Talk:World Heritage site

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Opportunity of tagging as World Heritage Site single landmarks belonging to one site[edit]

There is currently a discussion on Talk:Istanbul#Istanbul_World_Heritage_Sites about the opportunity of tagging as World heritage site a single landmark belonging to a site. Interested users can join. Alex2006 (talk) 11:26, 17 April 2015 (UTC)


I've replaced many images on the page with three: one each representing cultural, natural and mixed heritage site. If someone thinks there are better images, he is free to replace them. But, please, do not add more images. Large number of images decreases the readability of the article, and we can't place images of all sites in the article. So, we have to decide what number of images to include, and I think 3 is OK. Vanjagenije (talk) 12:18, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

@Vanjagenije: Hello, We should keep those photos. They were in small size, no need to remove most of them. We can create new gallery section below and can keep some of those pics there. Yes, we can't keep photos of all sites here, but there are more than 1000 World heritage sites and we are keeping very selected of those, not all 1,000. So we can create gallery. --Human3015Send WikiLove  13:46, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
@Human3015: They were small, yes. But, the column of images was much longer than the text itself, which was quite ugly (on my display, and I have a wide display). I'm not sure why would we need a gallery. We have separate lists of world heritage sites (like List of World Heritage Sites in Africa) with images of all sites. Why having gallery here? And how to decide which images to place? Vanjagenije (talk) 14:35, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
@Vanjagenije: Thanks for your reply. See, we need images in this topic, I will say why. This is a parent article on World Heritage Sites which gets around 2000 views daily. This article should be representative of the World. I know lists for different nations exists but they are given in template below, no one see template. Common reader don't look in template. I am reading Wikipedia since 10 years but it is since I joined Wikipedia 6 months ago I get to know about templates and Wikimedia Commons. We should think about common readers who read on mobile in which template of all list many times can't be visible. So this article at least should contain pics of different sites from all continents and of all religions. There as Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian etc related sites, we should choose some of each religion. Also look for continents or regions, like Latin America, Arab World, Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Australia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America etc. 2-3 sites from each region. This article should be World Class. --Human3015Send WikiLove  15:15, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Official web page[edit]

@Taesulkim: Why are you replacing the official web page of the World Heritage program ( with the web page of the Unesco center for Virgin Islands ( That makes no sense. Vanjagenije (talk) 14:48, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Panoramio is World heritage[edit]

Panoramio is "World heritage image memory of mankind". Please go online again. (talk) 21:32, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Agree. Hopefully the Wayback Machine has most of it archived. Maybe somebody else crawled all the images too and maybe people will start uploading to Wikimedia Commons and other open source localized image platforms instead. --Fixuture (talk) 15:00, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Requested move 15 May 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved. Anarchyte (work | talk) 04:26, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

World Heritage SiteWorld Heritage site – According to our MOS, the entire title should be lowercase, and carefully edited websites like don't capitalize the last word, and neither does UNESCO: Espoo (talk) 22:37, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

  • Support – "site" is not part of a proper name here, but "World Heritage" is, perhaps. Dicklyon (talk) 03:11, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per nomination and Dicklyon. Randy Kryn (talk) 12:55, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Note: there are around 200 other articles and categories using caps. Dekimasuよ! 19:24, 23 May 2018 (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 or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Name adjustment[edit]

