Talk:Women in development

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Requested move[edit]

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

The result of the move request was: page moved back to where this all started. Women in development (WID) is not supported by the MOS as far as I know and is not an acceptable interim move. Given the move in the discussion and the move that started this discussion, it is probably better to start a new discussion and reset to square one. I'm going to protect the page from moves so we can avoid at least one of the problems in this discussion. Vegaswikian (talk) 07:53, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Women in development approachWomen in development – This was recently moved from "Women in Development". Lower case is perhaps o.k., although the term is almost always capitalized in sources. Adding the qualifier "approach" seems incorrect unless there were a need to distinguish this article from another with the same name, which is not the case here.relisted -Mike Cline (talk) 17:33, 23 January 2012 (UTC) relisted--Mike Cline (talk) 22:42, 13 January 2012 (UTC) Aymatth2 (talk) 14:56, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose: It's seriously misleading without. Tony (talk) 00:33, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
To be consistent, should Men in Black be renamed "Men in black theory"? Before making the move, consider whether the new title implies an article about about men in a black theory or a theory about men in black. Aymatth2 (talk) 01:12, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
MIB are "men dressed in black suits" in a particular context (that of UFO sightings, apparently). There's no MIB theory or approach. But here, there's clearly an easy way out. Women in development, when I first saw the title, geared me up to read about the role of women in developing economies, or at least in development programs: it's a burning issue. But I have another problem with Men in Black: it's the title of at least one film. We have an article for the (film), but this one seems to have nabbed the title space first, so it lacks a disambiguator: most unsatisfactory. You don't even get a good sense of it in the opening line. It's downcased on YouTube and elsewhere, I see, when referring to the actual men. Tony (talk) 01:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
The title of this article could be qualified as in "Women in Development (framework)" if there were other articles competing for the title "Women in Development". There are none. There are many articles linking to the original title, standard jargon in the development community. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:13, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not described as a framework at the opening, but an approach. That's what I took to be the theme, and it's what the readers will, too. The number of articles linking to this original doesn't matter, does it (redirects)? If you don't mind, I'm asking Noetica's opinion: this is not a simple matter, I sense. Tony (talk) 02:36, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Should the article name be qualified, and if so how? There is no need to qualify a name if there are no competing titles. There is no need to move "Barack Obama" to "Barack Obama politician". If the article name must be qualified to distinguish it from others with the same name, that should be done via a comma or parentheses, as in "Barrack Obama, politician" or "Barrack Obama (politician)". Failing to separate the qualifier from the subject title can only lead to confusion. Aymatth2 (talk) 04:21, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Google book search counts, for what they are worth, are
  • "Women in development framework" 2,440
  • "Women in development approach" 8,590
  • "Women in development" + framework 32,800
  • "Women in development" + approach 68,700
  • "Women in development" 393,000
If frequency of reference on a Google Books search is the criterion, the article should be moved back to the more common name. Aymatth2 (talk) 04:21, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Nonsense. Frequency of reference has never been a criterion, and many of those "women in development" hits are likely not on topic. At least this verifies that "approach" is a good way to help clarify what these words might be about. Dicklyon (talk) 04:30, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
"Women in Development" (WID) is a technical term widely used in the development community. The article is about that technical term, its meaning, origins, application, criticism etc. If there is a need to qualify the term in the article title, the qualifier should be separated from the term via a comma or parentheses,. I see no need to qualify the term. Aymatth2 (talk) 04:43, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

