Talk:Bollinger Bands/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


The interpretation section was written to be general and to describe generally how bollinger bands are interpreted. What was written in the intepretation section was general trader "lore", how people have historically used the bands. Trade Like a Hedge Fund by James Altucher and The Volatility Course by George Fontenelis. It is my personal belief that the scientific spin this article has taken is the incorrect viewpoint, this seems to correlate with the user who talked about "astrology". Now the buy the lower bollinger band and sell at the 20-day MA does have scientific validity (Trade Like a Hedge Fund citation, ch 4) which shows 5 year profitability of the 100 Nasdaq 100 stocks. Backtesting options is nearly impossible, so the general description of bollinger bands (Volatility Course) and options will have to be taken at face value, but is in my experience discussed among traders as a strategy, hence general trading lore. This goes along with Pleclech's "as long as it doesn't make claims for their scientific basis". Again the interpretation was written in a general tone.

Furthermore, I don't think the section should be deleted but should be added to. For instance if someone has a problem with the buy lower bollinger band sell upper bollinger band strategy, it shouldn't be deleted just because there is another interpretation called bollinger band breakouts that states that stocks rest, volatility (hence bollinger bands) contract. After a period of stock price resting, prices will break through the bollinger band and "ride the upper or lower bollinger band". This is an apparent contradiction of the mean reverting strategy (buy lower bb, sell upper bb), but nevertheless both strategies are used and discussed by traders, thus both should remain. Technical Analysis is more an art than science and therefore should be presented as such, incorporating various uses of the bollinger bands by the "craftsmen" aka traders that use them. TraderMatt 10:31, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Mr.Bollinger Quote

Adds nothing to what has already been written in the article. Mainly, interpretations of bollinger bands is diverse (stated in the interpretation section). The comment on creating rigorous trading ideas/investing approaches would probably best be discussed in a strategy creation forum. I would suggest that in your many years studying the bollinger bands, that you have general yet specific interpretations of the bollinger bands. Additions of those intepretations would best benefit the user rather than philisophy and vague instructions on building a technical indicator from the ground up (My interpretation of what your quote was saying). TraderMatt 10:31, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

John Bollinger comments on this article

If I were allowed to write this article, I would follow this template:

A short introduction to trading bands with a link to the trading bands article.
A description of Bollinger Bands including formulas
A comparison of Bollinger Bands to other types of trading bands.
A description of the definitions of high and low on a relative basis that Bollinger Bands provide.
A description of the two indicators derived from Bollinger Bands, %b and BandWidth, with formulas.
An example of a lower-band trading signal.
The definition of the Squeeze and an example.
A discussion of the use of Bollinger Bands in pattern recognition.
A short note on the amount of data found inside the bands from a theoretical perspective with a practical example.
A section on using Bollinger Bands in trading system development.
Some ideas for future research and development of these and related concepts.

However, it has been made absolutely clear that this sort of contribution is not welcome here. Perhaps some other intrepid soul might follow this template and, in doing so, provide the sort of article on Bollinger Bands that would serve to inform users and make both Wikipedia and me proud.

John Bollinger, CFA, CMT -- Bbands 18:43, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Chebyshev's inequality

Cherkash's assertion that "the bands by Chebyshev's inequality must contain at least 75% of prices, is incorrect." is itself incorrect. Chebyshev's inequality applies to all distributions, and for each value in an N-period sequence, the mean and standard deviation are fixed parameters of the distribution that generated that value. The fact that the simple moving average is a biased estimator of the mean only increases the estimated standard deviation.

The "Counter-example to which is a case of strong directional trend in prices accompanied by low volatility (the bands are narrow in this case and prices don't fit into the channel formed by the bands around the strongly-lagged moving average)." is self-contradicting. By the computational method used, a "strong directional trend" is itself a condition of high volatility, widening, not narrowing the bands, especially if "strongly-lagged." A simple moving average is not linear regression estimation. -- 19:38, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Chebyshev's inequality doesn't apply, since only the last value of the N-period window is compared to the mean and standard deviation of that window, and each of the other points is compared to a different distribution (some earlier sample). For example, consider the sequence 1,1,1,...,1,20,400,8000,160000,... where the first 19 values are 1, then after that each value is 20 times the previous. Then every point after the 20th is more than 4 standard deviations away from the mean based on the trailing window (e.g. for the first 20 points the mean is less than 2 and the standard deviation is approximately 4.2) and so is outside the (20,2) Bollinger bands. While you might describe this pathological example as a "strong directional trend," it doesn't really look like a price series. I suspect the original claimed counter-example was confusing the standard deviation of prices (used to determine the bands) with standard deviation of returns (normally used in calculating volatility). Since both sides of the argument are flawed, I'm just removing mention of Chebyshev. Zander 00:57, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
The sequence you describe is not a random variable, but a deterministic concoction of your own. Chebyshev applies to random variables, like price and return. The extent to which they have trends which are determinable, only biases the moving average as an estimator of the mean. - 17:23, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
The sequence I describe could be the realizations of a random variable. A deterministic series can be considered the realizations of a random variable that has a probability distribution conditioned on the history that is always a Dirac delta function. Or if you have trouble seeing that, my series is also a possible realization of independent samples from a normally distributed variable with zero mean and variance 1 with some positive probability (or, say with mean 1 and variance 20 with some larger probability) (at least for any finite length). In any case, I was only trying to provide an illustrative example, but the main point is that Chebyshev's inequality only allows you to a) bound probabilities given a distribution or b) bound the number of outliers in a sample based on the sample mean and variance of the exact same sample. Specifically, a) does not allow you to say anything about a finite sample, because with some small but nonzero probability you will get only samples far from the mean. And b) does not let you say things specifically about the last sample in a rolling window, only about all of the samples in the window simultaneously, specifically the last element could often or always be one of the ones that is far from the sample mean. Zander 03:19, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

This is ridiculous that it hasn't been fixed yet. Zander is clearly right. Suppose we are looking at a group of 20 data points on a 20-period Bollinger Band. Chebyshev's inequality will say that 75% of those values in that group will lie between two standard deviations from the mean, but that does not mean 75% will lie between the Bollinger Bands. The difference is that the mean and standard deviation at each point is calculated over a different group of data points than the mean and standard deviation at point 20.Bollinger Bands.jpg As an example this is a random variable whose does NOT have 75% of the point between the red Bollinger Bands. Chebyshev's inequality says that at least 75% of the last 20 periods will lie between the mean +/- 2 * stdev (shown in green) at the last point.
Also, Chebyshev's inequality works for static data sets in addition to random variables.--Colinc719 (talk) 04:04, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

This exact fraction in the plot above is 0.742857, and you don't show the data from which your bands were calculated; there may be an error. Chebyshev's inequality can be used to show that at least 75% of the data lies between the Bollinger Bands. This is applicable, because this probability statement applies separately to each pair of points of the band which are calculated at one point in time for which the moving average and moving standard deviation are fixed quantities, at that point in time. Non-random counter examples can be concocted, but it is to random variables, like price, to which this applies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Please look through a proof of Chebyshev's Inequality to understand how it works better. It does not just apply to random variables, but rather applies to any data set. It does not make sense to say that "Non-random counter examples can be concocted, but it is to random variables, like price, to which this applies" because that would imply that if a price happened to move in one of those non-random counter examples, 75% of the data would not be within the Bollinger Bands.--Colinc719 (talk) 22:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

I think each one of you needs better to understand what Chebyshev's Inequality means. In the 1,1,1,...,1,20,400,8000,160000 example above, exactly 1 out of each sample of 20 exceeds M+2SD, i.e. 5% of each sample, far less than Chebyshev's 25% upper limit. As the artificial example is constructed, each sample is radically different from the preceding one, and the deviation continues in the same direction. You don't need a deterministic sequence for that. Any sequence constructed of extreme deviations to one side of the moving average will suffice. The utility of Chebyshev's Inequality to Bollinger Bands is in the expectation that, at any point in time, the current price depends upon its immediately preceding values, an assumption definitely NOT contradicted by real data. (talk) 18:33, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Statistical Properties

(moved from main page)

The bands cannot, as some have supposed, be used to make reliable statements regarding what fraction of an equity's prices will lie within a certain distance of the mean value. This is because an individual equity's price does not obey known distribution functions (see stochastic process). For example, if the bands for plus or minus two standard deviations (2SD) are computed, it is wrong to suppose that ~95% of an equity's closing prices will, on average, lie within the Bollinger bands. That would be true if the prices were normally distributed, but they are generally not (see, for instance, The Black Swan (book)). And even if they were, it would further require that the true standard deviation be known with reasonable accuracy. The standard deviation calculated as above, however, is only an uncertain estimate of the true standard deviation based on finite time periods, and not a fixed parameter as required to apply classical statistical theory. Instead, it is a variable in constant flux as the actual volatility changes and the observation window moves. The bands do however give a useful visual picture of a stock's price volatility.