The RM above should actually have been relisted for further comment. The n-gram, which I didn't look at when this RM was open, capitalizes "Site" as the common name if only the two are considered. UNESCO itself uses the term 'World Heritage List', in upper case. So I'd suggest a new RM, with the n-gram information included for casing and the alternate name 'World Heritage List' be considered, although this n-gram again shows 'Site' in upper-case as the common name. Should have checked the n-grams myself at the time, my apologies to Espoo, Dicklyon, Dekimasu, and Anarchyte for not doing so. Randy Kryn (talk) 04:00, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Randy, a couple of things:
1. An unopposed RM is not generally re-listed.
2. This doesn't work for pinging. Pings only work when in a paragraph with a new signature.
3. The n-gram shows that "World Heritage site" is not at all uncommon, implying the cap on site is not necessary.
Dicklyon (talk) 05:13, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, will ping Dekimasu and Anarchyte anew. The n-grams do show that the upper-case name is the common name and most familiar name in English. The flaw in the RM was lack of evidentially information and too few participants, and given the new n-gram data either a reopening or a new RM seems to be the way to go. Randy Kryn (talk) 12:03, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: I suggest opening a new one. It's been over a month since the closure of the previous RM. Echoing Dicklyon, unopposed RMs aren't usually relisted as they don't typically gather much discussion (though relisting ones with very few participants is common, so perhaps one relist may have been better, though I doubt it would have changed anything). FWIW, I have no opinion on whether it should be capitalised or not. Cheers, Anarchyte (work | talk) 12:32, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: According to our MOS, we should avoid unnecessary capitalization. Since some reliable sources and carefully edited websites like and don't capitalize the last word of "World Heritage site" it's irrelevant that Ngram Viewer finds more hits using capitalization. The whole purpose of having a MOS is that we don't have to find out whether uppercase or lowercase is more common. As long as at least some reliable sources use lowercase, we can and should too. I.e. the decision to capitalize or not is not at all related to deciding which is the most common name used to refer to a term.
In addition, it's no coincidence that some terms used after "World Heritage" are capitalized in carefully edited texts while others are not. Please take a close look at The whole point is that a carefully edited text only capitalizes proper nouns - so referring to capitalization of "World Heritage List" to support incorrect, ungrammatical capitalization of "World Heritage site" is completely illogical. --Espoo (talk) 21:18, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

World Heritage site[edit]

I can't see why united state is mentioned as the 10th country here and Iran is the 11th, while the both countries have 23 sites and in the English alphabet, I Comes first and U stands next...United state of America is the most powerful country of the world but this is not a good justification to ignore grammatical and reasonable points in a text! respectfully Aran.zahra (talk) 06:55, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Requested move 27 August 2018[edit]

