Talk:Bell hooks/Archive 3

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I have violated the letter of the preceding instruction by substing in an {{unsigned2}} template on the second-to-last contrib of the discussion. --Jerzyt 00:23, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Casing and her Possessive

Bell hooks->Bell Hooks?

Shouldn't her name be capitalized? Or am I just being picky? --The Human Spellchecker 05:48, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

No, her chosen name is "bell hooks", all lowercase. --Robyn —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:47, 3 May 2005
The name (usually just the last name Hooks / hooks) is capitalized at the start of some paragraphs and not others in the article. A common noun is capitalized at the start of a sentence. It seems to me that when a person has deliberately chosen a lowercase typography, that the lowercase should be used throughout but I have zero style-guide quotations to back me up on that idea. Is there a standard for this? Paulc206 02:10, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the standard is English typography, in which the first word of a sentence, title, or sub-title is always capitalized. E.g.,
Da Vinci (i mean Leonardo da Vinci) is a figure in the back-story of Brown's "Da Vinci Code" novel.
The function of the capital and the period, question mark, or exclamation point, is to clearly demarcate the beginning and ending of every sentence, so that readers effortlessly (and unconsciously, usually) focus on whole sentences, and experience greater comprehension. Whether she chooses to lower-case her name to honor her mother, or to draw undeserved attention to herself, or both, her desire loses to the fundamentals of English (and of every other language i know enough about to have a hint).
--Jerzyt 16:50, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


Surely there must be a way to circumvent the technical setup in the wiki so as to render "bell hooks" correctly. Perhaps we could put "Author" or "Social Critic" or "Professor" before the name. --bamjd3d —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bamjd3d (talkcontribs) 17:33, 2 July 2005

Indeed. Contrary to the material i am removing :
The title of this article is incorrect because of technical limitations. The correct title is bell hooks.
there is nothing wrong with spelling her name with a capital B in a title, or at the start of a sentence: she can flout the convention of each word of a proper name starting with upper case (and when it doesn't have the stunning impact she presumably seeks, TSK) because that is a loose convention with all sorts of exceptions (even if essentially for prepositions and articles, outside E.E. Cummings's publishers). But she doesn't get to change the rules of English, or the conventions of WP. (Well, she can hack her own copy of MediaWiki, as dKosopedia did, as long as she can pay for her own server.)
However, as Bam suggests, there are plenty of workarounds available that enhance rather than detract from the functions of the article, which include making clear that she wants her name spelled entirely lower-cased. I'm implementing one of them.
--Jerzy·t 2005 July 4 16:11 & 2005 July 4 17:35 (UTC)
I have struck thru my confused impressions that Bam agreed w/ me. The doctoring of the title to achieve that inappropriate casing is such a bad idea that i blindly assumed Bam wanted to change the first word of the article, to get lower case B out of the position of first word of a sentence, where it is ugly, distracting, and stupid. On the other hand, i don't mind if Bam thinks i have hijacked their idea of getting the B away from the head.
--Jerzy·t 2005 July 4 17:35 (UTC)
I have also contradicted what would appear to be a transparent lie (that any upper case is clearly wrong) implicit in the article, by saying
otherwise sympathetic writers sometimes refer to her with the captital B and H
The truth of my statement can be seen in the title, & the bibliography at the end, of what was first in the ext-lks section
--Jerzy·t 2005 July 4 17:35 (UTC)

Sorry about my change that you reverted, I failed to notice the discussion here. Nonetheless, I disagree with your premise. Just like bell hooks, other entities also choose to "flout the convention of each word of a proper name starting with upper case"—for example, id Software and Apple's iBook and iPod. But we place the wrongtitle template on their pages without objection. Why is bell hooks any different? Just because she's a person, while id Software and iBook are corporate trademarks? I think this is precisely the situation for which the wrongtitle template is intended. —Caesura(t) 05:49, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

