Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style

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WikiProject Manual of Style
WikiProject icon This page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.

Formatting titles of journal articles and book chapters in references[edit]

When formatting references I had always assumed that 'title case' was used for the titles of journals and books and that 'sentence case' was used for the titles of journal articles and book chapters. This is a style that is used by many scientific journals. I've now discovered that this choice is not explicitly specified in the manual of style which reads:

"The titles of articles, chapters, songs, television episodes, research papers and other short works are not italicized; they are enclosed in double quotation marks. Italics are not used for major revered religious works (the Bible, the Quran, the Talmud). Many of these items should also be in title case." (colour added)

So my question is, which of these items should be in title case? Or does WP:CITEVAR apply? Aa77zz (talk) 16:48, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

MOS:ALLCAPS. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:20, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree that this is a matter for CITEVAR: variations in this choice from article to article are ok but within a single article we should be consistent. My own preference, btw, is the one expressed at the start of this section: sentence case for journal articles and book chapters, title case for journal names and book titles. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:56, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • As long as it is consistent within the article, I agree with you and think that it's fine. I personally use Bluebook for articles I create, so journal articles are title case and in italics while book titles are in title case and smallcaps. GregJackP Boomer! 20:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I very grudgingly concede, temporarily, that CITEVAR probably applies sometimes, but: 1) use a consistent style within the article for the same type of source; 2) never change non-periodicals' titles to use sentence case; and 3) always favor title case for all titles when in doubt, for consistency between different types of sources. On that last point, I would further say never change periodicals' titles to sentence case unless it was used by the first major contributor, in properly formatted, complete citations – don't count copy-pasted, wannabe citations (e.g. <ref>"The unlightable beingness of bears", Jane Smith, Underwater Basketweaving Jnl, Jan 2016</ref>). Per WP:COMMONSENSE, it would also be reasonable to override CITEVAR for rational reasons, e.g. the first major contributor adding only one such citation, and not raising any objections after other editors added considerably more periodical citations using title case. We also often override ENGVAR for rational reasons, and we must not take "first major contributor" fetishism seriously. (This has been happening; I fairly often see attempts at WP:RM to extend the "first major contributor" concept to all sorts of things, and this problem is growing not shrinking.)

    I would prefer if WP settled on "use title case for titles", and just left it at that. It would eliminate all such disputes. It's more important for the project to eliminate recurrent disputes that pointlessly waste editorial time and energy for no reader benefit, than to do what some particular camp stylistically prefers in "their" articles because some journals in their field use sentence case. It's yet another example of the WP:Specialist style fallacy in action.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Well, WP:CITEVAR clearly applies, and that includes using a consistent style within the article. APA uses sentence case for journal articles, and if the first major contributor is using that style it should be allowed. If that means changing a title to match the requirements of the citation style used, that's what we do. Second, we use the citation style implemented by the first major contributor. By definition, if there is only one or two poorly formed citations in the article, there is not an established style and CITEVAR encourages editors to impose a citation style in those cases. Finally, WP:Specialist style fallacy is an essay by you, and of no more weight than WP:Generalist style fallacy if I should decide to write an essay on that subject. It is your opinion and not close to what is currently policy.
Finally, we don't impose a single citation style on editors, we allow them to use what they are comfortable with. I'm comfortable with Bluebook and prefer to use it on articles I create. If you prefer CS1/2, you can use that. If you prefer Chicago, use that. It is more important that we don't run off content creators by imposing styles that they don't like or feel comfortable with. GregJackP Boomer! 04:12, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) discussion[edit]

Started a discussion regarding part of the MoS at the Village pump. Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#RfC: Should the holder of a political office be linked within an infobox more than once (i.e. as the successor), when they have already been linked (e.g. as the vice president, predecessor, lieutenant, etc.)?. Godsy(TALKCONT) 06:38, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

ENGVAR and quotations[edit]

Do we "correct" the spelling in quotations to the ENGVAR of the article, in the manner that "trivial spelling and typographic errors should simply be corrected without comment"? As in, when an article in CanEng quotes an American critic ("in favor of this tatty fetish")—should that favor be "corrected" to favour? Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 11:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

