Talk:HO scale

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We need a table of Contents like the other model pages have. 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I cleaned up the article some. In the histoy section was a lot of information on controls and DC and DCC, so I put that under the "Control" section and added some outside links. Please help expand the links, I only know a few sites. --Billy Rules 14:48, 26 November 2006

Someone should link "quasi-ballasted" to this page: That's not really common knowledge.

Done Lost on Belmont (talk) 17:20, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Number 0 versus letter O[edit]

I propose we move this article to the original and correct notation H0 scale, with HO scale/gauge as redirects. H0 (half-0) like the 0 and 00 standards is a progression from the older 3, 2 and 1 scale standards. I have already corrected the article text to use 0 notation, keeping it consistent with the 0 scale article. See also Talk:O_scale WinTakeAll (talk) 04:04, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


That flies in the face of usage. It may have started as a zero but it's clearly the letter O nowadays as a quick Google search will prove. "H0 Scale" (letter, number) gets about 29K hits. "HO Scale" (two letters) gets about 3.6 million. The history of the term is certainly of interest but I do not believe Wikipedia should be using a non standard usage just because it was original nor should it be trying to push a usage which has been rejected/superseded by the public. Maybe if someone can cite a majority of manufacturers, hobbyist publications, and so forth offering or discussing H-Zero models but you know that isn't going to happen. H-Oh please. The public has spoken.Filmteknik (talk) 04:51, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

The correct name is "H0" or "half zero"; Google only shows that most people do it wrong. - Erik Baas (talk) 13:39, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I have checked a dozen of catalogues (Märklin, Roco, Fleischmann, Koll) and books about model railroads, and they all write H0. Of course. - Erik Baas (talk) 13:43, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

So... Can I correct the whole page so that it is correct? (Mandibela (talk) 09:53, 24 July 2008 (UTC))

Yes, please ! :-) - Erik Baas (talk) 00:22, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
No, don't. To say the people (including those standard bearers like Kalmbach) are all doing it wrong is to ignore the way language and usage evolves over time. If you are going insist on H0 then please go rewrite the Wiki articles on C, D and other batteries (sic) because technically only 6V, 9V, 12V, etc. batteries containing a group of individual cells qualifies as a "battery." The usage evolved to where it is acceptable to refer to a single cell as a battery. Wikipedia recognizes this and I formally cite this precedent that popular usage should apply and the Wikipedia should not bury its head in the sand. Oh and BTW, if you go to the Märklin site there is ample HO usage. The main page link is H0 but follow the link and you see HO. Filmteknik (talk) 16:07, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
YES!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:09, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

this is stupid. the entire world knows it as alpha-alpha HO. Even the text herein says that pronunciation is Aitch-oh, not "aitch-zero" or even "half-zero". Point is today and for the foreseeable future, it is PRONOUNCED "aitch-oh" so we should SPELL it HO. Mention the legacy in the article and note the evolution to alpha-alpha, that actually adds some value to the article. But don't perpetuate arcane and obsolete terminology for reasons of a neurotic personal disorder, it appears juvenile and immature; model railroaders have enough social stigma to worry about without adding more logs to the fire. Ken (talk) 19:57, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

That argument is a misdirection. The numeral '0' is also pronounced 'oh'. I have never heard anyone say their telephone number was "zero-yadda-yadda", it's always "oh-yadda-yadda"; "Hawaii-five-oh"; "0h-one-hundred hours"; etc. . 'Aitch-oh' is just as much a pronunciation of H0 as it is a pronunciation of HO Fatphil (talk) 10:57, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the twenty-four hour clock in the military pronounces it "zero one hundred hours" not "oh one hundred hours". I saw countless Marines get a beat down in boot camp for saying oh instead of zero. "The ceremony rehearsal is at zero nine" or "We were told to muster for morning formation at zero six thirty". Thanks. (talk) 22:12, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Exactly, I've been going to train stores and trains shows since I was a kid and I've never seen H0 outside of Wiki. Note that the article on O scale actually lists it as alpha O ("0 scale" redirects) so this page should do the same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:46, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

As a stopgap measure I'm reverting Erik Baas's edits. The "correct" name for HO scale, as defined by the experts, is H alpha-O in the US and Canada (per NMRA) and H number-0 in Europe (per the NEM). Common usage in the U.S. is entirely HO, while in Europe it varies by manufacturer and location.

Since this is the English Wikipedia, English conventions take precedence; this presents a problem wherever British and American conventions conflict. This has lead to more than a few transatlantic edit wars, of which the HO/H0 differentiation is but one. It helps to look at the numbers; Canada and the US share a common model railroad market of 340 million inhabitants, with standards outlined by the NMRA. The UK market is about 1/4 this size, at 85 million.

Including English-speaking Commonwealth countries outside the US significantly affects this ratio, so it is useful to look at these countries' individual practices. A cursory look at Australian manufacturers (link: reveals that they almost all use the term HO scale. Data for South Africa is more scarce, but the website for the Pretoria Model Train Club likewise spells it H-alpha-O (

Additionally, a cursory review of Google search results shows that modelers in these countries prefer US and Canadian prototypes over British ones, a fact compounded by the fact that most British outline models are in OO gauge.

Finally, while the "H0" and "0" nomenclature is compatible with the mostly obsolete 1, 2, and 3 scales, "HO" and "O" are more appropriate when one considers that almost all model railroad gauges in common use use alpha characters (i.e. Z, N, TT, S, G, etc)

Thus while H0 is technically correct in Britain, HO is correct in the much-larger North American market and predominates throughout the rest of the English-speaking world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:50, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Also: changing "most of the world" line. The most popular scales in Japan and many non-anglo countries (i.e., France, Switzerland) are N and Z, and Germany is about evenly split between H0 and TT. In truth, HO's predominance only extends to the rest of the English-speaking world.

"The name is derived from the fact that its 1:87 scale is approximately half that of 0 (zero) scale, hence H0. 0 scale in turn was named following the older and larger 1, 2, and 3 scales." - Erik Baas (talk) 12:09, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Erik, interesting historical tidbits do not take precedence over the authority of standards-bodies like the NMRA and overwhelming common usage by both manufacturers and modelers across the English-speaking world. Bolding them doesn't change that fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

"Interesting historical tidbits" ? Do you even know what the word fact means ? - Erik Baas (talk) 14:35, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Why yes, as a matter of fact I do, and it's a fact that the NMRA and the overwhelming majority of modelers agree that it's "HO Scale." Hence my continued undoing of your undoings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
The name "English" is derived from the fact that the landmass now known as England was settled by a Germanic tribe called the Angles. This doesn't prove that England is really spelled "Angland" and you should actually call people from "Angland" Germans. Names evolve over time. Perhaps it's time to stop clinging to old naming conventions simply because some manufacturers in Angland don't want to modernize. (talk) 12:53, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

After reading this article's arguments, I find overwhelming evidence suggesting that "aitch oh" is the intended pronunciation and therefore the correct spelling: HO. I also propose we change 5-0 to 5-O, 90210 to 9O21O, etc. Sobeita (talk) 06:16, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I have to agree with here. If the NMRA says that it's HO, it's HO. It may have once been correct to refer to it as H0, but currently, the majority use HO, and Wikipedia should go with that. --clpo13(talk) 04:24, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

You can't change a name just because a lot of people pronounce it the wrong way: the scale is called "H0", the only problem is that this "0" is pronounced "O" by some English speakers (and nobody else !); also see de:Nenngröße_H0 ! - Erik Baas (talk) 13:16, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Erik, this is the English Wikipedia. It exists by and for English speakers. How the German Wikipedia spells it is immaterial; I'm not going on there and changing their article title to "HO" just because that's what's correct in the US/Canada/Australia. Cultural differences are GOOD. Diversity is GOOD. And in the US, Canada, and a majority of the English-speaking world, it's H-alpha-O, as defined by both common usage *and* the rulemakers (i.e. NMRA). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:32, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
So, according to you, we now have scales 3, 2, 1, 0 and HO ? Rediculous... - Erik Baas (talk) 14:26, 30 January 2009 (UTC) P.S.: Please sign your somments wirh four tildes (~~~~); thank you.
Well, no, actually, per NMRA standards O scale is also spelled with an alpha O. So you've got HO, O, OO, and 1 gauge. 2 and 3 are defunct. (talk) 14:37, 30 January 2009 (UTC) See [1]

Since the page at HO scale has been protected following mine and Erik Baas's edit warring, I'm going to be transferring the content revisions I had made to "HO" to this version. Over time I also want to try to split the NMRA/MOROP definitions (for narrow gauges and the like), since as it's been pointed out they are not explicitly identical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:53, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
If that means you're going to change all instances of "H0" to "HO": don't. - Erik Baas (talk) 12:18, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Where the article is referring to specific models or publications which spell it HO I will spell it accordingly. For instance, Walthers does not have an "H0" catalog, nor does KATO make "H0" Unitrack. However, I will not change *every instance* to HO. On the same token, if you think a particular instance of "HO" should be "H0," please change that particular instance rather than reverting my entire edit, as you did with the "availability" section. (talk) 15:14, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
ALSO: Seeing as how the article is presently hosted at H0, I don't see why the history of how HO's evolution from 3, 2, and 1 scales belongs in the first paragraph. It's history... it belongs in the history section... which is still the second paragraph. (talk) 15:40, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Useful for future reference: mine and Erik Baas's discussion on Malinaccier's talk page —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:34, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Permalink: [2]. - Erik Baas (talk) 12:26, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Who is this Erik bozo who is so intent on forcing a usage with is completely at odds with how the term is used in most of the countries where this gauge is popular? And why...just because the term started a certain way? So just because of that, that makes it more correct? Someone needs a lesson in how language evolves. The term has changed; it's as simple as that. I've never seen someone so singlemindedly childish. (talk) 04:27, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorry zero-fans, you lose on this one. I have an early 1980s Hornby OO set and a 1960s Jouef set, both have the O printed as a letter, not to mention they are European. My US and Australian stock also read HO scale, as does my early 1990s Lima catalogue. They don't call OO 'dublo' in England for nothing. (talk) 22:12, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

