Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters/Archive 4

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Numbers?

Is Twenty-third Street Railway or Twenty-Third Street Railway correct? I find both in about equal use in contemporary sources. --NE2 02:54, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I would go for "Twenty-third", as it is a single, inseparable concept. Mind you, I'm a Brit so it would probably be better to get a U.S. point of view. Physchim62 (talk) 13:50, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
As slightly upsetting as the "t" can be amongst all those word-initial caps, I think both are "t" and "T" are acceptable in all varieties. "t" might be more comfortable if there had been just one "of" or "the" in the title. Pity that. Tony (talk) 16:25, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Chiming in here, I'm an American and agree with Physchim62. "Twenty-third" is an example of a "permanently hyphenated compound word" as described in this style manual from MIT: [1]. Sswonk (talk) 17:18, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Company Name

Is it Find a Grave or Find A Grave? It would be great if anyone interested could chime in at Talk:Find a Grave. Thanks. Plastikspork (talk) 01:14, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Clearer guide on proper nouns

I think this guideline should include a "Proper nouns" section, that includes more concrete guidance, similar to WP:MUSTARD. Outside of musical proper nouns, I couldn't find any guidelines on which words in a proper noun to leave uncapitalized. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:27, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Common names of species

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters)#Animals, plants, and other organisms says "... both styles are acceptable ...", referring to capitalizing or not capitalizing common names of species. This contradicts the main article Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Animals, plants, and other organisms, which doesn't say both styles are acceptable; instead, it gives elaborate though not always specific rules that boil down to capitalize birds only, but expect exceptions. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna)#Capitalisation of common names of species agrees with the Manual of Style version. But Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of life#Common name capitalization agrees with this article.

In the past, I have had unexpected difficulty arousing interest in making the Manual of Style self-consistent. So I will note that the rest of us will be more likely to take your rules seriously, if it's possible to follow one of your rules without breaking another one ...

Also, one would expect that the reason to have a subarticle of the Manual of Style, such as this one, is to explain each detail more fully in the subarticle, while leaving the main article as an overall summary. See Wikipedia:Summary style. However, in this case, the subarticle's material on species is much shorter than the main article's. Art LaPella (talk) 04:35, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree, and it seems I have kickstarted a discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(flora)#Styling_of_common_names by daring to edit the project page itself. Join in, if you still have any appetite left for this fight! SiGarb | (Talk) 21:57, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Need new section on composition titles

I'd like to "promote" Wikipedia:WikiProject Music/MUSTARD/Capitalization to a general capitalization guidelines on composition titles. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Music/MUSTARD/Capitalization#Prepositional phrases. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:04, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Book titles

Have used capitalisation exactly as on the cover various books (lower case for some words), but the article is currently stuck on passing an A class review for this reason. Is it correct to change the original capitalisation for WP? Thanks Socrates2008 (Talk) 07:59, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Often, yes, it is correct to ignore the stylized capitalization schemes selected for book jackets and use "normal" composition title capitalization rules for Wikipedia articles. Exceptions would probably be made in cases where other sources (e.g., reviews) also follow a book's non-standard capitalization scheme. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:21, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Capitalization of compositions

Wikipedia does not follow its own rules here. The rules say that prepositions and coordinating conjunctions that are less than five letters long, should be un-capitalized.

Coordinating conjunctions are: or, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. Of these nor, but and yet are capitalized on Wikipedia. (I'm unsure about so, since I couldn't find any examples.)

Prepositions with less than five letters include: down, into, like, near, off, onto, over, past, upon, up. I'm pretty certain all of these are capitalized.

I've compiled a list of words that in my experience are generally not capitalized in titles while all other words are. It seems to me that Wikipedia, IMDb, Amazon and books like movie guides etc. all follow this. These words are: a, an, and, as, at, by, for, from, in, of, on, or, the, to, vs., with. I wanted to see if Wikipedia lists other words that shouldn't be capitalized, but instead I found these rules that aren't followed. I wonder how Wikipedians know how to capitalze as they do then? Probably just looking at other articles.

Anyway, either all of Wikipedia is in need of a major cleanup, or the rules should be changed to be in accordance with actual practice. Listing the words that shouldn't be capitalized, which are quite few, seems like the simplest solution. 193.91.181.142 (talk) 12:44, 3 September 2009 (UTC) (Nick)

Let's keep this discussion to a single location, where you've already started it here. --JD554 (talk) 12:54, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok, sorry. 193.91.181.142 (talk) 13:06, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

How should header row of a table be capitalized?

Should table headers (the top row of a table) follow the capitalization rules for article titles (only the first word of each column is capitalized) or follow some other rule? I cannot find this in the MoS. --Tiger MarcROAR! 21:40, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Hidden comments

FYI, some hidden comments were added to the text in August that may be helpful. I don't generally note anything in the nature of discussion (such as maintenance tags and hidden comments) in the monthly WP:Update. - Dank (push to talk) 19:31, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Also, regarding "Capitalize every noun, verb and adverb" ... how about pronouns, interjections and participles? (Adjectives are treated separately.) It might be simpler to say what's not capitalized than what is, including the articles (a, an and the). - Dank (push to talk) 19:57, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Capitalization of academic subjects

An editor at Software engineering wanted to capitalize both words in the text. I was surprised when I couldn't find a mention of academic subjects here or at WP:MOS. Should this be included? I see that the Oxford Guide to Style says Capitalize the names of academic subjects only in the context of courses and examinations.--Boson (talk) 05:21, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Internet/internet

Do we have a position on "the Internet" versus "the internet"? It came up on the Colorado balloon incident page. Rmhermen (talk) 20:55, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

There's Internet capitalization conventions. Looks like "the Internet" is preferred in formal writing, such as in an encyclopedia. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:16, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
As it should be. There's only one of them, so it's a proper noun. Other TCP/IP networks exist, but none of them is the Internet. --Trovatore (talk) 23:23, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
On the contrary, it is either a historical thing (RFC 872 (1982) 'Its next most significant property is that it is designed to operate in a "catenet" (also known as the, or an, "internet"') or a regional thing ("Guardian and Observer style guide". Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2008-04-19. "internet, net, web, world wide web. See websites." ) or a modern thing (Long, Tony (16 August 2004). "It's just the 'internet' now". Wired. Retrieved 2009-04-19. "... what the internet is: another medium for delivering and receiving information." ), but Wikipedia is about the only work I read that capitalises the internet. Maybe its a USA thing, I don't know because I don't live there. --Nigelj (talk) 20:32, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Contradictions in prepositions

The third bullet of #compositional titles says

Capitalize only those prepositions that are five letters long or longer, are the first or last word of the title, are part of a phrasal verb (e.g., "Walk On" or "Give Up the Ghost"), or are the first word in a compound preposition (e.g., "Time Out of Mind", "Get Off of My Cloud").

The prepositions are less than five letters, yet they are capitalized. (By the way, can we get a cite for this rule?) CpiralCpiral 19:09, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

I suspect there may be two "or"s missing: "… are five letters long or longer, or are the first or last word of the title, or are part of a phrasal verb …".
There are plenty of sources for a wide range of capitalisation rules, but I believe Wikipedia forms its style rules by consensus and subsequent decree. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:54, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
That was a nice way of putting it. Thanks Bednarek. It was worth asking a stupid question just to see those {{ Hl | or }} of yours. I also note well your "Wikipedia consensus degrees" concept. CpiralCpiral 03:35, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Resolved