No. If the quoted author was following the conventions of spelling that apply in the author's country, or the publication in which the material appeared, it wasn't an error and isn't subject to "correction". Jc3s5h (talk) 11:41, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
An interesting twist, however, might be the case where we're quoting what someone said as opposed to what they wrote. Jimp 12:04, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I still wouldn't "correct" it. If they're speaking in US English, spell it in US English, as if the speaker had published a transcription. Correct obvious flubs, however: if it sounded like "flavor" but they obviously meant "favor", write "favor" (not "favour"). sroc 💬 02:02, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I would say, use the variety the source reports, not the one we imagine the speaker was using.
To take a plausible example, let's say that an interview with Barack Obama appears in The Economist. (Well, not sure they do interviews, but other than that, plausible.) Probably The Economist will use British spellings to report what he said, right?
Then if we give a direct quote from that interview, we should use the British spellings, even though Obama (presumably) doesn't use them, and even in Obama's article, which of course is in American English.
Look, if this is distracting, there's a simple solution: Take away the quotation marks, and paraphrase. But don't frak with what's between quote marks. --Trovatore (talk) 03:50, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm a little disturbed by the rationale attached to this rule, though:
However, national varieties should not be changed, as these may involve changes in vocabulary, and because articles are prone to flipping back and forth.
This seems to suggest that, if it were a color-v-colour case that didn't involve vocabulary, and if we weren't worried about the variety of the article changing at some point, we would be perfectly OK with changing the variety in the direct quote. Surely that is not the case? I know that quite a few publishers do do this, but I think they are quite wrong to do so, and we should have a higher standard for precision.
Maybe we should just make it "national varieties should not be changed", and dump the rationale? --Trovatore (talk) 16:45, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

You wouldn't change a quote by a representative of Vauxhall saying "boot" to say "trunk", so don't change how they'd spell "colour" either. sroc 💬 01:56, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

It's not clear to me that this follows. Spelling and vocabulary are quite different things. Pburka (talk) 02:02, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
You wouldn't say: "The boot was a different color from the body"—a mix of UK vocabulary and US spelling. That's schizophrenic. Remain faithful to the variety of the quoted speaker/writer. sroc 💬 02:06, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not arguing to change the rule. I'd just like to remove the rationale, which I think is not the real reason for the rule (or at least not the most important one) and weakens the statement by its presence. --Trovatore (talk) 02:53, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
This kind of rule needs a fuzzy boundary. Very few quotes are verbatim (I seem to remember the press making some sports star look like a moron by quoting every "um", "er" and pause). When someone speaks a pidgin English, we translate into familiar English (else it would seem to be mocking), and if they speak another language, we translate. When a dialect differs enough that words might be unfamiliar, we substitute. I think that the 'trunk'/'boot' example is in the fuzzy zone where we expect the reader of either variant to be familiar with both words. I think the overarching rule should be to adjust the quotation sufficiently that a reader of that variant will be familiar with the language it is expressed in. It is also only if we wish to convey (or even draw attention to) the dialect/accent/jargon of the speaker that we should consider not translating to the variant of the article. We don't quote someone as saying "She picked fresh 'erbs", even though this standard pronunciation in much of the US. —Quondum 03:19, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but it seems as though you're talking about quotations of speech here, is that correct? That's a very rare case. We work from reliable secondary sources (primarily secondary anyway, ha ha), and these are almost always written sources. I suppose there's no reason in principle why a reliable secondary source couldn't be in audio or video format, but in practice, they almost never are.
When we report a quotation from a printed reliable secondary source, we should never change the variety of English. No fuzziness at all. We just shouldn't do it. --Trovatore (talk) 03:37, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I remember a few months ago there was a question here about an American magazine attributing a quote to, I think, Douglas Adams. The quote used American spelling, and an editor wished to know if they should change it to British English, given that Adams was British. (I may have the details wrong, but it's a good hypothetical, anyway.) Would you keep the American spelling in this case, even if the quote is attributed to a British author and used in an article with strong national ties to Britain? Pburka (talk) 03:45, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
See my example above, with Obama and The Economist. --Trovatore (talk) 03:52, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I would normally use an article's prevailing engvar spelling in an oral quote, and of course never change envar in written quotes. But it would become awkward if both oral- and written-mode quotations are used in the same article where the speaker/writer sourced speaks a different variety from that in which the article is written. Best to use editorial judgment on those occasions—difficult to express in MOS. Tony (talk) 04:00, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Generally, don't change the ENGVAR of the quoted speaker, even if quoting A/V not written material. It would be absurd to the point of a WP:V and WP:NPOV failure to put "I don't like the color of that theater" in the mouth of a speaker of British English, for example. If you have a case of unfamiliar terminology, you can use [square-bracketed "translations"] if you really feel it necessary: "in the boot [trunk] of the car". Though we generally recommend linking in quotations, it could also be done as "in the boot of the car", as sroc noted. Which is the lesser of the two evils is contextual consensus matter. Due to the influence of Hollywood's firehose of output, it's fairly likely that either adjustment needs to be made more often for helping North Americans understand British terms than vice versa, but it's not universally true. See the language blog Not One-off Britishisms for evidence of how many British terms are entering North American vocabularies due to media counter-influence, e.g. US/Canadian popularity of Doctor Who and Downton Abbey.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:50, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