New discussion merged with this discussion by Anthony Appleyard (talk) at 06:37, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Note: this bit was copied in from a contested Technical Moves proposal. Dicklyon (talk) 01:29, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Avoid jargon" Women in development" is descriptive, "Women in Development Approach" is education or agency jargon. By the standard being suggested above, everything could be retitled ...approach or ...program or ...framework Transportation in Ohio becomes Transportation problems in Ohio. HIV Therapy becomes Therapeutic approach to HIVm, Polish history becomes Historical approach to Poland. Book and article titles are not really mean to be descriptive, they're meant to be fashionable and showy. Everyone knows that reporters do not write headlines--the editors do. But also Authors don't choose book titles--the publishers' publicity people choose the titles, and the same goes for general magazines. Even for many academic journals, authors don't choose article titles--the editorial board does.
In this case, I don't even seem most of the references using the terms, . Sometimes "approach can be meaningful", as in a Marxist approach to something or other, or a libertarian approach, or a feminist approach. But this term here seems to have no intrinsic meaning: I ask Tony what the word actually is intended to signify. I imagine it might mean either an approach to development issues from the perspective of women, or with the emphasis on helping women, or of relying on women as change agents. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to communicate. Sometimes this requires specialized vocabulary, even if ti a layman the terminaology may appear jargon, it may be specific jargon that amounts to standard terminology. This has not been demosntrarted here. DGG ( talk ) 00:58, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "Women in Development" (WID) is development agency jargon for a formal methodology for handling women's issues in development projects. WID is described and discussed in many books and journals. Both the UNDP and USAID had WID offices in the 1980s. Since then WID has been superseded by gender analysis. This article is not a broad essay about women's issues or involvement in development, but a narrow description of the development agency concept. Some sources call it "WID approach", "WID framework" etc. Most just call it "WID". Should the title somehow indicate that this is about the formal concept rather than a general essay? If so, what would be a good title? Aymatth2 (talk) 16:23, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I have read all of the above, and explored various options. The alternative "women's role in development" (that's the last page of a Googlebooks search) gets 434 genuine hits, more than twice as many as the 205 for "women in development approach" (again, the last page of results). And indeed, "women's role in development" is immediately informative and looks pretty apt. It would be a fine descriptive title; but this RM does not address that option. The present title is more informative and less likely to mislead when compared to the alternative that has been proposed; so I oppose this move.
NoeticaTea? 01:20, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Noetica, what you're calling "genuine hits" is probably not any better indication of the actual number of uses than the estimated number is. If I'm not mistaken, the max number of "genuine hits" in the sense you mean is 1000, which is unrelated to the number of actual books using the phrase. For example, you can only get 441 "genuine hits" of books containing the word "television"; I bet there are a lot more than that, since over 500 contain both "television" and "johnny carson". Dicklyon (talk) 01:27, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
A fair point concerning an unresolved difficulty with Googlebook searches, Dick. It doesn't help that they change the rules from time to time without announcing it clearly. But I still hold that initial estimates are the most wildly unreliable. Here are two searches replacing the ones I offered, both with the restriction "Preview and full view›Jan 1, 2005–Dec 31, 2099" (effectively, most current and most checkable):