"The" vs. "the" - again

Although we know it's the most common word in the English laguage, I find it rather surprising that, at best, cannot find readily our policy regarding it. Currently I'm in a dispute whether to use "The Holocaust" or "the Holocaust" in the middle of a sentence in a Wikipedia page. I subscribe to the latter form. Please advise. --Ludvikus (talk) 00:29, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Write the Holocaust, the Renaissance, a renascence, the Beatles, the beetles. -- Hoary (talk) 02:00, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Note the Beatles but The Who. --Trovatore (talk) 02:02, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Just like the Beatles, the Zombies, the Kinks and of course the Who. And indeed the Guess Who. -- Hoary (talk) 06:19, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
No. It's the Beatles but it's The Who. In the second case the the is part of the name; in the first case it isn't. There is no general rule here; you have to have an ear for it. --Trovatore (talk) 08:07, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
My ear tells me that "the" is part of both names. (And my inner orthographer says "Yeah, so?") What am I missing? -- Hoary (talk) 08:52, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
A better ear :-).
No, really it's a matter of how the bands are referred to, case by case. We don't make anything up. See how their fans write the name, and how they call themselves. But it's easier for the the to be capitalized if it doesn't really make sense grammatically as an article (the who? which who is that? and similarly for The The).
A (non-band) case where the the does make sense grammatically, but is nevertheless capitalized, is The Hague. --Trovatore (talk) 09:58, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
No, please don't look at how their fans write them up. If you do, you'll invite WaCKy JaPANeSE faNBOy caPITalizatION whereby you must have bands such as EXILE, ELLEGARDEN and others. And as for how they call themselves, they don't: the Beatles are of course very long dead as a single entity and half dead as components, whereas the Who are, um, half dead as components even if the survivors and surrogates sporadically manage to limp onto stage for nostalgiafests. The companies that hold the rights to their names may very well capitalize the "The" but that's just part of their job. (An analogy would be with the outfit that runs TOEFL tests and that is most insistent that "TOEFL" should come packaged with "®": the firm's within its rights to ask, I'm within mine to ignore.) Whether the context is music or guitar/eardrum/liver distruction, here's nothing ambiguous about "the Who" (or indeed "the The"). I haven't been to the Hague but I'd like to, and nobody would misinterpret that as a desire to drop in on the famously beer-quaffing tory. (I'd like to return to the Alps as well.) Come on, Trovatore; I was hoping for something better. Conceivably, there could be a syntactic distinction; for example, somebody might claim that, orthography aside, it's possible to talk of "the ageing Beatles" but not about "the ageing Who"; indeed, I'm willing to concede that the latter might be slightly odder than the former but my first inclination as a linguist cum native informant would be to precede each with a simple asterisk, not with a different number of question marks. -- Hoary (talk) 12:26, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, the Hague is just flat 100% wrong. It has to be capitalized. You will not find a lowercase the for the city in any decent source. You're right about the Alps, wrong about The Who and The The, both of which take the capital. There just isn't a general rule here, as far as I can tell. --Trovatore (talk) 21:32, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
The Chicago Manual of Style specifically says to write "the Who", if that's not a "decent source" then I don't know what is. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/CMS_FAQ/CapitalizationTitles/CapitalizationTitles38.html 83.199.29.184 (talk) 10:38, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
  • My understanding is that the default is lower-case (the), unless the subject insists on The. I've been told that The Beatles is just such a case, contrary to what is said above. Where to check this? Personally, I think the upper-case The can look pretentious, or clunky, even it's the non-default choice of the owner. Tony (talk) 14:32, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
    • The Beatles can't insist anything, Tony. They are no more. They have ceased to be. Half of them have expired and gone to meet their maker. The band is bereft of life, it rests in peace. -- Hoary (talk) 15:00, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm very much in favor of "the Beatles," "the Who" and so on. Basically no reliable secondary publication uses capital-t The in the middle of sentences for band names, and for good reason. It's very jarring and doesn't help readers at all. Croctotheface (talk) 20:26, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Leftwards, and first primarily to Trovatore [and I wonder which form of which article I should use with his (or conceivably her) name]: I'm pretty sure that I could find "the Hague" in a decent source, but I'll concede that the US GPO (the only relevant style instruction that Google gets me) mandates "The Hague" (though for goofy-sounding reasons); and this not the kind of search for which Google is suited and neither is this the kind of venture I'd embark on unless I were paid a lot. Of course the "Le" in "Le Mans" is capitalized (within English) but my understanding was that speakers of one language weren't expected to parse articles in another as articles; I'd imagine that "the Hague" is some freakish calque on the Dutch name, aped to the point of Dutch capitalization. (Or am I also expected to write "The Netherlands"?)

I don't understand the logic, if any of what il Trovatore says about what he calls "The Who and The The". He spoke of an ear; I applied mine to it. Shortly after signing off last night (my time zone), the thought occurred to me with crushing obviousness that "the Beatles" and "the Who" differ greatly with quantifiers: orthography aside, the acceptability (to me) of Any [X] who'd wanted one could have bought his own Caribbean island depends on whether [X] is "Beatle" or "Who". More simply, All the [X] were British varies "Beatles"/"Who": the latter demands (and the former prefers) "of" after "all". Likewise with numbers: The four [X] were British is OK with "Beatles" and not with "Who".

Of course "Who" and "The" might be said to be anomalous as they are, or are modeled on, something other than noun phrases. So let's look at "Clash" (countable noun) and "Jam" (normally uncountable noun). To this native informant, the quantifier tests above class "Clash" and "Jam" with "Who". Indeed, even "London Symphony Orchestra" seems to work the same way as "Who". What distinguishes (a) "Beatles" and (say) "King's Singers" from (b) "Who", "The", "Clash", "Jam" and "London Symphony Orchestra" is, I think, simply that the former group are modeled on regular plural nouns. (This raises the matter of what are clearly identifiable as irregular plurals. I wouldn't be surprised if there were bands with names such as "the Phenomena", but I can't immediately think of any and so shan't bother with them.) Does il Trovatore's ear thus demand

the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, the 13th Floor Elevators, the King's Singers
The Who, The The, The Clash, The Jam, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, The London Symphony Orchestra

? If so, I'd concede a certain consistency, but the latter half of these would look potty to me. -- Hoary (talk) 03:08, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

But it isn't consistent. As I said, there is no general rule (though I suppose there are some approximations to general rules). You just have to memorize it.
I certainly wouldn't use the capital The for the London Symphony Orchestra, unless they use it themselves. I thought it was just Strawberry Alarm Clock. For the remaining two, I'm not familiar enough with them to know.
A couple more examples that take the capital The are The Colony (Texas) and The Ohio State University. --Trovatore (talk) 07:30, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
The is part of some names; thus The New Republic, which even abbreviates itself TNR; most such cases capitalize. I think that's the core of what Trovatore means, and the business about The Who is simply an explanation of why they aren't simply Who. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'm uneasy about making a blanket statement about T or t for this very reason: it's possible for the deictic to be elevated in importance in the grammar of a title, whether this is pretentious or not, by the owner of the name. Anderson, is the Naming conventions policy completely silent on this? Tony (talk) 03:19, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
"The" (however capitalized) is certainly part of, or anyway very closely associated with, some names; orthography aside, it seems strange to me to say "I read it in New York Times" or "I love skiing in Alps." (I can say -- again putting aside apostrophes and other orthographic niceties -- "It's a Beatles song"; I can't say "It's a Who song", "It's a the Beatles song" or "It's a the Who song".) I've almost always written "I read it in the New York Times". (Exceptions have been when I've had a pedant on my back, or when in a particularly retro mood I write "I read it in the New York Times. Mention of the last is I hope a little more than mere self-indulgent whimsy: instead, it helps remind us that many names have histories that are still twitching.) Now, I realize that many writers would insist on "I read it in The New York Times"; however, this always strikes me as nervous and pedantic, approaching an orthographic equivalent to hypercorrections such as "between you and I". (Also, and despite mandating "The Hague", the US government style thing has no time for it [PDF].) I note Septentrionalis's point that The New Republic abbreviates itself TNR (and he might have added that another famous US political weekly is at thenation.com), but in itself this can't be decisive; after all, I wouldn't say "I read it in Times Literary Supplement" or "I read it in New York Review of Books", yet the last time I looked these were abbreviating themselves as "TLS" and "NYRB" respectively, and it seems very odd to capitalize "the" according to whether a periodical (or whatever) chooses to represent it as an initial "T" in its abbreviation for itself. -- Hoary (talk) 07:22, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
The difference you don't seem to be picking up is that in some cases the is simply filling its normal grammatical function, whereas in others it's actually part of the name itself. Again, you just have to memorize which is which. --Trovatore (talk) 07:39, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
But I'm a native speaker of English and I have clear intuitions about this kind of thing. My intuitions may very well be peculiar to my lect or even idiolect, and I'm quite willing to be corrected. I've tried to examine the grammatical function and in so doing have discounted any effect on adjectival use but have found interesting relationships with quantifiers; however, I still don't know what you're after. Above, I've shown how what I see with quantifiers leads me to think that there is a distinction between (a) Beatles, Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, 13th Floor Elevators, King's Singers and (b) Who, The, Clash, Jam, Strawberry Alarm Clock, London Symphony Orchestra; this distinction is one that I'd ignore orthographically, but I can see that it's there. Is this what you're referring to; and if not, then what? (Dazzle me with a tree diagram if you like.) -- Hoary (talk) 08:02, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
PS talk of tree diagrams made me think of coordinating the (quasi) noun phrases under a single determiner. First, periodicals. In my idiolect, I can say "I picked up copies of the New York Times, Guardian and Washington Post." Likewise, I can also say "The Beatles, Zombies and Swingle Singers were all European." I can't say "The Clash, Jam, The and Who all recorded in English." Even though I can say that "The London Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia and BBC Symphony Orchestra all performed Beethoven." So yes, there is some other syntactic distinction here: Clash, Jam, The and Who really do seem to be inseparable from their articles, other perhaps than with very marked use of adjectives ("the tired and uninspired Clash"). But even if this is so (and I'd like to read up on it in Huddleston and Pullum, who are good at coming up with examples and counterexamples), I can't see why it would mandate a capital "T" for the "the". -- Hoary (talk) 13:02, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