To clarify: I'm talking specifically about spelling, and not about vocabulary. What concerns me is the spelling inconsistency could attract gnomish "corrections", or come across to readers as sloppiness: it looks like a mistake. It's not plausible that a BrEng vocab in a quoted statement in a NAmEng article would come across as such a mistake—I don't think literature readers could be that ignorant. Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 10:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

An unlikely tale[edit]

Someone has just said that consensus trumps the Manual of Style. Is this true? (talk) 12:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Sure. The MOS is not a policy, and the manual itself is determined by consensus. However, editors should understand the manual's goal of consistency across the encyclopedia. Also, remember that the MOS generally represents a community consensus, which shouldn't be superseded by local consensus among a small group of editors. See WP:CONS for a discussion of what consensus means. Pburka (talk) 13:14, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Unless WP:IAR is invoked, which is an explicit decision that a given page should be different for what ever reason. That is a perfect legitimate way of operating according to the oldest and highest policy. Not to mention the longstanding... tension, shall we say, over just how much of a Wikipedia-wide consensus MOS actually is vs being the creation of only a handful of especially concerned editors who obsess over these details, and sometimes have an unfortunate habit of acting like their edits are automatically consensus because of the MOS. but I digress...oknazevad (talk) 18:01, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Not true. I was doing some gnoming, figured that the principle of internal consistency trumped the MoS's position, and moved some stray commas so that the whole article was punctuated the same way. I got brought up on AN/I for it. No we don't get to ignore the MoS even when we have a reason that makes sense. For a wider example, there's the idea that individual wikiprojects don't get to make up their own rules for capitalization, etc. The biggest example is probably WP:BIRDS. Darkfrog24 (talk) 04:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
See WP:BIRDCON for the very lengthy RfC on that one, winding down several years of resistance to MOS:LIFE by [certain vocal participants in] one wikiproject. The closing admin even personally favored the capitalization scheme propounded by the wikiproject, but posted a carefully reasoned, detailed close rationale in favor of MOS:LIFE's instructions. While the debate itself is too repetitive and long for most to wade through, the close is worth reading for the procedural reasoning that led to that conclusion. (And it's also interesting to note that the close did not even get to several other, non-procedural rationales for concluding against the demands of [some members of] that wikiproject, which would have led to the close going the same way anyhow.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Several distinct points to cover here:
  1. The general principle is covered at WP:LOCALCONSENSUS policy: Insular groups of editors (e.g. wikiprojects) do not have some kind of "sovereign" authority to override site-wide consensus (e.g. general-application guidelines like MOS and its subpages, or the naming convention guidelines that interpret WP:AT policy) in "their" articles. Wikiprojects do not "own" articles, no matter how vigorously they protest that an article is within their scope and that [some] participants in that project have agreed amongst themselves that they prefer something different to what MOS/NC advises. WP:GAN and WP:FAC regularly require compliance with MOS and NC guidelines, as just one example, and yes, editwarring at articles to push anti-MOS styles can result in actions at WP:ANI. A "wikiprojects are their own fiefdoms" approach cannot possibly be valid. Not just because that policy says so, but because the idea is simply irrational, for the simple reason that any given topic can be within the scope of multiple projects, which would (and historically did) lead to conflicting style demands on, even conflicting styles actually used within, the same article, and editwarring over it. Our Manual of Style is centralized and generalized to the extent possible, for real reasons.