On any given day Chebyshev's inequality can be used to show that at least 75% of the preceding prices, including that day, must lie between the 2SD Bollinger Bands. However, in theory, unusual market conditions may produce a run of days in which in which fewer than 75% of the days are within their respective bounds. This is not the same as saying fewer than 75% of one sample of prices, for one day, are within that day's bounds, which is impossible.

It is of interest to note that faulty interpretation of a price touching or breaching a band based on incorrect statistical assumptions has become so widespread that some traders now use these events alone as trading signals and by so doing may have unwittingly injected significance into these band-touching events that should otherwise be absent. Nevertheless, anyone can observe over time, that for a diversified group of mutual funds, say, the proportion of daily adjusted close prices that breach their 1-month 2SD Bollinger bands varies between 5% and 15% of days, with each fund having a fairly constant, characteristic long-term breach probability descriptive of its long-term, relative volatility.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:55, 24 July 2008‎ (UTC)

Lack of references

I have put in a reference for the statement that stock prices are not normally distributed. There are other books with this information than The Black Swan, but that is the one that I could recall offhand. With regard to the other statistical discussion in that section, I regret that I am not a statistician and cannot provide references for these statements. (I do have to wonder if a version of Bollinger bands could be done using medians and percentiles, although this would require a much greater number of periods to be valid; this would not, however, be suitable for a Wikipedia page, as new "research" - however, if anyone can provide a pointer to where such a thing is being explored, it would be helpful to add to the page.) Allens (talk) 00:29, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Serial correlation of securities prices is a well known attribute -- see e.g., (talk) 23:02, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

But what *is* it.

This entire article attempts to describe what Bollinger bands are *not*. Virtually every sentence is some sort of negative. Bad writing at its worst. Would it make anything worse just to delete the entire article? 18:21, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

This stanza appears to be obsolete, as the lead paragraph expressly uses a could of affirmative sentences on what they are and how they are useful (talk) 23:02, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

lack of example

Bollinger bands can be showed on a weekly or monthly basis , with examples when the full bar exits over the top band , usually an indicator for a technical correction to follow.

Another example could be the whole travel from the upper band to the lower one.

IF Mr. Bollinger could rewrite the whole article , it would be a huge bonus for all the readers.

I do not agree that there is a conflict of interest. IF the inventor of anything is ready to write an article about it - why not?

My English is not good enough, but on the Hebrew wikipedia I rewrote some articles on fields that I am an expert and it was welcome.

--YoavD 14:08, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

It's OK by Me, but John Bollinger could do a better job

I have no beef with the article as it stands. I don't see any major incorrect statements, but i know nothing of Chebyshev's inequality. It seems fairly neutral, and factual to me. But i do think it's a pity that Mr. Bollinger's contribution would not be welcome. He is afterall the expert with regard to the practical application in trading. There is nothing at all wrong with calculating the bands using the standard deviation formula. But it seems that not a few people have drawn incorrect statistical inferences from Bollinger bands. So far as i know though, Mr. Bollinger has not been guilty of that. I read his book and found it enlightening with regard to applications in trading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Piezoe (talkcontribs) 00:02, 13 January 2008 (UTC)


Is the only research about whether these things actually work a single study of the Chinese stock market? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:38, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, I added two more references, one involving interest rates and one involving fundamental analysis. There are lots more, but I thought that the diversity of these two made them worthwhile. There is a fourth here. TradingBands (talk) 21:00, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I made some changes to the section to give the reader a better idea of Bollinger Band effectiveness. I added a Forbes reference and expanded on William's thesis.--NortyNort (talk) 23:24, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Style norms

WP:MOS and WP:MOSMATH exist. In this article I found this:

  • a lower band at K times an N-period standard deviation below the middle band (MA-K*sigma)

I changed it to this:

  • a lower band at K times an N-period standard deviation below the middle band (MA − )

Besides properly italicizing the N and the K, contrast these:

(MA − )

Note that

  • Using an asterisk for ordinary multiplication is a practice invented for computer programming languages that are restricted to ASCII or the like; it has no place in civilized contexts where one can write 5 × 3 or 5 · 3 or
  • A stubby little hyphen is not a minus sign.
  • A space precedes and follows the minus sign.
  • Italics are used for variables (and not for digits, parentheses, etc.).
  • The Greek letter σ can be used; one need not write out "sigma".

Michael Hardy (talk) 14:20, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Article name: Bands or bands?

Is the B in bands capital or lowercase? The title has capital while the rest of the article uses a lowercase b.--NortyNort (talk) 21:28, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

I've always seen it with a lowercase "bands". Also, it is Wikipedia convention not to use title case in articles, per Wikipedia:Article titles. I'd have no problem changing the article title accordingly. ~Amatulić (talk) 21:40, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Sounds about right.

Bollinger BandsBollinger bands — Request move per Wikipedia:Article titles, see discussion. Cannot manually move because of redirect. NortyNort (talk) 22:57, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

This is a mistake, the naming convention for Bollinger Bands is clearly for both Bs to to capitalized. For example, 19 of the first 20 entries returned by Google have both Bs capitalized and they are capitalized in his book. DeeDeeKerby (talk) 20:57, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

"Bollinger Bands" is the proper name of a techncal analysis tool. The proper usage is for both Bs to be capitalized. I should know, I invented them and named them. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT Bbands (talk) 21:41, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Very well. Per the above comments and the official Bollinger Band website, both should be capital. I will adjust the article. The --NortyNort (talk) 22:03, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was do not rename.

mixing (using different) averaging schemes

In note 1, there is a quote that one must use the same averaging for calculating running mean and running standard deviation to calculate proper middle and upper/lower bands. I think yes, it is good practice, but there can be some reasons to mix averaging schemes, for example using (centered) simple moving average for middle band, and exponential moving average for standard deviation. One can also plot two upper bands (using two different averages, and colors), to see multiple scales in the same time. By different scheme I mean simple/exponential/triangle(linear)/double-exponential,etc, as well size of the window (period). For example one can use 15 days average for medium band, and 30 days average for standard deviation. etc. Of course this complicates a whole indicator, and is not original Bollinger's Band, but is used for the exactly same purpose and can be used with great success by experienced market analytics.

The quote in note 1 was meant for beginning to fairly accomplished users of Bollinger Bands. Advanced users are of course free, and encouraged, to explore the various permutations you suggest. Another dimension for exploration is the use of multiple Bollinger bands. These can be created two ways. First, by projecting multiple bands around a single measure of central tendency; for example 1, 2 and 3 standard deviation bands (a total of seven curves) are quite popular with some users. Second, one can plot multiple sets of bands using different calculation periods, say 10 and 30 period BBs (for a total of six curves) or any other permutations that suit your purposes. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT Bbands (talk) 00:09, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


It looks Bolinger bands is lagged. Shifting it by N/2 (where N is period of simple moving average) will make it somehow more intuitive (middle band will pass exactly through data points, and upper/lower bands will fit much better. Any comments on this? (exponential average will be somehow less lagged for the same N). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:40, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Bollinger Bands do indeed exhibit lag. The lag is equal to n/2 where n is the length in periods of the calculation and a simple moving average is used for the middle band. Shifting BBs forward by lag periods is a perfectly fine analytical technique. However, there will be no data available to calculate the BBs for the most recent n/2 periods. One way of overcoming that problem is to project prices forward for n/2 periods, but projecting the future with any sense of accuracy in an exceedingly hard task. You might try John Ehlers' MESA cycles approach or something similar. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT Bbands (talk) 23:50, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No clear consensus to move to new title, current title does no harm to WP Mike Cline (talk) 16:14, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Bollinger BandsBollinger bands