World Heritage siteWorld Heritage Site – I think the move request above was incorrect. I'm usually in favour of using lower case for titles where they are not really proper names, but in this case World Heritage Site very clearly is treated as a proper name by reliable sources. As well as the ngram for the raw terms that Randy mentions above, (which would include titles of pages as well) see this ngram for a comparison of "World Heritage Site is" and "World Heritage Sites are" to give an idea of how it is used in running text: [1]. The capitalised form has a large lead in both cases, and precedent in previous RMs (e.g. Syrian Civil War) says that's a sufficient bar for us to treat it as a proper name.  — Amakuru (talk) 23:02, 27 August 2018 (UTC) --Relisting.Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 13:51, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Pinging Espoo Dicklyon Randy Kryn Dekimasu Anarchyte from the previous discussion on this topic.  — Amakuru (talk) 23:05, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, per this n-gram as well as this n-gram, both of which I looked up after the woefully under-attended RM which moved this title to its incorrect lower-case (with, alas and regretted, my help). Hopefully this well-worded RM by Amakuru will rectify that mistake. Randy Kryn (talk) 00:02, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as per above rationale. Never seen it used with the lower case "s". The Drover's Wife (talk) 00:51, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per above comments and per WP:CONSISTENCY with Lists of World Heritage Sites. Rreagan007 (talk) 20:35, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is not a proper name. If there existed just one World Heritage Site in the world, then yes it would be a proper name, but it is just a term that describes one of several sites. A proper name would be Taj Mahal, which is a site that has World Heritage status, therefore it is a "World Heritage" site. Never mind that the majority of websites use the uppercase misnomer, the fact is that the body that awards the NH status, UNESCO, has confirmed that "World Heritage site" is the correct term. Period. Visit their website, go to the orange Donate now box down left-hand side and read the text. The n-grams that you keep bandying around do nothing more than prove that there are a lot of very ignorant people out there. Rodney Baggins (talk) 05:21, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
    • This betrays a very peculiar understanding of what a proper noun is. A proper noun is not just limited to one physical place - that is one of the most unique takes I've ever heard. The Drover's Wife (talk) 06:18, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I think it is a proper noun, but if it's not, then the correct title should be "World heritage site". Rreagan007 (talk) 08:15, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose According to our MOS, we should avoid unnecessary capitalization. Since some reliable sources and carefully edited websites like and don't capitalize the last word of "World Heritage site" it's irrelevant that Ngram Viewer finds more hits using capitalization. The whole purpose of having a MOS is that we don't have to find out whether uppercase or lowercase is more common. As long as at least some reliable sources use lowercase, we can and should too. I.e. the decision to capitalize or not is not at all related to deciding which is the most common spelling used to refer to a term.
  • In addition, it's no coincidence that some terms used after "World Heritage" are capitalized in carefully edited texts while others are not. Please take a close look at The whole point is that a carefully edited text only capitalizes proper nouns - so referring to capitalization of "World Heritage List" to support the incorrect, ungrammatical capitalization "World Heritage Site" of "World Heritage site" is completely illogical. Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site is capitalized on because it's a proper noun, but "World Heritage site" and "World Heritage sites" are not because they are not proper nouns.
  • Since some of the comments above show that some are based on lack of understanding of what a proper noun is, here are two examples that illustrate the concepts of proper and common nouns and correct spelling in English:
  • Proper nouns cannot be modified by an indefinite article or a determiner.
  • The Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site is one of many World Heritage sites. The Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site is a World Heritage site.
  • The White House is a big house. The White House is one of several houses that the president lives in.
  • In fact, according to our MOS, the term should be entirely lowercase, i.e. "world heritage site", but we can make an exception because "World Heritage site" is in fact a shorthand way of saying "World Heritage List site". I.e. World Heritage List is a proper noun and when "World Heritage" implies "World Heritage List", it can be capitalized because reliable sources do this too. --Espoo (talk) 15:03, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
    According to our MOS (MOS:CAPS to be precise) we treat it as a proper name if reliable sources treat it as a proper name, by capitalising it in running text. Which from the evidence above they do, and in a substantial majority of cases (the bar required by MOS:CAPS). So no, there is no lack of understanding.  — Amakuru (talk) 15:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I provided reliable sources, including the horse's mouth itself, and you didn't provide a single reliable source. In fact, you apparently didn't even bother to look at and --Espoo (talk) 15:34, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
      "The horse's mouth" is largely irrelevant. See WP:OFFICIALNAMES. And I did provide evidence from reliable sources, in the ngram link, which aggregates multiple sources, whereas you have only given two. I'm not denying that some sources write it the way you suggest, but a substantial majority capitalise it in running text, which means we have to do so as well. As indeed we did for 16 years before the ill-advised move above.  — Amakuru (talk) 15:58, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
      You're misquoting or misunderstanding MOS:CAPS. Your reasoning is upside down. The correct reasoning is "only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia". As long as some reliable sources don't capitalize, we don't either because according to our MOS, we should avoid unnecessary capitalization. So it's completely irrelevant that Ngram Viewer finds many hits using illogical, incorrect capitalization or how long this error has existed here.
      Proper nouns cannot be modified by an indefinite article or a determiner.
      The Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site is one of many World Heritage sites. The Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site is a World Heritage site. --Espoo (talk) 16:36, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as per above rationale and WP:CONSISTENCY. I have also never seen it used with the lower case "s". Turtlewong (talk) 15:49, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Espoo and WP:COMMONNAME does not apply to stylization and capitalization. The argument that one has "never seen it with lowercase s" is pretty weak, since most of the time the phrase refers to a particular site. But when discussing the concept in general, proper orthography and MoS require lowercase. No such user (talk) 13:29, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I closed this RM but was unable to move the page due to a database error involving write duration. I have undone my close and would suggest an administrator does it next time. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 16:06, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
    @Fravae: those database timeouts are usually temporary, you just need to try again a few moments later. Alternatively if it still doesn't work you can close the request and list it at WP:RMT for someone else to carry out the mvoe for you. — Amakuru (talk) 16:13, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
It worked second time round, all done now. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 16:18, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

Post-reopening discussion[edit]

