Talk:Shepherd (name)

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Merger proposal[edit]

I suggest Shepard (name), Sheppard, Shepperd and Shephard be merged with this article, since they are in essence varying spellings of the same name/word. SharkD (talk) 02:36, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Look at Schaefer for an example of what I intend. SharkD (talk) 20:03, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Here's why the names should not be merged into one article: Each name represents a group of different people who share an identical surname. While it is true that Shepherd (surname), Shepard (name), Sheppard, Shepperd and Shephard are all homophones, the names refer to different people with different surnames. Combining these surnames simply because they sound alike would be the same as combining all other homophones for that reason. For exampe, carat, carrot, and caret all sound the same, but mean different things. Would you also combine those words into a single entry? Givemeaschwa (talk) 01:43, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
First of all, I've already provided an example where related names were merged into a single article. Secondly, Shepherd (surname), Shepard (name), Sheppard, Shepperd and Shephard are more than simply homophones--they share the same meaning. I.e., they are all derived from some word meaning "shepherd", just as Schaefer and its variants derive from the same word or meaning. It's not a case of merging words with completely different meanings. SharkD (talk) 02:10, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
There is no support for the claim that the different surnames "share the same meaning." Each individual article is about a different person or family. Just because the names sound the same doesn't mean that they mean the same. The purpose of a list article is to help Wikipedia readers find the article they want to read. In the Schaefer article cited, the reader has to pore through six different lists to find the right name. If the reader went to an article with the correctly spelled name, he or she has to read only one list to find the desired individual. Frankly, the Schaefer page should be broken up. We should give readers credit for their ability to spell.Givemeaschwa (talk) 06:40, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
And if the reader went to an article with the incorrectly spelled name, he or she would have to to read each and every one of the articles to find the right one. That is the whole point of disambiguation pages. SharkD (talk) 16:48, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
See also Smith (surname)#Variations for an explanation of how the spelling of surnames can change over time to form cognates (not homophones!) SharkD (talk) 16:54, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Hello, I'm responding to your request for a third opinion. After reading over your arguments and examples, I think that Shark is largely correct. The guidelines in WP:DPAGES are clear that a single disambiguation page should cover both "variant spellings" and "variant forms of names", which I think is the case here. I don't know if there is some root difference in the meaning of the different spellings, but at the very least, I think Shark is right that a normal person searching shouldn't have to wade through several pages because they didn't guess the proper variant when the actual difference is so small. This is what WP:DPAGES is addressing.
However, I do agree with Giveme that the Schaefer page offered as an example is quite a chore to work through, itself. It took me a second just to realize that the different spellings were still separated out, mostly because there is no real heading to delineate the different lists. All that's there to mark them are the surname boxes, which are supposed to be notes, not major organizational elements.
As such, it seems like it would be best to merge the alternate Shepherd spellings into a single page, but to insert proper section headings at the start of the list for each variant spelling. This would allow a user that comes to the page knowing the exact spelling they want to click its link in the TOC at the top, while still keeping everything on one page for people who don't. This should also make it visually more obvious how the page is laid out, so its not so hard to skim through. Would doing this, as well as making the sectioning change on Schaefer, fix the problem? L200inLA (talk) 09:21, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I added section headings to Schaefer. Is that what you had in mind? If so, I find that to be satisfactory. SharkD (talk) 22:33, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, the addition of headings allows us to target redirects to the proper sections. SharkD (talk) 22:36, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
That is exactly what I was thinking about, Shark. The additional benefit of being able to point to a specific heading in a redirect is also a nice touch. Does a layout like that change your objection to the mergers, Giveme? (Also, my requested name change came through yesterday; this is still me) AlekseyFy (talk) 01:35, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I went ahead and proceeded with the merger. SharkD (talk) 02:18, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It screws up Wikidata. I find the merging confusing and the lists too long. For people living in the 1500's up to mid 1700s spelling of a surname was fluid. By the mid 1700s they were fixed in spelling, combining all of them into a single page just makes it extremely difficult to find the person you are looking for. The "see also" section was a perfect way to show there are alternate spellings and homophones. --RAN (talk) 15:37, 26 January 2018 (UTC)