Per WP:MOSCAPS ("Wikipedia avoids unnecessary capitalization") and WP:TITLE, this is a generic, common term, not a propriety or commercial term, so the article title should be downcased. Lowercase will match the formatting of related article titles. Tony (talk) 00:27, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Support – While Bollinger sometimes capitalizes his baby, even he doesn't do so consistently (see [1]); secondary sources largely use lowercase. Same with terms in the article like "bandwidth". Dicklyon (talk) 23:32, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
You don't even upcase the second "b" in your own username. This is ironic. Tony (talk) 04:55, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
No, it is not ironic, it is grumpificating. Wikipedia does not allow a username to begin with two capitals. If it did, I would have BBands as I have wherever it is allowed. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 23:34, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, it appears that double leading caps are allowed now, though they were not when I created my account. Can somebody explain how I might change my username Bbands to the proper BBands? John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 23:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Disqualify User:Bbands on WP:COI grounds: he says he is John Bollinger, creator of these bands. And the previous discussion that he points to had a concensus to downcase until he asserted his way. Only one other editor was saying capitalize. As for the Google hits, it's better to look to more reliable secondary sources, like books; Google books shows many that use lower case (8 of the first 20 at this search for example). The condition for treating it as a proper name, "consistently capitalized in reliable secondary sources", is not met, not even nearly. Dicklyon (talk) 21:24, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. No doubt Bollinger is a reliable source concerning Bollinger bands; but this is a style matter first of all, and Bollinger may not be an authority on style. In fact Wikipedia's own guidelines, like every publisher's own guidelines, should determine the matter. As far as I can see the most applicable guideline we have is the one concerning scientific laws, principles, and discoveries; and that guideline would call for "Bollinger bands" on the analogy of Purkinje fibers, Purkinje effect, Fraunhofer lines, Beau's lines, Langer's lines, and innumerable others. I agree with Tony's invocation of the main principle here: "Wikipedia avoids unnecessary capitalization." In no sense of the term is capitalization remotely necessary. In any case, look at ngram evidence for "Bollinger bands are,Bollinger Bands are" ("are" added to lessen effects from title case). We cannot think that "Bands" is necessary, from published sources. Check 21st-century previewable Googlebook evidence for "bollinger bands are". Quite mixed, with some excellent publishers choosing lower case.
The previous consideration of a change of name seems quite brief and irregular. It is by no means decisive. Much better evidence and argument are presented this time.
The only weighty objection I can see comes from "Bollinger Bands" being a trademarked term; but it is an unsettled matter whether considerations from WP:MOSTM should rule here. Consider these recommendations:

Capitalize trademarks, as with proper names.
Follow standard English text formatting and capitalization rules, even if the trademark owner considers nonstandard formatting "official" ...

Now, truly "standard English text formatting and capitalization rules", as formalised in WP:MOSCAPS, may be said to apply when the term is used generically and without regard for the trademark or commercial characteristics of the term. The article uses the term this scientific and generic way, not as an account of a product or service.
That's how I read the guidelines. We should now develop both WP:MOSCAPS and WP:MOSTM so that similar cases can be decided more readily.
NoeticaTea? 07:11, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
The trademark thing is a complete red herring. From what I see online, the trademark "Bollinger Bands" was filed only this year (in Feb. 2011), for "Financial analysis and research services." This article is about the bands themselves, not about his trademarked services. You don't convert a term that's in use and generic and lower case to a proper noun by using it as a trademark. Rather, I'd say it's important to distinguish the topic of this article from John Bollinger's new trademark by now capitalizing here. Dicklyon (talk) 21:53, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Dick, do you mean "by now de-capitalizing here"? If so, I agree. But given recent discussion at WT:MOSTM on the interpretation of the page, I fear we're going to need to clarify its coverage. NoeticaTea? 00:13, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

OK, let's start at the beginning. If you doubt that I am actually John Bollinger, the creator of Bollinger Bands, please contact me at my official email address to verify my identity. My email address can either be found on any of my sites or it is my Wikipedia username at Bbands (talk) 01:32, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't think anyone is questioning that, Bbands. NoeticaTea? 02:07, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Good, that wasn't clear to me and since you are discussing my valuable intellectual property I wanted to make sure that my identity was clearly understood. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 03:12, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I understand your concern, Bbands. But this is not about infringing anyone's intellectual property rights; it is about the title of an article on Wikipedia. No one owns that article, as I'm sure you will appreciate. The exact form of titles is decided according to reliable sources and Wikipedia style guidelines. Since this is more specifically a matter of capitalisation, it is more specifically to be decided by WP:MOSCAPS, WP:MOSTM, and any other pages of the Manual of Style that might be relevant. NoeticaTea? 03:23, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Infringement is not the issue I am addressing here. Decapitalizing -- is there actually such a term? -- Bollinger Bands damages my intellectual property and it is that damage that I am trying to prevent. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 17:33, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
John, when I wrote "he says he is John Bollinger, creator of these bands," I didn't mean to imply that I doubt it; just saying that the conflict of interest is from your own statement, not something I've dug up off-wikipedia; that I'm not "outing" you by saying that I figured out who you are (which would not be OK, per WP:OUTING). Sorry if my wording gave the wrong impression. When I wrote "disqualify" on COI grounds, I didn't mean that there's anything wrong with your wikipedia contributions, just that your opinion on the article naming issue needs to be discounted, since you have a commercial interest in promoting your own IP and trademark, which is in (at least potential) conflict with the interests of wikipedia. The fact that you would rather see it capitalized should have no role in the decision, but there's no problem with you discussing it. Dicklyon (talk) 04:40, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Conflict of interest? Surely you must be kidding. When trying to decide an issue why would you not want input from the expert on that issue? John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 17:33, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

From "Webster's Standard American Style Manual", 1985, Merriam-Webster, page 69: "Trademarks 87. Registered trademarks, service marks and brand names are capitalized." John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 17:46, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Far from a reliable source, I think the company itself has a CoI. Now, Webster's can say all it likes, but WP does this kind of thing, with logic and the backing of much usage and quite a few external style guides: Gerber multitool. Tony (talk) 03:44, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I am not catching your drift in the above comment. Could you clarify in plain English? In any case, Wikipedia guidelines say WP:MOSTM ”Capitalize trademarks, as with proper names.”, thus Bollinger Bands. That seems pretty clear to me. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 14:53, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

The article is not about the trademark; it was here long before you applied for trademark status on it, it appears, if that's relevant. And you are representing the interests of your buisness here, which is a "CoI", or WP:COI, an interest in conflict with the interests of wikipedia. And Tony is pointing out that many generic terms, like multitool, when combined with a company name to make a trademark, are still generic terms and can be treated as such in article about the topic, not about the trademark. Dicklyon (talk) 22:52, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
When the trademark was granted is irrelevant. The trademarked term is Bollinger Bands. Common usage is Bollinger Bands. Preferred usage is Bollinger Bands. I can support any or all of those claims with references as deep as you like. For example, from “The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual”, 1980, page 220, “When a Trademark is used, capitalize it.” Even your own style guide says to treat trademarks as proper nouns. Finally, the term Bollinger Bands is anything but a generic term, Bollinger Bands are Bollinger Bands, pain and simple. Please recall that the trademark was just approved and generic terms are not eligible for trademark status. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 23:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose, MOS:TM is plainly clear that we should "capitalize trademarks, as with proper names". It is irrelevant when the trademark was registered - Wikipedia does not live in the past, we are a dynamic resource that can be updated as new information becomes available. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 03:19, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
It's also plainly clear that "When deciding how to format a trademark, editors should choose among styles already in use (not invent new ones) and choose the style that most closely resembles standard English, regardless of the preference of the trademark owner." Just because someone comes along and trademarks a term doesn't mean we have to adopt capitalization. The "bands" were generic before, and they're still generic. We can capitalize "Bollinger Bands" where we say it's a trademark, but we don't need to do so in other places. Dicklyon (talk) 04:40, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The noted standards call out as major concerns in a 'renaming challenge' of this type to the Wikipedia: Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, and Consistency. I am somewhat confused with the advocacy in the title, asserting no 'commercial' use -- printing the book for sale, and it remaining in active print for many years, sounds pretty commercial to me
Taking each in turn, we find: Recognizability -- the publisher of the definitive book on the matter uses Initial Caps. Like it or not, that is how the book 'defines' the tool, and how it is 'recognized',
Naturalness -- the term does not exist in nature, but rather is coined by its author and progenitor. He has made it clear that the preferred form uses the two leading 'B' characters; indeed, part of the mark is the repeated use of that letter. That is its 'natural' form when used in the context of practitioners,
Precision -- the 'exact' form precisely uses the two 'B' in a capitalized form,
Conciseness -- there is no character savings either way; not applicable, and
Consistency -- the question becomes: local consistency to the Wikipedia at large, or consistent with the taxonomy at the foot of article itself, or consistent with 'the real world'. Unless the purpose of a stylebook is to trump conforming to reality, one ends up retaining the previously decided form of both capitalized. (talk) 23:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I've been working with Bollinger Bands for three decades. In my experience they are consistently labeled with two capital Bs. Wikipedia should be consistent with that convention, and capitalize Bands. Cohenhoward (talk) 00:01, 22 December 2011 (UTC)cohenhoward
Comment on proceedings so far:
One could surely be excused for thinking those last two commenters were ring-ins. The result of canvassing. We try to assume good faith, but sometimes it's hard to do so.
Look, RMs are to be decided according to hard, objective evidence. And that evidence is interpreted according to Wikipedia policy and guidelines. The present case presents an issue of style, so we work with the style guidelines predominantly. Unfortunately there is one point in the guidelines that is slightly uncertain. This question arises, and has been mentioned pretty explicitly above:

If the phrase that constitutes a title happens to be trademarked, must it be treated according to the provisions of WP:MOSTM even though the topic is purely non-commercial, and the trademark status of the phrase is neither alluded to nor relevant in the article?

Some non-involved and experienced editors have expressed the opinion that WP:MOSTM is not applicable in such a case. They are, I think, familiar with the elements of trademark law (I own trademarks myself, and Dicklyon might also). Both are familiar with the relevant style guidelines. I am familiar with a great range of major external guidelines, beyond Wikipedia's own. Sure, expert opinion can be useful in a case like this; but not just any expert opinion. Let it be uninvolved. The owner of the trademark in question is not uninvolved, nor an expert on these issues at Wikipedia.
I submit that we have probably now seen all the relevant evidence and arguments. Let the matter be decided impartially on the basis of those. When the time is right I will raise the matter of clarifying WP:MOSTM at its talkpage.
NoeticaTea? 03:35, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I think you're right. And I'm willing to stipulate that Mr. Bollinger's "Bands" are usually capitalized in reliable sources. But not consistently so. I'd like to close by reminding that in his own writings he sometimes uses lower case (see this book). And again remind that his interest is clear, but it is not wikipedia's interest to promote his brand, which is not consistently capitalized in reliable sources. Maybe he also needs to be alerted to WP:PRODNAME. Dicklyon (talk) 03:42, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
While I agree these are probably canvassed, I think that given the frequency at which comments in RFCs and RMs feature the names 'Noetica', 'Tony' and 'Dicklyon' in quick succession, we might be careful in calling 'canvassing' based on appearances, particularly given others have observed and pointed out this same (undoubtedly coincidental) phenomenon recently. I also think that trying to point out the 'non-involved and experienced' credentials of commenting editors is a less-than-subtle attempt to create the illusion of intellectual authority here. For instance, I'm both uninvolved and would consider myself experienced, and I think MOS:TM does apply here. I do agree that the relevant arguments have been put forward and should be decided impartially on their own merit, rather than being decorated with non-substance. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 22:39, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
TS, I'm sure you can see that there is a difference. Tony, Dicklyon, and I turn up often at the same RMs because we have similar interests and similar views on the treatment of titles. Powers, Kauffner, and Born2cycle do the same, with a cluster of views that oppose. This is unremarkable. But even a cursory examination of the contribution records for those other two reveals a different story. I rarely make accusations of canvassing, and I chose my words carefully: "One could surely be excused for thinking ...".
I am also against what I call "credentialism", and I would normally not make claims of the sort I did this time for myself or others whose views I happen to share. But in this RM we see a pretty frank case of attempted ownership, or something closely resembling it. The issue has been dealt with respectfully but firmly, above. The owner of the trademark is not the owner of this article (no one is, of course). He makes a claim of authority, and that is acknowledged: he knows a lot about Bollinger bands, since he devised them. But he is not an expert concerning Wikipedia style. Some of us here are well acquainted with Wikipedia style – and of course I include you, TS.
Finally, there is a genuine uncertainty about how or whether WP:MOSTM should be applied to the present case. I said that, and you confirm it. When this RM has been closed, I hope you will join me at WT:MOSTM so that we can put the matter to editors for clarification.
NoeticaTea? 23:05, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the matter would benefit from being raised there now rather than following this RM. If there's confusion over the scope of the guideline, it will still exist once this RM is closed, regardless of its outcome. If you'd like to raise it there, I'll try to find some time to comment over the break period. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 23:12, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
First, the use of “Bollinger bands” instead of “Bollinger Bands” was a typo in the first printing of my book that was corrected long ago. I always use Bollinger Bands and so does the vast majority of the rest of the world. In a recent scan of a Google search for Bollinger Bands more than 90% of the returns were Bollinger Bands. (Google search is not case sensitive.) The Bollinger Bands article is more than five years old and is correctly titled, so there is no need to invent a new style to deal with it. Finally, an opposer of this move with considerable Wikipedia editing experience is ~Amatulić whose opposition appears on the RSI article discussion page. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 15:48, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Other caps

Sources are very mixed, with Bollinger Band width, Bollinger Band Width, Bollinger band width, Bollinger Bandwidth, Bollinger bandwidth; but no Bollinger BandWidth as far as I can find. I don't care if it's one word or two, but there's certainly no hint of consistent capitalization in sources, so it needs to be lowercase in WP, just like Bollinger bands. Dicklyon (talk) 22:32, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

This has now moved into the realm of punitive aggression. For 29 years ‘BandWidth’ has been ‘BandWidth’. You cannot change history with a simple unsupported assertion of opinion. BandWidth, a proprietary indicator derived from Bollinger Bands created by myself, was formatted specifically as BandWidth to distinguish it as a technical analysis indicator and differentiate it from bandwidth or band width -- concepts that it has nothing to do with. This was done to avoid confusion, which it has done admirably. Mr. Lyon, why you have chosen to behave in such a belligerent manner I do not and can not know, but I do wish that you would stop your one-man crusade as it is harming Wikipedia. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 23:48, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
That is no one-man crusade, John Bollinger; nor is it harming Wikipedia in the least. Nor is yours a "one-man campaign" in favour of unnecessary capitalisation for the present article. You saw to that. I well remember the external canvassing we could be forgiven for concluding that you engaged in, last time this article's title was dealt with (see earlier RM). What's more, I would be in discussion here too if I had the time and energy to devote to countering proprietary interests in the naming of Wikipedia articles, and if these matters were settled more rationally in accord with Wikipedia's style guidelines and naming policy. I have not, they are not, so I do not.
As for aggressive tendencies, I do not see them concentrated in Dicklyon. Far from it.
NoeticaTea? 05:24, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
In a long-closed discussion I invite two people whose opinions I value to participate and am repeatedly defamed for canvassing. In the current discussion Mr. Lyon invites five, maybe 10, or more, and nothing is said. Fair, civil, balanced, just... John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 14:04, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Nobody objected to my proposal to invite everyone that participated before, including those ringers of yours. I also started a general discussion at WT:MOSTM, since the provisions there were being invoked here. I didn't canvass any supportive individuals. Dicklyon (talk) 15:48, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Who are these 10 people that DL canvassed? This is a serious charge, Mr. Bollinger. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:35, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I notified 8 previously-involved editors (see my contribs on July 27); of these, only Tony1 was expected to be on my side, since he was last time; I included those that Bbands canvassed last time around, but I omitted Noetica because he says he is boycotting RM discussions (he showed up below anyway, probably because the page is on his watchlist). I also made a post at WT:MOSTM#Recent trademark on older terms to see if people who are into such things could offer an opinion on how that guideline might apply. All per Wikipedia:Canvassing#Appropriate notification, I think. Dicklyon (talk) 18:01, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Just wondering...