  • In the discussions surrounding the close which are linked above, four key issues came to my attention:
  1. UNESCO uses "World Heritage Site" with "Site" capitalised in official listing documents and some of its website pages. It uses "World Heritage site" with "site" uncapitalised in brochures and other website pages.
  2. The UK and US governments use "World Heritage Site" with "Site" capitalised in legislation and the majority of their published material, as do websites such as that of the U.S. National Parks Service and World Heritage UK.
  3. The grammatical rules explained above are not absolute and are often ignored in regards to named concepts and brand names.
  4. "World Heritage" is not a proper name, it is a common style of "UNESCO World Heritage". "World Heritage List" is also commonly used as World Heritage list with a close frequency to "World Heritage Site".
Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 14:07, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • My views in response to the above:
  1. I concur that even UNESCO appear to be inconsistent in their terminology. Whilst I think they might argue (if I ever get a response from them) that the correct term is in fact "World Heritage site", some of their editors are unclear and official documentation carries both versions.
  2. Examples of UK and US government legislation would be useful to look at. World Heritage UK does indeed use the capitalised version, as in "the UK's 31 outstanding World Heritage Sites" on their main page.
  3. Grammatical rules are misunderstood and still need further debate. I'm still of the opinion that the common noun 'site' is being described by the attributive term "World Heritage". Another example I have given is "London Underground station" where the 'station' (common noun) is on the London Underground System (proper noun), hence "London Underground" is being attributed to the word 'station'.
  4. We should not put undue emphasis on ngrams, for the reasons I have already given. We should be looking at a sample of independent, reliable sources, which I think we have started to do now, so we might actually be getting somewhere.
Rodney Baggins (talk) 15:32, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
@Rodney Baggins: thank you for your comments. I think from what you've said that you may be fairly new to the world of article title discussions if I'm not mistaken, so welcome! Regarding ngrams, I disagree with your assessment that they're unimportant. Our policy is to choose WP:COMMONNAMEs for subjects from reliable sources, (over and above the WP:OFFICIALNAME of the entity). Yet often editors disagree about what the common name really is. An ngram is a completely independent (run by Google) analysis of potentially thousands or millions of books that they've archived, with impartial numbers generated. And books are usually considered amongst the highest level of WP:Reliable source that we use on Wikipedia. So yes, it's correct to take them with a pinch of salt, and use WP:COMMONSENSE, but in most cases they provide a far more objective view on usage than any editor discussion can achieve. And it's common practice to admit them as valuable evidence in move discussions. Believe me, if the ngram showed the usage being in the opposite direction, then I would be arguing for "World Heritage site" just the same as you are. The sources are our guide. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 15:43, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Rodney Baggins:, you may not want to put much emphasis on n-grams, and I assume you are consistent in that. But if you did you'd see that the n-grams, in terms of deciding what the common name actually is, show that World Heritage Site, upper cased, is by far the most common and most recognizable name in English. Randy Kryn (talk) 15:49, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Amakuru: Are you aware of Wikipedia:Common style fallacy? The point is, while we apply WP:COMMONNAME for contents of article titles, we don't necessarily parrot the styling choices of the majority: our own MOS is based on manuals of most prestigious publications, and where sources disagree we follow our own house style. The applicable guideline is MOS:CAPS: only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of [..] sources are capitalized in Wikipedia. i.e. only if "practically always".
    Take, for example, that someone mentioned in this debate: without questioning their reliability in terms of content, they apparently seem to be the kind of Publication that Capitalizes Every Important Term: their Outstanding Universal Values can provide inspiration; World Heritage UK is a registered Charity – Charitable Incorporated Organisation by Association (and the fact that their website is made in Wordpress does not really inspire confidence in their prestige). No such user (talk) 11:14, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • The term is capitalised by a substantial majority of sources, including a substantial majority of UNESCO's own documentation, and a substantial majority of governmental sources in both the US and UK. MOS:CAPS should apply. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 11:52, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • The ngram (repeated from above for convenience) shows approximately 3:1 in favor of "Site"; see also SnowFire's evidence below – it's far from a "substantial majority" or "consistently capitalized". No such user (talk) 12:40, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • @Amakuru: Yes, I get what you're saying, but no I still don't agree that we should be following the popular example, I still think we should be taking our lead from UNESCO (and I really wish they would hurry up and reply to my email...) Having said that, I do accept that the inconsistency extends to respectable sources, and we can see now that even UNESCO themselves use both versions, so it seems the best thing we can do is come to a consensus based on sensible interpretation of our own MOS guidelines (and ultimately, it seems, personal choice). I would still vote for the lower case candidate unless you can come up with an irrefutable argument to the contrary. We really ought to sort out this proper noun disagreement. I don't tend to get involved in page move discussions much, as I'm more interested in copyediting and citation maintenance.
