Wikipedia:Disambiguations for discussion

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Disambiguations for discussion (Dfd) is a place where disambiguations for which one or more issues arise can be discussed.

Before nominating a disambiguation for discussion[edit]

Before opening a DfD debate, there are certain actions you can take boldly without administrative assistance. If such a move is uncontroversial, (meaning that it does not get reverted if performed once), there is no need for a DfD debate. If it gets reverted, then a DfD debate can be opened.

Actions that can be taken without assistance include:

  • Creating a disambiguation page at a title where no page currently exists
  • Adding and removing entries on existing disambiguation pages
  • Merging two or more separate disambiguation pages
  • Splitting an existing disambiguation page into two or more pages

However, there are two kinds of actions that should never be undertaken without discussion:

  • Moving an article used as a primary topic to a new, non-existent title, and converting the previous title to a new disambiguation page if there was none before (see WP:USURPTITLE)
  • Moving a plain title used for a disambiguation page to XXXXX (disambiguation), then using that plain title for a new article

What to use this page for[edit]

Primary topic debates[edit]

A primary topic is the main meaning of a term with multiple meanings. For example, the primary meaning of the word pillow is a large cushion support for the head or for the body. Any other meanings of the word pillow are found on the page Pillow (disambiguation).

For some words and names in which two or more meanings are pretty common, it may be difficult to determine a primary topic. An example is the word squash, which may refer to the plant (Squash (plant)) and the sport (Squash (sport)) as well as all of the less common meanings. When this is the case, it is generally the custom to use the plain title as the disambiguation page.

There are times when it is debateable whether to use a plain title for a primary topic or as a disambiguation page, or which meaning of a term should be the primary topic. Such debates can only be resolved through a discussion with an attempt to obtain a consensus.

Reasons to make a title a primary topic[edit]

  • Obvious usage: It is obvious to all through a consensus that a single meaning of the title is the most common usage. For example, while there are many meanings of the word "oxygen", Oxygen is used for the element, and all other meanings are found at Oxygen (disambiguation).
  • Traffic statistics: Care must be taken to account for the current arrangement of articles, though, when comparing the traffic for the base name vs. traffic for the other topics. New redirects are sometimes created to assist with this determination, such as with EA; see Talk:EA (disambiguation)#Requested move (May 2010).
  • Incoming wikilinks from Special:WhatLinksHere
  • Google searches of web, news, scholar, or book hits searches

Invalid reasons for making a title a primary topic[edit]

  • Oldest topic
  • Original holder of the name
  • Most recent topic
  • Anecdotal evidence from the nominator (usually, "this is the only one I'm familiar with")

Deletion/merging of disambiguation pages[edit]

There are various reasons for a disambiguation to be deleted or merged. Please be aware that any disambiguation that meets criteria for speedy deletion can be speedy deleted accordingly.

Disambiguations with too few entries[edit]

A disambiguation is considered to have too few entries if the title used does not contain "(disambiguation)", and it lists nothing more than the primary topic and one other entry.

If there is a single meaning of a term other than that of the primary topic, it should be entered onto the top of the primary topic's page as a hatnote.

If the page has an edit history that has versions significantly longer than the one proposed for deletion, it should be merged or redirected in order to keep older versions accessible in the event one wishes to improve upon it.

It is probably a good idea before nominating a disambiguation for deletion over having too few entries to see in the edit history if there is an older version with more entries. If so, it may be worth discussing if other entries that were removed belong or not, if this has not been done already.

Dictionary entries[edit]

Wikipedia is not a dictionary. If a disambiguation page contains nothing more than a series of dictionary entries for a term, it should be deleted on the basis of this guideline.

Variations[edit]

Two or more variations of a title with the same meaning can be merged when all entries are combined and the resulting single page is still short enough to all or mostly be seen on the same screen. They are considered variations for this guideline when there are:

  • Case variations (ALL CAPS verses lowercase)
  • Tense variations (plural, -ed, -ing, etc.)
  • Compound verses two separate words (e.g. "Passionfruit" and "Passion fruit")

Variations should NOT be merged when:

  • They are spelled differently, and there is a notable difference between the spellings (e.g. Wait and Weight (disambiguation))
  • They are spelled and pronounced differently most of the time (e.g. Base and Bass, both disambiguations)
  • The main entry has a specific disambiguating purpose, such as in name disambiguations, where if combined, would dominate the list

Article alerts[edit]

Articles for deletion
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