If it was to go to a vote, I'd go for HO - I don't think I've ever seen numbers involved until I came to this article. Same goes for O scale - I've only seen the letter, not the number. The history is interesting, and worthy of mention in the article, but if most English speakers use the letter then the language and the term has moved on - so should we, as an encyclopedia. Finally, since the article was started with the letter, I'd say that moving it to a number without following formal procedure was improper. --Badger151 (talk) 04:26, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd also have to vote for alpha-alpha HO. This argument seems to have been going on for some time and the only detractor seems to be the ever readt-to-revert Erik Baas. Fairly certain that a consensus has been reached in favor of going to Alpha-Alpha with a note about the origin of the term. If it is deemed necessary, we can put this up to an official vote, get a third party opinion, or both. I really think it's time this war ended. Lost on Belmont (talk) 04:50, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Please read - and try to understand - the article again: the name is H0, and has always been. Quote:
The name H0 is derived from the fact that its 1:87 scale is 
approximately half that of 0 (zero) scale, hence H0.
The fact that lots of people spell it the wrong way is no reason to change the article's title in this encyclopedia. - Erik Baas (talk) 12:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
My (and I assume that this goes for most of the editors here) comprehension if the situation is perfectly clear. It is yours that appears to be flawed. You seem to have forgotten that what was and what is are two separate situations. Your argument is the same as arguing that if a word is a Latin derivative, then it is still a Latin word and should be spelled the same. Do not continue to attempt to force your ideas by implying that anyone of a differing opinion is of lower intelligence. Lost on Belmont (talk) 15:10, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Erik made a rebuttal. It's your turn. Don't dig for implications and motives, just respond to the point. Sobeita (talk) 06:19, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Sounds to me like he did respond to the point - and properly. How about you do the same. (talk) 22:21, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Mr Baas, I understand your argument. There's no need to be rude. Where I disagree is over the relevance of your argument. 0 Scale is equally foreign to me - I've known it as O scale. I used to read Model Railroader magazine in the late eighties/early nineties - I don't recall them ever mentioning 0 scale, though they had a lot to say about O scale. And aside from here, anytime I've read or heard about the history of the term HO, it's always been "half of O scale", not "half of 0 scale". So, I guess I'm not convinced on the validity of your argument, either.
The history, assuming it to be correct, is interesting, but if most English speakers are writing HO, then I think we're obliged to follow them. Our job as an encyclopedia is to describe the world as it is, in as neutral a tone as possible, to enable people to better understand the world as it is - not the world as we might like it to be, or the world as it was. --Badger151 (talk) 18:29, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Our job is to be accurate as well, not perpetuate errors. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:38, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
I must agree with Bermicourt. The majority of the world believed the world was flat 3000 years ago. Just because that was the tradition does not make it right. H0 makes much more sense, considering both its derivation and its taxonomy. Wikipedia even has a page dedicated to common mis-conceptions. So why have the wrong thing here? -21:21, 27 March 2011 (PST)
The shape of the planet and an arbitrary naming convention are hardly comparable, since the shape of the planet is a physical property of Earth, and a naming convention is just a label assigned to a class of objects. 2000 years ago, western civilization called the planet "Terra." Just because that was a tradition doesn't make it correct today, since, as languages evolved, new standardized names for the planet were created.
The difference between h0 and hO isn't the same as the difference between saying the planet is flat or round, it's more like saying the planet isn't named Terra, it's named Earth. "It's written this way because that's how it was originally written" isn't a valid argument proving that the lesser used name is the correct one simply because it's older. If that were the case, then African-American is an incorrect label, they should be called negroes or colored people and are only worth 3/5 of a white person, Native Americans are, of course, Indians, the number 5 is actually V, and Pluto is still a planet. (talk) 13:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

An interesting discussion, or perhaps a hornet's nest. I think the biggest confusion comes from the fact that, at least in the USA, the letter 'O' is often substituted for the digit '0', for example in telephone numbers. It's still a digit (try pressing the 6MNO key instead of a zero and you'll be disappointed), but pronounced as an 'O', for whatever reason. Another issue is that the article is called 'h0' scale (yes, it's actually a lower case 'h', just to make things a bit more complex), and that 'HO scale' gets redirected to it. And yes, there are scales 0, 1 and 2, even to this day... but scales 1 and 2 are written in Roman numerals, I and II respectively. So what's the Roman numeral for 0? Um...

Comments like "everybody uses HO, and there are more people living in the US than elsewhere" are, quite frankly, irrelevant, not to mention "I've never seen it spelt differently". Everybody in the Anglophone world says "Krakatoa", even though the volcano is called "Krakatau" or "Krakatao": it's an error in translation. Everybody in the US says "aluminum", even though the scientific name is "aluminium", also the word used by the 6.7 billion non-US citizens. Also, I'd hazard a guess that many people, like I, use the English-language Wikipedia because it has the most information and best written articles. So you're not only writing for the USA and the UK, plus the other countries throughout the world that have English as an official language. (Which are quite a few, given the British success in introducing afternoon tea and driving on the left throughout the world.)

The fact that N, TT and Z scales use letters is also irrelevant, because they are relatively new. They have an entirely different etymology.

So, finally, what is the wise thing to do? I'd say, decide on one, and use it throughout the article. And make sure that the one you don't use redirects to the one that you do use. Just keep two things in mind: 1. 'HO' is not really used outside the US, except by people who don't know the 'correct' phrase. 2. Given the disproportionally large percentage of people on the autistic spectrum that like model trains, you're likely to see more discussions about the 'correct' phrase to use, if it's been defined somewhere in the early 20th century as being 'h0'.

Just my €0.02 worth. SeverityOne (talk) 21:49, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

To your first point, see my research below in the move proposal. turns out "HO" is used around the world, and indeed, may be more common than H0.
I'm confused by your claim of this page being at "h0". Looks capitalized to me. Of what do you speak?oknazevad (talk) 22:33, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Your research simply tracked down manufacturers that support you point of view. "HO" is hardly ever used in the many countries of Europe where it is the most popular scale and where it was invented. The main problem here is that the US, where H0 has been widely adopted refers in practice to this scale as "HO" whereas in Europe it is "H0". Which ever way we go, we are going to disappoint someone. It's a pity Wiki software isn't clever enough to display US or non-US terminology as specified by the user, especially in titles. BTW it's clear that SeverityOne made a typo - he means "H0". --Bermicourt (talk) 07:10, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, my research was specifically centered around finding bodies and clubs, not manufacturers. And for the most part I searched without "HO" or "H0" in the string, to avoid biasing the results. All I searched for, for example, is "Australia model train".
"yes, it's actually a lower case 'h', just to make things a bit more complex" - this was the line I was looking at. Yes, he does say it's at a lowercase "h"; it's not a typo.oknazevad (talk) 19:26, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Comments like "everybody uses HO" are not irrelevant when it comes to pronunciation and spelling. The Anglophone world says Krakatoa, because the English name for the volcano is Krakatoa. Is it incorrect to call South Korea "The Republic of Korea," even though the actual name of the country is "Dae Han Min Guk?" No, because when discussing English names for things, we take the generally accepted name, pronunciation, and spelling of it in English. And what is the generally accepted pronunciation and spelling? The most commonly used standardized version. And it's not just Americans and "people who don;t know the correct phrase" that use hO. As mentioned plenty of times in this article, a number of manufacturers from numerous countries spanning multiple continents also use hO. (and just an interesting bit of info, the British's success in introducing English as an official language and left handed driving can be quantitatively measured at roughly 25% of all countries in the world using each of those conventions. I couldn't find any information about afternoon tea, since "does a sizable portion of our population drink tea in the afternoon" isn't really a statistic that most governments track or publish.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