'Black' or 'White'

Should there be something about the capitalization of the words 'Black' and 'White'? My brief search of sources suggests there is not quite a consensus about whether it's to be done. A few style manuals did say it was the right way. JustinBlank (talk) 04:12, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Disagree -- They are not proper names nor are they derived from proper names. They represent cultural constructs that have no unambiguous meanings and no specific links to the names of nations or other proper nouns. Here.it.comes.again (talk) 09:10, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Associated Press 1998 stylebook says use "black" and "white," for whatever that is worth. Mydogtrouble (talk) 18:21, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Question on capitalization in titles of works

I'm not finding this question covered in the Archives. Currently the All caps section says to reduce all caps titles and to change small caps to title case. What about lower case words in titles of books, journals, and articles? Are lower case word somehow covered by the small caps part or is this covered somewhere else? Thanks. -Fnlayson (talk) 21:51, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're asking. If you're asking about words like short prepositions that are normally left uncapitalized in titles, yes, they're left uncapitalized here too, and that's covered by the "title cases" (see WP:MOSCAPS#Composition titles). If you're asking about something else, can you provide an example? -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:21, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I mean lower case words other than articles and prepositions. Here's an example: "EADS considers re-entering KC-X bidding as prime contractor"
OK, the Composition titles section does seem to cover that. I had thought that section was just about art, and music titles previously. -Fnlayson (talk) 02:19, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
In citations, article titles are sometimes Title Caps, and sometimes Sentence caps. I don't think there's a push one way or the other, except that each WP article be consistent. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:45, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Got it. Thanks for your help. -Fnlayson (talk) 15:27, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Consolidation?

Please note that this page has been nominated to be consolidated with the primary Manual of Style page. Please join the discussion at the MOS talk page in order to discus the possibility of merging this page with the MOS. Thank you.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 14:35, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Capitalis(z)ation of ancient

An old problem Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Classical_Greece_and_Rome#Category_renaming also [2][3] and others.

I'd like to make a suggestion that the capitalisation of "ancient" (eg in ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient China, ancient pottery) in all cases always be of small case (except at the beginning of a sentence or title obviously). And, that this be placed in the relevant WP:MOS main page, for easy reference. This would apply to all scopes - main text, article title, categories.

I can't think of any exceptions, and the general consensus (not total) seems to be to use lower case. Then any changes can be applied project wide with no hassle. General wikipedia practice would seem to suggest not capitalising "ancient". (Alternatively get the alternative version as standard practice - one or the other...).

Requesting that this is discussed and then acted upon by a suitably qualified administrator, thanks.

(I have left notes on relevant project pages ie WikiProject Ancient Near East‎; WikiProject Archaeology‎; WikiProject Ancient Egypt‎; WikiProject History‎; WikiProject China‎; WikiProject Classical Greece and Rome.)77.86.119.83 (talk) 21:33, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

The basic reasoning is that "ancient" is just an adjective, and the terms "ancient Greece" et al are not proper names (as would be specific proper names of empires or states), but are adjective modified proper nouns, that have specific but in general roughly defined time periods in which the term "ancient Foo" is applicable. ie <not a proper noun as a whole>.77.86.119.83 (talk) 22:32, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Ancient Rome. I would argue that "ancient Rome" is a generic phrase, like "contemporary Rome," "modern Rome," or "medieval Rome." "Ancient Rome" is not a specific political entity, or a label for a specific historical period. When talking about Rome in antiquity, these specific terms are Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire. We can date each of these three proper nouns as historical periods, and we can treat each as a political entity (monarchic, republican, and imperial). We can consider them collectively as a broad cultural continuity that is "ancient Rome," but it seems to me that to capitalize "ancient," one would also have to argue for capitalizing "Modern Rome," or commit to saying something like "Automotive traffic in Contemporary Rome continues to be … " — which I don't think can be justified by any Anglophone style manual. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:11, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
The fact is that it is a matter of style, nothing more, in most cases. In this era of Chicago Manual of Style, the same trend that prefers "clean and modern" choices like acronyms without periods also eschews unnecessary capitalization. In my own writing I am a bit old-fashioned, I suppose, and refer to Ancient Rome, Classical Greece, etc., but I wish to endorse the all-lowercase proposal as a sensible solution, quite consistent with a great deal of careful contemporary usage. I believe there is one important exception that may not have come up in the discussion yet: adjectives specifying periods or dialects of a language are always capitalized, so that even those who write ancient Rome and classical Greece refer to Classical Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Greek, Modern Greek, etc., when "Greek" means the language and not the nation. If I'm mistaken about this, please do correct me. Wareh (talk) 13:38, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the point about language labels, and it's good to introduce it. I would also agree with "Classical Greece" for the same reason I would capitalize the second r in "Roman Republic" — "Classical" here distinguishes among periods including Archaic Greece or the Hellenistic period. To capitalize "Archaic Greece" and "Classical Greece" shows clearly that the phrase refers to something that can be more or less dated and defined in accordance with usage in modern scholarship; lowercase would be more ambiguous as to whether "archaic" and "classical" were being used loosely as synonyms for "ancient." I would still hold with "ancient Greece" in generalizing about, say, "the civilization of ancient Greece" or "the city-states of ancient Greece," since as the latter shows, there was not a single political entity that could be labeled "Ancient Greece." Cynwolfe (talk) 14:34, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
This conversation may be dead at this point but just to comment ... The issue of capitalization is nothing new. I believe it is mostly settled although specific cases can be debatable. In general the rule is
  • If the wording is in widespread use and generally considered a formal name for a particular thing, a thing whose name should be capitalized, then the whole wording should be capitalized. "Ancient Rome" is a commonly used name to describe the civilization. Since we normally capitalize the names of civilizations we should capitalize the whole set of words "Ancient Rome". In other words, Ancient is considered part of the name.
  • If the wording is not especially common or unique and is simply a name plus some descriptive words the author has added to be more specific, the name should be capitalized but the additional descriptive words should not. In other words, you the author may consider your phrasing a good name but if your phrasing is not widely recognized as a common name for the thing then capitalizing the words in your phrasing is probably inappropriate.
  • To the extent that it may be debatable whether a given word should be capitalized, authors should attempt to follow common usage in major publications (e.g. if most authors the west part of Lilliput, when referred to in publications, is typically described as "west Lilliput" or "western Lilliput" then the article should generally use lower case for west or western).
--Mcorazao (talk) 19:11, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
These are reasonable remarks, but I don't think 'ancient' is capitalized in non-specialist media (the New York Times uses 'ancient Rome,' for instance). In fact, I think it's misleading to capitalize it, because it implies that the Rome of the 4th century BC is somehow the same as Rome in the 4th century AD, even though the former was a republic practicing the traditional religions, and the latter was an imperial monarchy with Christianity as its official religion. I'm still not grasping the reasoning that says 'ancient Rome' is different from 'modern Rome' or 'contemporary Rome' or 'medieval Rome,' in a way that requires it being treated as a proper noun. And it's pretty clear that the lowercase is already used more often the uppercase in existing articles. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:46, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I hadn't seen this practice in the NY Times. But it appears that you are correct. I was just poking around Google Books and it appears that there really is a mix. So I have retract what I said about this case. It appears that authors and scholars do not uniformly consider this a proper noun (though I have always considered it such). I haven't actually investigated this particular case in detail, but if it really is the case that authors are not consistently treating this as a proper noun, I guess Wikipedia's bias toward lower case should take precedence here (i.e. "ancient Rome").
Regarding debating whether the grouping of any range of years is logical or not, that's rather tangential. That can be debated a lot of different ways on a lot of different aspects of Roman history. If the scholarly community has decided to treat some description as a proper noun, then it is a proper noun. Whether that description is misleading, or even outrageous, is immaterial. Just because it is a proper noun doesn't mean you have to use it (assuming there is another description that is widely used and more appropriate). --Mcorazao (talk) 00:23, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
It's a hard thing to search, because a search doesn't distinguish titles of books or articles or chapters from body text, which is where you have to look. Like the NYT, most contemporary scholarship doesn't treat "ancient" as part of a proper noun, as an exact search of "ancient Rome" with Cambridge Ancient History in the title indicates here; also a search of the same phrase, with "Oxford" as the publisher here (again, you have to look at the actual body text, not titles and headings) or with "Cambridge" as the publisher here. Also true of the University of California Press here and University of Texas Press here. I tried searching books by scholars I use most often in writing articles (Syme, Wiseman, Lintott, Gruen); they use the phrase "ancient Rome" far less often than you'd think, I'm assuming because it isn't a usefully delimiting term, and hence treat it as a common rather than a proper noun. I think it's capitalization in titles that has given the impression that "ancient Rome" is a proper noun. Cynwolfe (talk) 01:45, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

