through a requested move, determines if there is or is not a primary topic. For instance, discussion and consensus might determine that Cars should be a disambiguation page, redirect to an article about actual cars, or host the article about the movie.

In making such a determination:

  • A plural form is treated like any other topic.
  • The relationship between a singular and its plural is important, but not the only consideration. Because readers and editors are used to seeing titles at the singular form, and can be expected to search for them/link to them in the singular form, the intentional use of a plural form by a reader or editor can be evidence that a separate primary topic exists at the plural form.
  • Encyclopedic uses are given more weight than dictionary uses (per WP:NOTADICTIONARY). This may mean that if there is not an article at the singular form, it is more likely that a plural form can establish a separate primary topic.
  • Just as with any other title, a plural base title can direct to an article (Bookends), or to a dab page (Suns).
  • If separate primary topics are determined, add a hatnote from the plural page to the singular form (or vice-versa).
  • Sometimes, what appears to be a plural form may also be a separate word, which can influence the primary topic decision. (Walls can be the plural of "wall", but can also be a separate placename or surname.)
  • Sometimes, even when a singular might be ambiguous and lead to a dab page, a plural might be (relatively) unambiguous and lead to a particular singular use (Oranges leads to the fruit, not to the disambiguation page at Orange).
  • Using a plural as a separate primary topic is not specifically encouraged or discouraged; this page only describes the conditions where it is appropriate to do so.
  • All of these apply to the reverse situation as well (Scissor redirecting to the article at Scissors).