This whole debate is because Americans pronounce the 0 as an O and thus type it that way and thus believe it is the right way? Before the internet I've never even seen the HO notation, because it does not make sense. And now it has to be HO because America is bigger than Great Britain? Wasn't Wikipedia supposed to be a encyclopedia for the major public, improved by ones who know best? That way, making the best information available for the public? Because if this goes through, it will be the public telling the public what they think is right, which will make Wikipedia never useful for serious research, because every information from Wikipedia will be noted as: "This is what the majority of people believe!". And thus it's true? Please make it H0 and as a first line you may enter: In America pronounced and written as HO. That way, the whole world can be happy and Americans get a little history lesson. Other option: make it HO and as a first line explain that Americans uses an O for a 0 and that in the American eyes it now has evolved into HO, however the rest of the world with no American import still uses H0 because they do NOT pronounce the O as a 0 and therefore still uses the H0 notation. That way Americans can be happy and the whole world can have yet another little laugh about Americans. (talk) 08:19, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, since pronunciation generally adapts over time to account for the way that the general public has chosen to pronounce things (eg most of the world pronounces the g in Los Angeles, instead of calling it Los An"h"eles as it was originally intended to be pronounced. And have you heard anyone call it "Detwah, Michigan?" Because that's the original pronunciation of Detroit), using "what the majority of people believe" isn't necessarily the wrong way to approach the problem. Especially since, as mentioned many times on this discussion page, it's not only the US that uses the "new" pronunciation, but also Canadian, Australian, and various European manufacturers. Also, when you're insulting Americans for not pronouncing or spelling a naming convention correctly, you should try to avoid having typos and grammatical errors littered throughout your remarks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:34, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay, so North America and Australia use HO. In Europe some manufacturers uses HO, but the most of Europe manufacturers uses H0. I for a fact have never seen one using HO in Europe. And my excuses for having typos and grammatical errors in a debate. I am not flawless in every language. So feel free to clean my words of typos to make my saying more readable for other people. (talk) 09:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
So, if you agree that North Americans, Australians, and some Europeans use a certain pronunciation and spelling, then - 1. Why devote your response to blaming Americans for the discrepancy? 2. Why should the "correct" pronunciation for this naming convention be based on what a minority of people use instead of letting the "correct" pronunciation evolve with time, as the pronunciation of many many many other words do? 3. Why say that Americans need "a little history lesson" for using what has become the more common pronunciation for a word? (Does everyone who calls the city "Detroit" need to be given a history lesson about the origin of the name of the city, and why it should be pronounced "Detwah" even though nobody calls it that anymore?). And my point isn't that typos and grammatical errors make your post unreadable. My point is that it is extremely hypocritical for someone who is misspelling 3 letter words and making basic grammatical errors to insult an entire country and their mastery of their native language because the people in that country use what has become the more common pronunciation and spelling for a word that even authorities in the field cannot agree upon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:22, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
1. We didn't start it. 2. Because not only English speaking people read the English wikipedia pages. Most of the English wikipedia pages are superior over other languages and we, the rest of the world, like to keep it that way. 3. The only thing I said, is when it says something like "you use it this way, but it comes from there and there it's used that way" you will get a lesson in history. I can see that you are happy for your example, seeing "Detwah" explained on the Detroit page. It's right there, in the first lines, so everybody gets a history lesson about Detroit. Isn't that nice? 4. (about the typos and grammatical errors) Dan zal ik maar in het Nederlands verder met je discussiëren, dan weet ik tenminste zeker dat ik geen fouten maak. Helaas zul jij nu de moeite doen om mij te begrijpen. Vind je dit prettiger dan wanneer ik mij duidelijk probeer te maken naar jou? Ik verwacht natuurlijk een foutloze Nederlandse respons. I hope Google can translate that better for you then I can. (talk) 20:55, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Bedankt voor een uitstekend geintje! Ik toch lol'd. —een vriend uit de Verenigde Staten, (talk) 20:06, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Yay, I found my three letter word typo! I've corrected jet to yet. Thank you! (talk) 22:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
So you're trying to accuse the Americans of having an American viewpoint while being overtly racist towards us? Seem a little inconsistent? -- (talk) 05:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

From the NMRA[edit]

I have been in touch with the NMRA historian's office on this issue. As far as they can tell their standards have used "HO" (that is, the letter) from the very beginning. I am awaiting a citation from them in support of the matter, but here is Brent Lambert (Library Manager, Kalmbach Memorial Library) in reply to my query: "It is my understanding that the NMRA has always referred to the scale as H-letter-O, because the scale was roughly "half the size of O scale." The association's earliest standards refer to it as H-letter-O as opposed to H-zero, so those standards could be used as source material." Mangoe (talk) 22:08, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

You realize you are arguing about if whether it's "H and a circle" or "H and a circle"?. The reason "oh" is used for zeroes sometimes is that it's visually the same symbol. The only difference is that in most (but not all) computer font the zero is usually as wide as other numbers while the letter is slightly wider. Before standardized fonts, 0 and O were the same symbol, sometimes it was a letter and sometimes a number depending on context. Thus this may always have been both HO and H0 from the beginning and both are correct, since both are an "H and a circle". (Imho: Visually HO is more pleasing since the letter width is more similar, technically/historically H0 is more correct since the O in this case refers to the number zero.) Qvasi (talk) 07:12, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I'm a n00b, but I can't help but having an opinion. Both sides have very strong cases. Clearly, when 0 scale was invented it was 0 scale(pronounced 'oh' scale, but written/meant with a 'zero' in mind), but then in the English speaking world it was quickly adopted it as a letter probably because there was little reference to it as a number and through ignorance of the manufacturers naming conventions and assumption. So people spoke about the 'oh' scale, and whoever didn't know it was actually a 'zero', assumed it was an 'O'. So it became O scale, and everybody knew what each other meant because it's written and pronounced exactly the same and without much conflict. And official bodies and clubs etc, (all made up of the people above) used it as such and defined it as such, so by the time that H0 came out, it was auto-translated from the German H0 to the English HO, without H0 barely making an appearance in English. I agree that HO should be HO, the truth should be in the etymology section. unfortunately. again, I'm a n00b and i'll probably never return here to read the responses, just my 2 cents221.127.90.70 (talk) 07:59, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

only idiots pronounce the number zero by saying the letter O. Just because there's a lot of idiots doesn't make them right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brentstrahan (talkcontribs) 08:33, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

To call people idiots because they use colloquial speech just shows your stupidity. People say "oh" instead of "zero" in phone numbers (as an example) because its faster and everyone knows what you mean. Actually, that's probably how we got from H0 to HO. Some editor mis-heard it from a while back and now its been passed on for generations. -- Suso (talk) 13:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
eight-six-seven-five three-oh-ni-i-ine... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:05, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

I guess that all Canadians, including the people who invented electric streetcars, caulking guns, snowblowers, the robertson screw, the goalie mask, the lawn sprinkler, odometers, the pacemaker, sonar, plexiglass, insulin, the telephone, poutine, and the canadarm, are "idiots". How about we debate the issue and not make personal attacks? Americans and Canadians call it HO. They call it HO whether it is supposed to be HO or H0. In the US and Canada, it is HO. Clearly, outside this part of the world, it is called H0, and it is supposed to be H0. If it WAS H0 in Canada and the US it is NO LONGER H0, it is HO, however the fact that it ONCE WAS H0 does matter. The page should stay H0, and a note should be added that some people call it HO. Nickjbor (talk) 09:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

This discussion was totally unnecessary. The standard was invented in Germany and called "H-null" (where null is zero in German) ever since and I've never heard or seen it otherwise anywhere in Europe either from fans or manufacturers. The "Derivation" paragraph pretty much sums that up in the article, so please, somebody go ahead and change the remaining HO's to H0's. (talk) 09:49, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

This is the ENGLISH Wikipedia. If you'd like to change the German, Italian, and French versions- go right ahead. In the English speaking world- the _vast_ majority of people refer to it as HO scale and NOT H0 scale.
The title of an entry must reflect the most accurate and "official" naming of the thing the article's talking about. You call it People's Republic of China, not just China. (Yes, I wrote this because I have read today's xkcd comic @ [3]. In case you were wondering why all these folks landed on here today. LOL) --MauroVan (talk) 09:55, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
It is L0L ( (talk) 16:07, 28 March 2011 (UTC))
This is not just about pronunciation. The 2 leading model railway/railroad bodies also differ: NEM (Europe) uses H0 and NMRA (US) calls it HO. So it is not straightforward. Because the standard originated as H0 and is still called that by one of the 2 leading bodies, I favour H0 as the title, but with a full acknowledgement in the text that a significant part of the world and the model railway/railroad community legitimately call it HO. Indeed, it seems entirely reasonable to me to use HO whenever referring to specific US and Canadian modelling. --Bermicourt (talk) 11:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
It used to be called 0 scale because that was the numbering system chosen by Marklin. It's now called 'O' scale. Why? As the old ATC joke goes- "Because you lost the bloody war." Jokes aside- I worked in a hobby shop in NYC for 15 years. We sold HO trains all over the world. I never once, in email or on the phone, heard someone refer to it as H0 scale. This despite selling a lot of kit to Germany and the UK. Furthermore- this is the English Wikipedia, and the vast majority of English speakers refer to it as HO, not H0. If you come here for better articles, but English is not your primary language, then fix and/or expand your own version of Wikipedia- stop mucking up this version. H0 is of historical interest- but it is no longer the term used by the majority of English speakers. If you're from the UK, and still use H0, well- sorry- you're in the minority. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sirket (talkcontribs) 15:21, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
It's fascinating to note that the Marklin's US web page for this scale is '' (alpha 'o'), while the text on said page always refers to H0 (zero) models. I have no strong opinion on the outcome of all of this, but I lean slightly towards alpha-alpha. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:11, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

It doesn't matter how you say it. For example, James Bond is also know as "double-oh seven". But, the "oh"s are digits. In the UK, at least, when reading phone numbers, one rarely says "zero", it's usually pronounced "oh". See, for example, the wikipedia entry on "Zero". Do you remember "Hawaii five-0"? That's 5-0 for 50, the 50th state of the US, notwithstanding errors on soundtrack albums. So, if pronunciation doesn't matter, does the spelling? Not really, since 0 and O look similar enough in any of the relevant point-of-sale material, and there is no confusion caused. This debate is entirely a matter of choosing a stylistic convention for wikipedia. I'd plump for the original H0 on that basis, since it's explicable without resorting to "at some point we chose to formalise this error of understanding". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Seriously, you guys REALLY care whether it is an 0 or O? Get over it. You know what it is regardless of whether it is a 0 or an O. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:57, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