  2. Anyone who says "that's just a guideline" does not understand WP:POLICY; guidelines are not "ignore them any time you want" documents. They differ from policies primarily in a) covering editorial territory that is not absolutely critical to Wikipedia's basic values as a project (like verifiability, neutral point of view, no copyright violations, no personal attacks, and other policies), and b) consequently being easier to get consensus to change than policies.
  3. If some wikiproject is darned certain that MOS (or the NC guidelines) have gotten something demonstrably wrong with regard to a topic area within the scope of the wikiproject, the sensible, well-accepted, and usually only effective procedure for making that case is to raise a discussion about it at WT:MOS, or maybe the talk page of the more specific guideline (WT:MOSNUM, WT:NCP, etc.). And raising it at WT:MOS is generally going to be the best tactic, especially if advertised via WP:RFC and (if it seems to warrant it) WP:CENT and WP:VPP, because it ensures that the result effectively cannot possibly be a "local consensus". MOS is one of the most important guidelines on the system, and one of the most watchlisted, since it basically effects every article. Various attempts to tweak an MOS subpage to get some specialized exception, that the proponents of which don't think will pass muster at WT:MOS itself, is generally a waste of time, because the main MOS page explicitly supersedes its subpages. I.e., if they are altered to contradict it, they are trumped. Anyway, the key fact that MOS has been built almost entirely by presenting arguments (proposals beforehand, or WP:BRD rationales after WP:BOLD edits) on its talk page, to change MOS to account for various cases that weren't accounted for before, is incontrovertible proof that the recommended procedure works.
  4. A handful of editors tirelessly beating a "MOS isn't really a consensus" drum doesn't make their hypothesis true. The very facts that ANI, FAC, GAN, CFR, and RM, among other formal processes, depend on and "enforce" MOS, and that WP:AT policy explicitly defers to MOS repeatedly on style matters, clearly demonstrate that it's an accepted site-wide consensus, even if debates flare up here and there about some particular detail in it. It simply is not possible that some secret cabal controls MOS. Anyone can edit MOS (or, more often, propose and get consensus for an edit to it, using its talk page). Of course, MOS in practice is principally edited by those with a long-term interest in its content and stability. This also happens to be true of every other page on Wikipedia, except perhaps certain articles that are the subject of a lot of "drive-by" editing due to their topic's popularity or controversiality, and even those usually have a cadre of watchlisters who keep those pages sane.
  5. Finally, WP:IAR is not the "oldest and highest policy" (it dates in some very different form to 2002, and has stably been labeled a policy only since 2005; WP:NPOV, WP:NOT, WP:EP, WP:DP, and WP:COPYRIGHT all date to 2001). More importantly, invoking IAR requires a serious rationale, not simply a refusal to play along for personal reasons: "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia" is actually quite a stringent requirement, rarely satisfied. The second, third, and fourth items at WP:Ignore all rules#See also explain fairly well when IAR is actually used legitimately, and why it's so infrequently used.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

How long...[edit]

What will the archive box at the top of this talk page look like when the talk page reaches 1000 archives?? The box will get wordier and wordier, that somewhere along the line it will take up too much space. Any thoughts?? Georgia guy (talk) 17:54, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

That time is a looong way off for this page. Compare WP:ANI which is now at 886; some time ago it was adjusted to show the most recent 11 to 20 archive pages. The same is done for some of the other related pages, which all have fewer: WP:AN shows 11 to 20 out of a present count of 271. The Village Pumps like WP:VPT mostly show up to 25. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:35, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Curly marks – again[edit]


Where an apostrophe might otherwise be misinterpreted as Wiki markup, use the templates {{'}}, {{`}}, and {{'s}}, or use <nowiki> tags.