_ _ I find that your understanding of the template is supported at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (technical restrictions), contrary to my confident expectation.
_ _ (As i think i've already adequately argued, also contrary to common sense. I expected that the "technical restrictions" would refer to the issues discussed at meta:Help:Special characters#ISO-8859-1 Characters as they are in practice applied here, e.g., while there's no reason to pipe bell hooks, Nguyễn gets coded in WP instead as Nguyễn (or for that matter Nguyễn which looks different only when you see the wiki markups, with N and n respectively). My interpretation is that Nguyen should have the template (and that being a person makes no difference), and that the template is misplaced when used on the two trademarks as well, since the capitalization of titles (while enforced by the technical measures) is not a "technical limitation", but conformity with the English rule that sentences and titles of works begin with caps, no exceptions. If i want to discuss de Sade's madness or iPod features, i begin "De Sade's madness is questionable" or "IPod features are numerous", and title the works De Sade's Madness or de Sade's Gladness? and IPod features for New iPodders: there's nothing "incorrect" abt that, and the fact that the technology enforces it is not the reason that the first cap is there.)
_ _ But the intention of the template seems clear, and i was mistaken about it. The fact that i find that intention bone-headed is off-topic on this talk, and i expect, after some mulling, to reduce this discussion (via strike-thru?) to roughly this 'graph and a lk to a more appropriate forum where i shall raise this concern. Thanks for your very correct behavior in this. (The summaries above my "see talk" were distracting, and my failure to lk that phrase didn't help any.)
_ _ I trust you'll forgive my not "fixing the damage i've done", as i prefer in this case to leave it to a supporter of the policy to implement it. Thanks again.
--Jerzy·t 15:37, 2005 July 22 (UTC)
And so I have. - Haunti 01:51, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
_ _ Rereading a year later,
  1. Nguyễn gets coded in WP instead as
  2. Nguyễn (or for that matter
  3. Nguyễn which ....
  4. My interpretation is that Nguyen should have the template ....
looks cryptic, and i find it is because of the intervening move of Nguyen to Nguyễn. Then,
  1. [[Nguyễn]] was a rd lk (now the article)
  2. [[Nguyen|Nguyễn]] and
  3. [[nguyen|Nguyễn]] both went directly to the article rather than (as no) via the rdr, and
  4. [[Nguyen]] was the article, instead of (as now) a rdr to it.
My impression at this point is that the primary objection to having in the title was that it is not a legal character to appear in literal form in a URL (and must be encoded as %E1%BB%85), so the new URL is not legible at a glance (i expect even by experts), and may have some alienating effect for some users. I think the Zürich debate may have been the turning point about considering such hazards justified by the ability to use the diacritic.
--Jerzyt 01:14, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The illogical thing about people who claim to use lower case to deflect attention from their names is that it has the exact opposite effect of drawing more attention to their name, and they know it, so I find it disingenuous and to be discouraged. I would also like to discourage flashy signature elements on Wikipedia pages, especially on vote pages where all votes should be equal. Hu 00:32, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

What if someone who has a Wikipedia article suddenly decides that from now on their name can be written only with pink letters on a blue blackground? Or with letters so big that it doesn't fit on the screen? Or that the letter i should be dotted with little flowers or hearts in their name? Will we respect their preferences too? If we write everyone's name the way they do, will we write Julius Caesar as JVLIVS CÆSAR and Mao Tse-tung as 毛澤東? Tutankhamen with hieroglyphs? If the subject of an article was illiterate, we won't write down their name at all? If the artist who was formerly knows as the artist who was formerly known as Prince were still using that unpronouncable symbol as his name, what would we do?
I think this whole lowercasing is cheap attention-seeking. I already corrected this mess in the article Aiko (singer) because it was tiresome to read that aiko this and aiko that; I thought that maybe she is uncomfortable with uppercase because Japanese language doesn't have it or whatever; so it was strange to find the same in the article of an American person. Not to mention that when I was reading the article where she was mentioned, I stopped, wondering what a bell hook is and what has it do with feminism. It is confusing.
My 2 cents on the issue. – Alensha 22:29, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