State of _______________ (U.S. state)

When used as a modifier, the nouns "state", "city", etc. are never capitalized. I would love if MOS:CAPS could mention this. For example, "The city of New York is in the state of New York." Whenever I fix these common (and annoying) grammatical errors in other articles, I would really like to be able to just reference MOS:CAPS instead of an outside grammar source. Is there anyway this can be added? Or is there some other guideline page that I'm missing that has this info on it already? The US state articles on Wikipedia have loads of this kind of error and it'd be nice to make this rule a little more apparent for those editors who may actually check for it. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 18:28, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm curious whether anyone has disagreed with your changes. Maurreen (talk) 22:31, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
There is some possible disagreement about them here. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:32, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
The style guides are on Keraunoscopia side. "State" should be capitalized when referring to the government of the state or the official name of the state, but otherwise not. -Rrius (talk) 18:55, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
My question was intended to get a better idea of whether there is a need for the addition. I agree that "state" should not be capitalized in "state of _____". Maurreen (talk) 01:04, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it depends. It should not be capitalized when the word state is being used in its common-noun sense: John has never been to the state of California. On the other hand, it should be capitalized when the entire phrase is being used as a formal name for the governmental entity: In this litigation, the State of California asserted that it could not be sued, based on the doctrine of sovereign immunity. --Trovatore (talk) 01:07, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
To be entirely honest, I've never read anywhere about the "government entity" examples, where "state" remains capitalized. But it makes sense and I could easily go along with that. Overall, I just wanted corroboration within the MOS documents regarding "state" so that I can refer to it for my changes. So, is this mentioned somewhere in the MOS documents and I'm not seeing it? – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 01:36, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe it is not now explicit in the style guide.
I can't see "State of California" as a proper noun. Maurreen (talk) 07:04, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
In most usages it is not, but in the one I referred to, I believe it is. I think this will mostly apply to legal cases, or at least to situations where the governmental entity is being discussed in a legal (or, conceivably, diplomatic) context.
Likewise "City of...". Here's a good test for that one: In context, can you say "City of Foo City"? Here's what I mean: I could say that I used to live in the city of Los Angeles, but I'd never say I had lived in the city of Culver City, even if I had. But if the latter city is a party to a lawsuit, it would be under the name City of Culver City. --Trovatore (talk) 08:07, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
The city of Culver City is actually correct. "Culver City" is the official name of the city. The lowercase "city" is merely a modifier that could be replaced with "town" or "village" depending on the official designation chosen by that entity's council (I think???). My understanding is that many of these definitions (village vs. town vs. city) are whatever the council decide it to be; where I live, we have towns that have more people than is officially designated for "city," but the town refuses to change the name to city. Anyway... city of New York City is correct. When I worked for a civil engineering firm, all the documents used a capitalized designation, "City of New York City" and would later refer to the city as "the City." Government documents, legal documents, etc etc almost always do this (websites do as well). However, I am absolutely positive this is grammatically incorrect, it's merely "legalese" meets "ego" meets "clarification" (a document that says "the City" obviously refers to a specific city, and not just "any" city). But since several people above mentioned that the "official" use of "City" is correct, then I'll just go along with it, because it's sort of becoming the norm. Incorrect, but the norm. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 08:15, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's incorrect. It's the formal "long name" of the entity, along the lines of Kingdom of Sweden or State of Qatar or Republic of France. I assume you would not suggest lowercasing the first words of any of those. But the contexts in which the "long name" is appropriate are fairly limited, and in other contexts I agree with the lower case. --Trovatore (talk) 08:39, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

For those saying they don't see why "state" would ever be capitalized, what you have to understand is that the corporate (I mean that word generically) entity is officially named "State of X", not "X". If you were going to say "Jeremy worked for the State of New York", it should have the capital. If, however, you wanted to say "Jennifer worked in the state of New York", it should not. -Rrius (talk) 16:32, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, okay. I've found several websites saying the official name of "Colorado" (for example) is "State of Colorado". But I haven't found a government (or official-looking) website that says this, but that's okay. I don't think it ever occurred to me that "State of" would be part of the title, I thought it was just a designation. And like Trovatore above says, "City of" is similar. So then I think we all agree that "State of" is used in an official capacity, and "state of" is used in non-official or general capacity. I may have to refer to this discussion when mentioning consensus? – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 18:34, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe propose some text in this section, we'll comment, then you can refer to this discussion in the edit summary when you add it to the main page. To provide more than my previous "style guides say", CMOS says political designations like "republic" and "state" are always capitalized after the name when part of the name, "New York City", but "New England states". However, they are not capitalized before the name unless referring to the government rather than the place and it gives the following examples:
  • She works for the Village of Forest Park
  • That is a City of Chicago ordinance
  • Residents of the village of Forest Park enjoy easy access to the city of Chicago
See §§8.55 & 8.56. Garner's Modern American Usage says something similar (but he has a relationship with Chicago so I don't know what that's worth. I think I saw a similar rule in Little, Brown, but my copy is a thousand miles away, so I can't check. Someone mentioned the AP at User talk:Buaidh#state of Colorado, but there was no quote or summary, so I don't know what make of it. -Rrius (talk) 20:25, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

MoS naming style

There is currently an ongoing discussion about the future of this and others MoS naming style. Please consider the issues raised in the discussion and vote if you wish GnevinAWB (talk) 20:54, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

What about documents?

Should Wikipedia articles capitalize "the Constitution" or "the Charter of Rights"? 142.104.55.64 (talk) 03:16, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Normally, yes. Proper nouns should be capitalized. Maurreen (talk) 04:32, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Dispute: Life form capitalization run rampant

Resolved: Just a pointer to Pointer to relevant discussion at WT:MOS; please centralize discussion there.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Dispute: Life form capitalization run rampant. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 20:51, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

names of wars, conflicts, etc.

I agree with Accepted full names of wars, battles, revolts, revolutions, rebellions, mutinies, skirmishes, risings, campaigns, fronts, raids, actions, operations and so forth are capitalized ... As a rule of thumb, if a battle, war, etc has its own Wikipedia article, the name should be capitalized in articles linked to it as it is in the article name.

The problem is that Western media and other publishers apparently treat Western wars etc. as proper nouns and also treat wars etc. considered important from a Western perspective as proper nouns but lowercase e.g. "Rwandan genocide" and "Rwandan civil war". WP should have a clear egalitarian policy on this that specifically states that WP does not follow usage in reliable English sources here because of a clear Western bias in these.

The "Rwandan genocide" and the "Rwandan civil war" are spelled that way by the UN, hrw.org, New York Times, BBC, most other media, and in most books and academic articles (Google Books and Scholar). We need to uppercase these and many other similar article names that arbitrarily have lowercase in Western publications and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Genocides and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Civil_wars_of_the_Modern_era etc. --Espoo (talk) 23:49, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Titles (people) again

This guideline used to include a clumsy rule of thumb for capitalising titles when used on their own. It said, "A good rule of thumb is whether the sentence uses a definite article [the] or an indefinite article [a]. If the sentence uses the, use Prime Minister. If the sentence uses a, go with prime minister." What that seems to be getting at is the difference between general uses of a title and uses of the title to refer to a specific holder. That is, the difference between "the pope is an elected monarch" and "the Pope was born in Germany". It appears that last May editors here adopted a rule similar to that used in The Chicago Manual of Style; the rule that titles aren't capitalised even when used in place of a name. Despite the fact that CMOS and the other style guides mentioned recommend a similar rule, it does not reflect normal capitalisation rules. For example, the word mother is a common noun, obviously not a candidate for capitalisation. Yet, when a person addresses or refers to his mother using that word, it is capitalised: Oh, Mother, it's you. The same holds for words like teacher and professor. The better rule, and the one more likely to be followed naturally by editors, is to capitalise titles when used in place of a name. Since it is already against guidelines to refer to most biographical subjects by their titles (for instance, Orin Hatch should not refer to Hatch as "the Senator"), this particular usage will largely be employed at articles about monarchies, where lowercasing of titles is often a hard sell. As a result, specifically allowing capitalisation where a title is used in place of a name is a reasonable accommodation for people who find putting their monarchs in lowercase unnatural and offensive. Even the questionable CMOS rule has an exception for "Commonwealth contexts". -Rrius (talk) 18:55, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