"women's role in development": 64 hits

"women in development approach": 50 hits

NoeticaTea? 04:08, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have the sinking feeling that nobody has actually looked at the article, which before the move opened with the statement "Women in Development (WID) is an approach to development projects that emerged in the 1970s". This article is not about women's role in development, or about women in development approaches or about anything else that anyone outside the development agency world would dream up as a meaning for the title. It is not a philosophical essay. Maybe there should be one, but this is not it. This is an attempt to define and describe the technical development agency jargon term: "Women In Development (WID)".
The question is whether the technical term "Women in Development" needs to be qualified as in "Women in development approach", or more conventionally "Women in development (approach)" or should just revert to its original title since there seems to be no need to disambiguate the term from other articles with the same title. The move, made without discussion, was clearly controversial. It could be better to reset and then discuss the correct target in a fresh discussion. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:36, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I did read it. If the article is about a clearly settled, standard model that bears a uniformly accepted name, then that needs to be made clearer. Certainly capitalisation is not shown to be warranted, for one thing. And if the title is not meaningful enough to readers, or is ambiguous (one thinks of the physical development of an individual woman through the life cycle), then "women in development" is poor.
We should think again, beyond this RM.
NoeticaTea? 04:08, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
The article makes it clear that Women in Development (WID) is an approach to development projects that emerged in the 1970s. Women in Development has been superseded by Gender and development (GAD), but in its day it was a standard model in the same sense that "Software as a service" or "Total quality management" are standard models. See this encyclopedia entry for a comparison of WID and GAD. Adding the word "approach" to the term is no more appropriate than adding it to "Software as a service approach" or "Total quality management approach". If there is ambiguity, the qualifier "(approach)" could be added, as in "Women in development (approach)", "Software as a service (approach)" or "Total quality management (approach)". The parentheses matter. The article is not about Women in "development approach", SaaS is not about Software as a "service approach" and TQM is not about Total quality as a "management approach". But adding a qualifier to a term should be done only when there is a need to disambiguate from other articles. That is not the case here. The correct action is to revert to the original name, then open a new discussion on the correct target name. Aymatth2 (talk) 16:04, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I respect all that, Ay. I'd be in favour of "Women in development (approach)" – or "Women in development (socioeconomic change)", or whatever turns out to be acceptable. But I am specifically not, as I have made clear above, in favour of the present RM. I do see a need for greater precision here, beyond just "Women in development", given the unusual and less technical context, compared with the parallels you essay. I find a genuine distraction in the alternative reading it can be given.
NoeticaTea? 01:24, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
It is redundant to qualify the term as in "Women in development (approach)" if there are no other articles competing for the term as their name, such as "Women in development (movie)". Over-precision is counter to standard policy on naming articles. Concise titles are preferred. Aymatth2 (talk) 04:09, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

random break[edit]

  • Wikipedia:Article titles is the relevant policy. The proposed name "Women in development" meets all the criteria. The current name, resulting from a move without discussion, meets none of them. If the consensus is to ignore policy in this case, this should be debated on the talk page for the policy. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:08, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
It certainly doesn't meet the recognisability principle. Tony (talk) 02:20, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Is the candidate title a recognizable name or description of the topic? ... The most common name for a subject, as determined by its prevalence in reliable English-language sources, is often used as a title because it is recognizable and natural. "Women in development" is the most common name, while "Women in development approach" is much less common. Whether or not the reader is familiar with development-related subjects, they are clearly more likely to search for the more concise title. It is counter to policy and common sense to have the common, concise title redirect to the less common long-winded version. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:53, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
It is far from clear that "Women in development" is commonly used as a "name for the subject". And it's certainly not a "natural" term, since it seems to say that the subject is women who are in development. I don't think that's the subject. In terms of recognizability, this is one that even to people familiar with the subject might not be recognizable, because it's so generic looking and doesn't look like what it is supposed to represent. Look at the book hits; which, if any, of these are about the topic of this article? I see various organization, publication titles, sentences that happen to use the word sequence, etc. Compare these books where the phrase includes "approach"; many are on-topic. So what is the topic more commonly called? Dicklyon (talk) 03:11, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
"Women in development" is clearly the common, concise, recognized name for the subject of the article, the development agency concept often abbreviated as WID. I know of no synonyms. Possibly a reader who knows nothing about the subject will not recognize from the title what it is about. If an editor were to systematically go through article titles that they do not recognize and add qualifiers that they think indicate the type of subject, as in "Steatocranus gibbiceps fish", "Publius clodius pulcher politician" or "United states country" the result would be a disaster. The "concise" rule is vitally important. Aymatth2 (talk) 03:38, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
But you're ignoring the evidence I posted just above, before you re-asserted that it is "...clearly the common...". It seems not. Dicklyon (talk) 05:14, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Take a look at this USAID official paper on Women in Development. They use that phrase dozens of times, but essentially never as a stand-alone noun phrase. They have (I abbreviate): WID policy (many many times), WID activities, WID issues, WID office and officers, WID projects, WID efforts, WID perspective, WID concerns, WID programs; and they have it once as being about the women themselves, as "the concern of women in development" and once "policy on women in development". In no case is "women in a development" used as a standalone noun phrase, which is because it doesn't really signify anything in itself. It's an approach; or part of a policy name at some places. We need something to make a topic out of it. Dicklyon (talk) 05:36, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
The title of the USAID paper is concise: "Women in Development". The paper discusses various aspects of the subject, as does this article. The USAID paper's title validates use of the concise title, allowing for differences in capitalization.
To close off the discussion of Google Books, which despite its many flaws has some value, as mentioned earlier a search on "Women in development (WID)" gives many times more results than one on "Women in development approach". Most of the sources that mention the topic do not use the verbose name to which this article has been moved without discussion. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:44, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
The title used in the USAID paper is reasonable, given the much more narrowly defined context and readership: everyone knows what it means. But we are debating what the title of a WP article should be; the title here has no such advantage and our readers come from far and wide. Tony (talk) 13:39, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
An article title does not have to be self-explanatory, as in "The ecclesiastical history, ancient and modern: in which the rise, progress, and variations of church power, are considered in their connexion with their state of learning and philosophy, and the political history of Europe during that period". In this case the Wikipedia title would be "Ecclesiastical history". An article may have a title that does not immediately convey its nature to the average reader. Large cardinal is an example. It is not about overweight prelates but the title is correct since it is the concise, common and recognized name for the subject. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:09, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Aymatth2 says "To close off the discussion of Google Books, ... a search on "Women in development (WID)" gives many times more results than one on "Women in development approach"." But this continues to ignore what I already pointed out: most of the book hits for "Women in Development" are not very related to the present topic. On his search with the WID restriction, if you restrict to books with previews, so you can see what they're about, you find the word "approach" closely associated with the WID in 5 of the first page of 10 hits. See all these with "Women in development (WID) approach" supporting the idea that WID is an approach more than anything. So yes, let's stop abusing google book hit counts, and look more at what makes a better title; sometimes a little conciseness can be traded off for more precision. Dicklyon (talk) 17:43, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

