Talk:Alternate history

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WikiProject Alternate History (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Alternate history:
  • Find more sources for the article.
  • Cleanup the "External Links" section, there is way to many links there and they need to be limited to notable sites.
  • Copyedit/proofread article to meet Manual of Style.
  • See if "Points of divergence", "Counterfactual history", and "Sidewise Award for Alternate History", should have their own sections or be worked into "See Also"
  • "Elements of alternate history" and "Development of more sophisticated framings" needs sources.
  • Add a Comics sub-section in "Alternate history in other media." See What If (comics), Elseworlds, and List of alternate history fiction#Comics for ideas.
  • Remove many of the specific examples of alternate history. They are threatening to overwhelm the article.

Please add more items if you think they need addressing.

Untitled[edit]

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Article title[edit]

The title "alternate history" gives the impression that it's referring to Historical revisionism. Fiction novels don't actually have the aim to offer an alternative to history. Wouldn't it be better to call the article something like "Alternate history in fiction", or "Fictional history"? GreyWinterOwl (talk) 15:50, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

"Alternate History" is an accepted genre in fiction; a search on Amazon.com gave nearly 3000 hits. As near as I can tell, Historical revisionism doesn't involve a point of digression or produce a new timeline.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 17:36, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Alright, it is accepted as a genre in fiction, but as a stand-alone article title in an encyclopedia, it gives the impression to deal with something actually related to history, when it doesn't. "Alternate history" is a fiction genre, it's not something that actually proposes an alternate view of history. That's why I thought maybe it could be called something like "Alternate history (fiction)" or the other examples I suggested. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 19:39, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
I think our pages should be titled to reflect the common name. The content of the article can explain the details.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 20:13, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Fine if the common name is "Alternate history", but adding "(fiction)" after it wouldn't violate common name, it would just specify that the article is about a genre of fiction, and is not related to the subject of history. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 21:14, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you're going to have to find at least one other person who confuses AH with history.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 00:50, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
The very first line in the article states "Alternate history or alternative reality is a genre of fiction consisting of stories..". I think that we have to assume that readers will understand what the title refers to when they hit that first up. The "Alternate history" tag has been in use for many years and don't see it as being confusing. I also don't think we should be in the business of trying to second-guess how and why readers will access a certain page. Perry Middlemiss (talk) 21:41, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

"See also" section[edit]

In August 2013 an "organize section" maintenance tag was placed on the "See also" section indicating that the layout needed work. The Wikipedia layout guidelines state the following about such "see also" sections: "A bulleted list of internal links to related Wikipedia articles. Consider using {{Columns-list}} or {{Div col}} if the list is lengthy. The links in the 'See also' section do not have to be directly related to the topic of the article because one purpose of 'See also' links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics."

It is my view that the current layout reflects this and the tag should be removed. If no-one objects I'll do that in about a week. Perry Middlemiss (talk) 21:52, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Alternative vs Alternate[edit]

Alternative is the proper English spelling. "Alternate" is only in American English and it causes confusion because the word has a double meaning: alternate is something that alternates back and forth, like the current, whereas if we talk about history, we refer to a history that's an alternative to the real one. 14.14.77.121 (talk) 12:08, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

American English is just as valid as British English - neither is more "proper" than the other. Wikipedia recognizes this in its WP:ENGVAR guideline, which allows articles to be written in different varieties of English. "Alternate history" is the correct title, as this is what the concept is called in American English. - BilCat (talk) 16:19, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

I have just consulted the Merriam Webster online dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alternate), and the first three definitions of 'alternate' do not have the meaning the authors of this article intended to express, and the fourth definition says alternative means "constituting an alternative". It is on this basis that I'm changing the title from 'Alternate history' to 'Alternative history'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 159.92.236.192 (talk) 18:55, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Just to note that the term was restored just after you reverted it. Using a dictionary to define one part of a phrase is inadequate. - BilCat (talk) 16:55, 9 June 2015 (UTC)