Straight quotation marks are easier to type and edit reliably regardless of computer configuration.

If we were using the curly apostrophe (and single quotation marks) everywhere, these cumbersome templates would not be needed at all. That’s a huge plus for “authorabilitiy”.

(Searches for Alzheimer’s disease will fail to find Alzheimer’s disease and vice versa on Internet Explorer)

This is not an argument to favor either curly or straight marks. It’s an argument to file bug reports for browsers to treat both the same. The same goes for the Wikimedia search engine.

So, the only remaining argument for preferring straight marks is ease of input:

Straight quotation marks are easier to type and edit reliably regardless of computer configuration

Considering autoformatting/autocorrection in Word etc., this could just as well be implemented in Visual Editor, this point is also very much moot. It comes down to this: one looks a bit better, the other is a bit easier to enter.

This doesn’t seem like being strong enough a reason to justify edits to transform a stable article from one style to another. Alas, that happens on a regular basis. So I’d like some backup to revert such minor changes without risking an edit war. Are you with me? — Christoph Päper 20:25, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Ease of input is one major reason to prefer straight quote marks, but curly quotes also have little meaning in English. MOS:PUNCT has a longstanding consensus, so I don't think you will have much support for curly quotes. So when you see them being converted to straight quotes, don't revert. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 21:05, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Can you explain how changing to straight marks article-wide, all at the same time, detracts from reader value? Perhaps I'm missing something, but I also don't see any value in a concept of article stability if it gets in the way of improvements to an article. ―Mandruss  22:29, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
The font which is used is a sans-serif, so curly quotes are not necessary. Also I use a Text editor with the curlies turned off, so what am I to do – turn them back on? Waste of time. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 00:00, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Ease of input is a very significant factor. Virtually no one is going to memorize special-character-generation codes for at least four different "curly" characters, much less memorize them different codes for the different OSes many of them use (e.g. Mac at home, PC at work, iOS phone, Android tablet). And there are other input concerns, especially for those of us that use external text editors, some of which throw errors about mismatched quotation marks, that can be a tedious to track down and fix in a long article. Imagine if English sometimes still used the long s except at the beginnings and ends of words, but that the usage wasn't consistent, and the codes to create them differed from OS to OS. Now imagine that Modern English had developed two variants of the long s and two of the short, and that each was used in specific positions in words, but that usually no one wanted to bother, and it did not actually aid readability in any way. See the problems yet?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:30, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Commas and full stops (periods) inside or outside[edit]

The style given is just not being followed by WP editors and anyway is not the custom in the U.S. and Canada, so I was WP:Bold and simply deleted it. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 23:54, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