With few exceptions, all results for "Women in development (WID)" and for "Women in development approach" will be relevant to the subject. Obviously more sources use the concise form than the verbose form, since the verbose form includes the concise form. What is interesting is how few sources that clearly address the subject use the verbose form anywhere in their discussion. This is not "most sources mostly use the concise form but sometimes use the verbose form". It is "the great majority of sources that discuss the subject never use the verbose form at all". I strongly encourage Dicklyon to raise the question on the discussion page for the policy. This is not the right forum. Aymatth2 (talk) 00:52, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
What verbose form? Dicklyon (talk) 02:56, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
The verbose form, the one with more words than is needed, is the current title of the article following the move without discussion from the concise and generally recognized form. Most sources do not use it. To spell out the logic, using Google hit counts when this is written (they seem to jump around wildly, but the exact numbers are not important, just the relative numbers):
  • Almost all sources that use the exact phrase "Women in development (WID)" refer to the subject of this article
  • There are 54,500 such sources
  • There may be sources that discuss the subject of the article but do not use the exact phrase "Women in development (WID)"
  • At least 54,500 sources discuss the subject of the article, probably more
  • Only 7,930 sources contain the exact phrase "Women in development approach", the verbose form
  • At least 46,570 sources that discuss the subject of the article do not use the verbose form at all
  • Since the great majority of sources that discuss the subject never use the verbose form, it is a poor title
Aymatth2 (talk) 12:48, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Interim move[edit]

  • Since this discussion seems to have stalled, I have made an interim move to "Women in development (WID)". As noted above, this is a much more common term for the subject than the rather confusing "Women in development approach". However, the preferred title remains the concise, commonly recognized "Women in development", so I am leaving the move request open. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:41, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand. I've not seen this idea of an "interim move" in the middle of an RM. There was no consensus to move. Dicklyon (talk) 07:56, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move 2[edit]