Can you imagine how great this article would be if just a small portion of the effort expended to change the name of this article were devoted to improving the article? John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 19:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, these style debates always have that feel. It always seems especially ironic when one of the main participants points this out. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:36, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
And can you imagine what a mess WP would be if it didn't have any central style guidance and editors willing to work on moving things toward the recommended style? Having such work resisted by editors whose only contribution to WP is self-promotion is more than annoying. Dicklyon (talk) 18:03, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
And can you imagine how much better WP would be if those who flout WP:COMMONSENSE by having us slavishly adhere to a guideline as if it were rigid policy, all to promote renaming according to flawed analysis of online-only sources as well as a faulty interpretation of that guideline, actually read the guideline to see if it's actually applicable to the debate? MOS:CAPS does not apply because it requires consistency in the sources. Consensus and consistency among sources is demonstrably not apparent. Other guidelines that actually do apply, such as MOS:CT and WP:MOSTM, are dismissed out of hand in favor of continued disruption of Wikipedia (including mass moves without discussion, move warring, and initiating contentious RMs without informing interested parties) all for the sake of slavishly force-fitting articles into the mold of a flawed understanding of what a guideline actually is and what it actually says. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:23, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Even policies aren't that rigid; not sure what your point is. MOS:CAPS does not apply because it requires consistency in the sources.—Wait, what? Can you elaborate on this? Other guidelines that actually do apply, such as MOS:CT and WP:MOSTM, are dismissed out of hand—I don't think anyone has dismissed them out of hand. I've tried carefully to give reasons why they don't apply in the way you think they ought to be applied. in favor of continued disruption of Wikipedia... and whose only contribution to WP is self-promotion—These probably aren't helpful, and are themselves disruptive, since they lower the argument to ad-hominem. Please stop. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
MOS:CAPS says that when sources are inconsistent we don't capitalize. We only cap when it's "necessary" per consistent caps in sources. Dicklyon (talk) 21:03, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Is this really the way Wikipedia is supposed to work?

There is something fundamentally, profoundly wrong here. This discussion and the prior RM discussion are littered with ad hominem attacks, with repetitive, concussive replies that have the effect of bludgeoning the responder and with inappropriate efforts to disqualify responders. In addition, there have been preemptive edits prior to the conclusion of discussion and there are clear signs of gang- or pack-like activity. The actual points raised – rightly or wrongly – are rarely addressed and mostly ignored. Is this how Wikipedian's should behave? Is this the norm of intercourse in this realm? How can Wikipedia ever hope to attract and retain contributors of merit and accomplishment if this is how they are greeted and then treated? My contributions are anathema. Why is that? I clearly know more about the topic than any of this article's authors by a wide margin. Shouldn't expert knowledge and contributions be welcomed in a venue devoted to the dispensing knowledge? Instead I'm greeted with repeated assaults on my intellectual property and continually told that contributions from the likes of myself are not welcome. This seems like a mechanism designed to degrade Wikipedia. I recently learned that the minting of new Wikipedia administrators was down to a pace of one a week or so. There were near 1,000 in 2008, the last year for which data was reported, and there are currently 698. Given a normal attrition rate, I'd guess that the admin population is still contracting and given my experience, I think that I understand why. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 21:13, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't think the number of active admins is that much of a problem right now, but I share your frustration with the character of these kinds of discussions. And let me tell you, the ones on this page are nothing. I'll note though that comments like "I'm greeted with repeated assaults on my intellectual property" don't really help things. Of course, the reason you are discouraged is that there is a concern that authors connected to a subject are, in general, less likely to write in a neutral tone and be appropriately critical of that subject—but in many cases we surely end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 21:33, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Erik, thanks for being an admin. It's not a role I would touch with a ten-foot pole, due to situations like this and much worse. They're very often caused by people whose off-WP interests inject unneeed angst, but not always. I agree I've seen plenty worse. Is this the way it's supposed to work? No. Dicklyon (talk) 21:47, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

The Camel's Back

Wikipedia's creed and promise is to do no harm. Bollinger Bands® and the derived indicators are the culmination of a lifetime of my work and thought, and are protected under U. S. trademark law. As such, your efforts to decapitalize Bollinger Bands in fact do extensive harm, both to me as an individual who has the right to reap the benefit of my labors, and to the United States and its economy, which stands preeminent in the world on the basis of the respect and protection it affords to intellectual property.

The constant pounding from the relentless effort to devalue my intellectual property and violate my trademarks and the endless, often hourly, responses necessary to defend them has quite literally made me ill. That being the case, despite my profound and continuing belief in this cause, as a small business owner and family man, I must return to fields where my contributions are necessary and valued. Thus, I grant your wishes and depart from the fray; you may proceed without further impediment.

The Bollinger Bands article itself is but a shadow of what it could be, as are the other Wikipedia articles on Technical Analysis. Think how great they could be if but a tenth of the effort expended in this persecution were put towards improving the articles. Being knowledgeable on the subject and having a command of the relevant history and literature, I was quite willing to make contributions to improve the accuracy and depth of content of this article and the other TA-related articles, but as has been so often pointed out, expert contributions are anathema here.

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers..." To those of you that supported me in this effort, I offer my profound thanks. There is no need for you to expend any more time or effort on this cause. It is time to let them have their way and move on.

To others who come under attack from those with more time and resources than themselves, I offer this bit of advice. Surrender early and save yourself the pain. This is not a home of civil discourse; it is a time sink where you will be mercilessly ground down.

A wish for my chief attacker and his cohort: May you never be treated as you have treated me!

Should anyone actually want to try to improve this article you have my blessing, but I am no longer willing to subject myself to the abuse that is the price for participating in Wikipedia. Should you wish to consult with me, you may reach me at BBands at

Good-bye, good trading and peace to all, John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 18:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 2