For the record, BeenAroundAWhile, I reverted you because, while Wikipedia editors generally do not follow WP:Logical quotation, this subject has been repeatedly debated at this talk page and attempts to achieve WP:Consensus to remove that text have repeatedly failed. There should be WP:Consensus for its removal. Flyer22 (talk) 00:01, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree with the revert. Community consensus is established by discussion leading to guidelines, not by individual perception(s) of what's commonly done. ―Mandruss  00:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree with BeenAroundAWhile that WP:LQ needs to be replaced; disagree that "just be consistent" is enough instruction. The English language has two systems for dealing with this, and we should tell people how to use them correctly. WP:LQ is the single most challenged part of the MoS for good reason. As for consensus, 1) The last RfC we had on this issue was written in a biased manner; 2) while a majority of participants said that we should use only British punctuation, the majority of sources said the opposite. Wikipedia's not a democracy. We're supposed to care more about what's verifiable than about what people happen to like. The MoS shouldn't have personal preferences up there as rules. There's no reason not to use ENGVAR for punctuation. Darkfrog24 (talk) 04:00, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Mandruss, if you're concerned about compliance and individual perception, we actually did check the last time this came up: [1]. Compliance with WP:LQ is pretty low. Darkfrog24 (talk) 04:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Darkfrog has campaigned for internal punctuation on the internet more widely, seeing it as a nationalistic issue. But she fails to account for the fact that it crosses the boundaries of national variety. Tony (talk) 05:23, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
1) Tony I have no idea what you're talking about, "campaigning widely on the internet"? When WP:LQ comes up, I support changing it. 2) Don't make claims about how I do and don't see things. The way I see this matter is that requiring people to do things incorrectly is really mean and makes the encyclopedia look unprofessional. In American English, leaving periods and commas outside closing quotation marks is wrong, just like how spelling "harbor" without the U is wrong in British English.
3) No it does not cross boundaries of international variety. We found one American source that required British, one. All of the others required American, a 16:1 ratio: [2] Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Nevertheless, Darkfrog24, a sampling of articles says nothing about how many editors even know about the guideline. In my experience, even when an editor edits per MOS:LQ, they rarely bother linking to it in their editsum, so it appears they are just editing per their personal preference. This does nothing to educate other editors, and it's unwise to cite non-compliance to justify the elimination or modification of any guideline. ―Mandruss  05:29, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Compliance is high enough to keep LQ, for its precision. Editors like me regularly fix TQ when we encounter it. It's been this way for years. The sky has not fallen. A large proportion of MOS's guidance is expected to not be followed by casual editors, and implemented in cleanup by MOS gnomes; that's true of everything from date formats to spaces between measurements and unit symbols (and non-breaking ones at that), insertion of non-breaking spaces in various other cases, using the {{sic}} template, and on and on. "Not everyone does it" isn't a valid rationale against MOS recommending any particular best practice. Reversing it to a preference for typesetter's quotation (commas inside, sometimes referred to erroneously as "American style") would be a huge hit to accuracy and the precise parseability of quoted material, while not actually fixing anything. It would simply result in about as many non-North-American editors using the not-recommended style, as we presently have of North American editors doing so. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:37, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Mandruss, I wouldn't say it says nothing about how many people know about the guideline Since we can't read their minds, looking at what they do is a good indicator. I guess we could figure out a survey if we need to. SmC, "not everyone does it" might not be enough, but "only about 60% compliance, even in featured articles" is a little stronger than "not everyone."
SmC we're on the same page that Wikipedia shouldn't just flip it around and ban British and require American. That would be just as disrespectful of British editors and British English as the current situation is to American. ENGVAR is a proven policy. We should use that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
For cases where MOS:LQ is not observed, looking at what they do is an excellent indicator that one of the following is true: (1)(anarchy) They are aware of the guideline, disagree with it, and don't observe guidelines that they disagree with. (2)(apathy) They are aware of the guideline and don't feel it's worth worrying about one way or the other. (3)(ignorance) They are not aware of the guideline. It tells us absolutely nothing about which of the three is more or less common than the others. You're correct, we could conduct a survey, but we haven't yet, so we can't deduce anything at all from the degree of non-compliance. Instead of a survey, we might as well just run another RfC. Guidelines represent community consensus and they should be followed except in the rare case where there is good reason to deviate, as determined by local consensus—whether we agree with them or not. We !vote in RfCs, and we live with the results even when they don't go our way. That is the meaning of consensus. ―Mandruss  11:55, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, we don't know which of those reasons people use, but all three of them indicate that this isn't a great rule. Actually, per WP:NOTDEMOCRACY, no it's not about the votes, or at least it's not supposed to be. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
We don't have any rules. Whilst the MoS is a guideline, no one is required to follow the MoS when they create an article. That was mentioned above. RGloucester 12:48, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Since the word "RfC" has come up, I'd like to say that if we do get to the point where we have one, we should engage a neutral third party, like a mediator, to work out the wording with us. Last time, there was a huge problem with finding middle ground. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Darkfrog, you're on this warhorse at least once a year. Every time you ramp it up, and every time you don't succeed. It is pure disruption. Tony (talk) 14:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • You mean a complete stranger challenges WP:LQ at least once a year and I say "you're right." Then I provide sources that back up the position. If you don't like that, you're on the wrong site. Stop acting like this is about me. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:25, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
It is about you. Your forum shopping, canvassing, and circumvention of consensus has been made apparent many times in many contexts. If you keep this up, I'm sure someone will take you to AE. RGloucester 15:04, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
RG, lay off the personal attacks. For the umpteenth time, publicizing an RfC is not WP:CANVASSING. Creating a new proposal when an old one fails is not circumventing consensus. You have your way of interpreting the rules, but that doesn't mean I'm breaking them.
Everyone else, RG is talking about his proposal to create a style noticeboard, which I publicized on related talk pages—it may be relevant that I supported the proposal. He is also talking about my proposal to endorse the MoS for Q&A, which I made after the noticeboard proposal did not get approval. These things are not only allowed on Wikipedia but encouraged. I don't know where he's getting forum shopping.
Note that none of this has anything to do with BeenAround's changes to the MoS or with WP:LQ. We should keep it on that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • If you would like a neutral third party to assist with this dispute, I would be willing to give it a shot. I have a lot of experience at WP:DRN and I have no opinion as to which style we should use. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Pet Peeves[edit]