You're conflating a couple of different things. Capitalizing nouns of address is standard. But WP is not directly addressing anyone. Maurreen (talk) 22:35, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not conflating anything, and I am not at all talking about nouns of address. You would capitalize "mother" if referring to her, as well. For instance, "I took Mother for a walk yesterday." The capitalization is because you are substituting a common noun for the name of specific person, not because you are addressing them. -Rrius (talk) 19:17, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
But you wouldn't say "I took Prime Minister for a walk yesterday."
More plausibly, you would use an article and say "I took the prime minister for a walk yesterday." Maurreen (talk) 19:22, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
No, but you might plausibly say, "I took the Prime Minister for a walk". The important thing is that you are referring to specific person, not a class, nor the person as a member of a class (i.e., not "my mother" as opposed to "Mother"). -Rrius (talk) 21:23, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Other than the "Commonwealth contexts" you mentioned above, do you have any references supporting your view? Maurreen (talk) 21:45, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Could you be more specific? -Rrius (talk) 21:55, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
My understanding is that you want to add a rule to the style guide. Do you have any references that indicate such a rule? Maurreen (talk) 22:05, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the only style guide I have is Chicago. I know others support me, but I don't possess them at the moment, so I can't prove it. It is not completely fair to say I am proposing to add a rule. Instead, it is a matter of restoring a rule that was in place until a few editors overturned it last year after a brief discussion; on top of that, the rule was poorly written when they did so. It is a simple of matter of fact that people do capitalize titles when they stand in the place of names, just as other people do not. People do capitalize every instance of a title, just as other people put nearly everyone in lower case. This a question of style. As such, it should reflect best practices and actual usage. It is true that capitalizing every instance of a title can be considered distracting, and style guides suggest not doing so. It is also true that editors, as a matter of course, capitalize titles. I can't tell you how many "senators", "representatives", and "presidents" I've put in lowercase. What I'm suggesting strikes some balance between two extremes, tempering a very strict rule that does not reflect the most common usage with what people actually do. As I said in my initial statement, since we don't, as a rule, use honorifics to refer to subjects in their articles, this is really going to have its greatest effect in articles related to monarchs and their governments and, to a lesser extent, law-related articles. It would be inappropriate for Harry Reid to refer to him as "the Leader" or "the Senator". On the other hand, it is quite normal for monarchy articles to refer to "the King appointing so-and-so" or "the Queen meeting such-and-such". It is hard enough to deal with the capitalization at such articles without having to point to a rule that is very strict and very far out of alignment with actual usage among editors at those articles. -Rrius (talk) 00:44, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I remain unconvinced.
If I knew any references supported your view, I could reconsider. Or I might find references that support my view.
In the meantime, let's agree to disagree. Maurreen (talk) 03:25, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
And unless you wish to spend the next few years fighting wars at monarchy-related articles, I think you will your disagreement is completely irrelevant and you reversion makes this MOS guideline equally so. Language, ultimately, is how we communicate, not how a few people think we should, and the way people actually use it leads to capitals when referring to Queen Elizabeth as "the Queen" or King Haakon as "the King". In other words, good luck with that. -Rrius (talk) 16:59, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
If we agree to disagree and leave things as they are now, I'm OK with that. Maurreen (talk) 17:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The Associated Press style guide agrees with the lower case. "Capitalize titles preceding and attached to a name, but use lower case if the title follows a name or stands by itself."71.2O2.86.94 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:56, 16 August 2010 (UTC).

Mixture of a proper noun and common noun as name

This is quite an isolated case. If a name is composed of a common noun and a proper noun, and the name has not been established as an actual name (i.e.: it really is isolated to the context), would the common noun part of the name be capitalized, or would rules for capitalization still apply, forbidding capitals on the common noun?

Here is the context the problem is situated in:

"The dog version of Stewie quickly confronts the two, revealing that he has also developed a universe-traveling device that would allow them to return to their own universe. Before dog Stewie can fetch them his remote control, human Stewie bites the dog version of his father, Peter, and is sent to the pound where he would be euthanized later that day."

I could also replace "dog Stewie" with "the dog version of Stewie", but the term has already been used once or twice, and would become repetitive in the prose (although if there is no consensus, that will have to be the case). Thoughts? EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 19:20, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

The expressions 'dog Stewie' and 'human Stewie' are perfectly acceptable written like that, if I understand you properly. Rothorpe (talk) 23:42, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Perfect, that's what I wanted to know. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 02:59, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Winter Solstice

According to Wikipedia:MOS, "Winter solstice" should not have a capital S but according to this it should. Which page is correct? McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 01:11, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

I have changed this page to conform with WP:MOS. McLerristarr (Mclay1) (talk) 04:53, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Technical terms

The closest I come to finding guidance on the capitalization of technical terms is Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(capital_letters)#Military_terms. Shall I modify the section to indicate that applies to military and technical terms? Can we give any more guidance as to what's a proper noun and what's not. It seems onerous to spend time working through this independently for each of the innumerable terms we deal with in technical subjects. --Kvng (talk) 19:53, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

All caps

Under the All caps section it states,

Do write in all capitals for acronyms and initialisms, unless the acronym gains common usage as an ordinary, lowercase word (such as scuba and laser, but not NATO).

Does this include non-initial acronyms? I notice the section above this refers to the non-initial FOREX in all caps but the actual article on foreign exchange uses the lowercase Forex. There seems to be some confusion over this, it would appear to depend on style as in a number of cases of non-initial acronyms sources differ in whether they use all caps or not. In some instances even the organisation that came up with the acronym! ChiZeroOne (talk) 14:02, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes it unfortunate that that example was chosen by some idiot (i.e. me) back in 2006. Even "Forex" is probably wrong, "forex" is preferable - FX is also used . I have a feeling that FOREX is a trademark, which probably muddies the waters. Please feel free to find a better example, as far as I am concerned. Rich Farmbrough, 15:43, 25 October 2010 (UTC).

Irony or correct form?

I am no expert, but should "style" honestly be capitalized in this article's title? Pixel Eater (talk) 22:52, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Good question! Luckily it's not an article. I would be happy either way, but consensus in the past has been for interpreting it as the title of a work. Rich Farmbrough, 14:09, 25 October 2010 (UTC).

Capitalization when talking about TV seasons?

When one is talking about seasons of a television show, aren't there several different capitalization rules? Examples


  • Correct: "She died in Season 1"
    • Incorrect: "She died in season 1"
  • Correct: "She died in the first season"
    • Incorrect: "She died in the First Season"
    • Incorrect: "She died in the First season"
    • Incorrect: "She died in the first Season"


That's how I've always been taught to capitalize these things, but there are several articles I've read that don't follow that... Was I taught wrong, or should I go ahead and fix those articles? --- cymru lass (hit me up)(background check) 18:44, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, fix them by all means. Rothorpe (talk) 23:52, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Will do. Thanks! --- cymru lass (hit me up)(background check) 18:43, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, should I or someone else add this to the MOS capitalization page? --- cymru lass (hit me up)(background check) 21:14, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Exception - sometimes DVDs are titled as Season One, unfortunately.Rich Farmbrough, 14:28, 25 October 2010 (UTC).
That's not unfortunate; that's title case. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:24, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Capitalisation of section titles

SmackBot has recently been de-capitalising the section title "General Secretaries" in various articles. Given that the section in each case lists or discusses general secretaries of a specific institution (e.g. General Secretaries of the National Union of Seamen), it seems to me that this is a specific position and should therefore be capitalised, in the same way that, for instance, the article title List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom is capitalised. If the section was entitled "General Secretaries of the National Union of Seamen", the case would be clear, but by avoiding repetition, a situation not clearly covered by the MoS arises. Should we add a sentence to note that capitalisation is appropriate in such circumstances? Warofdreams talk 11:21, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I've reported the problem (and stopped the bot) at User talk:SmackBot. --Kvng (talk) 13:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Generally we do not capitalise titles, it should indeed be List of prime ministers of.... and " these were the general secretaries of the National Union of Seamen". It is a sense of "importance " that drags these to title case, for example you never see "... was a Hall Porter of Trinity College..." . Rich Farmbrough, 14:24, 25 October 2010 (UTC).
So perhaps you should test your theory with a requested move of Prime Minister of Canada to Prime minster of Canada? –xenotalk 14:27, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Um.. contrary to popular opinion, I do not court controversy. Rich Farmbrough, 14:29, 25 October 2010 (UTC).
If you are not willing to gain consensus for your personal beliefs, do not use your bot to push them on articles without consensus. –xenotalk 14:31, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Ahem... straying into personal attack territory here Xeno. Rich Farmbrough, 15:44, 25 October 2010 (UTC).
Please stop dismissing criticisms of your actions as "personal attacks."
If you regard the matter as controversial (and therefore do not wish to pursue it), it's inappropriate for your bot (or you) to perform such edits. —David Levy 16:06, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
David, everything on Wikipedia is controversial. Winston Smith's committee on comma placement would have been a bloodbath, instead of merely those frequented by the likes of Syme. Rich Farmbrough, 21:40, 26 October 2010 (UTC).
FYI: Wikipedia talk:Bots/Requests for approval#Probably erroneous approval for a form of spell-checking (SmackBot). –xenotalk 14:36, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I am alerting MoS talk of this thread. Gentlemen, please; I'm struck by how quick tempers are here. Tony (talk) 14:37, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