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move. Cúchullain t/c 13:26, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Bollinger BandsBollinger bands – It's time to try again to fix this over-capitalization. All the cited applications references use the lower case (I have corrected their over-capitalized titles and quotes in the text just now). As Bollinger admits it was lowercase in his original book (he now calls that a "typo"). It has not been generally accepted as a proper name, as evidenced by widespread lowercase in reliable sources. Please review the arguments above, and then comment. Dicklyon (talk) 19:50, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Support as nom. Dicklyon (talk) 19:50, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose
  1. This move has been decided against twice before and Mr. Lyon brings nothing new to the table that has not already been considered.
  2. Bollinger Bands® is a registered trademark with both Bs capitalized
  3. Bollinger Bands is the proper name of a proprietary indicator developed by John Bollinger
  4. Common usage is Bollinger Bands. For example the Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Google Finance, Investopedia, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance sites all capitalize both Bs.
  5. Common usage: The first ten pages of a Google search for Bollinger Bands feature several hundred mentions of which only 14 lowercase one or both Bs.
  6. The author prefers Bollinger Bands.
  7. The standard technical analysis text “Technical Analysis” by Kirkpatrick and Dahlquist, FT Press, second edition, 2011, capitalizes both Bs.
  8. The book “Bollinger on Bollinger Bands” by John Bollinger, McGraw Hill, 2001, capitalizes both Bs.
  9. The Market Technicians Association capitalizes both Bs in the MTA Knowledge Base.
  10. The International Federation of Technical Analysts capitalizes both Bs in their glossary.
John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 18:40, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:DEADHORSE bordering on WP:TENDENTIOUS. This is a trademark, we don't force-fit trademarks into an arbitrary notion of capitalization style, and the relevant, authoritative literature on this subject (not stuff like essays in Forbes and academic author's typographical conventions) overwhelmingly capitalizes both words. ~Amatulić (talk) 16:52, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
It's hardly a force-fit to do what half of all book sources do ([2]). MOS:CAPS says "Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is a proper name; words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in sources are treated as proper names and capitalized in Wikipedia." Capitalizing here to further the commercial interests of an editor with a WP:COI is still not OK; the fact that he trademarked what is often used as a generic term is not really very relevant. Dicklyon (talk) 18:35, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
The ngram viewer link includes books that are neither relevant nor authoritative references, and the graph isn't cumulative. Furthermore, it appears the cumulative result suggests that the proper name has prevalence in the collection of books indexed by Google, invalidating your premise. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:49, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
By no stretch of the imagination can the n-grams result be iterpreted as suggesting that Bollinger bands is "consistently capitalized in sources". And the book search impression that Mr. Bollinger describes above, that "The first ten pages of a Google search for Bollinger Bands feature several hundred mentions of which only 14 lowercase one or both Bs" is highly biased by the fact that Google books prefers to show snippets from titles and headings. If you actually look at uses in sentences, lowercase "bands" clearly dominates, at least since 2003. Nobody is suggesting lowercasing the proper name Bollinger. Dicklyon (talk) 18:55, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Obviously nobody is suggesting lowercasing Bollinger. And the trademark is relevant, regardless of the author's conflict of interest. The burden is on renaming proponents to show that the trademarked proper name, which is the name of the invention described in this article, now qualifies as a generic trademark on the same level as "xerox". Ngram graphs and collections of random non-authoritative sources that may show a slight (decidedly not overwhelming) majority don't meet that burden. The fact remains that all the truly notable works on technical analysis, the original book describing the invention, professionals working in the field, as well as entire trade associations, treat it as a proper name. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:14, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
You are falling for the WP:SPECIALSTYLE fallacy. Dicklyon (talk) 20:06, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Irrelevant. Nobody is arguing that disagreement with caps usage in sources regarded as most reliable somehow implies that the those sources are faulty. Furthermore, that essay, written primarily by a single author, represents that author's viewpoint, not the community's. Irrelevant on two counts.
It isn't a fallacy to argue that where general usage doesn't indicate a preference for capitalization (and it doesn't, even your ngram shows that), we should defer to the sources considered most reliable. If you disagree with that argument, then there are plenty of other reasons (among them Wikipedia's own guidelines MOS:CT and WP:MOSTM as described below) to retain the proper-noun capitalization. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:41, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Data: – specifically, if you search for books since 2003, with previews, you get 92 relevant books in 10 pages (8 are not relevant due to having no findable instance of "Bolllinger Bands" or not in English), and of those, 55 use lowercase "bands". I can provide URLs to those 55 books on request. Dicklyon (talk) 20:03, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I can think of four objections to that study right off the bat. First, it is too a small sample size for significance. Second, it is way out of date with the most recent data being from 2008. Third the dispersion of the data is huge, which can be seen from the impact small changes in smoothing have on the output. (One would expect exactly this from a sample that is too small to be significant.) Fourth, and most significant, Google has simply not scanned the vast majority of the relevant literature, so the search is meaningless as the universe searched is not relevant to the search. A far better study is to count the results of a broad Internet search, which I have done and presented above. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 21:48, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Surely it is better than your flawed claim that "The first ten pages of a Google search for Bollinger Bands feature several hundred mentions of which only 14 lowercase one or both Bs." And it's sufficient to clearly demonstrate that Bollinger bands is not consistently capitalized in sources, which is our threshold per MOS:CAPS. But feel free to present more data if you have time. Dicklyon (talk) 22:36, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
In what way is my study flawed? John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 23:15, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
It's hard to say how you found only 14 lowercase in hundreds of sources; certainly book sources are not like that. Perhaps you just looked at web page titles? Dicklyon (talk) 00:03, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I did a page scrape of the first ten pages of a Google search (100 sites) for “Bollinger Bands” and then counted the occurrences of “Bollinger bands” or “bollinger bands” with a regular expression. Typically about 95% of the results are “Bollinger Bands”. This morning it was 94.3%. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 15:14, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying what you did. That's why it's flaky: Google always rates titles, headings, and capitalized uses ahead of lowercase, and web pages tend to promote and capitalize more than reliable sources like books do. So you mostly find caps this way, for any sort of string. Pick any topic and try it; like "nuclear energy". Dicklyon (talk) 15:55, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Mr. Lyon, you made my point quite nicely. I checked 'nuclear energy' as you suggested the the results run close to 50/50 or nearly random as one might expect. However, the results for 'Bollinger Bands' consistently run in the mid 90s, which is a statistically significant result. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 17:59, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
50% caps in web pages for a term that's clearly not a proper name should convince anyone not to pay much attention to web hit counts. Books are much better. I showed that in books, lower case bands is more common. And that's not even a requirement for our using lower case, per MOS:CAPS. Dicklyon (talk) 21:45, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Um... The result for "nuclear energy" has no statistical significance yet the result for "Bollinger Bands" has extremely high significance. That's a fair point that shouldn't be dismissed so casually. And if you're referring to ngram, then no, you have not demonstrate more common lowercase with books, as both I and Mr. Bollinger have already explained. And it has also been explained that we have guidelines such as MOS:CT and WP:MOSTM that support uppercasing. Seems to me that the flaw is in MOS:CAPS, which should be clarified in light of other guidelines that contradict your position. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:22, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
On the contrary, that baseless assertion of significance should be totally dismissed. My point was that if you look at books, 60% of the ones in the first 10 pages of Google books hits use lower case. That is very far from something that could be interpreted as "consistently capitalized in sources" per MOS:CAPS. Dicklyon (talk) 02:48, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
OK Mr. Lyon, since you will never allow a point made by anyone other than yourself, let's start back at the beginning and stop this complete waste of our time. The first entry under 'General rules' in WP:MOSTM is completely unambiguous: “Capitalize trademarks, as with proper names.” John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 17:07, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
And if that isn't enough, this is a creative work that would fall under MOS:CT. I recall the RM proponent failed to address this point in another renaming debate on techinical indicators. Creating a successful and useful market indicator is extremely difficult. The concept of standard deviation is centuries old, but until John Bollinger came along nobody had ever thought to use it in the novel way he did. Creating a useful technical indicator requires imagination, inspiration, and hard work. In that sense it is an art form. To argue otherwise is silly. Creative works are named by their creators, and I have yet to see a valid argument why we should single out technical indicators as an exception to our guideline on capitalizing creative works. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:38, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the fact that it's trademarked is relevant here, since the trademark status came long after the term was in wide generic use, if I recall properly from the last time I looked it up. And MOS:CT is certainly not applicable. If these were applicable, we'd see the evidence in books. Dicklyon (talk) 02:48, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Just because books don't respect the trade mark is not an excuse for Wikipedia to ignore the fact. Wikipedia treats trade marks as proper nouns. And MOS:CT is certainly quite applicable, for the reasons I described immediately above, and we do see the evidence in books, particularly the notable ones that give extensive coverage to this subject. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:48, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Just because books don't respect the trade mark is not an excuse for Wikipedia to ignore the fact.—But we follow sources here. And I don't see how MOS:CT is applicable; this isn't a composition. If we were discussing the book Bollinger on Bollinger Bands then yeah, we'd capitalize Bands per MOS:CT. But the subject of the book is not a composition. It took some creativity to invent, for example, the optical mouse, but we don't capitalize it—it isn't a composition. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:45, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
And John Bollinger, you have made your wishes very clear indeed. But per WP:COI, you should really totally back off from this discussion. Dicklyon (talk) 02:51, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support—Go with the sources when they're in unison with WP's own practice of minimising unnecessary caps. I've heard no argument that the second "B" is necessary. Tony (talk) 05:56, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