If you've read any scholarly work within the last maybe 15 years (?) you'll note that the third person pronoun of choice has changed genders. One might find this "attention seeking" but she would recognize, every time she came across the pronoun that there is a certain rationale and deliberacy behind it. (Though I haven't read anything about this, I think that the argument is that, since the choice is arbitrary and the rule has long gone to the male gendered pronoun just as a matter of course, switching the genders is a subtle but significant realignment of a scholar's writings to go contrary to a system where male is the default.) I think its safe to assume that Ms. hooks, an academic, has a similarly convincing reasoning behind her choice. This should be respected. Caesar and Mao don't really bear on the issue because they would write their name in their own language, and we don't seem to be talking about translation. Pink letters on a blue blackground also confuses the issue by taking too strong an extreme and asking to apply it to a much less extreme example. -Terin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:16, 26 June 2006

Category indexing

I'm confused. If the indexing is case-insensitive it wouldn't matter whether or not you capitalize her name, right? If it was case-sensitive then it would matter. Hyacinth 09:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

It is case sensitive. So don't put
hooks, bell
in the Cat tags ... unless you want her hidden after the Zs of that category, where most people will never find it and just assume we don't see here as belonging to that Cat.
--Jerzyt 17:16, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, H's question seems to be in response to User:Gene Nygaard's 23:15, 8 December 2005 summary (when he upcased both words of her name inside the Cat tags),
This indexing should be case-insensitive, whether or not you capitalize her name.
Clearly he wanted to communicate
I have upcased the names, because we want the result of the Cat's alpha sort to be the same as that of a case-insensitive sort/indexing. That is, we want the title of her article (whether "Bell hooks" or "bell hooks" or "Bell Hooks") to appear listed close to other names beginning "Hoo", and (if there are any) close to people who can be called "B. Hooks". This can be accomplished only by directing the (case-sensitive) sort/indexing to base her position on "Hooks, Bell". If i had left the h she'd have appeared after Z names, and if i'd upcased that but left the b, she would be after anyone else named either "hooks" or "Hooks". (And of course, if i left it "Bell hooks" she'd be at the end of the people (sur-)named "Bell".)
--Jerzyt 11:59, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

new grammar edits

I just edited this page to conform with accepted English practice while maintaining as much idiosyncratic spelling as possible, as well as fixing numerous instances of the misused singular possessive. When "bell" or "hooks" began a sentence, that word was captitalized. No individual is so important as to rewrite English grammar on their own whim. All mentions of "hooks'" have been changed to "hooks's", as this is how we spell in English. Also, "Black" and "White" were changed to "black" and "white" as this is also standard English practice.
--B. Phillips 21:52, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't know where you learned your "English" but "hooks's" is completely incorrect. "Hooks'" is correct.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:30, 23 March 2006
"Hooks' may be correct, however that is not the light that the author wishes to be seen in, more importantly, names aside. I believe that it is her work, not her name or the spelling of it that should be addressed. That said, Read any one of her many books with the most open mind that you can garner and one could almost garuntee that you will not be able to shake some of her insight and depth. 3/30/2006 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:02/03, 30 March 2006
[The preceding contrib is struck thru, clearing an obstruction to navigation. The first sentence starts out on topic, but makes no identifiable point before it not only goes off-topic for this section, but makes clear that the editor has no awareness of WP:NPOV. The contributor has done nothing wrong, of course, and is welcome to try again (with a proper sig).--Jerzyt 13:32, 17 August 2006 (UTC)]
You guys are [off task]. Write the [...] article with correct grammar just like every other article.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:41, 14 June 2006 [WP:NPA corrected via paraphrase and deletion per WP:RPA. --Jerzyt 13:32, 17 August 2006 (UTC)]
I totally agree with B. Phillips that, hook's name capitalization preference notwithstanding, first words of English sentences are capitalized, period (pardon the pun). Whether the possessive form for "hooks" should be hooks' or hooks's is a bit stickier. Outside of wikipedia's rules I have seen it written that either form is acceptable depending on how the word sounds after adding an " 's ". Wikipedia's rules for the possessive form, in keeping with this, state: Possessives of singular nouns ending in s may be formed with or without an additional s. Either form is generally acceptable within Wikipedia. However, if either form is much more common for a particular word or phrase, follow that form, such as with "Achilles' heel" and "Jesus' tears". So, I am changing all instances where hooks' name begins a sentence to be capitalized, but will not change any possessive forms, pending further discussion.
Lawyer2b 17:01, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I am reversing my opinion. Names should be written as they are, including an initial lower case letter, even at the beginning of sentences. eHarmony chooses to spell its name with a lowercase initial letter and it not capitalized at the beginning of sentences -- neither should hooks'.
Lawyer2b 11:44, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
_ _ She's being granted the indulgence of her casing of her name being followed in all but one usage, despite the fact that those who cite her works are at least as likely to upper-case both parts.
_ _ Good practice suggests avoiding the occasion for upper-casing a proper name that begins with a lower case, and i've restored (without invesitigating who trashed it) the mechanism for doing that in the lead sentence, for the simple reason that it reduces confusion. (... about what we are saying. It's not the purpose of this article to teach English usage, so there's no need to make sure we use it at least once at the start of a sentence, to demonstrate the prinicipal we apply.)
_ _ If we do have it at the start of a sentence, it must be capitalized. That's how written English works, and while languages change, she and a handful of rock bands don't yet amount to a constituency for change.
_ _ "EHarmony", BTW, if you can't find a syntax for moving it away to where you can help them make their point. "eHarmony" at the start, of course on your own Web site, but you don't get a license to look like an ignoramus in front of our public with your editor's registration.
--Jerzyt 17:13 & 22:27, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