"This debate is entirely a matter of choosing a stylistic convention for wikipedia." Of course it is!! This is why it's important in this context. --MauroVan (talk) 14:11, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Okay - a suggestion from someone completely new to the topic: Clearly the two terms are now interchangeable. How about simply stating that fact in the main article. Perhaps acknowledge that H0 is the original form (stating why) but that HO is more commonly used. As the more commonly used version of two interchangable terms (and therefore the mostly likely term to be searched) use HO for the page titles and H0 for the redirect. ( (talk) 15:01, 28 March 2011 (UTC))

You can say HO is more commonly used, but more specific HO is generally used in America and H0 is generally used in Europe. So better would be to pick one. For H0, make clear that in America HO is used. Don't forget to mention why. If HO is chosen, make sure to tell that in Europe H0 is used, and explain why America has switched to HO. Either way is fine, but I strongly prefer H0. (talk) 08:45, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Americans, Canadians, Australians, and some Europeans, you mean. Since the pronunciation and spelling of words evolves over time to reflect the most common usage, wouldn't it make more sense for the article to be hO (with an h0 redirect), and an explanation about how some people still use the original pronunciation and spelling, than having the article be h0 (with an hO redirect), and an explanation about how a vast majority of English speakers are wrong to believe that language is fluid? (talk) 09:52, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Then you should send letters to all universities, as they need to change all their introductory courses to 1Oh1. Please, just leave the appropriate number 0 where it belongs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sonomadepapa (talkcontribs) 22:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

This argument would make sense except that it is commonly (and, as far as I can tell, always) written num-num-num '101' rather than num-alpha-num '1O1'. If most colleges used num-aplha-num '1O1', then we would indeed use it on this encyclopedia. Language is defined by current use, not by original use. Aeonoris (talk) 00:21, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, since the college courses are all written as 101, they should not change the spelling to 1o1. The issue here is that most people pronounce (including, as far as I can tell, the Europeans who feel so strongly that we should use the original notations.... from the article: In English H0 is pronounced "aitch-oh" (letters H O) ) and spell it hO. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:48, 29 March 2011 (UTC).
Let's move on. It's more important to improve the article itself. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:14, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, according to the h0 argument, the article for "10" should redirect to an article about the Roman numeral X, since the Roman numeral X was used to represent "ten" throughout Europe long before the Arabic numerals 10 were adopted. And it's still being used, in movie titles, copyright and trademark dates, and various other places. Who cares that it's only used in a minority of cases. It was the original way that people denoted ten, and it's still in use, so please edit the article for "10 (number)" to "X (number)" to reflect the original notation, and have all searches for "10" redirect to that page. Thank you. (talk) 10:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

This online argument is now so epic that it has a comic that references it ( Epic fail guys. Epic fail. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
And we haven't even BEGUN to discuss the question of the 0. If we go with H0 as originally intended and not HO as currently used, is it the 0 with a slash in it or the 0 without the slash in it. Everywhere I've seen it used, it doesn't have the slash. However we have to consider that if the original makers had clearly used H - 0-with-a-slash this entire discussion would be a non-issue, since everyone would know it was H0 and not HO. Thus using H - 0-with-a-slash would be a favour to future generations and save much confusion. And also, I would get to laugh at an even longer-winded and more heated debate over an even more trivial issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Pro h zero-with-a-slash! No more confusion! +1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
All in favor for immortalizing this hilarious discussion as a historical document say 'aye'...otherwise, say 'I' or 'eye' or 'AIEEE!' and discuss. User:Hmccasla —Preceding undated comment added 11:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC).

Manual of Style[edit]

Folks, wikipedia has a manual for this stuff. Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style see "National varieties of English". The same rule appears to apply, assuming HO is North American and H0 is continental Europe. The article appears to have started with HO, so such it should remain, with H0 explained as an alternate and left out for the rest of the article. I write this from the personal perspective of thinking HO is a weird-arse way to write 'half zero', but I also think colour should be spelled with a u. Doesn't mean I'm going to start a flamewar on any opposing wikipedia entry. Cheers. (talk) 23:14, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Alright, look, everyone. The mere fact that you're all debating between H0 and HO means that both terms hold appreciable merit in our society. An encyclopedia, by its very nature, must keep up-to-date with current trends and whatnot. So given that both H0 and HO have been substantially defended here, just include both *** forms. It doesn't matter THIS MUCH - as in, enough to merit the ridiculous amount of discussion it's generated. Pick a form for the title - it REALLY doesn't matter which, as the fact that both are used to such a great degree in our society means that they are both reasonably correct - and just note a FRACTION of this discussion within the text of the article. Christ, people, it doesn't matter near enough to merit this ludicrous display of immaturity, and no intellectual debate merits attacking the opposition instead of the opposition's argument. You all should be ashamed. Elfred (talk) 02:56, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree, since it is H0 now, let's keep it H0 and let's keep the redirect to HO and let's keep the notification on how HO is also used. -- Christ (talk) 06:28, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I do wish to mention that though in many cases making this choice would be important, I believe that here it is not. The only reason to make a wiki-wide decision one way or the other is for ease of use and reading. In the particular font we use here, the only difference between an "O" and a "0" is that one is a circle, and one is an ellipse. In some fonts, this is not the case. A "0" might have a slash, which might distract a reader who expects an "O". In that case, this argument would hold great weight and indeed be necessary. The common font on Wikipedia has no slash, and no other mark to make the difference between HO and H0 so obvious; I feel quite sure that HO and H0 are so similar in their appearance that the randomization of their use would not in anyway detract from an article's legibility. Glassmage (talk) 18:20, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree. Even without the slash, there is a clear difference like you said yourself. The one is a circle and the other an ellipse. You can NOT randomize those! Especially because not everybody reads an O or a 0 as the same thing. Agreed, many English speakers read both as an "oh" and therefore don't need clarification. Others on the other hand read the 0 as a "zero". For them it IS important to have a difference and these people do see a difference between an O and a 0, whatever font you use. (talk) 21:57, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Being a graybeard (greybeard to our English neighbours), I used to own a primitive word processor called a typewriter (Tokmachone to our Dutch buren, see here for more). This Underwood model had no "zero" key; you were expected to use a capital "oh". Come to think of it, it didn't have a "one" key either; a lower case "ell" had to suffice. This situation was not unusual, and may explain why the whole HO/0 zero/oh confusion has arisen. It's not a misspelling; there simply was no difference at all back then between zero and oh.
We now resume our regular debate. Cwelgo (talk) 13:11, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Noce story, O lol'd. Mostly about the tokmachone. ;) (talk) 15:06, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

OK, Typesetters and typewriters caused this problem. There are no more typewriters, but typesetters can solve the problem, and it starts HERE.

1) It HAS to have the zero. This is etymologically correct. See all the above reason why this is correct. The oh is just a holdover of typographical parsimony that the general (model train using) public didn't understand properly. There's no reason to perpetuate this error. 2) The zero HAS to have the slash to make it clear to everyone that it IS a zero in ALL fonts. This is the ONLY way this miserable mess will ever be resolved. 3) The truth shall set you free. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

OK, the article has been fixed to use Ø throughout. Thank goodness this silly argument is now over! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
LOLZ nice try, you goof. Did you even read to the end of the argument here? "Lotta history down that road."

I find the overall weight of argument more convincing for HO (alpha). I agree that the public made an ugly mistake in choosing how to refer to the scale, but the evidence is clear that the bulk of the English speaking public, both amateurs and professionals, use the letter O. The Wikipedia page should follow public usage, not an ideal counterfactual etymology. Invisible Flying Mangoes (talk) 03:25, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

  • The problem is that for this issue, the depth of entrenchment is far greater than any argument in favour of one form or the other.
The "correct" form is obvious - but there are two of them, for Germany and the US. Both have equally substantial, unarguable claims that (for each region) only one form is correct, and that the other is not.
But that then leaves us with a problem, not between formats, but between countries. It's an WP:ENGVAR issue, not a WP:V issue, and so the whole set of rules involved shift. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:58, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


I'm slowly working my way through the article adding references. Thus far, I've run into two problems that I could use some help on. First, I can't read Japanese, nor do I know what the web address extension is for Japanese sites, so I don't think I'll be able to find a citation for Japan. Can someone else help here? Second, is there an official site in Australia, similar to the NEM and NMRA in Europe and the US? All I've been been able to find in the au domain are commercial sites. I've used on of those for the moment, but I'm not happy with it for long term. --Badger151 (talk) 21:42, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

A quick google for "australian model railway society" brings up as the top link. Also Japan has .jp. Danlibbo (talk) 22:07, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Is the scale 1:87 or 1:~87.086?[edit]

This is not a question of theory. If all, or the vast majority, of model train manufacturers use a scale of 1:87 for their scale track, trains, etc., then HO scale is exactly 1:87. It cannot be 1:87.086 if nobody at all uses that scale. So which scale does everyone use? CGameProgrammer (talk) 07:13, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Any difference this small cannot be distinguished due to manufacturing tolerances. Dzenanz (talk) 07:28, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
"3.5mm:1ft" is a 2-sig-fig specification. That's the same as saying "3.5mm +/- 0.05mm : 1ft +/- 0.05ft". That is, the 2-sig-fig implied error bars are from ~1:84 to ~1:90. So, both are correct, but misleading since they omit error bars. Best answer is probably "about 1:0.87 ± 0.03", or just "2.5mm to one foot". (talk) 21:18, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
So we can loose the .086 digits anyway? Because it doesn't make any sense to mention those, but yet there they are. (talk) 21:55, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Indeed. If you're going to be imprecise, at least be convenient. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I am a model railway designer and use exactly 1:87, according to NEM 010. Normally rounded to 0.05 mm as anything finer will be lost to manufacturing tolerances. But then again I have never modelled a prototype whose measurements were given in inches .... -- (talk) 23:15, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

"3.5 mm (0.14 in) represents 1 real foot (304.8 mm)"[edit]

Is it intentional to mix the units? (3.5mm : 1 ft)? I see that the numbers become nice and round this way, but it seems unconventional, and inappropriate.