    Heard no argument? You did not read any of the lengthy discussion above? This isn't a vote; what are your arguments? ~Amatulić (talk) 06:48, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
    Thanks for showing up Tony. I agree that there are no new arguments here, beyond more specific book count data, and those that there are support only the opinion of capitalization, not the necessity, per the provisions of MOS:CAPS. Dicklyon (talk) 13:41, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Sorry I am late to this one but per MOS:TM and the other opposition above, I think the article title should stay as is.--NortyNort (Holla) 14:53, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Can you maybe comment at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Trademarks, and explain why a 2011 trademark on financial services should drive the capitalization of this term that's been in use for decades? Dicklyon (talk) 15:59, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. My search of Google Books shows that the lowercase version slightly predominates in sentences - both overall and since 2008. That would seem to be sufficient to indicate that the term should not be capitalized. If there are instances in the article that refer specifically to the subject of the trademark, they should be capitalized. Dohn joe (talk) 18:23, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support—I don't think the "it's a trademark" argument is terribly compelling here, since it has been around so long as a non-trademarked thing. Sources don't consistently write about it as a trademark, they don't seem to be thinking of it as a product or something that would normally be trademarked by that name, so we shouldn't write about it like that. Follow the sources. Given the abundance of sources that write it lowercase, MOS:CAPS suggests we should, too. Obviously, looking at the sources, neither is incorrect—this is purely a style issue. This move proposal brings it inline with our style. To hit on other points brought up here; this question has not been decided twice before here already as far as I can tell—there was an RM closed as no consensus and a brief talk page thread. MOS:CT doesn't really say to defer to the creator's wishes, I don't think we generally do that nor am I aware of any guideline that suggests giving much weight to the creator when it comes to questions of style. In any case, this is not a composition, so MOS:CT wouldn't really apply anyway. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:33, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Sorry to be late to the party, but I wasn’t notified that this RM had been reopened. In finance the preferred usage is quite clear, proprietary indicators are treated as proper nouns and generic indicators are treated as common nouns. So, it is Welles Wilder's Relative Strength Index and relative strength. To use an already cited example from this article, it is John Bollinger's BandWidth and bandwidth. In each case, the style separates the concepts and avoids confusion. To continue, it is George Lane's Stochastic and stochastic, or Tom DeMark's TD Sequential and sequential. There are many more examples from the literature, but I think that the point is perfectly clear. You can data mine for exceptions all you like, but that does not change the clearly preferred usage. In closing, I wish to reiterate that this is not a matter of inflating egos, rather it is a practical matter of clear/preferred usage that has great utility that has evolved over roughly 130 years. The bottom line is that approving this move will place Wikipedia out of sync with reality. MarketTechnician (talk) 18:36, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Ack, I apologize that in my July 27 notifications of everyone involved in the previous RM, I didn't notify you, even after Amatulic asked me to add you even though you weren't involved in the previous one. My fault. I see you haven't been on WP since Jan., so probably wouldn't have mattered if I had though. Dicklyon (talk) 21:19, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
At google books, it appears that about half the books have "Lane's stochastics", and the ones that capitalize it are mostly doing so in quoting the article of that name (though others lowercase stochastics when they quote it). Given the optional nature of the caps implied by usage in books, the MOS style would be to use lower case, just as with Bollinger bands. I understand that the style of capitalizing generic nouns to go with names can be a useful way to signal what the name goes with, but this is not WP's style; it may be the style of some of the financial journals and books, and that's fine, but it's not determinative for us. Dicklyon (talk) 21:30, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
MarketTechnician, we see a few claims of this nature: "In finance the preferred usage is quite clear"—but any kind of analysis done on this page shows that the literature is mixed on style. (Which, again, suggests that to keep with Wikipedia's style we should lowercase.) Do you have any further analysis to back up this claim that "In finance the preferred usage is quite clear" to rebut the analysis presented in this discussion which all seems to support the opposite—ie, that it isn't clear? ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 00:18, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't doubt that he's right, for finance insiders. Specialists in a field typically capitalize their field's important stuff (see WP:SSF); but if you look at books written for the rest of us, or "for dummies" as some are styled, much less capitalization is used. That's more in line with the sort of style that WP strives for, for the benefit of the general reader. One of the results of this striving is that we've chosen to use caps only to signal proper names, not for other purposes like many other styles do. Dicklyon (talk) 00:48, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: Pointless, self-aggrandizing capitalization. This article is about the concept, not the trademark, which Bollinger didn't even obtain until last year. Just because a trademark has been issued doesn't even mean it's valid. Any trademark can be challenged. The trademark simply isn't relevant. This isn't like, say, "Microsoft Windows" or something that has been trademarked from day-one. The concept this article is about was notable, and written about again and again and again with a lower-case "band[s]", long before Bollinger even applied for a trademark registration. PS: The claims of tendentiousness against people trying to correct this article's title are b.s. It's the "I want to capitalized my stuff at all costs because it makes me look important" crap that is tendentious. WP:CCC: Failure to come to a consensus (which is what has happened here before, not a sold consensus to capitalize) by no means bars periodic revisiting of the issue to see if a consensus has developed. Bollinger himself has a clear and overriding conflict of interest here and should simply recuse himself from further discussion. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 00:00, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
“Pointless”, “self-aggrandizing”, implied profanity (b.s.), actual profanity (c**p), multiple ad hominem attacks, “tendentious” and a direct appeal to ignore trademark law; all capped with an inappropriate admonition to leave the discussion when WP:COI specifically and repeatedly encourages participation in talk-page discussions where there is an interest. Is this civil discourse? John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 22:21, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
While I agree that Amatulic's and SMC's tedious "tendentious" accusations are unhelpful, what here is an appeal to ignore trademark law? I think you might be missing the point, which is that in at least some sense, the status of the phrase as a trademark is not exactly black-and-white. I don't think this matters, personally, but I don't think SMC is appealing to anyone to break any laws! goodness, let's all calm down here. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 00:13, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Haugen. First, I see no reason why I should “chill out”. My intellectual property and trademarks, the work of 30 years, are being threatened here and only a fool “chills out” and passively allows his life's work be devalued. I intend to defend my work to the full extent of my ability. As for trademark law, it seems to me that many of the comments here advocate the willful violation of my trademarks. However, that is not for me to determine, so I'll let it pass for now. As for the arguments against, they are largely based on searches done in a database, Google Books, that does not include the relevant literature and so, to be generous, are inconclusive at best. Primum non nocere. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 16:07, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm also not qualified to give a legal opinion, but our article Trademark infringement says "Infringement may occur when one party, the 'infringer', uses a trademark which is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by another party, in relation to products or services which are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers." I think that if WP does not offer financial services, then we're in no danger of being an infringer. Your comment that "many of the comments here advocate the willful violation of my trademarks" seems preposterous, and is getting perilously close to WP:LEGAL, even though you'll "let it slide for now". Dicklyon (talk) 17:19, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Lyon, your reply seems like a complete non sequitur as I never mentioned 'infringement' nor am I contemplating legal action. I am however, requesting that my trademark be respected. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 18:05, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say you mentioned "infringement". You mentioned "willful violation of my trademarks", and said that some of us are advocating that. We are not. But based on Trademark infringement which says "Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights attaching to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensees", the concepts of "infringement" and "violation" seem to be closely related. Dicklyon (talk) 18:28, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Again, Mr. Bollinger, how are your trademarks or other rights being threatened? I'm no lawyer, but I know these are things Wikipedia takes very seriously, and if you can elaborate on this I think we'll all do everything we can to rectify that. As it is, though, I can not begin to imagine what you might be talking about. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 18:35, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Haugen, Coca-Cola is the trademark and Coca-Cola is the article title and in-article usage. Bollinger Bands is the trademark and Bollinger Bands ought to remain the article title and in-article usage. Anything else threatens my trademark and devalues my intellectual property. (I have also made another dozen or so points in opposition to this RM, few of which have been addressed.) John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 19:13, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't see how this threatens your trademark or violates trademark law. Repeating it without any further argument obviously doesn't help me come to any understanding. I'll note though that as long as no laws are being violated, whether or not the capitalization does or doesn't affect the value of your trademark has no relevance to this discussion. Wikipedia's manual of style and article titling guidelines discuss many things, but as far as I am aware none of them have anything to do with maximizing the value for the parties connected to the subject. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 19:41, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps a study of "Xerox" versus "xerox" will help you understand the general issues. I am not asking Wikipedia to create value for my trademarks, I am asking Wikipedia not to deliberately make changes that will devalue them. Should you wish to see professionals respond with detailed analysis, try initiating a move from Coca-Cola to Coca-cola or something similar. Wikipedia often gets these things right: Turtle Wax, HanesBrands, Big Lots, Jolt Cola... John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 20:40, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is deliberately trying to devalue your trademark here. You seem to still be avoiding the question about what is violating trademark law. Are you doing that because you don't really see any "direct appeal to ignore trademark law"? Is there some reason you are reluctant to clarify that remark? I don't think Coca-Cola should be moved to Coca-cola—sources don't write it that way, and nobody thinks of the phrase as anything but a trademark. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 05:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)