I have written this essay on how to avoid pet peeve wars: WP:No Pet Peeve Wars, some regulars here might find it interesting.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 22:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

It hinders communication if we don't use the same spelling or grammar. Yes, you can decide to use non-standard fleemishes and the reader can still gloork the meaning from the context, but there ix a limit; If too many ot the vleeps are changed, it becomes harder and qixer to fllf what the wethcz is blorping, and evenually izs is bkb longer possible to ghilred frok at wifx. Dnighth? Ngfipht yk ur! Uvq the hhvd or hnnngh. Blorgk? Blorgk! Blorgkity-blorgk!!!! --Guy Macon (talk) 09:37, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It doesnt really. And the argument is quite irrelevant to the essay.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Nice essay... but by focusing on the specific peeves, you obscure the real issue. It's not the peeves that are the problem - it's the warring behavior (sometimes referred to as "going on a crusade"). Essentially, one should not engage in "warring" ... period. What one is warring about is actually irrelevant. Engaging in "Warring" is what is disruptive. Even warring to enforce WP policy or guidelines is disruptive. It does not matter how "right" you are... if you piss everyone else off while doing it, it's wrong. Blueboar (talk) 15:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Well we have an essay on not edit warring already, so this is meant as a specific corrollary. But your catch phrase would make for a good essay as well. :)·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:51, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia really needs an essay titled It does not matter how "right" you are. if you piss everyone else off while doing it, it's wrong. The obvious shortcut (WP:PISS) might be a problem, though... :) --Guy Macon (talk) 16:42, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Slight change to wording, tho: "It will still be right, but you will be wrong". In other words, while you cannot change the correctness of an idea by your behavior, you can still be personally held accountable for your behavior, even in defending the "right" side of a dispute. --Jayron32 16:54, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
See also meta:Don't be a jerk. sroc 💬 17:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

It might be all the MoS-hate going on at the Village Pump right now, but I thought that essay had an overtone of "And style is not important enough to bother about anyway; stop caring about it." If that wasn't intentional, then a few tweaks might be in order. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:27, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

section: titles of works[edit]

contains the phrase "than the section are you are reading now". for some reason I'm not sure of it can't be edited in the typical manner. Primergrey (talk) 07:59, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

no en dashes with "suffixes"[edit]

The discrepancy between our treatment of "prefixes" and "suffixes" (often elements of compounds rather than actual affixes) still strikes me as odd, as AFAIK is idiosyncratic to WP. Just came across the following in The Week, which attempts to be as accessible as possible:

"a Wild West–like gunfight" (2015 May 29, "Biker bloodshed in Texas")

kwami (talk) 17:27, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 160#Allow en dash in a compound modifier where the first element contains spaces (September 2014)
Wavelength (talk) 18:20, 26 May 2015 (UTC)