FYI this is the email I had from Chris Brett, an 'advisor' at the National Trust a couple of weeks ago: "It’s a topic of much debate, and it’s not a ‘black and white’ answer. Many refer to ‘World Heritage Site(s)’ capitalised as the ‘name of the award’. This is incorrect. The ‘award’ is ‘World Heritage’ status, which means they’re on the UNESCO World Heritage List (capitalised). A World Heritage site is a site that is placed on that list. Although in recent years, it’s more common to use World Heritage Site, so by common usage it’s almost been adopted by organisations as a title they can affix to a property/area; despite not being correct per-se. As the more ‘commonly used’ and therefore familiar with audiences, ‘World Heritage Site’ is what the National Trust use in general, but this will vary depending on the author. Personally, I would use ‘World Heritage site’ as it’s correct. ‘Common usage’ shouldn’t be an excuse for sloppy text and unnecessary capitalisation. Safe to say you would be able to use either without too much of a problem. I hope this helps!" ——So in summary, the correct term is "World Heritage site" but it has become common to use the capitalised version through the proliferation of "sloppy text and unnecessary capitalisation". I couldn't agree more! Rodney Baggins (talk) 12:27, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Support move. Disclaimer: I am on the other side of No such user's stance on the relevance of style in sources, and think that it's an important factor for Wikipedia naming. Anyway, I actually agree with Rodney Baggins that n-grams can be misleading, and a sample of high-quality sources is a better test. That said, a quick test of them seems to show usage all over the place, between W-H-S vs. w-h-s vs. W-H-s . Example: The New York Times uses capital S, The Economist is all over the place and uses both capital and uncapitalized, the BBC, seems to use all lowercase, Google Scholar seems split between all lowercase and all uppercase. Basically, I'm seeing a stronger argument for "World Heritage Site" and "world heritage site" than "World Heritage site", which seems the least common construction in the sources, oddly enough. So there should be a move either to lowercase h as well, or to capitalize the S. Anyway, n-grams makes me okay with capital S as a tie-breaker, but I could be convinced for all lowercase as well. In short: World Heritage Site > world heritage site (well, World, due to capping the first character) > World Heritage site. As far as the "official name", that's a bit of a weak criterion anyway (WP:OFFICIALNAMES), and as noted above by original closer, usage seems mixed and inconsistent there too. SnowFire (talk) 18:32, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Undecided.
There is no such thing as “Word Heritage Site”. It seems more a descriptive thing. The closed related proper name is “List of World Heritage Sites by year of inscription”, or by country. Why is there no “List of World Heritage Sites”?? I think there is an answer to that. Country lists are under the country’s control. The yearly list is defined for that year, but is transient with time. No proper name. No official name. (The “official name” covering appears to be “World Heritage List”) But routinely capitalised in running text, but that is a common style. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:11, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Rodney Baggins' 12:27, 10 September 2018 (UTC) post is causing me to lean to World Heritage site. "the correct term is "World Heritage site"". "the proliferation of "sloppy text and unnecessary capitalisation"".
Oppose per Rodney Baggins' 12:27, 10 September 2018 (UTC). --SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:18, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose move to "World Heritage Site". Rodney Baggins's arguments have convinced me. --Calton | Talk 11:42, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Calton. I'm really hoping to hear from someone at UNESCO to find out their opinion on the matter. If the "correct" term is disputed even by UNESCO (the originators), then really it's just a case of us agreeing on our own preference according to samples of reliable sources (which are also looking undecided) and use of MOS guidelines (which are open to interpretation). Maybe at the end of the day, it's going to come down to a vote, based on whether or not people think "World Heritage Site/site" is a proper noun, and you already know my views on that! Rodney Baggins (talk) 15:04, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Did you read my message above, Rodney? Hoping for some feedback from you on the book evidence, and maybe agreement that World Heritage Site is the best way forward. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 15:21, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
  • There is no doubt, "World Heritage Site/site" is not a proper noun. It is not a noun. Find any reliable source that allows for a noun to be multiple words. Compound nouns OK, but they have no internal spaces. Some things are complicated, but this is not one of them, casual poor grammar notwithstanding. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:24, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • It is not at all bizarre. Sydney Opera House is not a noun, proper or otherwise, but it is a proper name, and I can take you and show it to you. Similarly the Statue of Liberty, its a name of a singular thing. Can you show me where/how/when to find "World Heritage Site"? It is not a single entity. "World Heritage List" is a proper name, arguably. World heritage sites can be found listed on the World Heritage List. Consult any good dictionary on the meaning of "noun". Nouns are words, not terms, not phrases. All the noun/name arguments are bunk.