A Year's History of Name Edits, esp. First Word in Lead Sentence

In the previous section, i describe myself as having already

restored (without investigating ...)

but i'm still about to restore a previous version of the lead sentence, and now have investigated its replacement.

  1. For three months (from July of '05) the lead sent opened with my
    The person known variously as bell hooks, Bell Hooks, and Gloria Watkins
    (sustained by a reg'd ed's reversion of one IP's sarcastic vandalism).
  2. A then 6-month veteran of WP (now inactive for 7 months) rewrote those words as
    Gloria Watkins ... better known as bell hooks or Bell Hooks
  3. For four months that version went undisturbed; i restored "or Bell Hooks" after 6 hours by reverting the first two edits of a new editor (who eventually totaled 12 edits over 32 days).
  4. 9 hours later, a new editor (with an arguably similar ID) did their only 15 edits, the first of which included changing to beginning the lead sentence to
    bell hooks (born September 25, 1952), nee Gloria Jean Watkins,...
    (but the edits 4 and then another 16 minutes later, the only ones on WP from that IP, are presumably by the same person).
  5. About a month later, User:B. Phillips (as they state in the previous section) upper-cased the first word in sentences and lower-cased Black. About 17 days later, a new IP made their only edit, downcasing two first-word references to her name, including the lead-sentence one.
  6. Six days later, a long-term reg'd ed made an edit upcasing "Hooks" (as second word in the lead), and reverted himself in the next minute; 40 hours later, a new IP downcased 6 first-word references, and 15 minutes later made their only other two edits, the msg in the previous section that i struck thru as incoherant whenever on-topic. (I did the strike thru over 12 hours ago, in an edit-screen that i lost, without any thot about whether the contrib had edited the article or not; i reconstructed the strike-thru a few hours ago, before undertaking this investigation to test my hypothesis that the visual awkwardness of having a ref to the pen name start the article was an incitement to "vandalistic advocacy" by random registered and IP editors, in contrast to "The person..." or "Gloria Watkins". The common authorship of the three edits is something i discovered only in the last half hour (the one before reaching this point in the edit).
  7. Nine days later, a reg'd ed'r (for the preceding 23 days and 4 edits; they've edited twice more since, each after a month or two without) took the s off one instance of "hooks's".
  8. Another 14 days later, an IP with 29 months and 80 edits thru a few days ago downcased 2 first-word refs to her, and unwikified 7 presumably blue lks. (2 of these, after someone restored them and i noted them in the course of an unrelated edit, needed piping away from rdrs that led to dict-defs, but most seem desirable to me.)
  9. The next day , an IP's 2nd edit (1st was 44 days earlier to Cornel West, who's lk'd from her article and talk; no further ones since) downcased a first-word ref] to her.
  10. Six days later an ed'r reg'd 3 weeks, as their third edit (the last was 4 days later) downcased a first-word ref] to her.
  11. Almost 2 months later, about 0600, a 1-month, 10-edit IP does his 11th, on this page. (Eventually, i WP:RNA-edit it.)
  12. Almost 12 hours later, L2B, known on this talk page, in two edits upcased 12 first-word refs to her.
  13. Not quite 6 hours later, an IP editor newly minted 32 seconds before up-cased her surname as the second word of a sentence, reverts, and does their 4th & final edit at the 1 minute, 38 second mark. ("We await the ruling of the judges as to whether this is a new record for life-time editing rate.")
  14. 18 minutes later, the RPA'd ed'r edited the article this time, removing the Lowercase tag & upcasing each of 4 occurences of "Hooks" as a subsequent word in its sentence.