In other words, I'm suggesting that the text be edited to read, "0.14 in (3.5 mm) represents 1 real foot (304.8 mm)". (talk) 07:28, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I suppose it makes sense if we're talking about modern models being manufactured, to metric standards, of older objects which were manufactured to Imperial standards. But (I suspect like some of the posters above) I've just come here after reading today's XKCD, so I don't actually know what I'm talking about. (talk) 07:49, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I entirely agree . it seems incredibly bad practice to mix units in the way this article has (at the very top of the article : " Scale per foot: 3.5 mm to 1-foot " ) . The article heading paragraph has been bettered as the first comment here suggests . but not all of it . even if it at first appears to look better , and fits into the table well , it is still an outrage . (talk) 14:09, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Someone else may hate to be pedantic, but not me: 3.5mm to the foot is how the scale is defined. Mangoe (talk) 14:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
.... is how NMRA defines the standard. MOROP defines it as 1:87 exactly. Note that typical scale deviations in actual models go way beyond that. -- (talk) 23:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
That is quite correct. I am a hobbyist myself, and do collect several magazines and books on the subject. 3.5mm:1 foot is quite correct. As is 2mm:1" for N. This is beacuse on the railways the units generally used are imperial, and metric for models (excluding baseboards). While this is confusing, it is what is used and has been used for years. Cousjava (talk) 16:37, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed; on Wikipedia, we strive to never mix units within an article, but a defined value like this is an obvious exception. I kind of wonder if something like "3.5 mm represents 1 real foot (0.14 in : 304.8 mm)", or something like that, might not be easier on the eyes. Huntster (t @ c) 18:37, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
The reason NOT to do this is that you are presuming four digits of precision where only two are available. 3.5mm:1ft IS NOT the same as 0.14in:304.8mm, both because they're not exactly the same, and more importantly because they have different error bars. "3.5mm:1ft" is the same as saying "3.5mm +/- 0.05mm : 1ft +/- 0.05ft". That is, the 2-sig-fig implied error bars are from ~1:84 to ~1:90. The 4-sig-fig implied error bars for "0.14in:304.8mm" are ~1:86.04 to ~1:85.40. Stick to the measures in the official definition: don't make up your own arbitrarily-precise definition in randomly-selected units. (talk) 21:12, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Or just use the word 'about'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

xkcd strip[edit]

On the 28th of March an xkcd comic strip was released regarding the H0 scale:

--Krotton (talk) 13:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Don't you mean 28th March?

--ZeroCool42 14:33, 28 March 2011 (GMT) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I think it is actually March 28th, not 28th March. -- (talk) 04:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

No. I feel that clearly March *the* 28th has historical precedence and should be used. - cpj March the 29th 2001 (Australia) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:27, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Wrong. The correct terminology would be "the 28th of March". Quite clearly, as in historical times it would have been referred to as the 28th of March. Clearly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:47, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

So what? Noone gives a d*** about your goddam XKCD, it does not warrant inclusion in every goddam article that's ever mentioned!!! I would also like to include that I'm a huge douche and live in my mother's basement. That will be all. Now I need to go back to building my house in HO scale.

i like where this is going.. (talk) 15:11, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 28 March 2011 (UTC) Mbarbier (talk) 16:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

No I think you mean building your house in H0 scale. --Wæng (talk) 08:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The comic is regarding the HO scale. (talk) 17:08, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, definitely about the HO scale. I don't quite understand the bit about an IO" model of a house though. (talk) 22:22, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not an 'IO"' model, it's a 10" (ten-inch) model.
But why would people call it IO if is means 10?
Show us two continents full of people who call 10 IO (and a third continent with a sizable population that refers to it as the same), and we'll accept your argument that the comic was referring to an IO" house. (talk) 10:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Please capitalize the comic title as "xkcd" (or "Xkcd" when required), and not "XKCD" as per the webpage's FAQ. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

You have that backward. The most preferred form is "xkcd" followed by "XKCD". Read for yourself: (talk) 01:36, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Changed to xkcd.
WP:SARCASM (talk) 15:26, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

dead link in section external links[edit]

Not really dead but it's a placeholder page for a domain for sale. Someone may want to fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:18, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Thought on O/0 (Please Read!)[edit]

I can't believe that this actually ended up being such an interesting read. After reading all of the discussions on HO and H0, I feel that nobody made a more convincing argument than Bermicourt. I would like to see somebody offer a rebuttal against his argument. The claim seems simple, as he spelled it. HO has to its credit widespread usage, and is apparently more widespread in usage than H0. H0 has to its credits the origins of the term. On this basis alone, generally speaking, it is true: encyclopedic entries should reflect, to quote another user, "the world as it is, not as it once was." Any references to such should point to the history of the object in discussion and not denote the current name. So they would each have a strong claim, yet the claim on current usage supersedes the claim on origins. HOWEVER, it would appear to be the case that H0 is still widely used as well. So H0 would retain the claim on origins while HO's claim on usage is ambiguous and, therefore indeterminate. By this standard, H0:1, HO:0 (or H0:1.5, HO:.5, if you wish, to give a half point for usage to each...or whatever proportions you will, like .6 and .4).

BUT! (this is where it gets interesting folks). This is an English Wikipedia article. Whether or not, as Erik Baas asserts, non-English speakers use the English Wikipedia due to having a higher article-count, this is not pertinent. The English Wikipedia page is for English Wikipedians and must reflect their conventions.

For me, that's the only sticking point. If someone can show me, among Wikipedia's guidelines, that it states this principle (English Wikipedia reflects the usage of English speakers), then for me, that settles it. The usage point is restored to HO. H0 retains origins, but this is superseded in value by the usage point of HO. And on the English Wikipedia page, where HO is far and away dominant, HO certainly merits that point. MondoManDevout (talk) 06:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC) EXCERPT: "Unless there is a clear reason to do otherwise, follow the usage of reliable English-language secondary sources. If the sources can be shown to be unrepresentative of current English usage, follow current English usage instead—and consult more sources."
And since the most common usage is hO (as far as I know, the combined populations of the Australia, Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe > the population of the UK), shouldn't the Wikipedia article be changed to "hO" in order to adhere to the stylistic guidelines that were set forth by Wikipedia itself? (talk) 09:36, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
This is just going around the same old buoy. Wikipedia naming is not just based on a popular vote on the question "well what would you call it?" That would just perpetuate popular error. In this case, there are two international bodies that define model railway/railroad standards. The NMRA (US) uses HO and the NEM (Europe) uses H0. Unfortunately that splits the authoritative sources 50/50. But the original and correct term was always H0. IMHO that tilts the otherwise finely balanced argument towards H0. But I understand why others may take a different view. Let's focus on improving the article - H0 or HO - it's a great scale to work with! --Bermicourt (talk) 18:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Those rules where made in the early days of Wikipedia, where the English pages where used merely by the English speakers. The use of Wikipedia has changed and in these days English pages are used by most of the world as more accurate and detailed pages as there own pages are often just a summery of that English page. Wikipedia is as fluid as language. I think we should correct the rules. (talk) 21:21, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this being the English Wikipedia, its whole point is to be used by English speakers; speakers of other languages have editions in their own languages. Also, Bermicourt, the issue of what is "correct" is not an absolute. If you are in the USA, then the governing body for HO is the NMRA, and it has far back as anyone can determine used HO, because by that time in USA the gauge that it is "half" of was called O gauge. Going over the whole discussion again, it appears that the English-speaking world mostly uses HO. For those of use who actually respect WP:COMMON, that would settle it. Germany's priority in using the scale is not relevant to Wikipedia's naming conventions. Mangoe (talk) 21:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Arguments about that the term may be pronounced "HO" by English speakers are irrelevant. In colloquial English, the spelling "H0" can be pronounced either "H0" or "HO", whereas the "HO" pronunciation can only be pronounced "HO". For this reason, using the spelling "H0" would make both possible pronunciations accepted, and is therefore the preferred option. --TheOthin (talk) 10:38, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
This argument has been given a number of times already. I would like to break it down to points that can be debated. Point 1 is that the numeral "0" can be pronounced "Zero" or "Oh". The implied but not explicitly stated Point 2 is that there exist bodies that differ in spelling it H-alpha-O or H-numeral-0. The implied (but again, not stated) Point 3 is that where standardizing organizations differ, the truth should be a compromise between the two-- a synthesis, so to speak, allowing for both to be correct. Seeing Point 2, you then use Point 1 in conjunction with Point 3 to come to the conclusion that H0 should be preferred, because it allows both standards to be true.
Now that the argument is spelled out in more detail, I would like to affirm Point 1 and Point 2, but utterly refute Point 3. Wikipedia should not synthesize ANYTHING. It should ACCURATELY REFLECT instead. It can only accurately reflect ONE standard, not two. The decision thus should not be what allows both options, but which option is correct. Per arguments already laid out, I am persuaded that Wikipedia policy on standard usage and majority of experts WITHIN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE suggests that H-alpha-O (or hO, if shown to be more correct, which I'm not convinced on) is the proper term. Fieari (talk) 19:40, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
It is claimed that HO is used by more english speakers than H0. Nobody in this whole discussion has actually proved this, or even shown a reference that would support this. The best is some half-assed allegation that since there are more Americans(unproven) and they all use HO(unproven) therefore more people use HO(unproven). And even if there WERE more Americans, half of Americans speak Spanish anyway and so shouldn't be included. Therefore by the well reasoned arguments above, H0 is the original term, the PROPER term, the term in use by MORE THAN HALF of model railroaders, and thus the term that Wiki should use. (talk) 04:38, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
It's over; this POV lost; time to move along. Mangoe (talk) 15:03, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
It is not over, by blatantly obvious existence proof. It is time to accept that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:21, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Plenty of evidence was given, and the closing admin found it compelling. Your ignorance of that evidence, whether by choice or otherwise, doesn't change that. Not to mention your entire argument is counterfactual; "half of Americans speak Spanish" is a load of crap, and blatantly incorrect. You have no credibility.)Oknazevad (talk) 21:00, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