If it's a list of (say) Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, it should be capitalized thusly as "Prime Minister of the United Kingdom" is the formal title of the office (a proper name); but if it's just some list of prime ministers (e.g. those in 2005) including people such as the Taoiseach of Ireland or the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy who don't have capitalized "Prime Minister" as their titles, lower case should be used. A. di M. (talk) 00:30, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I disagree that the phrase (downcased for neutrality) prime minister of the united kingdom is a proper noun. When it comes with a specific name, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, well in that case it's a proper noun. But not when it's used for a generic representative of the office. --Trovatore (talk) 00:35, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
The titles of unique offices (that is, one that only one person can hold at a time) are themselves' proper nouns, and therefore follow the rules of title case, even when not referring to any one holder of the office. President of the United States, for example oknazevad (talk) 01:25, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
No, "president of the United States" is a common noun, and is properly capitalized in that way. --Trovatore (talk) 01:54, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
But it depends on the office. Idiom varies; is there even an attestation for the secretaries general of the United Nations? And sometimes even general assertions must be capitalized: the secretaries of state is ambiguous, both in Washington and Westminster; while the secretaries have, since the eighteenth century,... and the Secretaries have, since the eighteenth century,... mean clean different things.
But the most important point is that no bot should be making these decisions. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:04, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Taking a look at some online style guides, The Times comes down clearly for capitals, The Guardian and The Economist, and this guide based on the Chicago Manual of Style are all against. Warofdreams talk 16:11, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
This page and the MoS main page need to avoid the provision of conflicting advice. The discussion continues here, as much as there might be pressure from someone to keep control of the matter here. Tony (talk) 15:20, 29 October 2010 (UTC) And I agree with Mr Anderson that it's a challenge to do with a bot unless the pace is set rather slow; but that's not my main concern. Tony (talk) 16:14, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

All caps and play characters' names

In Abyssinia (musical) I have reduced the all-caps characters names under the section "Characters" to what I imagine is the more standard "start cap" (ie Abyssinia instead ABYSSINIA). At least, Macbeth and Hamlet both use that style, but I couldn't find any reference to the rule on this page. I figure it should be there: the all-caps style is used, sometimes, outside of Wikipedia, but I can see it's not much favored here. Bobnorwal (talk) 01:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Agree, it should be included. Rothorpe (talk) 02:26, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't agree with capitalizing the birds...

Some bird-watching societies started that as a fad, but it is not common usage. Can point to lots of grammar books, going back that give examples of bird names and only capitalize them if they contain a geographic name. That's the birdies trying to morph the language. We should not support...TCO (talk) 06:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, very bad. Rothorpe (talk) 16:06, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it is because the people writing the articles are also birders, so they win a Wikidebate. But, I bet NYT or any general publication would not follow that pattern. And it is the birders Germanicizing the language. And it doesn't follow with the guidance that wikipedia is a general encyclopedia, not a science journal. Plus I bet Science or Nature would not go along with those capitals either. Just some birder mags.TCO (talk) 16:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is "many things to many people", but should use the most precise language that doesn't actively distract. By the last part I mean, of course, our article is at dog and not canis canis canis lupus familiaris. But I think the birders (I'm not one, by the way) have a good argument that not every American robin is necessarily an American Robin. This has nothing to do with "Germanicization", nor with Brits preferring capitals as another contributor says below; it's just a useful distinction between the names of species and subspecies on the one hand, and ordinary combinations of adjectives and nouns on the other. --Trovatore (talk) 19:01, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
It's not standard written publication usage. It's an oddity within a community only. Also, they end up capitalizing all bird species, not just those with geographic names in the title. Also, for a while, their ethic was leaching into having other species like Horse capitalized. Also, it makes no sense...why just animals? What about New York strip steak? That is NOT referring to strip steak within the state of New York, but to a particular TYPE of strip steak. With your mindset, we should capitalize it too. TCO (talk) 19:21, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Not just geographic names, of course. Not every gray eagle is necessarily a Gray Eagle. And certainly, the distinction would be lost if you started capitalizing Eagle standalone, so you shouldn't do that.
I don't see anything wrong with deferring to the usage of the community that's most expert on the subject matter. Within reason, of course; if they start asking for silly stuff you just say no. But I don't think this is silly; I think they've got a point. --Trovatore (talk) 19:43, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Of course we are going to end up doing what "the community" wants. But the point is that community is essentially trying change a rule of English usage, in contrast to how it is done in the New York Times or any normal publication. Since, we are not supposed to be a specialty journal, we should not do so. But given the dynamics of group voting, who writes the articles, etc. it's not surprising. (BTW, I don't agree with the change even within that community. Sure it prevents some imprecision, but English grammar has other examples of imprecision, often related to phrases with and, but we still manage to communicate very well with it, using the context to guide us. Now, I'm hungry for a New York Strip Steak!TCO (talk) 20:21, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Also, I bet you can come up with other examples of two word "classes of objects" that can be confused with "adjective, then object". I get that you want to distinguish Blue Whale, from a whale that happens to be blue. If you really want to be consistent, you will have to apply this "rule" to non-animal situations where a descriptor can be used to identify a formal subclass OR as just as a descriptor. The New York Strip Steak was the one that jumped to mind, but I bet we can come up with more. How about a Baker's Dozen (the formal appelation for a group of 13) versus a dozen that happens to belong to a baker? Wiki should not make new language. Or the Chef's Knife (specific type of knife for chopping veggies) versus the chef's knife (could be one of many, including ones designed to cut fish, the chef really owns lots of different knives after all, not just his "Chef's Knife". But buttom line is if the language does change, if it should change, so what. Wiki should follow, not lead.TCO (talk) 20:34, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Very true. But I see nothing wrong with it following the most expert community. I think you have an overly populist conception of WP. WP is populist as regards who can contribute; it is not, and should not be, populist as regards content. --Trovatore (talk) 21:00, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I imagine there is an WP:ENGVAR angle to this. There tends to be a lot more capitialisation used in UK media(and other European so I understand). When I look at most Wikipedia pages they seem very American. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:00, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
From this Brit's point of view, it's Americans who tend to overuse caps. And 'baker's dozen' is not capitalised. Rothorpe (talk) 21:04, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Mixed capitalisation again

I have a brand name and a company name where I am not sure how I should apply the guideline.

The brand name of Korea's high-speed train service is Korea Train eXpress. Can that lower-case "e" be counted as "a one-letter lowercase prefix pronounced as a separate letter"?

Whatever works for iPhone should work here. --Kvng (talk) 15:47, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Second, what a about company name in all-caps with punctuation in it: RAIL.ONE? Should I write it as the company uses it, or as Rail.One, Rail.one, RailOne, Railone?--Rontombontom (talk) 14:42, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I'd say Rail.One, as the nearest normal-looking equivalent. Rothorpe (talk) 02:25, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion on capitalization in article titles

Pointer to a discussion that editors here might find interesting: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Lower case first letters. Your comments are welcome. Powers T 15:33, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Degrees and academic subjects of study

In copyediting Margaret Thatcher I corrected she studied chemistry at X College, Cambridge to ...Chemistry... but another well-respected copyeditor has restored lower-case. Now, let it be said that I spend a lot of time changing capitals to lower-case when they are used inappropriately, but I believed that caps were standard for courses of study and degree subjects. I certainly always say on resumes/CVs that I have a degree in Chemistry. Now, I thought this belief came from this MoS page but I can't see it. So it must have been from some other MoS page I've used in my work. What do others think, chemistry or Chemistry? Has a previous consensus been established on this? --John (talk) 01:35, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