  15. About 30 hours later, an editor who's now at 5 months and about 70 edits downcased 5 first-word occurences.
  16. 5 days on, an IP w/o previous edits downcased another 5 first-word occurences.
  17. 6 minutes later, a user-page-less reg'd user in their 2nd of 4 edits in their 26 hour career downcased another 4 first-word occurences.
  18. After 6 days, a 4-month registered user, now at abt 1000 edits, restored the Lowercase tag.
  19. The next day , a presently fairly active IP editor (probably not recently sharing the IP; current edit count in middle 3 figures) upcased both words of the lead-sentence name.
  20. And the next day, a steady contributor (about 1500 over almost 2 years, with a very public identity, but (still) unseen on talk:Bell hooks) downcased the same two words], with the summary
    rv - the subject is properly spelled in lower-case
  21. About 9 days later, a brand-new IP blanked the page, was reverted by AntiVandalBot in under 2 seconds, and settled for radically shortening it; the previous steady contributor rv'd it again after about 2.5 hours. (The IP has so far been seen further only when responding abusively to his vandalism warning.)
  22. After 5 days, another brand-new IP upcased both words in the lead-sentence name, and one subsequent-word surname; within an hour, the same steady contributor rv'd
  23. In about 2 hours, another brand-new IP up-cased the same two words, and inserted vandalism; L2B removed the vandalism in under an hour, and the steady contrib down-cased 13 hours later, completing the reversion
  24. After 12 days, a heavy editor over the last 2.5 years upcased 9 first-word refs, saying
    sentences begin with capital letters, even names that start with miniscule letters
  25. 8 days later, another brand-new IP made 4 edits to the article and has since become known on this talk page by starting the
    == New, and large, revisions ==
    section as the last WP contribution of their so-far 74-minute editing career; two of those edits lower-cased the ref in the lead-sentence and her name in the title of (and thus falsified our account of) the Z Magazine article
  26. 5 days later a user-page-less reg'd user with a few dozen edits over 1.5 years lower-cased her given name in the first word of the lead-sent, summarizing
    edited bell hooks to conform with (im)proper capitalization
  27. 3 days later a reg'd user with about 150 edits over 8 months down-cased a first-word ref to her, summarized
    capitalization change
  28. 6 days later i did two section edits, up-casing a first-word ref to her, converting a "hooks's" to "hooks' " and (whoops!) another the reverse (intending to promote consistency, ha!), converting a number of references to her name into pronouns, replacing smart-quotes, and transfering onto the talk page a sentence in need of verification, as explaing on talk, with summaries:
    • rem unverified & disputed sent per Talk:Bell hooks#Intent of her pen name; gr; no smart quotes; "Leftist" wd hv to be proper noun; reduce needlessly monotonous overuse of surnam
    • down-case phrases that name movements that are not formal organizations; consistency re black & hooks'

I was correct in believing that the placement of a form of "bell hooks" at the head of the lead sentence corresponded to a serious acceleration of edits related to its casing, but my first impression is not of the causal link i expected.
--Jerzyt 00:39, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

And i am forgoing for now returning to that earlier wording of the lead; watch the top-level section that includes this, for my further thots.
--Jerzyt 09:59, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Evidence on Casing of Her Name as First Word

There has been a lot of editing disputing how to case her name when. I will be refering to the positions on that, starting with A as the treatment in the first revision to implicitly make its stance clear.