See, you make my point perfectly. Rather than take the most basic, most obvious step of referencing the Wiki article Spanish in the United States which would prove that I was making an unfounded assertion, you chose to insult me, make your own unfounded assertions and point to the previous unfounded assertions, none of which proves anything. That's the whole problem with this discussion (and I use the term "discussion" only loosely). You might also enjoy the Wiki article on counterfactual. It doesn't mean what you think it means. Turn away from ignorance! You have the strength to be better! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:44, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I went to a fair bit of trouble to research this usage. The evidence I found is listed in the discussions below. The theory that there is a large body of English-speakers who use H0 instead of HO has never been supported by evidence. The Americans do not use it, the English mostly do not use it, shop web pages on the continent tend not to use it unless they are German or Dutch. As far as anyone there can determine, the American standards organization has always used HO. Against this, the historical argument failed. I'm not willing to go through all that again for one dissenting person. Mangoe (talk) 11:06, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

More on O/0 - new section for editing ease[edit]

I'm curious to see the proof that H0 is "the term in use by MORE THAN HALF of model railroaders". That seems to be just as unsupported as the proposal that HO is more prevalent, if not more so. As for which term is more correct or official, there is no ultimate authority for us to appeal to - the NEM and the NMRA hold equal weight, and they don't agree: NEM uses both conventions (typically H0, but they are not absolute.(1)), while NMRA is generally consistent with HO. And as far as "proper" is concerned, an argument can be made that the title of an article shouldn't necessarily be what something's "proper" name is: cat doesn't redirect to Felis catus; cat is the common name, and therefor the name of the page. Historical relevance is also not a good basis for naming a page: historically, a light bulb was the glass envelope that surrounded that filament, armature, etc - what people often refer to now as a light bulb was known as a lamp, consisting of the bulb, base, filament, armature, etc. Technically, that is still the case. But I don't see anyone proposing that Wikipedia should move its "Light bulb" page to "Lamp". Nor should they - the device is now commonly known as a light bulb and - here's the main point - people who want information on the subject will generally search for light bulb - not lamp; and will search for cat, not Felis catus.
So, what will people typically search for? Difficult to say. No doubt someone will do a Google search and claim more hits for HO, but Google is based in the U.S., and the internet was created in the U.S., and those facts may skew the results improperly. In any event, Google, Ask, Bing can only search among documents that are online. Maybe we should just take a straw vote of all model railroaders and let the results dictate the article's title.
1. Standard 103, "Track Clearance Diagram for Curved Track". ( 2004.) is such an example. The table on page two uses HO, though the rest of the document uses H0. NOTE: the NEM, on the bottom of this document, notes that "[t]his English translation is not authoritative and is provided as a courtesy only. Only the French and German versions of the norms are original source documents." The French version may be found at [4], and the German version may be found at [5]; both use HO in their page-two tables. Similar use of HO may be found in standard 112, "Track Spacing" (the French and German versions do the same), and in standard 121, "Cog Railroads", HO appears in the discussion at the bottom of page 2, though this appears only in the English version of this standard. All documents accessed 4 March 2010, and were at one time used as references in the article... --Badger151 (talk) 21:52, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Definitely Relevant[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eblingdp (talkcontribs) 11:29, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I think you meant to post
Clicking on a link to the homepage will simply lead you to the most recent comic posted on the site. Also, there is already a link to the comic posted in the section of the page labelled "xkcd strip" (talk) 12:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Requested move (2011)[edit]

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 move to HO scale. Per WP:COMMONNAME wikipedia uses the name by which the subject is most frequently known in English and it seems fairly clear that HO is the preferred English term. As a sanity check, I looked at the article references and all the English language ones use HO. --rgpk (comment) 14:38, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

H0 scaleHO scale — The talk page consensus is that "HO scale" is the predominant English use today, though "H0 scale" seems to have been the original term, and is still used in German today. Strong objections were heard from Erik Baas and others as to the correctness of "HO", but there seems to be agreement that "HO" is used more often than "H0". In keeping with the Manual of Style, this page should then be moved. Since this page previously existed at HO scale, and there were edits there, I cannot use the Move feature, but instead I need to propose this as a "controversial move", which will then appear on Wikipedia:Requested moves. - Afiler (talk) 05:59, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


  • Oppose There are 2 international bodies that define model standards. The NMRA (US) uses HO and the NEM (Europe) uses H0 in their English publications. That splits the authoritative sources 50/50. The manufacturers are also divided e.g. US manufacturers use HO; many other international firms suchs as Märklin use H0 in their English literature. Whilst both terms are acceptable and authoritative today, the original and correct term was always H0. IMHO that tilts the otherwise finely balanced argument towards H0 as the title, but with a full acknowledgement of NMRA and North American usage. --Bermicourt (talk) 12:56, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Actually, I cannot find any NEM standards in English on their website that address HO, and the French standards willy-nilly switch back and forth between HO and H0. Mangoe (talk) 16:27, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • All the relevant NEM standards published in English (here) use H0. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • This whole debate is more humorous than anything else, but I feel a need at this point to jump back in, at least partially. Going through the English NEM standards, as you listed, I see usage of both H0 and HO. I found these two[6] [7] which only used H0. However, HO appears in these. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] Take a look at the last one in particular. It uses HO alone. So the NEM does use H0 (which no one has arguing against) but it also seems that they do use HO as well. Lost on Belmont (talk) 21:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support As I note above, the NEM website doesn't give confidence in this matter. They don't even publish the key standard in English, as far as I can tell. Anyway, this is a case not of dueling standards bodies, but of usage: there is ample testimony above that English-speaking countries refer to it as "HO". WP:COMMON applies to usage by English speakers; if the Germans and French want to stick to "H0", that's irrelevant. Mangoe (talk) 16:27, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The NEM website clearly uses H0. Click on any relevant (English language) standard here.
  • WP:COMMONNAME applies to usage by reliable sources, not "English speakers" in general. NEM, NMRA and manufacturers fall into this category. They are clearly divided; the only significant remaining distinction is that H0 is the original and correct term (being half of 0 gauge, the others being 1,2,3 etc). --Bermicourt (talk) 20:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • As far as reliable sources are concerned, again we've been over the manufacturers, the hobby magazines, and I'm sure we could go on into the newspapers and the like. Googling various ways shows ten times the hits for HO ans for H0. Balancing NMRA against the NEM is not good enough. And "correctness" here is subjective; given the NMRA's usage one could just as well say that it was always correct to use "HO" in the USA. Mangoe (talk) 21:17, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. "H0" is not more correct and "HO" is not incorrect, and indeed is more common. I thought I explained this pretty well last time and actually brought some evidence to the table. As such, at the risk of repeating myself, I present the same evidence again, verbatim:

The name became changed, not merely misspelled, over time in much, and I would say most, English usage, because all the other common modern standards use letters. (Gauge 1, 2, etc. are not common modern standards.)

So the penchant for using "oh" for the number zero lead to an actual change in the term. You may not like the way it evolved in common usage, but it did. In short, "H0" is not any more correct than "HO". And it's rather condescending to insist it is.

The real question remains, what is the most common usage throughout the English language literature from around the world. European manufacturers and associations don't get any preferential treatment because it originated there; they're likely just using the same label regardless of language. That may be commendable in many ways, but it doesn't help determine the English language usage, especially if they're from non-English speaking countries. The US doesn't get any special treatment, either.

What about the Japanese manufacturers? It's not a particularly common scale there, as the tightness of living quarters leads to N scale being far more popular. But, Kato, and Tomix, the two largest Japanese manufacturers use "HO". (MicroAce, the third largest, doesn't even seem to offer any HO at all.)

The Australian Model Railway Association uses "HO". See here.

As noted here at the New Zealand Model Railway Guild, New Zealand's rail network, being narrow gauge, doesn't lend itself to the international standards, but NZers make do by using S scale sized equipment on HO tracks, which gives a good approximation.

Finally, South Africa is in a similar boat, as the country primarily uses Cape gauge. N scale seems to be the most popular there. What I could find of South Africa-based manufacturers points to "HO" as well.