The question is whether Wikipedia should follow the preponderance of source usage where "World Heritage Site" is capitalised in running text. Does it preponder? It has been shown, linked, above, that "World Heritage Site" is common, "World Heritage site" is less common. Troubling is that "World Heritage site" occurs in significant frequency in reliable sources.
I am not a rabid anti-capitalisationist, English is a flexible language, and WP:MOS over-rigidity does harm, but the crux of the question is not answered by asking about proper nouns. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:12, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
Your view on nouns is certainly bizarre, SmokeyJoe. Unless it's an ENGVAR thing. But as far as I was ever taught, and what appears in dictionaries, a noun is not restricted to one word. wikt:Good Friday, wikt:room service, wikt:Dalai Lama. Perhaps they are compound nouns, but they are still nouns. Good Friday even says "proper noun". But anyway, that's just semantics. We seem agreed that this is a debate on whether to capitalise or not, whether we call it a proper noun or not. I used to take your view that things should be "consistently capitalised" to meet the bar, but I realised eventually that the community simply doesn't agree. I argued long and hard in 2016 that Syrian Civil War should be sentence case, given that it's not even close to consistently capitalised in running text. But to no avail. So now, to ensue we apply the same rules throughout, I use the wording at MOS:CAPS that if a "substantial majority" of sources capitalise then we follow suit. Someone above argued that 3:1 ratio (75%) does not constitute a substantial majority. I beg to differ. That's well high enough.  — Amakuru (talk) 07:53, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
Hi Amakuru. My view comes straight from our article proper noun, and noun, and the references to these which check out, and quality dictionaries like and Even wiktionary broadly agrees that a noun is a word. Its not ENGVAR, I have lived and work in multiple countries, and in none did people discuss the meaning of "noun". I only researched after encountering MOS:CAPS here at Wikipedia. Everything reliable is pretty clear. Even if you relax the single word thing, "World Heritage Site" still fails as a proper noun because it doesn't refer to a single thing. What have you been reading? "Good Friday" is a proper name, not noun. Same with "Dalai Lama". "Room service"?
RE "your view that things should be "consistently capitalised" to meet the bar". NB. This is not my "view", I am still down as "undecided". I am aware of this view, and of it being contentious.
Syrian Civil War is a much easier case, because it refers to a single thing, I think I could take you back in time to show you. I cannot show you a singular "World Heritage Site", so even if it were a noun, which reliable sources on words doesn't support, it is not a proper name. It is very easy to argue Syrian Civil War is a proper name. I think I watched those discussions without commenting.
This "world heritage site" is a different, new line to decide. Was it a 3:1 ratio? Is that high enough for a "substantial majority" of sources. Leaving aside the possibility of questioning the authorship of that wording, I think it is a good question that needs to be answered. I am happy to see it go either way. Personally, in the real world, I would capitalise. I have actually been hoping to see the MOS aficionados weigh in on this. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:14, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - sorry, it's taken me a while to circle back to this, but post the relisting (after the initial close), I wanted to make a couple of points:
    1. In my nom above, I didn't specifically mention a guideline to support my request, but there is one: MOS:CAPS. This advises us to capitalise our article title if the term appears capitalised in running text in a substantial majority of reliable sources. The ngrams above show the WHS variants tracking at around 3:1 ratio compared with WHs, i.e. 75%, which I think clearly constitutes a substantial majority. Indeed, that is such a large proportion that it would probably even be enough to avoid a crat chat at WP:RFA....
    2. Regarding usage in official UNESCO sources, which is one of the key planks of the opposition here, it became clear during the RM (and Frayae has summed this up fairly well above) that UNESCO sources are divided on the matter. Some style it WHS, others as WHs. So this also weakens the idea that WHs is in some sense correct. I therefore stand by my request to move back to World Heritage Site (the long-term stable title until a few months ago), and believe the evidence in favour is even stronger post the MRV. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 12:33, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, MOS:CAPS totally supports upper-casing for this, It seems that would be obvious to everyone once the numbers are pointed out. Randy Kryn (talk) 12:40, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
  • The numbers? Accepting 75% meets “substantial majority”, the problem is that google ngram is not counting reliable sources. Key references in the article are using WHs. A more careful count is needed. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:32, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
  • There must be thousands of mentions, how are we going to count them? The ngram does at least only look at books, which are normally reliable because the cut-off date of the ngram is before self-publishing became popular. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 13:38, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