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

The result of the move request was: not moved. Absent another article competing for this title, a disambiguator isn't necessary. Aervanath (talk) 23:17, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Women in developmentWomen in development approach – Starting a new discussion about this move, this is going to be cleaner then relisting the old discussion. Please read the previous discussion. I'm doing this as a new nomination so there can be a discussion without procedural issues. Having information that supports your opinions with facts will make closing this easier. Vegaswikian (talk) 07:58, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose for two reasons:
  1. The great majority of book sources for the subject never use the term "Women in development approach" (as noted above, 46,570 sources out of 54,500 never use the term.)
  2. The current title is the concise, commonly recognized technical term used for the subject, conforming to WP naming conventions. Adding a qualifier to suggest the type of subject should only be done when there is a need to disambiguate, and then the qualifier should be placed in parentheses as "Women in development (approach)".
If there were a need to disambiguate the title - there is not - adding the qualifier (approach) would not help. It is a jargon word that can be added to almost any phrase without conveying any meaning. "carpentry (approach)", "hip hop music (approach)", "European Union (approach)" etc. Aymatth2 (talk) 13:43, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I see nothing wrong with adding the acronym in parentheses as earlier suggested: Women in Development (WID) it does probably help clarify the scope for the reader. Women in Development approach is hopelessly confusing in my opinion. DGG ( talk ) 04:35, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • SupportThis book search suggests that the "approach" term is very common used with "women in development"; it's the typical noun that this compound phrase modifies, even if there's a "(WID)" in between, or some other structure. Without, the article topic seems to be the women; with it, it's about the WID approach, WID policy, etc. Dicklyon (talk) 05:34, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
The relevant policy is WP:CRITERIA, which defines recognizability, naturalness, precision, conciseness and consistency. The current title meets all these criteria. An article title should make it likely that someone looking for the subject will quickly find it. The assumption is that they know what they are looking for. The title does not have to make the nature of the subject clear to someone who is randomly browsing. Large cardinal is a good example. This article is not about a prelate, a bird or an American football player. The general reader may be surprised when they find what it is about. But the article title fully conforms with WP:CRITERIA, as does "Women in development".
This whole lengthy discussion seems to be due to a vague feeling that article titles like Large cardinal or Women in development are not descriptive enough, that a randomly browsing reader may be surprised by what they find in the articles, even though those are the titles that will be used by someone who knows what they are looking for. But a movement away from WP:CRITERIA towards more descriptive titles would be a massive change of policy. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:27, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's about moving to more descriptive titles; but we do want titles to be noun phrases that correspond to what the topic is called, when possible. The large cardinal example is not a great one, since the lead there says the article's topic is large cardinal property; a quick look at books shows that "large cardinal" is almost always a modifier in a noun phrase, about properities, axioms, heirarchy, or such. Now and then you do see it as short for "large cardinal number". So I think it's a good example of an article that ought be titled for what it's about, rather than by a fragment of what it's about. Dicklyon (talk) 03:51, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
"Large cardinal" is the natural, recognizable, concise and precise term for this concept, so the term most likely to be used to search for the article. The more descriptive "Large cardinal number", "Large cardinal transfinite number", "Large cardinal mathematical concept" and so on are less likely search terms. The naming conventions defined in WP:CRITERIA attempt to ensure articles can be found quickly by giving them names most likely to be used by someone searching for the article. Adding descriptive qualifiers to the concise natural title makes it less likely that the person searching for the article will get a hole in one.
Also, if we allow descriptive titles, we open the door for endless debate about the "right" descriptors. In the case of "Women in development" we could add "approach", "(WID)" "policy", "framework", "methodology", "concept", "conceptual framework", "implementation approach", "method for designing, implementing and evaluating projects in emerging economies" and so on. Following the rules helps to avoid all this confusion. Aymatth2 (talk) 13:27, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Like I said, it's about using noun forms as titles. There is generally never any objection to having redirects from shorter and adjective forms, so there will never be any inconvenience to someone searching on those. Dicklyon (talk) 16:01, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