So, I again say, "HO" is the most common name, of the two fully correct ones, for this scale, and should be the name of this article.oknazevad (talk) 17:42, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree both are acceptable; equally there are many manufacturers on both sides of this debate. I could list a raft of companies that use H0 including the founding company, Märklin. So it's not a decider IMHO. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Clearly, both HO and H0 are acceptable English variants. Equally clearly, it was originally H0, from the German, as a "zero" or "nought" may also be pronounced "oh" in English (as in nine oh two one oh), and then was subsequently spelled HO. The original should be preferred, as it makes the origin of the name more comprehensible, (especially the fact that it is often called "half zero scale"[13] ), and a core purpose of an encyclopedia is to be educative. walk victor falk talk 23:32, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. HO is used by a larger global population and more sources than H0. While the etymology of the term is important and certainly should appear in the article, we live in an evolving society where words and terms can and do change from their origins. This isn't a matter of correct vs incorrect since both are correct; it's a matter of what is used most commonly worldwide. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 05:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Your argument would be valid if "H0" was antiquated and no longer in use. This is not the case. walk victor falk talk 07:03, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • No, that's not how it works. The fact that there are still Germans who insist on sticking with "H0" isn't germane. Mangoe (talk) 11:38, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Renaming Proposal There seems to be equally justifiable arguments on both sides, and without a widespread study it would be impossible to draw any kind of conclusion, and even with that it would still be quite difficult. I present for your consideration renaming the article "Half 0 Scale", as this is the original and the "correct" name, even if it is not "widely accepted". The advantage is that it provides a concise, neutral title, and with redirects put in place from HO and H0 it would not be detrimental to the end user. The article should then introduce it as "HO or H0" as is done with other questionably named things. Within the article it might be beneficial to use a neutral "HO/0" terminology and a section explaining the naming controversy. Just my two cents. Elfo222 (talk) 11:39, 31 March 2011 (UTC)refactored per User_talk:Elfo222#Refactoring_your_comment_on_aitch_oh walk victor falk talk 12:11, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
If no one actually uses it, it is just a poor choice. Period. oknazevad (talk) 23:40, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, it seems that the NMRA actually considers it the "Half O Scale", so spelling out the "half" doesn't actually get us anywhere in the article at all. Perhaps if they agreed it was Half 0... but they don't. Fieari (talk) 19:44, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Wikipedia is not the place to correct or redefine actual usage, but rather to reflect it. Take the campaign to redefine HO "more properly" as H0 elsewhere and come back when the authorities and recognized current usage clearly reflect it. Having the clarification of the historic origin and contemporary instances of "H0" mentioned within the article is more than enough of a soapbox. Redefining the article title to the preferred version of a clear minority (in fact, is there anyone in the world who supports this strongly other than the would-be editors of this page? Perhaps I missed some of the back-up provided) is clearly out of bounds for these reasons and those stated by others here. Shorn again (talk) 23:41, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I've read the entire discussion. Frankly, the oppose argument has no basis in fundamental naming principles at all. The Support argument is compelling and is clearly based in naming principles, primarily WP:COMMONNAME, as argued by oknazevad and Shorn again. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:57, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Neutral. I'd just like to point out that the 0 vs. O discussion on this talk page is around four times the length of the article itself in word count. While it's immensely entertaining to read, perhaps debate should be brought to a close and a permanent decision made one way or the other, simply to prevent wasting editor's time on a relatively unimportant issue. (talk) 08:13, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Reviewing all arguments seems to make it clear that standard common usage is HO within the English language. Fieari (talk) 19:44, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. The bulk of comments seems to agree HO is more common on both sides of the pond. (talk) 17:41, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: While it is clearly correct, as an interesting historical fact, that it was originally H0, Wikipedia naming conventions are quite clear at WP:COMMONNAMES, and all evidence points to HO not H0 being the most common name in English, ergo the article should favor "HO", with "H0" given as an alternative name, and the text of the article should explain the matter. There is really nothing to argue about. NB: It's is misleading to characterize NMRA as "U.S."; it is broadly North American in general, happening to have an official address in the U.S., and its HO specs are used very broadly as de facto standards around the world. Characteri[s|z]ing this as yet another UK vs. U.S. pissing match is a transparently fallacious ploy. Non-disclaimer: I have zero connection to this issue or any emotional side of it, only the facts as presented in the article being verifiable, and the article adhering to WP's guidelines, including naming conventions. No one solicited my comments here, and I ran into this flamewar entirely by random accident, and was frankly pretty shocked that it was even a debate at all, given the clarity of WP guidelines on the matter and the obvious facts as presented thus far. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 04:25, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

A look into the UK scene[edit]

A little looking at the UK scene is not that encouraging to those who want to claim them for the "H0" side. For one thing, there is a British branch of the NMRA (website here). Not surprisingly, they use "HO". So does every British model railroading shop I've found so far, but one, even for European-made equipment. I was able to find some H0 usage, but a lot of times I found it on a website which also used HO. So it seems to me that they can also be placed in the "HO" column, which pretty much wraps it up for the English-speaking world. Mangoe (talk) 16:22, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

While I'm at it, I sampled sellers listed on NMRA's worldwide directory. Lots of European sites used HO, including sellers in France, Norway, Luxembourg, Spain.... Even the Dutch were prone to using HO when referring to American-made equipment. Mangoe (talk) 16:48, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Of course they use HO for American-made equipment, that's because Americans use it. (talk) 21:40, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, let's look at the UK scene. I asked a leading British manufacturer and model railway magazine what convention the UK followed. His answer was:

British modellers tend to refer to HO (ohh) but there is always debate. The same with OO scale which is referred to as "double O" (Ohh) whereas technically it should be "double zero". The UK unfortunately doesn't really have a standard! The individual scale organisations tend to create their own! Some people work to the NEM standards and some work to the NMRA standards.

Sadly, it is far from clear, but note he says "technically it (i.e. OO gauge) should be "double zero". Ergo, by extension technically this gauge should be H0. --Bermicourt (talk) 13:29, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
As we have been over and over here, WP:COMMONNAME doesn't do "technically". Generally, if you have to use "technically", that's not the name the article should use. Mangoe (talk) 21:58, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the word Bermicourt wants to use is "consistently" walk victor falk talk 13:27, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Not only Germany (uses zero)[edit]

I'm fascinated how many people here assume that when something is dominant in US and UK, it is dominant worldwide (although I do agree that English speaking countries are those relevant for English Wikipedia, still so many comments recklessly mention the "entire world"). Does UK+US combined make up a majority of world's population? Is Germany the only non-English speaking country? For example here in Czech (10 mil. people only - meant just as an example), H0 is used commonly and HO is perceived only as a misspelling. Please, don't make global assumptions from three countries. People from other countries, please add your H0/HO resolutions here, if there are enough votes, we could modify the second paragraph to mention "Germany and some other countries". Ayehow (talk) 12:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

If you will go below and check, I looked at a variety of non-English-speaking countries, and the results were, at best, mixed as far as preferring H0 was concerned. I don't see the merit of trying to spell out exactly which countries use which, especially since I've found some where both were used, but in any case even if most of the rest of Europe is found to use "H0" (which I doubt will be the case), this being the English Wikipedia it is the naming which English speakers use which is supposed to govern article names. Mangoe (talk) 16:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Please read my post completely before reacting. I don't suggest naming the article either way and I explicitly wrote that I do respect that English Wikipedia should follow English speaking countries' nomenclature. I just oppose the immediate generalisation used in this talk page and suggest a tiny change in one of the sentences in the article.
Concerning your mentioned research of the other countries, I did check it. I just suggest that some other people from around the world add their voice, because doing a few google searches just isn't the same as living in a country. Ayehow (talk) 17:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Alternative option[edit]

Another option would be to title the article H0/HO gauge and have redirects from "HO gauge" and "H0 gauge". Not perfect, but at least neutral.

Or write to NMRA and NEM and ask them to agree a common name for the sake of world peace! ;) --Bermicourt (talk) 13:31, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