The page was moved to the capitalized title by Michael Hardy in Feb. 2010, without discussion or comment. When this was questioned in June 2010, new WP:SPA User:DeeDeeKerby said "19 of the first 20 entries returned by Google have both Bs capitalized and they are capitalized in his book". And the creator John Bollinger (User:Bbands at the time) asserted that he should know. The questioner took these to be somehow relevant to the question, and accepted. End of round 1.

In Dec. 2011, as I was doing routine case fixes, I did an RM to fix this back to WP style. The record is seen above. After Bbands opposed, several new WP:SPAs seem to have been canvassed in to oppose this one ( and User:Cohenhoward). Cohenhoward asserted that the term is consistently capitalized in sources, which is clearly untrue as the 55 of 92 book hits that use lowercase bands shows. Amatulic and TechnoSymbiosis were by this time opposing all downcasing of technical indicators as so-called proper names or names of compositions, but that logic did not prevail anywhere else, and should not have here either (see Category:Technical indicators, Category:Chart overlays, and Category:Statistical deviation and dispersion, where the unnecessary capitalization of this one sticks out like a sore thumb among otherwise WP-styled titles). Tony1 and Noetica and I, who have become known for pushing toward consistency with the provisions of WP:MOS, supported the proposal.

In the current RM, the SPAs and TechnoSymbiosis have dropped out. And Noetica has stated that he will no longer participate in RM discussions. In spite of his strong WP:COI since he copyrighted the term in 2011, John Bollinger continues to forcefully involve himself in this issue; his opinions needs to be discounted to zero, and his data is also not worth much. I don't know what happened with Tony. That leaves me against Amatulic. It would nice to see more rational voices... Should I notify the editors involved in these previous moves and discussions? Dicklyon (talk) 03:24, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose Wow, slandered before I said anything. Noting opposition and ducking. DeeDeeKerby (talk) 23:41, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Commment: Observing that an SPA is acting as an SPA isn't slander, while wrongly accusing people of slander borders on it. :-/ — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 00:13, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Dicklyon, you should review WP:COI yourself.
Nowhere does WP:COI say that someone with a COI should back off from a discussion. On the contrary, it advocates that COI editors participate on talk pages.
More importantly, nowhere does it say that perfectly valid points, grounded in policy, raised by someone with a COI should be dismissed out of hand because of the COI.
You have made it abundantly clear that John Bollinger's COI is coloring your views of his arguments. I think it is time for you to back off as well. The other editors you mention have debated in lock-step with you on similar TA articles in the past; it is your choice whether to engage in WP:CANVASSING, but if you do, you should also notify MarketTechnician (talk · contribs) who has also participated previously. ~Amatulić (talk) 03:49, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying he can't have his say, and I have listened, but per this definition: "COI editing involves contributing to Wikipedia in order to promote your own interests or those of other individuals, companies, or groups. When advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest." we have to understand that this opinions are based primarily on his COI, and should not be given weight relative to our own policies and guidelines. His edits like this recent one, however, seem inappropriate, and related to this discussion. Dicklyon (talk) 03:57, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
And nobody has edited in lock-step with me. I got in a big spat with Noetica at the beginning of the year, and I'm not about to try to talk him into coming back into the RM mess if he doesn't want to. And I just reverted one of Tony's moves the other day, as I have done on many occasions when he get overzealous on the caps or dashes. We do have in common that we try to move articles toward conformance with the MOS; is that a bad thing? Dicklyon (talk) 04:00, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
OK, I notified all that I could think of, except Noetica who has stated that he's not going to participate in RMs; most are likely opposed, but also likely won't see the notification. One I failed to notice before was User:NULL; he opposed based on TM, and is still active. Dicklyon (talk) 04:18, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Oh please, Mr Bollinger. With respect, the commercial world has brought a tendency to bignote through capping, whether it's of products or job names. Titles within text excepted, the proof is in the pudding: writers and readers do tire of unnecessary bumbs in the text. And I can assure you, the Bollinger bit will never be downcased. Tony (talk) 05:55, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Just because opinions are based on a COI does not make those views invalid. On the contrary, Mr. Bollinger has presented sound arguments, some of which are grounded in policy, for retaining the proper noun case. Even those not grounded in policy but based on analysis of sources, are valid points that in my mind refute your analysis. And yet, you simply dismiss them. By the way, my lock-step comment arose from noticing that that while I was on Wikibreak, the lock-step RM group voted to overturn the prior RM decision to keep Relative strength index uppercase, without the involvement of any prior party who had objected. You might want to notify participants there and also on the debate at Talk:True strength index. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:48, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Can you remind me what he said that you call analysis of sources? I didn't see any. Dicklyon (talk) 13:41, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Sure, see the following. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 23:38, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Not seeing any analysis... Dicklyon (talk) 22:33, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
This is getting into WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT territory. Are you not looking? He summarized it below, described it more fully above. Your dismissal of arguments that you disagree with doesn't invalidate those arguments; in fact, I would say that your own arguments have already been adequately addressed and rebutted, but certainly my view doesn't invalidate yours either. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:33, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
You wrote that "Mr. Bollinger has presented sound arguments ... some ... based on analysis of sources." But all he repeated in his numbered points below were his opening statements. What "analysis of sources" were you referring to? If you said it, then I didn't hear it, so please point it out. Dicklyon (talk) 00:41, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a difference between not providing analyses of sources, as has been repeatedly done, and willfully ignoring the analyses provided. For example, I cited the top Internet financial sites as all capitalizing Bollinger Bands, to which I can add this morning the top brokers, such as Interactive Brokers, TDAmeritrade and TradeStation and the top desktop analysis platforms such as MetaStock, AmiBroker and eSignal. A simple scan of these names, all trademarked, clearly shows the common usage in the industry. You can continue to ignore these analyses all you want, but that does not mean that the analyses have not been provided. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 14:12, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not ignoring, I'm asking for help finding. A search of the conversation for "internet financial" is still not turning up your analysis. Can you provide a diff link? Dicklyon (talk) 18:36, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I cited seven of them in my first opposition post. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 19:29, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, got it. Thanks for clarifying that your analysis was the statement "Common usage is Bollinger Bands. For example the Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Google Finance, Investopedia, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance sites all capitalize both Bs." Interesting; I took a look at a few of those. I didn't find Bollinger Bands in any sentences at Google Finance, but it does appear in a popup where all the technicals are in title case (like Simple Moving Average); so I don't suppose that's what you're counting. Same on Dow Jones, where I only find it in a list with "Moving Average". Similarly on Yahoo and MarketWatch. Surely that's not what you meant. Dicklyon (talk) 20:04, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Opposing Summary

No, I will not stand down for I have no conflict of interest. I am simply here to defend my intellectual property against an unjust attack. Let me summarize.

  1. This question has already been decided twice before, each time in favor of ‘Bollinger Bands”.
  2. Wikipeda WP:TM rules say that trademarks shall be capitalized as with proper nouns so we are not trying to invent new styles here, just trying to stick with the Wikipedia recommended style.
  3. I have shown that virtually all the important finance web sites use ‘Bollinger Bands’.
  4. I have shown a statistically significant search result using a control group that Mr. Lyon suggested, ‘nuclear energy’.
  5. I have show that in the relevant literature the usage is Bollinger Bands.
  6. I have shown that the standard college technical analysis text uses ‘Bollinger Bands’.
  7. I have shown industry usage is 'Bollinger Bands'.
  8. Editor Amatulić has shown that according to WP:CT as a creator is entitled to specify the name of their creation and I have selected ‘Bollinger Bands’.
  9. When administrator Mike Cline ruled last time he noted that the current capitalization created ‘no harm, a key Wikipedia policy, and nothing has changed since then.

I appeal to whoever will rule on this request to do no harm, to Wikipedia, or to me and my intellectual property. Thank you for your time. Finally, the spirit of WP:EIGHT has been violated many times in the campaign to move this article, let’s not violate it again by doing harm. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 23:38, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

That's funny: "I have no conflict of interest. I am simply here to defend my intellectual property..." Dicklyon (talk) 05:55, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Funny? I don't find it funny at all. Who will defend my intellectual property if I do not? Only a fool sits by and does nothing while the fruits of his labor are depreciated. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 13:55, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I just came back from a thorough reading of WP:COI and there is nothing there that says I can not participate in this discussion; in fact, it seems to encourage me to do so. John Bollinger, CFA, CMT (talk) 20:09, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that your interest here is to defend your intellectual property, which is the trademark Bollinger Bands for certain financial services. My interest is to improve the encyclopedia. As long as you only participate on the talk page, it should not be a problem, but my suggestion to "back off" was to let you know that you've been heard, so now let those with WP's interest in mind work it out. Dicklyon (talk) 22:32, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.