  • Position A ("left" end of the spectrum):
  • Position B ("center", so far):
    • User:Jiang implied this at 09:43, 6 July 2003 by upcasing from b to B there in the lead, while letting h stand.
    • I was a hair short of explicit when i said
      there is nothing wrong with spelling her name with a capital B in a title, or at the start of a sentence...
    • The first statement to be explicit (in its context, its writer leaves no doubt (despite the passive voice) that they did the editing, and are defending it), is the 6 March 2006 one of User:B. Phillips
    When "bell" or "hooks" began a sentence, that word was captitalized.
  • Other positions have been implied, criticizing either her for taking such a name, or us for granting or considering any special treatment for her.
    An IP implied opposing any form of lower casing for her, in April 2005, by upcasing whichever parts of the name appeared, throughout the main section, and removing the title-oriented tag.
    However there has been little hint of exactly which names these advocates would accord the degree of accommodation that is standard for names like da Vinci, an accommodation that i characterized above in implying that
    Da Vinci (I'm speaking of Leonardo da Vinci) is a figure in the back-story of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code".
    is a normal English sentence reflecting the best English typography for the start of a sentence or title. (I don't think this is about grammar; maybe spelling, but more likely typography.)
    Without being sure that non-A, non-B advocates will participate in what ensues, i offer 3 more positions at the "right" end of the spectrum, in hopes that they will serve for such advocates, or induce them to clarify how they differ from these.
    • Position C (near-right)
      • Roughly, respect the casing of a surname or given name only if it has an upper-case letter somewhere in it that is preceded by at most a small number of all-lower-case prefixes (but not when it is the first word in a title, subtitle, or sentence). (C-advocates think "bell hooks" is too silly to acknowledge on its own terms, even if, say, "be-Lo h'Ooks" might be name-like enough to put "Be-Lo h'Ooks says..." at the start of a sentence.)
    • Position D (mid-right)
      • Roughly, respect the casing of a surname or given name only if it has an upper-case letter somewhere in it, that is preceded by at most a small number of familiar all-lower-case prefixes (but not when it is the first word in a title, subtitle, or sentence). ("D'Angelo Barksdale" could have been named "d'Angelo Barksdale", and D-advocates would write dialogue for his crew, like
        D'Angelo Barksdale? Yeah, everbah'y know d'Angelo Barksdale.
      without wincing at anything but my clueless street-talk.
    • Position E (off-right)
      • Roughly, respect the casing of a surname or given name only if it has an upper-case letter somewhere in it, that is preceded by at most a small number of familiar all-lower-case prefixes from a culture the bearer has a real relationship to (but not when it is the first word in a title, subtitle, or sentence). (For an E-advocate, Oscar de la Renta might be OK, "Renta" at least sounds Italian, but Sergei de la Van Khrushchev is presumably doing nothing more than playing with people's heads, and probably deserves being referred to with
        Delavan-Khrushchev's bio was overwhelmingly deleted for n-n and lameness.

This enumeration of positions may help in the arguments i am preparing to make, that while A is not an unheard-of approach to hooks, B is preferred even by some supporters of her.
--Jerzyt 21:52, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

User:Jerzy, I just wanted to acknowledge that your chronology and summation of the debate over hooks' name capitalization is impressively detailed, clear, and well done. :-) Lawyer2b 15:29, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Tnx; i'm not sure it was worth the effort, but it may be more useful than it is now when i can make the time to marshal the evidence i intend to, about what is done about her name, rather than what i and others are convinced in our gut really ought to be done.
--Jerzyt 16:25, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

(In the following:

"The big-words style" refers to a set of popular stylistic rules that all say roughly "In a title or a subtitle, the first and last words are uppercased, as are all nouns, modifiers, long prepostions and pronouns, and verbs, other than forms of 'to be' (and maybe auxiliaries)."
By "the hooks big-words style", i mean hypothetical similar rules that make an exception by lower-casing, in at least some positions, the name "bell hooks" (and presumably some other special-case proper names that i'd be foolish to try to specify).)
By "first and proper style", i mean the popular "beyond any proper names, capitalize only the first word" style-rule.