My intuition is, if you want to capitalize it on your CV, that's probably fine, and certainly you expect it to be capitalized on your diploma, but I don't think we want to capitalize it here. --Trovatore (talk) 02:41, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
As an academic, I find that there is capitalisation when the reference is to a department or a specific course - that is, when the name is used as a title or label - but not when the reference is to a subject in general. Thus I would write: "Stinker studied chemistry in the Chemistry Department, achieving a third-class honours degree (with first-class burns) in chemistry - BSc(Hons) aegrot. in Chemistry". --Wikiain (talk) 02:56, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Beautiful synthesis Wikiain, I like it. I could go with that as a position. So this has never been discussed before? --John (talk) 03:06, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I have never understood the not-uncommon habit of capitalising the first letter in fields of study—even in high-school subjects. Please no: these count as generic items, not titular, according to the MoS. Bachelor of Chemistry, yes, but "I studied chemistry", "a course in chemistry". Whether the C is used in "We have Chemistry after the lunch-break" is debatable; the MoS says when in doubt, use lower case. Tony (talk) 05:52, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I bow to your expertise, but what about he studied psychology or he studied civics; couldn't there be an ambiguity there which capitalization resolves? Somewhat like being a conservative as opposed to being a Conservative? I suspect also like on many of these issues there's a US/rest-of-the-world metric involved; anecdotally folk here seem to capitalize more than in the UK. He took Statistics 2 in college still sounds like good usage for me, but as always I will bow to the consensus that appears here. --John (talk) 06:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The Oxford Guide to Stlye has "Capitalize the name of academic subjects only in the context of courses and examinations: He wanted to study physics, he read Physics . . . and received a degree in Physics. . . .". --Boson (talk) 07:20, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The capitalisation in "He took Statistics 2 in college" is correct and consistent with the views being expressed here, as "Statistics 2" is the name of a course. As compared to "He took statistics in college", which is the name of a subject. Malleus Fatuorum 15:29, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Looks like we're heading towards a consensus here. --John (talk) 20:49, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Capitalizing a book's title: "Female Domination: An exploration of the male desire for Loving Female Authority"

Hi, I'm about to move the French page on this English book because it not correctly capitalized. But now I'm not sure whether the 'an' should be capitalized. In French we would have to capitalize it as it seems to belong to a secondary title but is it the same in English?
Long story short, I wonder whether it should be
Female Domination: An Exploration of the Male Desire for Loving Female Authority
or
Female Domination: an Exploration...

By the way, I'm not a native speaker and I'd be most grateful if my mistakes were corrected!
Thanks in advance, have a nice day. Denhetreil (talk) 10:30, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Bonjour Denhetreil. I am aware of the French conventions, but - concerning English - I think that it would be normal not to capitalise here. That is, it would be normal to say "Female Domination: an Exploration of the Male Desire for Loving Female Authority". Although to insert a capital would not definitely be wrong.
For comparison, the Library of Congress online catalog ("catalog" for Americans) has "Domination & résistance de l’Afrique centrale : changements & enjeux" and "Domination, addiction, and liberation : the tobacco empire and opposition". But, in English it is not normal to insert a space before the colon.
Perhaps the MOS could be added to in this respect. --Wikiain (talk) 12:01, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer! Have a nice day, Denhetreil (talk) 17:25, 23 January 2011 (UTC).

All Caps when quoting an inscription

In 1847 the British Admiralty authorized the issuance of the Naval General Service Medal with clasps to honour the participants in certain actions. These clasps were inscribed "GUADALOUPE" or "CAPTURE OF THE DESIREE" "PICKLE 3 JANY. 1807", or the like. I would like to continue to quote the clasps as issued, not correcting original spelling, abbreviations or capitalization. Any reactions? Acad Ronin (talk) 12:11, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

That's not what we normally do here - it contradicts the spirit and letter of Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters), and when you look at established medal articles like General Service Medal (1962) (and many others), the clasp names are all in title case (they are printed on the medal in capitals - see File:GSM 62 O.jpg). These are in no way quotations, rather titles of clasps. Shem (talk) 16:25, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I've asked for a third opinion. Shem (talk) 10:15, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
This has been discussed and knocked on the head before; see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (text formatting)/Archive 2#Latin (language) and all-capitals. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:11, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Agree, all caps has been determined to be acceptable when quoting inscriptions. Reaper Eternal (talk) 13:27, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that was the conclusion of that discussion. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (text formatting)#Foreign terms and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters)#All caps are also quite clearly against all caps. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:51, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, WP:ALLCAPS says, "Reduce proclamations, such as those for the Medal of Honor from all-caps." So the Manual of Style is saying not to use all caps. Mudwater (Talk) 14:33, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

There are also examples of formatting like some science journal articles where they are in all caps as written in the hard copy, but it is still normal bibliographically to change to some more normal writing when citing them (you can even see journals do this within referencing of the said journals with that style themselves). TCO (talk) 21:36, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Should text entries in a table (or list or glossary) be capitalized?

I know on the header, I would have "Color", but should all the entries be "Blue" or "blue"? TCO (talk) 12:22, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

MOS:LIST#Comma-separated lists might be relevant for some tables, though the first example contradicts the guideline so I wouldn't trust anyone's life on it.
I was looking for some guidance on this sort of question for list articles. There no mention of this issue on MOS:CAPS or WP:List article. Today I found WP:BULLET says to start items with a capital letter, while WP:MOSGLOSS#Capitalization which seems to say don't capitalise, especially if there's any chance of confusion, but then "recommends" capitalisation in some situations. Specific examples of articles I was thinking about were Glossary of botanical terms (does not capitalise, which I think is good and agrees with WP:MOSGLOSS) and List of fish common names (inconsistent capitalisation).
Anyways there probably should be a mention of these issues on this MOS:CAPS page.
Vadmium (talk) 02:52, 2 February 2011 (UTC).
I done good then, huh? P.s. I would avoid picking an example involving animal common names as there is already controversy and different practice as to whether they are capped in normal usage. That's why I went with colors. Also, I wonder what about if it's a phrase, if its one word, if its two words, if its a longer phrases, if its mostly single word entries but then for a couple I need to use a phrase. Etc. Also, whatever we do, I really hope we will see what the guidelines and practices are external to Wiki (even if THEY are inconsistent). I just really think we are more sophisticated when we research and consider external usage, versus completely deciding on our own.TCO (talk) 03:06, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I just looked at a bunch of science papers I wrote and my thesis and the usage was lower case in tables for words or short phrases.TCO (talk) 03:13, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

smallcaps and LORD

Hi everyone,

A discussion was started at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2010 December 9#Template:LORD on whether it is proper to use LORD when rendering the Tetragrammaton. (Opening sentence on the Tetragrammaton: The term Tetragrammaton (from Greek τετραγράμματον, meaning "[a word] having four letters") refers to the proper name of the God of Israel YHWH (Hebrew: יהוה‎) used in the Hebrew Bible.)

There are several arguments against using it brought up during the course of discussion on the typing-aid template, {{LORD}}:

  • Unnecessary. Against MOS. Redundant to Template:Sc ...
  • Delete because it is utter WP:NONSENSE since every religion has its own views of who or what God is and how God should be named. In fact this template violates WP:NPOV because it conveys an exclusive view of God's name, mostly based on one vague type of Christian thinking (mostly found of WP, but hard to find in real life!) There is no "one way" to refer or call or name God in the broader Judeo-Christian tradition, see for the varieties of names as an example in Names of God in Judaism. This template is a blunder and must go ASAP. ...
  • Delete. Unnecessary, redundant with Template:Sc, and a violation of Wikipedia conventions and the Manual of Style. ...
  • Delete as religion-cruft ...
  • Delete blatantly POV style convention for rendering a religious term. ...
  • Delete as a violation of Wikipedia's Manual of Style. ...
  • Delete in direct violation of the MOS and POV. ...
  • Delete as POV and a violation of Wikipedia's Manual of Style. ...

I believe that it is useful to use LORD when rendering the Tetragrammaton because it keeps a distinction that is often in secondary sources and translations of the Bible used as a primary sources.

Here is what another editor had to say about it:

You ... may need to know about the difference between God and GOD, and Lord and LORD ... . As the article tetragrammaton made clear ... "In English translations, it is often rendered in capital and small capital letters as 'the LORD'." "LORD" is a personal name, "Yahweh" (or the equivalent) in Hebrew; "Lord" is a title, "Adonai" in Hebrew (literally "milord"). Because both primary and secondary sources make much of the distinction between naming and titling a deity, and because great significance is often drawn from which of the two words appears in a Hebrew text, English translators for more than 400 years have used an all-caps or small-caps formulation to distinguish the two. (I have also often seen the form "ADONAI" used to indicate the presence of "Yahweh" in a text, which should indicate that GOD and LORD are frequent enough that they have their own alternatives.)
"GOD" is rarer because it is used to translate "Yahweh" when immediately adjacent to "Adonai", which is then translated "Lord" (in this case a repetition with "LORD" would obviously lose a lot in translation). Thus GOD is a name and God is a title, just as above. ...