See Wiktionary:cardinal. The word "cardinal" is a noun, as are "women" and "development". But what policy says a title has to contain nouns? I don't see the point. Aymatth2 (talk) 16:32, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I assumed you were probably familiar with WP:NOUN, which says "Use nouns: Nouns and noun phrases are normally preferred over titles using other parts of speech; such a title can be the subject of the first sentence." If the article were about "women", who are in development, the title would be fine. The "large cardinal" title would make more sense if the article lead were changed to say what that is; as written, it's about "large cardinal properties". Dicklyon (talk) 20:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
As I listen to Medusa (Annie Lennox album) I note that tracks include No More I Love You's, A Whiter Shade of Pale, Don't Let It Bring You Down, Train in Vain, I Can't Get Next to You, Waiting in Vain and Something So Right. Not a noun in sight. Some pronouns, granted, but noun-free. And no indication about what types of subject these articles discuss. But they are all natural search terms. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, of course. WP:NOUN goes on to say "One major exception is for titles that are quotations or titles of works: A rolling stone gathers no moss, or Try to Remember." Dicklyon (talk) 20:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:TITLEFORMAT may be useful when the five principles do not show the obvious title, which does not apply here. "Women in Development" is the standard jargon term used in all the literature on the subject. It is recognizable, natural, concise, precise and consistent. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:35, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose a review of the article titles in Category:Women's rights shows that the requested title, along with the current title probably fail the Consistency criteria. Most of the titles in this category are at least descriptive enough to know what the article might be about. This one isn't. Also, if one reviews all the articles where this article is linked, one finds Women in development (WID) to be a common phrase in linking this article. women in development approach occurs only a couple of times. In most cases where women in development is linked, the structure of the sentence provides no clue as to what is being said. I support DGGs suggestion that Women in development (WID) is a reasonable alternative as it is text that is commonly used in articles that link to this article. --Mike Cline (talk) 22:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
My only concern is whether someone looking for the article can find it quickly, ideally direct from their search term without having to pick from a list. If a title is recognizable, natural, precise and concise it will be easy to find. If some project group has decided that Women's rights articles should instead have descriptive titles, they may often fail the first four criteria and thus be harder to find. I question whether this is the case. But let it pass... Aymatth2 (talk) 03:06, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
No, this is a discussion driven by a few editors' wish to rewrite WP:CRITERIA, in two different ways. JCScaliger (talk) 18:14, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
That seems a waste of effort. There must have been huge debates in the early days but now, with millions of articles filed and cross-referenced, it is no longer practical to make major changes to the article naming conventions. Anyway, they work well. I sometimes see criticism of Wikipedia, but not that it is hard to find things. Aymatth2 (talk) 19:21, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
That would be. I'd say I'm more of a proponent of NOT rewriting that stuff. It was pretty stable through Sept. 2009, but then JCScaliger's friends (Kotniski, Pmanderson, Born2cycle) thrashed it senseless, as summarized at User:Dicklyon/Whither Recognizability?. Repercussions of that turmoil are still being dealt with. Dicklyon (talk) 20:18, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Aymatth2, although the following question is admittedly a bit peripheral to the immediacy of this discussion, but the context is right, and I am of an inquisitive nature, so as a fellow editor I would like to ask you this: In the simplest terms, how do you ascertain that a title is recognizable or if it is not recognizable, how do you ascertain that a title is unrecognizable? Presumably from your comments above, you believe Women in development is recognizable. Why? and because you haven't been explicit about it, I ask is Women in development approach a recognizable or unrecognizable title? This is a question to you as an editor in this discussion. Others need not answer for Aymatth2. --Mike Cline (talk) 01:09, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I interpret "recognizable" as the most basic criterion: someone who knows of the subject would say "I know by the title what that article is about". "Natural" is more specific: "that is what is is usually called". "Natural" is preferred, but sometimes the natural term is not an option, taken by a more common subject (not a problem here). "Precise" is needed if there is ambiguity: "which do you mean", also not an issue here since there are no competitors for the title. Concise means no meaningless padding words like "approach". Consistent is mainly relevant with sets of similar articles where a project has defined a naming convention like "Henry VI" rather than "Henry 6th". I don't see signs of that here. After researching the subject and writing the article, "Women in development" was the simple and obvious title. That is the jargon term used throughout the voluminous literature on the subject. It is recognizable, natural and concise.