That would be an abyssmal failure of the principle that titles should be something people would search for. No one's going to search with the slash. And the redirects don't excuse that. And we shouldn't use slashes unless they're necessary, which this isn't. Well meaning, but unworkable. oknazevad (talk) 23:37, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • One of main advantages of H0 as I see it is that it may pronounced as "aitch oh", "aitch zero", "half zero", "half zero scale", as one may prefer, whereas the other possibilities do not allow it. walk victor falk talk 16:34, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I haven't seen any proof that it's called "half-zero" in English. oknazevad (talk) 23:37, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
All of those are quoting it as an explanation of the etymology of the term; none of them are actually using "half zero" as it's actually name. oknazevad (talk) 13:47, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Except for the first link which I included because it is interesting, all make clear "half zero" is still in use, especially in the UK. That is made clear by basically every second link in the google search. walk victor falk talk 16:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia is not a verbal encyclopedia. It does not matter how people pronounce the title, since other articles like 90210 are commonly spoken as Nine-Oh-Two-One-Oh, but there is no debate on how it is spelled. walk victor falk talk just above myself gave plenty of information and citings of others who agree that while they may pronounce it with an "Oh", they understand that the designation came from being Half the size of Zero scale, or Half Zero, shortened to H0. Unitepunx (talk) 05:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
The issue really has little to do with the pronunciation. HO is used officially in a number of countries that arguably represent a larger basis than H0. The main debate seems to be on whether Wikipedia should be etymologically and/or technically correct by using H0, or use the most common name per Wikipedia policy.
The technical argument is easily refuted. Wikipedia's policies aren't guidelines - they're intended to be followed unless there's a significantly compelling reason not to. Thus far the argument of 'but H0 is the technically correct term' is no different to the argument 'but Canis lupus familiaris is the technically correct term', yet nevertheless our article on that topic is located at the common name Dog. This leaves the argument as one of actual use - which is more commonly used, HO or H0? In the absence of compelling reasons to disregard Wikipedia's policies, this is the only argument that would justify retaining the H0 name.
I note that the article originally started as HO, and I skimmed prior discussions and didn't see a consensus to change it to H0. The correct procedure here per WP:BRD would be to revert the rename to HO and then discuss why it should be changed here, not the way it's been done so far. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 06:43, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Okay, it should be H0, because it isn't extinct and (bonus!) H0 can still be read as H "oh" by those who do. HO on the other hand is not yet accepted over the whole English speaking world population and can't be read as H "zero". It should NOT be HO, because it hasn't changed yet over the whole community. So hold your horses on HO until H0 isn't used anymore by English speaking train model fans. (talk) 22:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Again, pronunciation is largely irrelevant. Suggesting that the entire community must adopt HO before it can be used here is also false - Wikipedia's standards require it to be the most commonly used, not absolutely used. HO isn't a mere misunderstanding, it is the official usage in a number of countries. The origin of the term is certainly important, but the most common usage is more important, hence why it's enshrined in Wikipedia policy. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 00:15, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Who said anything about the whole community? It is sufficient that part of the community use it for HO or H0 (and as I have discovered in this discussion also "Half zero" and "Half oh") for it to be a wp:commonname (not quite the same as "the most common name", "the most used name", or "the name used by the biggest number of people"), like "maize" or "corn" is a common name for zea mays. Then considerations like precision, commonality, educational value, etc take hold. walk victor falk talk 16:59, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
That is not what WP:COMMONNAME says. Mangoe (talk) 20:07, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Zero? Oh? what does wp:commonname say then? walk victor falk talk 22:54, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Why don't you click on it, and read it for yourself? --Born2cycle (talk) 01:01, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
"Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it instead uses the name which is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources." [emphasis mine] TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 01:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes like, er, Myosotis alpestris. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:08, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
No, not like Myosotis alpestris which is an exception to WP:COMMONNAME because it is an article about a plant, and plants are an exception for a number of reasons clearly explained at WP:FLORA, none of which apply to this article, and among which is that the scientific name for the plant often is more commonly used in reliable sources than is the household name. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:17, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah so WP:COMMONNAME doesn't trump all! Touché!!! --Bermicourt (talk) 20:57, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Nothing trumps all in Wikipedia. But there has to be a good reason to make an exception to a fundamental naming principle listed in policy. Otherwise, anything can be rationalized per WP:JDLI. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:49, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I don't think anyone said it was immutable, particularly given that almost everything in Wikipedia can change with consensus. From the same policy:

Wikipedia has many naming conventions relating to specific subject domains (as listed in the box at the top of this page). Sometimes these recommend the use of titles that are not strictly the common name (as in the case of the conventions for flora and medicine). This practice of using specialized names is often controversial, and should not be adopted unless it produces clear benefits outweighing the use of common names[...] (emphasis mine)

Exceptions can be made to the policy, provided there are clear benefits outweighing the use of common names. That is really not the case here, and indeed its use in the flora project your linked article belongs to is controversial and comes under perennial debate as well. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 23:57, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

  • H0 is not a "specialized" name, it is an alternative common name. walk victor falk talk 12:37, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Techno. I'm astonished by how many editors seem to believe, "Since there are exceptions to using the most common name, any exceptions for any reason (or no reason) are fine!", which appears to be the "argument" (using the term loosely) here. Like I said, it's really just WP:JDLI. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:10, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
It has been established that 'both HO and H0 are common names. walk victor falk talk 12:37, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can see, it's also been established that HO is the most common name and should be used per WP:COMMONNAME. What aspect of policy is still being challenged here? TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 00:00, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Which of the following name for this device is the most common name, "windshield wiper" or "windscreen wiper"? walk victor falk talk 12:30, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
That article is governed by WP:RETAIN, better known as the "whoever starts the article gets to determine which dialect of English gets used." But there also WP:ENGVAR which would come into play on this, because HO isn't as important in England as it is in the US, and anyway, Brits tend to use HO too. And if WP:RETAIN applies, then HO would be the prevailing name, since it was used first. Mangoe (talk) 15:03, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

History lesson[edit]

Back in the 1910s, when table top railways first became a commercial success, there were various gauges of rail. In descending order, Gauge 3, Gauge 2, Gauge 1 and Gauge 0 (note the number). Gauge 0 has be corrupted over the years to "O Gauge" and uses a ration of 7mm = 1ft (32mm track gauge). Eventually, a smaller scale was invented, at one-half of O gauge. This was known as H0 gauge (Half 0 Gauge, 16.5 mm track gauge). It has become corrupted over the years by the British habit of saying "Oh" instead of "Zero" to represent the numeral "0", and is now known as HO gauge. A related gauge uses 4mm = 1 ft, but 16.5 mm track gauge. It is called 00 gauge (corrupted to OO gauge). So, what you are hearing as HO and OO are in fact H0 and 00. Mjroots (talk) 11:34, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

We've been over this. It's in the article and repeatedly been rehashed in the above discussions. And, as shown "HO" is not incorrect, but in fact the most common name for the scale.
Frankly, I find this post to be arrogant. For you to give us a "lesson" on something that is already well known, which you could have easily seen if you read the page, is unnecessary and condecending. It's not helpful at all. oknazevad (talk) 16:14, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
HO may be the most common name in the US, but not necessarily in the rest of the world and is not used by the standards organisation covering the country that invented it.
BTW Mjroots is entitled to clarify his arguments; you may not like it, but please refrain from personal criticism. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:38, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
People above have done some research and indicated that HO is used officially in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In Google Books, HO scale outnumbers H0 scale by roughly 5.6 times. A similar ratio exists in a regular Google search (4.5 times). A cursory survey of manufacturers shows that brands like Marklin and Roco use both H0 or HO depending on circumstance, Fleischmann uses H0 exclusively and brands like Wrenn, Lionel, MTH, Weaver and Williams use HO exclusively.
Even taking into account the systemic bias of the internet, this seems to be fairly clear as to what the dominant usage worldwide is. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 01:05, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
WP:GOOGLEHITS is not a recommended way of establishing WP:COMMONNAME, which in any case is not automatically the decisive factor. --Bermicourt (talk) 07:57, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
GOOGLEHITS is an essay, but regardless it does say that "although using a search engine like Google can be useful in determining how common or well-known a particular topic is, a large number of hits on a search engine is no guarantee that the subject is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia". I've used it to establish commonality, not suitability, as the essay suggests is useful. It also expressly notes that results from Google specialty tools like Google Scholar and Google Books (which I used above) are more likely to return reliable sources as results. WP:GOOGLE is a good guide for the search engine test that suggests how search engines can be used usefully, including point 2 (usage) and point 7 (names and terminology) that I've used here. As it says, search engines can "confirm roughly how popularly referenced an expression is".
Common name indeed isn't 'automatically' the deciding factor, but it is a policy and there have been no compelling arguments for why it shouldn't be followed in this case. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 01:46, 27 April 2011 (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.

"Shake-the-Box" Kits[edit]

I added an explanation of this term, which is otherwise guaranteed to leave many readers scratching their heads. Fortunately I was around when the gag was (almost) new, so I understood it. But I think it would be far better to use a term like Basic Kits, or something else that would not require the explanation of a sixty-year old joke. I haven't been in on the development of this page, so I'm unwilling to make a change of this magnitude myself, but I strongly urge that one of the page's experienced editors do so. (talk) 01:05, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Manufacturer Listing Issues[edit]

Some consideration should me made to pruning the manufacturer listing to Wikipedia "notable" manufacturers. Currently there are manufacturers listed who have had Wikipedia articles about them deleted for being not notable according to Wikipedia community standards. Yet these manufacturers remain listed here as being "notable". Case examples - Ausicion & Austrains. I'm also seeing a few "cottage" manufacturers having no notability according to Wikipedia guidelines listed and direct linking for advertising purposes to outside website in the article. Case examples - Century Foundry & Showcase Miniatures. The way the current article listing stands, it invites any manufacturer or hobby retailer no matter how small to be listed. Just because someone has manufacturer a kit or a model doesn't make them "notable". For the good of this article (every article on Wikipedia should be aiming for "feature article status"), put aside favoritism for brand names and clean up this section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:29, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. I removed the direct external links, as they're purely commercial advertising per WP:ELNO. Part of me wants to remove every redlink from the list, but they're not necessarily a bad thing and a more thorough examination than I have time for is needed. I would say feel free to remove any company that has had its article deleted, as clearly it fails notability. Except that sometimes a mention in a list need not be notable enough for its own article. In fact, that may be preferable. oknazevad (talk) 03:24, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Gilbert/American Flyer[edit]

The article makes Gilbert seem like they were a reluctant participant in the market, whereas they were actually an early innovator. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

"In the 1950s HO began to challenge the market dominance of 0 gauge and, in the 1960s, as it began to overtake 0 scale in popularity, even the stalwarts of other sizes, including Gilbert (makers of American Flyer) and Lionel Corporation began manufacturing HO trains."

Gilbert actually started producing HO in the late 1930s and continued to do so through 1963, with breaks during WW2 and the Korean War. While the companies main focus was always s gauge, they were one of the first (if not the first?) us manufacturers to offer ready to run ho scale trains. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 17 June 2015 (UTC)