Examining the external refs of the WP bio article (each directly quoted from it):

  1. University of Pennsylvania hooks' article “Postmodern Blackness”
    The site references the ref'd page as follows on its page "African Studies Center -- Bulletin Board, Articles, Papers & Abstracts": Postmodern Blackness [Hooks].
    The ref'd page is titled
    Postmodern Blackness [Bell Hooks]
    A heading, presumably documenting its submission via EMail, reads
    Date: Tue, 19 Apr 1994 12:35:31 -0700 (PDT) From: "Arthur R. McGee" Subject: Postmodern Blackness (bell hooks)
    The next two headings would seem to be either transcriptions of the author's title and copyright pages, or her functional substitutes for them:
    Oberlin College Copyright (c) 1990 by bell hooks, all rights reserved _Postmodern Culture_ vol. 1, no. 1 (Sep. 1990).
    Hooks apparently followed the usual convention of cover and title-page emphasis via all-caps (and apparently gives the lie to the assertions that she
    seeks to avoid the conventional emphasis on names, and
    intends the name to be written only with lower-case letters).
    The submitter (McGee) used the two lower-cased names.
    U of P both indexed and headed its page without using a leading lower-case letter, and in one case ("[Bell Hooks]") made use of upper-case H in a situation justifiable only by either
    -- construing as applicable something along the lines of the rule of style that says "First and last words of a title (or sub-title) are always capitalized, or
    -- an editorial principle like "We'll reflect bizarre casing submitted to us, to the extent of printing it as we receive it, but that doesn't obligate us to utter the same bizarreness when we say something about what we got."
  2. University of Miami hooks biography, interviews, and articles
    Beyond cross-references from pages that are part of the same collection of seven (each concerning a "major thinker in contemporary educational thought") the site references the ref'd page on a "Home Page" for the seven, with a lk labeled "Bell Hooks".
    A similar page on the site lks to has broken lks to 17 presumably similar pages. (Seven of these are for the same seven thinkers.) This is apparently a related and earlier version:
    as to relatedness, there is common wording, including the redundant "an effort to try to provide";
    as to order:
    • all 17 lks are now broken;
    • it appears less edited (a misspelled course name; the cut-and-paste-like garble (emphasis added) "atht econclusion" for "at the conclusion"; punctuation typos);
    • it has less polished formating;
    • it describes of the de novo production of the collection)
    It has lks labeled with names, including the same 7 -- but the "bell hooks" lk is labeled in lower case.
    As to the referenced page:
    It uses "Bell Hooks" in both the heading and (as do the other 6 pages) in the bank of lks;
    It comprises:
    • A biographical section of six 'graphs, which
      uses "bell hooks" in the first and "hooks" (or "hooks/Watson's") once in each of the rest. (Three of these start paragraphs.)
    • A poorly defined section of a transitional sentence, the 3 external-lks it segues into, and a recommendation of starting with a book -- which is asterisk linked to bibliographic entry in the succeeding section, with
      each of those five items using a form of ther name, lower-cased;
      -- one follows the style of McGee's in citing "Postmodern Blackness";
      -- two do so as subsequent words of sentences;
      -- one does at the start of a title, and
      -- one does within a title that upper-cases nearly every other word.
      (However, the last of these is no longer a valid lk to such an article, but redirects to the top of the site; the title given suggests the reference was to "the Shambhala Sun magazine" interview with Pema Chödrön, which -- at least on that Web page -- is headed "Pema Chödrön & bell hooks talk over life and all its problems" (in accordance with a popular "capitalize only the first word and proper names" style-rule rather than the cited "Pema Chödrön & bell hooks Talk Over Life and All Its Problems", which suggests a "hooks big-words style".)
    • Three media-/biblio-graphic sections, each with a heading and (unless they reflect more than one style among the three headings) formatted according to a "hooks big-words style".
      Two of these headings include "bell hooks". These also correspond to the books, and the titles use "first and proper style"; entries for hooks's works cite her name as "Hooks, Bell", and her name begins one title: "Bell Hooks' engaged pedagogy : a transgressive education for critical consciousness", which is "first and proper". These repeatedly imply simply treating "Bell Hooks" as her name, and "bell hooks" as not her name, but at most a peculiarity of her and some other authors' style in writing her name.
      The last section does differ; the Home pages hint at why:
      both say
      [The thinker pages linked] include... detailed bibliographies of their [book] works. When available media sources are listed as well.
      The early "Home" says
      The bibliographies were created in most instance [sic] by online searches through the Library of Congress.
      while the later one omits "in most instance". This suggests that the instance(s) where a student working on one thinker's page didn't use LoC were later standardized to LoC, and that the same may not be the case for "media", e.g. the hooks video. In the two strict-sense bibliographical sections, we are told we are seeing LoC entries; in the case of "bell hooks: Cultural Criticism & Transformation", we can see on the cover (BTW, this time belying at least her enforcing on her publisher the de-emphasis of her name)
      bell hooks
      Ignoring the garbage lk provided to its publisher in favor of bell hooks: Cultural Criticism & Transformation, it is unclear whether that is the title or a block of text from the promotional layout, as
      Cultural Criticism & Transformation
      with bell hooks
      invites believing.
    That leaves 7 more lks to be explored for evidence, and let me share with you that it's nowhere near as fun as dogmatic declarations about how such things have to be done, and far more time consuming. Perhaps others will contribute some research. I will proceed with this only slowly.
    --Jerzyt 08:54, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I have deleted this from the article (I don't know who put it there):