Would someone who knows nothing of the subject recognize the title? Very unlikely. I recently started articles on Frederick Stanley Arnot, Kalene Hill, Gregory Rift, Yellala Falls and Tumba-Ngiri-Maindombe. Without meaning any offense, you would be unlikely to recognize any of these titles. The last is probably utterly enigmatic unless you happen to recognize it. That does not matter. The main way to access Wikipedia is through searches and the second way is by following links. In both cases the reader knows what they are looking for, or what kind of article they are likely to find. Titles should be optimized for search efficiency, and that is what the rules will achieve if used sensibly. Random browsing, where a readers stumbles upon a title, clicks on it and is disappointed by what they find, is not worth worrying about.
An over-long answer. "Recognizable" means someone who knows of the subject would recognize the title and understand what the article was about. Anyone with any interest or involvement in development projects would immediately recognize the title "Women in development". Aymatth2 (talk) 02:38, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd say those are recognizable, to many English people, as a person, a hill, a rift, a falls, and something with its noun left out. That last is sometimes seen in reliable sources as the Tumba-Ngiri-Maindombe wetlands, Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe region, Tumba-Ngiri-Maindombe Complex, Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe area, and such. Why not choose a name to make that one recognizable, too, by using the whole noun phrase instead of just the adjective part of it? Dicklyon (talk) 04:18, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Aymatth2, your over-long answer makes perfect sense, but you didn't answer the question. I know what everyone thinks recognizable means which is what your answer repeated to me. But what I want to know is how do You ascertain whether any given article title candidate is recognizable or not. What evidence can you provide that allows you to say with confidence that Frederick Stanley Arnot is a recognizable title? (I am not saying it isn't or is, that not relevant here) But rather is it your opinion or is there some empirical way to ascertain that an article title meets the recognizability criteria? --Mike Cline (talk) 10:42, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I doubt that any of the titles above are recognizable to more than a handful of English-speaking people. They may be able to guess the types of thing described, but that is all. They will not recognize the article titles, since recognition implies prior knowledge. You can only recognize things that you know about. How about Nahuatl, Pweto, Wobogo, Zambezi or Lusaka? You cannot be proposing that we add descriptors to all titles where the nature of the article may be unclear to the average reader, and descriptors to the descriptors when they may also be unclear? "Lusaka, city in Zambia, country in the continent of Africa"?[1] I see no policy that says the title of an article should indicate the type of thing described. That would be contradictory to the "concise" principle and therefore would drastically reduce the number of direct search hits and would open the door to endless arguments. Is Tumba-Ngiri-Maindombe a wetlands, region, complex, project, agreement, what?
I always try to use the natural title, which is bound to be recognizable and will also be the most common search term. I add a disambiguation qualifier in parentheses if needed, but only if needed. Any tangible thing such as a person, work of art, place, river, mountain, building, organization and so on has a natural title, the common name for that thing. With abstract concepts, such as the subject of this article, we have to be careful to avoid straying into original research. If a Google book search shows that a large number of sources use the same exact term to describe the subject, that indicates the term is recognizable by people who know of the subject. It may be the natural title. Then it is a question of digging around to see if some other term is more common in sources writing on the subject. The most common term is the one to use. If the topic is abstract and there is no dominant term to describe it, I would question whether it should have an article. I would certainly not start an essay on such a subject. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:31, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand your thinking. --Mike Cline (talk) 15:42, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
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