I found one place in MOS talk where there was discussion on the proper capitalization of the Tetragramaton:

Also, please refer to the following sections of the article, Tetragramaton:

I propose the following change to the Manual of Style. Currently it says:

Proper nouns and titles referencing deities are capitalized: God, Allah, Freya, the Lord, the Supreme Being, the Messiah. The same is true when referring to important religious figures, such as Muhammad, by terms such as the Prophet. Common nouns should not be capitalized: the Norse gods, the Christian god, personal god. Transcendent ideas in the Platonic sense also begin with a capital letter: Good and Truth. Pronouns referring to deities, or nouns (other than names) referring to any material or abstract representation of any deity, human or otherwise, are not capitalized.

change to:

Proper nouns and titles referencing deities are capitalized: God, Allah, Freya, the Lord, the Supreme Being, the Messiah, LORD. The same is true when referring to important religious figures, such as Muhammad, by terms such as the Prophet. Common nouns should not be capitalized: the Norse gods, the Christian god, personal god. Transcendent ideas in the Platonic sense also begin with a capital letter: Good and Truth. Pronouns referring to deities, or nouns (other than names) referring to any material or abstract representation of any deity, human or otherwise, are not capitalized. Smallcaps, as LORD, are used when primary or secondary sources refer to the Tetragrammaton.

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 12:13, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

By the way, JPG-GR, closed the TfD on the {{LORD}} template to maintain status quo at this time. Since a lot of the arguments for/against the template are based on this Manual of Style, we can let the discussion continue here until we get a consensus. Then, I would support reopening the TfD.--Kevinkor2 (talk) 07:45, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Agree. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 14:14, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
don't care - the paragraph is instruction creep already, and you're proposing to add some moreinstruction creep. A really useful change would be to attempt and reduce the instruction creep. --dab (𒁳) 15:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Oppose - I agree it's instruction creep, and from the God-Squad, no less. Makes it no more acceptable. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 15:36, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose as instruction creep. While other sources text formatting are persuasive, they're not controlling. In other words, Wikipedia is free to develop its own house style and to apply it as the Wikipedia community sees fit. Imzadi 1979  16:29, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We do not adopt outside source styling conventions when quoting sources. Also note that the above addition would contradict the All caps guidelines elsewhere in the MoS, thus creating confusion. Kaldari (talk) 18:46, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support or improve:

Kevin, thanks for quoting me at length. The issue is that, as Template:Sc, entities that have become typographically distinguished by small caps should retain them in WP: the doc lists GOD, LORD, TIME, UNESCO, and UNICEF. In the case of GOD and LORD, it is clear that some comments did not appreciate the fact that their use is limited to when it is necessary to distinguish one Hebrew original from another; the others are limited to when proper distinction of the small-caps trademark from other forms is necessary. While these uses are not many, it is proper for MOS to allude to them, though not to "creep" on them. Thus I propose (while also clarifying the name/title distinction):

"Proper names of deities (Vishnu, Freya, LORD) and titles referencing them (God, Allah, the Supreme Being, the Messiah) are capitalized."

Links might help. The new sentence on smallcaps is unnecessary if the lead sentence alludes to it as here; similar nonnecessity attaches to the title "the Lord" and the personal name translated "GOD" in "Lord GOD". Thus I think this is less "creepy", and also addresses the concern about disambiguation of original-language phrasing that may not have been noted by commenters. I have never known WP to be against dabbing when the need for it is provided clearly.

Incidentally, the third sentence is misweighted by giving three examples for lowercasing "god" and no other word. One fix, provided by the AP style guide, is to change personal god to a liberator messiah. JJB 19:47, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. I think it is important to follow the sources in this, as in most everything here on Wikipedia. English-language sources have translated the Tetragrammaton as LORD or LORD for hundreds of years. Transliterating the Tetragrammaton as YHWH or Yahweh ignores its historical pronunciation as Adonai (meaning Lord) and obscures the word's connotations. English has long used LORD as a good, if not literal, approximation of the Tetragrammaton; we should follow the sources and use it, too. Ozob (talk) 12:01, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Sources that use this style convention are predominately religious in nature. We should avoid the appearance of being religiously biased by not making exceptions to our formatting policies for religious topics. Powers T 19:41, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Literal quotations from an English source that uses the convention should be rendered as in "and the Lord [i.e. Yahweh] knew her" wherever it matters. Anything written in the voice of the article should simply use Yahweh or Adonai. Wikipedia itself is not in the business of distorting language in strange ways in order to pander to the mental states of people with special emotional conditions. They are free not to read aloud whatever they don't like. The particular convention of distinguishing between Lord and Lord has come up for the specific application in popular books with an extremely high impression, in which it is important to hide the distinction for those who don't care about it, while making it available for those who do. This is not the situation we have here. In scholarly sources it seems to be much more common to use Yahweh or Adonai directly, and I can see no reason for us not to follow them. Hans Adler 08:22, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Hi Hans Adler,
Your recommendation and mine are very close.
I, too, want literal quotations from an English source to follow the conventions from the source.
I am OK with "[a]nything written in the voice of the article should simply use Yahweh or Adonai."
--Kevinkor2 (talk) 15:21, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose – It's utterly pointless to defy normal English for one name of a deity that many people do not believe in. It's POV and no different to capitalising "his" when referring to God, which is against the MOS. McLerristarr | Mclay1 15:43, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
    At least it used to be against MOS. I can't find it now. McLerristarr | Mclay1 15:46, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
    Hi Mclay1, I found it! "Pronouns referring to deities ... are not capitalized." (Look for pronouns on the WP page.--Kevinkor2 (talk) 15:54, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment – We shouldn't even use "Lord" anyway when referring to God. He/It's "God" or "Jehovah" or "Allah" or "Yahweh" or "Jesus" or whatever you call him/it, but he/it's not everyone's lord and so shouldn't be called that. If "Lord" is used in a quote, then that's an entirely different question. If in a written quote that writes it as such, then perhaps we could copy that format, but any other time, definitely not. McLerristarr | Mclay1 15:50, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
A near perfect summation; LORD should only be used on Wikipedia in exact quotes, and only when the small caps convention makes a difference, not just because the source uses it, but because it's important to the source's point. We don't adopt a source's formatting just because they use it; and its very important for us to maintain the NPOV standards. On the matter of the template, the few occasions where LORD is used can be covered by the existing small caps template.oknazevad (talk) 20:12, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

It strikes me that there are several separate issues here:

  1. What should we do when quoting a source that uses LORD?
  2. When speaking in its editorial voice, how should Wikipedia refer to the God of Abraham ?
  3. When speaking in its editorial voice, how should Wikipedia represent the Hebrew word יהוה‎?

Those who have commented on the first point seem to be in favor of using LORD or LORD rather than converting it to Lord, lord, YHWH, Yahweh, or something else. This seems to me to be the only responsible thing to do, because otherwise we would be in effect putting words into someone else's mouth. For instance, Bible translations and Bible commentaries will use LORD or LORD to mean something different from Lord; quoting them but ignoring this formatting convention amounts to changing what they're saying. Whereas ignoring other formatting conventions (like putting the words of Jesus in red) doesn't alter the meaning one iota.

I think most of the objections above argue that when speaking in its editorial voice, WP should not refer to the God of Abraham as LORD. I fully agree. I do not think it is appropriate because, as several commentators have expressed above, LORD carries connotations of—guess what!—lordship, and not everyone considers YHWH to be lord.

The last point is the one which I think is least settled: When we are speaking in our editorial voice, how should we translate יהוה‎?. I still believe that LORD or LORD may sometimes a better translation than YHWH. For example, in an article on a historical religious figure, the article's subject would have interpreted יהוה‎ as LORD, not as YHWH. That makes LORD a better translation in that context. It isn't the best translation in all circumstances (it would not be appropriate in tetragrammaton for instance), but since there are circumstances where it would work well and hundreds of years of sources in favor of this translation, I think it should be left as an option. Ozob (talk) 03:53, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Come to think of it, a better example is in the context of the Psalms. Since the Psalms were intended to be spoken or sung aloud, LORD is particularly appropriate for them. Ozob (talk) 00:41, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose We need a simple MOS, and adding single-purpose exceptions like this makes it unnecessarily complex, particularly when it is direct contradiction with the existing guideline. What is the next religioncruft MoS change that will pop up? Perhaps it will come from Islam or Buddhism. [I'm not saying anything negative about any of these religions, but all have their oddities which are not appropriate in our MoS.] Secondly, it is religioncruft and POV, as there are disagreements among Christians about how to use this term. Wikipedia needs to stay as neutral as possible, and choosing a non-biased typography, this is easier. Arsenikk (talk) 10:53, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
  • When in Rome . . .
When quoting from a source, the simplest rule is to use the style of the source.
Note that where Isaiah 40:3 has "Prepare ye the way of the LORD...", Matthew 3:3 has "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." The greek translated the tetragrammatom with Kuriou, which is Lord in English. The simplest rule then is, follow the context. (Another editor will change it! :)
Telpardec (talk) 19:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)