"technical restrictions?? who is in control? man or machine? or just an man who won't allow bell hook's intentions to be fulfilled?"
--Maslint 25 September 2006

Casing yet again

I read though the prior discussion of casing, which has grown inconsistent again. What I believe is the prior consensus—and what I also believe is correct—is to use hooks' preferred lowercasing as the rule, but to still follow English orthographic conventions about word-initial capitalization. This rule is completely consistent with other non-upper names such as "da Vinci" and "van Rossum", which likewise become upper-cased in sentence-initial position ("Da Vinci was an artist..."; "Van Rossum created the Python programming language..."). LotLE×talk 21:22, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

You CANNOT begin a paragraph with a lower-case letter!

The practice of beginning a name (an immature call for attention, no doubt) or any proper noun with a lower-case letter defies one of the most basic rules of standard written English. It can simply not be done. Wikipedia is supposed to follow the rules and style of standard English. Why does this specific person have the right to not only have her name written in all lower-case letters, but to have paragraphs and sentences that begin with her name also begin with lower-case letters, breaking yet ANOTHER rule of standard English? I find it absolutely absurd that Wikipedia allows this.--Tyrant007 00:25, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Listen, I dislike hooks, but I think she (like anybody else) should be able to choose their own name (including its spelling). eBay chose to name itself with a proper name beginning with a lowercase letter. Should sentences begin with "Ebay"? What about eHarmony? If the National Review thinks you can begin a sentence with a lowercase letter [1], that's good enough for me. Lawyer2b-blp 04:35, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Is there (or ought there to be) a Category for "Celebrity names that affect unconventional typography", to facilitate comparisons by readers? The suspicion in some cases that such affectation is a "call for attention" might be alleviated or confirmed with such a list of links. E.E. Cummings, for instance, had "lower-case-ness" thrust upon him by a publisher. Prince did it just to be a pain in the ass to Warner Bros.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Asat (talkcontribs) 10:24, 18 November 2006
Since this article exists solely to provide information about bell hooks, I feel that her choice in pen name should be respected, regardless of its non-conformity with standard convention. Discussion on the significance of the choice may be interesting, but it is certainly secondary to the purpose of the article. Sun da sheng 22:58, 30 November 2006 (UTC)