  • That’s right, Frayæ, it’s hard, but should be thought about. I would prefer that the usage in existing article references be counted, as this gives indirect extra weight to editors who have a history of caring about the article. Imperfect other ideas are to look with google scholar and look only at titles, or to look specifically at the top ten cited books. Ngram May be particularly unreliable because it counts every usage even within the same book, and this is a term frequently repeated in non-prose text. Perhaps look to longer constructions, eg “most World Heritage Sites are”. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:06, 14 September 2018 (UTC). This ngram appears to favour WHS, but counts are low. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:08, 14 September 2018 (UTC) Google scholar top hits include a large frequency of whs. The choice of what data to look at is pretty significant. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:11, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This should stay at World Heritage site per WP:NCCAPS. There is no consensus among reliable sources that "site" is part of the proper noun name; in fact, it appears that the actual proper noun name is "World Heritage List". Bradv 14:35, 13 September 2018 (UTC) Changed noun to name per proper pedantry. Bradv 04:57, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, there is, although World Heritage list has its place in the sun, Per this pretty persuasive n-gram favoring the upper-case 'Site' as the common usage. Randy Kryn (talk) 16:52, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
  • "World Heritage List" is not a noun, but is a proper name. Nouns are words, not terms or phrases. Go to any reliable source for linguistics. Start with our article, and if it is wrong, fix it. Compound nouns are joined without spaces. Names are much more flexible. Many multi word names double as names and descriptions. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:18, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – ngrams show World Heritage capped over 90% of the time, so we cap that. But site or sites is much more mixed. We avoid unnecessary caps. Sources confirm they are clearly unnecessary here. So leave it lowercase. Dicklyon (talk) 02:15, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Right, mixed. And if you Google the usage you see that a large fraction of the capitalization counts come from titles and headings; click through to later pages of hits where you find usage in sentences, and you see that most appearances of site are lowercase, that is, not treated as part of a proper name (because it's not), but World Heritage is still capped, because it's the proper name of a UNESCO program. Dicklyon (talk) 15:07, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
    The ngrams with "is" and "are" included take care of that issue, and still show a clear preponderance of capitalisation, one which is also borne out informally through gbooks and general searching. Dicklyon you need to work with the evidence here, as I've seen you do in the past. For "civil rights movement" it was clear that sources did not capitalise, and equally for this one it is clear that they do. That is what guides us in these matters.  — Amakuru (talk) 15:13, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • If you click through to the "is" hits, you see that most are actually from specific proper site names; so that doesn't help. The "are" hits are looking like near 2:1, which is what I call "mixed", but when you look, it appears that more are lowercase. Where are these capped ones that n-grams is counting? I don't know. Dicklyon (talk) 04:53, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Note@Amakuru: your ping attempt did not work. It only works if you enter a new paragraph with ping template and a signature. Adding a signature after the fact does not do it. So several of us missed hearing about this. I suggest you try again. Dicklyon (talk) 04:50, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment (apologies, but I keep finding new things of interest) - the Cambridge dictionary and Oxford Living Dictionary (based on the OED) both list "World Heritage Site" as entries, fully capped.[2][3] And of course, they are classified as nouns as well, which hopefully will go some way to debunking your unusual theory about what constitutes a noun, SmokeyJoe.  — Amakuru (talk) 11:34, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
    • I do find this interesting. Academically, I am not emotionally invested. I wouldn’t call the strict “word” definition of a noun debunked, but I do note that many dictionaries are loose with ascribing nouns for phrases. I have been reading more myself, I will admit that maybe it is not terribly well defined, but the more serious the linguistic treatment, the more nouns are just words. Don’t get confused with “noun phrase” though, that is different again. And again as you said before, this is all tangential and off the question, which is whether to follow the majority source capitalisation (how counted). But on the tangent, even if a three word noun, it is not a proper noun because it is not a single thing, and is not a name because it names no single thing. Unless you want to go for “World Heritage Sites” as the name for the set of them. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:49, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
Oxford Living Dictionary? Is that the OED having gone fuzzy with the rules? 😁. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:52, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
The dictionary is alive! Face-smile.svg I am of the opinion that short "brand name" phrases are commonly used contrary to the normal rules of strict grammar. This is the situation even if it is not the proper name of an organisation or company. In theory this is what is happening here, but the issue is confused because there are varied usages even by the same organisations. — Frayæ (Talk/Spjall) 14:17, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, many "phrases are commonly used contrary to the normal rules of strict grammar". Recognizing that, and our style of avoiding unnecessary capitalization, and in light of the fact that so many sources find the cap unnecessary here (as opposed to "World Heritage" which is part of the proper name of the program), we should stick to lowercase site. Dicklyon (talk) 16:39, 15 September 2018 (UTC)